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

Headphones may be useful if you have a mild to moderate hearing loss. They allow you to listen to music or watch TV at a louder volume without disturbing others (Action on Hearing Loss, 2017). Noise cancelling headphones reduce background noise from your surrounding environment such as car noise helping to make the sound you are listening to clearer. These headphones may help if you have mild hearing loss (Action on Hearing Loss, 2017). 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. Cordless headphones are also available.

View our impartial list of headphones, not for use with hearing aids

Moderate hearing loss

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, 2017).

Standard conversation listeners; These usually let you listen to sounds that are up to 1m away. You simply point the listener in the direction you want to listen and it will amplify the sound (make it louder) for you. If you use hearing aids, you can use the listener with either:

  • ear hooks, which fit over your ears, next to your hearing aids
  • a neckloop, which you wear around your neck, like a necklace (Action for hearing loss, 2017)

View our impartial list of headphones, ear hooks & neck loops for use with hearing aids

Further information

Action on Hearing Loss have a broad range of factsheets, information and products for all stages of hearing loss.

Age UK's advice pages on hearing loss also provide useful information and links.

Advice last checked: 26 February 2018 Next check due: 26 February 2021

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.
Conflict of interest statement