Headphones, neckloops, ear hooks and stetoclips

This page lists the main types of headphones, stetoclips, neckloops and ear hooks available and explains which may be most suitable for you.

Mild hearing loss

Noise-cancelling headphones
Noise cancelling headphones reduce background noise from your surrounding environment such as car noise helping to make the sound you are listening to clearer. This may help if you have mild hearing loss. (Action on Hearing Loss, 2012).

Headphones may be over-the-ear (OTE) or in-the-ear (ITE). In-the-ear headphones tend to stop sound from leaking out so much so other people around you are less likely to hear what you are listening to. They may also be louder than over-the-ear headphones. (Action on Hearing Loss, 2012).
Over-the-ear and in-the-ear headphones may be suitable for you if you have mild to moderate hearing loss.

Moderate hearing loss

Stetoclip headsets
Stetoclips are similar to headphones, they usually have poorer sound quality but give a louder sound than headphones. Consequently they may be more suitable for you than headphones if you have moderate hearing loss. (Action on Hearing Loss, 2012).

Hearing aid use


A neckloop is a plastic covered wire that you wear around your neck and connect to compatible devices with audible output such as conversation listeners and some mobile phones. The wire produces an inductive output which your hearing aid/s will pick up when set to 'T'. Neck loops can be plugged into the headphone socket of some stereo equipment, such as radios, CD or MP3 players. However, the sound you hear through your hearing aids will be mono NOT stereo. (Action on Hearing Loss, 2012).

Ear loops / hooks
Ear loops / hooks work like a neck loop but are designed to hook behind your hearing aid/s. They work with your hearing aid when set to the 'T' setting. If you wear two hearing aids and use ear hooks with compatible stereo equipment then you should receive stereo sound. (Action on Hearing Loss, 2012).

Silent headphones
Silent headphones look like headphones but work like a neckloop or ear hook, working with your hearing aid/s when set to the 'T' setting. Some models have sound on one side and an inductive output for hearing aids on the other. These are designed for users of one hearing aid. If you use left and right hearing aids then look for models with inductive output on both sides for stereo sound.

Advice last checked: 28 October 2014 Next check due: 28 October 2017

All advice is either supported by references (cited in the text) or is based upon peer reviewed professional opinion. Our advice is impartial and not influenced by sponsors or product suppliers listed on the site.
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