What are hearing amplifiers?

Published 27 February 2018  | Updated 16 May 2024  | 3 mins read

A grandpa and his granddaughter having tea.

Methods to improve your hearing have changed dramatically in recent years, with technology advancing in new and innovative ways to help you live your life to the full. Now, hearing aids can be so small they can tuck inside your ear canal, or be so contemporary and tailored to your style you won’t mind having them tucked behind your ear. Whilst researching some of the best hearing aids on the market, you may have come across products known as hearing amplifiers. They look a little different, and are a fraction of the price of many hearing aids, but what’s the catch? We can explain the differences between a hearing amplifier and a hearing aid, and how each may benefit you in different ways.

Amplify every sound

Hearing amplifiers do exactly what they say: they amplify sound. Although this may sound like the ideal solution when you can’t hear very well, imagine every sound being amplified – the birdsong and loved ones’ voices, but also the traffic, the buzz of the fridge… all sounds will increase in volume, not just the ones you want to hear. Hearing aids, however, are specially tailored to your individual hearing needs. With advanced technology, hearing aids can recognise the things you want to listen to such as conversation and enhance the quality of voices, whilst subtly reducing background noise. With a variety of settings available in modern hearing aids, they can adapt to different environments easily, from a bustling restaurant to the calm of your home.

Which is right for you?

Hearing amplifiers are likely to be more useful for people who already have good hearing but want to enhance subtle sounds. For example, people often use hearing amplifiers to observe nature, being able to pick up the quietest rustle in the leaves or most distant birdsong. Although hearing amplifiers can be tempting because of their lower price, if you have any form of hearing impairment it is important not to put off getting the correct treatment for you. The sooner hearing loss is diagnosed, the more of your hearing can be preserved with the use of hearing aids. When you stop hearing as well as you used to, the part of your brain which recognises sound becomes less active. Hearing aids keep your hearing, and your brain, active and healthy.

In addition to only providing low-level hearing support, hearing amplifiers are not FDA (Food and Drug Association) approved, meaning they are not registered medical equipment to benefit your hearing.

Talk about it

We can recommend the best way to help you hear to the best of your ability. You can book a free hearing assessment online to talk to our audiologists about any concerns you may have about your hearing or that of a loved one.