Hearing aids and amplifiers (PSAPs) compared in a test box and on the ear


Using the products tested in this study, our data suggest that some PSAPs and OTC have the potential to be appropriate for “mild” hearing losses, but are not appropriate for hearing losses that are “moderate” or more severe.

In the comparison:



Really striking how poorly both hearing aids and PSAPs did for hitting targets with first fit.


Very interesting. I’ll copy these two points here.

  1. In general, most of the PSAPs measured in the current study could match the target for “slight” to “mild” high-frequency hearing loss. Once the hearing loss became more moderate or severe and decreased in the mid and low frequencies, however, most PSAPs were not able to match NAL-NL2

  2. For patients with “slight” to “mild” high-frequency hearing loss not ready to fully accept hearing aids, or have financial limitations, some PSAPs (PLAID, Nuheara IQbuds, Qleaf Lite, and Etimbre+ R1) may be a useful alternative. (snipped)


Even after REM (and we’re told only 20-30% of audis do REM) the Phonak Q30 ($649 per ear) performed just as well as the Phonak Q90 ($2199 per ear) for all 8 audiograms and DID BETTER for the two scenarios (#5 and #8) with the most severe overall hearing loss.

If only I lived in a quiet test box…


I have a really cheap PSAP, $10 from China, that seems to work as well as my Phonaks. I don’t wear it because of the earpiece. That thing is awful. It actually sounds much more natural than the Phonaks which have a distinctly artificial sound. It is very prone to feedback though. Something the Phonaks manage to do better.


I guess the FDA and HIS and audiologists organizations will not permit any PSAP /OTC devices for the profound hearing loss customers. Only powerful HAs has to be fitted by audiologists and HIS or DIY.