Best Hearing Amplifier

Best Hearing Amplifier

Acquiring a perfect hearing amplifier is becoming a great challenge in today’s world unlike in the past when there were only few options a buyer could choose from. Due to the improved technology that has lead to new innovations in the hearing amplifiers hence giving buyers a hard time to know which hearing amplifiers best suits them. With the various designs and also a wide range of companies offering these amplifiers, it becomes so confusing on which amplifier to go for.

However, being complicated on what decision to make while buying amplifiers does not mean it is impossible to get the best choice. If you are facing a challenge in choosing the right hearing amplifier then this article is meant for you has it provides a comprehensive guide on getting the best hearing amplifier.

Factors to consider while getting the best hearing amplifier

1. Cost
Cost is a key factor while determining the best hearing amplifier. All the different kinds of amplifiers are charged at different prices and it is thus important to chose the hearing amplifier that you can comfortably acquire. If you need a quality amplifier then you should be ready to spent more funds. You should not however struggle to get an expensive amplifier if your Budger is restrained. Just acquire what is best for you and you can comfortably acquire it.
2. Special features
Every hearing aid is designed differently such that you can only get some features in specific amplifiers. Therefore. If you want your amplifier designed in a specific way, then you should ensure that you give a complete description of the hearing aid that suits you. Some amplifies are able to connect to Bluetooth speakers or even the cell phones while others cannot and therefore it is important to choose wisely especially if you spent most of your time in noisy environments.

3. Wireless connectivity

You will need to get an hearing aid that can wirelessly connect with your smart phone or even other electronic devices.

4. Lifestyle
Your lifestyle is also important when it comes to deciding which amplifier is good for you. If you are the kind of a person who spends most of the time listening to music or even sports then getting a perfect hearing amplifier is key to you.

Now that the factors that one should consider when choosing a hearing aid have been highlighted, let us explore what constitutes a good hearing amplifier. While the standards vary from the hearing needs, this article will give overlapping qualities that will definitely help you when buying a hearing amplifier.

Major constituents of a good hearing amplifier include:

Frequency Balance 
With recent studies showing over amplification of low frequency sounds and under-amplification of high frequency sounds, a good hearing aid must ensure take care of this. It should ensure that there is balanced amplification.

Majority of those who use personal sound amplification suffer from high frequency impairment. Without proper balance, they might fail to understand high frequency sounds. Moreover, low frequency sounds if over-amplified might become noise. With proper balance, you will understand all sounds as they are balanced.

Digital Sound Enhancement 
Majority of recent hearing amplifiers use digital sound enhancements to achieve a balanced output. Hearing amplifiers should not only turn the volume up but also achieve an output that is not noisy. There are sophisticated hearing amplifiers with buttons or icons that you can use to customize the output. Thus, depending on your need, you can easily tune them to suit you.

Wearable 
Every hearing amplifier must be designed to be wearable on the ears. Thus, its design should mimic the ear so that wearing it is easy. This also ensures that you do not need to keep on holding it onto the ear.

Resilience 
This quality is general and runs across for every other electronic device to be deemed good. Specific to hearing amplifiers, it should be well fused and made of quality appliances to ensure that it lasts for a longer time. The material should not be brittle so that it can withstand any forces of denudation.

Positive Review 
Once a client buys a hearing amplifier, they occasionally review the product and give it a rating. Good hearing amplifier always has a wondrous rating. Users review them as the best available. However, do not let this be the reason you pay a lot for your hearing amplifier. Consistency in prices is also a feature to consider.

Best Hearing Amplifier Brand

Though different people suggest different hearing amplifiers as being the best, one of them is quoted by sundry and all. The Otofonix Hearing Amplifier is deemed the best hearing amplifier on the market now. Not only does its design and features geared towards client focus but also utilizes the late technologies to make a modern hearing amplifier. The hearing amplifiers also come with a clear manual on usage and instructions to ensure that it is put on in the right way. However, diversitin hearing needs might prompt different hearing amplifiers as the best. Consequently, be sure to get a hearing amplifier that takes care of your hearing needs.

Top 5 Hearing Amplifiers

Though the list is always changing, there are a number of hearing amplifiers that always remain at the top five. This ranking takes into consideration all the factors contained herein for a good hearing amplifier. It also considers every customer review and the criteria laid here for a good hearing amplifier.
The current best hearing amplifiers on the market are:

Otofonix Encore Hearing Amplifier

PROS:

  • FDA Approved for over-the-counter use. No Prescription Necessary
  • Comfortable “open fit” design
  • Adaptive Dual Directional Microphones
  • Advanced Feedback Cancellation
  • 10 Bands Layered Noise Reduction
  • Digital Rocker Switch easily controls 10 volume levels
  • Telecoil function
  • Mild to severe hearing loss
  • 4 program functions
  • 12 month warranty against any manufacturer defect
  • Unlimited phone and email support
  • 45 day money back guarantee to ensure 100% satisfaction

CONS:

  • Relatively expensive.

Otofonix Elite Hearing Amplifier

PROS:

  • Very easy to use.
  • Background Noise Reduction.
  • Quiet Environment
  • Very versatile
  • Great Sound quality.
  • Using digital chip.
  • Battery Saving Mode.
  • Long Battery Life
  • Acoustic Feedback Cancellation.
  • 45 day money back guarantee.

CONS:

  • Relatively expensive.
  • Battery is not rechargeable.

Empower Hearing Amplifier

PROS:

  • Very easy to use.
  • Effective background-noise suppression. The amount of background noise is far less.
  • Quiet Environment
  • Great Sound quality.
  • Using digital chip.
  • Long Battery Life
  • Layered Noise Reduction.
  • 30 days money back guarantee.
  • Ouput limiting.
  •  8 BATTERIES INCLUDED.
  • The volume control is very good.

CONS:

  • Relatively expensive.
  • Battery is not rechargeable.

Neosonic Hearing Amplifier

PROS:

  • Adjustable for different types of environments which is great.
  • Love the small size as well as the 4 channels.Very small, barely noticeable
  • Very easy to use.
  • Great Sound quality.
  • 45 days money back guarantee.
  • 1 year warranty.
  • Affordable Prices
  • World’s Smallest Hearing Amplifier
  • Only Weighs 1.8g Including Battery
  • Discreet and Invisible
  • Tiny, Yet Powerful
  • Low Disturbing Noises
  • Separates Speech
  • Multi-Channel Signal Processing

CONS:

  • Battery is not rechargeable.
  • For conversation it will be good but TV isn’t the best.

5Sidekick – Bluetooth Wireless Personal Sound Amplifier

Sidekick - Bluetooth Wireless Personal Sound Amplifier

PROS:

  • It’s very  comfortable.
  • Sound quality is very good.
  • BLUETOOTH COMPATIBILITY
  • Rechargeable batterry.
  • #1 Top Hearing Aid Alternative on the Market
  • 30 day risk free trial

CONS:

  • No switch off button.

 

With the emerging audio technologies, hearing amplifiers are on the revolution as well. What used to be an expensive hearing aid years ago is cheap and with increased efficiency. No matter the type of sound amplification need you may have, There is always a brand of hearing amplifiers that will succinctly suit you. Importantly, get value for your money with the wide range available in the market. With the guidelines contained herein, you will certainly be able to pick a hearing amplifier that will fit you.

Hearing Aids vs. Amplifiers

Q: Is a PSAP the same thing as a hearing amplifier?

A: Yes, PSAP or Personal Sound Amplification Product is another name for a hearing amplifier.

Q: Aren’t hearing amplifiers unsafe? I’ve read that they aren’t FDA approved and can damage your hearing.

A: Low end amplifiers can be unsafe – if they don’t have safeguards built in to ensure that the amplification can’t be turned up so high that it can actually damage your hearing. High end amplifiers (from companies like LifeEar, Otofonix, and Ulaif) have automatic gain controls to limit the amplification level. Also, while many of the lower cost amplifiers aren’t FDA approved, the majority of the manufacturers of higher end models have had their products approved by the FDA.

Q: What about the quality of the components used in hearing amplifiers compared to hearing aids?

A: The major hearing aid manufacturers assemble components produced by a small number of manufacturers. The higher end amplifiers are generally assembled using the same components from the same manufacturers so the quality should be comparable.

Q: Hearing amplifiers simply amplify certain sounds – they don’t actually help anyone with hearing loss do they

A: In the past (and it’s still true for most lower priced models) amplifiers did simply increase the volume of certain sounds to make it easier for people with “normal” hearing to hear in noisy environments such as restaurants. Currently though, many of the better hearing amplifiers are pre-programmed to selectively amplify the higher frequencies more than the low frequencies since 90-95% of people with mild to moderate hearing loss have this problem. For those individuals, amplifiers can provide an improvement in hearing even though they can’t be custom programmed like hearing aids.

Q: Do I need a prescription to buy a hearing amplifier? I know I need one to buy a hearing aid.

A: No, hearing amplifiers can be bought over the counter without a prescription.  Hearing aids on the other hand could could only be purchased in the United States through a licensed professional up until 2017.  In September of 2017 Congress passed legislation to allow over-the-counter (OTC) devices to be marketed and sold as hearing aids without requiring a prescription.

Q: What about cost?

A: Here’s where personal service and custom fitting come into play. The better hearing amplifiers generally sell for between $200 and $500 – or about one tenth the prices of a hearing aid. If your hearing problem is a common one an amplifier may work about as well as a hearing aid – but if you have a more severe loss of hearing or an unusual type of hearing loss, a custom programmed and fitted hearing aid may be your only answer.   NOTE: The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t allow PSAPs (Personal Sound Amplification Products or Hearing Amplifiers) to be marketed as devices to improve impaired hearing. But the National Academy of Sciences and the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology have recently said that PSAPs can help some people with mild to moderate hearing impairment. Both groups are calling for the FDA to allow PSAPs to be marketed as a way to address hearing loss.

Online Hearing Tests

Online hearing tests offer a convenient way to check your hearing so you can detect a possible hearing loss or a problem of any kind with your hearing as soon as possible, without having to consult an audiologist. However, if the online test indicates a possible hearing problem you should contact an audiologist to get a professional hearing exam.

Note: These tests can also be used to measure the performance of your hearing aid or hearing amplifier (PSAP).   There are two types of online hearing tests: calibrated and non-calibrated. Most of the hearing tests available online are non-calibrated. They work by having you turn up the volume on your computer until you can hear a certain tone. Then that tone is considered the faintest sound you can hear. The test measures the quietest sound you can reliably hear at least 50 percent of the time — your absolute hearing threshold. That information can be helpful, but it’s only an approximation of your hearing threshold and it leaves you with a number of other questions. It doesn’t tell you how well you hear speech, how well you understand what you hear, and whether the hearing loss is due to age, excessive exposure to noise or an injury to your ear.

Calibrated tests provide a truer indication of your absolute hearing thresholds (the faintest sounds you can hear). This is what your ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) specialist measures when you go through a hearing test at his or her office. Results of a hearing test administered by a professional are often summarized and displayed in an audiogram, a graph showing your hearing thresholds across various frequencies.

Audiograms require a properly calibrated audio system though. Since the online test has no idea how loud the sound level has been set to on your computer as you listen to the test, producing an online audiogram requires a trick. The result isn’t precise but it’s good enough to give you a rough estimate of your hearing loss, if any.   Note: Here’s an example of how an online audiogram test works (taken from the Audio Check website: https://www.audiocheck.net/testtones_hearingtestaudiogram.php)

First, you need to adjust your computer’s sound level to match a known reference. The trick is to rub your hands together, in front of your nose, quickly and firmly, and try producing the same sound as the online test’s calibration file. Now you’re generating a reference sound that is approximately 65 dB SPL (decibels of sound pressure). As you play back the test’s calibration file, adjust your computer’s volume to match the sound level you just heard from your hands. Repeat the process going back and forth – preferably with your eyes closed, to increase concentration – until both levels match. Then, don’t touch your  computer’s volume knob anymore. That completes the calibration – your computer’s volume knob should now be set to match 65 dB SPL. This procedure should provide a confidence level of approximately 10 dBHL (10 decibels in hearing level) in the next hearing test.   Note: If you’re wearing headphones (recommended) be sure to take them off  when listening to the reference sound made by your hands.

Each frequency will be tested separately, at increasing levels. Always start with the quietest file (-5 dbHL) and stop when your hearing threshold level has been reached. Interpret your results as shown below:

  • -5 dbHL: Outstanding hearing
  • 0-10 dBHL: Normal Hearing
  • 20-30 dbHL: Mild Hearing Loss
  • 40-60 dBHL: Moderate Loss
  • 70-80 dBHL: Severe Hearing Loss

For a very good analysis of online hearing tests go to: https://mynoise.net/bestOnlineHearingTests.php

Here are a few of the recommended hearing tests from the above web page:

Hearing Test Online (calibrated): https://hearingTest.online. Rated as the best online test. A similar test at AudioCheck.net is also highly rated. Hearing Test Online doesn’t have step-by-step instructions but it may be the quickest one to take.

Nessa Online Hearing Test (calibrated) – (https://nessa.asia. The same engineer who designed Hearing Test Online designed this online test.  Nessa’s test does provide step-by-step instructions, which makes it easier to understand but that also means it takes longer to take the test. Nessa’s version also uses natural sounds (a dog barking, frogs croaking and so on) rather than tones, which makes it more fun to take.

Handtronix Online Hearing Test (non-calibrated)https://www.handtronix.com. You start by playing an initial tone and setting the sound level of your computer so that the tone plays at your hearing threshold. Then you listen to the other tones available and confirm that you can hear them, too.If you can hear the lower tones but not the higher ones, it can be the early sign of a hearing loss. It’s a fast, simple test but it’s only valid at your hearing threshold – it can’t tell you if your hearing threshold is normal.

Starkey Hearing Test (non-calibrated)https://www.starkey.com. An extremely well-designed, step-by-step hearing test that starts with some generic questions about your hearing, such as asking whether you sometimes have difficulties understanding speech on the telephone or on TV.  Then comes a pure tone audiometric test to assess the sound levels on your computer at which you hear the test tones.

However, if you have hearing loss that affects both ears and all frequencies equally the test will fail to provide any usable results. A unique feature of Starkey’s test is that there’s a speech intelligibility section of the test n which you will be asked to match a word with suggestions off a list of similar sounding words (e.g., pass, cash, hash). That section of the test could point a problem with your hearing at certain frequencies.

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