Recently, I had the opportunity to try the Etymotic BEAN Quiet Sound Amplifiers. These devices offer a similar function to hearing aids but without the need for a doctor’s visit, and they are available directly from the manufacturer’s website. Notably, the cost of these amplifiers is significantly lower than standard hearing aids, priced at just $858.00.
The BEAN comes in a simple cardboard box with a decorative sleeve. Inside, you’ll find a stylish leather carry pouch with the company logo, various ear tips, tools for filter and cleaning, 10 batteries, and some documents.
Design-wise, the BEANs fit comfortably in the ear, effectively sealing the ear canal. They come with multiple ear tips to ensure a perfect fit. The device features a high-fidelity, low-noise microphone that amplifies soft sounds selectively. It operates on a No. 10 hearing aid battery, which lasts about 10 days. There are two amplification modes: Normal (15dB) and High (23dB). Switching modes can be tricky while wearing them, so it’s easier to adjust them after removal.
During our tests, we found the BEANs easy to remove by twisting them slightly. One downside is that these amplifiers can over-amplify certain sounds like air conditioning or keyboard typing, which can be bothersome. However, they perform exceptionally well in enhancing conversations and phone calls, making voices clearer and more understandable.
Our recommendation is to consider the BEAN QSAs as a preliminary step before opting for a doctor-fitted hearing aid. The BEANs offer a general solution, suitable for those who feel their hearing isn’t quite what it used to be. They also come with a 30-day return policy for a full refund if they don’t meet your needs.
Available in three colors – platinum, brushed gold, and bronze – the brushed gold model we tested looks stylish. For more information about the Etymotic BEAN Quiet Sound Amplifiers, visit their website at Etymotic QSA BEAN.