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Can hearing aids be used with noise-cancelling headphones?

Abram Bailey

Professional Member

02 April 2018 - 9.36K Views

Shari Eberts recently published The Joys Of Noise-Cancelling Headphones With Hearing Loss, where she talks about using her Bose noise-cancelling headphones with her hearing aids. While Shari uses in-the-canal style hearing aids, I believe you can use noise-cancelling headphones with just about any type of hearing aid, so long as the headphones are big enough to fit over your hearing aids. "Circumaural" headphones, like the ones Shari uses, sit over and around the ear, and typically provide enough space for behind-the-ear hearing aids. However, if the fit around the ear is tight, you might run into issues. Here are some thoughts:

  1. In-the-ear style hearing aids should work with most noise-cancelling headphone types.
  2. Circumaural, or "around the ear", headphones may provide enough space for behind the ear hearing aids.
  3. Wearing headphones on top of hearing aids may cause more feedback (whistling).
  4. Wearing headphones may increase moisture in and around the ear, which may damage your hearing aids.

To reduce feedback, you may need to reduce the volume of your hearing aids or visit your hearing care provider to add a special hearing aid setting to use with your headphones. They should run the feedback calibration test while you're wearing your headphones. Don't forget to bring your headphones to the appointment. To reduce moisture damage, ensure you purchase IP-rated hearing aids, preferably IP68.

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Ken Post

Hearing Instrument Engine-Ear

02 April 2018 - 9.37K Views

Noise cancelling headphones that completely cover the ear and rest on your head around the ear will work with almost all hearing aids. Noise cancelling headphones which rest on the ear and noise cancelling ear buds will not work.

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Evan Grolley, AuD


02 April 2018 - 9.34K Views

Yes and no. While noise-canceling headphones might fit with your hearing aids, especially in-ear or extended-wear hearing aids, you're more likely to get feedback or "whistling" from the hearing aids. It depends on the acoustics of your individual ear, how occluded your ear is with the hearing aid, and how loud the hearing aid is. If you have problems with your hearing aids whistling while using headphones, helmets, or other devices that cover the ears, your audiologist might be able to make a special program in the hearing aids just for those situations.

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Bill Bass

Hearing Healthcare Provider

02 April 2018 - 9.37K Views

I have had some success in the oil field when the patient had some in the ear aids with advanced technology. The also had mild to moderate hearing loss. The headphones they were using were issued by the companies they worked for. So I can't tell you what kind of headphones they were wearing. I haven't had any success with on the ear hearing aids.

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