About Magic Ear
Calling itself the sound amplifier that you won’t be embarrassed to wear, Magic Ear hopes to give you super hearing with its discrete in-ear design. The device claims to be ideal for a variety of scenarios, from sitting at home watching some TV to going out to a crowded restaurant in the evening.
Despite its functionality, the Magic Ear is not directly positioned as a medical-strength hearing aid device for those who cannot hear well. Instead, it is described as a way to boost small sounds that don’t usually stand out, even if your hearing is at a normal level.
In order to further understand what the device entails (and whether or not it’s right for you), let’s briefly explore how it is said to work in the section below.
How Magic Ear Works
In the product’s commercial online, we are shown that it fits just behind the earlobe and has a clear cord that connects to a single headphone. It looks as though the product can be placed discretely in either ear, and features some basic controls on the top of the main device housing.
Aside from the power button, the other function seems to be the adjustable sensitivity setting, which can amplify sounds to be anywhere from 1-10X louder than normal. The standard human decibel gain range sits between 0 and 20dB, so this shows that the Magic Ear claims to increase this range by a factor of up to 10.
What we aren’t shown is how the product itself is powered, and customer service told us that they did not have this information as of this writing. If we had to guess, we’d venture to say that it uses a small watch-style battery like many other hearing aids, but we can’t state that with certainty.
Will the Magic Ear Really Help You Hear?
Though we are told very little about how the Magic Ear actually functions, it looks as though it features a highly sensitive microphone in the main housing that picks up sounds and feeds them in through the included headphone attachment.
Without having tested the device for ourselves, we can’t state with any authority that it will deliver an improvement in your hearing or not. That said, the manufacturer’s claim that the device is capable of amplifying sound to be up to 10 times louder is, if true, a big indicator of what its capabilities are.
For instance, medical-grade hearing aids often apply gain to certain frequencies only, allowing individuals to hear better at the ranges they struggle with. As a result, these products are often tailored to the individual needs of the wearer. With the Magic Ear, you’re simply getting a boost by a factor of 10 across the board.
In addition, because the device only plugs into one ear, this could be disorienting or uncomfortable for some after a longer period of use. Similar to wearing headphones in just one ear, it could potentially give you a sense of being “off-balance”, and there’s also the comfort factor to contend with.
All in-ear headphones produce some degree of fatigue in the ears over time, and for many, constantly wearing the device could lead to some pain and discomfort if the one-size-fits-all earbud proves to be improperly sized for your unique ear shape.
Magic Ear Pricing & Return Policy
As of this writing, Magic Ear was available exclusively online from the manufacturer’s website. It is sold in two main price structures:
- Single payment: $149.97 + $9.99 S&H
- Three monthly payments: $49.99 (x3) + $9.99 S&H
With either option, you’ll also receive a free carrying case for taking the device on the go. As for the return policy, you’ll have a 30-day money back guarantee attached to your order, less S&H fees. To initiate a return, you’ll need to reach out to Telebrands customer service at 1-855-668-1655.
Purchasing a Hearing Aid Like the Magic Ear
Simply typing “hearing aid” into Google or Amazon search pulls up thousands of different products, many of which feature designs quite similar to the Magic Ear. Because of this, it’s important to evaluate all of your options carefully before settling on the product that’s right for you.
For instance, one device, the Otofonix Hearing Amplifier, featured over 260 customer reviews on Amazon, 70 percent of which were five stars. Like the Magic Ear, it features ten different amplification levels, but it also includes four different preset modes as well; normal, noisy, treble, and quiet.
These settings are designed to help filter out certain sounds in various situations, and as such, they might be tremendously valuable for you depending on where you plan to use the product. In addition, these extra features come at a price; the Otofonix offering ran for $349.99 per device as of this writing.
Despite this slightly more expensive option, we also encountered several products that were cheaper than the Magic Ear, including the Britzgo Digital Hearing Amplifier which ran for $57.50 during our research. This product included many of the same features as the device at hand, though it lacked the presets found in the Otofonix.
If you’re searching for the right hearing device for your needs, consider these tips:
- Not all ears are made equally. You may end up having to simply try a few different devices out before finding the one that fits you comfortably enough to be worn for long stretches of time, especially if your ears are slightly larger (or smaller) than normal.
- Consider what your true needs are. If you feel as though you have actual hearing loss in certain frequencies but not others, it may make more sense to schedule a visit with an audiologist or other trained professional to discuss a more specialized medical hearing device.
- Pay close attention to battery life. While many brands list this information, Magic Ear does not (and customer service was unable to provide it when we asked). Always be on the lookout for this information during your search, as it will directly affect how you use the device you end up choosing.
- Determine how important advanced features are for you. This is likely an important consideration for some when choosing between several different products, as without the advanced modes found on devices like the Otofonix Hearing Amplifier, you’ll just be hearing everything in a louder state. In a noisy setting, this may not be ideal, and having certain frequencies filtered out automatically might be well worth the extra price of admission for many.
The Bottom Line: Our Thoughts on the Magic Ear
Based on what we’ve learned about the Magic Ear, can you truly expect it to deliver on its main claim of helping you hear, without being embarrassed in the process?
On the one hand, the product seems to be inconspicuous when in-use based on its online commercial. The small form factor and clear cabling seem easy enough to hide, and the 10x sound amplification would likely be enough for most users, provided it actually delivers on that front. Again, without testing it for ourselves, we can’t confirm that it will.
In addition, we also encountered a few other products that, while more expensive in certain cases, include additional features that many may find valuable, such as the ability to filter out loud, high pitched noises or eliminate background audio from crowds.
Ultimately, as consumers ourselves, we’d feel hesitant to make a hasty purchase without first knowing more about the battery life and overall performance of the Magic Ear, especially when this information is readily available for several well-reviewed competitors. We tried reaching out to customer service multiple times, but ultimately came away with no additional information.
If you do end up giving the product a go, be sure to keep in mind the 30-day return policy. If you find that it isn’t the right hearing aid for your needs, you’ll be able to get a refund and try out something different.
If you’ve used the Magic Ear before, be sure to leave your thoughts below!