Just five years ago, Apple did something groundbreaking. They took the wires off their headphones and launched AirPods. At first, people made jokes. But slowly, as people started to give in to Apple’s advertising, they realized they couldn’t live without these cordless headphones.
Today you can’t walk up an airplane aisle without spotting a couple of dozen pairs. AirPods kicked off a mega-trend that is now referred to as hearables.
It also got many people thinking about more intelligent and consumer tech-inspired hearing aids. Finally, after five years of chatter and speculation, this shift towards smart hearing devices is officially colliding with hearing health.
In late February 2022, one of the biggest hearing aid brands globally, GN ReSound, announced the launch of Jabra Enhance Plus. The $800 product is an AirPod-like headphone with the brain of a hearing aid.
In-Depth Jabra Enhance Plus Review, Pictures, Surprises
Blake Cadwell is a hearing aid wearer and co-founder at Soundly. Soundly began as a passion project after Blake’s frustrating search for hearing aids. Blake regularly tests and reviews hearing technology to share his experience with Soundly’s readers.
Soundly conducts in-depth research to guide prospective hearing aid wearers. Our work is funded through reader support. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve put the product to the test at family gatherings, on morning runs, and at a neighborhood open house. Here’s a breakdown of my experience.
The product comes in a compact box that got the design approval of my pup. Open the box, and you will find a quick start guide and some information on the sustainability commitments of GN.
Inside the box is a sleek recharge case with small, medium, and large ear tips and a USB charging cord (no wall base included). You can purchase Jabra Enhance Plus in black or tan.
The earbuds are magnetized neatly into the charging case. Each charge gets you 10 hours of use, and the case holds two backup charges for travel.
The earbuds themselves are around the same size as headphones from Samsung or Apple. Not invisible but not bulky.
Each earbud has an easy to press button on the side that allows you to adjust the volume and control calls and music. Tap the button on the right ear to turn up the volume, and tap the button on the left ear to turn down the volume.
Once the product was out of the box, I plugged in the charger overnight.
The following day I opened the Jabra app and began the setup on my iPhone. I first noticed that I needed to unpair my existing hearing aids from my phone to pair the Jabra Enhance Plus product. I did this by going to settings > accessibility > hearing devices on my iPhone and selecting “forget this device”.
I got in touch with the Jabra team to see if there is a way around this step and unfortunately there is not. The limitation is on the phone manufacturer side, meaning Apple needs to allow for multiple hearing devices.
With that out of the way, I connected my Jabra Enhance Plus earbuds to my iPhone and began the setup flow. I put the earbuds in my ears, and the app prompted me to find a quiet spot for my hearing test.
Once I was in a quiet place, the app guided me through a 5-minute test. I was asked to tap the screen each time I heard a tone coming through the earbuds. I found that the interface was well designed and simple to use.
After my hearing test, I arrived at my profile page which included a snapshot of my results, the choice between surround (sound from all directions), focus (sound from in front of me), and adaptive (changes based on my environment.)
The app also allows a choice between “clear,” “normal,” and “full.” You can play a sample conversation through the app to test each option and decide. Again, very well designed.
Wearing the Jabra Enhance Plus devices
I spent time with the devices in various listening environments, including one-on-one conversations at home, a family gathering, interactions with neighbors, and an open house where everyone was masked. I also went on several long runs where I used the devices to stream music and podcasts. Here are my takeaways:
The music and podcast quality was fantastic
Unlike traditional hearing aids where the music sound feels flat, Jabra Enhance Plus goes toe to toe with my AirPods. In some cases, I felt the speech clarity was better than my Airpods due to the custom sound programming based on my hearing test.
One important note: you’ll want to turn down the hearing assist volume while listening to music or podcasts. I leave the volume at 1 or 2 to hear a little bit of ambient noise but avoid amplified sounds around me while I try to listen to music.
The clarity of voices is impressive
For me, the primary purpose of a product like Jabra Enhance Plus is to hear voices more clearly through masks, in groups, and in quiet settings. In this department, the product shined.
Voices were clear, decipherable, and easy to understand even through masks and in quiet group settings.
The 150 years of GN experience in hearing technology starts to pay off in complex listening environments. One evening my dog was barking, the sink was running, and my wife was talking simultaneously. The devices suppressed the bark and the water and prioritized my wife’s voice. Very impressive.
The Jabra Enhance Plus product picked up quite a bit of wind noise while I was running. I still found that the devices could sort through the wind to find voices, but the wind sound was somewhat disruptive.
Wind noise might not be an issue if you plan to use the product mainly inside.
Jabra Enhance Plus has a similar feel to a pair of earbuds. I found that I could comfortably wear the product for 3-4 hours at a time but I don't feel they would be comfortable enough for 12-15 hours of non-stop wear.
Overall, I was impressed
Jabra Enhance Plus is a viable hearing option for someone who doesn’t want to wear hearing aids all day. If you are looking for a “reading glasses” type solution to especially tough listening environments, this could be a great place to start.
Where to purchase Jabra Enhance Plus
Thanks to the FDA’s new OTC guidelines you can now purchase Jabra Enhance Plus online here or at Best Buy here. The product comes with a 60 or 100-day return policy and free shipping. Most customers receive their devices within 3-5 business days.
I hope you’ve found this review informative. If you’ve Jabra Enhance Plus or have any questions, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!