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Can you wear headphones with hearing aids?

25 April 2024

Posted by

Lauren Land

0330 3203 413

Some hearing aid designs make wearing headphones a challenge. However, just because you need hearing aids doesn’t mean you won’t be able to use them at all. We just have to find a pair that are suitable or even consider looking into a different style of hearing aid that gives you greater flexibility when listening to music, a TV program or film. It’s best to get some professional advice before combining your hearing aids with headphones as there is a risk of exposing your hearing to higher decibel levels through headphones which can damage your hearing – which we definitely must avoid! Understanding what’s possible with headphones and the risks you need to avoid will mean that you can still enjoy the music you love and not miss out.

Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids

Recently learned that you need to have hearing aids to restore your hearing? You may want to look into Bluetooth hearing aids. This modern feature allows you to stream sound from your bluetooth device – your phone, TV and computer – directly to your hearing aids. There’s no need to wear headphones at all. Your hearing aids can function as an alternative so you can listen to your podcasts and music at the press of a button. Handy right?

Having bluetooth enabled will drain your hearing aids’ batteries faster so it’s worth looking into headphones so you can keep the charge for longer. If you’re not somewhere you can charge your batteries, it’s best to preserve your batteries for as long as you can.

If you’re interested in bluetooth options, get in touch with your audiologist or hearing aid provider. At Sussex Audiology Centre, we give our clients quotes for hearing aids that have bluetooth as a function to give a good range of choices when selecting hearing aids. Not all hearing aid types come with the feature so it’s worth checking and shopping around.

Choosing the best headphones for you

It may take a little trial and error to find the best headphones as there are different types and each brings about their own pros and cons considering what type of hearing aid you have. We can give you a rough guide, but it’s best to test for yourself. In most tech and electrical hardware shops, staff will be on hand to help you choose between what they have on stock. You’ll be able to try them on and test how they sound. In most places, headphones will come with a warranty so if they don’t work as you’d like, you can get your money back.

Here’s an idea of which headphones are best considering your type of hearing aid.

In the ear

You shouldn’t have difficulty with finding over-the-ear headphones that fit as these hearing aids fit completely in the ear canal so it’s less of an issue. In-the-ear hearing aids (ITE) are commonly prescribed for patients with mild or moderate hearing loss. As all the parts of the hearing aid fit in the ear, you can use pretty much any model of headphone. However, we would recommend that you speak to your audiologist before using ear-buds. If your hearing aid model is small enough to accommodate both, you may be able to use them but there are risks with potentially damaging the hearing aids.

Behind the ear

If you have behind-the-ear hearing aids (BTE), over-the-ear headphones are the best choice. It depends on the design of your hearing aids, whether or not you have thin tubing outside of your ear or larger speakers. Bear in mind that if part of your hearing aid is outside the headphone, you’ll be picking up the sound outside the headphone and not the music that you want to listen to. Make sure that the headphones fit properly or you won’t be getting the benefit.

Receiver in the ear

If the receiver is in the ear with your hearing aid design, the design should give you some flexibility with over-the-ear headphones. Ask your audiologist for options as there are devices which can connect the hearing aids to the receiver. Bone-conducting headphones are also an option. They provide the least amount of feedback from outside sounds but the quality isn’t as good as other headphones.

Things to look out for

  1. There are special headphones designed especially to work with hearing aids. They will come with noise cancellation features and adapt to feedback so you get the best quality sound from your headphones while looking after your hearing in the process.
  2. Check your hearing aid settings before listening to music with headphones. They may have a setting for music and will adjust the levels for the best balance.
  3. Noticing echo when you use headphones? Adjusting the volume in your speakers may solve the issue. Make sure you turn down the levels appropriately as listening to high levels of sound is dangerous for your hearing.
  4. Be kind to your ears! Make sure you only expose yourself to 80% maximum volume when using headphones for no longer than 90 minutes. High volumes do cause damage so look after your hearing.

Find the right hearing aids and headphones for you

Getting frustrated with looking for the best headphones? Maybe you need to change your hearing aids for a model that gives you more flexibility – including a bluetooth option.

You should visit your audiologist for regular maintenance and hearing tests if you have hearing aids. These check-ups give you a perfect opportunity to look into an alternative hearing aid. At Sussex Audiology Centre, you can stop off at any of our clinics to book an appointment with one of our audiologists. We can look into options with you and also give some advice on which headphones we believe are the best.

You can also book an appointment online here or give us a call on 0330 3203 413

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