Best Hearing Amplifiers and PSAP Hearing Devices 2019 – The Ultimate Buying Guide
Loss or difficulty in hearing is a problem that requires proper management. There are two main categories of hearing devices used to solve hearing problems namely hearing aids and hearing amplifiers.
Hearing amplifiers also known as personal sound amplifiers are indicated when you have difficult in hearing but not complete hearing loss. As the name suggests, the devices amplify sounds to enable better hearing.
Instead of compensating for loss of hearing, the amplifiers help to hear sounds that you would normally find difficult to hear such as watching TV quietly without disturbing others or hearing your children sleeping in their room.
Hearing aids on the other hand are used for compensating hearing loss. They are prescribed medical devices intended to improve hearing and are recommended after a hearing test called audiogram is done.
- Quick summary – our top recommended hearing amplifiers available on the market in 2019
- How do hearing amplifiers work?
- Hearing amplifiers reviews
- Hearing amplifiers under $50
- Bluetooth Hearing Amplifiers
- Where to buy hearing amplifiers
PSAP devices (hearing amplifiers) should not be considered as a replacement for hearing aids. While healthcare providers would consider hearing amplifiers can be an option for people with a mild hearing loss, it’s best to consult with your audiologist or with our specialists here at Hearplace.com if you are not aware of your current hearing condition.
The hearing amplifiers we recommend are the Audionexx 402BT, which are suitable for most hearing losses. If you are dealing with severe hearing loss or suffer from a special hearing condition it’s best to get in touch with us to help you find a suitable hearing aid.
Get in touch with us for a free consultation.
Quick summary – our top recommended hearing amplifiers available on the market in 2019
Audionexx 402BT – Unnoticeable, Smartphone App
*Our top recommended hearing aids
Pricing: Medium – upper price range
Hearing programs: 4 hearing programs
(volume levels adjustable with Smartphone App)
Battery life: Excellent
Sound quality: Excellent
Pricing: Upper price range
Hearing programs: 4 hearing programs
Battery life: Excellent (rechargeable)
Sound quality: Excellent
Hearing programs: 10 volume levels (4 memory programs)
Battery life: Excellent
Sound quality: Good
What is the difference between hearing aids and hearing amplifiers?
There are several differences found between hearing amplifiers and hearing aids:
|Hearing Aids||Hearing Amplifiers|
|These are medical devices that are prescribed after you undergo an audiogram (hearing test). It is regulated by the FDA.||Amplifiers do not need prescription and are not regulated by FDA in general. However, there are some brands that have FDA approval.|
|The devices can be programmed and custom fitted to meet the specific needs of a patient based on the hearing test results. Hearing aids can be adjusted to compensate for altered hearing necessities of the wearer.||Amplifiers are not programmable like hearing aids except certain high end models that have inbuilt preprogramming for adjusting the sound volume, according to location.|
|The devices provide distinct differentiation between sound volume and sound types. Depending on the properties of the sound, the volume can be raised or lowered. They help to decipher sounds precisely.||Amplifier does not differentiate sounds of different types. It just makes the sounds louder.|
|Hearing aids are expensive. They range from $2500 to as high as $4000 in general.||The amplifiers are cheaper and even the top end models cost around $500 only.|
How do hearing amplifiers work?
Hearing amplifier helps amplify all sounds around the person wearing it. The amplification helps hear the subtle sounds that you would normally miss.
In short, all sounds are heard louder when an amplifier is used. Their basic mechanism is similar to a hearing aid where the device intakes sound input through a microphone, digitally processes it and feeds the processed sound to the ear.
Amplifiers are designed to make sounds louder for all frequencies. Generally amplifiers endow the wearer super hearing power, but do not compensate hearing loss.
Although hearing amplifiers typically cost less than hearing aids, we still recommend investing some time and money to adequately take care of them. The best way to combat moisture and take care of hearing devices it by using a hearing aid dryer.
Hearing amplifiers reviews
Different brands of hearing amplifiers are available in the market at different price ranges and with different features. Therefore choosing the right one can be a daunting task. However there are certain significant factors to consider like
- Battery life of the amplifier
- Feedback suppression
- Noise reduction capability
- Volume control programming
Amplification devices can be of different types namely receiver in the ear/receiver in ear canal, conventional behind the ear model, in the ear and in the canal models and completely in canal or invisible in canal models.
The starter hearing aid or amp device for hearing is another amplification device that is indicated only for people with very mild loss of hearing.
The reviews provided below focus mainly on the behind the ear (BTE) models. These are durable and provide powerful amplification. You can also find reviews of other amplifier models available in the market. There are a few devices of other types too, which feature here due to their effective amplification power.
Here are the best hearing amplifier models we have chosen based on the above mentioned factors:
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Hearing Assist recharge models found in the market are of two types namely BTE (Behind The Ear) and ITE (In The Ear) types. Different color options are available and the recharge can be done via a magnetic station. With competitive pricing and convenient programs, Hearing Assist is a good choice to consider. Here are the feature highlights of the two models:
Hearing Assist Recharge BTE model
Sound quality: The digital amplification is crystal clear with a decibel value of 43. The behind the ear device is capable of advanced reduction of background noise by a layered mechanism. Feedback suppression is also very good.
Comfort: The model is light in weight weighing just 3 grams. It features a dial for volume adjustment and a button for on and off and programming on the exterior aspect. The program button can be used to switch between four different programs based on the specific environment you are in and are as follows:
Quiet mode – This program mode is for regular office or home use with low level noise reduction and is a great fidelity setting.
Outdoors – This mode concentrates on minimizing noise and wind interference
TV Mode –As the name implies, this reduces high and low frequency sounds allowing you to watch TV without any distractions
Noisy – This mode employs high reduction of background noise and is ideal for noisy surroundings like shopping mall, restaurants etc.
Battery: The BTE model’s battery is made of Lithium Polymer. It is a powerful one that lasts to a maximum of 20 hours on full charge. The time taken to reach full charge is 3.5 hours. And the battery stops recharging when it is fully charged, so you need not worry about damaging the battery due to overcharging.
The charging dock provided is endowed with magnetic Snap Charge system. This ensures easy, fast and reliable connection and eliminates hassle of using small plugs. You need to just place the hearing device over the base and it automatically snaps in place securely.
Recharge In the Ear (ITE)
When compared to the BTE model, this device is smaller. And its digital amplification is also lesser at 35dB. However, all other features including noise reduction, magnetic dock for charging, multiple program settings and durable battery are on par with the BTE model.
Due to the smaller size this ITE model takes less time than the larger BTE model. It takes just three hours for full recharge. Another difference between the two models is the absence of button for on and off in the ITE model, as the device turn on automatically after it is taken from charging case.
However the device sports a button for choosing the different programs and this button is present on the outside. It also features an inbuilt microphone that is very small in size.
Pros of Hearing Assist
- It is FDA cleared ensuring good health and safety standards
- Payment plans are available for people who cannot purchase it outright due to financial difficulty
- Rechargeable device hence can save a lot of money you spend on replacement batteries
- 60 day return policy
Cons of Hearing Assist
- Feedback noise is very annoying
- Not very comfortable to wear
Otofonix Hearing Amplifiers
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Otofonix hearing amplifier has good digital volume feature. It is convenient to use and reliable amplifier that produces superior quality sound amplification. The features make it ideal for use in noisy surroundings. Ergonomically designed this is a product that is economically priced too. Here are the feature highlights of this product:
Comfort: The device is light in weight and very small hence is nearly invisible. It is best suited for senior citizens and adjusts due to its ease of use and other comfort oriented features.
It is assembled hence can be used immediately on opening the package. The operation is very simple and single finger use on rocker switch is sufficient to adjust the programs and volume levels you need. The product has different sizes of ear domes and sound tubes.
Quality of sound: Designed by an expert ear physician with over 26 years’ experience, the Otofonix hearing amplifier provides top quality sound. The device has 4 different listening programs namely normal, noisy, and treble and power settings for use in different situations.
The normal setting is for regular routine hearing, while noisy setting is for shutting out background noise while in crowded and noisy places, during a windy day etc.
The treble setting is for reducing sounds of high frequency such as squealing, feedback and whistling. For full-fledged amplification the power setting is ideal.
Warranty: The product has 45 day return policy. There is also unlimited support via phone provided for free. This can be availed in case of difficulty in using the device.
Battery: The product has 7 size 312 batteries. The cleaning kit provided helps in keeping the amplifier free of wax and other dust particles that can interfere with the working of the amplifier.
Pros of Otofonix
- Earpiece fits snugly and can be used all day long
- Volume adjustment is easy and done even when it is worn
- Lifetime support is a big advantage
- Sound quality can be easily achieved regardless of the environment with the 10 volume levels, 4 memory programs that are preset and 12 band processing of digital sound.
Cons of Otofonix hearing amplifier
- Squealing noise when volume is increased to high level
- Quality of device build is not good; the ear tube attachment breaks easily
Empower Hearing Amplifier
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Manufactured by LifeEar, this product is designed to provide excellent hearing experience. Conversations with Empower are crystal clear and the device is ergonomically designed and easy to use. Here are the feature highlights of this amplifier
Comfort: The amplifier is designed to discreetly lodge behind the ear and is very slim. The ear tips are uniquely shaped to enable natural and hassle free hearing.
The device is easy to adjust with convenient program and volume settings. The product is packaged in assembled form so can be used immediately on opening the package.
Sound quality: The digital amplification along with 12 different band processing option helps to boost conversation audibility.
Unlike a single band that amplifies all sound frequencies to the same level resulting in background noise dominating the conversations you need to hear, the multiple band processing features helps you hear what you want and blocks out unnecessary noise.
Noise reduction: The layered noise reduction feature helps to suppress all background noise. Further the output limiting feature prevents sounds that are excessively loud.
Warranty: The product has a 30 day cash return guarantee and 12 month manufacturer warranty making it a risk free purchase.
Pros of Empower Hearing Amplifier
- Sound adjustment is easy and simple to do
- The product is light in weight and the slim design makes it nearly invisible
- Provides sufficient boost in case of flat and mild hearing loss
- 30 day return policy
Cons of Empower
- Clarity of sound is not good
- Ear wax blocks the tube tip inside the ear and needs daily cleaning
Banglijian Hearing Amplifier
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If you are looking for an amplifier that has long lasting battery life, the Banglijian hearing amplifier can prove to be a good choice. It is convenient to use, durably constructed and reliable. The battery is very powerful and rechargeable. Here are the important feature highlights of this hearing amplifier:
Comfort: It is ergonomically designed and very comfortable to use on right or left ear. It is available as domes of 6 different sizes and 3 sound tubes from which you can choose the one that suits you best.
Without the appropriate sized dome and sound tube the sound amplification can be difficult to achieve. The device is discreet and does not interfere when you use your spectacles.
Quality of sound: Banglijian Ziv 201 amplifier is ideal for watching TV and conversing. The amplifier provides two operation levels namely a quiet mode and noisy mode. Each mode has 5 adjustments for the volume setting.
Using the volume setting and programming is easy and the user manual provides recommendation for the adjustments of sound tube or ear plug for sound improvement in case of feedback noise.
Noise reduction: The significant feature in the sound quality is the noise reduction option, which you can choose when you are in noisy surroundings such as a shopping mall, restaurant etc.
Battery power: The lithium polymer battery is of high power and is rechargeable. The power adapter and USB cable provided help in charging and it reaches full charge in 2 hours and lasts for 24 hours. 3 to 5 years is the approximate life span of the battery.
Warranty: The product has a 60 day cash back policy and warranty period of 3 years.
Pros of Banglijian Hearing Amplifier
- Price is economic
- Rechargeable battery helps in hassle free charging
- Battery charges quickly
- Sound adjustments are easy to make
Cons of Banglijian Hearing Amplifier
- Background noises are not fully reduced
Hearing amplifiers under $50
Yes, hearing amplifiers that are sold under $50 are also available. With the cheap price however you cannot expect the quality found in the regular or high end amplifier models.
For instance, these amplifiers do not have background noise cancelling feature or if present it does not work optimally. If you are focused on a cheap device that can effectively amplify sound without much clarity in the sound here are a few amplifiers you would find suitable:
Be aware that low-end PSAP devices might come with very little hearing benefit. Also make sure that you do not purchase amplifiers with output levels that are very high. Output levels with 120dB or more may do more harm than good to you. Using any hearing device at high volume can do damage to your sense of hearing – so please take extra care.
Get in touch with us for a free consultation.
NewEar Rechargable BTE Digital Ear Hearing Amplifier
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NewEar behind the ear rechargeable hearing amplifier is a light weight model that has surprisingly good features considering its cheap price. The amplifier is ideal for optimum hearing and wearing comfort. The feature highlights of this hearing amplifier include:
Comfort: The hearing amplifier is designed ergonomically with user comfort in mind. It is adjustable to different volume levels and fits snugly in both right and left ear. The 3 earplugs of different sizes ensure you have the right sized earplug for hearing.
Sound quality: The sound quality can be adjusted deftly with the wide volume level ranges and the quality of sound is fairly good. It is ideal for use in windy weather, noise in the street and other social activities. It can be used for conversing, listening to favorite music or watching television.
Users can also hear life protecting alerts in situation such as tornado sirens and fire alarms. The tone of the device can be modified for better hearing and muffling of muzzle blasts.
Battery: The battery is rechargeable and user friendly. It helps save money you spend on battery purchase. When charged fully, the battery can work for 40 hours nonstop.
Pros of NewEar Rechargable BTE Digital Ear Hearing Amplifier
- Easy and convenient to use
- The amplification is quick without any delay
- Is as good as the expensive hearing aids
- Fits snugly behind the ear
Cons of NewEar Rechargable BTE Digital Ear Hearing Amplifier
- Buttons in the device are complicated and cannot be used while wearing the device
- Sound clarity is not perfect
Medca BTE hearing amplifier Review
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Medca hearing amplifier is a behind the ear device that has good sound quality. The product has state of the art sound processing and is easy and comfortable to use. The construction is also very good. The light weight devices can be worn on either ear.
Comfort: The amplifier sports a revolutionary design with complete digital circuitry and good volume control. The design is compact and flexible.
One device can be used on right or left ear and fits perfectly for all age groups. The 6 ear plugs provide the choice of choosing one that fits properly. All the internal and external parts of the device are made from superior grade materials for durability.
Sound quality: The device is uniquely designed to provide high sound quality and amplification. The noise reduction assists in optimal hearing. The adjustable wheel helps to change sound level based on your hearing needs.
Battery: Battery is made of lithium ion and is rechargeable. Hence you can save money on buying the replacement batteries. When charged fully, it can work for 2 working days continuously.
Pros of Medca BTE hearing amplifier
- Light in weight and comfortable to use
- Sound quality is good
- Cheap price
- 30 day refund
- Volume control is easy
Cons of Medca BTE hearing amplifier
- Background noise reduction is not present
- A bit bulky in design
SuperEar Personal Sound Amplifier Model SE5000
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For people who do not find the behind the ear models and other conventional hearing aids difficult to use, the SuperEar amplifier is a good choice to consider. It helps you hear TV sounds, conversations and when in a meeting or group.
SuperEar sound amplifier is an updated version of the earlier SE4000 sporting a smaller and compact microphone. SuperEar is reputed for its high quality sound amplifiers. This SE5000 is the cheapest model from the company. It is ADA and CMS compliant and ideal for outdoor and indoor use. Here are the feature highlights of this sound amplifier:
Comfort: The smaller size makes it very convenient to use. It can be placed in your pocket or attached to your belt with a clip. The hearing amplifier has two earphone sets namely a standard headphone mode and over the ear model from which you can choose the one that you feel comfortable with.
Sound quality: Although this device does not use noise reduction technology, it can provide good sound amplification in situations where hearing is difficult. The device does not have tone adjustment or sound frequency adjustment. The sound amplification is about 50 decibels and is adequate for people with moderate or mild hearing loss.
Battery: The battery life of SuperEar 5000 is 30 hours. The battery does not have auto shut off feature. The product has a 30 day return policy and limited warranty of 3 years.
Pros of SuperEar Personal Sound Amplifier Model SE5000
- Price is cheap
- Amplification is good
- CMS and ADA compliant
Cons of SuperEar Personal Sound Amplifier Model SE5000
- Does not have auto shut off feature
- Noise cancelling is absent
- Ideal only for people with mild hearing loss
Clearon Rechargeable Digital Hearing Amplifier
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If you are constantly plagued by sound distortion or low sound, Clearon amplifier may be the solution you are looking for. Created to meet the needs of people of different age groups this amplifier device is comfortable, cheap and effective. The product has an immediate refund on return policy. Here are the important feature highlights of this product:
Comfort: Clearon is very comfortable to use and can be fitted to either ear snugly. The device is made of top quality materials which ensure uninterrupted hearing and are durable too. The carrying case, ear plug assortment and charger for battery make it very comfortable and easy to use.
Sound quality: The sound quality is of full digital type resulting in minimal audio distortion. The sound is crystal clear and noise reduction is present enabling maximum clarity for the user. M button has two preset volume modes that help in adjusting the volume, according to the situation. The sonority mode or default mode is for deep and rich sound, while the second mode named soft sound is for adjusting the volume for sounds that are softer.
Battery: The rechargeable battery is of superior quality and saves you money on replacement batteries. The battery can withstand 500 cycles of charging and discharging.
Pros of Clearon Rechargeable Digital Hearing Amplifier
- It is small and almost invisible
- Sound quality is good
- User friendly volume control
- It does not need assembling. Can be used directly after opening the package
Cons of Clearon Rechargeable Digital Hearing Amplifier
- Sound amplification does not have adjustments and is same across different sound conditions
- Volume button is placed too close to the power on and off button
Bluetooth Hearing Amplifiers
Hearing amplifiers and hearing aids are now available with Bluetooth connectivity. This feature helps the hearing device to connect to other electrical technology using devices like TV, mobile phones etc. providing a smooth listening experience.
Although hearing devices work by identifying sound waves, processing the sounds and amplifying the sound to meet the personal needs of the user, electrically sourced sounds like those from mobile phones are accompanied by whistling sound.
With Bluetooth connectivity this issue can be avoided. This is because the Bluetooth connectivity feature receives the electrical signal directly from the phone and delivers it to the wearer. Thus you can have richer sound quality, when you connect with your mobile or TV.
Electronic devices you can pair with Bluetooth hearing amplifiers
Bluetooth connectivity helps the hearing device to receive sound signals from devices which produce sound and have Bluetooth connectivity feature such as
- Mobile phones
- Baby monitors
Bluetooth hearing amplifiers are able to connect with Android and Apple devices either directly or via use of a streamer.
How does a Bluetooth hearing device work?
Bluetooth hearing devices use high frequency wireless communication of around 2.4 GHz for data transfer across short distance ranging from 10 m to 100m.
Bluetooth technology is used across several platforms making it an ideal feature to have to interact with different devices and have an improved life quality. Bluetooth technology is able to transfer information related to files, audio and broadcasts in two main formats:
- Basic Rate or Enhanced Data Rate format that is found in headsets, wireless speakers and car systems that use hands free technology
- BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) format that has the recently updated specifications starting from Bluetooth 4.0. BLE consumes minimal power without compromising the communication range. Thus it is perfect choice for devices such as Bluetooth hearing devices and fitness trackers.
Thus Bluetooth hearing devices consume very less power and battery charge lasts up to 6 days which can differ based on battery type and the duration of use of the Bluetooth for streaming audio.
Advantages of Bluetooth hearing amplifiers
With a Bluetooth enabled hearing amplifier, it is easy to switch between different devices. The important benefits of Bluetooth connectivity include
- Create a personalized listening experience for different situations
- Control the settings and programs of your hearing device remotely
- Use hearing amplifier more discreetly and efficiently
- You can also access a professional hearing consultant via apps that are Bluetooth enabled.
In short, you can engage readily and efficiently with day to day technology. This makes Bluetooth hearing devices a significant feature to consider when you are shopping for a hearing amplifier or hearing aid.
Further in a very noisy environment you will be able to hear what your companion is speaking. Audio streaming from mobile makes it easy to receive or make calls without worrying about not being able to hear the caller. Since the technology does not need any additional device set up, it is a very convenient and effective addition.
Where to buy hearing amplifiers
Unlike hearing aids which need audiologist prescription and advice regarding the best device, hearing amplifiers can be purchased online easily. The amplifiers are basically devices with simple mechanism that requires minimal fine tuning or adjustment. And they are not regulated and do not need FDA approval. They are classified as electronic devices so purchasing them online is easy and quick.
We provide the best lineup of hearing amplifiers that help your hearing instead of hindering it. We feature efficient amplifiers from different manufacturers with detailed unbiased reviews so you can check the reviews and find the information you are looking for before you buy one.
We have chosen the hearing amplifier brands and models based on certain important considerations.
A good hearing amplifier should have the following features:
- Proper frequency response including minor differences in low frequency and high frequency outputs
- Should possess updated digital processing of sound such as directionality and noise reduction
- Design should be ergonomic providing proper fit
- Have an easy to understand instruction manual
- Have positive user reviews and ratings
- Provide warranty cover and a cash back return policy is more favorable.
However we do recommend consulting an audiologist so you can be assured that amplifiers are the best solution for your hearing difficulty. While there are used amplifier models available they are not recommended as the make you susceptible to ear infections via passage of bacteria from one individual to another.