Headphones are great. These devices are immersive; they exclude outside ambient noises and let you hear the fine details. A few other features include better sound quality, a snug fit, and they even keep your ears warm! However, if you wear hearing aids those fantastic headphones may be a nuisance. Problems involving fit, feedback, and volume are common complaints among hearing aid wearers. However, there is good news! Hearing aids are now more technologically advanced than ever before with models that pair well with headphones. You can enjoy headphone listening while wearing your hearing aids!
The Hearing Aid/Headphone Problem
There are problems involved with using hearing aids and headphones together. Feedback is a significant issue when you wear both. If a headphone presses against a hearing aid, the signals from the two mix and cause a loud whistling noise. Volume is another obstacle to navigate. If you wear hearing aids while using headphones, it is difficult to gauge the volume of music. The knee-jerk reaction is to increase volume when a simple adjustment of the hearing aid sensitivity suffices. There are physical challenges too. Wearing a hearing aid with traditional headphones is not easy and finding a good fit is challenging. Headphones may not sit properly around the hearing aid microphone preventing the hearing aid mic from picking up sounds. Furthermore, if the headphone speakers are too close to the microphone, there may be problems with audio feedback.
The Difficulty Of BTE And RIC Hearing Aids
Hearing healthcare professionals note that behind-the-ear (BTE) and receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids are the most difficult models of hearing aids to pair with headphones. They list microphone location and general compatibility as the two primary reasons for this problem. The solution is headphones with the speakers at a distance from the hearing aid microphone. A noise-canceling headphone may also be a solution.
A Few Good Solutions
The most important factor when you are a hearing aid wearer shopping for headphones is the hearing aid that you are wearing. When it comes to wearing headphones with hearing aids, the following aids are good selections that work well with headphones:
- In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids are compatible with on-ear headphones as well as over-the-ear models. These headphones are portable and light.
- Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids are another excellent choice. These hearing aids fit deeply within the ear and accommodate a wide range of headphones.
- Invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aids offer the most choices when it comes to wearing headphones with them.
Try Before You Buy
Regardless of which solution you choose, it is wise to comparison shop and test headphones out before you purchase a pair. If you have a hearing loss, this is an especially important step. Choose a store with multiple models of headphones in stock or an online retailer with a great return policy. Everyone is different, and the tonal qualities of certain headphones may be more appropriate for your situation than others might be.