For most people, hearing loss is a gradual process. Over time, you find yourself turning the volume of the TV a little higher. Other common symptoms are asking people to repeat what they just said, or finding a new phone because the old one isn’t loud enough anymore. At some point, odds are you’ll be looking for a hearing aid or hearing amplifier. Although the two types of devices have some differences, they serve the same function: to combat hearing loss.
The MedCa Rechargeable Digital Hearing Amplifier looks like a steal. With a price point of less than $50, they cost far less than the hearing aids your doctor might recommend. If they solve your hearing problem just the same, the choice seems like a no-brainer.
The MedCa was previously available as the NewEar . In practice, though, the devices are identical. In this review, I’ll use both names.
Before you order your MedCa, we’ll take a better look at this device. How well does it work? Can you really get an all-in solution for less than $50? If you prefer to skip the reading, a 30-second visual review is available at the bottom of this review. Those visual summaries for all hearing amplifiers can be found on our 30-second review page.
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Key features of the rechargeable MedCa
The first key feature for the MedCa is included in the name: it’s rechargeable. This will save you money on batteries and is better for the environment, too. You get up to an impressive 40 hours of battery life on a single charge. Charging is very easy with the included adapter.
Another important feature of the NewEar is it can be worn in either ear. Hearing loss can sometimes be more prevalent in one ear, so not having to buy an amplifier for one specific ear gives you more flexibility. Other times, you might want to switch ears based on a certain situation. In those cases, the versatility also helps.
Who is the MedCa for?
With a 40 dB peak gain, the NewEar is most suitable for people with moderate hearing loss. This type of hearing loss makes you turn up the volume on the TV and can make following conversations difficult, especially in an environment with a lot of background noise.
Does the NewEar rechargeable hearing amplifier work?
As an amplifier, the NewEar works. Sounds are unmistakably amplified and the volume buttons give you more control over how much amplification you want.
Although amplifying sound isn’t a problem with the NewEar, the quality of the sound depends on the situation you’re in. Quiet environments with one clear sound source work best. Some people complain that the NewEar focuses too much on lower frequencies, while most age-related hearing loss is notable in the higher frequencies.
MedCa itself seems to be quite proud of the golden receiver that is featured on the device, but it serves no purpose whatsoever. The hearing amplifier is a bit bulky, but not bad for its price range.
What’s not to like about the MedCa Hearing Amplifier?
Unfortunately, this list is going to be rather long. First, the NewEar has a static noise that is prevalent even with the lower volume settings. Whether or not this is a real problem depends on your tolerance, but the sound quality feels outdated.
Another area where the NewEar feels old compared to other devices is in the ‘advanced sound features’ like feedback correction and noise reduction. This model is a clear ‘simple’ hearing amplifier, where no difference is made between sounds you do and don’t want to hear. On top of that, the frequencies on the device don’t focus on the high frequencies most people have problems with.
A minor annoyance comes from the time it takes to charge the NewEar. Lastly, and this may be a personal pet peeve, the marketing department went a little overboard with their descriptions. The digital circuitry has been a standard feature in even the cheapest models, and the “exceptional features” the manufacturer boasts about are a blatant lie. Lastly, the golden receiver is a gimmick that only makes the amplifier more visible – a feature nobody asked for.
What are some alternatives for the MedCa?
If you’re a fan of the recharging function, I recommend buying the Banglijian BLJ-109 or its bigger brother, the Banglijian Ziv-201. Both models are rechargeable. The BLJ-109 is hands down the best hearing amplifier for less than $100, whereas the Ziv-201 is a but more expensive, but doesn’t make the same compromises in sound quality.
For more alternatives, please take a look at our page with 30-second reviews, where we list each reviewed model in order of recommendation.
This review is based on the perpetual discount that the NewEar offers. If you ever find the NewEar for the full price of $199, run away and warn your friends on the way out. I suspect that the discount is an idea from the same marketing department that sold you the other nonsense.
Should you buy the NewEar Rechargeable Hearing Amplifier?
No. Unless you particularly like the golden receiver, there is not a single reason to buy the MedCa. For $20 more, you can buy a pair of much better hearing amplifiers. I understand that price can be attractive, but this MedCa is nowhere near worth your money. .
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