Headphones can be extremely helpful for seniors who want to enjoy their favorite music, movies or audiobooks. After all, a quality pair of headphones can help you focus on the sounds you want to hear and drown out the sounds you don't. And for seniors who may experiencing hearing loss, headphones make it easier to hear whatever they're listening to.
Whether you're trying to hear the word of God ("Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" -Luke 11:28) or a favorite story, headphones can be a great solution for providing quality, clear audio.
When you're shopping for headphones, there are plenty of features to consider. While the most important qualities are a matter of opinion, here are some general things to look for when browsing.
A good quality pair of headphones shouldn't feel bulky on your head, as this can be uncomfortable and cause fatigue over time. Look for choices that have soft foam cushions and are made of lightweight materials.
Quality headphones shouldn't have background static or other noise when no sound is coming through, and when you are listening to music, a presentation or audiobook, the audio should be clear and crisp. You should also be able to adjust the volume on the side if they're wireless or via an inline control if they're wired.
As you browse for a quality pair of headphones, you may find some that offer noise control features. Noise-cancelling headphones block out ambient noise and let you focus on what you're listening to. This can be helpful for listening to music or audiobooks in crowded spaces or in a room with a few people who are talking. Noise control prevents you from having to raise the volume to potentially uncomfortable levels to block ambient noise from those around you. Instead, you can flip a switch and turn on noise-cancelling features.
In addition to being able to hear whatever you're listening to more closely, headphones offer tremendous benefits for seniors.
Headphones offer an individualized listening experience. That means you can listen to music, TV or an audiobook without anyone else hearing it. This lets you sit in common areas and enjoy whatever you're listening to.
Headphones are also great for group activities, such as during exercise classes, trivia or Bingo, for example. Some communities may offer headphones to participants so they can hear the instructor more clearly. This can help foster connection and socialization with other seniors.
If you experience some degree of hearing loss, headphones can help you tune in to sounds more closely since the audio is played right next to your ear. Many models let you adjust the volume to your liking so can find a level that's not too loud nor too quiet.
All headphones aren't created equal. There are many formats and types to choose from, and it might seem overwhelming at first. Here are some of the major types of headphones and some of the benefits and drawbacks they offer.
These types of headphones are designed to cover your ear completely. Some choices are made from soft cushioned leather, which can feel comfortable resting against your ear. Over-the-ear headphones can do a good job of blocking out exterior noise simply because they cover your entire ear, and they also may have noise-cancelling features.
This is a popular format for seniors when shopping for headphones because they're lightweight, comfortable and do a good job blocking out environmental noise. They might come in wireless or wired formats.
If they're wireless, they likely use a Bluetooth connection to work and have a battery — either one you replace or one that's rechargeable. If you have audio devices that work with Bluetooth, a pair of wireless headphones might be a good choice.
These types of headphones sit just inside your ear. They are lightweight and easy to store, and the sound is likely not to be heard by others around you. The downside is the pods may feel uncomfortable in your ear, especially after a long listening session or after watching your favorite TV program.
Some headsets are designed specifically for watching TV and include earbuds that stay secure in your ears. These types of systems are generally lightweight and easy to set up. Many TV headsets come with a docking station, which charges them for next time.
One downside is many of these headsets don't have their own individual volume control. In that case, you'd need to adjust the TV volume with the remote in order to make it louder or quieter.