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8 Best Hearing Amplifiers of 2020

8 Best Hearing Amplifiers of 2020

After nearly forty hours of research and review, we are excited to bring your our curated list of the most effective and best hearing amplifiers currently on the market. 

For people with mild hearing loss, an expensive pair of hearing aids may not be necessary. Hearing amplifiers can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of hearing aids. 

We believe that all people should be able to hear to their best ability, regardless of what they can or cannot afford.

That’s why we took a deep dive for this article. We combed through dozens of hearing amplifiers in our in our quest to find the best devices, and we determined that these five are the best of the best.

If you are a person on a budget, or if you have a flat, relatively mild hearing loss and need simple amplification across frequencies, then these personal amplifiers may provide the benefit you need.

#1 OVERALL BEST PICK

Otofonix Encore Hearing Amplifier

Otofonix Elite Hearing Amplifier to Assist and Aid Hearing for Adults and Seniors (Pair, Beige)

  • Programs for all environments

  • Noise reduction

  • Feedback canceller

  • Ten volume levels

RUNNER UP

Banglijian Hearing Amplifier Rechargeable Ziv-206

Banglijian Hearing Amplifier Rechargeable Ziv-206 with 4 Channels Layered Noise Reduction Adaptive Feedback Cancellation-with 2 Types of Sound Tubes

  • Ten volume levels

  • Four listening programs

  • Noise reduction

  • Dynamic compression

No matter what your budget is, you deserve quality hearing, and we hope one of these hearing amplifiers will help get you closer to optimized listening.

Remember, if you notice a sudden change in your hearing, you should always consult your doctor or audiologist.

It is also beneficial to get a formal hearing evaluation annually so you can use it as a guide for deciding which amplifier is right for you.  

The auditory system is extremely complex, and although these hearing amplifiers may not completely restore your hearing, they can help improve your listening and overall communication.

 #1

Otofonix Encore Hearing Amplifier

Otofonix Elite Hearing Amplifier to Assist and Aid Hearing for Adults and Seniors (Pair, Beige)

The Otofonix Mini Hearing Amplifier offers ten volume levels and four different listening programs, including normal, noisy, treble, or quiet. It also has background noise reduction capabilities, as well as a feedback canceller.

The Otofonix hearing amplifier comes with several tube and dome sizes, so that you can fit it to your ear comfortably.

It takes size 312 batteries and is also equipped with a cleaning kit so you can get the most life out of this digital amplifier.

The tubes need to be replaced frequently, due to wax and breakdown and it may take some time to get used to the “rocker” volume and program control switch, so people with poor motor skills may not find difficult to manipulate.

Why We Like It

  • The earpiece fits comfortably for all day use

  • Easy to put in your ear and adjust the volume while you’re wearing it

  • Great customer service, allowing you to get the most out of your device without too much hassle

  • Setting and volume options allow for optimized sound quality in varying listening environments

Our Rating

 #2

Banglijian Hearing Amplifier Rechargeable Ziv-206

Banglijian Hearing Amplifier Rechargeable Ziv-206 with 4 Channels Layered Noise Reduction Adaptive Feedback Cancellation-with 2 Types of Sound Tubes

The Banglijian Hearing Amplifier Rechargeable Ziv-206 is designed by doctors and audiologists to give you optimized amplification at a lower cost.

This digital amplifier boasts its slim tubing and sleek processor, so it can sit discreetly behind your ear. Banglijian states that this model has a selective amplifier, so that speech sounds are amplified over the background noise.

Finally, the Banglijian Hearing Amplifier offers ten volume settings and four listening programs, through which you can toggle with a one-touch control.

Some of the other  features of the Banglijian Hearing Amplifier Rechargeable Ziv-206 include, a selective amplifier that distinguishes between speech and background noise, noise reduction and dynamic compression, and a 12-band frequency processor.

Banglijian Hearing Amplifier Rechargeable Ziv-206 is not made for telephone conversation, as the microphone is located behind the ear.

Why We Like It

  • Simple and easy sound adjustment

  • Lightweight, comfortable, and virtually invisible

  • Gives enough boost for milder, flat hearing losses to allow for fluent conversation

  • 30-day guarantee, so that if this product doesn’t meet your hearing loss needs you can return it for a full refund

Our Rating

 #3

Banglijian Hearing Amplifier

Banglijian Hearing Amplifier BLJ-109 Rechargeable with Digital Noise Cancelling

The Banglijian Hearing Amplifier is a rechargeable audiologist-designed product that is durable, comfortable and easy to wear. This product features a rechargeable lithium battery and a noise reduction feature, which improves clarity.

According to the manufacturer, the Banglijian Hearing Amplifier features different tube and dome sizes for a good fit. As a result, it can be worn by someone with glasses. It can fit either ear, and it comes with accessories including a shockproof case, ten ear domes, the USB cable for recharging, and a cleaning brush.

This amplifier also comes with a power adapter and a user manual.

At a thickness of only 0.3” and a weight of 3.7 g, this amplifier is excellent for someone who is looking for a discrete yet powerful and effective amplifier.

It is top-rated among customers and users who have purchased it, and it comes with a 3-month hassle-free return policy as well as a 3-year manufacturer warranty for peace of mind.

Why We Like It

  • Adjustable volume control

  • Can run anywhere from 20 to 24 hours continuously with one full battery charge

  • There is a noise reduction feature that can be customized for a noisy or quiet environment

  • Automatic memory so that the volume section remains the same even when the device is turned off, until the user changes it

Our Rating

 #4

Sound World Solutions Bluetooth Hearing Sound Amplifier

Sound World Solutions CS50 Wireless Bluetooth Sound Amplifier (Two Ear Bundle)

Let’s talk about an amplifier for our techies out there.The Sound World Solutions CS50 Wireless Bluetooth Sound Amplifier connects with your iPhone or Android device to give you customizable amplification.

Not only that, but through its bluetooth connection, it doubles as  a hands-free device so that you can stream phone calls, music, movies, and audiobooks straight to your amplifiers. 

This sound amplifier offers three listening settings, including baseline, restaurant mode, and entertainment mode to give you the best auditory access to speech no matter where you are.

Additionally, the rechargeable batteries can last up to 15 hours with one charge, so you can be confident in your device lasting for full-day use.

Based on customer reviews, the frequency-specific programming and smartphone connectivity allows for adaptable and quality amplification for a wide range of listening situations. Some users say the noise reduction does not totally eliminate road noise and other types of low-frequency background noise.

Why We Like It

  • Extremely clear sound quality

  • Directionality helps to improve the audibility of speech, especially in noisy situations

  • Rechargeable batteries save you from having to replace them weekly, and they charge quickly for those on the go

  • The Bluetooth is easy to set up an the app is user friendly, allowing you to make on-the-spot adjustments to your amplification

Our Rating

 #5

Banglijian Hearing Amplifier Ziv-201

Banglijian Hearing Amplifier Rechargeable Ziv-201 High Quality Digital BTE Small Size

This discreet hearing amplifier measures just 1.4” (excluding the tubing). It tucks ergonomically behind the ear for a comfortable fit. The peak gain for this model is 41 dB, making it perfect for mild to low-moderate hearing loss.

The Ziv-201 is conveniently rechargeable. Since some hearing aids use up to 75 batteries per year, that’s a significant savings. Plug it in at night and have clear hearing all day.

The functions on this model make it a popular choice with customers. It offers full digital tone quality for lower distortion. This means some of the most important sounds you need to hear ––  the human voice, for example –– are natural and clear.

Grab this hearing device and go with the sleek carrying case. According to reviewers, there’s less chance of losing small parts, such as the self-sizeable ear domes. The case accommodates the device, tubing, ear domes, USB charger, sound tubes and cleaning brush.

Why We Like It

  • Measures just 1.4” to fit discreetly behind the ear

  • Digital technology reduces distortion, so voices are clearer

  • Rechargeable; save on the cost of batteries

  • Comes with a convenient carrying case for the accessories

Our Rating

 #6

BLJ Digital Hearing Amplifier

BLJ Hearing Amplifier Digital 6 Channels Sound Amplifier with Digital Noise Reduction and Feedback Cancellation (Right Ear-Red)

This cool little device is so small it’s nearly invisible in the ear. It doesn’t have a behind-the-ear tube. Instead, all the amplification is inside the small but powerful unit.

The state-of-the-art BLJ amplifier has 6 digital channels and layered noise reduction so sounds are crystal-clear. You can easily choose from 3 programs and 8 volume levels at the touch of a finger. A tiny pull wire makes it easy to remove when you don’t need it.

Verified customers say the open dome design is more comfortable than some other models they’ve tried. It’s incredibly light; just pop it in and enjoy clearer sound than ever before, according to satisfied users.

The company offers a 45-day hassle-free returns guarantee plus a 1-year warranty. We like that the company stands behind its products, making this purchase a no risk, high gain proposition.

Why We Like It

  • Tiny; nearly invisible while worn

  • State-of-the-art digital technology for crystal-clear hearing

  • Low price point for a very high quality product

  • 45-day no-hassle returns policy plus 1-year warranty

Our Rating

 #7

Britzgo BHA-220 Digital Hearing Amplifier

Britzgo Digital Hearing Aid Amplifier Bha-220, 500hr Battery Life,"fda Approved", Blue, Blue, 5 Ounce

The style of the BHA-220 is very much like a Bluetooth or other behind-the-ear device. While many hearing amplifiers are made to be invisible, the Britzgo shows its colors in sleek silvery gray. This gives it a more upscale feel and a totally new take on hearing amplifier exterior design.

The price for this handy model is pretty amazing ––  just a tenth of the average hearing aid –– and for the cool features, it’s a real find, according to customer reviews. Adjust it to fit either ear. It’s lightweight and comfortable to wear all day.

The digital chip means reliable, clear sound. Adjust the frequency and volume for any sound environment.

This hearing amplifier includes two extra long-life batteries. You’ll get an amazing 500 hours of use per battery, according to the manufacturer. Customers enjoy all the features of the BHA-220 at a price that’s within reach of most hearing impaired individuals.

Why We Like It

  • Sleek, ultra-modern design

  • Adjustable; fits either ear

  • Enjoy digital quality sound in your choice of channels and volume settings

  • Includes two extra long-life batteries (up to 500 hours of use per battery)

Our Rating

 #8

Pocketalker 2.0 Platinum Package

NEW!!! Pocketalker 2.0 Platinum Package By Williams Sound - Platinum Package Includes 2 Liberty Microfiber Cloths and 3 Extra Sets of Batteries (Neckloop)

We also wanted to introduce you to a different type of personal amplifier, called a Pocketalker.

A Pocketalker has a microphone separate from the earpieces, so that you can position the microphone near the sound you are trying to hear, whether in one-on-one conversation, group meetings, or when watching TV.

The Pocketalker 2.0 Platinum Package By Williams Sound is unique in that it can be used with or without hearing aids, depending on your needs.

Overall, this high-power amplifier will improve your signal-to-noise ratio, so that you can hear conversation over background noise.

Some of the main features of the Pocketalker 2.0 Platinum include and independent microphone that can be placed next to the target sound source, a neckloop for use with hearing aids that have Telecoil (T-coil) capabilities, an On/Off/Volume control wheel with several volume levels, a tone wheel to adjust sound timbre, a clothing clip and lanyard.

The earbuds are large, so if you have small ears, you may need to use your own headphones with the device. 

Why We Like It

  • Crisp and clear sound quality

  • The neckloop can be used with T-coil enabled hearing aids, to give you an extra boost

  • Extremely powerful amplification, which can be useful for people with more severe hearing losses

  • Useful for meeting or restaurants or background noise. You can place the microphone close to the speaker of interest to pick up their voice over the noise.

Our Rating


Personal Hearing Amplifiers – Educational Overview

When someone is considering a personal hearing device, they have a multitude of choices available to them.

The number of choices can make it difficult to determine the right option. One option is a hearing amplifier, as opposed to a hearing aid.

First, what is a hearing amplifier?

A hearing amplifier is also referred to as a personal sound amplifier. Other names for hearing amplifiers are Personal Sound Amplifier Products or PSAPs for short.

These are auditory tools that are used by people who don’t necessarily have moderate or severe hearing impairment, but they need to amplify sounds especially in specific situations. Reasons a hearing amplifier might be used include:

  • A hunter or outdoor sportsperson might use a hearing amplifier to help them hear faint wildlife sounds more clearly.
  • Hearing amplifiers can help improve work performance if you need to hear conversations clearly to ensure you aren’t missing key details.
  • A hearing amplifier may be used for interpersonal conversations to improve someone’s overall level of communication.
  • Amplifiers may be used to improve safety—for example, using one can help a person who’s driving to hear sounds around them more clearly.

How Do Personal Sound Hearing Amplifier Work?

Personal sound amplifiers do as the name implies—they amplify sounds around a person. They help the user hear more subtle sounds and all sounds are louder when they’re used.

In the most general way they work like hearing aids because they take sound input, process it digitally and then deliver it to the ear. Unlike hearing aids, a personal listening device makes sounds louder across all frequencies. 

How Is a Hearing Amplifier Different From Hearing Aids?

One of the biggest questions people often have when it comes to hearing amplifiers is how they differ from hearing aids.

A key distinction is the fact that hearing aids are medical devices. Before you can receive hearing aids, you have to do a hearing test which is known as an audiogram. The prescribing and use of hearing aids is regulated by the FDA while hearing amplifiers don’t require a prescription and they aren’t a regulated product.

The main differences between hearing amplifiers and prescribed hearing aids include:

  • Hearing aids are programmable, and they are custom-fitted. This allows them to be modified to the exact needs of the patient, and these specifications are based on the results of the person’s hearing test.
  • Along with being programmable, hearing aids can also be adjusted over time to compensate for the changing hearing needs of the person wearing them.
  • Personal hearing amplifiers aren’t programmable in the way that hearing aids are, some products and in particular more high-end options may have pre-programming that’s built-in by the manufacturer. This can help them be more tailored to certain situations. For example, the hearing amplifier might have a restaurant mode or an entertainment mode to appropriately adjust sounds for a loud restaurant setting or a location where there’s a lot of background noise. 
  • An amplifier doesn’t differentiate between sounds. It makes all sounds louder. A hearing aid, on the other hand, can differentiate between sounds and the volume of certain sounds can be increased based on characteristics of the specific sound.
  • A hearing aid is intended not just to help make sounds louder, but it can also make it easier to decipher what’s being said when others speak.
  • Price is a big differentiator when comparing amplifiers and hearing aids. A hearing aid can cost anywhere from $2500 to $4000 each on average. High-end personal hearing amplifiers only cost between $250 and $500.

Why Would Someone Choose A Hearing Amplifier Over a Hearing Aid?

Because of the better features and customization options of a hearing aid, you may be wondering why someone would choose an amplifier over a hearing aid. The biggest reason is often the cost. The cost of hearing aids can be significantly higher than an amplifier.

What’s important for people to realize when they’re considering amplifiers or hearing aids is that it is best to have a professional hearing test done to rule out any medical issues before purchashing a hearing amplifier.

If someone has very mild hearing loss, it may be okay to go with an amplifier. They may not need expensive or programmable hearing aids. This should only be determined with a test and working with an audiologist.

There are risks to using only an amplifier instead of hearing aids, particularly if you’re self-diagnosing and treating your hearing issues.

If you go with an amplifier only to save money and you don’t do a hearing test, your hearing problems may get worse over time. Your hearing loss may also be related to a treatable medical condition, yet if you don’t see a doctor, then you’re not going to know this, and the damage may continue to worsen.

Hearing loss is also something that’s different for every person. For example, some people with hearing loss may require more volume, but others may need more clarity or a reduction in background noise. With amplifiers, you’re primarily going to get the increased loudness.

If you have hearing loss, an amplifier may not improve your quality of life in the way that a hearing aid would. Not being able to hear properly can lead to problems with relationships, at work, and in your daily life. It can also cause mental health issues. With a properly programmed hearing aid, your quality of life can improve significantly.

Considerations When Choosing PSAP Hearing Amplifiers

If you do decide a hearing amplifier is best for you, or your audiologist believes a hearing amplifier may meet your needs, what should you consider when comparing the options?

A few features to keep in mind when comparing amplifier products include:

  • Some amplifiers do go beyond simply turning up the volume. For example, you may be able to find options that reduce digital noise and cancel feedback.
  • Choose an amplifier with good frequency response.
  • More expensive PSAPs may have pre-programmed options that can include different volume levels so that you can get a more tailored experience than you would with lower-end amplifiers.
  • Think about battery life—some of the higher-end amplifiers might have a battery life of anywhere from 7 to 10 days per charge.
  • Think about the design and the fit of the amplifier—if it’s bulky or uncomfortable you’re not likely to get much use from it.

Since the FDA doesn’t regulate amplifiers, it’s difficult to find specific information that can be used to make a comparison. A good place to start is to read independent third-party reviews and comparisons. User reviews can also be helpful when selecting a personal hearing amplifier.

Closing Thoughts

Hearing aids must be “prescribed” and programmed specifically to fit an individual’s hearing loss.

Because hearing loss comes in so many different forms, some people may need more loudness, while others require more clarity, and still others may need background noise reduction.

This is why you must work with an audiologist who can adjust your hearing aid to optimize the signal and meet your needs.

There is also a misconception that personal hearing devices or over-the-counter hearing aids do the same thing as hearing aids you get from an audiologist. They don’t.

Online, you may see personal listening devices marketed as hearing aids, but don’t be fooled. If you’ve ordered something online and it doesn’t require frequency-specific programming from an audiologist, it’s not a hearing aid.

However, as many people know, hearing aids are extremely expensive and are not covered by most insurances.

That being said, if a hearing aid is out of your budget, you may still get some benefit from an personal listening device. Personal listening devices are simple amplification systems, that make sounds louder across all frequencies.

Nowadays, manufacturers are coming out with some that have the ability for basic programming.

We hope our review of the best hearing amplifiers and this buyer’s guide are helpful in making your decision moving forward.

We are here to help you be an informed consumer, so either way you go, it is always a good idea to get your hearing tested and talk with an audiologist so that you know what your areas of need are and what type of personal listening device will help you the most.

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