One of the things that tend to happen as we age is we lose our ability to hear as well as we once did. It is a complication that a lot of elderly people deal with. Unfortunately, suffering from even mild hearing loss can cause a lot of problems with your ability to communicate as well as you once did and even to diminished enjoyment from entertainment.
Luckily, there are newer technologies that can help those with hearing loss experience high-quality audio and better hearing even at lower volumes. Noise-cancelling in headphones can lower the level of ambient noise surrounding you which can make it much easier to enjoy entertainment at reduced volume without sacrificing clarity.
The 6 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Seniors
After nearly 6 hours of research and comparing 37 different pairs of noise cancelling headphones, here are my top picks for use by seniors.
The best thing about these headphones is that they customize themselves to give you the best hearing experience possible - even for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. Plus, they are comfortable and lightweight which makes them easy to wear for hours and hours. Easily adapted for use with TV, Bluetooth devices, computers, and more.
The Aria Me from Avantronics are hands-down one of the best pairs of headphones you can buy for older adults – period. Here is why I think that:
These headphones come with an app that allows you to conduct your own hearing test for the purpose of identifying specific area where your hearing needs help. It does this by playing a series of tones through the headset while you indicate the lowest volume at which you can still hear the tone. It even tests each ear separately.
It sounds much more complicated explaining it than it really is. The team over at Avantronics sent me a set to use and this whole process only took 3 minutes. What this does for you is it customizes the way the headphones play back audio by boosting the areas where your hearing is weaker. This personalized profile is also applied to every device you use the headphones with – no need for separate ones.
Also to improve your enjoyment of music or other entertainment, these headphones use active noise cancellation to block out other noises surrounding you so that you can focus better on what you want to hear. If you are in situation where you need to be aware of your surrounding, this function can be turned off with the flick of a switch.
To give them a good workout, I wore mine for almost 7 hours while working in my garden and mowing. I was pleased to find that they were very comfortable to wear – the ear cups are soft and pliable. They even stayed put on my head – even while sweating and bending over.
Finally, you can use this one pair of headphones for listening to the TV, enjoying streaming music on your cell phone, or even as a phone headset working with your cell phone or computer. They even come with a separate boom microphone for enhancing outgoing speech. Note that you’ll need to use it with a Bluetooth enabled device or add a Bluetooth transmitter.
While these Bose headphones aren’t the most affordable on the market, they do happen to offer everything else you would want in a pair of noise cancellation headphones. For one, Bose offers best-in-class noise cancellation. This makes them the best for traveling as they can completely eliminate airplane noise. You simply will not find a better brand or manufacturer at noise cancellation headphones. There are some that are getting closer to what Bose is capable of delivering, but they aren’t there yet.
These headphones are well known to be some of the most comfortable headphones you will find on the marketplace which is a major thing to consider when buying headphones for a senior. They even offer Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built into the headphones. Therefore, you can set it up in a way where you can give your phone voice commands making it easier than ever to do what you want with it. This can be key for someone with limited mobility and for someone who might have limited knowledge in getting around a mobile operating system.
Sony is another brand that is leading the way as far as noise cancellation is concerned. While they aren’t truly caught up with Bose in this area, they offer a lot of benefits over the Bose options. For one, they are made up of very durable material and they are very comfortable to wear. They also offer touch controls which can make it easier to use your headphones after you’ve learned how to use them as they are rather intuitive. Best of all, they offer a very long battery life which means you won’t have to constantly worry about re-charging your headphones.
AirPods Pro are one of the best noise-cancelling headphones you can consider. They are not only comfortable with the addition of (3) sizes of tips that you can consider, but they pair effortlessly with Apple devices and even with other devices. They are one of the only in-ear headphones that feature Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) which can help you block out unwanted sounds from penetrating allowing you to hear what you are listening to much more clearly even at lower volumes.
Best of all, you can press and hold the sensor on the stem to engage transparency mode which can help you allow outside sound to enter if you are walking outside and you need to hear someone speaking to you or you need to hear vehicles while crossing the road.
They are both water and sweat resistant which means they will be able to handle usage during workouts.
Anker is well known for producing some of the most value-packed accessories. These headphones are priced aggressively making them a must-buy for any senior looking for headphones with Active Noise Cancellation on a budget.
They offer very good noise cancellation for the money, they have great sound, and they feature a very minimalist design that is well suited for a senior not looking for something overly complex.
These headphones not only sound great, but they offer excellent active noise cancellation and they aren’t overly expensive. They feature a behind-the-neck design with a retractable wire system that can offer better comfort to many.
For any senior looking for alternatives to over-the-ear headphones, they will appreciate the design of these. After all, they are much more difficult to lose than a pair of in-ear AirPods.
How I Compared Noise Cancelling Headphones
To experience the benefits that noise cancellation offers, you will need to identify the right headphones. I researched 37 pairs of noise cancelling headphones to determine which were the best for seniors. The best ones overall are the Aria Me from Avantronics because they are comfortable, easy to us, and they have custom hearing profiles.
Here are the features I compared:
The comfort level of headphones should always be considered for anyone looking to buy some. However, the comfort level is only going to be increasingly important for seniors looking for headphones. After all, there are plenty of headphones available on the marketplace that offer everything you want, but they are far too uncomfortable to wear consistently.
While comfort is subjective, you can generally find out whether or not headphones will be comfortable for the majority of people by checking out reviews and looking at the material makeup of the ear cups.
If comfort is the most important thing for you, go with the Aria Me Headphones model. They are super comfortable and can be customized to match your unique hearing profile.
Seniors are likely not going to want to have to carry around nor wear heavy headphones. Therefore, you should prioritize looking for headphones that are made up of lightweight yet durable materials.
Having lightweight headphones for seniors will make it much easier for them to wear consistently without being uncomfortable. Likewise, it can help them carry it around with them whether they are going to be doing chores around the house or anything else.
The heaviest pair on this list only weighs 1/2 pound.
3. Easy To Use
Some headphones are unnecessarily complicated. But if you look closely, some offer a high level of accessibility and they are very easy to use.
Ideally, for a senior, you want to find headphones that are easy to use. That way, they will be able to use them without overly complicated controls or features that they won’t know how to maneuver.
The easiest to use model on my list is the Anker Soundcore Life Q20’s.
Having wireless functionality should be a must in any headphone. Nowadays, it can be very difficult to find a phone on the marketplace that offers a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack. Because of this, you want to prioritize getting a pair of headphones that are wireless. After all, you don’t want your elderly parents jamming a standard 3.5 mm headphone plug into a USB-C port. Plus, tripping over cords could lead to falls and injuries.
While having to pair the headphones might be complicated, it is only really a one-time thing. Once the headphones are paired, they will automatically connect to the pair device each and every time they are turned on. Wireless will offer the user a lot more flexibility and versatility.
All the noise cancelling headphones on my list are wireless.
For the senior that is looking to use headphones while they are working out, having a model capable of withstanding exposure to sweat is key. Working out can be even more important the older you get. By having music or content you can listen to, it can motivate you to continue on with your workouts.
There are various sweat-proof noise cancelling headphones on the marketplace that can be used during workouts.
A lot of seniors might want to use headphones in place of their phones. That way, whenever they are wearing their headphones, they can respond to calls without having to find their cell phone or get to it.
By purchasing a pair of noise cancelling headphones with a built-in microphone, it can solve two problems in one. It will also make it much easier to hear the other person on the line while speaking with them.
All my recommended products have a built-in microphone but the Aria Me Headphones come with a detachable boom microphone.
7. Affordable Price
One of the things that you are likely going to want to look for when shopping for these types of headphones for seniors would be an affordable price. Finding headphones that aren’t priced for enthusiasts is likely key. After all, enthusiast headphones can be exorbitantly expensive.
It is very likely a senior wouldn’t be interested in various features like a high impedance or anything else that can drive up the cost of the headphones. Thus, you want to try to find noise cancelling headphones that are available at an aggressive and competitive price point.
If cost if your primary concern, go with the Anker Soundcore Life Q20’s.
As you can see, there are a lot of options available for seniors looking for the best noise cancellation headphones. It really depends on what you are looking – and how much you are willing to spend – for more than anything.
But the good thing is this wide range of noise cancelling headphones for seniors means you will be able to find a model that works for you or your loved one.