Headphones, headsets, neckloops, hooks and leads
There is a range of products which could help improve the sound quality of music or phone calls by connecting hearing aids or implants to audio devices, such as smartphones, tablets, MP3 players and games consoles. Below you can find information on headphones, leads and earhooks, and neckloops.
There are many different models of headphones available; here we have information on corded and cordless headphones which have specific benefits for deaf people. Some key features include: good sound quality, individual volume controls for each ear and wireless connectivity using Bluetooth.
Bone conduction headphones pass the sound by vibrations through the cheek bones so they are worn around the head with the ‘speakers’ sitting on the temples. These headphones leave the ears (and hearing aids or implants) uncovered so your child will be able to hear environmental sounds, making them safer to use when outside, and can be a hygienic way to use headphones for those who regularly get ear infections.
Here we've listed gaming headsets that have deaf-friendly features, such as big earcups, rotating or swiveling earcups, or separate game and chat volume. Keep in mind that everyone's hearing devices are different and what works great for one, may not be comfortable for others or cause feedback in hearing aids.
Leads and hooks
Direct input leads plug into a shoe attached to the hearing aid or implant - the other end of the lead plugs into the audio device. There are also inductive earhooks that sit behind the ear and plug into the audio device. These work with the T programme. Some have a microphone so you can use them to make phone calls.
There are also neckloops, wired or using Bluetooth, that work with all hearing devices with the T programme. All of these neckloops have a built-in microphone so can be used for making phone calls.
Vibrating speakers send the sound through the surface they are placed on, making it easier to feel and experience the music through vibrations. They amplify sound by effectively turning the surface into a speaker.