"Personal sound amplifiers are just cheaper hearing aids."

Fact or Fiction?

You may have seen personal sound amplification products, also referred to as PSAPs. These devices are sold by retailers online rather than through an audiologist or hearing instrument specialist. Personal sound amplifiers (PSAPs) are not specifically labeled for hearing loss treatment and are not recommended by audiologists because of the fact that they amplify all sounds rather than the ones you want to hear.

The differences between PSAPs and hearing aids has led to some confusion about how to distinguish one from the other. Real, audiologist-recommended hearing aids are highly sophisticated pieces of technology. They are made up of microchip technology that is able to increase the clarity of the sounds around you, rather than just making them louder. PSAPs do not have the same amount of features as hearing aids, such as the ability to distinguish speech from background noise, resulting in a medley on conflicting sounds all being amplified at once. 

If you take hearing aids for a spin around a restaurant or movie theater, you will find that the modern digital models have selective sound cancelling capabilities. Your hearing professional will fit the hearing aid to your ear to make for the most natural look possible, while also fine-tuning to the frequency level that your have more difficulty hearing. This personalized touch, in combination with the other premium features, is extremely valuable and will make a world of difference once you start incorporating hearing aids into your everyday life. 

 While PSAPs may be a good first step in the right direction, they are from comparable to hearing aids just yet. If you are in need of hearing aids but are unable to afford them, a PSAP may be a temporary solution for some before they make the investment in a better quality device. Learn more about the differences between these two devices from your local hearing professional and let our team schedule your next visit.