Easily the best and most significant sonic tweak one could ever make!

Well hearing aids of course (if you need them and many don’t realize they do). I was diagnosed with asymmetrical hearing loss in my right ear over a year ago at only age 52. Entirely in the upper frequency. (As hearing loss per my ENT is almost always symmetrical, the protocol for this unusual diagnosis is a MRI brain scan to rule out a tumor; thank God everything was normal there).

Anyway, while expensive (partially covered by Insurance in most plans in the States), the different listening to music is in absolute terms startling. The proverbial veil is wayyyyy lifted particularly on lyrics but really the whole presentation is improved from the midrange thru to the top registers.

Keep this in mind before upgrading your electronics or speakers and perhaps instead upgrade the most critical precision instrument....your ears! I share this and if it helps one member on here, well that would be really great.

thanks that’s right on point, and what I was trying to say earlier. 
thanks--sounds like i better talk to a hearing doc about this--always wondered what i've really been missing--is the stereo image weighted to the left side? i haven't really noticed that.  Is what i'm missing just "sparkle"--my HF loss is everything above 10KHz so maybe the high hat shimmer and super-annoying high E string violin ?  or is it more than that?
I have some high frequency hearing loss with tinnitus. Do hearing aids sound artificial and tinny? 

I would appreciate a PM as well.  Very good suggestions/comments.


I wouldn't call it a tweak. Hope mine doesn't degrade proportionally with my age. I know highest frequency audibility is reduced with age with everyone, just like vision of small print, but those lucky enough to only need the occasional reading glasses with hearing capacity similarly can avoid hearing aids. I would prefer not to change the real sound if I don't have to. If you need it though, it's good to know it's out there and improving.

I once had an equalizer in my system a long time ago, and I can't tell you how much the sound improved when I disconnected it.
@sokogear--ain't that the truth--i leave mine in the system so the bars and pretty lights show up and dance, but it's not in the sound signal loop
I agree!  After a lifetime of virtually no hearing in my left ear, (Measels at age 2) I needed hearing assist in my right ear.  I got fitted for a right aid, and a cross aid for the left ear.  The cross sends sound to the right via radio frequency.  High frequencies have returned, and I now have the addition of the left as never before!  Don't ever neglect this upgrade!!
OMG I thought I was wasting my money in this hobby as I have tinnitus.  Just realized this last year.  I’ve always thought the ringing was normal.  Turns out my dad like to put me on his motorcycle growing up in Vietnam.  Thanks for sharing and making me feel like I’m not alone.  You guys are the best. 
Due to injury suffered in the military, nerve damage, I have used HA (Both ears - diminished hearing @ 3k hz dropping drastically above that) since 2004. Compliments of the VA, who get an undeserved bad rap, the benefit has been like removing a hand from in front of your mouth to reveal an openness that I really didn't realize was missing. What I found myself doing prior to the HA was getting brighter speakers/components to compensate.

Now, working closely with my audiologist who equalizes the sound according to my wishes and not applying an exact reverse compensation that my testing reveals combined with getting open HA so low frequencies are not amplified, I can again enjoy my music played through my not-insubstantial audio investment. When I first got HA they adjusted to a reverse curve, but this was always way too bright. 

The key to my current satisfaction is admitting that...I WILL NEVER regain the acuity/sensitivity of my natural hearing, a thought that depressed me because of my love of music. My hearing continues to deteriorate and I get new HA every few years (due to covid the VA is not seeing patients with partial hearing loss), so I'll enjoy as much and as long I can. 

On a more positive note, I seem to suffer less when listening through headphones...my last move until giving up completely and giving the rig to one of my kids!
Another extremely satisfied Oticon user. I put off getting a hearing aid to correct high freq loss in one ear, because I thought it would distort music. Boy was I wrong. Now I don’t seriously listen to music without them.
The Oticons are a tiny computer that dymanically ajusts frequency response in response to sounds in the environment. It won’t boost background noise, but just fills in your hearing gaps when directed voice or music sounds occur.
Very, very sofisticated software. Expensive, but cheaper than high end electronics.
Avoid cheap sound booster types. Nowhere near as effective as a state of the art hearing aid - about $7k three years ago.
@sokogear. Agree not a tweak, that was a creative way in doing my part to get a majority of the members to click on the post!
The sound quality of hearing aids are hindered mostly by the poor performance of the little microphones. I find that if I insert the earpieces gently, the domes allow more sound to enter with proper phasing from my speakers for a more natural presentation

An earlier response suggested blowing the nose before listening.   As you've probably experienced when changing altitudes, such as when flying, changes in the inner ear pressure can dramatically affect hearing.  If you are prone to nasal congestion due to allergies or whatever, as I am, making an effort to pop the ears (equalize the inner ear pressure with the pressure outside the ear) can spare you from assuming your system has gotten out of sync.  More than once I've tweaked when I didn't need to, but now know better.
If you live in a state where it's legal, consider trying a small dose of edible THC and see what it does for your hearing.  I retired from the service after 28 years and stayed away from that stuff.  Not worth loss of a pension!  A little careful experimentation since retiring determined that a tiny dose (2.5 mg) of THC made my hearing feel like I remember it from my childhood.  It was like a $100K upgrade to my system.  My neurologist had no plausible medical explanation.  I'm in my mid 70s and I suspect that over time, my brain has made some maladaptions that prevent me from hearing as clearly as my ears are physically capable of performing.  My audiograms are quite good for age with equal roll off at the highest test frequencies, but no low or mid losses.  The golden lining for me was that in finding that my hearing was more intact than I thought, I was apparently able to "retrain" my brain to hear the missing sound qualities without the need for being stoned.  Perhaps some support for my amateur theory is that friends with true degenerative hearing loss find no audio benefit from the THC.  I'm in the medical profession and on the conservative end of the scale when it comes to drug use.  I'm somewhat hesitant to put this out there but thought it was worth any flak I get for it if any of you are fortunate enough to have the same experience I did. Great listening sure helps with pandemic isolation.  One further suggestion - DO NOT try to tune your system when you are under the influence.
Costco is now carrying the Phonak aids under the Kirkland Signature name.  The latest one is the 9.0T Premium.  This has full Bluetooth using both android and apple phones. The app lets you add programs, with control over three frequency bands, noise suppression, and amplification. Also control compression, and directionality of the microphones at different parts of the behind the ear electronics module. 
As i write this I am currently streaming directly to the hearing aids from Tidal.  In this mode the frequency balance is not great, and I do not see a way to modify it.  Normally I would not stream directly to the hearing aid, but use a "music" setting and listen to my system through my GoldenEar speakers.
The hearing aids are very effective when making  a phone call - the sound comes from the streaming direct to the hearing aids and is very clear - the phone mic picks up your voice.   Of course, you can also stream the audio from a football game and no one else will notice...
It certainly helps my enjoyment of music!
Only $1499.99 at Costco, and Medicare will reimburse for most of the expense as far as I understand. 
If only it would cure the tinnitus...
@aural_grat--or try to tune a guitar when fully under the influence !  But i've got news for you--on 2.5 mg you are still "stoned"--only just enough for the music, but not enough to be stupefied.  As i'm sure you know being in the profession, today's medical grade is way more potent than most of the ragweed back in the 70's--Enjoy the upgrade !

Aj523 is absolutely correct.

I am 70 years old and have been immersed in this hobby since I returned from 1973-1974 WestPac cruise onboard the USS Midway. The one item that definitely extended my audiophile life was the purchase of the Widex Dream 440 Fusion hearing aids.

Since those early days working around T2s and A7s and subsequently Bell 206 helicopters, and driving with window down and just simple aging, the high frequency loss and tinnitus has taken its toll on the high frequency response of the left ear.

I had very limited to no interest response from the local hearing aid centers. Their primary focus has been, and is, on speech. That however that dictates that they apply compression to the extremes of the frequency spectrum. Well, that was not acceptable. When I asked the Costco hearing aid center if they can tune their available hearing aids with no compression, they declined.

Aaron at HearSource tuned them remotely via the Widex app for 2 modes, Standard and Music. No compression or EQ on the music mode. I have never been happier to spend $2,700.

So… Listening to the future, I just ordered a pair of LRS from Magnepan. Will keep the 3.3Rs   Have a DNA1 that can swing the current and a pair of Quicksilver Mono 120s with KT150s that can swing the voltage. Will test both.


Happy listening to all.

Respectfully, I disagree with jrpnde on Costco.  They sell a wide variety of hearing aids.  Some of the best technology these days addresses high frequency hearing loss by means other than “making it louder.”  The way that is done is the reproduce high frequency portions of sound and re-playing it at lower frequencies where mapped hearing ability remains to the individual person.  Costco sells those kinds of hearing aids.  But the trick is to also be able to adjust those hearing aids to fit the user’s needs.  I think Costco get high marks here as well, but am interested in other people’s experiences.  From an audio perspective, I am curious about this as well.  For those of us moving towards hearing aids, how does the high fidelity experience (often expressed by reviewers with all sorts of fancy terms for sound attributes) change if the high tech hearing aid is re-packaging high frequency parts of the sound and broadcasting it to our ears at a lower frequency where hearing loss is less affected?
My HF hearing loss was caused by one of the 'wonder drugs' back in the 1950s. At age 70 I finally gave in to buying hearing aids. Tried 'dummy' units of the in-ear variety and couldn't stand them. Then went to a premium HA dealer. With a $6k pair he was able to EQ it to the point where my wife sounded exactly like her normal voice--even outside of the room I was in, and 20' down the hall. Very impressive. I photographed my hearing chart and left. $6k was too much, given my active lifestyle and vulnerability to damaging or losing them. I ended up purchasing Audicus online for $1500/pr. Sent them my hearing chart and they EQ'd them, but obviously, I could not get them fine-tuned over the internet. They were reasonably close and after about two months my brain adjusted to wearing them. Basically, I adjusted to the 'new normal'. Wearing a mask during Covid, I've almost lost them when removing my mask. They are the small, over-the-ear type and are visually almost unnoticeable--not that I'm that vain, but I don't have any body piercings either.

I have a very mild tinnitus, which goes away when I wear the HAs, or when I listen to music. I do not wear the HAs when listening to music. I simply listen at a louder level (+3dB) than my audio buddy with good hearing. It takes my brain about a minute to get readjusted to the different EQ without the HA. I've trained my brain to hear most of the great nuances of reproduced music that audiophiles treasure without HAs. Leaving them on when listening kind of messes up live or reproduced music in many ways, so unless I cannot make out the lyrics from the back of the hall, I leave them off. But I can appreciate that others might not be so fortunate.

Given how rough I am with the HAs, I'm impressed with their durability. I've had them for two years now. Once I'm able to go mask-less, I might consider paying extra to have a local pro fine-tune the EQ, just to see what that's like. But if I had to do it over again, I'd go right back to Audicus, as I'm comfortable with their price and their product.
The simplest way to describe the impact (in audiophile “speak” using jargon from the typical review or marketing materials) is that “the veil over the music has been lifted”. This might just be the only legitimate example of that effect. 
Had my hearing tested for the first time recently.  I hear well, wanted a baseline.  Pretty normal but a big dip around 4KHz in the left ear.  Her first question- 'Do you shoot guns?'  Apparently this left ear problem is commonplace.  
If you are anything like me, and I know I am, maybe some of us should be talking to a shrink!  
Glad you’re hearing better. I’ve been thinking lately about how all people probably hear different like eye sight. And it’s kind of pointless for somebody to think what sounds good to them is the be all end all. With speakers, amps, components etc who knows what people are actually hearing and why get into arguments about it? Anyways keep enjoying your music. 
Ten years in a rock and roll band in the 60's followed by a motorcycle accident that dislocated the bones in my right middle ear, I suffer from significant hearing loss in one ear and profound loss in the other. I have worn hearing aids for decades. As a hardcore music lover and audiophile, there is nothing more tragic than hearing loss of this magnitude. Two middle ear surgeries and a fabulous audiologist have helped tremendously. I cannot overemphasize the importance of the latter. I also have Oticon aids and consider them to be the best $8000 tweak to my system ever.

But it is also essential to find an audiologist with a PhD because tweaking the equalization and levels of the aids is all-important. I agree that an audiologist that treats musicians is a bonus. Tweaking includes the proper settings for crowed restaurants, quiet spaces, and music listening. Mainstream audiologists can test you and set the aids based on the graph generated by the test but that is it. If your speakers or amplifier cost $10,000, you should find a proper audiologist to fit you; and you should take the time to do this over a period of months.

I still do live performances using in-ear monitors. I have an excellent set of monitors, but have yet to find a manufacturer who makes a box to equalize the monitors using the same algorithm my hearing aids use. If they can put such an equalizer on a microcircuit inside a hearing aid, why not in a box for ear monitors to plug into; or, for that matter for high-end headphones to plug into.

Just sayin'...........
Costco is the best place to go.

Great selection and best pricing.

And their audiologists are as good or probably better than a private one because they see many more customers/patients.
I am soon to turn 73 and suffer from what I consider "mild" hearing loss.
My left ear is down about 40% compared to my right.
I am fortunate that I ran across a Hearing aid training study at one of our local medical schools. Highly ranked institution, usually in the top 5 in the country. It is a 10 week trial designed to teach people to use their aids for maximum benefit. If I make it through to the end of the study, I get to keep the instruments.
Someone earlier mentioned using them only occasionally. What I'm learning is that consistent use is required to train the brain to recognize the new sounds you're hearing and create new auditory pathways in your brain. The jury is still out as we are only about half way through the program but hey, what's not to like about free.

Best Tweak . Save your money invest and put the cash in the bank. You might need for a rainy day
Does anyone use, "Bone Conduction Transducers", with or without,  "EQ,", and/or, "Signal Processing"? Just wondering where that particular technology is at the moment. But also, where is it going?
Wondering about applications in both "H.A.", and also, "HiFi", as well. 
    At the last "Axpona", which was actually held, I do remember some rather large adds involving this, (Not so new), "Tech", as I walked through. And there was some talk about this also, as I remember it. That talk, "Touting", it's use in the realm of, "HiFi". 
 The only one's of this type, "Bone conduction transducers", that I have used worked great and they simply, "Amazed", "Everyone", at that time. But this was back in the very early 80's. "USN".

Sorry I am late to the party, but  found your post both informative and fascinating.  Having similar issues and preconceived the outcome (probably wrongly) -  so I am sincerely hoping you could PM me if you have time as I’d truly appreciate your input on this topic.