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Intro to Hearing Amplification Devices

May 16, 2016

Interested in hearing better, but not yet ready for hearing aids?  Hearing amplification devices may be for you!  Hearing amplification devices, also called personal sound amplifier products (PSAPs) or assistive listening devices (ALDs) are intended for use in specific situations and for limited times during the day.  These devices can help enhance the clarity of speech in difficult listening situations, such as a concert, a board meeting, or even with soft-spoken children, and are intended to be used when needed, not all-day, every day.

The technology varies across hearing amplification devices: some include a volume control, some have a telecoil (for use with neckloops or room loops), and some have automatic adjustments for the environment (quiet versus noisy situations).  These devices can include a free or low-cost app for your smartphone or tablet computer; a wired system with a microphone, and headphones/neckloop; and the newer products tend to sit in the ear, much like a Bluetooth device or hearing aid.

Another benefit is that hearing amplification devices tend to cost significantly less than hearing aids, making them a cost-effective alternative to hearing aids or entry-level device for those with a mild hearing loss.  More and more patients are realizing the benefits of hearing better and staying active in all types of environments.  A professional hearing evaluation is strongly recommended before you purchase a hearing amplification device to rule out more serious hearing-related conditions.

One example of a hearing amplification device is the BEAN quiet sound amplifier from Etymotic. This product delivers high-fidelity sound quality and amplified hearing, and is designed to look good in the ear. Prices start at only $299.00.

Etymotic Bean

Picture from the Etymotic website of their PSAP, The Bean.

Want to learn more about hearing amplification products, including hearing aids, PSAPs, and ALDs?  Schedule a comprehensive hearing evaluation and communication needs assessment today!