Hearing Aids and Playing Trombone

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Hearing Aids and Playing Trombone

Post by PSJ » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:57 am

To start out I am a 60 year old part-time professional Bass Trombonist. Through a lot of genetics, a little age, and a little damage from younger years I will probably have to get hearing aids in September. I have sensory neural hearing loss. Left ear is the worst which has made it a struggle to hear my own sound (quality not quantity). Basically hearing rolls off above 1k.

Is anyone out there currently playing at a decent level with hearing aids? Anyone know anyone that is? Ideas for settings when playing? Brands?

Thought I would open this up for discussion. It is weighing heavily on me.



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Re: Hearing Aids and Playing Trombone

Post by jtbandmusic » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:42 pm

Not a pro, but decent player.

I have Phonaks. Much better than nothing. Before that I had Resound, which were almost worthless.
My Resounds had four or five settings; the Phonaks are like tiny in-ear computers that auto-adjust constantly. MUCH better.

I can hear ME just fine, but it's hard to fit into the ensemble, especially in quartet.

I have a bluetooth remote mike, which is invaluable for hearing the conductor's instructions.

Best prices, for several brands, are from Costco. The do a excellent hearing test, (as good as an audiologist) and do a great setting up the aids. After the sales they do awesome followup and service.

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Re: Hearing Aids and Playing Trombone

Post by SimmonsTrombone » Thu Aug 29, 2019 4:12 am

I’ve had bilateral sensioneural deafness since birth, so it’s covered my entire playing career. I sometimes wear my hearing aids and sometimes not. I’ve learned that the audiologists and hearing aid manufacturers make a lot of promises about hearing improvement, but I don’t see them wearing aids. I’ve had very mixed results with mine. Those that fit in the ear, and those that have a part that completely fill the ear canal are the worst to me. They unnaturally block airflow in the ear canal. Additionally, you hear all sorts of things, I suppose through bone conduction, such as your pants rubbing against your leg as you walk.

I have found that audiologist claims that the aids helping to reduce noise in noisy situations to be largely untrue, though there are newer aids than mine, so maybe they’re better.

I, too, have high frequency loss. I’ve found that the best aids for me fit behind the ear. To go to the ear, I use the tubes that go into the ear canal but do not block it. The aids are providing the high boost, but the lows are through normal hearing.

Good luck.
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Re: Hearing Aids and Playing Trombone

Post by Geordie » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:03 am

I have worn hearing aids for the last two years. They have helped me generally. When playing initially I got a different sound/sensation on the left side. Didn’t like it because it didn’t feel ‘natural’ aka what I was used to. I now remove the left side aid when playing. Feels/sounds fine.
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Re: Hearing Aids and Playing Trombone

Post by Gary » Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:39 am

I had the same progression as John but with differences. I did not have as limited an experience with hearing aids, both styles giving much better results that they did for me than they did for John. Also my Phonaks seem to be configured differently than his.

Having said that, I have worn them in "classical" wind ensemble, big band. and horn bands. They've given me better perspective on my musical surroundings and have posed no problem only advantages. I am a retired professional musician.
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