Rick Ledbetter is an active musician, bass player, writer, and producer, with his own digital audio production studio. He’s also a demanding hearing aid wearer with a profound hearing loss. Rick plays five-string bass that has a low B at 32 Hz, so clean amplification of the low frequencies is critical. Hearing—and hearing well—is a big piece of Rick’s livelihood. And he is very happy with his ReSound ENZO™ hearing aids. He says they produce a very natural sound, and he believes it’s the “best [hearing aid] today for active musicians and live music lovers with severe or greater hearing losses.”
Rick first noticed his hearing loss about 20 years ago; during a recording session, the audio engineer commented on how loud Rick’s headphones were, and suggested a hearing test. This marked the beginning of a progressive loss and a bumpy journey through the world of hearing aids. Since then, as his hearing loss increased, he has gone through five pairs of hearing aids, with much frustration. Some could not handle the on-stage volume and badly distorted sound, others did not have enough power, and others had programming issues that prevented any acceptable degree of reliability.
“One of the problems is that musicians cannot accept the typical process of ‘Try this and if it doesn’t work, come back in a couple weeks.’ Our livelihoods and professional reputations depend on hearing and we need the aids to be right from the beginning,” said Rick
All that changed with ReSound ENZO. The hearing aid was “Very good right out of the box, better than anything I used before with just the in situ fitting,” said Rick. As an experienced audio producer, Rick gave his ReSound ENZOs high marks: “The [ReSound] ENZOs have nice clean low end, with very little input stage distortion. Even with my profound loss, the highly amplified top end comes through well. The [ReSound] ENZOs have very good fidelity for both live and pre-recorded music, even with complex instrumentation like orchestras.”
Rick uses the Resound Unite™ TV Streamer 2 as a direct feed in the ear monitor system, taking an audio output from the mixing console and it works very well, balanced with the aids’ microphone. “The sound quality was really good, even when the band got a little loud. In my previous aids, the low end disintegrated into a distorted mush of bass and drums, with the wind instruments and guitars not much better than a roar of distortion. When I played my first performance with the [ReSound] ENZOs, I was braced for distortion, but it never happened – everything was there to hear, from guitars and flutes down to the lowest note of my bass. For years I had to put up with hearing aid distortion in performance, and I am now faced with the happy task of relearning how music is supposed to sound.”