The iBstone k19 rechargeable hearing amplifier caught my eye, as it was Amazon’s #1 best seller in the hearing amplifier category. Now, this top spot is bound to change regularly, but clearly iBstone is onto something here. But what is it? Is this top spot the result of a good marketing campaign or are these CIC hearing amplifiers indeed the very best?
In this review for the iBstone Rechargeable Hearing Amplifier, we’ll look at what iBstone has to offer. I’ll highlight key features, discuss how well these hearing aids work, and see what’s not so great. Before giving you my final recommendation, I’ll discuss some alternative models you could try.
If you’d like to skip straight to my verdict and skip the reading, I’ve included a 30-second visual review summary at the bottom of this page. For more of these, I invite you to my 30-second review page, where all of these summaries are listed.
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Key features of the iBstone Rechargeable Hearing Amplifier
The iBstone K19 hearing amplifiers have a few key features. First, the easy one: these little amplifiers are rechargeable. They come in a little charging base that will give you 24 hours of usage after 6 hours of charging. Simply pop the devices in their place and the base will charge them automatically.
Another key feature is the CIC configuration. This means you put the entire device into your ear canal, instead of hooking it behind your ear. As a result, the iBstone is smaller than most other models, especially in this price range.
A last feature worth mentioning is that the iBstone K19 is ambidextrous – or is it? According to the instructions, you can wear each device in either ear or look for the R and L that are printed on the amplifier. Why they have printed these letters on there if the devices are truly ambidextrous, is unclear.
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Who is this hearing amplifier for?
CIC models are usually popular for their discretion. This model is also a popular at-home alternative. The usual power range of the iBstone K19 makes it suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss.
How well does the iBstone Rechargeable Hearing Amplifier work?
Fine, although there’s hardly anything that could work (or not). It’s a very basic model. It doesn’t have any listening modes, but it features some elementary noise reduction and noise protection technologies. According to the product information, the iBstone is easy to operate. This is true for the one button (on/off) that’s on there, but when it comes to changing the volume, iBstone is telling bold-faced lies.
You can buy the iBstone K19 in two colors: traditional or blue and red.
What’s not to like about the iBstone Rechargeable Hearing Amplifier?
Traditionally, CIC models have less options than classical BTE and RIC models, and the iBstone is no exception. There are no listening modes, but there is a volume button. To adjust the volume, you need to take the device out of your ear, grab the (included) volume tool, and use the screwdriver-like tool to adjust the volume. Put the device back in your ear and repeat if necessary. Let’s be honest, this ritual is only marginally an improvement over not having a volume control at all.
Other than that, the iBstone simply doesn’t have that much to offer. It lacks a lot of features, even for a cheaper model.
Hearing amplifiers that are good alternatives
If you like the idea of CIC hearing amplifiers, but you’d like to also have a great device, you used to be ‘stuck’ with the Eargo, but the MDHearing NEO gives you a small hearing aid while maintaining quality. A cheaper choice is the Banglijian BLJ-707, although you’d have to give up the CIC model. In exchange, you get a lot more features for just $13 more. Other budget options include the Neosonic B10.
For more alternatives, please take a look at my page with all 30-second reviews.
Should you buy the iBstone K19?
Not really. If you’re thrilled about the CIC model and the price, you can give them a go. I personally don’t like CIC models, because they always seem to disappoint and simply don’t offer the advanced features you find in BTE models (with the Eargo as the exception). The iBstone K19 Rechargeable Hearing Amplifier gives you the idea of a good deal, but doesn’t really give you a lot of hearing amplifier for the price.
At the moment of publishing, the iBstone K19 is $126 for the pair. For an updated price, click here.
Yes, as long as they’re right in your face, according to the manufacturer – I’m not sure how that speaks to their model.