Hearing Aids for Musicians – Hearex.com

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by Alex, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. Alex

    Alex Administrator Super Mod Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
    Hearing loss did not stop me from playing guitar. Not many people on MLP know this, but I've been dealing with hearing loss and tinnitus since I was 5 years old. Luckily, I had, and still have, enough hearing and clarity left to be able to enjoy music (can't imagine without it). I wear a single hearing aid on my left ear.

    As I got into my teens, I was already listening to different bands and artists, and it was then that I wanted to play guitar in high school. I was told "NO" by this music teacher, because I "couldn't hear well enough". Well, that was a bummer, but that didn't stop me from learning on my own. It was a challenge at first, from tuning my guitar to messing with my amp and hearing aid settings to get the tone I was looking for, but I've managed.

    Fast forward to 2006, I bought my very first Les Paul Studio in all mahogany. I wanted to share my love (obsession) with Gibson Les Pauls with others out there, so I created MyLesPaul.com. You guys have been great and I've learned a lot along the way. Fortunately, I was able to try out different guitars, including a 1956 Gibson Les Paul GT plugged into a 1966 Fender Deluxe Reverb. But without a good hearing aid, they ain't worth sh*t.

    So, in the pursuit of attaining the "perfect" hearing with different hearing aids, I found a hole in the market especially when it comes to musicians with hearing loss. I want to reach out and help others with a hearing loss find the right hearing solution, so my buddy Jason (affordablehearing) and I created HEAREX.com.

    Jason:

    My journey into music has been a long and joyful road. In fact, I don't even remember not knowing how to play an instrument. I come an extremely musical family and have always had music around me either by the radio constantly playing or the family breaking out a jam session. I learned to play guitar and mandolin by playing in these circles.

    I started my learning on guitar at the age of 3. Shortly after, other instruments: mandolin, bass, drums, and keyboards all crept into my pallet. This led to a constant exploration and always stimulating my need to know more. All throughout school “musician” was my identity. It was what I related to the most and I could say that it has almost been like a best friend or even an external limb.

    I have played music professionally since the age of 15 and has taken me into many great professional experiences such as becoming the lead guitarist for countless working/touring bands as well as nationally/internationally known artists. I am a current artist for Ernie Ball. Music Man Guitars and Hughes and Kettner Amps. Additionally, I have obtained a passionate career as a record producer and studio player.

    Along the way of reaching my musical dreams… I also achieved a degree in Audiology (had to supplement the extravagant payroll that musicians make… I kid). I have fit hearing aids for over 17 years and have always fallen back on my musical experiences in how we want things to sound. I love helping people hear- especially musicians.

    Music and hearing are synonymous and guitarists are especially finicky when it comes to how they sound. This is what led Alex and me to start HEAREX.com.

    We want to focus on hearing for musicians. Relying on my 17 years of helping musicians hear, we want to fill this void for any musician that is struggling to be happy with the way their hearing aids sound and bring joy/hope back to their ears.

    We have taken the time to select hearing tech that can not only meet your hearing loss but also help the way you hear your instruments naturally or as naturally as possible. Not to mention the reliability that we can stand by.

    I think it is about time that musicians are taken care of with their hearing loss and the way it relates to hearing aids and their instruments! Don’t you?

    I am excited to present our company to you and look forward to helping you hear!

    For all of our MLP Friends, we would like to offer additional special discount. Use the discount code MLP5 and get 5% OFF on all Phonak hearing aids. Free domestic shipping included!

    [​IMG]
     

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  2. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy V.I.P. Member

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    I didnt know this about you,Alex....true music story it is. Fantastic y'all are working to help others in this way,brother!!! :applause::applause::applause:
     
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  3. Frogfur

    Frogfur Senior Member

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    I didn't either.
     
  4. Rich

    Rich Non sequitur Premium Member

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    Good for you, man! My mother was born deaf in one ear but that didn't stop her from having a career as a music teacher for over 35 years - she taught elementary and junior high school band and gave lessons for all sorts of instruments. Never let the naysayers tell you what you can and can't do. :thumb:
     
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  5. DADGAD

    DADGAD Senior Member

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    I am grateful to have an endorsement for a good place to look as a close friend of mine could greatly benefit from one.
     
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  6. affordablehearing

    affordablehearing Senior Member

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    We would be more than happy to help your friend!!
     
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  7. SteveC

    SteveC Village Elder V.I.P. Member

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    I'll be glad to help promote your solution in my grandchildren's school district. If you can help young kids overcome that, it would be great!

    My daughter is part of the choir committee and she's connected with the band(s) and orchestra, too.
     
  8. JLC

    JLC Junior Member

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    Great idea on combining two passions to help an underserved community!

    I'm curious about the model. Do you offer any verification or real ear measures? What about earmolds? How does follow-up work?

    In my experience with musicians, it's pretty difficult to get things right using just a pure tone audiogram, especially on the first attempt.
     
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  9. affordablehearing

    affordablehearing Senior Member

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    Hi there and thanks for the questions!

    Real ear is something that would have to be done locally. We do suggest and advocate thourogh audiological examination as we rely on audiograms to program the hearing aids. Ear molds are also something that would have to be done locally (usually for a small fee), but the vast majority of our hearing aids are RICs (receiver in the ear) that do not require ear molds. However, if someone is wanting/needing BTEs we do have some solutions there as well.

    Follow-ups are very important to us and are conducted through correspondence.

    I do agree that pure tone audiometry does not tell the whole story with fitting hearing aids, this is why we advocate for a full audiological evaluation.

    It is difficult to hit it out of the park right out of the gate. We are relying on interviewing our clients and getting as much case history we can to help musicians find the right solutions.
     
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  10. Steve Blackdog

    Steve Blackdog Junior Member

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    I suffered sudden sensio-neural hearing loss in my right ear back in January, leaving me permanently profoundly deaf. I am also left with roaring tinnitus. But you do get used to it. But no stereo hearing is a major bummer.

    Next week I am being fitted with a hearing aid and hope to get something from my deaf ear. Otherwise it will be a bone attached hearing aid.

    So, Alex, top marks to you!
     
  11. DeafDumbBlind Kid

    DeafDumbBlind Kid Senior Member

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    my screen name isn't just a homage to The Who, it is also somewhat of a description of myself, hopefully not so much the dumb part. I was born with moderate to severe hearing loss. From an early age I've always known I loved music and gravitated towards my parents' Mitch Miller albums. I was fitted with hearing aids at the age of 4. Two years later I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show and turned towards my folks and said "I want to do that." I couldn't quite understand the looks on their faces. For some reason I never got to watch the Ed Sullivan show again after that. But the seed had been planted. I didn't get a guitar for my birthday a few weeks later so I lobbied for one for christmas. And got a plastic toy cowboy guitar with nylon strings and tuning pegs that couldn't hold tension. Fast forward to the '70s, I'm listening to AM radio and watching Don Kirschner's In Concert. 'Smoke On The Water' (Made In Japan version) and 'School's Out' made the itch to make a guitar sound like that flared up. With proceeds from my first job washing dishes in a local deli I had my first guitar and a few years later my first amp. I was on my way, lol.

    Phonak holds a special spot in my heart because of my beloved 332 XAZ multi mic hearing aids. Their likes won't walk the earth again alas. I dropped and broke one in 2007 and to my horror found nothing similar to replace them. Everything was all digital and completely overloaded with all sorts of fancy auto compressors and limiters and feedback suppressors. It might have been fine for speech but goddammit, I'm a musician not a fucking talk show host or call center monkey. For 28 months and thousands of dollars spent in vain I went from HA to HA as my audi tried to help me find clean uncluttered linear sound compatible with MY needs not what some marketing focus groups decides will get the moneyed boomers to part with their funds.

    Quite literally my audi saved my life by procuring a set of linear hi powered HA in 2009. For the first time in over 2 years my hearing aids did not treat my guitar as a foreign invader to be repelled and suppressed. Alas these HAs are getting long in the tooth and one of them ceased functioning last month. I managed to get the surviving Phonak to function on one mic so I have sound in both ears for the time being. I am currently indigent and on Medicaid. They will pay for new HAs but I have to go through an approved agent which in NH is Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. I have to have a referral by my PCP and that appt took 3 months to get and then it's another three months to see the audiology clinic at DHMC.

    Phonak has a couple models which my new audiologist recommended (my old audi retired at the start of this year). She recommended the Bolero B 30 for a BTE with sound tube to the ear mold or the Audeo B 30 for a BTE with a wire to the transducer in the ear mold. Both allegedly can be set to analog compression. I was wondering if you have any feedback (no pun intended) from musos who have tried these?
     
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  12. affordablehearing

    affordablehearing Senior Member

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    Thanks so much for sharing your story!

    In short... as I don't have much time... the phonak V and B lines of hearing aids have set the standard for music listening. It is an incredible instrument and I have had much success fitting musicians with them. Really they are not comparable to anything else as far as I am concerned!

    I would certainly try for the 70 or 90 but if this is something where you are getting assistance then go for it.
    We will help you any way we can.
     
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  13. Pop1655

    Pop1655 Premium Member

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    My sister has Meniere's and has double cochlear implants. Saw on the news tonight that apple is doing a thing where cochlears can process music. I know she'd love to have music back.

    Congrats on your deal. Good work!
     
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  14. NewDayHappy

    NewDayHappy Senior Member

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    Only thing I don't like about my hearing aid is it screeches when I lay my head down. I use mine strictly for guitar use and public use only. Had mine for about 12 years, still works great. Can't imagine how far the technology has come since then and how much further it'll be in another 30 years.
     
  15. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Well, I have had many dealings with Jason. One time my dog chewed up one of my $5000 hearing aids. Yeah man, she got a hold of one as I fell asleep with the aids in my ears and one fell on the floor.

    To make a long story short Jason offereed to fix my device and in no time it's good as new. FOR FREE So needless to say I am very happy he is the type of person he is.
     
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  16. zigzag

    zigzag Member

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    I have a set of $5000 Siemens in my ears, and I hate them. The technician I work with to fine tune them is pretty much clueless, but the problem is more likely in the devices themselves. The sound is completely unnatural. After I got mine, I ran into a professional sound guy who has a set of more expensive Siemens. He hated his and no longer uses them. I have not seen a recommendation for a set of hearing aids that handle music well... naturally. Do they exist?
     
  17. affordablehearing

    affordablehearing Senior Member

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    Hey buddy!
    How old are the Siemens aids?
    My experience with Siemens, although technically decent hearing aids, there are some flaws in the design and they are not on the same level as the top manufacturers. In fact, Siemens recently got out of the hearing aid business.. selling the company off.

    One thing that we find is that most practitioners are not familiar with the needs of musicians. Often the right programming for musicians may go "against" audiological training in terms of how to combat the unnatural sounds.

    First hearing aids I would suggest would be the Phonak B90 and the GnResound Linx2 9 3D. They are both the top of the line and top of the industry in that matter and can be had for $1500 less than what you paid for the Siemens. The other factor is having someone program them that can make the necessary adjustments for optimal tone for musicians.

    Would love to help you out!
     
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  18. DeafDumbBlind Kid

    DeafDumbBlind Kid Senior Member

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    I just had a visit with the audiology department at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center up in Lebanon, NH on Wednesday. I had a hearing test and a mold fitting. My audi back home had suggested the Phonak Audeo B or V 30. After talking to the fitting specialist, she recommended the Phonak Naida SP B 30 and the Resound Enzo2 5 Power BTE as a back up. I'm going back in the first week of January to pick them up and I'll probably bring a guitar with me to see if they pass the unplugged test.
     
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  19. affordablehearing

    affordablehearing Senior Member

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    I know that a lot of Audiologist have difficulty helping musicians out in this way. Its a little tricky and goes against clinical audiological training. But those are both great hearing aids
    Let us know if we can be of assistance!

    oh.. I would certainly go with the 90 and the Enzo 9 if you can.
     
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  20. DeafDumbBlind Kid

    DeafDumbBlind Kid Senior Member

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    The reasoning for the 30 was the lesser amount of bells and whistles to shut off to make it more analog/linear like. I don't know how far into the ordering process the audi is and if I can change it or not. What does the 90 bring beside 32 channels of EQ vs the 8 (IIRC) of the 30?
     

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