My Aging, Ailing Ears


OK, I’m at that age where Covid-19 is really scary. But, sheltered at home and keeping away from people when I do my daily health-walks keeps me safe. One of the problems being “older” isn’t just that I’m so much smarter (hahaha), but I can’t hear stuff. I need hearing aides.

I used to love listening to powerful stereo music. By that, I mean I wanted the full, chest pounding bass response as well as clear and brilliant highs. Oh, and the mids had to make a woman’s voice float in the air in front of me. (Fields of Gold by Eva Cassidy is the standard by which I judge a sound system). My problem, now, is that my hearing requires the assistance of hearing aides and I can’t be sure that what I’m hearing is pleasing to other people. What if my system sounds terrible, but I think it’s great because, well, I just can’t hear anymore.

So, I don’t care. If it sounds good to me then it’s good. In the past few months, I’ve gone through several sound configurations trying to get just the right mix of components and settings so that:

  • CNN sounds good (that means I can hear and understand the dialog) through my computer
  • Movies playing through my Roku and TV and then my Zvox sound bar awesome
  • Telarc’s Star Tracks Proto still blows me away
  • Eva Cassidy’s voice makes me drift into a dream state

Surround Sound – it’s not for me anymore

I dove into the surround sound scene in a big way at the tail end of the previous century. It wasn’t a kit or system, but components I cobbled together to make things work. I won’t go into details, but watching Twister with it’s awesome sound effects made you feel like you really were in the middle of it. Scary good.

In my new situation, I found things not working well anymore. For one, I never had a sub-woofer. I’ve tried three different surround receivers and I think, without a dedicated sub-woofer, things fall apart. I went back to using a simple stereo receiver (an amazing Yamaha R-9) and, with the combination of speakers I now have, I’m satisfied. Or, I should say, my hearing aides are satisfied.

We’ll have to wait to see what the next century provides.

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