Headphones and Hearing Aids

We work with a lot of individuals who have hearing aids. One common questions is, “Will using headphones interfere with my hearing aids?” The answer is, “Maybe.” But, I have done a bit of research and found some of the highest recommended head phones available, and categorized them into 3 types: bone conducting headphones, on-the-ear-headphones, and over-the-ear headphones. Under each of the 3 categories, I’ve listed the types of hearing aids that are best suited for each type of headphone. I hope this is helpful for some of you readers who have hearing aids or have a loved one with hearing aids.

Caution: With any headphones, if you turn the volume up too loud, you can damage your hearing. However, wearing headphones does not necessarily cause hearing loss.

Tips for wearing any type of headphones with hearing aids:

  1. Turn the music down, as the hearing aids will amplify the sound.
  2. You may experience feedback if the headphones are pushing on or sitting too close to the hearing aid. Reposition the hearing aid. If this does not help, those headphones probably aren’t fit for your hearing aids.
  3. You want the music playing in your headphones to be lower than 85 dB if you are listening for an extended period of time.

 

Headphone Types

  1. Bone Conduction Headphones

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Best for: in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), completely-in-canal (CIC), invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aids

  • This type of headphone works for conductive hearing loss or unilateral hearing loss, or as long as you have 1 functioning cochlea.

Top products:

  • Top ranking (High Price): AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Open Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones – $130 on Amazon.com
  • Lower price: Vsport® Bone Conduction Multifunctional Waterproof Noise Cancellation Wireless Sport Bluetooth Headphone – $58.00 on Amazon.com
  • Low price (with a wire): Aftershokz Sportz 3 Open Ear Stereo Headphones – $30 on neweggbusiness.com

Cons:

  • Sound quality is not as good as regular headphones.
  • The band of the headphones may conflict with behind-the-ear hearing aids.

 

 

 

  1. On-ear Headphones

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Best for: completely-in-canal (CIC), invisible-in-the-canal (IIC)

Can also be used for: in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids

Top Products:

  • Top ranking: Sentey Headphones $50 on Amazon.com
  • Lower price: AmazonBasics Lightweight On-Ear Headphones – $15 on Amazon.com

Cons:

  • Feedback is more likely to occur with in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids)

 

  1. Over-ear Headphones

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Best for: in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids

Can also be used for: completely-in-canal (CIC), invisible-in-the-canal (IIC)

Top product:

  • Top ranking: Sennheiser HD 202 II Professional Headphones $22.31 on Amazon.com
  • Lower price: JVC HARX500 Full-Size Headphones $21 on Amazon.com

Cons:

  • Feedback is more likely to occur with in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids)

 

Additional Tips: For BTE hearing aids and RIC or RITE hearing aids, it is unlikely that you can wear headphones with your hearing aids unless you carefully position very large over-the-ear headphones over your hearing aid. (Note: over-the-ear headphones are sometimes also referred to as “circumaural headphones”)

Do you have wireless hearing aids? Wireless hearing aids can be connected directly to your Bluetooth iPod or iPhone! This means you can turn your hearing aids into you own headphones.

Resource: everydayhearing.com

  • Chiara
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