We’re fortunate to live in an age where even being hearing impaired doesn’t mean that we have to forego some of the great comforts in life, including listening to music, or watching a movie or our favorite program on TV.
Thanks to cutting edge technology, there are headphones and headsets now available on the market that will not only deliver high quality sound but that won’t break the bank. Additionally, some bone conduction headsets can even be used when wearing a hearing aid in one or both ears.
In this article, we’re looking at some of the best headphones for hearing impaired people out there right now, and why they might work perfectly for you or a loved one.
Here are the Top 5 Reviews
Best for Crystal-Clear Sound: AfterShokz Aeropex Open-Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
If the price tag of these headphones seems a little heftier than other headsets found on an online search, it’s only because the designers at AfterShokz have listened to what needed to be perfected in earlier models and have certainly delivered with these headphones.
The highly refined bone conduction technology means great sound delivery even if the wearer has to wear hearing aids at the same time. These open-ear headphones leave plenty of room for different sizes of hearing aid without compromising on sound quality.
These are the perfect earphones for active wearers who enjoy being on the go without having to return to charge the headphones. With up to eight hours of music and calls, the AfterShokz Aeropex boasts an excellent battery life and a lightweight design that they can be worn for hours at a time with no discomfort.
The open-ear design also keeps the wearer in touch with their surroundings at all times, making them the perfect headphones for people who may not even have any hearing impairment and who instead want to be able to listen to music while at the same time make sure they can hear everything around them.
What We Loved a Lot:
- Sleek and light design makes these open ear wireless headphones so comfortable to wear
- Practically zero sound leakage, meaning not just that only the wearer will hear the output, but that the sound received by the wearer is high quality
- Plenty of room for hearing aids
- Sweat proof and waterproof, so great for exercise and other outdoor activities
- Conveniently placed buttons for ease of use
What We Loved Less:
- Poorer bass when compared to other designs, so lovers of heavier bass music will probably be disappointed
- Call sound quality isn’t as high as music quality
Best for Outdoor Exercise: AfterShokz Titanium Bone Conduction Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
For those looking to give their open ear wireless headphones a workout while they exercise, they should look no further than the AfterShokz Titanium range. These headphones manage to remain incredibly lightweight and yet seriously durable thanks to their titanium frames.
The wraparound headband design means that they stay in place whether the wearer is cycling, running, jogging or simply standing in the kitchen and doing the dishes. The titanium open ear wireless design means the wearer stays in touch with their surroundings while enjoying their favorite music with very little sound leakage.
Those with hearing problems benefit from bone conduction technology rather than listening via the ear canal. This means wearers can still wear hearing aids.
We also appreciated how these headphones are particularly good at delivering bass notes, when compared with some of their counterparts.
What We Loved a Lot:
- So lightweight and comfortable, it’s easy to forget they’re still there
- Sweat and water resistant, so ideal for outdoor activity
- Can be used alongside a hearing aid
- Very easy to pair with phone, tablet or even TV
- Premium sound quality with adjustable bass boost settings for different styles of music
What We Loved Less:
- Not as good at filtering out background noise (noise cancellation) like traffic and winds
- Battery life not as good as that found in other AfterShokz models
Best for More Severe Hearing Impairment: AfterShokz Air Open-Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
If extra loud volume for both music and calls is needed, then these headphones certainly deliver. For the hard of hearing, it can be disorienting to use headphones with the volume turned up to the max, but this open ear headphone system doesn’t compromise on sound quality while upping the sound volume.
The great thing about these earphones is that even at loud volumes they’re much less likely to cause any further hearing loss than earphones that are inserted directly into the ear canal. Both calls and music are delivered to a high level and the style still makes them wearable along with both hearing aids and visual aids.
Wearers especially appreciate that speech intelligibility is a much-improved feature on this model when compared to other models, and the bright reflective strips for behind the ear put minds at rest as they greatly increase visibility to others without compromising on the wearer’s own situational awareness.
What We Loved a Lot:
- Designers are truly thinking of the hearing impaired by including reflective strips for greater visibility
- Premium Pitch technology delivers great sound with minimal sound leakage
- Lightweight but snug fit to the compatible headset, thanks to the wraparound style
- Extra volume while also accessible for wearer of hearing aids
- Bluetooth connectivity is fast and easily achieved
What We Loved Less:
- Bone conduction vibration not as sharp, so the headphones rely more on louder volume
- Ambient noise amplified, although there are ear plugs provided if background noise is a problem
Best for Superior Sound: Sennheiser RS 175 RF Wireless Headphone System
Perfect as an accompaniment to any sound or TV system, these Sennheisers aren’t just headphones for hearing impaired people, but for anyone who truly appreciates premium sound quality from a company we’ve come to trust can deliver.
These are over-ear headphones and so don’t work for hearing impaired users whose impairment is related to conductive hearing, so that’s something to bear in mind. However, they are large enough to accommodate hearing aids if the wearer requires this feature.
Sennheiser have thought of everything by introducing technology that enables two devices to be connected at the same time, so they’re not just for individuals with hearing impairment but are perfect for hearing impaired couples, too.
These Sennheisers are RF headphones and are specially designed as TV headphones as they work using a radio frequency modulation system, so aren’t for use outside the house, and yet the wireless headphone means no more being physically connected to the TV or stereo.
What We Loved a Lot:
- Stunning sound quality, making these a real treat for everyone, hearing impaired or not
- Ability to connect two devices(assistive listening device) at once means others aren’t left out of the TV viewing
- Soft, comfortable ear cups make for an exceptional fit, even with hearing aids
- Up to eighteen hours of listening time, thanks to impressive battery life
- Just one extra piece of kit acts as the RF transmitter, docking station and charging station all in one
What we Loved Less:
- Range could be improved if the RF transmitter was a little stronger
- The Sennheiser wireless headset is not as easy to use as other over ear headphones, so seniors might struggle
Best for Seniors: Avantree HT280 Wireless Headphones
These headphones for hearing impaired users should be a staple for every and all hearing impaired seniors who might be missing out on their favorite TV show or missing listening to their beloved records, even if they require a hearing aid.
They’re such an easy-to-use pair of headphones, thanks to the plug and play style which means there’s no need to pair them with the TV – switching them on means the TV will find them and automatically connect. This makes them perfect not just for hearing impaired individuals but for people with visual and even mild cognitive impairment.
The wireless headphone range of up to 100 feet means that even if the wearer needs to get up and move around there’s no loss of sound and no audio delay. High volume levels mean people with hearing loss need never miss out on their listening or viewing experience.
What We Loved a Lot:
- Fantastic range with no compromise on audio
- Immediate connection to TV means the easiest experience imaginable
- Large fit to accommodate a hearing aid
What we Loved Less:
- Pretty poor battery life, and this pair of headphones will only work with the rechargeable batteries provided and no others
- Will not pair with any Bluetooth hearing aid device, so TV and stereo use only
Purchasing Headphones for the Hard of Hearing
There is no shortage of headphones for the hearing on the market. No matter the budget or music or TV preference, there’s a pair out there for all, and are easily found with a quick online search. And yet we tend to forget that the hearing impaired can also benefit from the right pair of headphones.
Why it’s Important to Get Quality Headphones
When you’re looking to purchase any kind of item, particularly one that will provide an important function, you want to make sure that not only will it do the job required, but that it’ll last.
Buying a cheaper set of headphones might work out in the short term but in the long run, it can be a real false economy. Quality headphones, whether they’re a traditional over-ear headset or the kind that use bone conduction technology, should last you years, even with regular use.
Are Bone Conduction Headphones Good for the Hearing Impaired?
For people with conductive hearing loss, it leaves them unable to use regular headphones. This is because damage or malformation of the ear canal mean they cannot hear in the same way as someone who is not hearing impaired.
For them, bone conduction headphones have been a real game changer. Bone conduction technology was originally developed for use in the 1970s in the first electronic hearing aid, so tech experts have long been aware of the benefits of bone conduction for the hearing impaired.
Now, it’s a fact that bone conduction technology will not result in the same clarity of sound as over ear headsets, but it can make all the difference between not being able to hear music and being able to. It means those who are hard of hearing because of conductive hearing loss can remain connected to the things they enjoy, and for many that’s priceless.
Not only that, but by leaving the air canal free, bone conduction headphones not only allow non hearing-impaired people to hear background noise, but allow hearing aid use for the hearing impaired, too.
What are the Benefits of Headphones for the Hearing Impaired vs. Regular Headphones?
The very fact that regular headphones don’t always cater for the hearing-impaired show that the availability of good quality headphones for the hearing impaired is vital. It means people no longer have to rely solely on subtitles to watch TV, for example. It means listening to music even while wearing hearing aids.
Plenty of people who don’t suffer from hearing impairment also choose to wear headphones using bone conduction technology, which was originally developed for the hearing impaired. This is because they enjoy listening to music and making phone calls while continuing to fully hear background noise (noise cancelling headphones).
Wireless headphones such as the Sennheiser RS are an example of how some of the best headphones cater for both the hearing and the hearing impaired. They’re popular TV headphones because of their excellent sound quality as well as their size, as they can be worn along with hearing aids if necessary.
Can You Physically Wear Headphones with Hearing Aids?
Yes, both bone conduction headphones and over-ear headphones can be used with hearing aids. Bone conduction headphones sit on the jawbone or cheekbone and so leave the ear canal completely free for a hearing aid.
It’s important to note that when purchasing over-ear headphones, they have to be large enough to completely cover the hearing aid. Hearing aids whose microphones aren’t covered by the headphones will result in a poor experience for the wearer.
How Can You Protect Your Hearing When Using Headphones?
All regular headphone users should always be mindful of protecting their hearing, whether they’re used to watch TV, listen to music, or make phone calls.
There can be a misconception that regular use of bone conduction headphones doesn’t need to be monitored as they don’t work in the same way as regular headphones, but wearers should still use caution, as music or TV played consistently at high volumes can still cause damage to the inner ear.
To protect your ears, then, try listening with the volume turned down lower, or stop using them altogether and giving your ears a break when possible. Don’t fall asleep with your headphones still playing and use the feature on your phone that will automatically reduce earphone volume after listening for so many hours.
And the Winner Is…
AfterShokz Aeropex Open-Ear Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones
It’s a tough one, but ultimately, we found that when it comes to headphones for the hearing impaired person, we couldn’t ignore the incredible power of these bone conduction headphones. This headphone means that even those with conductive hearing loss can enjoy their favorite music or podcast.
We do have to give a special shout-out to the Sennheisers because the quality of their headphone technology is tough to beat but bottom line, when we’re looking for headphones for people with moderate hearing loss, the AfterShokz include a wider range of people’s needs.
The battery life is excellent for such a powerful range of headsets, and the audio feedback means the AfterShokz work really well on calls as well as on music.
Wireless Headphones for the Hearing-Impaired FAQ
Which are the Best Headphones for a Hearing Impaired Elderly Relative?
As long as the noise induced hearing loss is sensorineural, so a natural by-product of age in the case of seniors, then the best headphones are likely to be something like the Sennheiser RS or the Avantree HT280, reviewed here. These TV headphones are ideal for those who are likely to be in the home more and are a comfortable headset that deliver premium sound without complicated technology.
Does the Headset Need Bluetooth?
For outdoor use, any wireless headsets will require Bluetooth. However, if the aim is for home use, such as watching TV, instead it’s best to purchase headphones with an RF transmitter as opposed to Bluetooth. The quality is much better and as long as the wearer is within range, there will be no audio lag.
One of the great things about Bluetooth headphones is the ability to use balance control. If the hearing impairment is greater in one ear than the other, you can find balance control in your phone’s settings menu best sound for you.
Can I Go Swimming with Bone Conduction Headphones?
These days most good quality bone conduction wireless headphones, such as the ones reviewed here, are waterproof, and bone conduction technology does work underwater, but the issue comes with Bluetooth. Bluetooth technology is currently not advanced enough to work well through the medium of water, so that’s why most wireless tv headphone manufacturers advise against it.