Hearing aid vs. hearing amplifier

Difference between a hearing aid and hearing amplifier

There are a lot of similarities but even more significant differences

At first glance, the hearing aids and hearing amplifier may look the same; also they share many similar features: both are sound-enhancing devices that use some of the same kind of technology, they both identify the sound as a source, and they both magnify the sound and deliver it directly into the ear.
Nevertheless, the differences between them are significant, and it is essential to understand them.

Hearing aid

¨The hearing aid is a portable audio amplifier designed to compensate for impaired hearing.¨ (FDA)
The hearing aid is a medical device, and therefore it is subject to strict reviews and regulations, and the sound that produces is natural and has high quality.

  • FOR WHO? intended for people who have hearing loss
  • PRIMARY USE: Used to compensate for certain types and levels of hearing loss (age-related hearing loss, tinnitus, mild to severe hearing loss).
  • DANGER: The hearing aids do not harm. Since they can fit the specific needs of an individual, their purpose is to treat and compensate for hearing loss.
  • WAY TO WORK: Thanks to advanced technology, it can distinguish sounds and increase them based on the sound characteristics.
  • SOUND QUALITY: Distinguishes speech from background noise and music, and can be adjusted to match the sound of your environment.
  • ADJUSTMENT METHOD: A specialist performs fitting according to the specific needs of a person who is suffering from hearing loss. A fitting specialist needs to make the detailed exam of your hearing, and it requires more responsibility to fit the program for each patient precisely.
  • PRICE: The technology in hearing aids is far more advanced and higher quality, hence, also more expensive.
  • WHERE TO BUY: You can buy hearing aid only in specialized stores (you can not buy at a pharmacy).
Hearing aid
Hearing amplifier

Hearing amplifier

¨Electronic products that are designed for wear and boost the sound for people who have no hearing impairment.¨ (FDA)
Hearing amplifiers are devices that are placed in the ear to enhance all types of sound.

  • FOR WHO? Intended for those with a healthy hearing. Not designed for people who suffer from hearing loss.
  • PRIMARY USE: Intended for people with normal hearing who want to hear very quiet or subtle sounds. Compensation for hearing loss is not the primary purpose of the hearing amplifier.
  • DANGER: Damage for hearing can occur, as the hearing amplifier increases the volume of all the sounds. Inadequately loud volume levels can damage the healthy parts of the inner ear.
  • WAY TO WORK: Magnifies all sounds and does not adapt to specific needs and other segments of hearing loss.
  • QUALITY SOUND: It magnifies soft sound through the microphone, allowing the user to hear the sounds he or she may not usually hear. They are suitable for: listening to the TV at low volumes while children are sleeping, hunting expeditions (where they want to hear the soft and approaching steps), listening to lecturers in large lectures, …
  • METHOD OF ADJUSTMENT: They do not require any particular adjustment or fitting because they are pre-programmed and therefore can not be accurately adjusted or fitted. A user can only adjust the volume to be high or low, by pressing the settings button.
  • PRICE: The price is lower than the cost of the hearing aid, but the technology is not appropriate to fit needs of people who have hearing loss.
  • WHERE TO BUY: You can purchase hearing amplifier in pharmacies and different stores