For most of us, headphones are a standard piece of equipment. They allow us to listen to radio, music, or conversations without upsetting other people. We can also watch movies and TV shows in buses or airplanes thanks to them. However, using headphones with hearing aids can be problematic, as anyone who has experienced hearing loss will attest to. Let’s examine some of the problems and make some recommendations for hearing aid users who want to listen to their favorite music with their preferred headphones.
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How headphones and hearing loss relate to each other?
The use of headphones can lead to a variety of issues. One big concern with wearing headphones and hearing aids simultaneously is feedback. The distinctive “whistling” sound, which is so startling to the human ear, can be produced when the hearing aid technology headphones rub against specific sections of your hearing aid microphone.
The issue of volume is another one. You can usually tell how loud a music is when you don’t have hearing loss and change it accordingly. However, it becomes slightly more difficult to determine the exact decibel level you are putting into your ear when you have a hearing aid on. When they may change the sensitivity of their hearing aid, music lovers frequently put their speakers up too loud.
The physical challenge of comfortably using headphones and hearing aids comes last. There are ways to do this without experiencing any discomfort thanks to advancements in headphone design, but they may not always produce excellent sound. For instance, bone conduction headphones can be used with ITE hearing aids because they don’t require any ear contact at all. However, when soundwaves pass through the jaw, they slightly lose quality in the process.
How to choose the right headphones for your hearing aids
First, be familiar with the three different styles of headphones: on-ear, over-the-ear, and bone conduction. Since of their big cups, over-the-ear headphones should generally be avoided because they can create feedback when they come into contact with hearing aid microphones. However, well-built over-the-ear headphones can overcome feedback difficulties and, in fact, perform very well because of their superior noise-cancelling capabilities.
On-ear headphones, which are smaller, lighter, and compatible with both ITE and ITC hearing aids, might cause comparable issues with feedback. These devices should provide outstanding sound quality due to the speaker’s placement right on top of the hearing aid receiver. The least likely to result in feedback are bone conduction headphones, albeit they don’t produce the best sound.
While each of these varieties has advantages over the other when used with conventional hearing aids, they also have disadvantages as well. Avoid using earbuds at all costs. Hearing aids and in-the-ear music devices cannot be used together, and the latter can worsen your hearing problems.
Play some music from your smartphone, try on a couple different models, and pay attention to any feedback or discomfort. You might discover that headphones are effective enough if your hearing loss is milder. You might not, though. But don’t be discouraged; there is a solution: hearing aids with built-in capabilities for music enthusiasts.