Many people today experience some level of hearing loss as they age. However, not only the elderly ones are affected. Even young people suffer from ear damage and have trouble hearing.
The causes of hearing loss vary, but it is usually a result of being exposed to loud noises. For most people, this happens at work.
Others enjoy listening to loud music with headphones. Also, though many aren’t aware of it, smoking can cause hearing loss.
Hearing loss can greatly impact your relationships, work, and emotional well-being. However, those effects can be mitigated or even eliminated with the top hearing amplifiers.
The Best Hearing Amplifiers
The products reviewed below are some of the best personal hearing amplifiers in the market. The basic amplifier is a great alternative to prescription hearing aids that many can’t afford. In addition, they offer similar functionality at much more affordable prices.
Different Types of Hearing Amplifiers
How can you know which type or style to choose if you require hearing amplifiers? First, let’s go over the best hearing amplifiers available on the market and the pros and cons of each.
1. Behind The Ear (BTE) Amplifiers
These hearing amplifiers are little, versatile units that contain all the hearing technology in a casing placed behind the ear. These hearing aids take care of most hearing loss. They’re connected to the ear through couplings or via tubes and earmolds.
BTE hearing amplifiers usually have useful hardware such as telecoils, programme buttons, and volume controls. As a result, they are extremely reliable and hardly fail.
Because all the components are housed in a case worn behind the ear, wax or moisture from the ear doesn’t get to them. They are also straightforward to use and wear.
As for the cons, there aren’t really any downsides to these types of amplifiers. They’re very durable, easy-to-use hearing aids. They’re also quite discreet, though the larger BTEs aren’t the most discreet out there. In all, these types of different hearing amplifiers are a great choice.
2. Custom or ITE (In the Ear) Amplifiers
Custom or ITE hearing aids are custom-made instruments designed to fit within the outer part of the ear. They come in different styles, shapes and sizes. Some ITE amplifiers are invisible, completely in canal (CIC), full shell and half shell hearing aids.
Invisible hearing aids are amplifiers that fit deeply into the ear canal and, thus, cannot be easily seen. Therefore, they are most discreet hearing amplifier type, and can fit under wireless headphones.
Completely in-canal amplifiers are also discreet, as they’re made to fit into the ear canal completely. A small handle is used to insert and remove the device. They’re good for mild to moderate hearing loss.
As for full-shell and half-shell hearing aids, the concha or ear bowl is where they reside. They are usually larger than the other types of ITE amplifiers.
The half-shell aids fill half the concha while the full-shell takes up the entire ear bowl. These devices have more features, power and controls and bigger battery sizes.
As we’ve seen, custom hearing amplifiers are very discreet. They’re also easy to use and to place in the ear. However, the components are exposed to ear wax and moisture due to their placement in the ear.
The manufacturers do a lot to protect the receivers and the microphones. However, the best way to ensure the longevity of these aids is to clean them regularly. Also, they aren’t suitable for everyone, so you should make sure it’s okay for you to wear them.
3. Receiver in Canal (RIC)/ Receiver in the Ear (RITE) Amplifiers
These types of hearing aids are relatively new in the market. These amplifiers are devices that have receivers or speakers in the ear canal.
Thin wires connect the receivers to the hearing aid. As a result, these amplifiers are very discreet and unnoticeable. They are also very versatile and take care of many types of hearing loss as you can easily change the receivers.
On the cons side, the receivers are also exposed to a harsh ear environment. So, they must be taken care of to prevent wax from damaging them.
They are also tiny devices, meaning they have small batteries and aren’t the easiest to handle. Also, these devices may not be ideal for people with certain ear conditions.
Personal Amplifier Reviews
The Otofonix Elite Personal Sound Amplifier is another great device. It is also a Behind The Ear hearing amplifier. It features digital noise reduction, 12 bands of digital sound processing, feedback cancellation, and volume control.
It has four preset modes, which users can switch between. They are: normal (regular listening), noisy (reduces background noise in noisy places), treble (reduces feedback and high-pitched sounds), and quiet (for quiet places; saves battery life).
The Otofonix Elite has high customer feedback and is considered one of the best hearing amplifiers, with many who praise the product for its performance and the excellent customer service from Otofonix.
The company offers a 30-day trial period for customers to test the product to see if it suits them. It also comes with a 12-month manufacturer’s warranty.
Otofonix also offers free live technical support over the phone to customers. So if you need a high-quality, affordable alternative to expensive hearing aids, the Otofonix Elite is for you.
This hearing amplifier is designed by audiologists and is made easy to use and comfortable, whether you’re wearing it on the left or right ear. There are 5 volume levels you can select from by pressing either the volume up or volume down button with your finger.
In addition to this, there are 3 preset programs with noise reduction: 1) everyday mode (for use indoors or in quiet environments), 2) moderate noise reduction mode (for example, a restaurant), and 3) noisy environment mode (for example, a concert or shopping mall).
It has 4 Channels of Signal Processing, which synchronize and detect speech noise, reduce background noise, and cancel acoustic feedback.
This hearing amplifier is rechargeable via a USB cable, so you don’t have to buy batteries frequently. So, for example, after you’ve charged it for 2 hours, you can use it for 20-24 hours after that.
It comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee and 18 month’s warranty, giving you peace of mind when using this product. You may also want to read our review on the Banglijian Ziv-201 Hearing Amplifier.
The Williams Sound Pocketalker Ultra Amplifier is one of the best personal sound amplifiers many users love. The device is great for conversations or watching TV, as it amplifies close sounds and reduces background noise.
It is meant to be worn for short periods rather than all the time. All users must do is plug in the earpiece, position the microphone close to the desired sounds, and adjust the volume to the appropriate level.
The Pocketalker Ultra amplifier provides users with the choice between full headphones with noise-blocking benefits and mini earpieces which are much more discreet. It’s operated with two AAA batteries and comes with a 5-year warranty.
On the minus side, the Williams Sound Pocketalker Ultra doesn’t feature feedback cancellation. However, it’s a great device that does its job well, as the hearing amplifiers reviews on Amazon point out.
On the low-cost side of the market is where the Britzgo BHA-220 amplifier resides. But its features and performance will make you think you’re using a premium device.
This hearing amplifier offers the quality of its much more expensive counterparts at fractions of their prices. The Britzgo BHA-220 is a discreet behind-the-ear amplifier with great battery life. It is adjustable and, thus, can fit in either ear.
It also comes with a digital chip and has frequency control which enables it to adapt easily to different environments. The amplifiers feature digital noise reduction and are stylishly designed. They are also lightweight and very comfortable. Britzgo offers a 1-year warranty for this product.
If you need a hearing boost and aren’t prepared to spend a lot, the Britzgo BHA-220 is the best PSAP hearing device you can buy. Anyhow you look at it, you’ll be getting more than you’re paying for.
It is hardly visible, and ultra-light behind the ear amplifier, which gives you a clean, amplified sound. The Coniler is also comfortable and comes with several ear domes and sound tubes to provide the most suitable fit.
It features dual directional microphones, which provide better background sound reduction when compared to aids with a single microphone. While the Advanced Digital Sound Processor Chip determines from which direction the sound comes from.
This is a rechargeable hearing device with a charging dock, so you don’t have to worry about buying batteries for it. It is fast charging, about 2.5-3.5 hours, after which it can work up to 20 hours.
Unlike the other hearing amplifiers, this one has 2 modes to choose from, not 3. The modes are for either quiet or loud surrounding environments.
The Coniler comes with 45 day money-back guarantee and 12 month’s warranty. Another compatible PSAP to the Coniler is the LifeEar Cutting Edge Empower Hearing Amplifier.
Another excellent sound amplification device is the Walker’s Game Ear Elite. This device has a nanotechnology coating, making it waterproof to use in any weather.
It has four program settings: general, crowds, nature and power boost. The Game Ear is one of the most powerful hearing amplifiers, with 50db of hearing enhancement.
It also includes automatic feedback control, volume control, a low battery indicator and an eight-band graphic equalizer. It also compresses loud noises to safer levels and allows users to fine-tune bass and treble with the Adjustable Frequency Tuning (ATF) feature. It controls ear protection output dynamically, to filter sudden dangerous noises.
The Walker’s Game Ear Elite hearing amplifier is a top-of-the-line product with many positive reviews. Many customers praise it for working as intended and for its noise-reduction capabilities and durability. You may also want to read our full review of Walkers Game Ear Sound Amplifiers.
This is a very discreet hearing solution, which is designed to fit completely in the ear canal. This means that nobody will see or know that you’re wearing the sound amplifier.
In addition, they are designed to be comfortable to wear and come with 3 ear domes, so you can choose the one that best fits your ear canal. You can use them under wireless headphones as they are ITC.
The LAIWEN PSAP has great sound quality, as they have layered sound reduction and directional feedback cancelling technology. In addition, there are 3 programs to choose from and several volume levels.
This product comes with 90 day money-back guarantee and one year warranty, so you’re sure it has been built to last.
Neosonic NW10 Neckband Hearing Amplifier is the best hearing amplifier for home use for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. This sound amplifier has a neckband and is meant for watching TV, listening to music and having conversation. It’s a great temporary hearing device with a long battery life.
Reducing Background Noise – The NW10 neck band hearing amplifier equipped with a remote microphone that allows you put the microphone closest to talker, up to 15 meters away. This will greatly enhances the conversation while reducing the noise. The voice will become so clear that it seems as if someone talks right next to your ears.
Ideal For One-On-One Conversation, Group Meeting And Television Listening – The NW10 has two built-in microphones and a remote microphone which helps you with all kinds of day-to-day activities, such as one-on-one conversations, group meetings, classrooms, churches and watching television.
Rechargeable Amplifier And Microphone – Welcome to the era where rechargeable batteries are used. Both of the amplifier & microphone are rechargeable, allowing you to enjoy them for more than 20 hours per charge.
Comfortably Wearable – The neckband style effectively reduce the burden on your ear and provide the most comfortable wearing experience, perfect for long time wearing no mater outdoors or at home.
Tune Down Volume While Watching TV – Simply place the Remote Mic near the TV and transmit the sounds to the ear wirelessly, you hear crystal clear sound in 10ft away without increasing the volume.
Sound World Solutions’ CS50+ Personal Sound Amplification System is an innovative solution for people who have trouble hearing in noisy environments such as restaurants, airports, concerts, etc. This revolutionary product combines state-of-the-art digital signal processing technology with custom-fit hearing aids to create a highly effective system that provides superior sound quality and noise reduction.
You can get one for either your left ear or right ear. This will help you hear conversations and quiet sounds better. It is also Bluetooth allowing you to connect your device and take phone calls or watch TV.
This Sound World Solutions device has been rated #1 by both Consumer Reports and Wired Magazine.
- Built-In Amplification Presets: Three built-in amplification profiles are included to meet different needs. Each preset can be customized through the Customizer App.
- Customizable Amplification Profile: Adjust the gain level of each frequency band independently to customize the amplification profile.
- Bluetooth Connectivity: Stream music directly from your smart devices via Bluetooth connection.
- Wireless Charging: Charge your device while listening to music.
- Battery Life: Up to 10 hours of continuous playback time.
- Noise Reducing: Reduce background noise and reduce feedback when talking on the phone.
- Volume Control: Press the volume buttons on the earpiece to control the volume.
- Remote Control: Answer incoming calls by pressing the volume buttons on the remote control.
- Microphone: Allows users to take hands-free calls.
- Easy Installation: No setup required. Simply place it over your existing hearing aid.
What is a Hearing Amplifier? (or Personal Sound Amplification Products PSAP)
These amplifiers are little electronic devices that amplify sounds to enable you to hear better. They contain a microphone that picks up sounds, an amplifier that makes them louder and a receiver that sends the amplified sounds into your ear.
Oftentimes they are also referred to as a PSAP or Personal Sound Amplification Product. Overall, these hearing devices are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss.
Though not everyone can benefit from these devices, most people can. Therefore, finding the right device can greatly improve the quality of your life.
So how can you find the top hearing amplifier that will suit you? Now that we’ve learned about the different types of hearing amplifiers you can buy.
Do hearing amplifiers really work?
Hearing amplifiers or personal amplifiers can produce better sound for those with mild hearing loss. Due to several limitations, the FDA does not recognize these products as medical equipment. Audiologists have not recommended hearing amplifiers for the treatment of severe hearing loss.
Hearing amplifiers work as intended and make a sound louder. It is hardly able for people to hear. In cases where hearing devices can be used to correct sound impairments, the device is useless. The best hearing amplifiers have a ton of great features.
Hearing amplifiers work by reducing background noise while allowing you to hear conversations or certain sounds better with impaired hearing.
How are Hearing Amplifiers Different from Hearing Aids?
Hearing Amplifiers or personal sound amplification devices (PSAP) are not hearing aids. They are very similar, though, with the main difference being the PSAPs can be purchased directly by consumers without consulting a professional in the hearing healthcare field.
Hearing Amplifiers are a good solution for those with moderate hearing loss as they amplify sounds in specific listening environments, not every day usage. They will help with television listening and speech clarity.
Hearing aids, on the other hand, are medical devices that are intended for prescription by healthcare professionals. The FDA regulates the manufacturing of these hearing aids, which are the recommended solutions for hearing loss problems.
Prescription hearing aids require a hearing test or hearing evaluation from a hearing specialist, to find out what level of hearing impairment exists, even the best hearing amplifiers are not suitable for some degrees of hearing loss. The best hearing aids from popular hearing aid brands have all the features of a sound amplifier and much more.
However, the main downsides to these aids are their costs which are usually very high and may not be affordable for many. While hearing amplifiers may not perform as well as hearing aids, they can be obtained for much less and can improve your hearing if you get a good one.
Do I need a Hearing Test for Hearing Amplifiers?
You don’t need a hearing test to buy a hearing amplifier, but its recommend to take a free online hearing test to see if you might require professionally fit hearing aids.
Most of the time, many hearing amplifiers will be suitable for you if you have mild to moderate hearing loss. Online hearing tests are easy to find; it’s an important step in understanding your hearing health.
Are Hearing Amplifiers Suitable for Moderate Hearing Loss?
Yes moderate hearing loss is the perfect candidate for hearing amplifiers. The World health organization has forecasted at least 2.5 billion people with hearing loss by 2050, many of which will be candidates for hearing amplifiers.
Should I get a Hearing Aid for Severe Hearing Loss?
In cases of severe hearing loss, there could be something else going on. A professionally fit hearing aid will be specifically calibrated for your hearing condition vs a more generic solution of a hearing amplifier. If you feel you have profound hearing loss hearing aid use might be your best option.
You can use free hearing tests online, but we recommend getting a hearing test from a hearing specialist for a prescription hearing aid.
What To Look For When Shopping For Hearing Amplifiers?
We have considered the different types of hearing amplifiers and the best ones you can purchase.
You must likely have noticed a couple of features that are common to these great products. So let’s consider those features that your hearing amplifier should have.
1. Directional Microphone
Directional microphones make it easier to converse in environments with a lot of background noise. This is because they make the sounds from a particular direction louder than the noise from other sides.
Most hearing amplifiers that include this feature allow users to switch between this mode and omnidirectional mode. This feature is handy if you find yourself in a social setting with loud background noises or conversing with someone at a noisy workplace.
The microphone determines the quality of hearing amplification, as it processes the natural sound around allowing you to hear sounds better.
This feature is available on most modern hearing amplifiers. It is a tiny sensor or copper wire placed in the amplifier. It picks up magnetic signals from telephones compatible with hearing amplifiers and public address systems and converts the energy into sound.
Thus, the hearing amplifier can directly stream the microphones’ sounds into your ears without any background noise. This feature is great for improving sound quality in boisterous places.
3. Wax guard
Wax guards protect hearing amplifiers from being damaged by ear wax. This is a must-have feature for hearing aids that go in the ear or have receivers in the ear canal.
However, It will still be important to maintain regular cleaning procedures for your hearing aids. If you are looking for an efficient way to clean excess ear wax from your ears, read our article on the best ear wax removal kits.
4. Digital feedback reduction
Feedback refers to those loud squealing or whistling noises we hear from microphone setups. It also occurs occasionally with hearing amplifier technology.
Feedback suppression technology helps quell these unpleasant noises, which usually occur when the amplifier is slightly dislodged from the ear of the wearer due to jaw movement or when it is close to the telephone.
5. Automatic and Manual Volume Control
Automatic volume control is another cool feature to look out for when buying a hearing amplifier. Hearing aids with this feature amplifies low sounds to make them louder and prevent loud sounds from being too loud.
Thus, you don’t have to worry about manually adjusting the volume. However, it is also important for hearing amplifiers to have a manual volume control, which allows you to adjust the volume until it’s right for you.
Digital sound reduction
Amplifiers with this feature eliminate some background noise in noisy environments. This results in greater comfort for the user and improves communication, making it easier to hear and understand what other say. Therefore, it is worth looking out for hearing amplifiers.
Rechargeable hearing amplifiers are incredibly convenient and have long battery life. Many hearing amplifiers are rechargeable these days and come with a charging hub or cable. The battery life is a factor when choosing a hearing amplifier.
The best hearing amplifiers have Bluetooth, this allows you to take phone calls while wearing hearing aids and have the conversation direct to your ear. Many other hearing amplifiers and hearing assistance devices include Bluetooth, so it’s a good feature to look for.
Other features that make for great hearing amplifiers include low battery indicators, direct audio input, wireless connectivity between amplifiers, and frequency-shifting technology. You would also want a discreet hearing aid if it is suitable for your hearing loss.
Price is also another factor to consider. The cost of these hearing amplifiers varies depending on the features included and the type. So it would be best if you looked for one that suits your budget and solves your hearing loss problem. Each hearing amplifier company manufactures their hearing devices pretty much the same way with similar hearing technology.
Conclusion: What’s the Best Hearing Amplifier?
We have seen the different types of hearing amplifiers and the top personal sound amplification products in the market. We’ve also considered the features you should look for if you need a hearing amplifier.
Our number one recommendation is the Otofonix Elite Personal Sound Amplifier, which features digital noise reduction, 12 bands of sound processing, feedback cancellation, and volume control.
It is also helpful to read customer reviews and keep in mind your circumstances and preferences. Then, after you’ve made your decision, you might be amazed at the results you can get from a hearing amplifier.