Getting old doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. With the first generation of gamers reaching an older age, many of your peers will be right in the same boat.
The unfortunate truth is, hearing loss is a common issue and one of the main causes in seniors is aging. So much so that approximately 1 in 3 people between age 65 and 74 have hearing loss. At the same time, half of those 75 and up have trouble hearing without wanting to admit it.
Because of this, many seniors either use hearing aids to assist or want headphones that can improve their experience. The good news is, there are plenty of gaming headsets available that can cater to both those looking for headphones they can wear along with hearing aids and those looking for something that is good for people that have difficulty hearing in general.
Features Seniors Should Be Looking For In Gaming Headsets
Here are the features you should consider when shopping for a gaming headset for someone who has hearing difficulties.
1. Headset Type
The first feature to consider is the type of headphones you prefer. There are two main styles of gaming headsets, over-the-ear and on-ear.
- Over-The-Ear Headphones – This is likely to be the ideal type of headset to consider if you are someone who currently wears a hearing aid. Hearing aids are worn behind your ear which can make them rather bulky. Therefore, you will want to find a headset with a large enough ear cup size that can effectively drape over your ears even with the protruding hearing aid.
- On-Ear Headphones – These will be gaming headphones that you may want to look for if you simply have difficulty hearing or you are using a cochlear implant. These are the electronic devices that are surgically implanted into your inner ear which make on-ear headphones viable. However, if you do have Bluetooth cochlear, you could consider syncing up your implants directly with your PC’s Bluetooth.
2. Noise Cancellation
Whenever you are shopping for headphones for someone who is either a senior or hard of hearing, this should be one of the first things that you prioritize. While you don’t necessarily have to get a headset with noise cancellation, it can enhance the experience and keep one from losing even more of their hearing.
Noise cancellation itself makes it much easier to get an optimal audio experience at much lower and safer volumes. Because of this, it is great for seniors who are either already hearing impaired or those who are looking to keep from losing their hearing. Because many gaming headsets lack active noise cancellation, you may want to look for noise cancelling headphones that keep noise out with a tight seal and with high enough volume.
3. Surround Sound
When you are playing games with a headset, one of the things that can enhance or detract from your experience is being able to perceive where the sound is coming from.
Headsets that either have native surround sound or simulated surround sound are going to produce much better results within gaming sessions. After all, you will be able to perceive whether footsteps are coming from behind you or in front of you with the right set of headphones with surround sound.
Without this, you will be left in the dark.
4. Large Earcups
For those with hearing aids, large ear cups are a must. For those wanting to have a comfortable experience throughout longer gaming sessions, it will be just as important.
To be able to wear a headset comfortably along with a hearing aid that can cause the ear to protrude, you will need large enough ear cups to avoid the discomfort of having the ear cups press against your ears.
However, larger ear cups can be just as important for those looking to play games for a long period of time because they will result in less pressure against your ears and head.
5. Quality Mic
If you are buying the headset strictly for gaming, you will need to find a headset with a quality microphone. Your ability to be heard is going to make a big difference especially if you are hard of hearing.
You want to be able to speak at a comfortable volume while being heard by your friends on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, or Discord.
6. Easy To Use
Having a gaming headset that makes tweaking and using things easy is key for a senior. After all, seniors have less dexterity and it can be difficult for older people to adapt to complex interfaces.
Which Gaming Headsets Should You Consider?
If you are hard of hearing or need a gaming headset that is easier to hear, here are my top recommended gaming headsets for hard of hearing people:
SteelSeries is well known for producing some of the best headsets in the gaming space.
Wireless with Lossless Audio
These headphones stand out when talking about ideal headsets for seniors who are looking to play games because they offer lossless wireless audio for low latency gaming sessions. You typically have to look out for wireless gaming headphones latency because it could result in a delay between what you hear and what you see on the screen. However, these headphones feature lossless 2.4 GHz wireless audio which eliminates all perceivable lag.
The microphone that comes with these headphones is Discord-certified. It features a ClearCast bidirectional microphone that will make it easy to be heard whether you are fighting against the Fallen in Destiny or fighting the infected in The Last of Us Part 2.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 gaming headset features a ChatMix Dial which allows you to adjust both your chat audio and your game audio without having to leave your game. This can make it much easier to use for seniors who don’t want to constantly have to fiddle with in-game or system settings.
Logitech is another brand that is well known in the gaming space making a lot of the best-in-class PC and gaming peripherals on the marketplace.
The Logitech Pro X’s stand out feature for seniors who are looking to get in intense and long gaming sessions has to be their comfort. These headphones feature memory foam padding which helps relieve a lot of the pressure a lot of other gaming headsets cause. This, combined with it’s larger over-the-ear cups makes it perfect for those with hearing aids.
These headphones are DTS headphones which means they produce object-based surround sound. This allows you to be able to detect where enemies are and where sounds are originating from.
Blue Voice Microphone Technology Built-In
These gaming headphones have Blue Voice microphone technology built-in which helps to reduce noise. This means you will be able to be heard clearer on the other end without having to scream into the microphone so loud that you end up waking up your neighbors.
This headset is a standout for seniors looking to game on a budget. It offers a good balance between price to performance. While they aren’t the best sounding headphones you will find, they offer exceptional value for the money.
These lightweight headphones have soft, large faux-leather ear cups which can make them very comfortable for those with sensitive ears or even for those who wear hearing aids.
This headset features on-ear controls that you will be able to use to make adjustments as needed which can keep you from having to dig through settings or complicated menus.
These might be the top choice in this list for those who are willing and able to pay a good amount for their headset. They certainly aren’t cheap, but they pack a lot of bang for your buck. Because a lot of the features you get with this headset are really only going to apply to PC, it would be primarily for seniors looking to game on PC.
Active Noise Cancellation
The JBL is one of the only gaming headsets on the entire market that feature noise cancellation. The noise cancellation you can get from this headset is rather impressive. Not only can you benefit from the noise cancellation allowing you to play games with lower volume, but you can even connect the headphones to your phone and use the active noise cancellation feature while you are out on the subway or on the airplane.
The headset features ear pads that are made up of memory foam and soft faux leather which makes them very comfortable. The fit is slightly tight so it wouldn’t be the best option for those looking for roomy ear space to wear along with hearing aids.
Astro is well-known for producing some of the best performing gaming headsets. However, their headsets do come with a higher price tag.
As far as gaming headsets are concerned, you will be hard-pressed to find headphones that offer better sound quality than the Astro Gaming A50’s.
These headphones are extremely comfortable as the ear pads are made up of thick memory foam and a breathable fabric covering it. Likewise, the headband isn’t too loose or too tight and the entire headset is light enough to wear for long gaming sessions.
This is another good option for those considering spending a lot of money on their gaming headset for a premium experience.
The audio quality produced by this gaming headset rivals that of the industry-leading Astro A50’s. You won’t be disappointed with the audio and it comes with simulated surround sound which is good enough for being able to identify where sounds are coming from.
While this headset looks incredibly bulky, it doesn’t feel like it. Once you put it on, you pretty much forget you are wearing it. The design looks futuristic and the amount of ear padding combined with the balancing of the weight makes it extremely comfortable for anyone.
Here’s a Buying Tip!
If you already have a set of comfortable or high-end headphones that you want to continue using for gaming, you could consider buying and attaching an attachable boom microphone with noise cancellation to it. This will give you the ability to wear comfortable headphones you are accustomed to while having a high-quality microphone to go along with it.
Summary and Final Recommendations
Overall, finding the best gaming headset for seniors comes down to finding a headset that is comfortable, easy-to-use, and one that offers good enough audio performance to make it easy to hear.
Unfortunately, a lot of the gaming headphones on the market lack active noise cancellation. If it’s considered a must-have feature, you can opt for a quality pair of noise-canceling headphones and attach a boom mic to it.