As seen on TV Tuesday: Magic Ear proves to be less than magic

HOUSTON – Whether you're trying to talk with a friend or just watch TV, hearing loss can be embarrassing and frustrating. 

Consumer expert Amy Davis tested the Magic Ear, a small device that claims it can help you hear even a pin drop from a hundred feet away. Magic Ear is smaller than a smartphone and it comes with headphones you can wear to amplify any sound. Davis enlisted her mother to help with the test because she often has trouble hearing in noisy situations. We tested three main claims in the Magic Ear commercial. 

Claim No. 1

"This state of the art breakthrough lets you adjust volume and hear better than anyone in the room. You can even hear a whisper from a hundred feet away." 

Instead of a restaurant, Davis asked her children to ask their Mimi a question from another room with the TV on in the background. 

"Mimi, can I have some dessert?" Davis' son asked. 

Her mom said she knew he was talking, but she couldn't understand what he said. She still couldn't make out what he said even when she turned the volume up to the max. 

This claim did not prove true. 

Claim No. 2

"It can hear a pin drop from 100 feet away."

Davis' son dropped a sewing needle on a glass plate about 60 feet away from his grandmother. Even though she had the Magic Ear on, she never heard the needle drop. 

This claim did not prove true. 

Claim No. 3

The Magic Ear commercial claims you can hear over the road noise and radio noise while riding in the backseat of a car to have a conversation with the driver. 

Davis hopped in the driver's seat of her mom's car to test this claim. Her mom climbed in the backseat. They turned the radio on and then started talking. 

Even with the radio talk show blaring, Davis' mom had no problem hearing until she put the Magic Ear earbuds in. She said the device has an air sound coming from it, almost like white noise. 

This claim did not prove true. 


We paid $19.99 for the Magic Ear; but Davis' mom doesn't recommend the product. In noisy situations, she thinks the device actually made it harder for her to hear because it boosts the sound of everything, making it difficult to separate background noise from someone talking to you.