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Headphones - what's best for compactness and compatibility with hearing aids?

I wear over the ear hearing aids with tiny ear buds. It was advised that I bring headphones so as to be able to use the "whisperers" that our guides use. I don't want to spend a fortune, want them to be portable and able to use with the guide's system. Any suggestions?

Posted by
21731 posts

Assume you are using some form of a digital hearing aids. Generally the aid will automatically adjust to the over-the-ear headphones. It is up to your aid to adjusted to the head phones rather than your headphones adjusting to your aids. But the critical question is what is the equipment being used by the guide? Our experience is that the connection is an RCA plug, generally a mini plug but that is not a given. They could use a variety of connections including being wireless. And sometimes they will use a proprietary connection to detour theft. So without knowing their system's requirements, I would suggest an inexpensive over the ear headphones with a standard RCA jack and bring some adapters that will allow you to convert if a smaller RCA jack is used. If they are using a proprietary system then they might be able to provide you with an appropriate adapter. I wear similar aids as you described do but I can get along by removing the aid and using their ear buds. But my hearing lost is mostly high end (too much gun fire) so I can use their equipment without too many problems. Good luck.

Posted by
1309 posts

No info about hearing aids, but if this is for a Rick Steves tour the "Whisper" system they use has worked with various regular wired headphones and earbuds I have brought from home.

Posted by
1034 posts

My husband used Aftershokz earphones with the Whisper system while wearing his hearing aids. They rest on the bone in front of the ear, rather than in the ear canal and conduct sound through the bone.

Posted by
3275 posts

DH has worn behind the ear hearing aids for many, many years and has struggled to find headphones that are comfortable. And that's the main problem. Most new ones are hearing aid compatible, but are they comfortable to wear without pressing the aid against the head. He found a Sony set, noise cancelling, that he liked and used for several years. Reasonably priced. When he upgraded me from my Bose noise cancelling headset to the newer noise cancelling earbuds, he took over the Bose headset and loved it. But they're relatively expensive. The only thing I can suggest is going to a store and trying some out to see what works for you.

Oh, and we've run onto a few situations where using our own sets didn't work. In those cases DH just removed one of his aids (and stored it securely in his moneybelt, NOT just a pocket) and used the provided earbud.

Posted by
21731 posts

For a tour, noise cancelling is overkill from a pricing standpoint. If you want to use on the airplane or perhaps a train then the noise cancelling feature is more critical. High quality noise cancelling does get into spending a small fortune. In fact, many items advertised as noise cancelling do not do a good job of cancelling. The problem with a behind the ear aid, is that you need a headphone with a large ear cuff. And that just adds to the bulk. Not a simple or easy solution.

Posted by
790 posts

Double check with the company you're touring with but the vox whispers we've used with Tauck tours used the same type of plugs that our cell phones, tablets, airlines, etc use. They're also the same as the audio guides you can borrow at many museums. I've never seen a blue tooth whisper system.

There's plenty of headphones that will work with the system but no one but you can determine whether they're comfortable, portable or inexpensive enough. Maybe spend some time at a big box store trying on different ones to see what works for you.

Posted by
101 posts

I have an accessory for my hearing aids that allows me to play external audio sources through them. It hangs around my neck, under my shirt if I want, and communicates with the hearing aids wirelessly. It can connect to audio sources using bluetooth or using a standard headphone plug. a short cord with headphone plugs on both ends plugs into the device itself on one end and the audio source on the other. I use it to listen to audio from my phone via bluetooth when I exercise. If the audio source devices used on the tours don't have bluetooth capability the cord would do the trick.

https://costco.rexton.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/RX17709-Costco-Smart-Connect-Quick-Guide-617-v3-.pdf

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you all for your replies. I think since I am going on a Rick Steves Tour that I will check to see what system their guides will be using. I plan to visit a big box store to try on a few. Also at my next appointment with my audiologist I will ask for her recommendation.

Posted by
1309 posts

I told you what Rick Steves tours use above--I've been on 6 of them.
My post got lost amidst verbose tangents.

Posted by
4 posts

LizinPA, Thanks so much for drawing my attention to your post! I must admit I was overwhelmed by the lengthy and complicated replies and must have skipped right over yours. You've obviously had experience with Rick Steves Tours and cleared the air. I just need to find a comfortable, portable and affordable pair of head phones!

Posted by
1309 posts

regoeck,
You are welcome, and good luck finding the perfect pair.

Posted by
37 posts

In May I went on the RS tour of Germany. I really need my hearing aids! I found if I took one out and put in a secure pocket and left one in my other ear that I could use the headphones they gave us just fine. I liked having one ear “ tuned” to the ambient noise so I was aware of what was going on around me and that is why I took one hearing aid off It worked just fine and cost me nothing. I do have one pair of ear buds that are comfortable for my ears and I took them to use. BTW, it is great the guides use the “whisperers” but it is still good to keep a close eye on the guide since they no longer face their group all the time. I feel I didn’t miss any information and felt much more secure knowing that I’d hear everything she said.

Posted by
4 posts

sharon75roses -

Thank you soooo much! Yours is the best, most practical advice yet! AND not taking headphones leaves me that much more space in my suitcase!