Whether it’s to listen to music or the TV, for a call at work or for study, headphones are a regular part of everyday life for many of us.
However, for people who also use hearing devices such as cochlear implants or hearing aids, using headphones comes with some careful considerations.
“You will get the best sound directly via your hearing aids or cochlear implants, depending on the hearing technology you have for your specific hearing loss,” said Hear and Say Audiologist, Lorna Parker.
“The first step is checking with your audiologist if the hearing device has Bluetooth connectivity. If they do, then you can stream content directly to your processor from your smartphone or other wireless device, which cuts out the need for headphones completely.”
If using a wireless remote microphone such as a Phonak Roger system or Cochlear Mini Microphone, an audio cable can connect directly to a headphone jack and stream sound via the remote microphone. Again, your audiologist will be able to provide further information on what’s most relevant for your specific circumstances.
For some people with hearing devices, tracking down suitable standard headphones can be challenging. Look for large styles that fit over both the ear and the hearing aid, so that sound can reach the processor microphone without it being covered by the headphone’s cushioning. Ensure you also check for feedback – that is, listening for a whistling noise coming from the hearing aid – when using this style of headphones. If there is feedback, try repositioning the headphones, or test out a different model.
If the hearing loss is mild or in one ear only, some people may also prefer the sound without their hearing aids. Standard headphones, preferably with volume control, can be used in this case.