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  1. #1
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    Default OT: Best Hearing Aid For Machine Shop.

    Well I am getting tired of saying what did you say and speak up, wife complains about TV is to loud and I still have to ask her what did they say, I have had hearing loss all my life, got an appointment with an audiologist, Googled all the different hearing aids there a ton of options, so I would like to get some 1st hand experience from you guys wearing them every day on the shop floor. what do you like the best, good idea/ bad idea, do's or don'ts.

    Thanks For Your Help

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    I demo'ed a pricey pair of Oticons ($4.5K/pair) for a month. Finally gave them back. They were fine in a controlled environment sound wise but any loud or sharp noises were uncomfortable to the point of painful. The audiologist suggested I wear ear muffs in the shop or remove them in the shop. Too much of a hassle. Fine for TV watching or an office but not so much for the shop.
    I suggest a no cost try before you buy.
    Your results may vary..........Bob

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    First, let me say (sincerely) "sorry for your loss". Losing your hearing sucks.

    Second (and just as sincerely), the best hearing aid is the one you started wearing when you were in your 20's, either muffs or in-ear plugs. I started wearing them religiously at ~29, ever so grateful I did more than 30 years later.

    Third, to the gentleman who says:

    "The audiologist suggested I wear ear muffs in the shop or remove them in the shop. Too much of a hassle."

    If you think muffs are a hassle, try losing half your hearing and almost all your higher-pitched range. You don't know "hassle" until you've lost an important capability.

    And, umm, do you wear safety glasses??

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    Quote Originally Posted by bhigdog View Post
    I demo'ed a pricey pair of Oticons ($4.5K/pair) for a month. Finally gave them back. They were fine in a controlled environment sound wise but any loud or sharp noises were uncomfortable to the point of painful. The audiologist suggested I wear ear muffs in the shop or remove them in the shop. Too much of a hassle. Fine for TV watching or an office but not so much for the shop.
    I suggest a no cost try before you buy.
    Your results may vary..........Bob
    This is one of my concerns they all say they will block out unwanted noise, so I get it wearing ear muffs over new aids is not the way I would like to go either, thanks for the real world experience.

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    Milland
    You are 100% correct I have lost a lot of the higher frequency hearing, I am the poster boy for what not to do, I ran heavy equipment when I was younger, raced motorcycles, shot guns, loud music, worked in the machine shop for 30 + years never any protection, so I guess my hope is to find hearing aids that offer some protection in the shop and still help me hear people also, maybe a pipe dream, it may still be pulling out ear plugs and asking people to repeat things at work and wearing aids away from work, that's why I am asking questions.
    Thanks

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    Do you need amplified sound for shop use? Or just something to drown out the background noise?
    Maybe a pair of noise cancelling headphones will help?

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    With some of the new super-high-tech aids the audiologists discourage a hand-held remote. They want you to let the processor do the work. Fine, as said above, for controlled environments but NOT for the shop. I think you will be happy with any aid that works for your wife as long as you have the ability to conveniently lower the sound or shut it off completely. (works for the wife, too.... "Oh, sorry dear. Must've hit the button").

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    I can't help on the topic, but I'll note that I have relatives who have essentially isolated themselves from the world by refusing to wear hearing aids.

    They were fitted for hearing aids, but 'didn't like how they worked'. So...they just went around not being able to hear anyone. After a while, people stopped talking to them or trying to include them in conversations because, well, they couldn't hear. If you make it too hard for people to deal with you....

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    My mother in law has a pair that are blue-tooth and connect directly to her cellphone. She can use an app to adjust their programming on the fly to do things like drown out background noise, filter certain frequencies, etc. They also hook directly to her phone for taking phone calls. In larger conference rooms and such with newer technology, they can hook directly to the intercom/speaker system.

    Knowing her, they're probably some of the best money can buy... And probably not cheap.

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    I don't need hearing aids quite yet, but I do have a relevant war story:

    In the 1980s, I spent a lot of time working on an air traffic control system in Canada, which required me to commute to Ontario weekly. The airplane was a 36-seat Saab 340 turboprop. That aircraft is LOUD. At cruise, the blade-passing frequency of the two props is 60 Hz, at which frequency people don't hear all that well. But it was loud enough to desensitize the ears and drive them into non-linearity. It sounded like people were being dubbed by Donald Duck. I started wearing a set of Peltor ear-covering cup hearing protectors. It turned out that one could hear better with the Peltors in place, despite losing 15-20 dB of loudness.

    3M later bought Peltor:

    3M Peltor H6AV Optime 95 Over the Head Noise Reduction Earmuff, Hearing Protection, Ear Protectors, NRR 21dB, Ideal for Machine Shops and Power Tools, Beige - Safety Ear Muffs - Amazon.com

    Anyway, for use in a shop, your hearing aids may work better if covered with a Peltor.

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    I've had a hearing loss since I had mumps as a kid, but until I reached my 60s it was a very narrow frequency notch. About five years ago, I was getting annoyed at continually having to ask "Say again" and cup my better ear to hear people speak. In the shop, I could not longer hear the high-pitched whine from the PhasePerfect that used to drive me nuts when the machines weren't actually running. Audiologist evaluated a severe hearing loss across the entire range in one ear, and a moderate-to-severe loss in the other, so I got fitted for hearing aids. My employer's health plan at the time had good benefits, so I got some pricy Oticons.

    Hearing aids do not double as hearing protection. On mine, I can turn them down several notches, or turn them off, but they simply are not built to replace ear plugs or ear muffs.

    Unlike some, I have not spent decades going to noisy clubs, loud rock concerts, shooting ranges, boiler making shops, or construction sites with pile drivers. And I almost always wear ear muffs when grinding or running the air compressor or doing similar noisy stuff. Before I got the hearing aids, I would often wear the plugs-on-a-headband hearing protectors instead of muffs, but you can only have one thing stuck in your ear canal at a time, and I don't want to touch the hearing aids with filthy hands.

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    I don't wear hearing aids, but my wife does and power plants probably have similar sound issues as machine shops.

    When she got her first set, we did the whole audiologist route, but ended up going to Costco. A third the price, same quality, etc. For her second pair, we did Sam's Club, which has basically the same product at the same price. She got the receiver-in-canal type.

    She says that the hearing aid makes it much easier to hear when there is lot's of background noise. If she's in a really noisy environment, she can also switch to a focused mode, which selectively amplifies only things in front of her. She uses that in restaurants, for example, but I don't know if it would work wearing earmuffs; they might interfere with the directionality.

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    Also, depending on the brand of hearing aid you get, you may want custom inserts. Try out the default ones for a few weeks and see what you think. On her Costco pair, my wife went with customs. They were $40 per side IIRC. The Sam's Club hearing aids have a different insert and she didn't end up needing custom.

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    I've got a set of Eargos. Almost 3 grand and a bunch off for being a vet. You can tune them in on a phone app. Which I have never done. There are 4 settings. I use #1 unless I' m "trying" to listen to my wife or TV. Then I go to #2. To increase/decrease the volume you just pat your ear twice (air switch)and you hear a voice say program 2 or whatever. Most guys say that the hardest noise to hear is a female voice. Very true. Would I buy these again.....eh maybe. Lifelong friend has almost 10,000 bucks in a set that he never uses. He bought a $100 set on Amazon and is somewhat satisfied. Just remember, they're called hearing aids not hearing cures.

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    https://youtu.be/jOEMhJc_vzg

    I wear Peltor over ears and 3M/Honeywell ear plugs in the shop. Usually not at the same time. The ear plugs are convenient when I'm wearing a face shield or a welding hood.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

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    Has anyone tried these? I have noise cancelling/enhancing electronic over the ear headphones that I love. But these look pretty cool:
    GS Extreme – AXIL

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    I have had hearing aids for about 10 years. Starkey brand. Just got new ones last week. They are behind the ear with inserts in the ear canal. I don't have a cell phone, let alone a smart one. I told the audiologist I don't need all the fancy technology. I just would like to hear better. I have high frequency loss from high powered handguns over many years. I am a ham radio operator and use a headset with the radio and headphones when using the computer. If the gain of the aids gets high enough, I get high pitched squeal, (feedback) when I put on some headphones. The new set can have 10 programs. I have three now. Trying the different settings, I may add 1 or 2 more in a few weeks and change the default one. They do have blue tooth so that when I select a program in one the other ear follows automatically. I believe that can be defeated. It may be advantageous at times to have a different level in each ear, but I have not decided yet. Cost was $1700.00 for the pair.

    Bob
    WB8NQW

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    I like what blcksmith had to say, Starkey is a company that has been around a long time. If they haven't been bought out by the corporate creeps that would be my choice.

    Your audiologist should test your response to frequencies to determine where you are deficient. If the aide can adjust to fill in those drop out zones it would go a long way to allowing you to understand the human voice again.

    In the shop, there may be undetectable (by normal hearing people) sounds made by the machines that when amplified by the hearing aide may drive you nuts wondering what bearing is failing in the lathe for example. My father stripped the engine down in the truck trying to find the "noise".

    Good luck, and know that wax secretions in your ears will migrate into the ports of the best hearing aides and require service and or replacement. The constant aggravation and failures some find not appealing at all.

    But if you stick with it you will hear better.

    Never ever stick anything into your ear canal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pathogen View Post
    Never ever stick anything into your ear canal.
    Except your elbows.

    Anyone remember that commercial?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Miranda View Post
    Has anyone tried these? I have noise cancelling/enhancing electronic over the ear headphones that I love. But these look pretty cool:
    GS Extreme – AXIL
    I think ill order a pair and report back. I like these, but prefer wireless, or uncorded I guess. My kids have airpods and airpod pro, I have the pixel buds. Wonder how these will help in the machine shop. Might be an untapped market.

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