As someone who has never worn a hearing aid, I discovered that they definitely needed to get used to it. Hearing aids reach much deeper into the ear canal than standard headphones, making them difficult to insert, harder to pull out, and slightly uncomfortable all the time. After a few hours of prolonged use, I found that my ears would start to itch, which would require a break from wearing, at least for a while.
With Signia Active Pro hearing aids, which might sound obvious, it’s getting louder. It is both a good and a bad thing. Yes, the TV is louder. Yes, my wife’s voice is stronger. But also my voice. And the rustling of the bag of chips I eat, as well as the creaking. The scratch of a pencil on a piece of paper can sound deafening, and every little sound echoes. Eventually I began to feel paranoid, as if someone was always behind me – I just realized that the sound I heard was an echo of my creaking chair. There is always some level of background hissing, sometimes high, sometimes quite low. I guess if you’re super deaf you probably don’t even notice it; maybe I’ll be in that place in a few years.
After initial testing, I returned to Signia to modify the Zoom session, increasing the frequencies that would make the TV sound clearer, reduce the volume of my own voice, and soften the hiss. The changes helped, but I soon got the impression that we had reached the point of reducing the return and that things were as good as they would be.
It turned out to be pretty good. The “it’s getting louder” approach worked well in the end, provided I didn’t move around much or try to eat while listening. And the more I wore the units, the more comfortable they became, even though I still hadn’t gotten to the point where I felt like I could wear them all day. Even after a few weeks of testing, I really happened to wear them only when I knew in advance that I would need them.
Active Pro hearing aids connect to your phone via Bluetooth and can be duplicated as streaming audio monitors, but I cannot recommend them for this purpose. While they slightly reduce the volume of the outside world while listening to music or watching a movie, they don’t block it like a pair of noise-canceling headphones can do. What you are left with is a strange combination of an entertainment program that you enjoy and everything else. As I wore active gym professionals, it looked like Bon Jovi’s ambient soundtrack was covered in a Netflix movie I was watching, which made me long for the usual headphones. Besides, the bass doesn’t have a bass.