Often the first time you notice that your hearing is getting worse is when you are watching TV. Over time, the TV volume gets louder and louder just so you can hear it.
Sometimes, it gets so loud that it bothers the people you live with. Or, maybe the volume is so loud that the TV speakers distort the sound or even rattle!
There are devices that can help you enjoy watching your favorite shows again! Here are the best TV headphones for elderly seniors that let you hear the TV better without disturbing the people you live with.
Comparison Chart: Quick Picks
In a hurry or just want to see the best options out there? Here you go! Keep reading to learn more details about each model plus some advice on buying TV headphones you’ll want to know.
Video Guide: TV Headphones for Seniors & the Elderly
Best Wireless Headphones for TV Listening
These are my top picks for TV headphones for seniors and elderly people who have trouble hearing their TV. You’ll find wireless and wired options here along with earbud and over the ear style. Read my buying guide below to learn the pros and cons of each type.
Ok, for those who want a higher end solution and can afford the very best, these Sennheiser headphones are probably the best out there. You will pay more for this unit but there are tons of raving fans online about this item.
It has many of the features that I like in the other items. It is easy to set-up and is plug and play. The headphones are wireless and are charged by placing them in the base. They have a range of up to 100 feet and the signal is transmitted by RF. Also, they use the usual connection methods.
There are a few areas where the Sennheiser stands out specifically. First, you can custom tune the amplifier with three selectable hearing settings that are designed to optimize conversation and speech from the TV audio. This helps fine tune them so they work better for you.
The headphones themselves are very lightweight and extremely comfortable to wear. They have these flexible ear pads that move with you and keep them from cutting into the ear. The controls are located right on the headset too for easy volume control.
There aren’t many drawbacks to these except that they will not work with hearing aids because they sit in the ear. And, like I said before, they are one of the higher priced solutions.
Video: Sennheiser TV Headphones in Use
If you need a set of headphones for your TV that can be worn over hearing aids, I like these by Clarity. Users report that these lightweight headphones are comfortable to wear and easy to use. The soft cushioned ear pieces cup the surface of the ear so they may block other sounds like the phone ringing or the doorbell depending on the volume level.
These work via Bluetooth connection. If your TV is not Bluetooth equipped, this model comes with a transmitter you can plug into the TV using RCA jacks or a headphone cable (all of which are included). You can also sync these headphones with 2 devices at the same time. So, you could also sync them with a cell phone so that calls will ring into the headphones while watching TV. This could prevent missed calls!
The volume is controlled by buttons on the side of the headphones themselves so the volume can easily be adjusted on the fly to meet the needs of the current program. The buttons are big enough to feel them easily so adjustments can be made without having to remove them or look at the buttons.
The headphones themselves have rechargeable batteries and the unit comes with 2 sets of power cords. One is for the base and the other is for the headphones. There is no charging dock like the other models. It has to be plugged in so be sure you set aside a place to plug them in each night.
So, what do you do if there is more than one person in the home who needs help hearing the TV? It would be nice to still have a conversation without having to take headphones on and off, right?
This product from Simolio solves that problem. If you are a senior couple or you have elderly parents, a wireless TV speaker solution like this could help.
To use a system like this, you plug the transmitting base (which doubles as the charging station) into your TV. And, there are lots of connection options to work with nearly any TV. Then, you place the speaker (within 100 feet of the base) where you need it to hear better. There is a large, easy to adjust volume knob right on the front.
If there are others who don’t need the volume boosted, the TV volume will work as normal even with the speaker attached. So, just place the speaker near the people who need it and enjoy normal volume otherwise.
You have two options for charging it too. You can place it on the charging base or use the plug-in adapter where you like to keep the speaker. It will run continuously when plugged in – no need to worry about keeping it charged. But, if you want to take it to another room, it will run for 6 hours on a full charge.
It does also come with a set of in ear headphones too that plug into the speaker. Not recommended for seniors with pacemakers.
A less costly option that is a little better rated by the buyers at Amazon are these headphones by Similio. They are similar in styling to the TV Ears in that they are in-ear stethoscope headphones.
Set-up for these is easy too. One small note: be sure you know how you are going to connect these before ordering. This is because you have to order an analog or digital model. Analog is for headphone jack or RCA jack connections. Digital is for the Optical audio out connection. But, as long as you order the correct item, this is a plug and play type of item. No syncing or pairing is required.
These headphones are wireless and the signal is transmitted via RF (radio frequency) which gives the best range. The range on these is about 100 feet away from the base. That’s enough of a range for them to work in the next room or in large rooms too.
The headset is powered by a rechargeable Li-ion battery. To charge the battery, simply place the headset on top of the base and it will go into charging mode. They will last about 7 hours with continual use.
Another cool feature of these headphones is they have a MIC button that allows them to be used as a Personal Sound Amplifier (PSA). This allows the user to use the headphones to amplify conversations in the room and other ambient sounds.
Volume and mute are controlled through the headphones and TV can be enjoyed with others or alone.
Video: What You Need to Know About The Simolio SM-823
For a good basic set of headphones for watching TV or even listening to music on your favorite CD player. I recommend these headphones from Artiste. They are the over the ear style which are sometimes more comfortable to wear. Keep in mind the drawbacks though that I discussed above.
Like most of the products I’ve reviewed here, these are easy to set up. Just plug into your audio out (RCA jack or headphone jack), charge them up all the way, and then put them on. The band is adjustable to customize the fit. They also work with computers, MP3 players, cell phones and iPads too.
Speaking of charging, the transmitter that plugs into the TV doubles as the charging station. When the user is done using them, they simply set them back in the base so that they will be charged for next use.
They also use radio frequency for transmission and have a range of up to 100 feet.
One potential drawback is that the TV volume must be adjusted with the TV remote. These headphones do not have their own individual volume control. Because of these, they are probably best for seniors who watch TV alone.
They are also not hearing aid compatible and will cause ringing and squealing if worn with them. If you need a model to work with your hearing aids, keep scrolling.
Video: How to Set Up and Use the Artiste TV Headphones
You may have seen the TV Ears commercials on late night TV in the past. These TV listening earphones are made specifically for improving TV hearing. They use a proprietary Voice Clarifying Circuitry that adjusts itself to make dialog easier to hear and understand. It also decreases the volume of loud background noise.
TV Ears are probably the best headphones for people with pacemakers. These use infrared (IR) technology which is safer than radio frequency (RF) for pacemakers. There are some drawbacks to IR though. The range is less meaning you can’t go as far away from the TV. You will also need to stay within the line of sight of the transmitter.
These are simple to set-up and use. This model comes with both analog and digital audio cords so you can use a wide range of connections for it. Like most of the others, simply plug it in, charge the headphones, and turn it on. It’s that easy. Volume can be adjusted right on the headphones too.
Reviews are somewhat mixed though. People either seem to love them or hate them. There are multiple complaints about them breaking so I wouldn’t use them with anyone who is rough on their equipment.
So, why did I include them on this list? Because they have been so heavily advertised that people ask about them. I also wanted to include an option for seniors with pacemakers.
Buying Guide: Choosing the Best TV Headphones for the Elderly
Use the information below to help you make an educated decision when shopping for TV headphones.
Different Types of Headphones
Headphones come in three basic styles:
- The first is the over the ear style which has soft cups that completely cover the ears. This style looks like ear muffs and tend to be the most comfortable to wear. But, because they cover your ear completely, you won’t be able to hear what’s going on around you.
- The second are called “on the ear” and these sit just over the ear opening and usually have a soft pad on them. These provide good volume boost but allow enough sounds from around to bleed in so that you can remain aware of your surroundings.
- The last style are earbuds or in-ear headphones. Most of the earbuds for TV listening are “stethoscope” style meaning they sit just in the ear canal with a holder that sits below the head – just like the stethoscopes at the doctor’s office. Because they sit in the ear, these are not hearing aid compatible. As a matter of fact, they won’t fit if you have hearing aids.
>>Old TV? See the Best Wireless Headphones for Older TV’s<<
How TV Headphones and Earbuds Help Seniors
These TV listening devices have a transmitter that plugs into the audio out ports of your TV. Then, it sends the sound through wires or wirelessly to a pair of headphones.
TV headphones are beneficial because you enjoy better sound because they are close to the ears.
When comparing them to other helpful TV listening devices, headphones have some distinct advantages:
- Private Listening. The user can listen to the TV at a different volume than others in the room. All they have to do is turn the volume on the headphones up and leave the TV at normal volume – or off altogether.
- Portability. These devices are small, lightweight, and easy to take with you. They can even be worn around the house to listen to the TV while doing other tasks. Most will have a range of nearly 100 feet (check each model specifically).
- Compatibility. Many of the headphone sets use standard audio connections and will work with most any TV.
- Easy to Set Up and Use. These are also “plug and play” meaning all you have to do is plug them in, charge them up, and they are ready to use. There are no settings or pairing needed.
- Wireless. Although there are still a few wired models around, most of these types of products are now wireless.
There are some drawbacks to that you should be aware of also:
- Hearing Aids. Because these devices fit close to or inside of the ear, they usually cannot be used with hearing aids. The Clarity TV headphones above are the exception to this rule. They claim to be hearing aid compatible.
- Because the sound is playing so close to the ear, the wearer may not be able to hear telephones or doorbells while using the device. Phone ringers may need to be turned up.
Summary and Final Recommendations
I hope this guide to the best TV headphones for elderly people and seniors has been helpful. My own grandmother struggled with this and devices like this were a lifesaver at times!
Choose the style that the wearer finds most comfortable and helps them hear the TV better. Take into account hearing aid use and the TV connections available on their TV to make sure your choice is compatible.
Check out my post on phone headsets for seniors too for ideas on making phones easier to hear!
Do you have other recommended was to make the TV easier to hear for seniors and the elderly? Tell me about them in the comments below!