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$400 Nano vs. $20 Alibaba Comparison | High Tech Hearing Aid or Cheap Amplifier?

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– In this video, I'm comparing the $400 set of Nano hearing aids with a cheap, $20 amplifier off of Alibaba Coming up (modern, active music) Hi guys

Cliff Olson, doctor of audiology and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem, Arizona And on this channel, I cover a bunch of hearing-related information to help me you a better-informed consumer So if you're into that, make sure you hit that subscribe button And don't forget to click the bell to receive a notification every time I post a new video If you've ever gone on Facebook after doing an internet search for anything regarding hearing aids, you have most likely been bombarded by hearing aid ads by a company named Nano Hearing Technologies

Now, according to their website, they manufacture advanced hearing aids that auto adjust to your hearing loss without the need of a hearing test They also claim that they work for 987% of individuals with hearing loss, and that they have over 3000 reviews without a single one or two star review, and all of this for devices that will only cost you $400 for a pair Yet upon looking at the hearing aids on their website, I thought they looked strikingly familiar to other hearing aids that I've seen on a website called Alibabacom

In fact, they look almost identical to the $18-$20 hearing amplifiers that are sold on Alibaba Now Alibabacom is a website that connects suppliers from around the world with distributors who want to sell those products to consumers They are cheap products that get made in places like China and India, and they get rebranded and sold to you So I went ahead and ordered both sets of these devices so I could directly compare the Nano hearing aids to these Alibaba hearing aids and see if Nano really makes some of the most advanced hearing aids in the world, or if they're just another piece of online junk

All right Let's see what they have inside of the Nano box All right So, it looks like we have some kind of documents in here Basically the user guide to explain how these devices work

Couple other documents, kind of showing you a few different things, some discounts for either friends or yourself for more devices from Nano, but a bunch of just different paperwork in there We won't get into that too much And then we have the actual devices here so let's open this up, I ordered one device, and let's see what we got Oh, look at that They sent two devices

Well that's perfect, so they did have a buy one get one free sale I didn't actually participate in that buy one get one free but they sent me two devices anyway, so that's perfect (crinkling plastic) Almost look like they, no matter what, they just send you two But let's see if we can get in here and check these things out So pretty standard looking amplifier that you would order online

In terms of build quality, it looks pretty rough This is the right one Those battery doors look like they have a little bit of warping of the actual, I don't know if you can see that in the camera, but a little bit of warping of the battery door They don't actually close very, they don't close flush, on either the right one or the left one Oh, there we go

That one actually closed But nonetheless, they have a very simple, this is a volume adjustment right here, this right here is the single microphone that it has, and it does come with a variety of different domes to fit different ear canal sizes and shapes (crinkling plastic) So they have a variety of different ones here that they send, but in general, this is the one that comes with it, so there we go And then they also have a cleaning tool and a screwdriver inside of there as well, so the cleaning tool of course is for cleaning the devices, and then that screwdriver is essentially for adjusting that volume wheel on there The other thing that Nano sends you is a box of batteries, size ten batteries, and it looks like there's 36 batteries in here, which would last you a couple months, most likely

But that's it Pretty simple stuff They send you just the hearing devices, some batteries, a cleaning tool and an adjustment tool And let's check out the one that we got from Alibaba I have a left ear inside of this box that I'm going to take out and it looks almost identical to a Nano hearing aid

It kind of has the same build quality, has the same volume lever, has the same microphone, even has the same removal string with the blue color on the end of the removal string, and then it comes with a variety of different domes as well It also comes with a cleaning brush and volume adjustment screwdriver and if we actually compare these side by side, (hearing aid dropping into plastic box) Oh If we actually compare these side by side, you can see that they are essentially identical in every way, except for the branding that is on there The one in my right hand says Nano The one in my left hand is some name that I can't really read, that's the one from Alibaba

So, the other thing here is that the cleaning tools are exactly the same, and even packaged the exact same way So it's really interesting to see how similar these are in terms of build Let's go ahead and check out and see if they actually perform any differently, or if they perform exactly the same All right, so now that you know that these devices look identical to each other, I'm gonna go ahead and take these Nanos and actually put them inside of my ear to give you perspective of what they look like when wearing them I have some really big ear canals, so these actually go pretty deep into my ears

The one thing that I do notice is that I get really bad occlusion effect with these, which is that phenomenon that happens when you plug your ears with something and you talk and your own voice is really loud to yourself, but they do go in pretty well They're kinda comfortable, in a way And the thing that I really don't like about it is that they have these little strings on them, these removable strings, that they have actually colored red and blue, to indicate the sides Why they don't make them clear, I have no idea, but it looks like I have little antennas stickign out of my ear, which would be very weird going up and having a conversation with someone who doesn't know me Now, look and feel are different than performance, so I'm gonna test the performance of these Nano hearing aids up against these cheap Alibaba amplifiers

The first thing that I'm gonna do is electro acoustic analysis, using my otometrics hearing instrument test box This will allow me to measure the diagnostics of these hearing aids with an extremely high level of accuracy By doing a diagnostic test with this equipment, I can directly compare the output of the Nano hearing aids with the Alibaba amplifiers, in a very controlled environment that eliminates variability of measurement First, I will run the Nano hearing aid through the diagnostic testing sequence Everything started out well as I set the device to full on gain and ran the 90 decibel and 50 decibel pure tones

But then an unexpected issue occurred when trying to test the device at reference test settings, which requires the reduction of volume inside of the green area on this scale It seems that even though the devices have volume wheels, they only have two volume settings, maximum volume and minimum volume No matter how much I adjusted the volume wheel, you can see that I either had the volume all the way up on the right hand side of the scale or all the way down on the left hand side of the scale Since I couldn't get it in the middle green area, I was not able to accurately measure the reference test settings for a 60 decibel input, nor was I able to accurately record the total harmonic distortion of this device Nonetheless, after completing the testing with the Nano hearing aid, I was able to repeat this test sequence with the Alibaba amplifier

As we run through the test sequence again with the Alibaba amplifier, we can see the striking similarity between the results of the Nano devices and the Alibaba devices Even the exact same issues with the volume control occurred with the Alibaba devices, just like they did with the Nanos Here is a side-by-side output comparison between the Nano devices on the left and the Alibaba devices on the right As you can see, the numbers are almost identical, almost as if I was testing the exact same device Next, I set up the otometrics oracle probe microphone measurement equipment to perform real ear measurement with both devices to measure how they perform inside of an actual user's ear canal

This will also allow us to see if these devices are capable of matching the prescription for a normal sloping-to-moderate sensory neural hearing loss, which is a very easy type of hearing loss prescription to match As we run through the test sequence, we can see that the Nano hearing aids, when set to their lowest volume level, are providing amplification which is indicated by the solid purple line The solid black line is the sound that is being played from the external otometrics speaker and amplified by the device inside of the user's ear We can see that the prescriptive targets, which are indicated by the hash mark line, is not being matched by the output of the Nano hearing aid, which would indicate a poor fit for this individual and their hearing loss When we increase the volume to maximum, now remember, there is no in the middle volume adjustment for the Nano hearing devices, we can see that it is a massive amount of amplification, indicated by the solid turquoise line that could have the potential to further damage this individual's hearing ability

After testing the Nano device, I then set up the user to test the Alibaba device The red curve indicates the output of the Alibaba amplifier at the lower volume setting and the green curve indicates the output of the Alibaba amplifier at the highest volume setting When we overlap these curves with the curves recorded with the Nano hearing aids, we can see that they are almost identical to each other This indicates that these devices not only look identical to each other, but they also perform identical to each other, and neither one of them are capable of exactly matching this moderate hearing loss prescription All right guys

I don't really even know what else to test on these things I mean, the build quality is identical, the feel of them is identical, the look of them is identical, the performance of them through objective test measurements are identical In fact, if I didn't have the name stamped on these hearing devices, I would have no clue which one are the Nano devices and which one are the cheap Alibaba amplifiers Not only did the objective measurements come out nearly identical between these devices, but subjectively they both have equally horrific sound quality, and I would be just blown away if anyone else thought anything different Now if you watch my channel, you know I try to remain as unbiased as possible

I don't care whether you get hearing aids from me I don't care whether you go down the road and get your hearing aids from Costco or another hearing care provider I don't even care if you go online to buy hearing aids As long as you're an informed consumer, when making the decision to go whatever route you decide to go, but for these Nano hearing aids and these Alibaba hearing aids, I couldn't in good conscience recommend that anyone even try them That's it for this video

If you have any questions, leave them in the comment section below If you like the video, please share it, and if you want to see other videos just like this one, go ahead and hit that subscribe button I'll see you next time (modern, upbeat music)

Source: Youtube

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