Hearing Aids and Music: Some Theoretical and Practical Issues

  • Marshall Chasin
  • Neil S. Hockley
Part of the Springer Handbooks book series (SHB)


This chapter focuses on the hearing assessment of musicians as well as how to recommend and specify the exact parameters for hearing aid amplification for hard-of-hearing people who either play musical instruments or merely like to listen to music. Much of this is based on the differences between the acoustic features of music and of speech. Music is typically listened to, or played at, a higher sound level than speech and there are some spectral and temporal differences between music and speech that have implications for differing electro-acoustic hearing-aid technologies for the two types of input. This involves a discussion of some hearing aid technologies best suited to amplified music as well as some clinical strategies for the hearing health care professional to optimize hearing aids for music as an input.

The key limitation concerning the capability of current digital hearing aids to accommodate the more intense elements of music is the analog-to-digital (A/D ) converter. Expending research and development efforts on the other elements within the hearing aid will not really improve the fidelity of music unless the limitations of the A/D converter are first solved. The topic of music as an input to hearing aids and the technologies that are available is a rapidly changing one. New technologies are on the horizon such as better A/D converters that may be implemented by various manufacturers.




auditory brainstem response


central auditory processing


distortion product otoacoustic emission


frequency modulation


maximum power output


music perception test


magnetic resonance imaging


otoacoustic emission


output sound pressure level with 90 dB SPL input


root mean square


sound pressure level


spontaneous otoacoustic emission


threshold equalizing noise test in dB HL


threshold equalizing noise


transient evoked otoacoustic emission


uncomfortable loudness level


wide dynamic range compression


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marshall Chasin
    • 1
  • Neil S. Hockley
    • 2
  1. 1.Musicians’ Clinics of CanadaTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Bernafon AGBernSwitzerland

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