Audicus is introducing a new device called the Solo; it is a Personal Sound Amplifier (PSA, or PSAP), which is an assistive hearing device meant for occasional use in settings where one may have trouble understanding speech. Think loud dinner parties, soft or hushed conversations, speeches in a concert hall, or any other generally auditorily chaotic environment. With the use of a PSA like our Solo, one can get the additional help they need in discerning conversation, even if he or she may not need this hearing assistance around the clock.
To many, what we’ve described thus far likely sounds a lot like a hearing aid. While the Solo is, in fact, a lot ‘like’ a hearing aid, it is actually a Personal Sound Amplifier (often abbreviated “PSA” or “PSAP,” or sometimes called “hearing amplifier”). It is designated for intermittent use for those who want to amplify environmental sounds for hearing assistance.
Hearing aids vs. PSAs
There are two key areas in which hearing aids and PSAs differ from one another:
A hearing aid is a medically-recommended or medically-prescribed device. This typically means that someone has seen a doctor specializing in audiology or otolaryngology, and that the doctor has prescribed a hearing aid. Hearing aids are customized to a user’s audiogram (also known as a hearing test), and are designed specifically to treat the medical condition of hearing loss. A PSA, on the other hand, is more of a personal assistance tool, and it is NOT medically prescribed. A person might visit an audiologist or ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor, and be told that they do not have hearing loss. If they still wanted hearing assistance, this person would act on their own volition, not a doctor’s recommendation, to get a PSA just to help out from time-to-time.
Frequency of Use
Hearing aids are intended for everyday wear, while PSAs are for situational help with hearing assistance. Someone who does not have trouble hearing may want to begin to increase their sound volume while listening to the TV or hearing dinner companions in a loud restaurant, and want just a small boost; a PSA is perfect for that. PSAs are not intended for everyday, round-the-clock wear.
How is the Solo different from other PSAs on the market?
Most PSAs fall into the one-size-fits-most category. In most cases, PSAs are preset to standard preferences, and are intended simply to amplify with minimal (if any) background noise reduction. The Audicus Solo differs in that it allows users the capability to input preferences via our Audicus Tuner app. Users can utilize the Audicus Tuner app with noise-cancelling headphones, generating results that note that user’s self-selected difficult listening environments, environments in which he or she would prefer a boost. Compared to other amplifiers, the Solo offers greater specificity. Plus, it is small and discreet, and boasts incredible sound quality!
Do you need hearing assistance?
If you suspect you may benefit from a mild boost in select scenarios, give the Solo a try. Order our unique Tuning Kit and use it with our noise-cancelling earmuffs; the hearing preferences you select will be used to tune your hearing amplifier to your personal sound preferences. Not convinced? You have 45 days to try it out, and if you are still not satisfied, you can return for a full refund before your trial period is up.
A PSA on PSAs:
A PSA is not a lower-cost alternative to a hearing aid. If you think you have true hearing loss, or if you continue to experience difficulties understanding basic noises and speech even with the use of an amplifier, we always recommend to seek medical attention. Your hearing deficiency may require a hearing aid, or even alternative treatment. Care for your ears and your hearing health!
By: Andrea Zielinski