A hearing amplifier is a device designed to amplify sounds for people who have a hard time hearing human voices due to noises in the background. It simply eliminates the background noise so you can hear what people say and cope with the TV volume which might be at painful decibels.
Hearing amplifiers are different from hearing aids which are intended to address the components of hearing loss. Hearing aids use much more advanced technology to compensate for hearing loss but hearing amplifiers are essentially for picking up sounds people might ordinarily be unable to hear. Here are things you should know about how they work.
How do Hearing Amplifiers Work?
The components of hearing amplifiers are a microphone, amplifier, speaker, volume controller and power source (battery). The microphone picks the sound waves and converts them into an electrical signal which is then boosted by the amplifier using a power source so you can hear clearly. You can adjust the volume using the control clearly labeled. Hearing amplifiers usually have a noise cancellation technology that lowers the noise in the background. They’re usually worn around the neck with an earpiece attached or can be fitted to the ears instead.
Hearing amplifiers come ready-to-wear right out of the box, so there’s no need to worry about setup. They usually come with some items in the box which include the device itself, a user manual or guide, 2 thin tubes and packs of batteries. Some of the amplifiers also have an app which can be downloaded onto Android and iOS devices, from which you can control the device e.g. volume, program mode, equalizer settings and so on. Nevertheless, you can still use the device even without the app as there are controls on it.
Once you have fit in the batteries, you can then wear the hearing amplifiers which are designed to be lightweight and discreet. You can also toggle between modes to find the one that helps you suppress noise and hear the discussion clearly at any given times. Most hearing amplifiers have 4 modes to enhance hearing: all-round mode, restaurant or noise reduction, traffic and outdoor modes. These modes help to optimize the device for different environments.
Sync with smartphones
Many hearing amplifiers today come with a feature that allows users to sync their smartphones to the device, enabling them to receive calls directly. With this capability, you can even transmit live sounds like music and audiobooks from your smartphone to the device.
Most personal sound amplifiers are of two types — the behind-the-ear (BTE) or the in-the-ear (ITE) type.
Behind-the-ear personal sound amplifiers usually have a banana-shaped case and a receiver piece that inserts into the ear canal. The receiver attaches to the ear via an ear-mold that fits snuggly in the ear, while the tube rests behind the ear.
In-the-ear hearing amplifiers, on the other hand, are one-piece devices — with the single piece fitting inside the ear. Since they have no parts that hang outside the ear, they are relatively easier to insert than BTE personal hearing amplifiers.
According to a market survey, owners of behind-the-ear, open-fit designs reported the most improved hearing.
Although hearing amplifiers are not approved by the FDA to be considered as medical devices, health practitioners advice that they shouldn’t be used for long hours at a stretch. And no matter how long you plan to wear one, it’s important to keep the volume at a suitable level to prevent further damage to your hearing.
Hearing amplifiers have grown among people with ear impairment for several reasons and one of them is because they’re less expensive than hearing aids. They’re also readily available in pharmacies, drugstores, retail store chains, and even online. If you’re looking to buy a hearing amplifier, be sure to read reviews of the product indicates how qualitative it is.