The science of sound is just a one of the countless topics that tech heads love to discuss and ponder. The choice of which pair of headphones to purchase is an important one. The specific uses for headphones vary as much as each individual making the purchase. Everyone’s ear canals are built differently which in turn affects their unique hearing. However, there are a series of factors that aging adults must take into account when purchasing headphones.
To those with no hearing difficulty, picking the right pair of headphones is an easy decision. However, for those of us who are experiencing hearing loss, the choice is a crucial one. Hearing loss can come in a variety of ways, whether presbycusis (age-related), tinnitus (noise-induced), conductive (when something blocks sounds from traveling from the ear drum to the inner ear) or a combination of any of these. Since this is the case, it is up to the buyer to decide what kind of headphones fits their hearing type best. Certain headphones focus on the quality of the sound, while others are made for leisurely purposes and have optimal comfort features. However, since all seniors have their own specific hearing needs and preferences, we’ve outlined features that aging adults may look for in headphones.
What Seniors Should Look for in Headphones
Oftentimes, the comfort of the headphones we buy is the number one concern. Simply put: consumers should not feel even a bit of discomfort when using their headphones. Many find the ear bud-style headphones unnatural and uncomfortable. For seniors using hearing aids, ear buds are out of the question. For this reason, when factoring in comfort, supra-aural (more commonly known as ear pads) are the way to go. Ear pad headphones rest on your outer ears which prevents your ears from overheating.
Bose’s QuietComfort3 offers very comfortable soft leather ear pieces built onto their headphones. As a bonus, the fold-flat design makes these headphones easy to store and port around for your convenience.
Audiophiles search far and wide for the perfect headphone that will give them the best possible listening experience. For many seniors, the most important factor when considering sound quality is that the headphones carry sounds clearly and constantly. Some headphones require the volume to be turned way up to fully experience the sound quality. Since some of us have more sensitive hearing than others, these types of headphones are probably not the best choice.
The Sleek Audio A6
The Sleek Audio A6 is one of the few headphones that offer a unique modular design that lets the user tune the sound to their specific hearing tastes. Switchable components that come with the headphones are used to easily adjust the type and quality of the sounds streaming through these headphones.
Headphones should be devices that can be used almost anywhere. That being said, for users that wish to use their headphones on the go, portability is an essential quality. Headphones can often be clunky or fitted with long wires that make it difficult to store. Regardless of whether seniors want to take their headphones on the plane, out for a walk, or even at home,the device should be quick and easy to bring along.Sony MDR-AS50G Active HeadphonesSony MDR-AS50G Active Headphones have a modular cable that is designed to spiral down for easy storage. Ideal for fitness and portable applications like iPods, these headphones make portability quite easy.Durability The unfortunate downside of most headphones is that they are very fragile. Bands snap and ear buds often break. Needing to buy multiple pairs of headphones a year is both expensive and aggravating. When looking for headphones, it”s best to find the ones that reinforce weak links like the connection between the cord and the earphone.Shure SE110 Sound Isolating EarphonesThe Shure SE110 Sound Isolating Earphones is recognized by many as one of the most durable pair of earphones available. The cables are thicker than most consumer headphones, and the connection between cord and earphone are reinforced by soft rubber.AppearanceFor those of us whose eyesight is not the best, it is important to be able to see your headphones easily; especially when they are being ported around in purses, bags, and the like. Bright colors, and big logos are qualities to look for when you want your headphones easily seen. JVC HA-F140-Y Gumy Earbuds (Lemon Yellow)These headphones are known for their bright colors and are available at most electronics stores. Whether the color is Lemon Yellow, Peppermint Blue, or Valencia Orange, Gumy headphones can be easily spotted. With headphones like these, you”ll never have to worry about digging through your bag or purse to find them.Easy UsageWith a cornucopia of headphones on the market available, sometimes it is just best to keep it simple. Headphones with extra options like multiple sound settings and orchestra-quality sound are nice, but are almost always unnecessary for the casual listener. For those who aren”t audiophiles, headphones should be intuitive and uncomplicated.Klipsch Image S4Klipsch Image S4 are among the easiest to use high-quality headphones on the market today. Users are to simply plug them into their mp3 players or stereos and enjoy. The sound quality is exceptional without being too complex. These headphones are accessible everyone and make for an excellent listening experience.