Best Hearing Aids for Active Lifestyles

Our experts evaluated the best hearing aids for active seniors and narrowed down their top-pick choices.

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Hearing loss can make exercising and leading an active life more challenging. It may be tough to maintain a conversation with friends while walking or to stay aware of your surroundings as you bike through town or travel. Fortunately, hearing aids can support and enhance the active lifestyle you want. Many brands offer hearing aid models that make activities like biking, hiking, and walking around your neighborhood a lot safer and more enjoyable.

Below, we’ll take a look at the best hearing aids for active lifestyles as well as ways to properly care for your hearing aids during and after exercise.

Did You Know: According to the CDC, adults aged 65+ need at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week.1 If you have hearing loss, wearing hearing aids can make achieving these exercise goals safer and more fun.

How We Chose the Best Hearing Aids for Active Lifestyles

If you enjoy staying active, it’s important to choose a hearing aid that can keep up. To help narrow down your choices, we’ve compiled a list of the best hearing aids for an active lifestyle. We evaluated criteria like pricing, battery life, streaming capabilities, sweat-resistance, and ease of use.

 

Tips for Wearing Hearing Aids While Exercising

Wearing hearing aids while exercising makes working out safer and more enjoyable. You can more easily hear your surroundings, directions from your exercise instructor, and conversations. Plus, if you get a pair with Bluetooth streaming, you can listen to music while you exercise.

Just be sure to follow some precautions to keep your hearing aids in tip-top shape before and after exercising.

Don’t wear hearing aids while swimming

Many modern hearing aids are water-resistant, but none are waterproof. Do not wear hearing aids while swimming or doing any activity that involves your head being submerged in water. It’s also a good idea to wear earplugs when you go swimming to keep water out of your ears. That way, when you put your hearing aids in after a swim, your ears are dry.

Be smart about how you dress

If you wear BTE or RIC hearing aids, certain clothes may interfere with your hearing aids. Hats, helmets, hooded sweatshirts or shirts, sunglasses, and other forms of eye protection can potentially displace your hearing aids as you exercise. Take extra care as you put on or remove these items or articles of clothing.

Use hearing aid accessories

Consider using hearing aid accessories to keep your hearing aids protected as you exercise.

  • Hearing aid clips: These clips attach to your clothing and your hearing aids. That way, if your hearing aids get knocked out during a contact sport or when running, they won’t fall to the ground.
  • Sweat socks: Also called sweat sleeves or sweat-resistant pouches, sweat socks fit around the case of your BTE hearing aid. They block moisture and sweat from entering the circuitry.

Clean and dry your hearing aids after exercise

After each workout, it’s important to clean and dry your hearing aids. Your particular hearing aid model should come with specific cleaning instructions. Be sure to follow these or to ask your hearing aid provider for tips.

In general, you can use a clean dry cloth and/or a dry box to remove moisture. Hearing aids can sit in a dry box or dehumidifier for 45 minutes up to overnight. You also need to sanitize your hearing aids and remove any dirt and wax. Finally, it’s helpful to shower before putting your hearing aids back in to wash the sweat from your hair and ears.

 

Choosing a Style of Hearing Aid Based on Your Activity

There are many factors to consider when choosing a hearing aid, including how well it can keep up with your lifestyle. If you spend a lot of time exercising, you might consider choosing a hearing aid that best matches the activities you enjoy. Below we’ll take a look at some recommended styles based on exercise intensity and location.

Exercise Intensity

Low-intensity exercise

If you enjoy walking, yoga, or other gentle activities, receiver-in-canal (RIC) and behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are a good fit. You can wear either style while performing low-intensity exercise with little chance of your hearing aids coming loose. You should have no trouble hearing your yoga instructor or conversation partner while walking.

High-intensity exercise

If you prefer high-impact or high-intensity exercise like running or playing team sports, RIC or BTE hearing aids aren’t the best choice. They’re more likely to fall out of your ears and are more vulnerable to moisture — like sweat. Instead, consider in-the-canal (ITC), completely-in-canal (CIC), or invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aids. These smaller styles of hearing aids stay in place better as you run, jump, and make quick movements. They’re also more comfortable to wear with a helmet while batting, biking, or horseback riding.

Exercise Location

Outdoors

Although most hearing aids offer some level of wind cancellation, certain styles pick up wind noises more than others, i.e., in-the-ear hearing aids.) If you enjoy running or playing other sports outdoors, consider a different style. Prioritize models that have advanced wind cancellation features.

Indoors

Any style of hearing aid is compatible with indoor exercise. Focus more on the type of exercise you do indoors when making your hearing aid selection.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hearing Aids for an Active Lifestyle

  • Can you play sports with hearing aids?

    Yes, you can play sports while wearing hearing aids. You may just need to take some precautions, such as wearing a headband, using a sweat-resistant hearing aid pouch, or attaching your hearing aids to your clothes with a clip in case they fall out.

  • How do you stop hearing aids from sweating?

    Sweat can damage your hearing aids if you don’t take steps to combat it. You can prevent sweat from entering BTE hearing aids by using hearing aid sweat socks or teflon tape.2 Placing your hearing aids in a dry box or dehumidifier overnight can remove moisture from your hearing aids too.

  • Can I wear a helmet with hearing aids?

    Yes, you can wear a helmet with hearing aids. Styles that sit in your ear, such as CIC or ITC are more comfortable to wear with a helmet. You also won’t risk pulling your hearing aids off of your ears when removing your helmet. This can be a problem when you wear a helmet with BTE or RIC hearing aids.

  • Can you wear hearing aids in the water?

    Certain styles and brands of hearing aids are more resistant to water than others, making them a better option for water activities like fishing or boating. However, you should not wear your hearing aids if your head will be submerged under the water.

Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt

Citations
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Physical Activity is Essential to Healthy Aging

  2. The Hearing Journal. (2001). KEEPING HEARING AIDS DRY.