Last updated on 26th July 2016
Welcome to the web’s best guide to personal hearing amplifiers. In this guide we’re going to share everything you need to know about buying a hearing amplifier. Within this guide you’ll find information on:
- Specifically what a personal hearing amplifier is and how they work
- How a personal hearing amplifier is different to a hearing aid
- Who hearing amplifiers are suitable for
- The safest place to buy on-line
- Reviews and ratings of audio amplifiers
If you are in a rush and just want to know what the best audio amplifier available in 2016 is then click here to read the full review of the life ear audio amplifier. We think its the best because of its quality and because of the amount of channels it has. And it’s made by accredited audiologists.
Skip to the section of the buyers guide that interests you the most:
- Comparing the top rated amplifiers available today
- The 3 Best Personal Hearing Amplifiers of 2016
- 1. Our top rated – The LifeEar Audio Amplifier
- 2. Runners up – The CS10 Hearing Amplifier
- 3. Third place – The MSA 30x Hearing Enhancer
- What to Consider When Buying an Audio Amplifier
- What is a Hearing Amplifier?
- How do Sound Amplifiers Work?
- Who are Hearing Amplifiers Suitable for?
- Do Sound Amplifiers Enhance Hearing In Every Environment?
- Other buyer’s guides you maybe interested in:
Comparing the top rated amplifiers available today
We spent over 50 hours compiling as much research as we could on the top 5 amplifiers for 2016.
We tried to categorise them into the most important factors so you can get a sense of what the right one is for you.
Here’s the comparison table…
Compare today’s best hearing amplifiers
|Life Ear audio amp||Super Ear SE4000||Clear Hear BTE||EasyUSLife EZ220||Sound World CS50|
|PRICE RANGE||$349 – $400||$30 – $40||$43 – $130||$60 – $400||$300 – $400|
|OUR RATING||4/5 STARS||4/5 STARS||4.5/5 STARS||3.5/5 STARS||4/5 STARS|
|WARRANTY PERIOD||6 MONTHS||3 YEAR||1 YEAR||1 YEAR||1 YEAR|
|30 DAYS||90 DAYS||30 DAYS||NONE||30 DAYS|
If your not a “table person” and just want the results, here they are…
- The best overall hearing amplifier was the Life Ear Hearing Amplifier.
- The best warranty period is provided by the Super Ear SE4000with a warranty period of 3 years.
- The best sized hearing amplifier (we are taking smaller as better as its more discreet) goes to Life Ear.
- The hearing amplifier with the most amount of sound amplification programs goes to Life Ear. (they have 4 different settings, depending on the background noise)
From the above you can clearly see why we rate Life Ear as the number one hearing amplifier.
Worth bearing in mind before you proceed that a hearing amplifier is great for day-to-day general use. If you need to be able to hear on the telephone then we suggest you read our guide to the best phones available for hearing impaired people.
The 3 Best Personal Hearing Amplifiers of 2016
If you want more information on each amplifier be sure to check out the review page by clicking on the link.
1. Our top rated – The LifeEar Audio Amplifier
An audiologist designed the LifeEar personal audio amplifier. It has 4 volume and noise reduction programs, which helps users to get the most out of the device. It also features 12-band digital sound processing.
The LifeEar at a Glance
Here is an at a glance list of why we have included this amplifier on our top 3 list:
- 100% digital hearing amplifier
- Designed by a medical professional with decades of experience
- Several programming options with Digital noise reduction
- lots of positive reviews from actual users
- Significant discount for buying one for each ear (two)
- Great customer support and after sales technical help
This hearing amplifier is the most expensive on our list, but the price reflects the quality of the product. It is designed by an audiologist and is one of the few truly digital hearing amplifiers on the market.
2. Runners up – The CS10 Hearing Amplifier
Although this came in a close second behind LifeEar theres still plenty we like about the cs10, from its stylish look and feel to its advanced features and customisable app. Quick overview
- Bluetooth integration and fully compatible with your iPhone or android device
List Price: $298.80Price Disclaimer
- Programmable via and easy to use App, so no tiny buttons
- Long lasting rechargeable battery with a spare set included
- Looks stylish and its small, lightweight and comfortable
- built in program specifically for going to restaurants
The customer reviews we read about this product is what first got us interested in this amplifier. It is not particularly cheap, but you get great value for money because it is so feature rich and so well made.
If you want to find out even more about this modestly priced hearing amplifier then click here to read our detailed review of the CS10
3. Third place – The MSA 30x Hearing Enhancer
This sound amplifier is nowhere near as feature rich as the others we have featured. However, it is far cheaper. If you are on a tight budget and want to get a better understanding of whether hearing amplifiers are really for you this device is a great way of finding out.
You can use it to try one out. It really is cheap enough to allow you to do this. However, don’t expect miracles with this device. To some extent with hearing devices you get what you pay for and this is reflected in the customer reviews for this device, which were very mixed.
Some people absolutely loved the device. Around 40% of people gave the device four or five stars. Many of these people were quite content with the aid and found it met their needs and commented that it exceeded their expectation. Others found it did not help them much because of all the background noise.
It is only our top list primarily because of the price, but if your looking for something cheap for occasional use then it may do you just fine.
What to Consider When Buying an Audio Amplifier
To recap hearing amplifiers can help those with mild hearing loss to hear more clearly in many situations. If you want to buy one we suggest you bear the following in mind when making your choice.
- Whether the hearing device is suitable for the situations you plan to use it in
- What the reviews say
- Whether you can program and adjust the amplifier
- Your budget is a factor, but always buy the best you can afford
- Ease of use. If the buttons are small and fiddley it will be a problem
What is a Hearing Amplifier?
As the name indicates a hearing amplifier enhances sound. It literally magnifies sound. When wearing one, you will find that your hearing experience is greatly enhanced as you can now hear sounds from all frequencies that were previously inaudible. Personal hearing amplifiers are also known as sound amplifiers and you will often find the two terms used interchangeably on the web.
They are easy to use, easy to remove, maintain and keep clean. The best ones are completely invisible, so no one need know that you are wearing one.
How do Sound Amplifiers Work?
The way they work is very similar to a microphone – picking up on surrounding noise and feeding it through to a tiny speaker. However, they have much greater range and are small enough to sit comfortably behind and in the ear.
An amplifier does not work in the same way as a medical grade haring aid. It amplifiers all sound and has less calibration options than a hearing aid.
Medical grade hearing aids amplify specific frequencies of sound. If you have lost the ability to hear high frequency sounds a medical grade hearing aid can be calibrated to pick up those sounds. An amplifier will enhance sound across the entire spectrum. This means that you will end up hearing background noise as well as what you are trying to listen to.
This short youtube video sums up the key differences between a sound amplifier and a hearing aid.
Who are Hearing Amplifiers Suitable for?
The fact that they pick up the full spectrum of sound means that this kind of hearing aid is not suitable for everyone. They are usually not as powerful as full-blown hearing aids. This means that if you have lost virtually all of your hearing a simple amplifier is not going to help you much.
For this reason, we recommend to all of our readers that they speak to their doctor about their hearing loss. It is important to understand what is behind your hearing loss and we recommend getting an audiometric test done. This will help you to determine whether an audio or sound amplifier can help you. Hearing amplifiers are not the same as hearing aids. It is very important to understand that they are not medical devices, and you should never buy one from someone who tries to tell you that a hearing amplifier is the same as a hearing aid.
However, that said they are helpful devices provided you use them for the right reason and in the right way. People with mild hearing loss can really benefit from using them.
Do Sound Amplifiers Enhance Hearing In Every Environment?
Most of our readers use hearing amplifiers for occasional use. Popular uses include going to church or the theater. In this situation there is not a huge amount of background noise, so the fact amplifiers enhance background noise is not an issue. You can hear the sermon or the people on the stage.
Many people also use them for watching TV or listening to music. It means that you can turn the TV down to a normal level. This means that you do not have to disturb everyone else in the house when you watch the TV.
Using them outdoors can be problematic. For example, you would not want to use one while at a sporting event or on a windy day. The sound of the crowd or the wind is likely to be too intrusive.
Some people say they get used to the fact background noises are enhanced and learn to tune this out. It takes a few weeks to learn how to do this, but if you can do so, it may be possible for you to use your amplifier in more places and social situations.
People report mixed results when making phone calls. Some experience feedback and cannot hear well, whilst others get on fine when using a landline or mobile phone.
If you have any questions at all, we would be glad to answer them. Just drop them in the comments below and a member of the team will get back to you with an answer.