Basic info on listening to mp3s with hearing aids, please

I will be shopping for hearing aids in three or four months. I’m trying to make a list of what features I will want. I’m finding it pretty confusing.

I love to listen to audiobooks. I buy very, very cheap mp3 players and very, very cheap ear buds and get the books from the library in either mp3 or wma format. When I get the hearing aids I would like to continue using very inexpensive players (they tend to get dropped or lost or rained on) and hear the sound through my hearing aids.

How do I do that?

(And if any of you can point me to a website that gives Hearing Aids for Dummies-type advice, that would sure help me.)

Hearing Aids for Dummies is this site! :slight_smile: Lots of smart people here for dummies like us.

As to mp3’s. With hearing aids in, it is difficult to use ear buds (well…impossible). Over the ear headphones are the only other option.

Otherwise, a bluetooth streamer is the best option for hearing aids in.

The problem might be that very cheap mp3 players don´t have bluetooth.

For most hearing aids (except resound linx) you´ll need a streamer anyway for bluetooth streaming. Those streamser usually have a stereo-in jack, here you can plug in your very cheap mp3 player and hear the audiobooks directly over your hearing aids. So you can use your bluetooth streamer even without bluetooth! (I know that this is true for the bernafon streamer, I haven´t checked for others, but I´m quite sure that this is a common feature).

Hi Daisymae,

I listen to audiobooks ALL DAY LONG, and also use cheap players. I wear over-the-ear headphones over my aids. The headphones were pricey, but they’ve lasted almost ten years already. My audi actually recommended NOT using a streamer to send the sound directly from the mp3 player into the aids, due to battery drain.

battery drain is better now that bluetooth 4 (low energy) is more standard.

Good point musician. Mini-jack connection would be good with streamers and cheap mp3 players. I know that the phonak streamers have a minijack connection. And the Rexten Smart Connect streamer also has this feature.


Everyone, thank you very much for the feedback.

Let me see if I understand what you’ve said:

  1. I could wear headphones that fit over my outer ear. That would be a beautifully simple solution. Would that work with hearing aids that go behind the ear? Do you have trouble with the hearing aids squealing?

  2. If I use Bluetooth streaming, does the mp3 player have to be equipped with Bluetooth? (LOL, a big part of my problem is I don’t know enough about Bluetooth to use the word in a complete sentence!) I definitely don’t want to choose a solution that works only with one or two brands of players or only with expensive players.

Battery life: In ballpark figures, how much money are we talking about? Are people spending $20 a month on batteries? $200?

  1. Connecting something to the earphone jack on my mp3 player sounds easy. But how does it actually work? One end of the jack goes in the player – does the other end of the jack connect to some sort of gadget? What is that gadget called, and is it something I can stick in my pocket or hang around my neck? How does the sound reach the hearing aid?

  2. I do plan to get T-coils, I think. Can T-coils help me listen to my mp3 player?

  3. Would any of these solutions give me stereophonic sound? I never listen to music on my mp3 player anymore because I’ve been unable to hear anything in my left ear. But now that I’ve had a stapedectomy I should end up with a moderate loss in both ears, and I suppose I will soon fall in love with all things stereo.

I will look up the gadgets you named! Again, thanks very much for the help.

Edwardw35, what is the name of the device your mother uses?

I often listen to my mp3 player away from home – while on walks, while shopping, etc. I don’t own a TV. But I do watch videos on my computer, and I listen to music mp3s on my computer – maybe this device would work for that.

Every hearing aid manufacturer sells a bluetooth device that works with their hearing aids only. For the brand I wear, Resound, the bluetooth device is called Resound Unite Phone Clip+. The Phone Clip+ is mainly a bluetooth phone device, to allow hands free bluetooth phone calls for those wearing Resound hearing aids with communication ability. The Phone clip+ connects wirelessly to your cell phone, for phone calls or to stream music from your phone. It receives the signal and transmits it wirelessly to your hearing aids. So for a phone call it is an intermediate device between your hearing aids and your phone. It has the microphone so your phone could stay in your pocket.

It can also act as a bluetooth receiver and receive bluetooth sound from a bluetooth transmitter (like a TV transmitter or from a sound system). It does not have a headphone jack so you could not plug in a device directly. Resound does make another device, the mini-microphone, that has a microphone that transmits to your hearing aids, and it has a headphone jack so you can plug in a TV or other device and it transmits to your hearing aids. The mini-mic is very small, has a battery, and able to fit in a pocket. They also make a TV transmitter that is a little larger and not really made for mobility (but works great).

I’m finding that putting everything on my phone is the most convenient way to watch and listen to files, and it works seemlessly with the Phone Clip+. You could listen to music or audio books on your phone (directly into your hearing aids), and you could also listen to those on your PC if it has bluetooth (or you could add it for a few dollars). The smartphone has really taken the place of most other playback devices. The biggest problem I have is that people don’t realize I’m listening to something because the ubiquitous earbuds are missing.

  1. Squealing possible, depends on your settings and your ears, I suppose. Yes, it works with Behind the ear, assuming the cup is big enough around your ear.

  2. For bluetooth, your mp3 player would have to be equipped with a bluetooth transmitter, yes. There are transmitters that you can buy and plug into the minijack port, though integrated bluetooth would be better.

Battery life. Cost of hearing aid batteries. CostCo…$10 (for pack of $40 batteries) will last you at least 3 months with most HA’s, I think…depending on how much you stream.

  1. Devices: So one mini jack plug would go into your mp3 player as normal. The other end would plug into the device that connects to your hearing aids, eg/ Phonak Compilot or similar device. These devices are sold by the hearing aid manufactures (bluetooth streamers w/ mini-jack connections). The majority of them hang around your neck, the neck loop being the antenae that communicates with your hearing aids.

  2. I’ve seen devices that will plug into your mp3 player and then hook behind your ear and transmit music by t-coil ( But I can’t speak to the sound quality of these. I’ve always used bluetooth.

  3. Headphones of course would be stereo. If you have 2 hearing aids, all of the options described would be stereo as well…


It would be my advise to look at the Kirkland 6 from Costco. I have a pair and they link through Bluetooth with my iPhone 6. They stream all sound from the phone to the hearing aids. I can listen to videos, songs, anything. In your case you could download the books to your phone or iPod and they would stream right to your hearing aids. Just my advise.