BOSE Self-Fitting Hearing Aids Review
Dr. Egan reviews BOSE sound control hearing aids. Transcript: Hi, I’m Dr. Egan with Now Hear This. Today I want to talk to you a little bit about Bose Self-fitting Hearing Aids. So, we had a lot of questions about this, and we did a thorough investigation. All the staff at our clinic tried a set of the Bose Sound Control hearing aids. They are the first FDA-cleared hearing aid that you can self-fit, meaning you can just buy them online, which is exciting. If someone is the right fit for these, it makes hearing aids so much more accessible and affordable. It is only for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. So, here is our review!
The first thing that I noticed is that the Bose hearing aids came with a very easy-to-understand and use manual. It goes through all the different tips of making sure that it is fitting your ears well, connecting to the hearing aids, all those good things! This was very user-friendly to me, as well as some of the other members of our staff. That being said, connecting the hearing aids to the app- I don’t know if you are going to be able to see that too well here, but the app is able to adjust the world volume, bass, and treble. So, it is very basic, but you can drag and slide the volume up and down to give you more or less bass, more or less treble, and more or less of a general volume boost. That was very simple and intuitive to figure out, so that is great to see. These were my first initial impressions in the pro column.
I do have a couple of cons that I am going to go over next. The big one that I first noticed: is the hearing aid itself, and it only has one size wire. If you have ever seen an audiologist before, you know that no two ears are alike and there is always a wide variety of wires that you might need in order to fit their ear. The only way to switch the wire size out is to order a different wire size from the company and have it shipped to your house. They also recommend in the manual to have the wires replaced each year, which in our field you only need to do these things as needed, so I am really not sure why they are so worried about them breaking down. One of our staff members found the wire length uncomfortable, so if you have a little bit more petite ears or larger ears, you might struggle to find the physical fit for the hearing aid to be just right. The other surprising thing about these hearing aids is that they are Bose, so I assumed that if you connected to an app on your phone, they would be able to stream, but that was not the case. The app is the only thing the hearing aid connects to, and you are not able to stream phone calls, podcasts, or music; all those other things that even basic, affordable hearing aids offer. Lastly, I was surprised about the warranty. It gives you an extended warranty of only 1 year, when pretty much all other hearing aids elsewhere, you are able to get a two- or three-year warranty. With that, the Bose warranty doesn’t cover loss and damage, so if you lose these, you are out of luck.
In general, I would say these could be a good fit for someone who has a very mild hearing loss that is purely age-related and a very mild slope on the audiogram. If someone has a history of noise exposure like loud sounds, rock concerts, construction, or if they have a history of vascular concerns like diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. That is are going to impact their hearing loss in ways that it would be difficult to use that app to really navigate and make things the right fit. So, in general, I would say that this could be a great product for some folks, but the important thing is that they have their hearing tested so that we really understand where we need to go from their results. What over-the-counter hearing aid like Bose is going to help me best? That’s our plan here at Now Hear This. We are currently working through the different over-the-counter and self-fitting options out there, so that we can give patients more guidance in this very complex and changing field.