Over 5 percent of the entire world’s population suffers from hearing loss. 432 million of these people, adults. When factoring in people over the age of 65, approximately 1/3 of them suffer from disabling hearing loss. Unfortunately, disabling hearing loss can be the result of aging.
But, just because you suffer from hearing loss doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to enjoy your favorite music and media. For seniors who wear hearing aids, your choices will be limited though.
Luckily, there are plenty of headphones available on the marketplace that should work well with your hearing aids. The main thing you should be doing is looking for headphones that you can wear comfortably with your respective hearing aids. Below, I’ll be going over some of the features you should be looking for and some models that may fit the criteria.
Features To Look For In Headphones (Over and On-Ear Headphones)
1. Noise Cancellation
This should be one of the very first things that you look for when you are looking to purchase headphones that would not only be compatible with hearing aids, but that may enhance your listening experience. Noise cancellation is easily one of the most sought after features even among those without hearing loss.
The ability to block out ambient noise can make it much easier to listen to music and media at the lowest possible volume. This alone can make these headphones better suited for preventing further hearing loss. However, for those with established hearing loss, it can make it much easier to distinguish sounds.
While this feature is most prominently found on over-ear headphones, you are starting to see it come to more models. Another benefit for seniors is that this feature can silence crying babies! Whether you are on a plane or dealing with your loving grandkids, finally you can have some peace and quiet.
The comfort of the headphones is going to be paramount. As someone who is older, you may have sensitive ears enough as it is. When you add your hearing aid to the equation, things can get very uncomfortable in a hurry.
The ideal type of headphone that you should be looking for will vary depending on the type of hearing aids you wear. For those who wear in-the-ear hearing aids and the other styles that don’t protrude will leave you with many more options to choose from.
For those who wear behind-the-ear hearing aids, you are likely going to be much more limited in headphones in terms of the comfort they can provide.
Accessibility is going to be important for anyone who is less accustomed to using technology. As a senior, you likely have a difficult enough time as it is learning the nuances of every new gadget that comes out. The last thing you want is your earphones complicating your life.
Luckily, there are various models of earphones available that offer simplicity in their operation. Whether it comes from intuitive touch controls or a set it and forget it connection setting, you want to find earphones that aren’t going to force you to fiddle with everything constantly.
The volume is another consideration that you will need to factor into your buying decision. Ideally, you want to find headphones that are going to output the volume that you need for your respective hearing situation. That being said, you shouldn’t prioritize finding headphones with the highest volume settings.
Instead, you would be better off prioritizing and purchasing headphones that can decrease ambient sounds and noise. That way, you can get the same listening experience at lower levels of volume rather than having to fight against ambient noise altogether.
Best Hearing Aid Compatible Headphones To Consider
Based on the features I described above, here are some of the best bluetooth headphones for hearing aid wearers, depending on the type of hearing aid you have.
Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Wireless Headphones II (Over-Ear)
These Bose headphones may be pricey, but they are perfect for those who suffer from hearing loss. The headphones themselves are some of the most comfortable headphones available on the marketplace. With cushioning on the ear-cups that would satisfy those with even the most sensitive ears, you may even forget that you are wearing earphones altogether.
No one does noise cancellation better than Bose. Bose has been and continues to be the leader in pioneering intelligent noise cancellation technology. With this model specifically, you are getting built-in noise technology that can silent the ambient noise that surrounds you.
Whether you are looking to limit noise on the airplane or on a busy metro, you will be able to listen to media and music at lower volumes than ever before. Bose does this using proprietary technology to clear away the noise surrounding you so you can get an optimized listening experience at safe volume levels.
This is one that can be very useful for a senior. Having both Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa built-in make using the headphones and playing the media you want a breeze. Simple voice commands and you will be off watching your favorite soap opera or listening to your favorite song.
Sony WH-1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones (Over-Ear)
Sony has been making a lot of strides to put themselves almost on par with Bose in the noise cancellation department. In some ways, the WH-1000XM3 surpasses Bose’s efforts. While these headphones are expensive, they offer high levels of compatibility for seniors with hearing aids and the listening experience is incredible.
This model features their brand new noise cancellation processor which allows the headphones to complete on-site analysis based on the characteristics caused by your glasses and hearing aid. After all, you won’t have a tight seal depending on the hearing aid that you are wearing. Therefore, Sony’s ability to customize noise cancellation to your own experience can actually surpass what the Bose headphones are capable of delivering.
These headphones deliver a comfortable wearing experience with deep and ergonomic ear space. This is important for those who wear protruding hearing aids because you don’t want a tight fit causing pain in your ears. Also, Sony has delivered incredibly comfortable and very soft pressure-relieving pads which evenly distribute pressure to avoid your ears experiencing discomfort when worn over longer periods of time.
Beats Studio Wireless (Over-Ear)
If you want to be hip and wireless, the Beats Studio Wireless is for you.
While not necessarily as good as either the Bose or Sony, these Beat’s headphones do provide stellar active noise cancellation. Therefore, you will be able to watch your favorite media without having the distraction of your grandkids screaming and yelling in the house.
These headphones have on-ear playback controls which make it easy to make adjustments to the volume and your listening experience.
AfterShokz Air Bone Conduction Headphones (On-Ear)
While these may look like headphones from space for someone unfamiliar with modern earphone technology, they could provide one of the best experiences for someone who wears hearing aids. The headphones transmit sound through your bones in order to amplify the sound and offer Bluetooth connectivity with easy operation.
These headphones are designed to be lightweight and comfortable. With absolutely no wires and wraparound design, they can be worn for hours on end without experiencing any pain or discomfort.
As mentioned, the design itself leads them towards being one of the best and most compatible earphones for hearing aid wearers. The headphones feature an open ear design which means they won’t interfere with your hearing aids. However, despite allowing ambient noises to be heard, the headphones offer a dynamic sound-stage and plenty of volumes to give you good listening experiences.
Beats EP On-Ear Headphones
This is one of the standout on-ear efforts from Beats available at an affordable price. Because they are on-ear headphones, you want to be sure that they are going to offer compatibility with your specific type of hearing aids. On-ear headphones are likely to be less comfortable depending on what type of hearing aids you have. If you are looking for wired headphones to avoid having to deal with the hassle of charging your headphones constantly, this is a good option.
As long as they are compatible with your hearing aids, they offer a comfortable wearing experience. You can adjust the headband and they are extremely lightweight.
Beats is known for delivering some of the best sounding headphones. These headphones offer a premium listening experience and plenty of volume for those hard of hearing. While they don’t look like they were designed for seniors, they certainly sound like it. Plus, you will look like the trendiest senior on the block!
Summary and Final Recommendations
Just because you wear hearing aids doesn’t mean you can’t find a comfortable and compatible pair of headphones. There are so many available nowadays.
The key is finding one that delivers in the comfort department. This will vary depending on the type of hearing aids you wear. Use the criteria above and look at some of the standout models mentioned, and you should be able to find the perfect headphones.