Is hearing training compatible with hearing aids?
A common question we often get asked is “Can I use eargym with hearing aids?”
The answer is yes, but depending on the type of hearing aids and headphones you wear, there are a few things you may need to take into account.
Let’s start with the option that describes you:
My hearing aids have Bluetooth
If your hearing aids have Bluetooth, you can stream audio directly from your smartphone into your hearing aids. This means you can use them to train and test your hearing with eargym, instead of headphones.
My hearing aids don’t have Bluetooth
If your hearing aids don’t have Bluetooth - or you just prefer to not use this feature - then there is the option to use headphones with your hearing aids. When selecting the right pair of headphones to wear with hearing aids, there are a few things you need to consider.
Generally, in-ear headphones are not compatible with hearing aids. That leaves two options:
Over-ear headphones which have ear cups that surround your ears.
On-ear headphones which have ear cups designed to rest on your ears instead of around your ears.
The type of hearing aid you have will likely impact the type of headphones you need. Across the UK, the 3 main types of hearing aids available are:
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids - The microphone and receiver are inside the shell of the hearing aid, which sits inside the ear canal. This style fits directly in the ear so they work well with both over-ear or on-ear headphones.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids - The microphone and receiver are inside the hearing aid, which sits behind the ear. The sound from the receiver then travels through a tube to an earpiece inside the ear canal. Over-ear headphones will work best for this style, as they will surround the hearing aid, which is better than on-ear headphones which would press against them.
Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) hearing aids - A RITE hearing aid may look like a BTE hearing aid, but unlike the BTE, the receiver is inside the earpiece which is inside the ear canal. Similar to the BTE hearing aids, over-ear headphones are going to work best for this style of hearing aid.
Even if you’re using the recommended headphones for your hearing aid, you may still have some difficulties with the fit and sound quality. Some headphones may be too small to completely cover the microphone of your hearing aid if it sits behind the ear. This means your hearing aids might still pick up sounds from the environment instead of the headphones. Or in some cases, if the microphone and speaker are too close together it may generate feedback, which is a high-pitched sound that may be audible to others around you. If you are experiencing feedback while wearing headphones with your hearing aids (or just in general), we recommend that you speak to your audiologist.
I don’t know whether my hearing aids have Bluetooth
To find out if your hearing aids can do this and how to connect them to your phone, search for the brand name and model online, or consult your audiologist.
Everyone will have their own individual preferences when it comes to their hearing aids, and there are several different options that you can try. Alternatively, if none of the suggested options work for you, we would advise you to take your hearing aids out and use normal headphones with eargym.