What is a Hearing Aid
If you are reading this review, you appear to suffer from hearing loss. If so, you are in the right place. Hearing aids pick up surrounding sounds, process them and deliver them to ears. Hearing amplifiers can't restore normal hearing yet can improve it to let you enjoy social activities again. With tons of hearing aid models, it can be a daunting task to find the right one. Thus, to simplify your choice, we have reviewed only the best amplifiers available on the market today.
Not only amplifiers can be inserted into your ear to improve your well-being. Check our review of the best ear thermometers to measure your body temperature. Having the one in your household, you'll be able to get super precise and fast readings.
What Features to Compare
Hearing aids differ by the technology used to achieve amplification, they can be analog and digital. Analog hearing aids amplify all sounds in the same way, thus, loud noise can be amplified too. Nowadays, only low-end products use this technology. Digital aids, in turn, feature more complex sound processing. They can amplify quiet sounds while reducing background noise and whistle.
You should choose a hearing aid according to your level of hearing loss, lifestyle and aesthetic preferences. Hearing aids can be In-the-Canal (ITC), Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC), Invisible-in-the-Canal (IIC), In-the-Ear (ITE), Behind-the-Ear (BTE), and Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC). ITC, CIC, and IIC aids rest in the ear canal, and they are usually so tiny that no one can even notice them. However, the small size makes them a bit difficult to adjust. ITE aids are contained in the outer portion of the ear. They are larger than in-the-canal hearing aids, yet easier to handle. BTE aids consist of two parts one of which rest behind the ear, and the other is fixed in the canal. This type is much sturdier and can be adjusted for various earmold types, though, it can be a bit cumbersome. RIC hearing aids slightly differ from BTE models only by the electrical wires that replace the acoustic tube of BTE aids.
Hearing aids can have optional features such as directional microphone helping to converse in noisy environments, a telephone switch allowing you to hear better on telephone, and direct audio input allowing you to connect directly to devices such as your TV, computer, an MP3 player, radio, etc.
LifeEar Ear Hearing Amplifier
All-in-One Small Body
The LifeEar amplifier is one of the best hearing aids available on the market. Designed by audiologists, this behind-the-ear amplifier focuses on speech, reducing background noise, to make your social life a bit easier. Boasting a 12-band digital sound processing system, the device really enhances the world around you! As for simplicity of use, the amplifier is equipped with a single switch allowing you to adjust the volume and select one of four amplification modes for different environments.
You can pick this model in either of 3 colors (beige, graphite, and gray) to meet your needs. The LifeEar comes assembled and includes 10/10 A zinc-air batteries, a carrying case, and two LifeEar tips of different sizes, so it's ready for use right out-of-the-box!
Despite its behind-the-ear design, the LifeEar hearing amplifier is so tiny that you can even forget you’re wearing it at all. Offering a very comfortable fit, it's virtually invisible behind the ear. Plus, the amplifier comes with 2 different tips to fit your ear best. We have reviewed a left ear model, though, the manufacturer offers 2 more configurations, right ear and pair. So you are welcome to choose the one according to your needs. Retrieve the joy of hearing the world around.
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What is the best place to store a hearing amplifier? A medicine cabinet!
Easyuslife Pair New Digital Hearing Amplifier
They Won't Fall Out!
We want to tell you more about the pair of Easyuslife hearing amplifiers which are great for people with hearing issues in both ears. And since ears may have different levels of hearing loss, the manufacturer has equipped the amplifiers with intelligent volume control allowing you to adjust the volume separately.
These beige amplifiers have an in-the-canal design, thus, are less visible in ears. And owing to a light weight, they fit comfortably and snugly in ears, thus, you can be sure they will in no way fall out. Note that with their super mini design, the amplifiers deliver natural clear sound suppressing background noise. The only thing to keep in mind is that before wearing, you should set the minimum volume level and then gradually increase it to the required.
Hearing Loss Causes
- The most common cause of hearing loss is a gradual buildup of earwax or fluid in the ear. Too much ear wax might block the ear canal, thereby preventing conduction of sound waves. Hopefully, this can be easily restored with earwax removal.
- Also, hearing loss can be caused by a head injury or some illnesses such as measles, mumps, meningitis, and encephalitis. People suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular disease or chronic kidney disease are also exposed to hearing loss.
- One common cause of hearing loss is too loud noises. So, if you work with noisy equipment or regularly listen to music at a high volume, you're at high risk of hearing loss. However, acoustic trauma can also happen as a result of a sudden exposure to an exceptionally loud noise.
- Age is one more cause of hearing loss. Did you know that people begin to lose hearing from 40 years? And by the age of 70, most seniors have serious hearing problems.
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NewEar Digital Ear Hearing Amplifier
To Hear Everything!
No more misunderstandings! No more turning the TV up! Everything is possible with the NewEar™ digital ear hearing amplifier! The design of the device makes it an excellent choice for both young and elderly people as well as for those with impaired motor skills! Its user-friendly design allows you to easily fix it behind the ear. Plus, it comfortably fit either ear and comes with three different earplugs for the ultimate convenience. Probably, the NewEar amplifier is one of the most stylish hearing aids available on the market since it boasts an elegant golden receiver.
This superior device is fitted with digital circuitry and volume control making maintenance pretty easy. You will be pleasantly surprised by the sound quality the device delivers. With the NewEar™ digital ear hearing amplifier, you will be able not only to communicate with your nearest and dearest but also start to fully enjoy your favorite music!
Some Interesting Facts
- Men are more likely to suffer from hearing problems than women. Perhaps, this is so because many men work in loud environments with noisy equipment.
- Do you remember the noise of a seashell that we usually call "the sound of the ocean". Actually, it's the sound of our blood running through the veins in the ear.
- The human ear is not only capable of hearing all around. It is also a part of the vestibular apparatus, that's why people suffering from an ear infection often feel balance difficulties.
- Ears like a nose grow throughout a human life.
- Insects such as crickets and grasshoppers are listening with their front paws.
- As statistics shows, 72% of people turn their right ear to hear a conversation.
- One out of ten people suffers from hearing problems. And only four out of five people with hearing problems, use hearing aids.
- Ears are capable of self-cleaning. The pores in the ear canal emit wax while special hairs push it outwards.
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Today, the hearing aids are smaller, lighter and slimmer than ever before, but if you are looking for a 100% invisible hearing aid, the Britzgo in-the-canal hearing amplifier is exactly what you need!
The hearing aid consist of a pair of digital hearing amplifiers equipped with special silicone holders to be easy to insert and remove. Plus, for the ultimate convenience, the amplifiers come with eight interchangeable silicone ear tips of different sizes. Britzgo amplifiers use active noise cancellation in order to improve your ability to hear the speech. They suppress background noise and provide excellent sound quality, allowing you to enjoy a conversation in any environment. So, on buying these amplifiers, you'll get an opportunity to feel more confident when talking to people around you!
How It All Began...
The first hearing aids have their roots in the 17th century. They looked like trumpets, being wide at one end and narrow at the other. Such ear trumpets were produced from sea shells, animal horns, and glass. Of course, they were heavy, bulky and absolutely unsuitable for wearing on the body.
The first electric hearing aid was invented in 1898 by Miller Reese Hutchison. It called the Akouphone and consisted of an amplifier, a microphone, headphones and a battery. However, it was not portable and worked only when placed on a table.
Portable electric hearing aids were introduced in the early 1900s. They were pretty expensive and bulky since amplifiers had to be hung around the neck while the microphone had to be held in the hand. The hearing aids took a step forward with the invention of the vacuum tube in the 1920s.
Yet, until the invention of the transistor in 1947, it was impossible to build smaller amplifiers. The first transistor hearing aids made their debut in 1953. They were much better and smaller than vacuum tubes. And since the 1960s, the in-the-canal hearing aids have been invented.
With the development of digital sound processing during the mid-1980s, hearing aids incorporated the functionality of a tiny programmable computer that could process millions of different sounds digitally. Today, hearing aids come in all shapes and sizes to suit the needs of different people!
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Easyuslife EZ-220 / VHP-220
Compact and Comfortable
The Easylife company has been producing high-end hearing aids over the years. The Easyuslife EZ-220 is a budget behind-the-ear amplifier suitable for both left and right ear. It uses a digital processing technology to deliver you clear sound, though, it amplifies all sounds including background noises, so it's not the one to wear to a cafe. The device has a memory function, thanks to which you can save the optimal sound settings. Plus, you will really enjoy its digital volume control that, in contrast to analog volume control, boasts higher accuracy so that users could choose the optimal volume. Being pretty compact, the amplifier is fitted with convenient rocker button for raising and lowering the volume, which is a handy feature for all users as they won't have to take out the amplifier of the ear every time they want to reach the switch. Although it's behind-the-ear device, it's pretty small and light. According to customers' feedback, the device is very comfortable and hardly visible owing to its tan color. Another distinctive feature of this hearing aid is its long battery life. The batteries included in a set can last for a whole month.
Some Facts about Sound
- The sound level is measured in decibels. More than 120 dB are painful to our ears, such volume may lead to hearing damage, while 200 decibels are fatal.
- Sound and noise are absolutely different phenomena. The sound comes from vibrations, whereas the noise is just a mixture of sounds.
- Why does your voice sound so different on a recording? This is due to the fact that when you speak, you hear your voice with the inner and outer ear, but when you listen to your recorded speech, the sound waves reach only your outer ear. So, the recording doesn't lie! This is your actual voice!
- Do you know what is the most common sound on the Earth? It is the sound /a/ that can be found absolutely in all languages of the world.
- You can even not to notice a hearing loss since it's a gradual process. Yet, it's vitally important to find out the cause of hearing loss at the very beginning.
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1. Hearing Aid Buying Guide, Consumer Reports. September 2016.
2. Hearing Aids, NIDCD. May 11, 2016.
3. Types of Hearing Aids, FDA. November 6, 2014.
4. Hearing aids: How to choose the right one, Mayoclinic. September 2, 2015.
5. Karina Bray Uta Mihm Hearing aids buying guide, CHOICE. September 26, 2016.
6. Hearing aids, NHS.
7. The history of hearing aids, Hear-it.
8. Hearing loss - Causes, NHS.