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It’s a situation that we are all too familiar with.
The audio glitch begins when you’re ready for your online video call. No, this isn’t a “You’re on mute” moment. It is something else. It’s when your audio headset doesn’t want to connect to your laptop or desktop computer for some reason.
“I can’t hear!” you yell. It’s a moment when you realize that very few people know how to lipread as you do. You give up trying to get them to understand your lips and instead type into the chat you have trouble hearing. The others are giving you a strange look, wondering why you suddenly realize that you’re hard of hearing after all. You type to clarify that you think your headset is not working.
After unplugging and plugging the jack, leaving the video room and reentering, and turning up the volume to the max, you realize that you’ve got another headset to add to your graveyard of headphones over the last two years.
I have had a goldilocks moment since the start of the pandemic.
I went through numerous headsets to help me with hearing during video calls. Unfortunately, many of the headsets I bought were too big or too small, and some were just right. Finally, I cracked the code for what makes a good headset, especially when you wear behind the hearing aids.
It’s often not the most feasible solution with all the raves of using your Bluetooth connection between your hearing aids or cochlear implants and your audio devices.
The energy it takes for the audio to transfer wirelessly makes us use many batteries. It seems these days you’re streaming everything with your hearing aids. If it isn’t the work video calls, it’s the tv or the telephone. It’s a pain to change your battery midway throughout the day constantly. You know you won’t have this problem when you are not using Bluetooth.
Sometimes Bluetooth streaming is only available for listening when using your hearing devices. You may not be able to speak or communicate back without access to a microphone being temporarily blocked.
It’s natural to buy a headphone based on the features of what they can do. However, we have another set of requirements often missed by hearing loss buyers. When we choose a headset, we are looking for the maximum volume we can get to help us hear clearly. With the sound quality as near to our ears as possible, we benefit from additional amplification with our hearing devices.
Choosing the wrong headset means experiencing a whole hour of your hearing aid whistling and causing a lot of distraction and discomfort. In addition, sometimes, the headset’s position can lead to headaches, extreme sensitivity, numbness and pain because you tried to adjust the speakers to sit around your hearing devices when it wasn’t designed for that purpose.
When looking for a headset, we are looking for headphones with enough volume and sound quality. In addition, we want one that can sit well and next to our hearing aids without causing them to whistle. Finally, it has to be comfortable to wear all day long.
After scanning the web, I can share a few headsets that are a significant plus for people with hearing loss and ones that you might want to consider based on your budget and needs. So, in no particular order, here are the ones worth checking out.
What I found to work best in finding a headphone is picking one with the right shape—headphones with a round or square shape for the earcups and over 3.25 inches in width. The size should be large to cover the ear but not rest on the hearing devices to cause unnecessary feedback. These headphones are typically for gaming or at a music studio, but they allow you to continue to wear the hearing aids, get better sound experiences and also hear clearly at work and home.
If you buy a headset that makes you have to choose between your hearing aids and the headphones, you are probably creating more extra work and annoyance. For example, switching your hearing aids for your headset at work is complicated when your office workers need to speak with you.
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