Personal sound amplifier: What device will help my grandfather hear better in certain situations?

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What device will help my grandfather hear better in certain situations?


My grandfather’s hearing is fairly good for his age, but I’ve noticed that he has difficulty hearing in some circumstances, such as if we are out to eat in a busy restaurant. Do you know of a device that can improve his ability to hear in certain situations?

Our answer

If you suspect that your grandfather’s hearing is getting worse, we encourage you to visit a health care professional to find out if your grandfather needs his hearing evaluated by a hearing specialist (audiologist). If you, your grandfather and your health care provider determine that your grandfather does not need a hearing aid and that it is appropriate for him to use a device that amplifies sound in certain situations only, you may be interested in knowing about personal sound amplifier products (PSAPs). Please note that PSAPs are not intended to correct hearing loss. 

  • SuperEar Personal Sound Amplifier by SuperEar (at can boost sound by more than 50 decibels and is perfect for watching TV or for following simple conversations. This product, which is ADA (American with Disabilities Act) compliant, costs about $80 (Cdn). 
  • Pocketalker Personal Amplifier by Williams Sound is an ergonomic, lightweight PSAP that offers superior sound quality. This device is available from a U.S. retailer and costs about $230 (U.S.), plus an additional shipping fee.

You may also wish to consult the Speech-Language & Audiology Canada website (direct link) for more information about the differences between personal sound amplifiers and hearing aids.


Some technologies and devices may require an in-person assessment. Speak with your health care provider for additional information and support.


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