How do hearing aids affect the enjoyment of music?
For many people, hearing loss leads to a decreased enjoyment of music. Hearing loss may act like a filter, filtering out certain tones or instruments more than others, and making music sound distorted or unnatural. Hearing aids today can be programmed to provide varying amounts of amplification at different frequencies as needed for the shape and degree of each hearing loss. In addition to accommodating a wide range of hearing losses, hearing aids today can also be adjusted to account for personal preferences for sound quality and loudness. In doing so, many sounds, voices, and instruments that were inaudible or reduced for someone with hearing loss, may again be audible and have a richer sound quality.
Hearing aids with advanced technology have features such as noise reduction and feedback cancellation to optimize listening to speech and to minimize background noise and whistling. For music lovers, these advanced hearing aids may also have special settings that can be programmed by the hearing professional to optimize music. Special music settings or programs would have any adaptive features that are optimized for listening to speech turned off, in order to preserve the quality of the music. Many premium hearing instruments may automatically recognize music, and optimize hearing aid settings accordingly.
If listening to music is important to you, be sure to let your hearing professional know. Your professional can help you select hearing aids that can be best optimized for listening to music and program them accordingly, to ensure that music listening is a pleasurable experience for you again.