Years ago a study was done asking hearing aid users to try an analog aid, and then a digital one and give their own cheap hearing aid review. Then they were given an analog aid and were told it was digital and people still found the so called “digital” aid to be more effective. People believe the hype that digital is better no matter what. Yes digital has it’s advantages, so do analogs. However, we think that naturally improving your hearing should always be your first choice.
Most aids today are digital, though not all are 100% digital.
Then there’s the technical hype that sellers baffle you with to make their aids sound more technically advanced. Sure, there’s directional microphones, multiple bands, dynamic range compression or the performance of one algorithm over another. Yet we know that people make the uneducated assumption that technical is better. Have you learned about what’s in a hearing aid today? It’s incredible the engineering that goes into those aids.
Then there’s the personal evaluation hype that fills the reviews with how much better this one or that one sounded over the others. The bottom line is sixty-forty. Sixty say great. Forty say they’re trash.
There are however a few things you can look out for that can help you with your decision.
To begin with, every discipline like Otolaryngology, the branch of medicine that deals with diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the ear, nose, and throat, has it’s own language, as do hearing aids.
It helps to get to know the terms that are used to describe different aspects of a hearing aid.
You can obtain a simple understanding to help you out to begin with or
find yourself in something very complex to understand.
However when purchasing a cheap hearing aid,
the so called science comes down to:
a) does it amplify sound well enough without feedback or distortion, or:
b) does it fit you properly and look OK.
Even the CIC (Completely In the Canal) aids have a plastic wand sticking out to help you remove them at the end of the day. Those wands are as obvious as the customary BTE (Behind The Ear) aid we’ve become accustomed to. No matter how much the advertising claim they disappear.
Hearing aids are individual.
The bottom line is, there’s no one aid that fits all. So if your aid does not fit you correctly, you’ll need to return it. If you bought it off Amazon, chances are you can’t return it. I only saw one company out of ten with a return policy. That’s why you don’t see a lot of the better hearing aids sold on Amazon. Audiologists know what you need and will not let themselves be dictated to by a companies policy of not opening the package. You can’t know how well it works until you’ve opened the package.
When you choose to buy a cheap hearing aid, you’re doing just that; buying a cheap aid. Some will work, and work great, and some will be a waste of your money. They are however, entry level tests by the consumer to check out how well they help with your hearing needs. Some people immerse their big toe in the water before jumping in the pool.
If I was asked which one to buy when I first investigated the cheaper aids on Amazon, I would have picked the one that later on turned out to be the worst one to purchase, and the worst one turned out to look pretty good.
Review of Ten Inexpensive Hearing Amplifiers
1 The SSI Mini Hearing Enhancement System
This one offers five levels of volume control and is ideal for the hearing impaired, hunters and sports enthusiasts. They claim you could hear a deer in the forest from a hundred feet away. Apparently the noise of a gunshot would render you deaf while another can break down before use.
The background noises which can be bothersome, for some but not others. For $9.99 it’s tempting to get one. Even though the volume control is said to be hard to work and the tube connecting the ear plug is too long for a proper fit.
SSI 2 Bud Hearing Enhancement with Tone Control (4 Batteries Included, Black)
2 MEDca High Quality Rechargeable Ear Hearing Amplifier
This unit now sells for $47.45 but was $197.26. A saving of a whopping 76% with no explanations why it now costs so much less. I notice a lot of products on Amazon that say they were what looks like an inflated prices and now sell at a rock bottom prices. This makes the companies ethics look suspect to me, even if it is “gift wrap available”.
This is a rechargeable unit that has six different ear pieces instead of the usual three. They also claim the aid is a “new world to super ears”. If you’ve got the thing jacked up so high to hear a whisper a hundred feet away and someone beside you says hello. You just might jump straight off the ground. Again, be careful. Some say they had trouble getting the charger system worked out, others said they had trouble with volume knob control, but most spoke favorably about the aid.
MEDca High Quality Rechargeable Ear Hearing Amplifier
3 Hearing Amplifier By DTM
The ear buds are made of a soft comfortable rubber, except there’s only two of them to choose from. Large or small. They also fit both ears which is very helpful and their light, only .03 of an ounce.
Included is a one year warranty worth mentioning as well. At least you could return it if it didn’t live up to your expectations. Keep in mind to keep your expectations in check over a unit that only costs you $32.00 each. This one has a lot of positive reviews:
Hearing Amplifier, Behind The Ear, Gain Level: 29±5dB, Easy To Use, Clear Sound, Fit Both Ears, Energy-Saving Technology, with 2 ear buds (Large and Small) to fit most customers. New flexible tube best fit over ear. Ear buds made from special soft rubber that’s comfortable. One LR44 / 357 / 76 button cell battery included(20 hours). PR44 / 675 button cell battery available for purchase separately (100 hours).
4 Walker’s Game Ear Ultra Ear ITC (Pair)
The list price was $74.99 and now it’s only $16.24, jeepers, a 78% discount. Huh? Like a lot of other hearing aid companies they advertise free shipping on orders over $35 That means the cost of three aids will get you free shipping. But only if there are three available in stock. With amazon you never know for sure.
The Walker’s Game Ear ITC (in the canal) hearing amplifiers are well regarded online. Remembering that most amplifiers expand all the sound around you equally. You won’t forget the person next to you chewing gum, that’s for sure. They do offer some compression attributes that help muffle muzzle blasts. They also fit in either ear which is a bonus, but weigh in at .08 which is a little heavy.
Hearing Amplifier, Behind The Ear, Gain Level: 29±5dB, Easy To Use, Clear Sound, Fit Both Ears, Energy-Saving Technology, with 2 ear buds (Large and Small) to fit most customers. New flexable tube best fit over ear. Ear buds made from special soft rubber that’s comfortable. One LR44 / 357 / 76 button cell battery included(20 hours). PR44 / 675 button cell battery available for purchase separately (100 hours).
Again their price lists at $32.85 but today you can have one for only $23.98. Maybe next year they’ll be half off? Who knows. It does seem that they have put in a lot of effort to come up with an inexpensive aid that will meet all of your hearing needs. This is also the first hearing amplifier that mentions women in their advertising.
Like many of the others, this one has three ear buds and says that the piping is invisible. They are also using the latest electronic based air-conduction technology. First time I ever heard that term. Hmmm? However, the on off switch is easy to manipulate. Something many others complain about their hearing aids. Basically a good little aid.
The Owl XL Hearing Amplifier
This rechargeable unit only costs $27.99. It uses some micro processor technology that says it reduces background noise for your hearing enjoyment but the reviews say otherwise. The package includes three ear tips made of soft silicone and an AC adapter case for charging your batteries that can’t be opened by people with arthritis.
The biggest complaint is that the ear pieces are larger in size than the usual aid and a number of people had trouble with them falling out of their ears.
7 TinBest EAR Hearing Amplifier Personal Sound Amplifier
Last year this was $187.63. Today you can have it for only $24.05. This is a pretty good product that is equal to some of the best hearing aids on the market. High and low frequency modes help eliminate the background sounds complained about in other hearing amplifiers. However, their volume control is not so easy to adjust.
Another item that keeps cropping up on TinBest is battery time length. Apparently a lot of Chinese batteries that come with aids only last a few hours. North American gives you a better run for your money. It can however make your purchase a little displeasing at first until you get it all sorted out. Buying bulk is better.
TinBest EAR Hearing Amplifier Personal Sound Amplifier
8 MSA 30X Sound Amplifier – As Seen On TV
To start off with, the MSA 30X leads with that it’s as advertised on TV. It charges about five dollars less than the sticker price of $29.98 to sell for $24.95. Then I see that it only weighs .03 ounces where the other aids weighed in around .04. Nice! That it’s rechargeable is a plus. Especially if you don’t like the gnawing bite of batteries weekly. It had a choice of six ear tips. The science specs checked out OK with respect to decibel levels et al. Unfortunately, this product has a lot of unhappy customers.
MSA 30X Sound Amplifier – As Seen On TV
9 Okara Rechargeable Ear Hearing Amplifier
Unfortunately the best feature of Okara was only that it was rechargeable. Albeit a good feature, it was difficult to find anything more about it. It prices in at $59.95 reduced to sell at $37.94. Yes it increases the sound levels by 50 decibels or dB. One interesting point to make is that it can be charged by the wall outlet or by a triple A battery. It also has a warranty that covers manufacturing defects in materials or workmanship for ninety days.
Lots of white noise complaints. With a “don’t walk to near the phone or the fridge or they hum”. To the sizes of the ear buds would only fit a man. Sure a couple people thought they were great. Good rechargeable. But I think you’re looking for more in a hearing aid than it’s capacity to just recharge.
Okara Rechargeable Ear Hearing Amplifier
10 The Stealth Secret Sound Amplifier
This one is unique in that it is large in comparison to a BTE behind the ear hearing amplifier. It looks like something those CIA guys wear or what’s called a cell phone adapter or Blue Tooth Phone. It also weighs in a little heavier at .06 of an ounce. It sells for $39.99 and is on sale for a modest $25.99. It’s a rechargeable too! A lot of people really like that feature. With fifty more decibels you can hear a leaf drop from fifty feet away. The problems with background noise isn’t solved here but neither is it for more expensive hearing aids.
Biggest complaint is they are misrepresented in their ads. They hiss from background sounds distorting what you do want to hear and do not fit comfortably around the ear.
The Stealth Secret Sound Amplifier
So what do these hearing amplifier reviews add up too?
We’ll offer up our best three choices of hearing enhancers.
Our first choice is a toss up between the Medca and the DTM. In every respect they both look like they’ll give you what you’re looking for in a hearing amplifier. The Owl also runs a close third.
The Medca gives you the much sought after “rechargeable”
This unit will go for two days on a charge. So, no more batteries. That makes it a green product.
It has six ear tips for maximum comfort for either ear and a mini flexible ear wire with volume control.
The DTM is a little cheaper, but don’t be fooled by price
This unit offers a clear sounding 29dB decibel plus or minus range of amplification.
Soft ear tips, and a flexible tube for over the ears and comes with a twenty hour button cell battery.
The DTM is only .03 of an ounce in weight.
Order: Hearing Amplifier, Behind The Ear, Gain Level: 29±5dB, Easy To Use, Clear Sound, Fit Both Ears, Energy-Saving Technology, with 2 ear buds (Large and Small) to fit most customers. New flexible tube best fit over ear. Ear buds made from special soft rubber that’s comfortable. One LR44 / 357 / 76 button cell battery included(20 hours). PR44 / 675 button cell battery available for purchase separately (100 hours).
The “Owl” is light as a feather. No joke!
The Owl is only .04 of an ounce in weight., which is really appreciated by hearing amplifier wearers.
It also comes with a warranty. The piping to the ear is virtually undetectable.
The audio cable is 180 degree adjustable with a microphone ear piece.
Lots of customer satisfaction!
Protect yourself: Keep the volume down when first using an amplifying aid
Please keep in mind that when you do get your hearing amplifier,
keep the volume down at first!
If it’s too loud it may cause your delicate ears more harm than good.
Your brain takes some time to reorient and reeducate itself to hearing sounds again.
Some sounds that it might not have heard for quite some time.
Easy does it. Enjoy your new hearing aid.
We hope you’ve appreciated this cheap hearing aid review!
Informative article: Hearing Aids VS Hearing Amplifiers
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