When you see the Neosonic NW10, you might do a double take. This hearing amplifier looks less like all the other types of hearing amplifiers you’d expect. Instead of a small device that’s tucked away in or around your ear, the Neosonic NW10 is a neckband with two earbuds. It’s best described as something a futuristic jogger might wear, or a neat gadget you might see in an old Star Trek episode.
And the Neosonic NW10 is certainly a neat gadget, but available for everyone with around $150 in their pocket and an Amazon account. But how does it hold up as a hearing amplifier? Does it give you everything we’ve grown to expect from Neosonic’s other products? In this review for the Neosonic NW10, I’ll walk you through the special features that this amplifier offers, how it works in daily life, and what might not work so well.
As always, you can find a visual summary at the bottom of this page, where you can see all my findings on the Neosonic NW10 in one simple image. To skip all the reading and get there straight away, click here.
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Key features of the Neosonic Neckband
I have already mentioned the first key feature, but it’s worth mentioning again. The neckband design is not entirely new (BOSE has a similar over-the-counter hearing amplifier), but it’s still a novelty. In a way, that goes beyond just the design. The remote microphone is a great gadget. You can place this microphone somewhere, and through a wireless bluetooth connection, you receive the sound straight into your ears.
This remote microphone is a small black box. It has a range up to 60 feet, so you can sit at a distance from the source while getting crystal clear sound. This is especially helpful in a setting with one speaker, such as a church service or lecture. Another popular use of this remote microphone is to watch television without blasting the sound.
Both the neckband itself and the remote microphone are fully rechargeable. This eliminates the need for standard batteries. Charging the neckband gives you 20 hours of usage, while the remote microphone works for 10 hours with one charge.
One of the features that is missing in most bluetooth-enabled devices is the opportunity to listen to your music through the hearing amplifier. The remote microphone has a 3.5mm audio jack (the standard for most phones and music players). Whatever you plug into the microphone will also play on the neckband.
Who is this hearing amplifier for?
With a dB peak gain of 40 dB, the Neosonic NW10 is suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. These beginning stages of hearing loss mean that you’ve started to turn the tv or radio to a higher volume than you used to or that you start missing some words. Not only the dB gain, but also the design for this neckband is perfect for the first stages of hearing loss.
How well does the Neosonic NW10 work?
Although the remote microphone gets all the attention, the Neosonic NW10 has two microphones: the remote one and a built-in microphone. Unlike hearing amplifiers with a dual microphone setup, the Neosonic NW10 works with one microphone at a time. You switch between the two modes depending on the situation. If you are trying to improve your listening experience coming from one source, the remote microphone is your best bet. For a more overall experience, the built-in microphone works fine.
Other than the setup with two microphones, the Neosonic works just like a regular hearing amplifier. The neckband filters sounds to help you focus on what you want to hear, while reducing background noise. There are no listening programs you can select, but the five volume settings help you control your listening experience.
Most bluetooth-enabled hearing amplifiers suffer from a missed opportunity: the ability to listen to music. By connecting your phone or music player with a 3.5mm audio jack to the remote microphone, you can stream music directly to your ears. Because the NW10 doesn’t connect to your phone directly, taking phone calls is not an option.
As a bonus, the Neosonic company takes good care of its customers. Aside from the 45 days money back guarantee and 1 year manufacturer warranty, you can count on swift communication and ongoing support for any of its products.
What’s not to like about the Neosonic NW10?
If you need a bona fide hearing amplifier, the Neosonic NW10 is quite light on options. It doesn’t feature the listening programs that come in normal hearing amplifiers, and while it reduces background noise, the NW10 doesn’t compete with real hearing amplifiers or prescription hearing aids. Other than that, there are no real downsides to the Neosonic NW10.
Hearing amplifiers that are good alternatives
For a more powerful version of the Neosonic, the aforementioned BOSE Hearphones might do the trick. More powerful here also means more expensive (actually more than twice as expensive) and you’ll have to do without the remote microphone.
Staying closer to home, the Neosonic SF could be just what you need. This hearing amplifier gives you all the benefits of a hearing amplifier and a Bluetooth connection to control the device from your smartphone. It’s still a gadget, comes with the same quality and warranty that Neosonic provides, and has more to offer on the amplifying side of things.
Should you buy the Neosonic NW10?
The Neosonic NW10 is a crossover between a cool gadget and a hearing amplifier. It’s a good choice for someone in the beginning stages of hearing loss who can see a clear situation where they’d use the remote microphone. Another reason you could buy the Neosonic NW10 is when you’re dipping into the world of hearing amplifiers. Someone who’s past the stage of hearing loss where turning up the TV fixes the worst of your problems is better off finding another type of hearing amplifier. We’ve put together a list of the best hearing amplifiers of 2020 to help start your search.