Headphones With Hearing Aids - What Should You Know?

Headphones With Hearing Aids - What Should You Know?


Table Of Contents:

    Are you a big fan of music? But you have been diagnosed with hearing problems and you are required to wear hearing aids. You do not have to change your current lifestyle because you can use headphones with hearing aids.

    The choice of the best headphones for hearing impaired is huge in today’s market; so there is a model for everyone. Though, picking the ideal product isn’t as easy as you would imagine. You have to take into consideration a number of factors.  

    We are going to help you choose the best headphones, which you can use with your hearing device. Also, we will tell you how they work, and provide you with a number of tips for using such headphones.

    What Should You Know About the Headphones with Hearing Aids?

    Are there headphones for the hearing impaired? A question that most people using hearing aids always ask. The answer is really simple – there are such headphones on the market. However, there’re a few concerns: comfort, compatibility, and attribution to hearing loss.

    What Should You Know About the Headphones with Hearing Aids

    There are some headphone designs that are almost impossible to wear with some hearing models. This is so if the headsets you buy sit too close to the mic of your hearing aids or if the headphones don’t fit comfortably around the hearing device.

    Audiologists suggest that listening to music with hearing devices on may not introduce new hearing problems if the hearing aid compatible headsets are genuine. Yet, it is not wise to listen to loud music for a long time when using hearing devices.

    Always, use the best headphones and hearing aids. It is absolutely critical for you to select a pair of headsets that is completely compatible with your hearing devices. Hearing aids can be classified into a number of important varieties.

    Not all the types are compatible with headsets. Some hearing aid varieties may limit your choice of compatible headphones. If you own receiver-in-the-canal or behind-the-ear hearing aids, then you should expect some challenges when searching for compatible headphones.

    BTE and RIC hearing devices have an external part that sits behind the ear. This may be a potential problem with most headphones, especially ones with excessive clumping force, inadequate cushioning, or even exposed drivers. 

    Another variety of hearing aids that may present some challenges when searching for the compatible hearing impaired headphones is in-the-ear (ITE). If your ITE aids fill up your inner ear, then they are likely to interfere with your headphones since they will be exposed.

    Apart from the three varieties, most headset types are likely to be compatible with the following hearing aids:

    • In-the-canal or ITC
    • Invisible-in-the-canal or IIC
    • Completely-in-canal or CIC

    Irrespective of the minor setbacks that you are likely to encounter when using ITE, RIC, or BTE hearing aids, there is a number a number of choices you can use. Headphones that are highly recommended for ITE, RIC and BTE devices are usually over-the-ear designs.

    The most important thing is comfortable when using headphones with hearing aids. Regardless of the model you choose, there must be sufficient space between the mic of the hearing aid and the speakers of the headphones. Usually, a one-centimeter distance is commended.

    How does it Work?

    For demonstration purposes, we are going to consider over the ear headphones and behind the ear hearing aids. Now, when you wear over-the-ear headsets with BTE hearing devices on, you will notice that the airflow is available to the back mic and it’s a little close to the other directional mic.

    For sound to have a relatively unrestricted airflow there must be a gap of about a centimeter going into the hearing aid. Yes, the sound is going to come directly into the canal, but most of the sound will be amplified by the hearing device.

    When you are using headsets with a tight-fitting, you are going to have a lot less airflow, which will probably interfere with sound quality. In most cases, headsets that sit on top of the hearing aid allow that full soundstage to come through the hearing device.

    How does it Work

    Wondering How to Use Headphones with a Hearing Device?

    Using headphones with hearing aids is not as difficult as most people would imagine. As we earlier mentioned, the most important considerations are compatibility and comfort.

    Regardless of the hearing aids and headphones, you plan to use, they may need some few adjustments for them to fit snuggly. Over-ear and on-ear headsets are the most popular choices for use with hearing devices.

    Here are a few steps to follow:

    • Wear your hearing aids as guided by your audiologist
    • Plug the headsets into your smartphone, laptop, or iPod. If you are using wireless headsets, then link them to your audio device via Bluetooth.
    • Check for “R” and “L” labels behind the ear cups of your headsets to distinguish the left ear cup from the right one.
    • Slip your pair of headsets over your head, making sure that the headband fits comfortably. If necessary, you should adjust the headband to increase or reduce the clamping force.  
    • Position the ear cups over the ear with the hearing aids in position. Make sure they cover the ears snuggly.
    • Audiologists recommend a spacing of about one centimeter between the mic of your hearing aid and the speakers of your headphones. This allows for adequate airflow to improve the quality of sound picked by your hearing aid.

    The entire wearing process will be extremely comfortable only and only if you use hearing aid compatible headsets.  

    Wondering How to Use Headphones with a Hearing Device

    Headphones for People with Hearing Aids

    Now, let us go through a few options that you can consider when shopping for headphones to use with hearing devices.

    • Bone Conduction Earphones

    Bone conduction earphones are probably the most suitable hearing aid headphones wireless for people using hearing devices. Practically, they make zero contact with most hearing aids, making them ideal for:

    • Invisible-in-the-canal or IIC
    • Completely-in-canal or CIC
    • In-the-canal or ITC
    • In-the-ear or ITE

    Bone conduction headphones work differently than traditional headphones. They work by stimulating your skull, creating a vibration which moves hair cells directly inside the cochlea. This unique process by-passes the outer and middle ear parts in order to stimulate hearing.  

    Bone conduction headsets are ideal if you do not like something covering your ears. The amazing thing about these earphones is that they do not have to come into direct contact with your ears like the way traditional headsets do.

    The likelihood of you increasing your hearing loss problems is less when using bone conduction earphones. You can listen to music with your hearing aid on without any discomfort as long as you maintain a reasonable volume that is safe for your ears.

    This type of earphones is remarkably lightweight compared to the traditional over-ear or on-ear headsets. They have a simple design, which fits around the back of the head and over the ears. They press lightly in front of your ears.

    The around the head design may restrict you from wearing the headsets while sleeping on your back. This could easily damage the headband. You may also have to make some adjustments if you will be using them during exercise.

    Headphones for People with Hearing Aids

    • On-Ear Headphones

    If you are not fascinated by the bone conduction technology, you can always settle for on-ear headphones. This hearing aid compatible headsets are ideal for the following hearing devices:

    • Receiver-in-canal or RIC
    • In-the-canal or ITC
    • In-the-ear or ITE
    • Invisible-in-the-canal or IIC
    • Completely-in-canal or CIC

    On-ear headsets are considerably lightweight when compared to over-ear designs because they are engineered from lightweight materials. They sit directly on the ear and allow more airflow. This allows you to hear a more natural open sound when listening to music through hearing aids.

    The one thing that sets on-ear design aside from over-ear is a comfort. They do not have bulky ear cups and cushioning, which usually leads to sweating. They can be worn for longer durations than over-ear because they are lightweight.

    They may not have the best sound reproduction compared to over-ear models, but the on-ear design is all about portability, compatibility, and comfort. They even work with restrictive hearing aids, such as ITE.

    • Over-Ear Headphones

    If bone conduction earphones and on-ear headsets don’t give you the result you need, you can opt for the full-size headphones (over-ear). They are a good choice when using headphones with hearing aids.

    Over-ear design is normally useful when using the following hearing aids:

    • Behind-the-ear or BTE
    • Receiver-n-canal or RIC
    • Invisible-in-the-canal or IIC
    • Completely-in-canal or CIC
    • In-the-canal or ITC
    • In-the-ear or ITE

    The biggest benefit of over-ear headsets is their noise-canceling technology. Models with noise canceling technology deliver a clearer listening experience. They achieve this by canceling or reducing any background noise.

    Large over-ear headphones come highly recommended for people using behind-the-ear hearing devices. This is so since they cover the whole ear, including the external component of a BTE hearing device.

    However, you will have to choose a model that fits snuggly when using BTE hearing aid. This will allow for adequate airflow in order to improve sound quality. You should know that most over-ear headsets are bulky and may not be suitable for long duration use.

    Tips for Using Headphones for Hearing Impaired

    • Avoid Earbuds

    To use earbuds, you need to insert them into your ear canal. So, they will certainly not work with hearing aids.

    • Test Before Buying

    As far as audio devices are concerned, every user has a different preference. For instance, if you are buying over-ear headphones to use with your BTE or ITE hearing aids. It is wise to do comparison shopping in order to pick the most comfortable option.

    Therefore, consider buying from a store with numerous products that you can try on the spot. Alternatively, you can purchase a pair or two of your desired headphones from an online retailer with a reliable return policy. 

    • Comfort is Extremely Important

    Do not buy headphones with a tight fit. Headsets that come into direct contact with hearing aids are likely to cause feedback. Settle for a pair that fits snuggly with at least a centimeter separation between the speakers and the hearing devices.

    • Watch the Volume

    The music will certainly be amplified by your hearing aids. So, you should maintain an appropriate volume level. Also, avoid listening to music for a duration that exceeds an hour.

    Tips for Using Headphones for Hearing Impaired

    In Conclusion

    It is now crystal clear that you can use headphones with hearing aids. According to audiologists, you can find a remarkable pair of headsets that will work wonders with your hearing aids. You just need to know what to look for.

    There are three amazing options for you: bone conduction earphones, on-ear headphones, and over-ear headphones. What you choose depends entirely on compatibility, comfort and personal preference.

    Bone conduction earphones are the most versatile, but only if you like bone conduction technology. Typically, on-ear headsets are lighter and more comfortable, but over-ear models come with noise-canceling capabilities.     

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published