Mino Personal Amplifier vs Pocketalker 2.0: Which PSAP is Best?

By: Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

In this guide, I compare the features and overall ease of use of the Bellman & Symfon Mino to the Williams Sound Pocketalker 2.0 to help you decide which personal sound amplifier is best for your unique needs.

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.

People with mild to moderate hearing loss often begin improving their hearing by using Personal Sound Amplification products (PSAP) as an alternative or stepping stone to hearing aids. The devices are often less invasive and more discreet than hearing aids.

The Mino from Bellman & Symfon and the Pocketalker 2.0 from Williams Sounds are two popular options out there. But, it’s easy to get confused when comparing products like these.

So, I put together this head to head comparison to help you determine which is best for you.

close up of mino and pocketalker 2
Close Up of the Bellman Mino and the Williams Sound Pocketalker 2.0

Video Comparison of the Mino & Pocketalker 2.0

Prefer seeing the products in action rather than just reading about them ? Here is the video version of my comparison of the Mino vs. the Pocketalker 2.0.

Disclosure: I was loaned the products for this comparison by Bellman & Symfon and they were returned afterwards. I received no compensation for this content and the opinions are my own based on my own actual use of the devices.

Side By Side Comparison of the Mino and the Pocketalker 2.0

Here is a quick comparison of the key features of each product. Keep reading for more details.

Bellman & Symfon Mino

Ease of Use
Easy to use with minimal buttons

Ease of Setup
Simple plug and play operation

Buttons and Switches
Easy to press buttons that are well-labeled

Volume Control
Uses + and – buttons on a rocker switch with LED light indicator

Microphone Options
Includes both an omnidirectional and a directional microphone

Telecoil System
Built-in telecoil for hearing loop equipped venues

TV Listening
Uses direct connection with optional accessory cable

Hearing Aids
Works with hearing aids using the optional neck loop accessory

Listening Accessory Options
Headphones, earbuds, stetoclips, neckloop, microset

Size/Weight
1.9″ x 3.9″ x 0.9″
2.5 oz

Battery Life/Charging
Rechargable batteries with 29 hours of use and 4 hours to fully charge.

Warranty
2 years

Support Options
Phone, Email, Troubleshooting Guide

Williams AV Pocketalker 2.0

Ease of Use
Easy to use with fewer controls

Ease of Setup
Simple plug and play operation

Buttons and Switches
Uses more difficult, small rotary wheels for most controls

Volume Control
Uses rotary dial on the power switch with numerical indicator

Microphone Options
Includes an external and internal omnidirectional microphone

Telecoil System
Built-in telecoil for hearing loop equipped venues

TV Listening
Use an external mic and extension cable placed near TV speakers

Hearing Aids
Works with hearing aids using the optional neck loop accessory

Listening Accessory Options
Headphones, earphones, neckloop (stereo and mono)

Size/Weight
2.0″ x 4.9″ x 1″
3.1 oz

Battery Life/Charging
Uses 2 AAA batteries for 105 hours of use. Rechargeable option.

Warranty
5 years

Support Options
Phone, Email, Troubleshooting Guide

RELATED: Full Review of the Mino Personal Amplifier

Detailed Featured Breakdown

Here is a more detailed comparison of the features of the Mino and Pocketalker 2.0 along. I’ll also let you know which product is best feature by feature based on my personal experience with the two sound amplifiers.

Ease of Use

Both the Mino and the Pocketalker are generally easy to use but I give the Mino a slight advantage here. The Mino uses familiar buttons for the power and volume functions that work with a simple press and very little pressure.

The Pocketalker, however, uses rotary wheels that require more finger movements to scroll them to your desired setting. If you have arthritis or weakness in your fingers, this could make a big difference.

Both devices, though, just require powering them on and adjusting the volume for basic operation. Because the Pocketalker has fewer options it also has fewer switches and controls.

Winner: Mino

Button and control comparisons of the Mino and the pocketalker
Comparison of Buttons and Controls for the Mino and the Pocketalker

Ease of Set-up

Both products also easy to set up as well. With both products, you simply plug in your headphones or other preferred listening accessory, turn on the device and adjust your volume for basic operation. Neither one requires an app or technical set-up process.

Winner: Both

Buttons and Switches (Volume and Control)

Overall, I like the buttons of the Mino better than the Pocketalker. The buttons are more familiar and intuitive especially for more elderly people.

The Pocketalker uses a central rotary switch that both turns the unit on and controls the volume. This style of switch requires more finger and thumb joint movement which could be a problem for people with arthritis of hand weakness.

The tone control dial on the Pocketalker is rather small but is better labeled than the Mino.

Winner: Mino

Microphone Options

The Mino really shines here. It has two different microphones for different sound situations.

The first is an omnidirectional microphone for group conversations in quiet environments. The second is a directional mic that can be “aimed” at the source for more noisy environments so that you can hear only the sound you want to hear. The Mino’s microphones are placed at a 45 degree angle which helps them work equally well whether the device is laid horizontal on a table or vertical while being clipped to a pocket.

The Pocketalker also has 2 microphones but they are both omnidirectional: one is internal and one is external. The external mic can be placed closer to the sound source using the included 12 foot extension cable.

Winner: Mino

Mino and Pocketalker microphone comparison
Microphone Locations on the Mino Compared to the Pocketalker 2.0

Telecoil System

Both systems work with hearing loop systems using built-in telecoil systems. Neither of them require any accessories for this and the feature is turned on/off with a button on the Mino and a switch with the Pocketalker. The button is a bit easier than a small switch to operate but they are mostly equal here.

Winner: Both

TV Listening

Both the Mino and the Pocketalker require a corded connection for TV listening. The Mino has a slight advantage because you can connect a cable from the headphone out on the TV directly into the Mino. The cable is an additional purchase.

With the Pocketalker, you have to use the included extension cable and place the external microphone near the TV speakers. Sitting a mic in front of the speakers will produce a much lower quality audio experience than the Mino’s direct connection.

Winner: Mino

Hearing Aids

Both devices work with telecoil equipped hearing aids using optional neck loop accessories. Simply plug the neck loop accessory into either devices headphone port to activate this feature. The two amplifiers are pretty equal here.

Winner: Both

Size and Weight

The Mino does have a slight edge in overall size because it is a bit smaller and lighter than the Pocketalker. Not a huge difference honestly but might be important for someone who is trying to be as discreet as possible.

Winner: Both

Battery Options, Life, and Charging

There are some pretty significant differences in battery management between the Mino and the Pocketalker.

As far as battery options, the Mino comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The Pocketalker uses 2 AAA batteries unless you buy the optional rechargeable NIMH batteries and charger accessory.

As far as battery life, the Pocketalker does offer significantly higher overall battery life. The battery life of the Pocketalker is 105 hours vs. 29 hours on the Mino. But the Mino only requires 4 hours to fully charge and the Pocketalker takes 16 hours.

It’s hard to make a specific call here as to which is better. Personally, I prefer rechargeable options over disposable batteries. Both have a rechargeable option but you have to buy them separately for the Pocketalker. While the total battery life is better on the Pocketalker, they both offer more than enough power to get through a normal day’s use. It just depends on if you want to charge daily, every few days, or not at all.

Winner: Both

mino charging close-up
The yellow color-coded charging pin and port make it easy to know where to plug the charger.

Warranty

The Pocketalker is the clear winner here by offering a 5 year warranty over the Mino’s 2 year warranty. Both warranties cover parts and labor for manufacturer’s defects only.

Winner: Pocketalker

Customer Support Options

Customer support options are nearly equal. Both companies offer phone support lines, email support, troubleshooting guides in the owners manuals, as well as helpful videos on Youtube.

Winner: Both

Conclusion

So, when comparing the Mino Personal Amplifier and the Williams Sound Pocketalker 2.0, which is best? For most people, the obvious choice will be Bellman & Symfon’s Mino Personal Amplifier.

Both products are easy to use, easy to set up, have a telecoil system, work with hearing aids, and have long battery life. But the Mino’s dual microphones make it a bit more useful, it gives a better audio experience for TV listening, and it comes with reusable batteries.

Also, the Mino’s buttons are more user-friendly that the Pocketalker’s rotary switches – especially for people with arthritis in their hands or weak fingers.

So, which do you think is the better personal sound amplifier overall? Let me know in the comments below!

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