Etymotic Bean QSA – The Best PSAP Hearing Device (Guide & Review)

Ranjeet KumarReviewed by Mr. Ranjeet Kumar Sr. Audiologist, Speech Therapist & Cochlear Implant Specialist, BASLP on May 6th, 2020 written by Editorial Team

Hearing loss is a very sensitive disability to the individuals suffering from it along with the family members and relatives. But Etymotic Bean Quiet Sound Amplifier (QSA) can help. QSA is a lot similar to Hearing Aids but is certainly different. The BEAN is specified to amplify low sound and voice where the hearing aid is not able to do so.

Although Hearing loss can be very frustrating as it is a lifelong disability and you need to rely on hearing aids for the rest of your life. It can happen to a child, teenagers, adults, and most commonly to the old age people.

You can purchase the latest hearing aids at a fair price through HearingSol, If you need any assistance or you have a query regarding Hearing Device or Hearing Loss, feel free to call us at +91-9327901950. We are always here to help

Hearing aids can help you to listen but it includes lots of maintenance, a regular monthly visit to an audiologist, proper fitting and are highly expensive.

The day to day change in your hearing and exposure to the very loud or very low sounds require care and maintenance of hearing aids which can be tiring.

To resolve the problems, Etymotic research, a hearing wellness company founded by Mead Killion, Ph.D. in 1983 which is best known for the manufacturing of earplugs(ear protection devices) for musicians and general audiences developed The Bean.

The Bean was introduced as Quiet sound amplifiers that are responsible to enhance your hearing experience in a car, social situations, and distance communication where a soft sound is difficult to hear.

The BEAN QSA is also a personal sound amplification product (PSAP) but with some superior feature and best audio quality.

Etymotic bean can be bought straight from the market or online services at an affordable price which helps you to get rid of the expensive cost and high maintenance of hearing aids.

The fitting process is simpler and no time for the time change in levels required. Let’s discuss further information about Etymotic Bean in detail.

Do QSA Is Different From PSAP?

No, QSA is similar to PSAP with an upgraded and enhanced version. They both have the same working features but a bit different by their looks as shown in the figure below:

PSAP(Left) And QSA(Right)

QSA is a personal sound amplification product (PSAP), which enhances the hearing experience to make the conversations more effective.

They are not suitable for all the hearing impaired people but to the people with some specific level disorder or might have trouble hearing in some situations. It has two different models, The BEAN and the T-coil bean.

Quiet sound amplifier(QSA), The bean provides extra quality without any distortion. It has a built-in sensor that detects and amplifies the soft sound and prevent it from damaging.

Where The T-coil bean is used with hearing aids that are compatible with telephones and loop systems. The loop is used to send the electromagnetic signals to the bean.

The bean changes that signal to sound and the work of T-coil is to pick that sound and send it directly to the ear.

Configuration Of Etymotic Bean

Parts of the etymotic bean

Etymotic (pronounced as “et-im-oh-tik.”) means “True to the ear” and The Bean is a high-fidelity personal sound amplifier that automatically amplifies only soft sounds.

The loud volume in Etymotic bean is kept steady or are even reduced if they are extremely loud such as automobile horns, concerts, fireworks, or the strike of a drum. Now, the question pops out

Are the Etymotic Beans suitable for concerts?

Then the answer is yes, they are best for the stage performers and highly effective for the people in a crowd.

With the help of Etymotic bean, you will be able to communicate with your friends standing beside you having soft sound as well as you can enjoy the stage performance with loud noise without any distortion.

But Etymotic bean doesn’t protect your hearing from loud noise more than 100 dB so, try to use Etymotic earplugs for these conditions.

Now take a look at different parts of Etymotic Beans:

1. Sensor

sound sensor
Sound Sensor

The Bean consists of a built-in sensor that automatically adjusts according to the surrounding noise level. These built-in sensors are the sound level sensors that allow you to measure the sound level in Decibel.

2. Microphone And Amplifier

A Microphone is used to pick the sound from the surrounding and an amplifier to deliver that sound to your ear.

3. Eartips

The bean is provided with several layers of the tips which are designed to fit snugly into your ear and seal your ear canal.

type of eartip


If the ear tip doesn’t fit correctly to the ear canal then your own sound might hear “hollow” to you which is called Occlusion Effect.

As you know ear canals come in different shapes and sizes and the ear tips must be properly sealed in the ear canal, obtain optimal sound quality.

4. Battery

It runs on a regular no.10 hearing aids battery with the life expansion of 10-12 days working nonstop for 24 hours.

As there is no on/off button provided to Etymotic bean they can run for a full day until and unless they are removed from ears.

When they are taken off the battery doors pop open and the battery swings out of the unit to the hinge from where they are inserted or removed from the bean.

Ways To Insert Battery To Your QSA:
picture with and without battery inside QSA
  • It is very important to insert the battery in a proper manner otherwise the QSA will not work.
  • The battery compartment is on the bottom of the QSA.
  • Now, open the battery door and remove the yellow tab from the battery.
  • In the next step, insert the battery with the flat side facing up.
  • Try not to force the battery inside the door.
How To Know The Batteries Are Depleting?

The Etymotic bean has a built-in low battery alert and this signal alerts the user about the battery’s life. First, it sounds like a motorboat motor idling, then it becomes faster and louder.

The batteries do not decrease the performance of The BEAN if the warning sound is present. Users can change the batteries at a convenient time.

5. Switch

The only switch mounted over the bean is used to control the decibel level you are getting. These levels are denoted as High(H) and Normal(N) and require no further setup or adjustments.

Removing the bean from the ear is tricky as no external handle is provided to take it off. You might get panic for first 2-3 times but you will get used to it.

Difference Between The Bean And T-Coil Bean

As discussed earlier, the two models of Etymotic bean is The Bean and The T-coil Bean. These two models are then further divided to have 2 positions switch setting.

The two sets of The BEAN is a Normal(N) providing 15 dB amplification(gain) and a High(H) providing 23 dB amplification(gain) setting.

Similarly, the T-coil has a Normal(N) setting and a telecoil mode. This telecoil mode allows the user to connect with the hearing loop system or the hearing aid compatible telephone.

The sound coming from the loop system or a compatible telephones gets into the bean directly which makes the listening more clear and easy even when the background noise is too loud.

The two switch setting either high or normal in the bean model is like a volume setting.

gain in decibel at normal setting
gain in decibel at high setting

The above graphical representation shows the gain in decibel(dB). Usually, you can set the bean to the normal(N) setting for clear and easy listening.

You can switch the bean to high(H) setting if and only when there is no lots of background sound otherwise a high pitched feedback noise will be delivered straight to your ears.

Microphones, as well as T-coil, are the input mode in The BEAN T-coil. Following is a table differentiating between Bean and T-coil Bean:

The BEANThe BEAN T-coil
A microphone is the only input mode in The BEAN.Microphones, as well as T-coil, are the input mode in The BEAN T-coil.
The gain of 15 dB at a normal setting and 23 dB at a High setting.The gain of 15 dB at a normal setting, no high setting available.
It can provide the maximum output of 115 dB at the high setting.N/A
N/ATelecoil 1 KHz sensitivity is -49.5dBV at 100mA/m.

Pros And Cons Of Etymotic Bean

Pros Of Etymotic Bean:

  • It’s easy to use.
  • It enhances voices and low sounds which are hard to hear.
  • Etymotic bean has good hearing protection.
  • They are a lot cheaper than hearing aids

Cons Of Etymotic Bean:

  • No on/off switch.
  • It is hard to remove.
  • Etymotic bean is expansive than earplugs.

Features Of QSA

  • A smooth operation that’s why it is undetectable.
  • It provides a high high-frequency of the soft sounds of speech for clear and easy hearing.
  • It has excellent speech intelligibility in both noisy and quiet conditions.
  • Has a long battery life of around 10-12 days with low battery alert to the users.
  • Its 2-level switch offers two levels of enhancement.
  • It provides 15dB or 23dB gain.
  • The Etymotic bean is simply an amplifier that amplifies a quiet sound and passes clear loud sound with no additional boost.

Benefits Of QSA

  • You can purchase The Etymotic Bean from any source without a referral.
  • It is designed in such a way that it can fit comfortably and look good in either ear.
  • Ready to use just after the arrival.
  • It does not need any adjustments and no controls to adjust.
  • The Etymotic bean provides high-fidelity sound quality and amplified hearing.
  • It handles the high input of music without any distortion.
  • It does not require any custom molds.
  • You can return it within 30 days for a refund if not satisfied.

Bean Starter Kit

etymotic bean kit accessories on online purchase

The Bean Starter kit has the following items:

  • The Bean Quiet sound amplifier.
  • The kit includes 7 ear tips(4 flange ear tips and 3 foam ear tips) of different sizes and materials for best fit and comfort.
  • It includes a package with 10 batteries.
  • Includes filter tool and extra filters.
  • Includes leather case and cleaning kit.

Who Is The Ideal User For The Bean?

  • Who wants amplification for some listening situations not all.
  • Someone who may not be ready to wear devices full time.
  • Who requires minimal hearing enhancement for things like watching TV.
  • If someone’s family members have difficulty communicating in low speech.
  • Not necessary to wear it all the time so fewer chances of getting an ear infection.


QSA device consists of materials and components that are standard in consumer audio products and hearing protection devices.

  • Do not swim or shower while wearing QSA.
  • Keep batteries out of reach of children.
  • Do not put batteries in your mouth, it may be harmful if swallowed.
  • Allergic reactions are uncommon as it can occur in any situation if you have changed your products or your skin is too sensitive. if any kind of allergy occurs while wearing QSA, immediately consult with your physician.
  • Try to keep your QSA clean to escape the chances of ear infection.

Why Is Etymotic Bean Are One Step Ahead Than The Hearing Aids?

Etymotic bean is a lot more similar to the hearing aids but is certainly different. The PSPA(personal sound amplification product) do not follow the FDA(Food and Drugs Administration) regulation followed by hearing aids and can be sold by the online retailers without any prescription.

Hearing aids are tuned by an audiologist according to the hearing deficiency of the person whereas, the beans are specified to amplify low sound. The bean works best when worn while calling.

There are many people who don’t have hearing loss other than a listening problem in some specific situations but they have to get stick with hearing aids which are lot costlier, hard accessible, and delicate.

In these cases, you can use Etymotic bean and introduce it to others as no many people know about it. You might realize that your hearing is not as good as you think after wearing QSA.

The QSA provides various benefits over hearing aids such as:

  • Proper fit at one try without any help.
  • Variable sound quality according to the surrounding.
  • Ease to use
  • Less expensive than hearing aids
  • Wear it when you need it, simply like your glasses.

You might take The BEAN as the step before visiting an audiologist before having a hearing aid for yourself. You can use the bean as a general all-around approach.

It completely fits the words “The Bean is like reading glasses, which are used only part of the time.” you can carry your bean everywhere you like and wear it whenever needed.

More places like churches, classroom, auditoriums, and public transportation are becoming more loop-enabled, and The T-coil BEAN users can have a great benefit who frequently visit these venues.

You can purchase the latest hearing aids at a fair price through HearingSol, If you need any assistance or you have a query regarding Hearing Device or Hearing Loss, feel free to call us at +91-9327901950. We are always here to help you.

Some Of The Best Etymotic Bean To Buy At The Best Price

Etymotic QSARs 16,139The BEAN at its best price for the person with hearing difficulty in a single ear.
Etymotic T-Coil BEAN Pair QSARs 30,834A set of The T-coil BEAN for both the ears.

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