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There are so many headphone styles and options on the market today. This makes it possible to find something that works for your needs and accommodates most types of hearing aids.

In this article, we’ll take a look at:

  • types of hearing aids and headphones
  • what’s most compatible
  • tips to make the most of your hearing devices

Types of hearing aids

There are several kinds of hearing aids, including:

  • in the ear
  • invisible in the canal
  • completely in the canal
  • in the canal
  • behind the ear

These types of hearing aids are compatible with different headphones.

Types of headphones

  • Earbuds: Earbuds are not a good choice, as they will interfere with the placement of your hearing aids.
  • Over-the-ear: Over-the-ear headphones work with most hearing aids. Noise-canceling headphones often come in this model. Models can range in the amount of cushioning they provide surrounding your ear.
  • On-ear: On-the-ear headphones may only work with hearing aids in your ear canal, like invisible in the canal and completely in the canal models.
  • Bone conduction: Bone conduction headphones may be best for hearing aids that are in the ear or in the canal.

These recommendations are based on:

  • feedback from audiologists
  • online reviews
  • style, fit, and price

Pricing

Pricing for headphones varies greatly.

Well-known audio product manufacturers with more expensive products than baseline options spend a lot of resources on researching sound quality.

Their higher end models have price tags that reflect the unique technology they’ve developed. But that doesn’t mean you have to break your budget to get a pair that works for you. There are plenty of less expensive options that may have everything you’re looking for.

For this article, the pricing guide is as follows:

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $100–$200
  • $$$ = over $200

Shokz OpenMove Bone Conduction Open-Ear Headphones

  • Price: $
  • Best with: in the ear, in the canal, completely in canal, invisible in the canal
  • Battery life: 6 hours

Bone conduction headphones may be a good option if you wear hearing aids in your ear or your ear canal. You wear this type of headphones against your cheekbones so that your ears are not blocked. This model is less expensive than other Shokz options, but all of the company’s bone conduction headphones have great online reviews.

These wireless models are designed to last for 6 hours at a time. They’re also sweat resistant, so they may be a good option if you’re looking for headphones to wear while exercising. They come with free shipping, free returns, and a 2-year warranty.

Sennheiser RS135 On-Ear Wireless RF Headphones with Charging Cradle

  • Price: $$
  • Best with: completely in canal and invisible in the canal
  • Battery life: 20 hours

These on-ear headphones have a charging cradle that connects to analog devices. The headphones are wireless, and you can watch your favorite TV shows with custom sound that stretches 300 feet.

These are a bit low tech (they don’t have Bluetooth connectivity), but if you want to listen to television with headphones to enhance your viewing experience, these could be a good model to try.

Recon 70 Blue Camo Headset

  • Price: $
  • Best with: in the ear, in the canal, completely in canal, invisible in the canal, behind the ear
  • Battery life: wired

These over-the-ear gaming headphones are inexpensive and lightweight. The ear cups are large. They feature a microphone as well. They aren’t wireless and have a 3.5-millimeter plug that’s compatible with PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PCs, and standard headphone jacks.

PlayStation PULSE 3D Wireless Headset

  • Price: $
  • Best with: in the ear, in the canal, completely in canal, invisible in the canal, behind the ear
  • Battery life: 12 hours

These gaming headphones go over the ear and support 3D audio. They feature a hidden, built-in noise-canceling microphone and a rechargeable battery that’s designed to last 12 hours. You can connect to mobile devices and the PlayStation VR with the help of the included audio cable.

Beats Solo3 Wireless Headset

  • Price: $$
  • Best with: in the ear, in the canal, completely in canal, invisible in the canal, behind the ear
  • Battery life: 40 hours

These over-the-ear headphones have great sound, according to customer reviews. They can be charged for up to 40 hours of wireless listening. According to the manufacturer, you can even get 3 hours of listening time with a 5-minute charge. You can take calls, adjust the volume, and use voice activation with them as well.

Bose QuietComfort 45 Wireless Headphones

  • Price: $$$
  • Best with: in the ear, in the canal, completely in canal, invisible in the canal, behind the ear
  • Battery life: 24 hours

Many customers consider Bose to be the gold standard for listening devices. These over-the-ear noise-canceling headphones connect to select Bose speakers and soundbars. Bose also offers an app that you can use to control some settings of your headphones.

The Bose Music app is available for Android and Apple devices. The battery for these wireless headphones is designed to last up to 24 hours. And multiple microphones with noise-canceling tech deliver crisp, clear conversations.

Astro A50 Wireless Headset + Base Station

  • Price: $$$
  • Best with: in the ear, in the canal, completely in canal, invisible in the canal, behind the ear
  • Battery life: 15+ hours

Astro A50s are designed for gamers. These over-the-ear wireless headphones feature a base charging station, a microphone, Dolby audio, and a flip-to-mute microphone. They work with PCs, Macs, and PlayStation 4 and 5.

Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless

  • Price: $$$
  • Best with: in the ear, in the canal, completely in canal, invisible in the canal, behind the ear
  • Battery life: 30+ hours

These over-the-ear wireless headphones are top of the line and should last for years based on user reports. The ear pads are wide and very padded.

You can use an app to create a custom listening experience with a 2-minute hearing test. The MIY Beyerdynamic app is available for Apple and Android devices.

PriceStyleBattery life
Shokz OpenMove Bone Conduction Open-Ear Headphones$wireless, bone conduction6 hours
Sennheiser RS135 On-Ear Wireless RF Headphones with Charging Cradle$on-ear, wireless20 hours
Recon 70 Blue Camo Headset$over-the-ear, wiredwired
PlayStation PULSE 3D Wireless Headset$over-the-ear, wireless12 hours
Beats Solo3 Wireless Headset$$over-the-ear, wireless40 hours
Bose QuietComfort 45 Wireless Headphones$$$over-the-ear, wireless24 hours
Astro A50 Wireless Headset + Base Station$$$over-the-ear, wireless15+ hours
Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless$$$over-the-ear, wireless30+ hours

The first step to choosing the right headphones is to think about how you plan to use them: Are they for gaming, chatting, taking calls, or listening to music or other audio content?

Before you buy, make sure to read the details about the headphones, including dimensions and online reviews. Not all reviews will be positive, but looking at the number of reviews along with the overall rating may be useful.

Make sure you purchase headphones that work with your hearing aids.

If you have asymmetric hearing loss, some headphones may have independent volume controls for each side, or you may be able to control the balance directly on your device settings.

Selecting the right headphones to wear with hearing aids will likely come down to:

  • comfort
  • price
  • what you want to do with the headphones

Headphone comfort will probably depend most on the type of hearing aids you have.

There are so many styles and models of headphones that you’ll likely find a pair that’s comfortable. Keep in mind that headphones can vary by:

  • weight
  • adjustability
  • connectivity (wireless or corded)

Before you commit to an expensive pair, talk with a doctor or audiologist about the possibility of using Bluetooth or MFi (Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad) with your hearing aids. This may improve your listening experience more than headphones can.

Be sure to listen to audio through your headphones at moderate levels and take breaks. Avoid having the volume so high that you can hear it through your headphones when you remove them. Listening to loud audio through your headphones may contribute to hearing damage.

If you have asymmetrical hearing loss, keep the volume at a safe level for the better hearing ear, if you’re not able to adjust the sides independently.

You actually don’t need headphones for most modern hearing aids. Many can stream external audio directly into your ears, often better than headphones. It’s even possible to take calls, with your hearing aids serving as the microphone and speaker.

Lainee Levinton, AuD, CCC-A, an audiologist in the Philadelphia metro area, says that in many cases, people with hearing loss can use Bluetooth or MFi connectivity that is built into their hearing aids instead of headphones.

“These hearing aids get much better sound quality, as the streaming signal is corrected for your individual hearing loss,” Levinton said. You can control these listening options on your smartphone or through the hearing aid itself.

You may not be able to hear as well with traditional headphones than your customized hearing aids. “Headphones won’t be able to offer frequency-specific corrections for [people with hearing loss]. That’s why the streaming connections to hearing aids are best,” Levinton said.

Levington added that hearing loss is very individual and doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution.

Most hearing aid brands offer models with Bluetooth or MFi combability, such as Signia and Miracle-Ear. Many other hearing aid options use this technology too. Often, hearing aid companies have accessories to help you turn your hearing aids into headphones, such as the Phonak TVLink.

It’s common to replace hearing aids every 3 to 5 years, so when it’s time, consider upgrading your hearing aids to get these features.

Are noise-canceling headphones good for people with hearing loss?

Noise-canceling headphones won’t protect ears from noise damage, but they can help eliminate ambient noise.

What headphones do audiologists recommend?

Many audiologists recommend over-the-ear headphones over earbud types. This is because the sound is less likely to leak in or out with over-the-ear headphones that have a good seal. The worse the seal, the more likely you may be to turn up the volume to an unsafe level.

Many hearing aids now come with Bluetooth or MFi capability that make headphones unnecessary. An audiologist can help you choose the right model for your needs.

If you prefer headphones, determine the best product based on the type of hearing aids you use and how you want to use them. There are many types of headphones available for purchase at varying price points, and you’re likely to find a pair that works for your needs.