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What’s the Difference Between Hearing Aids and Personal Hearing Amplifiers/Sound Magnifier


What is the difference between a Hearing Aid and Hearing Amplifier?

Otofonix Both are wearable sound-amplifying devices that input sound, digitally process it and then deliver it to the ear. They both look alike and many have the same advanced hi-tech circuits. So what makes them different?   Hearing Aids are considered to be medical devices and as such require an audiogram (hearing test) and are regulated by the FDA for people with a hearing loss.  An ear amplifier or Personal hearing amplifier; (aka: Personal Sound Amplifier Products or PSAPs), according to a 2009 court ruling do not need a prescription, are not FDA regulated but are meant for those people who do not have a hearing loss but who would benefit from some amplification. This is a distinction made by the FDA’s desire to regulate one but not the other.What then are the major differences between the two? Hearing Aids can be programmed and custom fitted to the specific hearing loss of the patient based on their hearing test. This feature provides the best possible fitting for those with a moderate to severe hearing loss but at a significant price. Personal Sound Amplifiers (Sound Magnifier) cannot be programmed after purchase however the better devices come pre-programmed from the manufacturer for the more common environmental situations such as a noisy restaurant or loud background noise. The less expensive PSAP do not have this feature.  Some people need hearing aids but many just want the extra boost in volume that a personal amplifier (PSAP) gives them. Hearing Aids typically cost between $2500 and $4000 apiece. They have more bells and whistles and many people feel that the quality control is better. They require an audiogram (hearing test), fitting appointment and must be dispensed by a licensed hearing instrument specialist or a certified audiologist. They are more suitable for people with a moderate to severe hearing loss. Independent of whether you are interested in a hearing aid or PSAP,  if you think that you have a hearing loss it is always best to be seen and evaluated by an otolaryngologist (ENT Physician).  In this way you will rule out any serious medical issues that could be affecting your hearing. Purchasing a PSAP would be a reasonable and economical option for those who are not certain that they are ready to spend thousands of dollars on a hearing aid. PSAPs, like hearing aids, use advanced digital circuitry to process and amplify sound in the speech frequencies of the human voice.  PSAPs give an added boost in volume to provide a more comfortable listening level. Most importantly, a high quality PSAP can cost as little as 10% of what you might pay for a hearing aid. The high end Personal Sound Amplifiers cost between $250 and $500.  Expect the high end Personal Amplifiers to share many of the advanced features of expensive hearing aids Legal Disclaimer: The Otofonix Elite is not a hearing aid. It is a Personal Sound Amplifier Product (PSAP) as defined by the United States FDA. PSAPs are not intended to amplify speech or environmental sounds for individuals with impaired hearing or to compensate for hearing impairment. Because PSAPs are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or mitigate disease and do not alter the body, they are not devices as defined in the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. As such, there is no regulatory classification, product code, or definition of these products.

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The Otofonix Digital Hearing Amplifier has a 45 day money back guarantee to ensure 100% satisfaction for your online shopping. One year factory warranty.

Meet Our Family of Hearing Solutions


Discrete and nearly invisible, simple and easy to create a personalized experience.

$1,910   $395



All the benefits of the Encore, plus the convenience of being rechargeable.


$1,110   $455



Create a personalized experience to meet your unique hearing needs. 


$1,910   $545
Dual Color Otofonix Hearing Aids


Digital Hearing Aids

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Per Ear

or $124

was $249

Elite-Best-Value Otofonix Hearing Aid


Digital Hearing Aids

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or $199

was $399

Most Popular Otofonix Hearing Aids


Digital Hearing Aids

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Per ear

or $299

was $499

Otofonix Hearing Aids


Rechargeable Hearing Aid

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Per Pair

"Only Sold in pairs"

or $745

was $1299

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Sound Environment Settings
Programs or environmental settings that allow you to optimize performance for noisy, quiet, or social situations
Digital Sound Processor
All Otofonix Hearing Aids are 100% Digital because they all use a DSP Chip. Without a DSP, noise-canceling is not possible.
Noise Canceling
Uses a digital algorithm to reduce background noise more effectively in noisy and challenging environments.
Directional Microphone
Makes it easier to focus on sounds coming from in front of you, and allows for more advanced and effective noise cancellation
A telecoil acts as a receiving antenna for your hearing aids. When you connect with a sound system of a theater or church, you get amplified sounds delivered directly into your hearing aids. So no matter where you are in the theater, you automatically have the best seat in the house. Only the sound from the hearing loop's microphone is amplified, while background noise is shut out.
Wear your device all day and charge when you go to bed. No need to handle tiny hearing aid batteries
Smartphone Compatible
Adjust your Otofonix Bluetooth Hearing Aid with your smartphone via the Otofonix App. No need to draw attention to your hearing aid; you can adjust it by using only your phone.
Personalized Hearing
Using the Otofonix App, you can customize your hearing aid to meet your unique hearing loss profile. It's like having an audiologist in your living room.


Volume ControlRocker SwitchRocker SwitchSmartphone AppSmartphone App
Battery Size312Rechargeable13Rechargeable
Battery Life6-8 Days18 Hours4 - 6 Days18 Hours
Device Dimensions1.2" x .55" x .28"1.5" x .31" x .5"1.2" x .31" x .48"1.2" x .31" x .48"





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