Top Rated Hearing Amplifiers. How Useful Are They?

A mild hearing loss does not in most cases require an expensive pair of hearing aids. The good news is that you can buy affordable top rated hearing amplifiers at a much lower cost than hearing aids.

Many seniors suffer in silence simply because they are afraid of the cost of acquiring a hearing aid or are in denial about their condition. Consequently, they continue to push a visit to the doctor further and further to the “back burner”. This certainly affects their quality of life. The question is why anyone should suffer this way?

How Do I Know that I Am Truly Experiencing Hearing Loss?

Because hearing loss is a gradual process, it can sometimes go unnoticed for a long period of time. Age related hearing loss generally begins at around age 40, with about 49% of people being affected, with this increasing to about 80% by age 59 (NIDCD 2012 , Resnick, S et al. 2014)

More than 60% of Americans over age 70 have significant hearing loss, with only a tiny fraction of those who need hearing aids selecting to buy them (New York Times 2016)

People with uncorrected hearing loss, have a three-fold risk of suffering falls, broken bones, and a reduced quality of life because of depression and social isolation. (Lin F & Ferruci L, 2012).

So What is the Difference Between A Hearing Amplifier (PSAP)and a Hearing Aid?

Hearing Amplifiers

An electronic amplifier is an electronic device that can increase the power of a signal (a time-varying voltage or current). Hearing amplifiers (also known as personal sound amplification products – PSAP) make all the sounds in an environment louder. They are good for anyone who just wants to hear things louder. The FDA however, does not recognize them as medical devices.

Audiologists do not prescribe hearing amplifiers or any product that is not FDA-regulated to treat hearing loss.

In essence, hearing amplifiers can be likened to over-the-counter devices you can buy to enhance and amplify sounds you can hear around you. Buying a PSAP without doing some research is not recommended. Fortunately, you are already doing so since you reading this article. Furthermore, target users typically should have mild hearing loss.

Consider the following factors prior to selecting a brand to buy

  • your lifestyle,
  • physiology of your ear and canal,
  • technology needs – why you need them,
  • aesthetics,
  • ease of use and
  • your budget.

This article provides you with some top-rated hearing amplifiers in a quick comparative review. More detailed reviews can be found under the Review section of this website. Formally, many hearing amplifiers did not have noise canceling, but advancement in technology have addressed this.

Hearing Aids

A hearing aid is a device designed to improve hearing by making sound audible to a person with hearing loss. Hearing aids are classified as medical devices, are regulated by the FDA to ensure patient safety, and need to be fitted by an audiologist or hearing aid specialist. 

Hearing aids are programmable medical devices that treat hearing loss. These medical devices must be programmed by licensed professionals based on an individual’s audiogram.

Make sure you clearly understand the differences. Why? Some manufacturers refer to their devices in the description as both a hearing aid AND a hearing amplifier. This can be confusing. For emphasis, only hearing aids receive regulatory approval and are programmable.

Do I Need a Hearing Aid or Hearing Amplifier (PSAP)?

The only way to find out which of these devices you need is to get your hearing tested, especially if you have difficulty understanding conversation or find yourself constantly increasing the volume on the television to near maximum.

Your hearing ability is specific to you, so your hearing loss will also be unique. A hearing test conducted by an audiologist or hearing aid specialist will provide details of your hearing ability. These results are plotted on a chart (audiogram) to help visualize and interpret your hearing ability.

The results also serve as a prescription. An audiologist or hearing aid specialist uses it to customize your hearing aids to your specific needs.

When a hearing aid is not prescribed (such as a hearing amplifier), it is still best practice to get an annual hearing evaluation. Firstly, this can help eliminate any serious underlying condition. Furthermore, it can help in the selection of an appropriate amplifier. This test will also detect if changes have occurred in hearing ability that may now require a fitted hearing aid.

Top-Rated Hearing Amplifiers

The marketplace is saturated with all kinds of hearing amplifiers – all with different specifications which can be confusing. There are only a handful of top-rated hearing amplifiers. We have waded through a mountain of products to provide you with some online top-rated consumer product reviews .

Note that while every effort was made to ensure consistency in the criteria used for comparison, some products were lacking in manufacturer detail about their weight or warranties.

Top Rated Hearing Amplifiers
Sonic SUPEREAR Plus SE7500 Personal Sound Amplifier

A roundup overview is provided below.

TOP RATED HEARING AMPLIFIERS – HEADPHONE STYLE

1. Sonic SUPEREAR Plus SE7500 Personal Sound Amplifier with Case, Headphones and Discreet Earbuds

Product details

  • Laboratory Tested. 5 Year Limited Warranty
  • Product Weight: Unspecified
  • Batteries: 2 P76 batteries required (Included) & Provide up to 80 hours operation
  • Headphones are compatible with SuperEar Sanitary Disposable Earpad Covers
  • Convenient, Stylish Carrying Case easily clips to pocket or belt. Volume Control on Unit.
  • Lightweight, Unobtrusive Earbuds or Stereo Headphones increase sound 50+ Decibels
  • Can be used for mild hearing loss? YES

TOP RATED HEARING AMPLIFIERS – CONTEMPORARY STYLE

Top Rated Hearing Amplifiers
BANGLIJIAN Rechargeable Asistive Listening Device – B

2. BANGLIJIAN Rechargeable Asistive Listening Device for Seniors,Adults Right (Red) and Left (Blue) Ear (SOLD SEPARATELY)

Product details

  • I Year Warranty
  • Batteries : 1 Lithium Polymer batteries required. (included)
  • Rechargeable : No. Included 8 batteries Size 312 ; Battery Life – 8 hours a day for 14 days
  • Number of ear domes: 12
  • Product Weight: 8 g
  • Digital Noise reduction
  • Can be used for mild, moderate, severe, very severe hearing loss? YES
Top Rated Hearing Amplifiers
BANGLIJIAN 206CA

3. BANGLIJIAN Sound Amplifier Rechargeable with 4 Channels Layered Noise Reduction, Adaptive Feedback Cancellation

Product details

  • 3 year Warranty, Free Repair and Replacements
  • Product Weight: 3.7 g
  • Battery run time is 20-24 hours
  • Rechargeable – USB Charging
  • Noise Reduction
  • SlimTube – For both ears; for people with glasses
  • Thick tube – For both ears, adjustable length
  • Number of Ear domes: 15
  • Can be used for mild hearing loss? YES

TOP RATED HEARING AMPLIFIERS – TRADITIONAL STYLE

4. FIILS Super Mini Ear Sound Enhancer Noise Reduction Feedback Cancellation Suitable for Adults – Right and Left Ear (SOLD SEPARATELY)

Top Rated Hearing Amplifiers
FIILS RIGHT EAR

Product description

  • Product Dimension: 1.8 x 1.2cm
  • Batteries : One Lithium ion battery included
  • Warranty: Unspecified
  • Color : Red for Right Ear, Blue for Left Ear – SOLD SEPARATELY
  • Comfort Threshold Control
  • Automatic Gain Control Output for Hearing Protection
  • Comes with 3 different size domes to fit varying ear sizes
  • Can be used for mild hearing loss? YES

TOP RATED HEARING AMPLIFIERS – BLUETOOTH STYLE

5. JINGHAO Hearing Aids Rechargeable Sound Amplifiers with USB Charging Case in The Ear Hearing Assist Looks Like Bluetooth Earbud, 1 Pair(White)

Top Rated Hearing Amplifiers
JINGHAO

Product details

  • Batteries : 1 Lithium ion battery required (included)
  • Lightweight
  • Fashionable – looks like Bluetooth Earbud (1 Pair)
  • 1 year warranty
  • For Mild hearing loss – YES
  • Rechargeable – USB charging / Portable charging case
  • Noise reduction

Conclusion

If you have very mild hearing loss, use of a hearing amplifier can be beneficial as you possibly do not want to expend several hundreds or thousands of dollars on a programmable hearing aid. BUT it is recommended, and best practice, to have a professional hearing test done prior to going out to purchase an amplifier. This is to rule out the presence of any medical indications. Without a hearing test, you could risk worsening your mild hearing loss.

There is a mountain of hearing amplifiers that may be purchased online. Some are more popular than others, but there are generally only a handful of top rated hearing amplifiers that consumers have found useful for mild hearing loss.

When searching for hearing amplifiers, you really have to be on guard about the difference between a hearing aid and a hearing amplifier as some manufacturers use those terms interchangeably. Some hearing amplifiers are also advertised as ” FDA approved”. This tends to murky the waters. Remember – Only hearing aids are certified and approved by the FDA and are programmable to individual needs.

References

Susan Resnick et al (2014) Hearing Loss Linked to Accelerated Brain Tissue Loss https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/hearing_loss_linked_to_accelerated_brain_tissue_loss_

Frank Lin & Luigi Ferruci (2012) Hearing Loss Linked to Three-Fold Risk of Falling https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/hearing_loss_linked_to_three_fold_risk_of_falling

New York Times A Push for Less Expensive Hearing Aids (2016) https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/15/health/a-push-for-less-expensive-hearing-aids.html

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders – NIDCD (2012) https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/age-which-hearing-loss-begins

12 thoughts on “Top Rated Hearing Amplifiers. How Useful Are They?”

  1. First of all, I want to say thanks for sharing this post. I’m pleased to see that you have included a few sections that help to determine the difference between a Hearing Amplifier (PSAP)and a Hearing Aid. I find this section extremely important.

    Secondly, your suggestions seem like a great deal. My mom suffers from a gradual hearing loss but she’s too proud to consider one of these devices. I’ll show her your list here and maybe she will change her mind about it. Thanks again for sharing this extremely helpful content!

    Reply
  2. Hi Ceci,

    Thanks for showing us your recommendations for hearing amplifiers that we could purchase online. I worried about the past design since the old models look bigger and not easy to carry. From your sharing, some of them are very light, and the last one looks like a pair of wireless earphones, which resembles mine, to be honest.
    I agree with you that if people want to purchase hearing amplifiers, it’s a must to go to doctors with a professional hearing test to know which products suit them. So, I see that you are providing an honest suggestion and great value to your readers today.

    Cheers,
    Matt

    Reply
    • Yes Matt, there are some newer model ear phone type hearing amplifiers that look amazing. In fact, no-one will know that they are hearing aids, and if they do, they’ll think you are quite classy!
      Ceci

      Reply
  3. Wow
    Great article. I never knew anything about hearing amplifiers at all and I have learnt that there is a difference between them and hearing aids.
    Can hearing amplifiers be used by any person or are they to be used only be people who have experienced hearing loss?
    As you said that one needs to do a test to check they need amplifiers I just would like to know that.

    Reply
    • It is always a good idea to get a professional test done before buying hearing amplifiers, even though you do not require a prescription to buy one. The reason being to ensure that you do not have an underlying condition that needs to be professionally treated.
      Ceci

      Reply
  4. Very interesting article. My husband served 27 years in the Canadian military and has experienced hearing loss. He does wear hearing aids which Veterans Affairs provides for him. In his case, I don’t think hearing amplifiers would have helped since his hearing was damaged as a result of a tank firing while he was inside another nearby tank repairing their comms equipment. It is amazing his eardrums weren’t damaged by that level of sound percussion. I was not aware there was something like these hearing amplifiers. I would have recommended them to my father had I known about them sooner as he had mild hearing loss and was constantly increasing the volume on the television. Thanks for educating us, please keep up the great work.

    Reply
    • Hearing Aids need to be prescribed and fitted by a professional, while hearing amplifiers are very much “over the counter” purchases not requiring prescription or fitting by an audiologist. Hearing amplifiers as you rightly commented are helpful to people with mild hearing loss.
      Ceci

      Reply
  5. I remember my father a few years back now, suffering from hearing loss and the fact that he was too proud to go and see a professional about it.

    We thought that he was just ignoring people but eventually he did go and see someone and the hearing aids he was prescribed you didn’t even know he was wearing them.

    However, this did give him a new lease of life and for the first time in a few years, I could actually have a proper conversation with him.

    With him, it was all about other people knowing that he was wearing aids but the ones he had you just couldn’t see them.

    Obviously the smaller the more expensive.

    Looking at the ones in this article I see that the battery life isn’t too great but I guess you get what you pay for.

    Thank you for sharing

    Reply
  6. Hi Ceci,

    I, like many others, have a grandparents that let’s his pride get in the way of considering a hearing aid. I wish there was something more we could do to help them overcome that pride and just understand our bodies are vessels and it’s aging process does not define us in our ladder years. I am happy to share this article with him! But unfortunately it will be for informational use only as I tried clicking on the links and could not be redirected to the product because it’s for Amazon.ca.

    Reply
    • Hi Haley,
      I don’t understand what you mean by being unable to be re-directed to the product on Amazon. I have checked the links and they work. I am so sorry about that. I suggest that you get your grandparents to subscribe to the newsletter and as they continue to read about changes associated with aging, they will begin to understand the need for hearing aids.

      Ceci

      Reply

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