Headphones and Hearing Aids

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Headphones and Hearing Aids

Woman listening to headphones

If you have ever wondered if wearing headphones over hearing aids is possible, the answer is yes. There are different styles for various hearing aid types, and they work well for noise cancellation and amplification. The main three types of headphones for people with hearing loss are bone-conduction headphones, on-ear headphones, and over-ear headphones.

If you need a set of headphones to hear the television properly, this could be a sign that your hearing aids are not functioning properly. Properly fit hearing aids rarely require the addition of headphones to allow a user to enjoy television and music. Check with your hearing aid specialist to verify the proper function of your hearing aids before you begin your search for a set of headphones.

Buying Considerations

    • Comfort. Focus on headphones that are both comfortable to wear with a hearing aid and stylish in appearance.


  • Battery life. The majority of headphones available to those with a hearing impairment are wireless and thus must be charged. Most models of headphones can deliver approximately two hours of use before requiring a battery charge.
  • Material quality. Search for lightweight headphones that are comfortable enough to wear for lengthy periods. Opt for durable, lightweight materials.
  • Purpose. The design of headphones is such that some are designed for short term music listening while others are for long term television viewing. Carefully consider your choices based on your needs.


Bone-Conduction Headphones

This style of headphone allows you to hear sounds via vibration of the jaw and cheekbones. These devices allow sound waves to stimulate the inner ear. These type of headphones are ideal for in-the-ear, in-the-canal, and completely-in-canal hearing aids. These headphones do not cover the ear which allows users to hear with their hearing aids as well.

On-ear Headphones

These headphones feature an opening in the center which is directly over an in-the-ear hearing aid. This feature allows your hearing aid to hear music through the microphone. These headphones are ideal for wearers of hearing aids that are completely in the ear.

Over-ear Headphones

Over-ear headphones sit over the ear making these headphones the ideal selection for noise cancellation. These headphones protect your hearing and prevent future hearing loss. These are compatible with in-the-ear, behind-the-ear, and receiver-in-canal hearing aids.

Tips for Wearing Headphones


  • Keep in mind that music will be amplified if using hearing aids with headphones. You might want to use a volume-meter app that will tell you how loud your music is.
  • The combination of decibel level and length of listening time greatly affect the amount of damage to the ears. Sound reaches a damaging level around 85 decibels. Remember the 60/60 rule: Listen to a device at 60% volume and limit it to 60 minutes at a time.
  • Choose noise-canceling headphones. These headphones remove background noise, so you do not have to increase the volume to harmful levels.
  • To avoid feedback, try repositioning your headphones, so they do not push on your hearing aids.


Wearing hearing aids need not stop you from using headphones. They are available in several styles to accommodate a variety of hearing aid types. Remember to have your hearing aids checked by a hearing aid specialist before purchasing headphones in case the problem is simply a hearing aid malfunction. Consider the comfort level and construction of the headphones and what your purpose for wearing them is.






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