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Author: jeduart Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 19483  
Subject: Hearing aid. Date: 1/20/2007 12:13 PM
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Hello Retired fools,

I am going to have to buy a hearing aid. I am missing a lot of the high frequencies. I will have my hearing check, and then I will have to shop for a hearing aid.

Is there any recommendations in the retired land for the type of hearing aid to get?

Thank you for the help,
Juan
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Author: Bobcatkitty Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11028 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/20/2007 12:55 PM
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I can't help with the hearing aid, but my DHs hearing loss is in the high frequency range. He was told by the audiologist that a hearing aid would be of no use to him. I hope your situation is better.

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Author: iamdb Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11029 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/20/2007 1:17 PM
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First you should try to find a good otologist, a physician who specializes in diseases of the auditory system. Absent that, a good ENT (ear nose throat) physician. If you live near LA, the House group is one of the best in the world. You want to try to understand the cause of the hearing loss, and that can determine appropriate treatment, which may or may not include a hearing aid. Hearing aid sales shops are notoriously unreliable for diagnosis.

db

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Author: DoLoop Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11030 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/20/2007 1:43 PM
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First you should try to find a good otologist ... Hearing aid sales shops are notoriously unreliable for diagnosis.

Excellent advice !

In Illinois, an HA dispenser cannot, by law, sell you a device until you've been seen by an MD. Even then, I went through a couple of dispensers before I found one who was knowledgeable and honest. When I moved to AZ, I again, had to shop around until I found someone who knew what they were doing.

This is another way of saying, don't be too concerned about which brand of HA you get nor which style it is (in-the-ear or behind-the-ear). A good audiologist will tell you what is best for you.

Perhaps you can get some recommendations from local friends and acquantances. When you spot someone wearing HA's, ask them where they got them and what they think of the dispenser.




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Author: jjbklb Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11031 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/20/2007 2:48 PM
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I have the same hearing problem.The digital hearing aids can be programmed to compensate for each individuals deficit as best as possible.Plus,if your hearing changes,the unit can be reprogrammed.

There are some digital HA that have a circuit system included specifically for hearing music.

HA's are sensitive to deterioration when exposed to sweat.I have put off getting one so far since I'm very active.So for too much of my day,I wouldn't have it in.

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Author: tedhimself Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11032 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/20/2007 3:09 PM
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I have an appointment with an ENT who specializes in audiology on Monday. I've been mistaking words that have similar sounds. I also know that I have some high frequency hearing loss, and that I have a hard time following conversations in places that have a high background noise level. I'm hoping to find at least some correction for my problems.

I'm following this discussion with great interest and will report back on what I learn from the ENT if it seems like it may have some applicaction to this discussion.

Ted

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Author: DoLoop Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11033 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/20/2007 3:15 PM
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HA's are sensitive to deterioration when exposed to sweat.I have put off getting one so far since I'm very active.So for too much of my day,I wouldn't have it in.

I have the same problem. For a few years, I wore in-the-ear aids (that are not exposed to the sweat nearly so much) but eventually, I had to go to behind-the-ear because I needed more power. But I kept the ITE's and I wear them when I'm doing sweat-work.

Also, my main HA's are digitals - far superior to the old analogs. Have had them re-programmed a couple of times as subsequent tests have shown further deterioration in certain frequencies. They were expensive but, all in all, well worth it.

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Author: tedhimself Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11034 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/20/2007 3:32 PM
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They were expensive but, all in all, well worth it.

I'm curious. What do the digital aids tend to cost?
Ted


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Author: DoLoop Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11035 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/20/2007 3:41 PM
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I'm curious. What do the digital aids tend to cost?

I don't know what they cost now. The ones I'm currently wearing I got in Oct 1997 and paid $5,000 for the pair.

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11036 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/20/2007 4:52 PM
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I bought a Phonak hearing aid about 4 years ago for high frequency hearing loss. But I have not found it helpful. It does help a bit, but it also has all of the defects of hearing aids. It over ampliflies background noises, people talking behind you, people talking close to you. Mine seems to distort sound and shuts down for loud noises or shouting. So in some situations it is clearly a disadvantage.

Better is wear a big hearing aid so people know to speak up. Mumblers get frustrated when you ignore them, but is that your fault?

Do you want one hearing aid or two? They will probably recommend two, but I would start with one.

Prices start at about $500. Digitals start at about $1K. Good ones can go to several thousand. The best have multiple hearing settings that can be switched with a pocket remote control. Crowd setting, music, telephone are common settings.

I hear veterans get good deals on hearing aids at VA Hospitals. So vets should look into their VA benfits.

In Princeton, a start up group (associated with the SRI Sarnoff Research lab) was making disposable hearing aids. They were called Song Birds. You throw away the hearing aid rather than replace the batteries. Check them out.

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Author: Grumpybiker Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11037 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/20/2007 6:23 PM
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I don't need a hearing aid yet. I hear too much!

If and when I should finally need one, I think it would be great to be able to turn off one's hearing,

That way I wouldn't have to listen to the very distracting incessant revving of the neighbor kid's un-muffled four-wheeler!

Just one more thing to make me
Grumpy

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Author: riverfloat One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11038 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/20/2007 7:46 PM
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I'm 2 months into my new hearing aids. I didn't go to an audiologist (though it wa my plan), I went to my local Costco and was tested and fitted by their guy.

I have what I believe is the typical hearing loss pattern. I need the TV too loud (DW says my volume "hurts her ears"), I miss some of the TV conversations, particularly certain women's voices, I have trouble hearing conversations at parties/gatherings, and the final straw for me was going to a seminar and not being able to understand some of the women participants. I am 58 and didn't want hearing aids but decided I was missing too much.

I got BTE (behind the ear) aids. They are Bernafon ICOS, cost at Costco $1,599. each. I researched them as much as I could on the web and they seem to be top shelf in all regards (digital of course). IIRC, Costco's policy is you can return them with 60 days for refund...I'm keeping them.

So here's my report. I could hear before, so my determination of whether they help or not sometimes changes as the wind blows, but...
1. I now listen to TV at a lesser volume (DW is happy).
2. I ask my wife "What did she say?" far less than before. I do have high freq hearing loss, so I still miss some things, though I believe I miss far less than before.
3. I've been to a couple meetings wearing them and I hear better (I think).
4. There are still some voices I still can't hear well, so be it.
5. I hear better on the phone.
6. Like glasses, you don't even know your wearing them. You definitely can notice a different when you remove them.
7. They are invisible (I have enough hair to cover them) and the tube into the ear is virtually invisible.

Final comment, at check-up, I was talking with another customer who was a week into his pair and was unhappy. His expectation was they should essentially restore his hearing. They don't.

Hope that helps,

Andy

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Author: tedhimself Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11039 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/20/2007 9:09 PM
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Andy, thanks for the report. It helps. What happens in restaurants where there are people all around and the scraping of chairs along with the clattering of dishs?
Ted

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Author: PKnudsen Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11040 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/20/2007 10:14 PM
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Each case is different. Basically, you have to hope your provider knows what he/she is doing.

Try to get some recommendations. Not easy, I realize.

There's a newsgroup, "alt.support.hearing-loss". You should find more info there.

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Author: Trini209 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11041 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/21/2007 8:48 AM
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I think that with age-related hearing loss it becomes difficult to understand speech when there are other sounds and noises going on at the same time, such as when you're in a room full of people all talking at once.

DH and I enjoy the TV series CSI. We were having a lot of trouble understanding what anyone said, because the music that plays along with the acting is louder than the speech! You'd think that TV producers would have learned that with an aging population, they were driving away potential viewers.

We mentioned our problem to our son, and he improved our comprehension by adjusting the sound on the TV and hooking it up to better speakers. I think he boosted the high frequencies, as those are the sounds aging people have trouble hearing first. Now we can hear the words.

Trini

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Author: riverfloat One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11042 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/21/2007 10:18 AM
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Restaurants - Was out to dinner with a group (6 total) Friday night with a loud band in the next room. Though I did miss some words, I was pretty much able to have conversation all around. Overall, in crowds/groups, i understand more. Can't tell you how that compares to "normal" since I don't really remeber what normal is suppose to be. I do check in with DW when I miss stuff to see if she is having the same issue (she hears well-at least compared to me) and my overall scores are up.
Background noise is less of a problem, it seems masked/filtered out.

CSI is one of the shows I had a lot of problem with. The little blond in CSI-Miami particularly. Now I can understand more, enought to get the conversation. Fox's 24 still needs to be loud for me, but at least it's down to a level my wife can tolerate.

Thanks for the alt.support.hearing-loss link. I'm going to check it out.

Hope that helps,

Andy

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Author: arahfool Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11043 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/21/2007 11:39 AM
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Excellent post Andy.

Your situation pretty much mirrors mine as far as hearing loss.

I went through all of the tests to identify the types of sounds and words I was missing. The tests were performed by a licensed Audiologist and Hearing Instrument Specialist.

I was 1st fitted with a pair of BTE's (behind the ear) that I tested for 2 weeks. While some sounds were improved, the overall experiences with wind noise, sudden loud noises, eating and such were unsatisfactory. I had them 'adjusted' twice but decided the 'improvements' were overshadowed by the negatives.

Next, I was fitted with a pair of CIC's (completely in the canal) with pretty much the same results though the wind noise issue was resolved with these (as an avid golfer that is important to me).

As other posters have mentioned, hearing aids will not restore your hearing though you will certainly hear better and also hear some sounds that you have been missing. Whether they can be adjusted to satisfy was not proven to me. I guess I am kind of looking for an aid similar to reading glasses with the same ease of use, if not cost. Failing that I will only consider an aid that I have more 'control' over, whether through a remote or a computer based system that I maintain rather than going back again and again. My hearing is 'adequate' for conversations though 'huh?' is one of my usual responses when DW talks. For TV I use a set of wireless headphones that more than meet my needs.

As a retiree, I can 'control' my environment better than those that have to attend meetings, seminars and other such places that test the hearing. I have agreed with the audiologist to try again this summer, based on further 'advances' in products and the probable worsening of my hearing. Too many years as an aircraft mechanic, coupled with my age insures that it will get worse.

arahfool




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Author: riverfloat One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11044 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/21/2007 1:26 PM
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<remote>

FYI-my hearing aids do have a small remote that allows me to change programs (see below) and adjust the volume (both ears only). I can also easily adjust volume or program on each ear with easy access controls on the aids themselves. What I hae found in my 2 months wearing is that I (virtually) never adjust them or change programs. They seem to be set just fine. FYI, volume is capped so you can't turn it up too high.

Programs - my aids can have up to three different program settings based on the results of testing. The computer determined that I only need 2 programs at this time, Prog 1 for everything except Prog 2 - Telephone. Fact is, Prog 1 is just fine for phone (home & cell), so I don't use Prog 2.

Wind is occasionally noticeable, I have adjusted volume down on rare occassion while walking but for the most part it's not an issue.

After my 1st 2 wks I went back because I regularly thought it sounded like my head was in a drum. The computer took this info as well as what their built in tracker collected (info about use, adjustments, enviroment, etc.-smart little thing) resulting in a lower default volume setting and less base which pretty much solved the problem.

One more thing - IIRC, the tech said they have a life expectancy of 5-7 years unless you do something really stupid to them.

Hope that helps,

Andy

...Hope I don't sound like I'm selling, just mean to be accurately reporting my experience.

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Author: iamdb Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11045 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/21/2007 1:28 PM
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Bad post, Andy. Hearing loss can be a symptom of a problem that needs medical attention, even a tumor. My best friend's father was told by his GP that he would have to learn to live with tinnitus and hearing loss. I referred him to the House Clinic in LA, where they discovered a neuronoma. Following surgery, he was fine; without surgery he would have died. This is not common but should be guarded against. Many people do suffer hearing loss that results from ossification of bones in the middle ear, the bones that transmit acoustic vibration to the inner ear where they are converted to a neural transmission that goes to the brain. Replacement of one of those bones with a prothesis (a stapedectomy) can often restore hearing.

Hearing loss is a symptom, and should be treated as such. Alhough I haven't followed the literature for years, there has been debate about whether loss of high frequency hearing with age is natural or noise induced. Evidence from primitive populations not exposed to noise suggests it's likely to be noise induced. There can be a number of causes of hearing loss, so get it checked out first before slapping in a hearing aid. Try taking your old car to a dealer and asking him if you need a new car; see if he tells you no.

db

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Author: tedhimself Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11046 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/21/2007 3:59 PM
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DH and I enjoy the TV series CSI. We were having a lot of trouble understanding what anyone said, because the music that plays along with the acting is louder than the speech! You'd think that TV producers would have learned that with an aging population, they were driving away potential viewers.

A suggestion. If you have a TV that has the ability to switch the sound from stereo to mono, try switching to mono. We did this and it helped some. The reason is that the voices are usually in the center while the background and music are on both sides. It's not perfect, we still miss words, just fewer than before.

It also helps that we have a Tivo TV recorder so we can back up and replay what we missed without losing any of the show. (We catch back up with the live feed during commercials.)

Ted


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Author: Grumpybiker Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11047 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/21/2007 4:57 PM
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My hearing, so far, is excellent, however I hate to miss crucial (to the plot) words in a conversation. My darling little woman (I can call her that, she's only 4'10") has the habit of running her Swiffer incessantly, drowing out ALL the dialogue! Whenever I watch my TIVOed TV shows or rented DVDs, I always opt for the SUBTITLES feature!

Subtitles are a great option.

Regards,

Grumpy

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Author: MichaelRead Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11048 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/21/2007 5:58 PM
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DH and I enjoy the TV series CSI. We were having a lot of trouble understanding what anyone said, because the music that plays along with the acting is louder than the speech! You'd think that TV producers would have learned that with an aging population, they were driving away potential viewers.

We mentioned our problem to our son, and he improved our comprehension by adjusting the sound on the TV and hooking it up to better speakers. I think he boosted the high frequencies, as those are the sounds aging people have trouble hearing first. Now we can hear the words.

Trini


Smart young man.

The sound feed going into your TV is Dolby encoded – meaning that, if you have the right equipment to decode it, you can separate the 'streams' of Dolby-encoded sound into a center speaker, left and right front and/or 'effect' speakers (left and right surrounds and a subwoofer).

Now, if you have only one speaker, all the streams of Dolby-encoded sound are fed to it. Result is that all the sounds overpower each other because all streams are treated equally.

Your smart son, knowing that 95 percent of dialogue is center-speaker, added two side speakers that took the other five percent (music and much of the bang-thumps) so you get now a clear center channel with understandable dialogue.

Now this I'm guessing at yet I think Smart Son set the side speakers to 'large' (full frequency including lows) and the center to 'small' (clips off the low frequencies).

I think he deserves to be mentioned in the Will.

MichaelR




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Author: ImAGolfer Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11049 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/21/2007 7:13 PM
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has the habit of running her Swiffer incessantly ...

That must be a given when you are watching something important. I bet she runs the hell out of it during the Sports section of the News too.

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Author: jeduart Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11050 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/22/2007 11:10 AM
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Hello Retired fools:

Thank you for all your responses.

I will summarize what I have gather so far:

Hearing aids might not help with high frequency hearing loss.
An examination by an otologist or ENT physician would be preferable.
Digital hearing aids (DHA) can be reprogrammed to fit individual needs.
DHAs are expensive, but well worth it. $5,000 per pair.
Phonak hearing aids may not help high frequency hearing loss.
SongBirds are disposable HAs.
If you are by yourself, and are not social, an HA may be a nuisance.
Bernafon ICOS at Costco are $3,200.00 per pair. After two months they have done the job.
Check out alt.support.hearing-loss for info.
Try different HAs until you are satisfied.
For TV viewing try adjusting the higher frequencies for higher volume or use the subtitle feature. Unfortunately you can do that with your friends.

Juan



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Author: iamdb Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11051 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/22/2007 1:18 PM
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Michael,

I think only certain programs are broadcast in Dolby, most in stereo. Nevertheless, an external sound source is usually better than the TV sound.

Last night we watched a recent Harrison Ford thriller that we had recorded in HDTV from HBO. Lots of suround sound and low frequency effects (LFE) that kept the sub pumping pressure into the room. I turned the center channel up 6 dB to make the dialog more intelligible (my system permits adjustments of the center, rear, sub, and LR balance in 1 dB increments).

For a real HDTV/surround sound treat I recommend CSI: Miami. The panoramic shots are spectactular, and the programs include lots of surround and LFE. The actual story line may not be much, but it's a treat we never miss. I doubt that I'd watch it without HDTV.

We rarely watch programs in real time, and now with HDTV DVR, we'll probably never watch another.

db

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Author: MichaelRead Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11052 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/22/2007 2:38 PM
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Michael,

I think only certain programs are broadcast in Dolby, most in stereo. Nevertheless, an external sound source is usually better than the TV sound.

Don


Standard TV sound is stereo mostly (and that's because many TV owners only use the TV's stereo speakers); however more transmissions are using a Dolby-encoded stream and that's for those who have amplifiers that can decode. One of the benefits of HD TV is the sound transmission is in Dolby 5.1 (which I can, with my amp, massage up to 9.1 – I have a lot of speakers).

You're so right about having an external speaker system. TV manufacturers only install 'good enough' speakers in their sets – to keep costs down – but their 'good enough' and what makes for continued listening isn't.

One problem, this thread, is the sound isn't easily separated by older ears. We could when we were younger but having a high-frequency hearing notch makes almost all sound muddled and especially when it comes from too-small over-driven TV set speakers. So getting two outboard speakers and an amp that can decode Dolby and much of that problem is solved. That or buying a good set of headphones.

I am not an audiologist yet I have studied sound. What I have found is that when there's a hearing notch in the higher frequencies where much of the 'information' we can decode with our ears is the lower frequencies seem to 'meld' into a confused sound. Boosting the higher frequencies helps somewhat (remembering the ears are notched to higher frequencies) but removing some of the bass works better.

Last night we watched a recent Harrison Ford thriller that we had recorded in HDTV from HBO. Lots of surround sound and low frequency effects (LFE) that kept the sub pumping pressure into the room. I turned the center channel up 6 dB to make the dialog more intelligible (my system permits adjustments of the center, rear, sub, and LR balance in 1 dB increments).

For a real HDTV/surround sound treat I recommend CSI: Miami. The panoramic shots are spectacular, and the programs include lots of surround and LFE. The actual story line may not be much, but it's a treat we never miss. I doubt that I'd watch it without HDTV.

We rarely watch programs in real time, and now with HDTV DVR, we'll probably never watch another.


Heh. My Christmas gift to myself and Elly was a 60-in plasma (by LG) and on Friday last the satellite installer came in and replaced our old dish with one aimed at the HiDef Satellite. Reminded me of the time we got our first color TV: we would watch anything. Didn't watch CSI but saw a whole hour about a Japanese stream meandering through a Japanese forest. We'll get back to content I am sure. I'll check out CSI.

One point: some say all speakers in a surround system should be even in volume. I don't agree. As you I have the center up by 2-6dB. Makes a considerable difference.

MichaelR




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Author: tedhimself Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11057 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/22/2007 6:00 PM
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I had appointments with the ENT Doctor and one of his audiologists today, so here is a report.

The audiologist put me in a sound proof room, and while I was wearing headphones, she played tones at various frequencies and volumes and I was instructed to say "Yes" whenever I heard one. She also had a clamp on my head to measure bone conduction. When that test was completed she, from the other room where I could not see her to read lips, read a very long list of words and I was to repeat them after her. This was done with each ear individually to check how well I could distinguish words. Another test was to pressurize each ear to check how flexible my ear drums were.

She printed out the results and off I went to see the doctor. He looked carefully over the test results, checked my ears for wax, checked my nasal cavity (I have allergies), looked down my throat, and asked lots of questions while doing all this. What medicines did I take? What over the counter drugs? What vitamins? He felt that hearing aids would do me some good but said thet I would need one in each ear and that they would need to be programmed differently since my left ear is not nearly as good as my right.

Back to the audiologist. She explained various types of hearing aids to me. There are several models of in the ear, over the ear, etc. and the price ranges of all the possibilities. The two that were most interseting to me, and most recommended by her for my condition, were an in the ear and an over the ear with an in the ear speaker that does not totally block ambient sound. I'm leaning toward the over the ear model because it lets you hear some of the ambient sounds and it does not have the "my ear is stopped up" feeling that the in the ear may have.

It's nice that my home state (Oklahoma) has a law that states that one can try any hearing aid(s) for 30 days and return it/them at no charge, other than a $150.00 fitting fee. I can then try another aid for another 30 days at no additional charge. This gives me a comfort level that I'm not about to throw away a lot of money needlessly. The aids that interest me are $1,700 each plus state tax (Of course) and the $150.00 fitting fee. The cost of the examination and the testing will be separate and in my case will probably be covered by my insurance (I have insurance in addition to medicare). Since I have a yearly deductible, I may still be out some serious money on this. Guess I'll learn this the hard way. <g>

I will return for a fitting toward the end of the week or early next week and then my 30 day trial will begin.

The aids I'm looking at are digital, programmed by her computer, and can automatically switch from normal to "telephone" use. We may have to change the programming a little during the trial, but this is included in the price already mentioned. I feel like I got a much better evaluation than just going to a hearing aid store.

Ted

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Author: iamdb Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11058 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/22/2007 10:04 PM
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Michael,

All the speakers are pre-calibrated to the same level using a Radio Shack sound level meter and the white noise my processor generates for this purpose. But I raise the center channel as needed for dialog. Ford's voice was especially low. It's a matter of personal taste, and my rather high-end processor permits 1 dB steps for each channel.

I use the same processor with the 2 channel amp driving the front LR speakers for stereo music. The front LR speakers are set to large, and the sub crossover is set to 80 Hz even though the LR speakers are pretty flat to below 50 Hz and have usuable output into the 30 Hz region. The result is an integrated sound system that can deliver the feeling associated with a pedal note of a large pipe organ, yet never sounds bass heavy. And for movies, the 15" sub with its own 1000 watt DC amp can shake the room when needed.

db

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Author: iamdb Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11059 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/22/2007 10:20 PM
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You did the right thing, Ted!

db

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Author: MichaelRead Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11060 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/22/2007 10:24 PM
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Michael,

All the speakers are pre-calibrated to the same level using a Radio Shack sound level meter and the white noise my processor generates for this purpose. But I raise the center channel as needed for dialog. Ford's voice was especially low. It's a matter of personal taste, and my rather high-end processor permits 1 dB steps for each channel.

I use the same processor with the 2 channel amp driving the front LR speakers for stereo music. The front LR speakers are set to large, and the sub crossover is set to 80 Hz even though the LR speakers are pretty flat to below 50 Hz and have useable output into the 30 Hz region. The result is an integrated sound system that can deliver the feeling associated with a pedal note of a large pipe organ, yet never sounds bass heavy. And for movies, the 15" sub with its own 1000 watt DC amp can shake the room when needed.

db


To all the others on the board: Don and I are speaking English; we're both nuts about good sound and achieving it sometimes requires a language that may baffle. What Don is saying is he has a good system and has given all the code words that lead me to saying, “Nice stuff, Don.”

You will notice that Don and I aren't into bragging rights even though I have a 13 speaker set system that gives me 9.2 sound (I have two subwoofers) and it's all calibrated to THX standards and can shatter small ornaments. We don't do that (however, I am envious of speakers that get down to 30 Hz – my crossover is 80).

However, both of us are eclipsed by my friend Simon. His home theater has a 29-foot screen in a room designed to give his 50 speaker sets full range and all it cost was $1.9 million. Simon is a bigger nut than Don and I and has a bigger wallet but essentially we all have what we want: a chance to watch Jeopardy in Real Nice Sound.

MichaelR




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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11061 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/22/2007 11:09 PM
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Michael" To all the others on the board: Don and I are speaking English; we're both nuts about good sound and achieving it sometimes requires a language that may baffle. What Don is saying is he has a good system and has given all the code words that lead me to saying, “Nice stuff, Don.”

You will notice that Don and I aren't into bragging rights even though I have a 13 speaker set system that gives me 9.2 sound (I have two subwoofers) and it's all calibrated to THX standards and can shatter small ornaments. We don't do that (however, I am envious of speakers that get down to 30 Hz – my crossover is 80).

Excuse me if you sound like bragging to me. I must be overly sensitive to that. I don't understand your 30 Hz comment. Don't your sub-woofers go to sub-audible? Mine does, and it's a relatively inexpensive M&K MX-105 Mk II.

I have what I call "Entry-level good" sound equipment, as opposed to high-end cheap (Circuit City stuff). I am very satisfied with the sound. But I figure if I have $1000 ears, it's silly to buy $10,000 speakers. I do like the definition and transient response from my M&K speaker system. Actually, there are drawbacks. I can't bear to listen to some formerly favorite CD's because of tape hiss in the masters.

I didn't follow this thread, as one of the infirmities of old age to which I haven't yet fallen prey is hearing. My friend Chuck wears his in-the-ear HA all the time, except for when he accidentally left them in his pockets and washed them.

cliff

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Author: MichaelRead Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11062 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/23/2007 3:26 AM
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Excuse me if you sound like bragging to me. I must be overly sensitive to that. I don't understand your 30 Hz comment. Don't your sub-woofers go to sub-audible? Mine does, and it's a relatively inexpensive M&K MX-105 Mk II.

Cliff


Don's main speakers carry down to 30 Hz and then below that the subs take over. My crossover point is 80 Hz so Don's speakers carry more range. My Velodyne subs carry 80 to 20 Hz which produces seismic waves (and shatters small ornaments).

I have what I call "Entry-level good" sound equipment, as opposed to high-end cheap (Circuit City stuff). I am very satisfied with the sound. But I figure if I have $1000 ears, it's silly to buy $10,000 speakers. I do like the definition and transient response from my M&K speaker system. Actually, there are drawbacks. I can't bear to listen to some formerly favorite CD's because of tape hiss in the masters.

If you're satisfied with the sound it means you've worked hard at getting it. Some 'entry-level-good isn't good so you did your DD – many people don't because they're too price conscious. By the way, that M&K sub is excellent sound for the buck. You have to be real careful with room placement but other than that it was a good buy.

I didn't follow this thread, as one of the infirmities of old age to which I haven't yet fallen prey is hearing. My friend Chuck wears his in-the-ear HA all the time, except for when he accidentally left them in his pockets and washed them.

No all people lose their hearing as they age. A lot to do with it is I think genetics but also what sound levels you've had in your life. Some jobs where there's high sound pressure can cause hearing to deteriorate in later years. I wish other parts of me had held up so well.

MichaelR




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Author: lggie Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11063 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/23/2007 1:58 PM
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I am going to have to buy a hearing aid. I am missing a lot of the high frequencies. I will have my hearing check, and then I will have to shop for a hearing aid.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I have the same type hearing loss, and probably more severe than you. I have had two sets of hearing aids, both issued by the VA, and I can't stand using them. I'm holding out for the ENVOY hearing system, which is implanted in the middle ear. This device is currently in clinical trials. The present model boosts low & high frequencies equally. You & I need a model that selectively boosts the higher frequencies only. Envoy expects to begin trials on that type model in about a year.
http://www.envoymedical.com/


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Author: iamdb Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11064 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/23/2007 3:27 PM
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Cliff and Michael,

There used to be a debate in the literature about whether HF hearing loss with age was normal or noise induced. Studies of primitive populations not subject to noise exposure suggest it's noise induced.

I had not intended to boast about my sound system, and I'm sorry if it came off that way. My point was that I usally set all the speakers to the same level, but I can raise a particular channel, .e.g. the center channel, as needed. I use a 5.1 system, front LR, center, side LR, and a sub.

The 80 Hz crossover to the sub Michael mentions is a THX standard. It treats all speakers as small and sends everything below 80 Hz to the sub, freeing the other speakers of LF duty. If you use an analog source, e.g. SACD, such frequency information may not be available to your processor.

This may seem far removed from hearing aids, but digital signal processing (DSP) is used in many modern units to enhance signal-to-noise ratio. A couple of years ago, I developed symptoms of Manier's disease, characterized by tinnitus (ringing) and LF hearling loss in my left ear -- but not enough to require aid. As common with that disease, symptoms come and go. It has not interfered with my enjoyment of stereo music. I'm particularly fond of jazz (especially the Bill Evans trio) and chamber music (especially Corelli).

My doctoral training was in psychoacoustics, but I dropped out of that field early in my career -- I was better at directing research than doing research.

db

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11065 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/23/2007 3:51 PM
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db: I had not intended to boast about my sound system, and I'm sorry if it came off that way

I didn't mean you. 8^)

cliff

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Author: MichaelRead Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11066 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/23/2007 4:23 PM
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db: I had not intended to boast about my sound system, and I'm sorry if it came off that way.

I didn't mean you. 8^)

cliff


And I wasn't really bragging. However, if I were younger and unmarried I wouldn't invite a young lady up to my place to see my etchings but to hear good stuff. Then I'd brag. “Ever see one that big?”

Although I don't have any problems with hearing I am fascinated by the process of hearing. Part psychoacoustics and part learning about the whys and wherefores of loss of hearing. All signs are there that the generation following us (and some of our generation) may have significant hearing loss. And I go along with Don's observation that it's induced by high sound levels rather than aging specifically.

Because of the sheer volume of hearing problems expected the research into making up for this loss is going to be extensive. Already hearing aids are miniscule yet I wonder the next step. A pill? Or something else. It's going to be interesting.

MichaelR




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Author: iamdb Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11067 of 19483
Subject: Re: Hearing aid. Date: 1/24/2007 1:39 PM
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Michael,

In non-conductive forms of hearing loss, it tends to be the so called hair cells that line the basilar membrane in the cochlea, i.e. the inner ear, that are damaged. Mechancial bending of these cells produce an electro-chemical reaction that causes a dischage of the adjoining nerve cells resulting in a chain of impulses to the brain. For the last several decades, there has been work on developing cochlear implants that directly stimulate the nerve cells. Mapping the cochlea has been a major problem. Digital signal processing along and miniturization hold promise.

Again, I haven't read the literature in decades, but I think cochlear implants are now in use, but I don't know how much resolution they permit. It's one thing to perceive high-energy low-frequency sustained vowels, quite another the complex low-energy higher frequency consonants. While implants are used for the profoundly deaf, you can imagine that at some point in the future they might be used in cases of noise induced hearling loss.

db

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