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Bose Hearing Aids: Release Date, Price, Benefits & Alternative

Published On 11 Mar 2021

Written by George Samuel

As specialized medical equipment, the hearing aid market isn’t exactly rife with new competition. A mere six manufacturers account for a whopping 98% of market share for hearing impairment devices.

Needless to say, when a new player enters the arena, that’s important news for anyone dealing with hearing loss. The news is even more significant when the new manufacturer entering the market is an audio heavyweight like Bose. With the wearable hearing aid market poised to reach $10B by 2023, it’s no wonder why Bose is throwing their hat into the ring.

Bose first entered the hearing impairment market in 2016 with the development of their popular Bose Hearphones product:

  • This over-the-counter hearing assistant offers impressive audio quality and performance at a price significantly lower than most dedicated hearing aids, and the typical Bose Hearphones review is resoundingly positive.
  • However, the Bose Hearphones lack many of the most important features for people dealing with severe hearing loss.
  • So those in need of a more comprehensive solution to their hearing loss have been patiently waiting for the latest Bose hearing aids, which have been in the works since early 2018. 

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at everything you need to know about these innovative new hearing aids from Bose.

From their release date and price to features, benefits, and alternatives, we have all the pressing information you’re eager to know.  

Bose Hearing Aid and WonderEar Compared

Bottom line

Pros

Cons

Bose Hearing Aid

Bose

Bottom line

A innovative hearing aid that works and seamlessly integrates into the life of someone who spends time on the go and wants to use the hearing aid in conjunction with his smartphone.

Pros

Offers Active Noise Canceling and eliminates painful and annoying feedback when the wearable is in range of another electronic device. Controlled via iOS- and Android-compatible app and comes with a full suite of controls for master volume, directionality, impulse noise control and more. Features Bluetooth for connectivity; batteries last a considerable time and are rechargeable.

Cons

No Tinnitus masking feature

Best value

WonderWave

WonderEar

Bottom line

As WonderEar’s most advanced digital hearing aid, the fully rechargeable WonderWave features enhanced background noise reduction and utilizes cutting-edge technology to help even the most severe cases of hearing loss.

Pros

Features rechargeable batteries and a portable charger, so you’ll never run out of battery. Comes in a compact design for comfort and low visibility with 4 environment settings and a very competitive price for the twin microphones it has on board. Works with mobile phones and its tinnitus masking feature reduces the irritation of ringing in your ear.

Cons

No Bluetooth compatibility and not good for those with severe hearing loss.

Bose Hearing Amplifier vs. Bose Hearing Aid: What’s the Difference?

The Bose hearing amplifier, called “Bose Hearphones”, has been on the market for several years now as a tool to help those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. However, this product is considered a hearing amplifier and not a dedicated hearing aid. Why is that? 

  • The 2017 Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid act creates a new class of hearing devices that manufacturers can make without considering a regulatory body or medical professional.
  • This legislation eliminates many of the barriers that stand between people with hearing loss and their ability to find a suitable hearing aid easily.

While this legislation has been on the books for several years, the FDA only recently established guidelines for regulating these OTC devices. Since the Bose Hearphones predate those regulations, they have marketed the product as a conversation amplifier and not a dedicated hearing aid.

When the Bose OTC hearing aid enters the market, it will do so under the FDA's guidelines. It will be sold as an OTC hearing aid, not a conversation amplifier or hearing amplifier.

What are Bose Hearing Aids?

The Bose hearing aid buds are the second hearing impairment device from audio giant Bose.

According to Bose’s FDA filing for this new device, these headphone-like hearing aids are quite similar in design and function to Bose’s original hearing improvement device, the Bose Hearphones.

The Bose hearing aids are the first product marketed by Bose Health, a new company division aiming to tackle problems including hearing loss and difficulty sleeping.

Since the product hasn’t made it to market yet, all of the Bose hearing aid reviews are speculatory, but Bose’s FDA filing for the product does shed a bit more light. Here are the key points from the FDA filing:

  • The Bose Hearing Aid is a wireless air-conduction hearing aid for adults age 18 or older who suffer from a hearing impairment.
  • The hearing aid is user-fitted, and the wearer shouldn’t need any professional assistance setting up their new device.
  • The device offers wireless Bluetooth controls, and users can receive phone calls and listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks with it.
  • Users can optimize the hearing device using the Bose Hear smartphone app, or with the analog controls located on the device itself.
  • Users can configure a variety of settings to improve performance. There is a full suite of different dynamic modes, noise-canceling, feedback canceling, and more.

When Will the Bose Hearing Aid be Available?

The Bose hearing aid release date is the golden question on the minds of many hard of hearing individuals, and unfortunately, it’s also the hardest one to answer definitively.

  • Bose filed for FDA approval in 2018, and they received approval to proceed a year later.
  • But, as of the time of this writing, Bose hasn’t put forth a concrete release date for the product, nor has it provided stockists with an estimate as to when they can begin seeing the product in stores.

Depending on the device, it can take anywhere from two to five years to bring a new hearing product to the market, and the Bose over the counter hearing aid is currently well within that time frame.

Conservatively, you can expect to see the Bose hearing aid for sale sometime in the 2021-2023 range.

How Much Will the Bose Hearing Aid Cost?

Beyond the release date, the question of how much will the Bose hearing aid cost remains as well.

Unfortunately, this is another question we’re still waiting on an answer to. At this time, Bose hasn’t indicated the price of their new hearing aids.

When the Bose Hearphones first came to market, they did so with a $499 price point, which is thought of as the bare-minimum entry point for the Bose hearing aid price.

Considering this wearable will include countless features and advancements that the Hearphones didn’t have, the actual Bose hearing aid cost may be substantially higher than $499.

Benefits of The Bose Hearing Aids

Even more important than the price or release date of the product are the features it possesses. When the Bose hearing aid headphones finally make it to market, will they be a worthy investment? The features listed below may help provide some answers.

  • Active Noise Canceling - Reduces environmental noise while decreasing amplification of the wearer’s voice.
  • Feedback Canceling - Eliminates painful and annoying feedback when the wearable is in range of another electronic device, such as another person wearing a hearing aid.
  • Mobile Application - Bose Hear app is compatible with iOS and Android devices and allows users to fully control their hearing aid from their mobile device.
  • Full Suite of Audio Controls - Controls for world volume, master volume, directionality, impulse noise control, balance, and more allow the wearer to fully customize their audio experience.
  • Impressive Battery Life - Rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides up to ten hours of continuous use before charging is required.
  • Bluetooth - Bluetooth compatible with two microphones per side, so users can also use their hearing aids to stream music, accept phone calls, and much more.

Bose Hearing Aid FDA Approval

While the Bose hearing aids are still a long way from reaching the market, one sign of hope is that the Bose over the counter hearing aids have already received FDA approval.

Bose filed an application in May 2018, which was fast-tracked through the FDA’s De Novo regulatory pathway and approved for use in October 2018. The so-called "De Novo" process allows manufacturers with a novel product to get their goods to the market faster, with less red tape.

The unique self-fitting feature qualifies the Bose hearing aid as an easy to use product.

Alternative to the Bose Hearing Aids

While the Bose hearing aids are an exciting new device that may revolutionize how people deal with their hearing loss issues, they won’t do anybody any good until they reach the market.

With no clear indication of a product launch in sight, the hearing impaired must find an alternative product to address their hearing needs in the meantime.

Bose’s forthcoming wearable is sure to be a viable option for the hearing impaired, but in the meantime you might just find what you’re looking for in our hearing aids here at WonderEar.

Our WonderWave hearing aids, for example, offer a winning blend of premium features at an affordable price point. Just like the Bose hearing aids, the WonderWave offer:

  • Smart noise cancellation and feedback control, digital sound processing for improved sound quality, and dual microphones, just like the Bose hearing aids.

The WonderWave also possess other unique features you won’t find elsewhere, such as:

  • Adaptive technology which automatically changes sound modes based on your environment. For example, users can choose from four pre-set environmental settings to suit various noise levels.
  • A tinnitus masker feature which also helps to mitigate unpleasant ringing in the ears.
  • A telecoil loop which is a small copper wire in WonderWave that helps you hear more clearly in certain areas such as churches or meeting rooms by automatically amplifying some of the sounds it receives.

While much remains to be seen about the Bose option's price and availability, our WonderWave hearing aids are available today for roughly the same price as current Bose products. 

Another viable alternative to Bose are our WonderTec hearing aids. The WonderTec are quite similar to the WonderWave hearing aids – except for the adaptive technology and the tinnitus masker features – but they aren’t rechargeable.

This might be a con for some people, but others actually appreciate not having to be close to a charger all day. So with the WonderTec you can simply take your hearing aid batteries with you and rest assured that your hearing aid won’t run out of power.

Also, the WonderTec comes in at $100 cheaper than the WonderWave, making it a great runner-up. We think that the telecoil feature especially makes for very good value at this price.

The WonderMax are another smart alternative to the new Bose device, especially for people looking for “completely in the canal” (CIC) hearing aids as opposed to “behind the ear” (BTE) models. The WonderMax hearing aids boasts features like:

  • improved noise reduction
  • smart feedback cancelling
  • digital sound processing
  • three different environment modes.

These WonderEar hearing aids and every other model in their product line are virtually undetectable, Designed & engineered in the United States, and include lifetime technical support. Each product is designed in collaboration with ENT doctors, hearing aid and sound specialists, and audiologists. 

As a result, WonderEar hearing aids are among the easiest to use and most comfortable wearables on the market. They’re also ideal for wearing with masks or glasses.

Self Fitting Hearing Aids vs. Over the Counter Hearing Aids

Many consumers are confused when they hear the term “self-fitting hearing aid.” What separates a self-fitting hearing aid from an over the counter one? Read on as we cover the differences.

Self Fitting Hearing Aids

Self-fitting hearing aids are subject to the same regulations and restrictions as other prescribed headphones. To purchase self-fitting hearing aids, you’ll need a prescription from your audiologist.

Unlike other prescribed hearing devices, designers create self-fitting hearing aids so that the wearer can optimally set up their new hearing device and customize it to their needs without a professional's help. From fitting the device in their ear properly to set the output, noise-canceling, and other features, users should have no trouble getting their new hearing aids optimally set up.

Over the Counter Hearing Aids

Unlike self-fitting hearing aids, which are prescribed by an audiologist, over the counter hearing aids can be purchased by anyone who wants them without the need to consult a medical professional.

OTC hearing aids are also self-fitting, but they can be purchased at your leisure without a prescription.

Conclusion

Bose’s new hearing aid is a potentially revolutionary product that may make it easier than ever for hearing loss sufferers to improve their hearing affordably without the need for multiple time-consuming doctor visits.

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