Q&A: What are best hearing aids for a Violinist?

Question by David R: What are best hearing aids for a Violinist?
I do play violin in an orchestra. I have difficulties to understand what the conductor say due to hi freq hearing loss. Any recommendations for choosing the proper hearing aid (experience with brand and model)?

Best answer:

Answer by Joseph S
I am a music teacher and I have a few students with hearing diifficulties, both use some sort of supplemental device. One has a cochlear implant, which is not your issue, I assume and she uses a small battery powered amp and I wear a cordless mic. The other might be more appropriate. He uses an FM transmitter that sends the signal directly to his hearing aids. I usually wear the mic/ transmitter (which is quite small and your conductor would likely not mind wearing at all) but when he plays trumpet I sometimes put the mic on the music stand (it has a little clip) so he can hear himself play a bit better.

I am no audiologist (but I play one on TV…lol) but having had experience in working with these students in a music classroom I have some understanding of the ways technology can help the hearing impared appreciate music better. The FM transmitter has a line input that I will use to plug him in directly to a audio source (such as a CD player, computer, etc.) that will let him hear better. The transmitter can be switched to receive only the line input, line input plus mic, or mic only. Likewise, his hearing aids can be switched between FM only, FM plus built-in mics, and built-in mics only. The aids are the behind-the-ear type.

BTW, I have been trying to get his parents to buy a Yamaha Silent Brass system for his trumpet. It has a mic/ mute that can be plugged directly into his FM. He used mine a few times and said he can hear himself much better than with just the ear-mics or FM mic alone. You might be able to set up a similar system with your violin, although being the resonating body of the instrument is so close to your ear/ head, you probablky can hear yourself reasonably well. I think the FM transmitter for the conductor could help you a lot, so long as you can keep your mic from your hearing aid on so you can still hear yourself play. The conductor could either wear the mic (which I can’t imagine him/ her having an issue with… you could always pull ADA laws out if you wanna play hardball) or clip it in the conductor’s stand.

I don’t know the exact model of the hearing aid used at my school, but it seems a little old, and below I linked what seems to be the same thing but newer. Some have bluetooth connectivity as well.

Good luck, and feel free to drop me a line if you have questions!

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2 Responses to “Q&A: What are best hearing aids for a Violinist?”

  1. tonalc1 says:

    My brother is a singer and choir director, and he has some hearing loss. When he told his audiologist that he worked with music, she recommended the “open ear” style. It doesn’t block the ear canal, so you continue to hear ambient noise; it fits behind the ear, and has a filament with a perforated cone that fits in the ear.

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