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Saturday, June 8, 2024

Best Earbuds and Headphones for Seniors

Check out some favorite picks for all kinds of wireless headphones, including ones that can easily be worn with hearing aids.

Older adults need to stay connected in a wireless world, whether it’s to listen to podcasts, watch TV while a spouse sleeps or drown out noise on your next flight. But it can be frustrating when ear buds break or the headphones you just purchased only stay charged for half the time promised. 

Avoid those pitfalls by buying the best the first time. Senior Spirit has scoured the internet to bring you some top options that won’t empty your wallet. 

Best TV Headphones

Maybe you have reduced hearing, but it drives your spouse crazy when you want to turn the TV volume way up. Or you like to wake up early and catch the news while your spouse sleeps in. Either way, the problem is solved with a pair of wireless TV headphones that allow you to watch your favorite shows while it stays quiet around you. 

Bluetooth headphones may fill the bill, and it’s likely you already own a pair. But if you’re looking for a dedicated system with headphones and a wireless transmitter, try the Insignia NS-HAWHP2. They are super comfy, with good sound that doesn’t lag behind the video as can happen in cheaper options. Even better, the transmitter also serves as a charging base, and the charge will last about 10 or 11 hours. They’re $120 at Best Buy.

Best Wireless Earbuds 

Top quality earbuds use true wireless stereo (TWS) for superior sound over Bluetooth systems. The best of the lot is Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation). Sound has been improved with the new H2 chip that supports Bluetooth 5.3 protocol for minimal sound transmission delay. Seniors will appreciate that changing the volume is now accomplished by just running your hand up or down the earpiece. 

The noise cancellation quality is also exceptional if you prefer to block out external sounds. In fact, the buds will automatically turn on noise reduction if a sharp sound could harm the user. If you’re an Apple user, the earbuds will stop playing when you take them off and resume when you put them on again, without you having to do a thing. Currently $200 at Walmart or $250 at Apple.

Best Noise-Canceling Headphones

If you’re a frequent traveler and/or commuter, you value being able to hear music, sportscasts and more without struggling to listen over the noise around you. Try the Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones 700  over-the-ear style for superior quality. At about $379, they’re an investment, but they’re lightweight and comfortable. 

Looking for a budget alternative? Try the Soundcore by Anker Space One True Wireless Noise Canceling Over-the-Ear Headphones on Amazon for about $80. You’ll still get decent sound and noise reduction, at a fraction of the price. 

Best Bone Conduction Headphones

There are times you don’t want to block out surrounding noises while you’re listening to music or a podcast. When you’re taking a walk, for example, it’s a lot safer if you can hear a siren or someone coming up behind you. That’s when bone conduction headphones come in handy. They are not worn in the ear, but in front of it, vibrating against your bones to send sound straight to the inner ear. 

That may sound strange and uncomfortable, but they work very well for most people. The device is a lightweight band that runs behind your head and over your ears. Just like over-ear headphones, bone conduction units work well with all types of hearing aids:

  • In-the-ear (ITE)
  • In-the-canal (ITC)
  • Completely-in-canal (CIC)
  • Invisible-in-the-canal (IIC)

An added benefit is that bone conduction headphones won’t cost you an arm and a leg (maybe just an arm). One of the best on the market, Shokz OpenRun Pro are $180 on Amazon. They feature great sound quality, fantastic fit and are super lightweight. 

Best Waterproof Headphones

Swimming is a great exercise for older adults, and we might all do more of it if we could listen to an audiobook or our favorite band while doing laps. The Zygo Z2 features premium bone conduction technology that streams music and podcasts from your phone at poolside. It uses an FM radio transmitter to avoid the problem Bluetooth has penetrating water.

You can pair it with the Zygo mobile app to get coaching tips and track your progress in the pool.


Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors