Often, we are asked if you can wear a hat or helmet with a Cochlear hearing device, so we went straight to the source to get the answer. At Cochlear we have an amazing group of volunteers who share their experiences being a recipient or carer of a recipient with others. We asked these great volunteers to share their tips for wearing a hat with a Cochlear hearing device.


Marcy, a Cochlear™ Nucleus® 8 Sound Processor recipient, wears both a hat and helmet. “I am a road cyclist and wearing a helmet was one of the first things I discussed with my surgeon. I even brought one in to show him a typical fit. I found the behind-the-ear (BTE) device gave me no problems when fitting a bike helmet. The magnet is very thin and the sound processor doesn’t conflict with the helmet. As soon as my cochlear implant was activated, I went to several bike shops to find a new helmet and treated myself. I became bilateral the next year and still have no problems wearing my helmet and sound processors. I also hike and wear various sun hats with no issues.”

Marcy shows off how she wears a hat and bike helmet with her cochlear hearing device

Marcy shows off how she wears a hat with her cochlear hearing device

What about other helmets

Robin rides and shows horses and is very familiar with wearing helmets and hats. She shares, “The Nucleus 8 Sound Processors have extremely thin magnets which makes it quite easy to wear hats of all sorts. When it comes to helmets my best tip is to go to the store and try several on until you find a good fit for you. The best thing to do is look for helmets that are adjustable because that’s the easiest way to fit them. The helmets I purchase come with small pads that can be strategically placed inside the lining rim so they can be adjusted around the magnet. With show hats, they need to fit snuggly but not tight, so I use a small piece of foam and place that inside the rim so the hat fits the way it needs to.

Robin is riding a horse while wearing a hat with her cochlear hearing device.

Robin is riding a horse while wearing a helmet with her cochlear hearing device.

How to place the sound processor under the hat

Sheiladawn, a Cochlear Kanso® 2 Sound Processor recipient found a great technique for feeling comfortable when wearing a hat, “I often wear hats and caps. I’ve found the trick to getting everything placed and comfortable is to put the hat on first, then slide Gracee (what I named my sound processor) under the hat. When the magnet makes contact I’m ready to go!”

Sheiladawn is proudly wearing a cowgirl hat with her cochlear hearing device.

I’m outdoors often with my sunhat

“I live out in the country and for decades I lived an active lifestyle as a fruit and vegetable grower who wore sunhats,” explained Margo, a bilateral Kanso 2 Sound Processor recipient. “I prefer sunhats with chin straps to help keep the hat from blowing off. I use the hair clip retention device to keep the Kanso 2s in place. I’ve found the best way to put on sunhats is to go slowly and ease one side on and then the other. I use knit headbands and knit hats when the weather is cold. This anchors the sound processors in place and keeps my ears warm. With double CI joy, Margo.”

Margo stands in a field of sunflowers while wearing a sun hat with her cochlear hearing device.

Active lifestyle

“I often wear caps for kayaking, hiking, doing photography and being in the outdoors”, Kathleen shares. “My tip is to find a cap that is fabric, without netting in the back, and has adjustable straps. I typically pull my hair into a ponytail, tuck my Nucleus 8 Sound Processor coils under my hair and then tuck the cap on. Of course, a gal has to have her Cochlear brand cap!”

Kathleen is wearing a hat with her cochlear hearing device while taking photographs on a hike.

Weather you prefer a behind-the-ear sound processor like Marcy or an off-the-ear sound processor like Sheiladawn, hopefully these tips can help you make the most out of finding and wearing hats or helmets that fits your lifestyle.

Click here to connect with other Cochlear volunteers for additional tips for wearing hats or helmets with a Cochlear hearing device. 

Anna Martinez
Anna Martinez is the Associate Volunteer Engagement Manager and has worked for Cochlear since 2016. She is responsible for communication and onboarding with the Cochlear volunteer community. Anna is a Colorado native and enjoys being outside in the beautiful weather with her son.