Can You Use Headphones with Hearing Aids?

Ludwig van Beethoven, the famous composer who also suffered from hearing loss, once said: “Music is like a dream, one that I cannot hear.” 

If you have a hearing loss, you may worry that you’ll never be able to fully enjoy listening to music playing through your headphones again. But we’re here to share some good news. Not only are there headphones that you can use with your hearing aids, with today’s hearing aid technology, you can also wirelessly stream audio directly into your hearing aids, depending on the model. That’s right; directly into your ears! Available options can be discussed with your hearing care professional based on your needs.

Can You Use Headphones with Hearing Aids?

If you want to use headphones with your hearing aids, here are some of the things that you’ll need to consider.

In The Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids

There are a few types of ITE hearing aids. ITE aids are normally quite easy to use in conjunction with headphones. (If you’d like more detailed information on hearing aid styles, visit our website).

Smaller, more discreet ITE devices, such as Invisible in the Ear (IIC) or Completely in the Canal (CIC) are usually compatible with on the ear or over the ear headphones. In fact, you may even be able to use earbuds with IIC and CIC devices.

Hearing aids that fit in the ear bowl, rather than the ear canal, such as In the Canal (ITC) or low profile hearing aids are slightly larger than IIC or CIC devices. Their larger size often means they have a better battery life, and are able to address more forms of hearing loss. These types of devices require an over the ear headphone.

Behind The Ear (BTE)/ Receiver In The Canal (RIC) Hearing Aids

  • BTE devices range in size and treat more severe hearing loss
  • RIC or RITE (Receiver In The Canal) differ because the speaker is built into the ear tip rather than the main body of the device.

BTE or RIC hearing aids suit over the ear headphones. The most important factor is a good fit over the microphone of your hearing aid (which is located behind your ear). A poor fit will result in external sounds being picked up instead of sound from the headphone. To prevent a feedback problem, check that the headphone speaker isn’t too close to the microphone of your hearing aid. Don’t be afraid to try different models of headphones until you get one that fits well for you.

Now you understand about your type of hearing aid, why not take a look at this headphone buying guide, which is a useful resource when making a decision about what type of headphone will suit your needs. At Anderson Audiology, we are happy to discuss which headphones are compatible with both your hearing aid and your needs. We can also advise you on which programs and settings to use on your device for the best listening experience.

Music Lovers Beware…

Finally, a word of caution when it comes to headphone use is to be mindful of the potential for noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). We strongly recommend you adopt the 80-90 rule: keep the volume at less than 80% of maximum volume and limit usage to no more than 90 minutes per day.

Stream Audio Directly Into Your Hearing Aids/Ears

As we mentioned above, there might not be a need for headphones. Advances in hearing aid technology have made it possible for hearing aid users to seamlessly stream audio directly into one’s ears. So don’t forget to ask your hearing care professional to discuss the available options with you.

Need Help? Contact Us Today!

There are a range of practical hearing aid accessories that are available which can help enhance your everyday activities and add convenience to your life. If you would like to learn more, our experienced hearing care professionals can explain the different products available and help find the right one for you.

If you’d like to discuss further, come in and meet the team at Anderson Audiology. Call us today on 702-997-2964. Alternatively, click here to request an appointment online.

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