More and more Americans are buying goods on Amazon. The indicator shows significant growth every year. There is nothing surprising. The marketplace provides convenient service and a wide variety of products, including devices for hearing.
However, you must be very responsible in choosing the latter. Let’s analyze together the differences between amplifiers and hearing aid devices.
What is the difference between Hearing aids and Sound amplifiers?
Today, millions of Americans suffer from some degree of hearing loss. In most cases, they restore hearing using special devices – hearing aids. These sophisticated electronic devices are created using the most modern technologies. Their abilities are truly unique.
A digital hearing aid is a miniature copy of a computer. Each model consists of a processor and a microcircuit. Such a device is capable of picking up various sounds, for example, highlighting speech against the background of street noise. That is why the price of such devices can be high and may not always please a potential consumer. The more additional functions a model has, the higher its cost.
People buy cheaper devices called “Sound amplifiers” to save money. Not everyone wants to turn to a specialist for help. They believe advertisements and think that these devices will give them back hearing. Is it true?
A hearing aid is an electronic sound-amplifying device, which is individually configured and compensates for your specific hearing loss, following the audiometry data. At the same time, the device maintains residual hearing and does not injure it.
Hearing aids are indispensable assistants. They allow us to hear our family, friends, and everything else in our world. However, as in the case with any medical device, it is necessary to seriously approach their use.
You must visit an audiologist before purchasing a device. The doctor will establish the correct diagnosis and select the appropriate model based on your hearing level, lifestyle and budget needs. If you suspect you have a hearing loss, you can take a free online hearing test, which will reveal if there is a problem.
Since the hearing aid is a medical device, there are increased requirements for quality and health safety. Before entering the market, it undergoes a series of clinical trials and mandatory FDA certification.
A sound amplifier is a general-purpose device used to amplify sound vibrations over the entire range accessible to the human ear. The device cannot be tailored to the individual needs of a person with a hearing impairment. Sound amplifiers are essentially meant for slight hearing difficulties. The main task of such a device is to amplify ambient sounds for a certain period, for example, when visiting a theater, lectures, etc.
Dr. Stella Fulman highlights the following main differences between hearing aids and sound amplifiers:
The sound amplifier simply amplifies the sound, unlike hearing aids, which have additional features, enhancing the sound quality
It is still important to consult an audiologist before using an amplifier and make sure that it is an option
The sound amplifier may not have protective features for loud noises and potentially harm the hearing that you have
The sound amplifier amplifies all sounds, and the hearing aid only amplifies the sounds you want, suppressing extraneous sounds
The sound amplifier is not designed for permanent use. It can only be used in certain situations, for example, at a lecture or in front of the TV, while the hearing is generally worn throughout your entire day.
As we can see, people with hearing loss should use prescription hearing aids, because sound amplifiers will not provide the ultimate and proper hearing ability and can potentially damage hearing.
However, the popularity of amplifiers is growing and, according to experts, the number of their sales can double in several years. Some people don’t understand the difference and buy sound amplifiers instead of hearing aids. Even the FDA is concerned. Why is it happening?
The absence of the need to undergo state certification, as well as limited functionality, forms a very attractive price for sound amplifiers. Besides, manufacturers make them very similar to hearing aids. This can be misleading for uninformed people who decide to choose a device on their own.
What does Amazon offer?
Amazon is the largest online marketplace in the world where you can buy/sell absolutely everything. Many Americans who decide to buy hearing devices go there. However, the question is often asked, Are there real hearing aids on Amazon? Most of the products presented here are PSAP (personal sound amplifiers). However, by searching, you can also find the FDA-registered hearing aids on Amazon.
This is a very difficult task, it is important to read the product descriptions carefully. This is the only way to find cheap hearing aids on Amazon. We decided to personally check and find real hearing aids on Amazon. Here are the devices we found.
Signia is a leading manufacturer of hearing aids in the world and is ranked in the top 3 of the world’s best brands in its industry. The company’s models remain steadily popular among both audiologists and consumers, meeting high modern audiological standards. Signia devices are the best hearing aids on Amazon. Unfortunately, the marketplace does not present a complete lineup of the brand, it also gives an older model as well as an entry level device at a price that is actually higher than can be obtained at our office.
Eargo hearing aids are technological devices from a young, but well-known company. This model is equipped with a rechargeable battery and looks like high-end audio headphones. Eargo sells their device through an online model only. They are quite high in cost when compared to similar products that can actually be purchased in the office setting.
Most other devices that pop up on Amazon are amplifiers with various features like rechargeability.
It is worth emphasizing that in addition to hearing aids and sound amplifiers, Amazon offers a wide range of different accessories for devices, which are necessary for their correct operation.
The convenience of purchasing cleaning accessories for your devices is understandable, just make sure to check with your audiologists the exact type of accessories you need.
Should you buy hearing devices on Amazon?
Where is the best place to buy hearing aids, at an audiology clinic or on Amazon?
You can purchase legitimate hearing aids on Amazon. However, you will have to spend a significant amount of time searching for FDA-registered hearing aids on Amazon. After all, most of the products offered are still sound amplifiers, not hearing aids. This is precisely the main problem of buying online.
The low cost and similarity of models mislead many people. To save money, they buy sound amplifiers instead of the medical devices they need. Of course, often the misleading advertisements do not help in purchasing what is right for you.
The second key point is the required customization of the hearing aids. Even if you do choose to purchase a device from Amazon, keep in mind hearing aids require computer adjustments and maintenance. Having a physical location to go to is vital for an individual to succeed with their newly acquired amplification.
Do you want to hear again the voice of your loved ones, wonderful outdoor sounds, and your favorite music? Do you want your hearing problem not to get worse? Do not take independent action. Before purchasing a sound device, first, contact an audiology clinic for a consultation with a doctor. Your audiologist will diagnose and together you will find the best solution for your hearing.
Audiology Island has extensive experience in sound prosthetics. Our clinic has already helped hundreds of Americans return to a happy life. If you have any hearing problems, you know whom to contact. Audiology Island will always help you!
About Dr Stella Fulman
Dr. Stella Fulman, AU.D., CCC-A received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Audiology from Brooklyn College in 2004 and her Doctorate of Audiology from Salus University in 2008. [ Learn More ]