(Can’t get no) satisfaction when listening to music because of your hearing loss? If you wear hearing aids and notice that songs don’t sound clear, learn what you can do about it.
Hearing for your health
If you have confirmed hearing loss, you know that hearing aids are necessary to fully participate in the world around you. Hearing devices fit by a trained hearing care professional deliver the sound you need to connect to your family, friends, and others throughout the day. Spoken communication is at the heart of any interaction, whether it’s a deep discussion with a loved one or chitchat with a stranger. On top of that, hearing verbal cues from others is critical to our cognitive health and well-being, which is why hearing aids are recommended when a loss of hearing occurs at any point in our lives.
For the love of music
Exchanging in dialogue is important, but it’s not the only listening activity that we engage in. Listening to music also matters to nearly everyone around the globe. Chances are you’re exposed to music almost daily. Whether you listen to the radio, stream songs on Spotify, play an instrument, or go to concerts, music in all varieties and genres can be a source of joy, aid in relaxation, and provide tangible health benefits as well. Studies show that listening to music can have a beneficial effect on heart rate and blood pressure, and it can reduce levels of stress hormones like cortisol – valuable effects for anyone tuning in.1
However, while hearing care professionals are committed to helping you hear conversational speech again, an assessment of your needs for music may be considered a lower priority or overlooked entirely during a clinical interaction – unless you mention that music is a meaningful part of your life from the start.
What the research says
There’s more to it though. Research on music and hearing aids has been ongoing for decades, and the outlook has not always been favorable. Here’s a summary of what we know. Wearing hearing aids when listening to music has been shown to be better than removing them, as many often do. But even with them in place, they are not an entirely perfect solution.2,3
The reason comes down to this: the acoustic signals of music are drastically different from those of speech. Whereas the sounds produced in speech are relatively consistent due to the shape of the human vocal tract, musical signals exhibit much greater variation in dynamics, intensity, and frequency across a variety of instruments (e.g., woodwinds, brass, strings) and compositional styles. Since hearing aids primarily boost speech signals, that means they are not tailored for the broader dynamics of music. This is often why hearing aids miss the mark when it comes to amplifying songs satisfactorily.
Finding a solution with SmartMusic Pro
Over the past several years, hearing aids have become more advanced to accommodate preferences for unique listening needs. As a hearing aid manufacturer with the mission to make “Everyday Sounds Better,” Sonic has embraced the opportunity to improve the sound of music for enthusiasts ranging from aficionados to audiophiles.
The latest Sonic Radiant™ hearing products come with SmartMusic Pro, an innovative solution specifically designed to enhance musical signals. SmartMusic Pro optimizes key acoustic parameters in the hearing aid (e.g., bandwidth, compression, gain, and dynamic range), allowing songs to sound clear, full, and well-balanced. And it couldn’t be simpler. Your hearing care professional simply adds SmartMusic Pro as one of your four program options in a Radiant hearing aid. Then when you want to listen to music, select the program using the hearing aid’s push button or remote control, or the SoundLink 2 app. You can also regulate the volume using these same options, so you’re always in control.
SmartMusic Pro is ideal for all music, live or recorded – and thanks to Bluetooth® Low Energy in Radiant, the program is perfect for streaming music directly to the hearing aids via an iPhone® or Android™ device.* The streaming equalizer in the free Sonic app lets you modify the bass, mid-range, and treble tones of streamed songs for a more personalized sound.
Unfortunately, listening to music may not be as enjoyable as it was before your hearing loss occurred, but there is new technology that can help. Contact your local hearing care professional and ask about Radiant hearing aids from Sonic. Let them know you want to try SmartMusic Pro, so you can hear for yourself the improvement in sound quality for all your favorite songs.
- Pauwels, E.K.J., Volterrani, D., Mariani, G., Kostkiewics, M. (2014). Mozart, Music and Medicine. Medical Principles and Practice 23:403–412.
- Feldmann, H. and Kumpf, W. (1988). Musikhören bei Schwerhörigkeit mit und ohne Hörgerät [Listening to music in the hard-of-hearing individual with and without hearing aid]. Laryng Rhinol Otol. 67, 489–497.
- Leek, M.R., Molis, M.R., Kubli, L.R., Tufts, J.B. (2008). Enjoyment of music by elderly hearing-impaired listeners. Journal of the Amer. Academy of Audiology. 19(6), 519–526.
*For information on compatibility, visit www.sonici.com/compatibility.