In Depth Review of the Bellman & Symfon Maxi Pro Personal Amplifier

By: Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

The Maxi Pro Personal Amplifier is a relatively easy to use device for people with mild to moderate hearing loss that helps them hear better. You can use is it for conversation, your cell phone, your favorite audio devices, and even with the TV. But is it the best PSAP for you?

Income Disclosure: I recommend products based on my personal experience working with seniors. I may earn a commission on items purchased from links in this guide. Learn More.

I was sent a Maxi Pro Amplifier to use for free for this review. However, I received no other compensation for this review and the opinions are my own - based on my own personal experience. 

Whether due to aging or other reasons, not being able to hear the world around you can be quite aggravating. No one likes asking people to repeat themselves – especially on a mobile phone. Sometimes, these hearing problems even reduce your enjoyment of daily life – from watching TV to enjoying your favorite music.

Bellman & Symfon created the Maxi Pro to deal with these specific issues in one handy device. It amplifies the conversation and sounds around you while also playing back audio from your favorite devices via Bluetooth connection. You can even use it to improve your ability to hear callers on your mobile phone.

But, should you use it? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

Review Summary

Here is a quick summary of my review of the Bellman Maxi Pro. Keep reading for the details and in-depth discussion about how it helps people with mild to moderate hearing loss.

Bellman & Symfon Maxi Pro Personal Amplifier
4.5

In general, I am a big fan of the Maxi Pro Amplifier from Bellman especially for seniors and older adults with mild to moderate hearing loss that are looking for an easy to use alternative to hearing aids. The Maxi Pro has large buttons with high contrasting print and the familiar feel of a remote control.

You can use this one device for multiple uses: from hearing conversation more clearly to hearing your cell phone better to listening to TV. This makes it a great choice for people who don't want to manage multiple devices. You may need a few accessories to operate some of the options through.

The only real drawbacks are that it isn't a full featured, customizable system but most people will be ok with that. If you are looking for a system that offers more customizations or you prefer a more tech device, check out the Mino instead.

Pros:
  • Easy to use with familiar "remote control" feel
  • Bluetooth-enabled
  • Connects to multiple devices simultaneously
  • Use as a general speech amplifier, an audio booster for audio devices, a TV listener and works with hearing aids
  • 70 hour battery life with 2.5 hours charge time
  • Rechargeable battery is replaceable
  • Buttons are easy to read and understand
Cons:
  • Few customizations for people with severe hearing loss
  • No telecoil system for hearing loop enabled venues
  • May need additional accessories for full use
See It At Bellman

Video Review of the Maxi Pro

If you prefer watching videos over reading, here is my video review of the Maxi Pro. You’ll also get to see the Maxi Pro in use too!

What is the Maxi Pro Personal Amplifier?

Bellman & Symfon’s Maxi Pro is a digital hearing amplifier designed specifically to boost and improve sound from the environment around you and your favorite digital devices too. You can connect it to your mobile phone via Bluetooth to hear calls better while also being able to answer and reject calls from the amplifier. You have your choice of headphones, earphones, or neck loop for listening to this amplified audio.

maxi pro PSAP close up wide
The Maxi Pro Personal Amplifier by Bellman Audio

How Does It Work?

The Maxi Pro uses an omnidirectional microphone to pick up the sound around you and then processes it digitally to make it clearer and louder. You can also amplify the audio from your favorite electronic devices using a Bluetooth connection. Then, it plays the audio back for you through your preferred listening device: headphones, earbuds, or a neck loop connected to your hearing aids.

Getting Started With the Maxi Pro

After unboxing the product, charge the product fully. Then, simply plug in the headphones (or other listening device) then press the power button. Use the volume up and down buttons to adjust the volume to your preferred level.

It really is that simple.

Using the Maxi Pro For Speech Amplification

The device has a built in microphone that works when laid down flat or when upright (if the device is clipped to your belt or clothing). For the best results, point the microphone in the general direction of the people you are conversing with and adjust the volume to your preference. You can also adjust the tone by increasing or deceasing the treble with the tone buttons.

Using the Maxi Pro With Your Mobile Phone

The Maxi Pro can improve your ability to hear and make phone calls using the built-in Bluetooth function. To use this, you need to pair your mobile device with the Maxi Pro but Bellman made pairing simple to do.

To do this, simply hold down the Bluetooth button until the light blinks blue. Then, go to the Bluetooth settings on your mobile device and make sure your Bluetooth function is on. Choose “Maxi Pro” from the device list and the two devices will pair up automatically. You will know it worked because the light above the Bluetooth button will turn a steady blue and you’ll hear a confirmation message in your headphones.

You can now use the Maxi Pro to answer and reject calls with the touch of a button. If you stream music or video on your phone, you can now listen to it through the Maxi Pro amplifier.

close up of main buttons on max pro
Main function buttons of the Maxi Pro including the Bluetooth button

How to Use the Maxi Pro to Stream Music

To listen to music or other audio recordings through the Maxi Pro, you’ll need a Bluetooth compatible device. Simply pair the two devices as described above then stream them right through the Maxi Pro. You can easily control the volume and tone using the buttons.

If you paired it with your mobile phone, you already have the ability to stream music from your phone to the Maxi Pro.

How to Use the Maxi Pro for TV Listening

To use the Maxi Pro for hearing TV better, you will also need a Maxi Pro TV streamer (unless your TV already has a Bluetooth transmitter). This is available as a separate option or as a combo kit with the Maxi Pro.

The TV Streamer connects to your TV via the audio out ports and transmits the TV sound wirelessly to your Maxi Pro. You can then control the volume through the device. If you also have it synced up with your cell phone, the TV volume will mute when you receive a call automatically. This makes it very user friendly!

The TV streamer is also portable and will sync up with your Maxi Pro automatically. So, it’s easy to take it with you when you travel for hooking up to a hotel or son-in-law’s TV.

Using the Maxi Pro with Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants

The Maxi Pro can be used to further process and clarify sound before being sent wirelessly to your hearing aids or cochlear implants. To use this function, you’ll need the neckloop accessory. Just plug it into the headphone jack on the side of the Maxi Pro. There may be a syncing process depending on the model of your hearing aids or implant device.

>>> Buy the Maxi Pro at Bellman Audio <<<

Features

Here are the key features of the Bellman Maxi Pro with more detailed explanations.

Digital

The Maxi Pro uses full digital processing to enhance sound and clarify speech with built-in noise cancellation and reduced static.

Maxi pro buttons
Control Buttons for the Maxi Pro

Buttons/Easy to Use

The buttons are very well labeled and easy to see and understand. They are dark gray in color with white print. The LED indicators are bright and intuitive as well. The volume buttons – which are the most commonly used – are also the largest (which makes sense).

Volume Adjustment

You can easily set the volume to your preferred level using the + or – buttons on the Maxi Pro. They are large and easy to see too. Note the volume is automatically turned down when the the device turns on to prevent a sudden blast to your ears.

Tone Adjustment

You use the tone buttons (just below the volume buttons) to easily and quickly adjust the treble and bass levels. Press the up arrow to increase the treble or the down arrow to decease it until you get to your preferred level. Increased treble can help make conversation easier to understand.

Microphone

The built-in microphone is omnidirectional and will pick up sounds from the surrounding area. This is handy when talking to a group of people. It is designed for maximum reception whether placed horizontally or vertically like when it’s laying on a table or clipped to a belt or pocket.

maxi pro and volume and tone
Maxi Pro’s Soft-Touch Volume and Tone Buttons

Multiple Use

This one device can be used to enhance speech and conversation, make and receive cell phone calls, and stream music and other audio recordings like audiobooks or podcasts. It can even be used as TV listening headphones with the optional TV Streamer. Plus, you can use it with multiple devices at the same time.

For example, let’s say you are using the Maxi Pro microphone to talk with friends and you also have it paired to your phone. When the you receive a call, you will hear the ring through the Maxi Pro and can switch to the call at the touch of a button. If you are using the Maxi Pro as a TV as a listening device or music streamer, it will mute so that you can accept or reject the call.

Clip & Lanyard

A belt clip is included for hanging the Maxi Pro on your belt or a pocket for portable use. A lanyard is included to for wearing it around your neck.

Listening Options

You have several choices for listening devices: headphones, earbuds, stetoclips, or through your hearing aids with a neck loop.

Size and Weight

The Maxi Pro is about the size of a standard remote control and is about 5.5 inches tall and almost 2 inches wide and is just over an inch thick. It weighs just 4.3 ounces including the rechargeable battery.

Battery Life and Charging

The Maxi Pro comes with 2 rechargeable lithium ion batteries that are replaceable and provide up to 70 hours of continuous use. The batteries recharge fully in about 2.5 hours.

If you are a daily user, just charge it every night at bedtime and unplug in morning. But with the long battery life, it’s ok to skip a night or two as well.

charging for the maxi pro
Color-coded charging pin and port make is easy to locate the right place to plug in the charger.

Ergonomic Design

It has an aesthetically pleasing design and looks like a small remote control. The buttons are soft-touch plastic and the main unit is trimmed into that too. It fits comfortably in the hand but, of course, there is no need to sit and hold it.

Bluetooth

The device pairs quickly and easily with your other Bluetooth enabled audio devices at the touch of a button. You can control the volume through the Maxi Pro and switch back and forth between Bluetooth playback and your phone with the press of a button as well.

Low Latency

This means that when using the Maxi Pro as a TV listener, the audio will match the lip movements on the screen. We all hate it when lip movements don’t match the audio, right?

Audio Limit Control

The Maxi Pro has built-in volume limits to prevent you from getting a sudden blast of sound. For example, when the device is powered on, the volume is automatically turned down so that the volume isn’t too loud when you put on the headphones.

Works with Hearing Aids

Using the neck loop accessory, the device will pre-process and clarify speech and sound before sending it to your hearing aids or implant wirelessly. Just plug the neck loop into the headphone jack on the Maxi Pro and the system works automatically.

side view of maxi pro

Pros & Cons: Is the Maxi Pro Amplifier right for you?

Based on my opinion and personal experience with the Maxi Pro, here are some good things about it and a few potential drawbacks you might want to be aware of as well.

What’s to Like?

  • The Maxi Pro is easy to use and has a familiar “remote control” feel.
  • It uses Bluetooth to connect to multiple devices and pairing is done with a single button.
  • You get lots of listening output choices: headphones, earbuds, stetoclips, neck loop.
  • It is a multiple use device that can be used as a general speech amplifier, an audio booster for audio devices, a TV listener and works with hearing aids.
  • The device has a long 70 hour battery life – almost 3 days – and charges in 2.5 hours or less.
  • The rechargeable battery is replaceable without needing to replace the entire unit if it ever fails.
  • The buttons and print on the device are easy to read and understand what they do.

What’s Not to Like?

  • The Maxi Pro is not customizable for people with more severe hearing loss although you can control the overall tone.
  • It does not have a telecoil system for hearing loop enabled venues.
  • To get full use of the system, you may need to purchase additional accessories like the TV listener or neck loop accessory.

If you are looking for a more customizable or a telecoil-compatible device, check out the Mino Personal Amplifier also from Bellman.

Conclusion

In general, I am a big fan of the Maxi Pro Amplifier from Bellman especially for seniors and older adults with mild to moderate hearing loss that are looking for an easy to use alternative to hearing aids. The Maxi Pro has large buttons with high contrasting print and the familiar feel of a remote control.

You can use this one device for multiple uses: from hearing conversation more clearly to hearing your cell phone better to listening to TV. This makes it a great choice for people who don’t want to manage multiple devices. You may need a few accessories to operate some of the options through.

The only real drawbacks are that it isn’t a full featured, customizable system but most people will be ok with that. If you are looking for a system that offers more customizations or you prefer a “more techy device”, check out the Mino instead.

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