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Hearing Amplifiers

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Hearing Amplifier Care Instructions

Ear domes and wax traps are considered disposable items that can be replaced for fairly cheap. See our accessories page for replacements. 

How do I know when ear domes or wax traps need replacement?

Ear domes go bad when they get torn, gritty and itchy, or too stained. Their typical life expectancy is 3-6 months. 

Wax traps should be replaced when they get clogged or punctured. The typical life expectancy for wax traps can be tricky to anticipate, because some users generate a considerable amount of wax, while others might never have a problem with wax. Instead of relying on a schedule, it’s better to physically inspect them to see if wax is clogging the trap. 

How often should you clean your hearing device and ear domes?

Hearing devices operate in a hostile, warm, and moist environment and should be cleaned daily for maximum longevity. When not using or charging them, they should be kept in their case or dry jar. 

How-to video:

What’s the difference between a hearing aid and a personal sound amplifier (PSAP)?

Hearing aids are marketed to treat hearing loss as medical devices. Personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) are marketed to amplify ambient sounds. They are not regulated by the FDA as medical devices and are not marketed as devices to treat hearing loss.

Even though it’s not required, all of our devices are actually FDA registered and meet applicable quality and performance standards. 

How many channels do you need actually need?

A study in 2000 tested 1156 patients, who experienced a significant improvement in speech intelligibility when changing from a device with 1 channel to 2 channels. Significant improvements were also experienced when moving from 2 to 3 channels and 3 to 4 channels. However, there were diminishing returns above 4 channels, where no statistically significant improvements were discovered in the test subjects.

It’s important to keep in mind that how channels benefit the end user is up to the design of the hearing device. Channels can be used to change shape, frequency, etc. In fact, there is actually a downside to having too many channels: it increases the required processing power, which can slow down response time as well as decrease battery life. This delayed processing time can lead to an undesirable echo or “reverb” effect.

Difference between channels & bands

Bands refer to the number of frequency “handles” that can be adjusted. Frequency bands usually range between 200 Hz and 6000 Hz.

Channels represent how the hearing device separates the bands into different groups to be processed separately. The primary function of separating the bands into different channels is to remove background noise from the sounds you actually want to hear, such as human speech.

Wide Dynamic Range Compression (WDRC) vs Expansion

A basic hearing instrument amplifies whatever sounds it picks up linearly. The problem with this is that low level sounds will rarely get the necessary boost to make a big difference with linear amplification, and loud noises can become too sharp. Wide Dynamic Range Compression gives more emphasis to softer sounds while calms down sounds that are too loud to make the user more comfortable.

Expansion is used to suppress low level sounds below the defined knee-point to minimize annoying noises such as the hum of your refrigerator or air conditioning unit. A good hearing instrument will use both of these features together to give you the best user experience.