While hearing aids serve as the gold standard for seniors who may be facing hearing loss, these devices come with a steep price tag — most brands cost upward of $1,000. However, since fixed-income retirees only receive an average of $1,500 from Social Security benefits, hearing aids probably aren’t the most cost-efficient option for less severe hearing loss.
Patients facing mild hearing complications can explore hearing amplifiers or personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) first. You can get the best hearing amplifier on the market for just around $500. Meanwhile, top-of-the-line hearing aids for mild hearing loss might set you back by over $3,000.
Hearing aids are very accessible and you can buy them over the counter. Most drugstores carry dozens of these devices, so choosing the best hearing amplifier might take some trial and error.
If you don’t want to waste your money testing cheap pieces, however, keep reading. Use the comparison reviews below as a shopping starting point:
Upgrade your TV viewing experience with the AudioRange ITE-1000 TV Headphones. This piece comes with a universal jack that plugs into all major television brands. Also, your ears will not feel sore even after several hours of watching since the headset sits comfortably outside the ear canal.
Comfort and versatility aside, what sets the AudioRange ITE-1000 TV Headphones apart is its quality lip-syncing and audio transmission capabilities. This piece transmits sounds in real-time with zero lag.
Moreover, this device has a broad audio range of 100 feet, so feel free to position yourself at a comfortable distance from the TV set. Sitting too close to the TV hurts the eyes. Good hearing is essential, but not at the expense of your vision.
If you want a Bluetooth-enabled PSAP suited for various applications, try the Sound World Solutions CS50+. Its versatile Bluetooth capabilities connect it to any device, from TVs to smartphones. Whether you want to enjoy a fun movie night with the family or unwind with some relaxing music, this piece has you covered.
There are dozens of Bluetooth-enabled PSAPs on the marketing. However, only the Sound World Solutions CS50+ comes with a fully functional sound mode customizer. This feature essentially adjusts the way sound transmits through your piece. That way, you can customize your listening experience according to your mood and purpose.
If, like most seniors, you feel uncomfortable wearing bulky hearing devices, opt for the Tweak Focus+T. It is a sleek, modern PSAP that features a lightweight, compact frame. While these devices aren’t completely invisible, you can easily hide them behind your ears and hair. Most people likely wouldn’t notice these on you.
The Tweak Focus+T also comes with a lanyard and impact-resistant case for portability. That way, you don’t have to worry about losing them in your bags.
The Banglijian Hearing Amplifier Ziv-201A ranks among the few PSAPs that might help with mild to moderate hearing loss. Its quality amplifier identifies speech, picks up minute sounds, and mutes background noise.
Its adjustable amplification features make it wearable in noisy settings as well. Wearers can switch between five different levels, peaking at a whopping 53 decibels. Meanwhile, other fixed-setting alternatives transmit irritating feedback when receiving loud sounds.
Pro Tip: Make use of the piece’s multiple ear domes and sound tubes. Although you shouldn’t wear PSAPs 24/7, the Ziv-201A automatically adjusts according to the sounds it receives.
If you want a multipurpose, all-around PSAP wearable in almost any situation, opt for the Otofonix Elite Digital Hearing Amplifier. It stands as the most versatile device on this list.
Easily adjust the sound modes depending on how loud or low you would prefer your feedback. High-decibel settings work best with soft speech and use low-decibel modes in noisy environments.
Note: The Otofonix Elite Digital Hearing Amplifier only comes with one earpiece. It doesn’t suit patients with moderate hearing loss in both ears.
The Aioze Hearing Aid is the perfect option for hearing-impaired individuals who want a straightforward solution. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles that other PSAPs offer. However, its lack of accessories makes it a user-friendly, no-frills, and mass-appealing option.
Moreover, it has an excellent battery pack. Apart from its long-lasting 48-hour cycle, this device only takes two to three hours to charge, thus giving you more usage time. On the other hand, options loaded with too many features take twice as long to recharge.
Overall, PSAPs best suit seniors with normal hearing and only experience difficulties identifying sounds in certain situations. Do not wear them 24/7. These devices are not advisable for hearing loss treatment, so solely relying on them may further damage your ears. Use them for support when watching tv, listening to lectures, or driving.
Consult your otolaryngologist when deciding between hearing aids and PSAPs. Since the latter only amplifies sounds, they don’t necessarily address the underlying issues causing your hearing loss. Ultimately, not even the best hearing amplifier would work on patients with moderate to severe complications.
Key factors to consider include sound quality, comfort, ease of use, battery life, and the specific hearing needs of the senior.
While both devices amplify sound, hearing aids are medical devices designed to treat hearing loss, whereas hearing amplifiers are more general sound-enhancement devices and are not intended to treat hearing loss.
Yes, hearing amplifiers can enhance sound clarity in various environments, which can improve communication, social interaction, and overall quality of life for seniors.
If you want hearing aids instead, check out our article about the best bluetooth hearing aids for seniors to learn more.
Are you worried that you might not have the capacity to call an ambulance during an emergency? Senior Strong has you covered. Check out our piece on the best medical alert systems for seniors to learn more!