Hearing Aids Radio Shack vs Century Hearing Aids Radio Shack only sells the RCA Symphonix® RPSA10 Personal Sound Amplifier (thin tube) - Mini Behind the Ear and the RCA Symphonix® RPSA05 Personal Sound Amplifier (thick tube) - these again are not a hearing aids. They are called a personal sound amplifiers. They do not advertise them as hearing aids but they sure look like hearing aids and guess what...they probably have the same digital technology inside. But what is the difference? A hearing aid is usually programmed from an audiogram or hearing aid test. A hearing aid is for someone with impaired hearing - and they are much stronger. Where as, A personal sound amplification product or PSAP is an electronic product is intended to help amplify sounds for a variety of reasons such as to hear soft sounds of a bird chirping, or more clearly hear a distant speaker but they are not intended to compensate for hearing impairment.
The RCA Symphonix® RPSA10 Personal Sound Amplifier is a thin tube. This is for someone with mild to moderate high frequency hearing loss. The Radio Shack RCA Symphonix® RPSA05 Personal Sound Amplifier is Behind the Ear thick tube - and any time you use a thick tube, these are intended for folks with severe to profound hearing loss. This is a wild card because if you do not have the customers audiogram...there a slim chance that this one is going to help someone with severe to profound hearing loss.
Here is what the FDA says about Personal Sounds Amplifiers:
"PSAPs are intended to amplify environmental sound for non-hearing impaired consumers. Examples of situations in which PSAPs typically are used include hunting (listening for prey), bird watching, listening to lectures with a distant speaker, and listening to soft sounds that would be difficult for normal hearing individuals to hear (e.g., distant conversations, performances). Because PSAPs are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or mitigate disease and do not alter the structure or function of the body, they are not devices as defined in the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. As such, there is no regulatory classification, product code, or definition for these products. Furthermore, there are no requirements for registration of manufacturers and listing of these products with FDA."
Personal Sounds Amplifiers (hearing aids at Radio Shack) are much less expensive - usually have a price of $130 to $200 if they have them in stock. These so called hearing aids at Radio Shack comes with:

  • Ultralight and discreet, won't interfere with eyewear

  • High Definition Digital Sound Processing enhances speech frequencies and reduces surrounding noise

  • 3 volume and noise reduction settings with volume and noise controls

  • 15-hour rechargeable battery eliminates the hassle of replacing batteries

  • Dynamic compression circuitry amplifies softer sounds without amplifying sudden loud sounds

  • Includes earpiece, medium tubes (left and right), wide tube, domes (medium and large) and charge

And...these Personal sound Amplifiers or so called hearing aids at Radio Shack are not very strong at all. The FDA keeps PSAPs limited to about 20 - 30dB in gain (at most) - or max volume. That means if you have hearing loss, say you are hearing impaired, and you did not have the funds for hearing aids and decided to try the so called hearing aids at Radio Shack...they may work for you...but these would only be good for mild to maybe a little moderate hearing loss. If you buy one of these hearing aids at Radio Shack and you find its not strong enough, which usually means you are turning volume all the way up and its starting to squeal...that means you are maxing it out - it cannot give any more. That is clear sign you need something stronger. You need a real hearing aid. So sure, start with the hearing aids at Radio Shack...if you grow out of those....give us a try.
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