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Podcasts and Hearing Loss

Tips and suggestions of podcasts to listen to if you experience hearing loss.

Suggestions for podcasts and hearing loss include using noise-cancelling headphones.

Podcasts are a fun way to learn new things and entertain yourself on a road trip, commute, or a long walk. If you have hearing loss, you may not have picked podcasts as your go-to form of entertainment because of their audio-heavy format, but there are workarounds that can help you enjoy them more!

In this post, we’ll share some helpful tips about podcasts and hearing loss, as well as highlight a few podcasts about hearing loss!

  1. Use Bluetooth® hearing aids or streamers
  2. Try noise-canceling headphones
  3. Choose podcasts with clear narration
  4. Use live captioning or look up episode transcripts
  5. Listen to podcasts about hearing loss

Let’s dive into these suggestions on podcasts and hearing loss!

Use Bluetooth® hearing aids or streamers
These days, many hearing aids come with Bluetooth technology built-in. However, if you use hearing aids that don’t have Bluetooth, you can also look into Bluetooth streamers, or neckloops to assist you. This way, you can pipe the podcasts directly to yourself without taking off your hearing aids or assistive device, giving you clear, high-quality sound.

Try noise-canceling headphones
For those who don’t use hearing aids or don’t have the ability to connect them to Bluetooth, a pair of noise-canceling headphones might do the trick! Noise-canceling headphones can help protect your hearing by blocking out background noise and allowing you to keep your audio volume lower while still enjoying the podcast. Passive noise-canceling headphones (PNC) can also help shield your ears from sudden, loud sounds, so they’re a win-win.

Choose podcasts with clear narration
Some podcasts don’t have the best audio quality, whether it’s due to background noise, sound effects, a host that tends to mumble, or multiple hosts who speak over themselves. If you find yourself getting frustrated trying to understand a podcast, it might just mean it’s not the right one for your needs. Trial and error can be the best way to find podcasts you enjoy and can hear clearly!

Use live captioning or look up episode transcripts
Unfortunately, while closed captioning is already commonplace in videos, accessibility for podcasts and hearing loss is still catching up. Podcast apps typically don’t offer the option for live captioning. However, if you use Google Chrome or an Android phone, there are some tools that can provide live captioning for any audio playing on the browser window or your phone.

If live captioning isn’t an option, there are also some podcasts that offer text transcripts. Popular options include This American Life, S-Town, StoryCorps, Freakonomics, and more. Many podcasts these days also release video versions of their episodes on sites like YouTube, where captioning is available, so you can watch the hosts’ recording sessions instead of solely listening to them. As the podcast industry grows, so does the number of accessibility options available for its audience!

Listen to podcasts about hearing loss
Podcasts about hearing loss are a great way to learn about new technologies and advancements, tips and tricks for living with hearing loss, stories from other people with hearing loss, and more. Here are some suggestions to add to your listening list!

  1. Audiology Talk — Catch up with the latest news in audiology, technology, and current events discussed by the audiologist hosts.
  2. Conversations in Tinnitus — Hosted by the American Tinnitus Association, this podcast covers personal stories, tinnitus research, treatment and coping options, etc.
  3. Have You Heard? — CapTel’s outreach team, OEI, has a podcast covering all things hearing loss: personal relationships, self-advocacy, dealing with hearing loss in the workplace, and more.

Do you prefer entertainment via reading rather than listening? Check out these great e-book and reading apps to help you enjoy your favorite content on the go.