Hearing Aids in 2023 .. Questions

My hearing has always been bad and audiologists have told me that they can’t help me. This is because I was born with a loud tinnitus. Now, any loud noise masks frequency bands that are needed to understand speech and I feel more like I’m listening under water. So, I’ve scheduled an appointment with an audiologist, but would like some advice.

Are there hearing aids that you want to wear when you listen to music. I’ve always considered them to provide a low quality audio path. Are there hearing aids that are better than others for listening to music?


I've been wearing hearing aids for over 20 years, and in my experience, the best quality ones sound the best for music or anything else; hearing aids are programmable, so you can have them set at one setting/curve if you're going to be at a dinner with background conversation, for example, and a completely different setting/curve if you're listening to music. There are usually about 4 or 5 different programs the audiologist can set up for you.

I would also go with custom-molded ear-pieces if you can afford them, as the better the seal, the better the sound. I wear behind the ear ones for everything but headphones, where I've got in-ear ones. 

I don't know anything about the new hearing aids you can get without an audiologist. 

My hearing isn’t that bad but I’ve been wearing hearing aids for 5 years. Long story how I ended up there but suffice it to say, we wear glasses when we have just slightly imperfect vision. Should do the same for hearing.

High end hearing aids through an audiologist can run $8000 to $12000. That is a huge markup. the audiologist I went to had a hardwood office like a law firm.

Costco sells pretty much the same thing with great customer service. Make sure you get a brand with a hifi music feather. Hearing aids are aimed at those with severe hearing loss and they use AI to make voices easier to understand which is most hearing aid user’s goal. That ruins music. The hifi music setting eliminates the AI and just lets the hearing aid act to fill in the frequencies you have lost--like and equalizer. Music sounds to me like I’m 20 again.

I am currently using the phillips from costco.  Less than $2k.


I had to get hearing aids a year ago. Moderate hearing loss. I did a ton of researchand ended up with Widex Moment 440's. Very expensive but they have an app that lets you customize the curve through a series of A/B tests for different listening environments. There are also pre-configured ones but I've set one strictly for listening to my system. I don't know of another brand that has this. I would recommend giving them a try or at least discussing this with your audiologist.

@vonhelmholtz I’m not sure if they’re still available, but growing up I had fully analog hearing aids. My brother wore them and hung onto analog aids for as long as he possibly could. I’m on digital aids. I’ve worn Phonak aids for the last 15 years or so, upgrading along the way. I actually am still wearing my second-to-newest model because it sounds much more natural than my newest ones, which sound processed and mechanical. I can’t say what works for you, but hopefully your audiologist will let you demo a few types. 

I have Signia brand for a year and a half.  They're not perfect or cheap but do have some great features.  They're app controlled meaning I can adjust volume (per ear), bass and treble.  There's also an AI that offers solutions for my approval and then applies them if I like what I hear.  

Their (optional, same app controlled) TV bluetooth dongle plays TV sound direct, no need for captions!  My iPhone plays direct too for music and conversation (dongle not needed) so another big plus there.

The downside? My audiologist advised that there is a feedback protection circuit that can sound like a "phone ringing" and I do hear it at times.  There's a cure and next visit I'll bring it up.  It may involve an upgrade, not sure.

I had prior reservations about hearing aids but no longer.  They add only what I cannot hear, everything else remains.  Mine are behind the ear with split "tulip" tips that are transparent to the lower frequencies.  It's a win-win for voice and music.  

I have had very loud tinnitus for many years. I have worn aids for about 15 years now. Do the aids help with the tinnitus? Not as far as I know but I can understand speech better and I have a TV unit that feeds my aids. As soon as my insurance carrier offers the new AI version of my aids (Starkey) I will get them. 

$8000 - $12,000??? I don't know where Jerry gets his hearing aids but I've been getting flagship model hearing aids for 20 years, most recently about 3 years ago, and the most I've paid for them for was $6000/pair. 

I’ve been using Signia’s for the past 5 years or so and they’re a game changer. Absolute necessity in the office, and when I take them off for the day, it feels like jabbing a pair of cotton balls in my noggin. Love their flexibility and sound quality, but haven’t experienced the "phone ringing" that @wlutke  mentioned. I’ve got very mild tinnitus and mild high frequency hearing loss, which are probably related, so what I lose while listening to music is the air and ambience. Your application may be different which will affect your use case.

I now wear them all the time to the symphony and theater performances. Even have worn them to amplified concerts without any problem (the aids automatically compensate for loud noises). But the purist in me (coupled with just my mild hearing loss) takes them off while listening to two-channel in the media room - I just turn it up. The day of reckoning will come for sure as my hearing gets work as I get older: I won’t be able to turn up the volume any more without forcing my family out of the home or pissing off my neighbors. 😏


I’ve recalled more detail of the feedback conversation (Hey, I’m 69 and it was a year and 1/2 ago!)  The high frequency gain is borderline max and I may (now do) need a step up to more power.  

I purchased in 2023 Rexton bi-core ITE (in the ear), rechargeable, hearing aids from Costco, Canada. $3400 CAD a pair. These are a custom mold acrylic shell. I use two programs and switch and configure them with the Rexton iPhone app. One program for speech and one for music. For the music program I lower the volume and the treble. Speaker or live music, via HA microphones, is better as the midrange drop is EQd, the electronic circuits are high quality, and there is plenty of bass. I prefer listening to speaker or live music with the HAs in. Bluetooth support is good for control and speech (phone call) but not for music as the bass is filtered out.

I'm 70 and have used hearing aids for 5 years. Signia, programmable aids.

I take them out when listening to my system.

Difficult? Yes. I only really enjoy it when the family is out.

However, it seems crazy to me to have paid MANY thousands of dollars on my system to have the overall quality reduced to the quality of my hearing aids. Their quality is well below the quality of my system.

Good luck with your research.

Wow, lots of variables here and like everything else, the results seem to be quite individual.  I didn’t expect so many great responses.  They are appreciated.

Does anyone have the condition of one good ear and the other requiring a hearing aid?  My wife dislikes the un-natural sound reproduction of her current hearing aid.  In other threads, Widex Moment 440 is highly recommended.

I’ll second the Phillips from Costco.  I’m very pleased with the music option.  This was my first pair, and it took a few months for my brain to recognize frequencies it had missed for years.  But you have to leave them in all day, everyday for that to happen.   Embarrassed that I had been blasting other people’s ears, so that the sound level worked for me.  “It’s the loud music that made you deaf”.   Nope, tinnitus and frequency loss came first.