Those who suffer from hearing loss can have a hard time listening to music or watching TV. Though they can turn up the volume, that doesn’t always help and may annoy other people in the area.
To fix that, there are special headphones that can help the hearing impaired keep up with their favorite shows, listen to their podcasts, or rock out to some tunes.
This article will preview some of the best headphones for people with hearing issues by breaking down their various pros and cons.
After checking a ton of headphones, we ended up on three models that meet our standards in terms of comfort, sound, connectivity, active features, compatibility, and design.
- Skullcandy Uproar is perfect if you’re after Bluetooth headphones that produce great sounds for a reasonable price.
- AfterShokz Air is ideal if you want headphones that won’t interfere with l hearing aids.
- The Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones are great for users who want headphones that block out low-end noise.
Who Should Get This?
It’s always a struggle to listen to the radio or watch TV when you have a hearing loss. In such a scenario you’re faced with distracting background noise, soft speech, or is too fast. While turning up the volume works sometimes, it can disturb others and does nothing to improve speech quality.
So, how do you solve the problem? Go for headphones designed to help you live your life the way you want. The models in this article have adjustable volumes with louder sound compared to standard headphones. They also come with large closed-cups that protect your ears from background noise. What’s more? The headphones have an improved sound quality and make speech easier to hear, thanks to their tone control feature. If you’re worried about trip hazards, you can opt for cordless models as well.
If you want to make phone calls or listen to music on the move, it is best to choose Bluetooth headphones. The models come with balance control, a feature that allows you to adjust the volume for each ear. That is perfect for people with different hearing levels. Remember, the models in this article may not be ideal for individuals with great or unimpaired hearing.
Best Headphones for Hearing Impaired: What to Consider in 2020?
Hearing Aid Position and Function
Before making your final purchase, it is important to analyze your hearing aid position. Here’s how to do it:
- IITC (Invisible In The Canal) is a custom-fitted style that involves customizing an ear mold separately from your ear anatomy, shape, and size. After that, you insert the aid inside your ear canal. This style is perfect for those that want to protect their ears against mild to moderate hearing loss.
- CIC (Completely In Canal) is a customized style. You can wear your aids at the entrance of your canal in a way where only a tiny handle will be visible on the outside. That makes it easy to insert and remove the aid. It is great for mild to moderate hearing loss as well.
- ITC (In The Canal) can be worn in the entrance of your ear canal. A little part of it will be visible. It’s perfect for mild to mildly severe hearing loss.
- ITE (In The Ear) is a custom made hearing aid that you can wear in the outer part of your ear. It’s quite visible but useful for mild to severe hearing loss.
- RIC (Receiver In Canal) is quite challenging to spot. These well-hidden have a receiver that’s connected to a thin wire and inserted in the ear canal. Great for mild to moderate hearing loss.
- BTE (Behind The Ear) is a style that uses a casing that rests behind your ear. A solid choice for moderate to severe hearing loss.
There are many headphones on the market, and they differ from each other through function, size, and shape. On-ear headphones have an opening in the center that allows sound to come and sit on the (ITE) hearing aid. The ideal hearing aids that fit these headphones are IITC, RIC, and CIC.
Bone-conducting headphones help you hear sounds from your jawbones and cheekbones. They are ideal for individuals that wear hearing aids inside the ear canal or outer ear. Perfect for hearing aids like the CIC, ITC, IITC, and ITE.
If you want options with a noise cancellation feature, over-ear headphones are the way to go. With this headphone, you don’t have to worry about background noise, and your ear will get great sound in a way that prevents further damage The devices work with hearing aids like BTE, RIC, ITC, and ITE.
No matter what headphones you choose, they need to be comfortable. That way, you don’t experience any form of pain as you watch TV shows or listen to music.
Best Headphones for Hearing Impaired: Our Picks for 2020
The Skullcandy Uproar is a great wireless headphone. It’s an on-ear model that comes with controls on the ear pads that allow you to play, pause, and skip tracks. It also allows you to take and end calls. This model has great sound, and is quite affordable. Another highlight is it has a stable Bluetooth connection and a 10-hour battery life. This product does have some snags. The sound lacks a little detail, it doesn’t come with a cable for when the battery is dead, and the build could be stronger. However, we can’t deny the headphones offer great value for their cost.
What We Like:
- 10-hour battery life
- Stable Bluetooth connection
- Good sound quality
What We Don’t Like:
- The build quality could be better
- sound lacks a bit of detail
The Aftershockz Air is an exciting gadget that doesn’t interfere with additional hearing aid devices. That is because the manufacturers designed the wireless headphones to wrap around your neck when you wear them. The model also gives you the chance to adjust the safety options with a bone conduction transducer on each side. For example, if you’re stuck in traffic, the headphones have a handy mute button.
That’s not all. The manufacturer used tough materials to make the neck buds in a way that promotes flexibility and durability. The gadget is also so lightweight you won’t notice that you’re wearing it. The soft silicone material covers about 70% of the headphones and makes the device stick to the shape of your head.
While the gear only lasts for about six hours, it only takes 15 minutes to charge. Another downside is that the headphones lack the necessary volume required to keep up in noisy areas. However, they do have a nice vibration when used with heavy bass.
What We Like:
- Sturdy and flexible
- Adjustable safety options
What We Don’t Like:
- Sound quality doesn’t hold up in noisy areas
- Short battery life
The design of this model is a good reminder that Sony has been in the audio game long enough to know what works and what doesn’t. The gear allows you to listen for a few hours without discomfort. Even though the gadget tends to build up heat quickly when you walk around, the soft leatherette earpads cradle your pinna in a way that takes the pressure off your head. This model comes with smaller ANC drivers at the dead center of the large-diaphragm drivers, a feature that allows much better noise cancellation. It also isolates well and shuts out excess noise.
What We Like:
- Great sound quality
- Impressive ANC
- Extremely comfortable
What We Don’t Like:
- On the expensive side
Tips for Wearing a Good Headphone for Hearing Aids
Listening to music with healthy hearing is quite different than listening with hearing aids. Do you plan to make the most out of your headphones for the hearing impaired? If so, it is important to know the essential dos and don’ts. Here are some tips to get you started. More here.
- Since your ears aren’t in good shape, you have to be cautious about the music volume.
- Research music volume and know-how loud headphones sound before making your purchase.
- Take note of the sound decibels.
- Go with the 60/60 rule that states that you should only wear headphones for 60 minutes at a time.
- When you notice feedback (when headphones for hearing aids bump into each other)—take a break from using the gadget to avoid further hearing loss.
- Opt for noise-canceling headphones. Such models will prevent you from having to crank up the volume over annoying background noise.
- Go for headphones that are compatible with your present hearing aids.
We hope this buying guide helped you find the best possible headphones for the hearing impaired. The key thing to do is to go for the best headphones for hearing impaired persons that will meet your requirements and budget.
What part of the article was the most helpful? Did we forget your favorite headphones? Leave a comment below—we’d be glad to hear from you.
Jessica is the co-founder and content manager. She has been fascinated by the startup culture in Silicon Valley and she loves building things from zero to one. When she is not writing, she loves getting close to nature and shoot photos with her iPhone and Canon EOS 80D.