- Liam Noble
Common Applications for Personal Sound Amplifiers
Updated: Oct 6, 2021
It’s an all-too-common thing for individuals to experience some form of hearing degradation during their lives. There may be no way around the fact that hearing decreases over time, but there are some ways to mitigate the effects of reduced hearing.
PSAPs may provide the amplification some people need. Be aware of the common applications for personal sound amplifiers to get the most out of your purchase, as well as some of the safety risks involved with misuse of the amplifiers.
What Are PSAPs?
As mentioned, PSAPs are amplification devices that increase the volume of the surrounding space. They are distinct from hearing aids; this is due to the strict regulation from the FDA. Hearing aids are specialized medical devices customized to the individual person based on their degree of hearing loss and distortion. Where hearing aids are specific, PSAPs are broad in nature with no special customization for the individual.
Since people don’t need a doctor’s permission to purchase one, personal amplifiers are readily available to the average consumer. They don’t require invasive surgeries to implant hearing devices; they’re simply pocket-sized devices that transmit the sound to a pair of headphones. They allow for easy access, and individuals can take them off whenever they like.
PSAPs Are Not Medical Devices
One common misconception is that PSAPs are interchangeable with hearing aids—but this isn’t true. They’re two very different pieces of technology that have the same general concept. Those who experience severe hearing loss will need the assistance of a doctor-prescribed hearing aid. PSAPs are used by many to simply amplify the sound around you and not intended to specifically treat hearing loss.
The common uses for personal sound amplifiers assist people in their day-to-day lives, making life more comfortable and convenient. Through the proper application of PSAPs, people can eliminate the hassle of struggling to listen in everyday circumstances.
During conversations, people typically stand within close proximity of one another—no more than three or four feet apart. Generally, this means there should be no issues understanding what the other person says, but some individuals may benefit from amplification in conversational settings.
Their ears register voices and sound at a lower volume and words will sound muffled, but PSAPs can aid with increasing that volume.
Better at Participating in Conversations
People who use PSAPs during conversations will have an easier time taking an active role in conversations instead of being passive observers. Amplification devices allow individuals to understand other people and eliminating the possibility of misunderstandings or frustrations.
Television and Radio
It doesn’t just have to be listening to others; personal TV amplifiers allow individuals to understand any television programs they watch in the comfort of their own homes. Unlike speaking with people, watching the television can mean sitting ten or more feet from it, meaning there’s a higher likelihood that the sound is too muffled to understand. However, when they use one of these devices, that will no longer happen, and they can watch their shows with ease and hear every word. PSAPs can also eliminate “volume wars” that may occur when two or more people need the television at different volumes.
Better Quality of Life Across the Board
Whether you want to enjoy a favorite TV show or listen to the news, amplifiers ease the burden of listening and eliminate the stress of straining your ears. Not only does it assist the user in understanding, but it also improves the lives of others living in the home. PSAPs prevent the need for increasing the volume on the TV, leading to an overall softer soundscape in the home; this provides a calmer and more peaceful atmosphere.
Theater and Film
Getting outside of the home and attending live performances or film screenings are hobbies many people enjoy, but the difficulty in hearing can make these experiences especially frustrating. Being unable to hear the dialogue in a play or film can ruin your outing in several ways, the most prominent being you can’t enjoy something to the fullest. Individuals can feel cheated and isolated when they cannot understand the performance or film they left the house to see.
Turning Up the Volume
Unlike a television, you can’t increase the volume of a theatrical performance; but through the use of PSAPs, you can. Turn up the dial to a sound level you feel comfortable with and enjoy your time out and about. Individuals don’t have to struggle to listen to performances or forgo going to them all together with the use of personal amplifiers.
PSAP Safety Considerations
With all the benefits of using personal amplification devices, there are a number of safety considerations people must adhere to. Because of the general application of PSAPs, they do not distinguish different noises or come with volume limiters. This means that if you have your amplifier turned up to a high volume, a sudden loud noise will be that much louder. People must be careful where they use their sound devices because they will pick up on noises that are already very loud.
Further Hearing Loss
While the occasional loud noise may not cause significant damage, long exposure to increased volumes will. The ears can only take so much abuse and exposing them to excessive noise will only hurt them in the long term. Be careful with how often you use your devices and what volume you keep them at; you may be damaging your hearing without noticing it.
Know What Your Needs Are
Some people will need the use of medical hearing aids to assist them, while many can purchase PSAPs for optimal results. Be aware of what your medical needs are and consult your doctor on the ideal care plan for your hearing loss. When you use personal amplification devices, always remember to practice the appropriate safety measure to safeguard yourself and your ears. The last thing you want is to cause yourself damage.