One thing that tends 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 many problems with your ability to communicate as well as you once did and even diminished enjoyment from entertainment.
Luckily, newer technologies can help those with hearing loss experience high-quality audio and better hearing, even at lower volumes.
Noise-canceling in headphones can lower the ambient noise surrounding you, making 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-canceling headphones, here are my top picks for use by seniors.
Aria Me Personalized Hearing Enhanced Noise Cancelling Headphones - Best Overall
The Aria Me from Avantronics is one of the best headphones you can buy for older adults – period. Here is why I think that:
These headphones come with an app allowing you to conduct your hearing test to identify the 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 to explain than it is. The team over at Avantronics sent me a set to use, and this 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 you can focus better on what you want to hear.
If you are in a situation where you need to be aware of your surroundings, this function can be turned off with the flick of a switch.
I wore mine for almost 7 hours to give them a good workout while working in my garden and mowing. I was pleased to find they were very comfortable to wear – the ear cups are soft and pliable. They stayed put on my head 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. You must use it with a Bluetooth-enabled device or add a Bluetooth transmitter.
Bose QuietComfort 45 Wireless Headphones II - Best for Traveling
While these Bose headphones aren’t the most affordable on the market, they offer everything 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 eliminate airplane noise. You will not find a better brand or manufacturer of noise-cancellation headphones. Some are getting closer to what Bose can deliver, 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 significant 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 little knowledge of a mobile operating system.
Sony is another brand that is leading the way as far as noise cancellation is concerned. While they aren’t caught up with Bose in this area, they offer many benefits over its options. For one, they are durable and very comfortable to wear.
They also offer touch controls that make it easier to use your headphones after you’ve learned how to use them, as they are relatively intuitive. They offer a very long battery life, so you won’t have to constantly worry about re-charging your headphones.
AirPods Pro is one of the best noise-canceling headphones you can consider. They are comfortable not only with the addition of (3) sizes of tips you can try but also pair effortlessly with Apple devices and 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 listen for vehicles while crossing the road.
They are both water and sweat-resistant, which means they can 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 excellent noise cancellation for the money, have great sound, and feature a minimalist design that suits 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 provide better comfort to many.
Any senior looking for alternatives to over-the-ear headphones 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 of noise cancellation, you must identify the right headphones. I researched 37 pairs of noise-canceling headphones to determine which were the best for seniors.
The best ones are the Aria Me from Avantronics because they are comfortable, easy to use, and 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 will only be increasingly important for seniors looking for headphones.
After all, plenty of headphones on the marketplace 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 most 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 comfortable and can be customized to match your unique hearing profile.
Seniors are likely not going to want to have to carry around or wear heavy headphones. Therefore, you should prioritize looking for headphones made of lightweight yet durable materials.
Having lightweight headphones for seniors will make it much easier to wear consistently without discomfort. Likewise, it can help them carry it around with them whether they will be doing chores around the house or anything else.
The heaviest pair on this list only weighs 1/2 pounds.
3. Easy To Use
Some headphones are unnecessarily complicated. But if you look closely, some offer a high level of accessibility, and they are straightforward to use.
Ideally, for a senior, you want to find headphones that are easy to use. That way, they can use them without overly complicated controls or features they won’t know how to maneuver.
The easiest-to-use model on my list is the Anker Soundcore Life Q20.
Having wireless functionality should be a must in any headphones. Nowadays, finding a phone on the marketplace that offers a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack is not easy. Because of this, you want to prioritize getting a pair of wireless headphones.
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 pairing the headphones might be complicated, it is only a one-time thing. Once the headphones are paired, they will automatically connect to the paired device every time they are turned on. Wireless will offer the user a lot more flexibility and versatility.
All the noise-canceling headphones on my list are wireless.
For seniors looking to use headphones while working out, having a model capable of withstanding exposure to sweat is vital. Working out can be even more important the older you get. Having music or content, you can listen to can motivate you to continue with your workouts.
Various sweat-proof noise-canceling headphones on the marketplace can be used during workouts.
Many seniors might want to use headphones instead of their phones. That way, whenever they wear their headphones, they can respond to calls without finding their cell phone or getting to it.
Purchasing a pair of noise-canceling headphones with a built-in microphone can solve two problems in one. It will also make hearing the other person on the line much easier while speaking with them.
All my recommended products have a built-in microphone, but the Aria Me Headphones have a detachable boom microphone.
7. Affordable Price
One thing you will likely want to look for when shopping for these 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 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-canceling headphones available at an aggressive and competitive price point.
If cost is your primary concern, go with the Anker Soundcore Life Q20’s.
As you can see, many options are available for seniors looking for the best noise-cancellation headphones. It depends on what you are looking for – and how much you are willing to spend – more than anything.
But the good thing is this wide range of noise-canceling headphones for seniors means you can find a model that works for you or your loved one.