How do headphones for hearing-impaired people differ from typical headphones?


Quick Answer

Headphones for the hearing impaired are designed to be worn at the same time as hearing aids. They minimize distortion and feedback while promoting sound clarity. They also usually have an independent volume control function.

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Full Answer

Headphones that sit on the ear, over the ear or behind the ear work with all types of hearing aids. Individuals who wear the invisible-in-the-canal style of hearing aid, a style that is positioned deep in the ear canal, may also be able to wear earbud-style headphones, though they can be less effective and result in sound distortion.

When choosing headphones, look for noise-cancelling or noise-isolating versions to help remove background noise and enhance sound clarity without requiring additional volume. Connevan, TecEar and Phonak all manufacture headphones specifically designed to be worn with hearing aids.

Headphones have the potential to cause noise-induced hearing loss if used improperly. When wearing hearing aids with headphones, aim to keep the volume down to 85 decibels or less.

A whistling sound indicates that the headphones are positioned too close to the hearing aid's microphone. In this case, reposition the headphones, or remove the hearing aid to see if there is an improvement. Always consult an audiologist with any questions or concerns about hearing related issues.

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