Etymotic Bean QSA Pair
Review of: Etymotic Bean Quiet Sound Amplifier

Reviewed by:
On 15th April 2014
Last modified:16th August 2015

Today I've got my hands on a pair of the Etymotic BEAN Quiet Sound Amplifiers. They're very much like a hearing aid (except they're not) but don't...

Today I’ve got my hands on a pair of the Etymotic BEAN Quiet Sound Amplifiers. They’re very much like a hearing aid (except they’re not)┬ábut don’t require a doctors appointment and can be purchased straight from the website. As well as this your standard hearing aids will set you back thousands of dollars/pounds, whereas a pair of the BEANs will set you back only $858.00.

Etymotic Bean Packaging

The packaging of the BEAN is your standard card box with a decorative sleeve and with nothing about it really standing out. Once you start to open the packaging the first item you’ll see it a nice leather carry pouch. It has the company logo embossed on the front of it and locks with a magnetic push button. Once you remove more card, at the bottom of the box you’ll find an assortment of different ear tips, a filter tool, extra filters, cleaning tool, 10 batteries and also some documentation.

The BEANs look exactly how you would imagine them too and are designed to fit snugly into your ear and seal your ear canal. If you happen to find the installed ear tips aren’t comfortable then swapping them out with one of the included pairs is an easy and simple process.

Etymotic BEAN Battery Compartment

The devices themselves include a high-fidelity, low noise microphone which picks up surrounding sounds and then enhances only the soft sounds. A small hidden battery door is located on the inside of the device which holds a single No. 10 hearing aid battery. The battery is stated to last for 10 days of full use and did exactly this during our tests. There is also a small switch which swaps between the 2 modes of amplification: Normal – 15dB amplification and High – 23dB amplification.

Most of the time you’ll be using the normal settings, and should only use the high setting when there isn’t a lot of surrounding sound, else it’ll result in a high pitched feedback noise being delivered to your ear. Although possible it can be a little fiddly to change settings while they’re in your ear and therefore recommend removing them to do so.

Etymotic BEAN Side by side

We’ve read a few articles where it has been mentioned that people have found them difficult to remove but when testing I didn’t run into this problem. If you twist them a little before trying to remove then it does make the process easier and can grip a little more of the device to tug at.

Because the quiet sound amplifiers only amplify quiet sounds they can become quite annoying at times such as when you’re in the car and you’ve got the air conditioning blowing out. These little devices pick up the sound and really do amplify it to the point where it’s no longer comfortable to wear them. Other little things such as mouse clicks or when you’re hitting the keyboard are also picked up. For times like this I would suggest removing the BEANs.

They excelled during normal conversations or even during phones calls and the voices sounded a lot clearer and easier to understand.

Our Verdict

You should think of the BEAN QSAs as the step before visiting the doctor to get hearing aids. Hearing aids are tuned by the doctor to fit individual needs, whereas the BEANs are more of a general all-round approach. If you believe that your hearing isn’t up to scratch then I would definitely suggest trying out the BEANs and if you find that they just aren’t working for you then you can return them to Etymotic within 30 days for a full refund.

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– Enhances hard to hear sounds
– Inexpensive when compared to hearing aids





They’re available in 3 different colours: platinum, brushed gold and bronze. The unit we’ve tried out are the brushed gold which look great. If you’d like to learn more about the Etymotic BEAN Quiet Sound Amplifiers then head on over to the link below:

Etymotic QSA BEAN