Elevating Your Hearing Experience: Decoding Amplifiers vs. Hearing Aids

2020-07-22 | By Orcam Staff

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Hearing Amplifier VS Hearing Aid, That is the Question - OrCam

If you chose to read this article, that means that you are trying to determine what is the best device for a person with a hearing impairment. You might be researching this topic for yourself, a family member, or even a friend. Hearing Amplifier vs Hearing Aid is not an easy question to answer. The answer depends on a number of different variables. The information that will help you answer the question in your specific case, lies in the article below.

What Are The Main Differences Between the Two Devices?

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In the realm of auditory enhancement, the pursuit of heightened sound acuity is guided by the choice between two indispensable tools: the hearing enhancer and the hearing aid. These devices, both revered for their ability to transform auditory perception, stand as distinct avenues toward improved hearing. In this exploration, we delve into the intricacies that differentiate these devices, highlighting their nuances and helping you make an informed decision about the best hearing amplifier or hearing aid for your unique needs.

The main difference between a hearing aid and a hearing amplifier is that the hearing aid is a medical device, whereas a hearing amplifier is an assistive technology device.


In addition, a hearing aid requires an adjustment by a certified audiologist after conducting a personal hearing test. A hearing test requires a visit to a clinic where an audiologist will have the person whose hearing will be tested wear a specially-made headset in order to begin the test. Various sounds will be transmitted into the headset in order to measure how well a person can hear.


After the level of hearing loss is determined by the audiologist, there is an “adjustment” phase that the user of the hearing aid needs to go through. In cases where the level of sound amplification is too high or too low, there can be an inconvenient experience for the user.

Unraveling the Dichotomy: Hearing Aids vs. Amplifiers

Embarking on the journey to enhanced hearing prompts a comparison of hearing aids vs. hearing amplifiers, a discourse that unearths their dissimilarities. A hearing aid, often referred to as a hearing enhancer, is a sophisticated tool that combines amplification with cutting-edge technology. It goes beyond the rudimentary function of an amplifier by employing digital processing to selectively enhance speech while suppressing unwanted background noise. This technological finesse makes them suitable for a broad spectrum of hearing loss, ranging from mild to severe. 

In contrast, a hearing amplifier, although akin to an amplified hearing device, operates on a simpler principle. It focuses primarily on making sounds louder, which can be beneficial for individuals with mild to moderate hearing difficulties. The distinctions between the two necessitate a deeper dive into their features and benefits.

Pondering the Amplifier Dynamics: Amplifying Hearing Aids

Within the realm of hearing enhancement, an intriguing facet arises: the concept of amplifying hearing aids. This term elucidates the essence of hearing aids, which encompass both amplification and advanced technological augmentation. Unlike traditional amplifiers, these devices incorporate digital prowess to differentiate between speech and background noise, enriching the listening experience and making them more adaptable across diverse environments. 

Synthesizing Amplification: Amplifier in Hearing Aid

A pivotal consideration lies in comprehending how an amplifier in a hearing aid functions. Modern hearing aids incorporate amplification as a fundamental aspect, yet their ingenuity extends beyond simple sound magnification. The integration of an amplifier within a hearing aid is a synergy of sophisticated algorithms and precision engineering, orchestrating a symphony of sound enrichment while minimizing interference from ambient noises.

Navigating the Spectrum: Hearing Amplifiers vs. Hearing Aids

When mulling over hearing amplifiers vs. hearing aids, it's crucial to grasp the differences that define their user experiences. Hearing amplifiers, known for their user-friendly design, often bypass the need for a professional fitting. However, their efficacy in suppressing background noise might be less pronounced compared to hearing aids, which undergo meticulous fitting and adjustments to ensure optimal performance.

Trekking the Pricing Terrain: Hearing Aids vs. Amplifiers

The journey to auditory enhancement often involves traversing a pricing landscape. Hearing amplifiers present a budget-friendly option, with costs ranging from approximately $50 to $500. Meanwhile, hearing aids span a broader range, from around $1,000 to $5,000 or beyond, considering factors such as features and quality. While the initial investment in hearing aids might be higher, potential insurance coverage and enhanced functionality need to be weighed in the decision-making process.

Fostering Longevity: Maintenance and Care

Maintaining the longevity and performance of these devices necessitates conscientious care. Regular cleaning with a gentle cloth, safeguarding against moisture and temperature extremes, and scheduling routine professional check-ups are vital practices for both hearing amplifiers and hearing aids.

In essence, the decision to embark on a journey toward enriched hearing revolves around understanding the distinctions between amplifiers vs. hearing aids. Each term conceals a world of nuanced features and advantages, ultimately leading to a personalized auditory transformation.

How Can This Inconvenience Be Avoided?

The best way to use a hearing amplifier in a way that does not include discomfort is by using a device that can be adjusted instantly, and easily according to the user’s requirements. This way, whenever the level of hearing amplification needs to be adjusted for the intended user, the same device can be adjusted accordingly without any hassle, or inconvenience.


One of the determining factors in the question of “Hearing Amplifier vs Hearing Aid” is whether or not the current level of hearing loss is permanent or not. If it is not, then you may encounter frequent adjustments to the hearing aid device based on the changes in the user’s hearing level. In comparison, a personal hearing amplifier device usually allows for immediate adjustments whenever necessary.

The Most Advanced Hearing Amplifier Available

OrCam Hear

OrCam Hear is the most advanced hearing amplifier device for people who are hard of hearing. It uses Artificial Intelligence technology and Machine Learning algorithms to help people with hearing impairments improve their quality of life and increase their daily independence.


OrCam Hear is a portable, lightweight, and wearable device that can be used anywhere, without the need for an internet connection in order for it to be used. A mini camera at the front of the device analyses the user’s environment in order to calculate which sounds it needs to amplify into the user’s ears through the earphones, and which sounds it needs to cancel out.


It does this by monitoring the lip, mouth, and chin movements of the people that are standing in front of the user, and on either side of the user as well. There are two kinds of settings that users can choose from as they use the device. The first is the “single speaker” mode. This mode is for when the user is engaged in a one to one conversation. The second mode is the “multiple speaker mode”. This mode is for when the user is engaging in a conversation with at least two people at the same time or more.


A phenomenon known as the Cocktail Party Effect is a situation where people can’t hear one another due to the overwhelming background noise produced by other people who are a part of the crowd.

One of the most beneficial use cases that OrCam Hear provides to its users, is the ability to go to events where no matter how much background noise is produced by the crowd, OrCam Hear will cancel out all of the background noise for the user and amplify only the sound that people talking to them are creating.

Hearing Aid Vs Amplifier

There are several types of hearing amplifiers available on the market today. Here are some of the most common types:

  • Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing amplifiers: These are the most common type of hearing amplifiers, and they sit behind the ear. They are suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss and can be adjusted to fit the wearer's needs.

  • In-the-ear (ITE) hearing amplifiers: These are custom-fitted to sit in the wearer's ear canal. They are suitable for people with mild to severe hearing loss and offer a more discreet appearance.

  • Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) hearing amplifiers: These are similar to BTE hearing amplifiers but have a receiver that sits inside the ear canal. They are suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss and offer a more comfortable fit.

There are several types of hearing aids available on the market today. Here are some of the most common types:

  • Analog hearing aids: These are the oldest type of hearing aid and amplify all sounds equally. They are less expensive than digital hearing aids, but they are less flexible and less effective at filtering out background noise.

  • Digital hearing aids: These use digital processing to filter out unwanted background noise and amplify speech sounds. They are more expensive than analog hearing aids, but they offer better sound quality and are more flexible.

  • In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids: These are custom-fitted to sit in the wearer's ear canal. They are suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss and offer a more discreet appearance.

  • Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids: These are even more discreet than ITC hearing aids, as they sit deep in the ear canal. They are suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.

While hearing amplifiers are generally less expensive than hearing aids, it's important to understand the cost difference between the two. Hearing amplifiers can range in price from around $50 to $500, depending on the features and quality of the device. On the other hand, hearing aids can range in price from around $1,000 to $5,000 or more, depending on the features and quality of the device.


It's also important to note that hearing aids are often covered by insurance, while hearing amplifiers typically are not. Additionally, hearing aids may require regular maintenance and adjustments, which can add to the overall cost.


The user experience for hearing amplifiers and hearing aids can vary significantly. Hearing amplifiers are typically less complex and easier to use, as they don't require a professional fitting. However, they may not be as effective as hearing aids at filtering out unwanted background noise.


Hearing aids, on the other hand, require professional fitting and adjustment to ensure they are working effectively. They may also require some time to get used to, as wearers adjust to the amplified sound. However, they are generally more effective at filtering out unwanted background noise and providing a more natural listening experience.


Proper maintenance and care is essential for ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of both hearing amplifiers and hearing aids. Here are some tips for maintaining and caring for these devices:

  • Clean your device regularly with a dry, soft cloth.

  • Keep your device dry and store it in a cool, dry place when not in use.

  • Avoid exposing your device to extreme temperatures or moisture.

  • Schedule regular check-ups and adjustments with a professional to ensure your device is working effectively.