The 10 Best Hearing Amplifiers

Updated March 25, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

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We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Can you hear me now? CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? No? Then it may be time you invested in one of these nifty hearing amplifiers. They come in discreet designs and can deliver sound amplification and quality as good as (or better than) prescription hearing aids. Plus, they can be a lot cheaper, too. You'll be able to hear every word of your favorite TV show or participate in conversations easily. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best hearing amplifier on Amazon.

10. William Sound Pocketalker Ultra

The William Sound Pocketalker Ultra gives users the noise-blocking benefits of full headphones or the discreetness of a mini earpiece, both of which offer 20 to 40 decibels of acoustic gain. Note that it's intended for periodic use rather than full-time wearing.
  • comes with a 12-foot tv cord
  • can be used with hearing aids
  • large and bulky to carry around
Brand Williams Sound
Model PKT D1 EH
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

9. NewEar Digital

The NewEar Digital isn't going to win any awards for usability, but if you just need a cheap knockoff it can get the job done. It doesn't have any noise filters, though, and speech can often get overwhelmed by background sounds.
  • high-powered amplification
  • not very discreet
  • there is some annoying feedback
Brand NewEar
Model No Model
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Clearon VHP-202S

We're not going to pretend the Clearon VHP-202S is the best option or the highest quality, and given it's low price, you shouldn't expect that. It is great as a backup unit, in case your daily-use amplifier breaks and you need something while waiting for a replacement.
  • battery lasts roughly 40 hours
  • sits comfortably in the ear
  • not ideal for crowded settings
Brand Clearon
Model pending
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. iHear Max

The iHear Max is one of the smallest options you can find that really works. Its sound can be customized at home, albeit with the somewhat expensive purchase of an additional kit. For those who try to support American workers, this one is made in the USA.
  • choice of standard or petite wire
  • free technical support
  • comes only in black
Brand iHEAR
Model pending
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Ziv-201

The Ziv-201 can be worn comfortably in either the left or right ear. It is rechargeable via a micro-USB plug, so you'll never have to worry about buying batteries, and it comes with a cleaning brush to help you keep everything sanitary.
  • intended for moderate hearing loss
  • produces exceptionally clear voices
  • backed by a three-year warranty
Brand Banglijian
Model pending
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Tweak Hearing Focus

The Tweak Hearing Focus can be used to assist in a variety of situations, from social gatherings to watching TV. To ensure you never get caught unawares without a device to enhance your hearing, it features a low battery alert tone.
  • dual mics for optimal sound pickup
  • directional settings
  • background noise cancellation
Brand Tweak Hearing
Model twfocus
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

4. Walker's Pro Elite HD

The Walker's Pro Elite HD has a liquid-repelling coating on the interior and exterior allowing you to use it worry-free in all weather conditions . It comes in a single- or double-pack depending on whether you have issues with both ears or just one.
  • up to 50 db of amplification
  • eq for adjusting bass and treble
  • stays securely in the ear
Brand Walker's Game Ear
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

3. LifeEar Digital

Those looking for a discreet solution will appreciate the LifeEar Digital. It is just as thin as a pencil, has a slim, clear tube, and comes in three shades to match different skin tones to minimize the possibility of others seeing it.
  • four sound programs
  • easy-to-use controls
  • separates speech from other noises
Brand LifeEar
Model pending
Weight 0.8 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Britzgo BHA-220

The Britzgo BHA-220 might be a low-cost option, but you would never know that once it is in your ear. It can differentiate frequencies for various settings and offers a lot of amplification, so you'll never have to struggle to hear a conversation again.
  • comes with three earpiece sizes
  • feels sturdy and well-built
  • includes a carrying case
Brand Britzgo
Model pending
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Otofonix Personal

The Otofonix Personal offers 10 volume levels, for whether you need slight sound enhancements or true amplification. It uses digital technology to reduce unnecessary sounds, so that you can focus on what you really need to hear and not be overwhelmed by background noises.
  • can adjust settings while wearing it
  • doesn't have that earplug feeling
  • comes with a cleaning brush
Brand Otofonix
Model pending
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

What Causes Hearing Loss?

We typically associate hearing loss with aging. And sure, the elderly are more susceptible to it, but with just over 14 percent of the U.S. population suffering from some sort of ear damage, it's clear that the problem affects more than just grandma and grandpa.

The most common cause of hearing damage, of course, is exposing yourself to loud noises. For many Americans, this occurs at the workplace, with 20 percent of Americans suffering hearing loss while at work. Those at the most risk include miners, construction workers, and healthcare specialists, but any job site with frequent, clamorous noises can put workers' eardrums in danger.

Of course, this being the 21st century, just about everyone has headphones practically welded to their ears at all times. Most users listen to their music louder than recommended in order to drown out ambient noise, even if they have high-quality noise-cancelling headsets. Many cell phones and other devices now have built-in warnings against prolonged exposure to deafening sound, but since when has any red-blooded American heeded a warning label?

One sneaky cause of hearing loss is smoking. There are any number of theories as to why lighting up can affect your hearing, including the fact that nicotine limits blood flow to the inner ear and the possibility that social smokers tend to frequent rowdy areas like bars and concerts. Of course, at this point, anyone who is still smoking has proven they don't listen anyway, so it may be no big loss.

Whatever the cause, it's important to get your hearing checked regularly. Most conditions that affect the ear can be mitigated if detected early enough, so prepare to get friendly with your doctor.

How To Tell If You're Losing Your Hearing

For most people, diagnosing hearing loss can be a tricky thing. Is your hearing really going, or do all young people just mumble these days? And yes, the TV doesn't seem to be as loud as it used to, but the commercials sure rattle the windows, don't they?

The fact is, only a doctor can determine for certain whether you suffer from hearing loss. But there are a few signs and symptoms that you should look for if you're worried that you may be going deaf, and if you notice any of them (especially if they're getting worse), get yourself to an ear, nose, and throat specialist right away.

The first thing you should consider is other people's behavior. Does everyone complain that you listen to the TV or radio too loudly? If so, ask yourself what's more likely–that your hearing is slipping, or that everyone else is wrong? If you're always the odd man out, you should at least consider going to a specialist.

Also, do people complain that you shout when you speak? Talking too loudly can mean that you're not hearing yourself properly, and therefore you're unable to regulate your speaking volume. This behavior can quickly make you unpopular, as no one wants to go to dinner with a person who'll broadcast the conversation to the entire restaurant, which is important to remember if your vanity keeps you from wearing a hearing amplifier.

Other signs to consider include ringing in the ears, being unable to hear someone when their back is turned, and difficulty hearing in groups or crowded situations. Again, an important thing to think about is whether you're the only one who's having trouble hearing. If everyone else seems to be getting along just fine, it may be a sign that there's something wrong with your ears.

Hearing Amplifier Or Hearing Aid: What's The Difference?

If you've come to grips with the fact that your ears might be slipping, then it's time to decide what to do about it. For most people, the question is whether to purchase a device to help them continue to function in everyday conversations. This choice usually comes down to one of two options: a hearing aid, or a hearing amplifier.

On the surface, they both appear to be very similar. Both come in different designs, including in-ear or over-the-ear models, and both pick up directed noises and amplify the sound to increase your ability to hear. Beyond that, however, there are a few important distinctions to consider.

First off, a hearing aid is legally considered a medical device. That means that, in order to purchase one, you have to undergo a hearing test from a qualified specialist. An amplifier, on the other hand, can be purchased over-the-counter.

Similarly, hearing aids can be designed to suit the user's unique challenges, whereas an amplifier is more of a one-size-fits-all solution. Think of it like the difference between buying reading glasses at a pharmacy versus getting fitted by an optometrist. The glasses from the optometrist will be better tailored to your needs, but they'll also be much more expensive–and it may not be worth it to you.

For many people, the preferred solution is to start with an amplifier and take it from there. If it solves the problem and your hearing never gets worse, then great! You've solved the problem at the lowest cost possible. However, if you're still struggling, you can always go get a hearing aid a few months down the road.

That being said, hearing loss is not something to ignore, and you should see a doctor regardless if you suspect you're afflicted. He or she may be fine with you using an amplifier, but it's important to rule out degenerative conditions first.

And remember, regardless of which solution you choose - you can always turn it off when someone annoying tries to talk to you.

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Last updated on March 25, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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