Modern hearing technology is a world away from old-style hearing aids of previous generations. If you’ve considered investigating the latest hearing solutions and have been putting it off, you could be missing out on a golden opportunity to enhance your lifestyle. Hearing in noise technology has become so advanced and – dare we say – cool, that you’ll feel like you’re at the forefront of technology.

First, let’s talk about the differences in hearing in noise devices.

Hearables, PSAPs, and Hearing Instruments: Is there a difference?

All of these devices serve specific functions and cater to specific audiences. Let’s take a look at three different types – or categories – and review examples of devices currently found in each category.


These little devices exist solely for the pleasure and convenience of the wearer. They range from smart headphones to translation devices worn wirelessly in the ears. This is where you can see the future of audio technology for entertainment in action.


  • Headphones that aren’t just used for music, but also filter out distractions in noisy environments so the wearer can focus on conversations. (e.g., Bose Hearphones)
  • Devices that can be worn in the ears and actually translate 15+ languages. (e.g., Pilot Translating Earpiece)
  • “Do not disturb” settings for the staunchest of introverts to create isolated environments even when out and about. (e.g., Nuheara IQ)


Personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) acknowledge the fact that while you may not be suffering from hearing loss, everyone can benefit from a little assistance in certain situations, including church and busy restaurants. They are popular among birdwatchers and other outdoor recreational enthusiasts since the devices provide the wearers a boost in the sound environment. PSAPs are like reading glasses: they aren’t medically prescribed, but they provide general help when needed. They are also where you begin to see the overlap in the three categories.


  • Devices which perform automatic adjustments in various situations (at a distance, in the car, etc.) to enhance the hearing experience. (e.g., Etymotic The BEAN)

Hearing Instruments

In addition to making the latest hearing technology more effective, comfortable and with sleeker designs, creators have capitalized on “smart tech”, finding ways to integrate new and past functions with smartphones and other wearable tech devices.


  • Hearing devices with the option to add soothing sounds for tinnitus sufferers. (e.g., Oticon)
  • Instruments which connect via Bluetooth to cell phones for hands-free calling through your hearing devices and stream to your phone or tablet to listen to your favorite podcast, program or music. You can even connect to your TV in stereo sound. (Now who has the best seat in the house?) (e.g., Phonak)
  • Hearing instruments which allow you to create custom settings for your favorite restaurants, movie theaters, sporting events, and more. (e.g., Widex)
  • Intuitive speech recognition, connectivity to all your favorite devices, and remote fine-tuning when you need some extra support. (e.g., ReSound)

Those all sound pretty cool, don’t they? Don’t you just love living in the future?

The Right Fit For You

In January of this year, we encouraged people to have their hearing evaluated by a licensed audiologist. If you haven’t checked this off your to-do list, or you’ve been thinking about hearables, hearing instruments, or any other kind of hearing solution, there’s no reason to hold off any longer. RK Audiology has your back.

As longtime supporters of Kickstarter campaigns for promising hearing technology, and supporters of the best in hearing solutions from tried and true hearing instrument manufacturers, we stay up-to-date on ways to help you live and hear better. We keep the latest hearables in our office at all times. We can show you hearing in noise options and, because we are licensed audiologists, we are qualified to evaluate, fit, program, and service all hearing instruments.

The future is sounding clearer and clearer, not only for people with hearing loss – for anyone wishing to experience life to the fullest.

Click here to schedule a consult with us today.