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Listening Devices and Hearing Aids on 21 Day BOE

I wear hearing aids and have had some problems using listening devices as the earpieces can be quite uncomfortable while using both at the same time. My question is: how many times did you use hearing devices on this tour? I'd like to know if it's worth my while packing over-the-ear headphones to use with the listening devices, as Rick suggests for those of us who wear hearing aids. I don't want to buy and pack headphones if I don't really need to.

Posted by
11873 posts

I would bring them. Depending on the local guide, you may use them at different times on your tour than on other tours.

The tour itinerary indicates you do the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. The museum is very crowded and I had difficulty hearing the local guide thru the audio system just because of the ambient noise even without a hearing limitation. I would think for this area and this alone it would be worth having the headphones.

As to other times, I had a male guide with a strong voice. I don't remember him using them any time except Rome but that was in 2014 and they may have changed some. In subsequent tours to other places we've used them a lot more.

Posted by
22584 posts

You can buy small, light weight, over the ear head phones that work great for that purpose. My guess is that you would use them everyday except while on the bus traveling.

Posted by
7727 posts

Call the tour office and see what they say. They've probably had this question before.

Posted by
3551 posts

I took my hearing aids out when using the whisper.
Feedback and discomfort can occur otherwise.

Posted by
2643 posts

I’m with JS. I had the over the ear headphones. Bulky to pack and when you are wearing them you cannot hear street noise, like approaching cars, which may be important. I also had feedback (I wear Oticon behind the ear aids). I just took my hearing aids out and used the whisper system, turned the volume up and I was fine. My hearing loss is in the moderate range.

Posted by
1056 posts

Definitely take some sort of earpiece, as you will miss a great deal without them. Try Aftershokz earpieces, which fit in front of your ear instead of over the ear canal. My husband, who wore hearing aids, used these on our Village Italy trip and loved them.

Posted by
3921 posts

The aftershokz look great, but I don't know that they would work for those with behind the ear aids, like DH wears. He had to try out several pair of different head sets before he finally found a pair of lightweight ones that worked for him. They're inexpensive, over the ear, made by Sony. He used them a lot on our last trip for Rick's audio tours.

Posted by
736 posts

I also take my hearing aids out when using the listening device.

Just be very careful to properly store your hearing aids in your pouch or case when you take them out. I casually put mine in my shirt pocket outside the Baptistery in Florence. Apparently, when I pulled my reading glasses out of same pocket, the hearing aid fell to the ground without my realizing it. I discovered it was missing about 10 minutes later. By the time I got back to where we had been standing, it had been irreparably crushed by foot traffic. Fortunately, insurance covered the loss, but I was left without one of my hearing aids the rest of the trip.

My other hearing aid "incident" involved flipping over my canoe on the Dordogne River on the South of France tour. Fortunately, the hearing aids stayed in when I went under and worked fine after i got out of the river. Still, not one of my better moments.

Posted by
2788 posts

I wear hearing aids. During our recent RS Sicily tour, we used tour provided listening devices that only had one ear piece. I chose to leave one hearing aid in. This did not work out for the best. I wish I had brought my good set of two ear piece ear phones with me that I could have plugged into the provided listening device.