Headphones And Hearing Aids – Can You Wear Both?

When it comes to watching TV shows and movies, and listening to radio, speech, and music inside the house, train, bus, plane and on the street without disturbing others, headphones are a sure way to go. Almost every music lovers have one or two wireless headphones and use them every day. However, there is one question that people with hearing loss using hearing aids always ask, and that is “can I use headphones and hearing aids at the same time?”
Even though there might be some uncertainty as regards to whether you can wear your hearing aids and headphones at the same time, this article will shed more light on the question. We will provide helpful information regarding the use of wireless Bluetooth headphones and hearing aids. Also, we will try to provide solutions to people using hearing aids and want to enjoy their favorite songs using a headphone. Read on!

Can Headphone Work For People With Hearing Aids?   

Yes, the headphone can work for you if you have hearing loss and uses hearing aids. When you ask people if you can use headphones with your hearing aid, they will tell you not to use headphones because it causes hearing loss and causes more damage to your ears. Even though this might be true to some extent, if you can use the headphones properly, they won’t cause hearing loss or more damage. This is a subject we will discuss later in this article. You can enjoy your music wearing your favorite wireless headphones and hearing aids both, but there are some conditions that determine if they can work together or not. What are the conditions?           

Whether you can use a Bluetooth headphone and hearing aids together depends on the type of headphones you are using or have. It also depends on the type of hearing aids you use. So what are the types of headphones that work for people with hearing aids?

Types of Headphones That Works Well With Hearing Aids

There are different types of earphones on the market, but not all of them can work with hearing aids. The headphones that works with hearing aids are on-ear headphones, bone-conduction headphones, and over the hear headphones which is the largest. 

  1. Bone-Conduction Headphones – this type of headphone allows every music lover to hear sounds through the vibration of the cheekbones and jawbones of your face. In this type of wireless Bluetooth headphone, the sound waves bypass the middle ear and the outer ear where your eardrum is located. Then the waves of the sound coming from the headphone directly stimulate the hearing organ known as the inner ear. The bone-conduction headphones have been helpful for many years to people with hearing loss. Take note that this type of headphones for hearing aids is not the best for sound quality. Do you know why? These headphones are not implantable, and this means an individual using them is not getting a truly direct transmission. As a result of this, poorer sound quality is delivered to the ear.    
  1. On-Ear Headphones – This type of headphones sits directly on your hearing aids and ear. The on-ear headphones transmit sound via the opening located in the center. This sound is transmitted to your hearing organ through the hearing aids microphone which picks up the signal. This type of headphones for hearing aids can give you the benefit of the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds and over-ear headphones. How is this possible? Its compact design allows you to easily go anywhere with them just like the wireless earbuds with microphone. Also, it can provide a good sound quality better than the bone-conduction headphones and almost like the over-ear headphones. Regardless of how cheap or expensive an on-ear headphone is, they feature headbands with padded cushions that help relieve pressure on the hearing aids and your ears. Also, they help with noise cancelation that allows you to listen to your favorite songs in peace. 
  1. Over-Ear Headphones ­– this type of headphones for hearing aids are larger than the other headphones you can use with your hearing aids. Unlike other headphones for hearing aids, this type covers the ear completely, and this includes where the hearing aids is sitting. The over-ear headphones are positioned in a way that it center opening sits directly on the top of the hearing aids. This will make it easy for the hearing aid’s microphone to pick up the music you are listening to and transmit it to the inner ear. It produces a better sound quality and offers more comfort when wearing it with your hearing aids.       

Now you know the types of wireless headphones that work well with hearing aids. But how do you know the one that will specifically work with the hearing aids type you are using? Can you use any available headphones for hearing aids? No! The solution is to know the type of hearing aid you are using to decide on the type of headphone you will go for.

Types of Hearing Aids and the Headphones That Works For Them  

Hearing aids work picking up sounds from the environment through the microphones that come with them and carrying the sound into an amplifier that converts the sound into digital code. The computer chip inside the hearing aid will analyze and adjust the sound based on the level of sounds around you, your hearing loss, and listening needs. Once this process is completed, the sound signals that have been amplified will be converted back into sound waves. A louder sound is then delivered into your ears through the speaker. Most types of hearing aids available are digital with a lot of them having batteries that power them. That said, there are different types and styles of hearing aid available for hearing loss. They are completely-in-the-canal (CIC), open fit, in-the-canal (ITC), receiver-in-the-ear (RITE), and receiver-in-canal (RIC), Also, in-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE) are included.

  • Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) – This type of hearing aid helps to improve mild to moderate hearing loss in people. They are constructed in a way to fit inside the hear canal with the tiny removal handle showing outside. It comes in a mini model, and it is also the least visible and smallest type. The batteries that power this device are very small, and the hearing aid hardly picks up wind noise. The CIC does not come with extra features such as directional microphone and volume control. The types of headphones you can use for this hearing aid are bone-conduction headphones, on-ear headphones, and over-ear headphones 
  • In-the-canal (ITC) – this provides the same help like the CIC, but the ITC is constructed to fit in the ear canal partly. It is also less visible in the ear with its smaller portion showing in the outer ear. The best headphones you can use for this type of hearing aid are over-ear headphones and bone-conduction headphones. Also, you can use the on-ear headphones 
  • Behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-the-ear (RITE), and receiver-in-canal (RIC) – There are different sizes of BTE hearing aids, and this includes the ones that work with ear-molds and the mini ones with ultra-thin tubing. The RITE and RIC type of hearing aids have ear tips with the speaker built into them. The best option of headphones for these hearing aids is the over-ear headphones. 
  • In-the-ear (ITE) – this type of hearing aids comes in two styles. These include in-the-ear hearing aids that fill only the lower part of the outer ear and the ones that fill most of the area of the outer hear with bowl-shape. The best headphones for hearing aids like this are the over-ear headphones and bone-conduction headphones. 
  • Open fit – This style of hearing aid keeps the canal of your hear very open. The open hear canal allows the hearing aid to amplify high-frequency sounds and also ensure the ear naturally receives low-frequency sounds. Over-ear headphones are the best type of headphones that works well for this hearing aid.    

No doubt, with the information provided so far, you should know the perfect headphone for your hearing aids. But what of people who love using the best wireless earbuds?

Can You Use Earbuds with Hearing Aids?

The truth about using wireless Bluetooth earphones such as earbuds with hearing aids is that it is not possible at the time. No matter the style of wireless earbuds with mic available on the market you are not likely to get one that will allow you to use them together with hearing aids. Do you know why? Bluetooth earbuds sit in your ear or canal of your ear and hearing aids do the same thing. So is it possible to plug both hearing aids and wireless Bluetooth into your ear canal at the same time? Of course, no! It is not going to work. This means you have to opt for a headphone if you really want an audio device that will play your favorite songs. But in case you prefer earbuds to headphones, there is a solution. What is the solution?      

Using Hearing Aids as Earbuds

Technology keeps improving, and the hearing aids industry is not left untouched. Hearing aids now have wireless technology that allows you to make use of them as wireless Bluetooth earbuds and headphones. This means you don’t need to undergo the stress of looking for the perfect headphone to use with your hearing aids or remove them completely before listening to music with your earbuds. The wireless hearing aids give you the opportunity to listen to music by connecting your smartphone or other wireless music players with them via Bluetooth. So, the wireless hearing aids serve two purposes, and this includes helping you to hear what is going on in your environment and also ensuring you enjoy your favorite song tracks.

How to Wear both Headphones and Hearing Aids Properly

Remember, listening to sounds through the headphone can cause hearing loss if not used the proper and right way. There are some tips that can help you wear headphones and hearing aids together without causing any further damage.

  • When you use headphones with hearing aids, the sound will be amplified to produce a louder sound. Of course, we have mentioned that before. This means if you increase the volume of your headphone or music player, a louder sound will be produced and this can cause more damage to the ears. So, ensure you always reduce the sound volume of your headphone while using it with hearing aids. 
  • Ensure you don’t use a headphone that sits very close to the hearing aids or put pressure on the hearing aid. This can result in the hearing aid producing a whistling noise. If you hear this noise, it is advisable that you readjust the headphone or change it to the one that will work perfectly with the hearing aids. 
  • The headphone you will select for your hearing aids should be one that comes with noise isolation or noise canceling technology. This will ensure that you don’t crank up the volume above 85-dB and at the same time listen to your music clearly.

Can You Wear Hearing Aids And Headphones Together?

With the information provided above, it is obvious that you can wear both headphones and hearing aids if you want. However, the first thing you need to do is to be sure of the type of hearing aid you are using and then find out the perfect type of headphones for such hearing aids. Have it in mind that hearing aids restrict headphone options. Also, if you are a wireless earbud enthusiast, it is advisable you go for wireless hearing aids that can act like earbuds. This type of hearing aids can let you through your headphones away if you want.