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There’s a good chance that you have a Bose speaker somewhere in your home. Amar Bose founded his company in 1964, and the brand has set the standard in audio ever since. Today you can find Bose in luxury car speakers, $500 noise-canceling headphones, and sideline headsets.
One question Bose has received for years:
Why don’t you sell hearing aids?
The answer from Bose has been simple; regulation around hearing aids was just too complex. For decades the FDA has tightly controlled who could dispense and sell hearing devices.
Times are changing and that’s good news for people with hearing loss.
Over the last few years, the FDA’s mood around direct-to-consumer hearing aids has gone from very icy to increasingly warm. You can read more about the legislation here.
As someone with hearing loss, these changes are very welcome. It means more competition, more innovation, and, finally, lower prices.
In 2018 the FDA ruled that Bose could sell a self-fitting hearing aid without assistance from an audiologist. The brand went to work, and three years later, they launched their product.
The brand quickly realized that they needed a partner with experience in healthcare to provide support to customers. It turns out that headphones and hearing aids require different levels of service.
In July 2022 Bose formed a strategic partnership with Lexie (one of my favorite affordable brands). Bose was an early investor in the Lexie and saw an opportunity to pair their winning self-fit technology with Lexie’s experience in care
B1 and B2 are nearly identical products outside of their recharging capabilities.
In this review, I’ll break down what you need to know about Bose hearing aids and include some photos from my own unboxing and setup experience.
Bose Hearing Aids
Fast Facts About Bose Hearing Aids
- Lexie and retailers like Best Buy sell Bose hearing aids for $999 and $849 per pair (compared to $3K-$8K industry average).
- The more expensive model comes with rechargeable batteries while the less expensive model uses a disposable 312 battery that lasts 5-7 days.
- B2 hearing aids allow Bluetooth streaming for iPhone users while B1 hearing aids do not allow for Bluetooth streaming.
- This product is fully programmed at home with the app. No audiologist.
- Bose hearing aids are water-resistant and include background noise reduction.
- Bose hearing aids have two microphones on each device to allow for directional control.
My Bose Hearing Aids arrived about 4 days after I ordered them online. They came in a simple well designed box.
The box contains two grey hearing aids (currently the only color). The case feels quality and has a nice magnetic snap. The case is for storage only and does not charge your hearing aids.
The rest of the box contents are pretty standard, including a brush for maintenance, a single pack of 312 size batteries or a recharge case with a plug in cable.
Once your hearing aids are powered up (using disposable or rechargeable batteries) you will pair them with the Lexie Hearing app on your iPhone or Android device.
The Lexie App borrows from the incredibly simple Bose design with a simple set of controls to change the sound quality and volume. You can also select from pre-set options like “Noisy Indoor”, “Outdoors”, and “Music”. Over time you can manually change the pre-sets as a shortcut to your favorite sound settings.
The Lexie Hearing app also tracks your battery level so that you know when to recharge or change batteries.
So are Bose hearing aids good?
In short, yes. Reviews from audiologists like Cliff Olson and Ben Thompson, and 50+ customer reviews are mainly positive.
My own experience wearing the product has also been positive. I love the simplicity of the app and I have enjoyably worn the product in both public settings and at home.
My only complaint is that the hearing aids occasionally didn’t connect to my app which required me to reset them by popping open the battery door and closing it again. Otherwise, I am a fan.
Of course, there are several pros and cons to consider.
- Bose is a beloved company with a legitimate background in tech.
- This product is FDA-approved and built on legitimate science.
- At $999 or $849, Bose isn’t cheap, but the price is 3-5X less than traditional competitors.
- Bose hearing aids are programmed at home, saving you trips to the audiologist.
- Lexie B2 Powered by Bose only allows streaming for iPhone users. B1 does not allow streaming at this time.
- Bose hearing aids use DIY programing. That’s great if you are comfortable with downloading the app and adjusting your hearing aids. If you are worried about doing all this yourself, it might be worth visiting an audiologist or looking into a brand like Jabra Enhance, which will match you with an audiologist online.
- Bose hearing aids target mild to moderate hearing loss. If you have severe hearing loss, I would recommend working with an audiologist.
- Bose hearing aids only come in one style (behind the ear) and one color (grey).
If you want to go deeper, take a look at Dr. Cliff Olsen’s full Bose SoundControl review. In this video, he tests the Bose product against traditional audiology methods and shares his overall take.
Read more about what’s included with Bose hearing aids and Lexie care here.