Using headphones with hearing aids can sometimes be a difficult task for many hearing aid wearers. That’s because the fit of the hearing aid can interfere with the placement of the headphones. Other problems can entail the microphone of the hearing aid sitting too close to the headphone speakers causing audio feedback.
These problems create a frustrating aspect of wearing hearing aids for many users who are accustomed to enjoying music on a long car ride, plane ride, or during their typical exercise routine. But, in actuality, most audiologists would argue that there is a headphone selection available for most everyone living with hearing aids. The challenge is identifying the one that’s most compatible with your hearing aid type and placement.
Good News For Headphone Wearing
Wearing headphones with hearing aids poses no additional risk to your hearing as long as you’re responsibly using them at normal volume levels. The most challenging hearing aids to work with when it comes to headphone selections are those that sit behind the ear. Behind The Ear (BTE) and Receiver In The Canal (RIC) hearing aids both have at least some part that lies behind the ear. The best kind of headphones for these style hearing aids are those that fit over the ear instead of on top or in the ear. This configuration will keep the hearing aid microphone properly positioned an adequate distance from the headphone speaker to avoid audio feedback.
Noise Canceling Headphones
Noise canceling headphones may also be a good option for hearing aid wearers because they help block out ambient sound so that the user can focus more on the music. These kinds of headphones do put out a soft hissing sound, so it’s best to try these before you buy these to make sure your hearing aid doesn’t pick up on that.
In The Canal (ITC) hearing aid wearers are fortunate because their microphones are placed further away from the ear exterior. This fact opens up options for the kinds of headphones they can wear. Both on the ear and over the ear headphones are appropriate for this hearing aid.
Completely In The Canal (CIC), hearing aid wearers will experience the most luck with headphones. These users should be able to use over the ear, on the ear, or even in the ear headphones with little problem. As always, the best bet is to try these headphones before you buy them. Ask your friends and family if you can try on their existing headphones to get a better feel for what works and what doesn’t. Chances are you know someone with all three types of headphones.
While expense is not necessarily a good indicator of quality, there are some makers of headphones that are better than others. Noise canceling headphones may be a good option, but if you are better off with standard headphones go with a pair that has a good reputation and are comfortable on your head. Comfort is especially important if you wear BTE or RIC phones.