If you search for Hearing Aids on Amazon, at the very top above the search results, you will see the sponsored ad for Otofonix Hearing Amplifiers.Otofonix is a company that manufactures high-end Hearing Amplifiers, which according to the FDA, are intended to make sounds louder, but not for the purpose of treating hearing loss. Otofonix Hearing Amplifiers are not technically hearing aids, but they do sure seem to be very similar to hearing aids.
So I got my hands on their best-selling device, the Otofonix Elite, and decided to put it through similar testing that I would a hearing aid to see how it compares. The Otofonix Elite looks like a typical slim-tube hearing aid. It is very small and uses a size 312 hearing aid battery, slim tube, and rubber domes.
It also has a rocker switch to change between one of four preset programs, or volume. It has a single microphone and is very comfortable.In terms of performance, it can be evaluated using Real Ear Measurement much like a hearing aid. To learn more about Real Ear Measurement, check out my video here: https://youtu.be/cHR0Oa6I-wYOverall, the Otofonix Elite was not capable of meeting a Mild to Moderate hearing loss prescription.
None of the program presets had a significant enough of a change to achieve additional amplification to the hearing loss prescription. Volume increases did help to reach high frequency targets better, but this also caused over-amplification in the low-frequencies.Noise reduction of the Otofonix Elite was mild at around 6 dB of measured noise reduction.Based on the measurements, the Otofonix Elite Hearing Amplifiers were not able to meet prescriptive targets for a mild to moderate hearing loss. However, I think they performed pretty well for amplifiers that only cost $325.
No, they don't perform as well as a customizable hearing aid, but they aren't hearing aids, they are hearing amplifiers. However, for a digital hearing amplifier, it performs better than some over the counter hearing aids currently available online that I've tested. So if you are looking for a little bit of a boost in volume, the Otofonix Elite might be just what you’re looking for.