I have a special talent.  It’s called ‘selective hearing’.  At least that’s what I tell my husband.  I have a knack for tuning out sounds around me when I’m concentrating on doing something that really needs my focus.  You know, like writing blog posts.  If I’m lost in deep thought, I also tend to tune out sounds around me, too. 

My hubby thinks I should get my hearing checked, and I probably should – after having been married to an abusive husband in the past who liked to yell loudly in my ear, and with years of chronic sinusitis to deal with, I’m sure my hearing isn’t quite up to par when it should be.

Or I’m using my gift.  Whatever.

So when the opportunity arose to test drive the Etymotic BEAN, I figured why not give it a try and see if my special powers would be thwarted.


Etymotic BEAN

The BEAN is…

  • Designed to amplify quiet sounds
  • Requires no medical referral or prescription
  • Ready-to-use right out of the box – no adjustments, no controls to adjust
  • Two-position switch offers two levels of amplification: Normal 15 dB (decibels) or High 23 dB
  • Handles high-level music without distortion
  • Long battery life (10-12 days)

An interesting fact: “Etymotic” means “true-to-the-ear”.


I was impressed with how much stuff came in the BEAN box:

  • Assortments of ear-tips
  • Filter tool and extra filters
  • Cleaning tool
  • Leather storage pouch
  • #10 batteries (lots of them!)
  • User manual

The BEAN also comes with a 1 year warranty.


I’ve always had trouble sticking things in my ears – my ear openings are a little smaller than average, so I haven’t found earbuds I can wear for any length of time, and was curious to see how these worked in the comfort mode:


And see?  With my hair down, you can’t see it at all!


Booyah!  Oh, right, you want to know how it worked.  Well, to be honest, I had trouble fitting them into my ear – at first they weren’t seated properly, so I kept hearing a constant ‘whooshing’ sound – you know, like listening to a seashell.  Then I looked at the instructions again, and saw that I needed to have the little rubber doohickey arranged so that it makes a proper seal in my ear, and the whooshing sound went away.

It did indeed amplify sounds – but not already loud sounds, which is what it’s claim to fame is.  I was a little taken aback at the fact that my voice was loud but muffled when I spoke – and when I crunched on some chips, the crunching inside my ears was really  loud.  So if I wanted to hear people talking around me, I had to make sure I wasn’t eating anything crunchy.  Weird, no?  My special powers at being able to tune out unwanted noises still worked like a charm, though. 

I couldn’t wear them for long periods of time, because my ears just don’t like having things stuck in them, but they did what they were supposed to and did amplify the softer sounds around me.  I think the BEAN will be helpful to anyone who has trouble hearing, whether they wear it sometimes or on a daily basis – especially if their ears are ‘normal’ and don’t reject foreign objects. 

And no worries, if you possess the same ‘special powers’ I do, they’ll still be intact – or you can just grab a bag of chips and drown out unwanted sounds that way.

Have you ever thought about using any kind of sound amplifier?





Note: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Etymotic. I received a product to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.  As usual, all opinions are my own and not influenced by outside sources. See my disclosure policy here.


  1. I have permanent hearing loss, which has gotten worse over the past ten years. My family was suffering from my “inattention” and “pardon me”s. I purchased very expensive hearing aides two years ago and life has definitely improved for me and those who want my attention. I did try an “amplifier” previously but found the distortion too difficult to bear. My belief is we should do whatever it takes to be able to function well in community and for me that was hearing aides.
    rosemary would like you to read ..Why Don’t You Be More Careful When You Know You Are So Sloppy?My Profile

  2. I didn’t know they made those. That is too cool, and I’m always saying… huh!!! Catch my drift. Thanks for sharing my friend. See ya tomorrow!

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