The Best Personal Sound Amplification Product

The Best Personal Sound Amplification Product

Our pick

Sound World Solutions CS50+

Sound World Solutions CS50+

The best PSAP

The CS50+ has better, more-customizable sound quality than nearly all other options we tested. It also offers a Bluetooth connection, for taking calls and streaming music, and longer battery life than other, similar devices.

Buying Options

$300* from Amazon
$350 from Sound World Solutions

*At the time of publishing, the price was $350.

If you’re interested in trying a PSAP, we recommend the Sound World Solutions CS50+, which improved sound perception nearly as well as a hearing aid in an independent sound-booth test that researchers conducted in 2017. Unlike most of the competition, the CS50+ allows you to program it to fit your specific hearing needs: Using an accompanying app, you can adjust the volumes of the treble, mid, and bass frequencies separately. The app also offers a quick hearing test to help you figure out which settings work best for you. A Bluetooth connection allows you to listen to music or take phone calls with the device. The CS50+’s battery life is up to 12 hours, making it the only Bluetooth-enabled PSAP we tested that can last for a full day of use. Sound World Solutions offers a return period of 45 days (longer than most), giving you more time to test the device before deciding whether it’s right for you. Although the CS50+ is pricier than many of the models we considered, this device—like all PSAPs—is still significantly less expensive than most hearing aids. Like most PSAPs, including our runner-up pick, the CS50+ does not come in a pair, meaning you’ll need to buy two if you have hearing loss in both ears.

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Runner-up

Tweak Focus+T

Tweak Focus+T

More discreet, but not as programmable or effective

This PSAP has a longer battery life than our top pick, and it is far more discreet to wear. However, it lacks as many options to tailor the sound to your hearing needs and environment. Plus, it doesn’t have Bluetooth (so you’ll need to switch devices for other listening).

Buying Options

$250 from Tweak Hearing

If you prioritize discreteness, and you don’t care about taking out your PSAP to listen to music or take frequent calls, consider the Tweak Focus+T. The Focus+T lacks Bluetooth but is far more discreet than the competition (including our top pick), and it has a longer battery life, too. However, researchers found it less effective than our top pick in their sound-booth test, and it offers minimal programmability. It is somewhat adjustable, with a mode for quiet situations (such as working in an office) and a mode for noisier situations (like meeting friends at a bar), and presets for different ranges of hearing loss. Pricewise, the Focus+T falls in the middle of the PSAP pack. Tweak’s return period is 30 days, which is typical and less generous than our top pick’s policy.

Frequency
range (Hz)
Directional
mic
Bluetooth
connection
Battery type, life Return
period
Sound World Solutions CS50+ 200 to 7,300 Yes Yes Rechargeable, up to 12 hours 45 days
Tweak Focus+T 200 to 6,600 Yes No Replaceable, up to 7 days 30 days

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Sound World Solutions CS50+

Sound World Solutions CS50+

The best PSAP

The CS50+ has better, more-customizable sound quality than nearly all other options we tested. It also offers a Bluetooth connection, for taking calls and streaming music, and longer battery life than other, similar devices.

Buying Options

$300* from Amazon
$350 from Sound World Solutions

*At the time of publishing, the price was $350.

Runner-up

Tweak Focus+T

Tweak Focus+T

More discreet, but not as programmable or effective

This PSAP has a longer battery life than our top pick, and it is far more discreet to wear. However, it lacks as many options to tailor the sound to your hearing needs and environment. Plus, it doesn’t have Bluetooth (so you’ll need to switch devices for other listening).

Buying Options

$250 from Tweak Hearing

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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