As a new dad I’m willing to try almost anything to save time. That’s why Jabra Enhance’s promise of an online audiologist got my attention.
There are many hearing aids sold online (you can read my beginners guide on online hearing aids here), but Jabra Enhance doesn’t just sell a product. They pair professional-grade technology and full-service audiology and deliver it through Telehealth.
Most hearing aid brands fall into one of two categories:
Category #1 - Go Traditional
Find a local audiologist on yelp. Get a hearing test and purchase hearing aids in person. If you need adjustments you’ll need to set up another office visit or ask for a remote session.
Category #2 - Go DIY
DIY options are available over-the-counter. OTC hearing aids allow you to program your own hearing aids using a smartphone app and offer customer service if you run into issues.
Jabra Enhance Select Lives In A 3rd Category
Jabra Enhance Select merges the convenience and price of online hearing aids with the professional care you would expect at your local clinic. That mix is very intriguing to me, so I decided to give Jabra hearing aids a try.
I purchased Jabra Enhance Select hearing aids online and wore the hearing aids for about two months. Note that I have mild to moderate hearing loss. Jabra Enhance is not best for patients with severe hearing loss.
Jabra Enhance Select (Formerly Lively) Full Review 🔬
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. He 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.
Jabra Enhance’s Founding Story
Jabra Enhance was initially launched in 2019 under the name Lively. The brand had an impressive team and big ambitions. Forbes called them the Warby Parker of hearing aids, and the hearing health community embraced their innovative and patient-first care model.
The idea was simple. Give patients everything they would expect at a local hearing clinic but do it online.
Nicole Cadoret (left) worked at diapers.com and soap.com, which eventually sold to Amazon. She was diagnosed with permanent, sudden hearing loss in 2013 and got her first pair of hearing aids in 2015.
CEO Adam Karp (middle) was an executive at companies like Barnes and Noble and Century 21 and was inspired to work in hearing health after watching a parent struggle with hearing loss.
Dr. Christina M. Callahan, Au.D., was previously at Starkey (one of the largest manufacturers of hearing aids) and joined Lively to make telecare more accessible.
I spoke with co-founder Dr. Callahan at the beginning of my trial and was immediately impressed by how passionate and hands-on she was. If you go to JabraEnhance.com, you will see Dr. Callahan in many of the videos and photos on the site. This kind of personal touch is vital to successful remote care adoption.
2020 led to a surge in Telehealth innovation and helped Lively (now Jabra) become one of the category's most popular and well-respected hearing health brands.
As part of the purchase, GN gave Lively a new name, "Jabra Enhance Select". Jabra is a trusted name in audio and is also owned by GN. Think of this as a consolidation of branding power.
From what I understand, the product, team, and leadership all stay the same. You can read my full thoughts on the name change here.
Let’s get into the product. First up, some quick facts:
Jabra Enhance offers three levels of technology.
- 200 comes with rechargeable batteries, hands-free calling, and top-end sound quality ($1,995),
- 100 comes with Bluetooth streaming rechargeable batteries and slightly lower sound quality ($1,595)
- 50 offers disposable batteries and reduced sound tech ($1,195).
Jabra Enhance Select comes with a strong set of perks.
- All products come with three years of audiologist support.
- All products come with a three-year manufacturer warranty.
- All products come with a 3-year loss or damage warranty (an industry-leading benefit).
- Jabra Enhance offers a 100-day return policy (industry average is 45 days).
Jabra Enhance Select offers a professional-grade modern product.
- GN Resound (one of the largest brands in the space) manufactures Jabra Enhance Hearing aids.
- Jabra Enhance hearing aids come in a well-designed box with a charger and supplies.
- Jabra Enhance Select hearing aids come in only behind the ear style.
- All Jabra Enhance hearing aids aids are Bluetooth compatible and come with an app that allows for volume and settings control.
- The volume can also be changed using the buttons on the back of your hearing aids.
Overall, the Jabra Enhance Select offering is very impressive. The brand is playing the long game instead of looking to make a quick buck.
How the Jabra Enhance process works
The Jabra process is slightly different from other offerings on the market, so I’ll break down how it all works step by step.
If you are reading this article, there’s a good chance that you have already identified your hearing loss or the hearing loss of someone you love.
Even so, there are still a couple of factors to consider. Jabra Enhance is not for people with severe hearing loss.
The product makes sense for around 85% of the hearing loss population, but if you have been diagnosed with something more severe, I recommend you work with a local audiologist.
You can take Jabra’s hearing test here.
Once you are ready to give Jabra a try you will need to choose your hearing aid. You’ll have three options.
- $1,195 for a pair of disposable battery-powered
- $1,595 for a pair of rechargeable
- $1,995 for rechargeable with the most premium sound quality
If you aren’t sure which route to go you might enjoy our guide to rechargeable vs. non-rechargeable hearing aids.
Step 3: Submit a hearing test
After you’ve selected your hearing aids on the Jabra website, Jabra will ask you to upload an audiogram or take their online hearing test. I had an audiogram from a recent hearing test, so I emailed that to the Jabra team. If you do not have a hearing test, you have a few options.
- Take a free online hearing test on the Jabra site.
- Take another hearing test like this one from Mimi.
- Go to Costco and get a free hearing test in person. Then snap a photo of the results and upload that.
Step 4: Receive your fully programmed hearing aids in the mail
It took 3-4 days for my Jabra hearing aids to arrive at my home in California. Unboxing the hearing aids was intuitive and straightforward. I downloaded the app, connected my iPhone via Bluetooth, and got the devices within my ears within 5-10 minutes.
The Jabra mail kit is well-designed and comes with clear instructions on how to use the devices, along with lots of extra ear tip sizes to play around with based on the size of your ear. If you opt for battery-powered instead of rechargeable, your kit will also come with a free first year of batteries.
Step 5: Meet an audiologist via video call
After you’ve had a couple of days to adjust to your new hearing aids, a Jabra Audiologist will reach out and schedule a follow-up consultation that will happen over the phone or via video.
The audiologist can help you fit your hearing aids, navigate your app, or make further adjustments to the programming remotely during that session.
If I have any critique of Jabra, it was at this stage. My appointment was rescheduled two times due to conflicts on the Jabra side. In both cases, the Jabra team was polite and helpful, and ultimately, the changes didn’t negatively impact my result.
Step 6: Get used to your hearing aids and call for support when needed
After the audiologist consult, you will likely be on your way and ready to start getting used to your new hearing aids. Each pair of Jabra hearing aids includes three years of unlimited audiologist support.
Based on my experience and research, it is common for Jabra to program high-frequency sounds to be a bit quieter when they first ship a pair of hearing aids (also called under programming). This technique helps new wearers to get used to the product without too much discomfort. You may want to check back in with a Jabra audiologist after a month or two to get those high-frequency sounds turned up for more speech clarity.
The Jabra team shared that most patients can operate their hearing aids independently effectively after one virtual appointment.
Jabra Enhance Select Vs ReSound OMNIA and Jabra Enhance Pro
Jabra Enhance Select is made by the same global manufacturer as the popular prescription brand ReSound. The products share a charging case, sound-processing philosophy, and app. They are also priced very differently. ReSound OMNIA costs an average of $6,800 per pair, while Jabra Enhance Select costs $1,995.
Care model: The most apparent difference between Jabra Enhance Select and ReSound is the care model. Jabra Enhance Select is mailed and updated through Telehealth, while ReSound products are prescribed at a local clinic.
Technology: The base technology is very similar between products, but Jabra Enhance Select is one generation older. New models of ReSound hearing aids offer increased app controls in background noise and more advanced beam forming. ReSound's flagship hearing aid also comes with an optional 3rd microphone that sits in the ear. That option is not available via Jabra Enhance Select.
Price and Returns: Jabra Enhance Select has 100-day returns and a simple pricing structure. ReSound OMNIA, on the other hand, has 45-day returns and variable pricing depending on who you work with.
So is ReSound or Jabra Enhance Select better?
That depends. Jabra Enhance Select is tough to beat if you are looking for a more affordable option and are comfortable purchasing online. If you'd instead rather work with a local doctor and want the latest technology, ReSound is a better option. In my experience, the sound quality of both products is very similar in most environments. ReSound OMNIA is slightly better in very dynamic background noise settings.
Overall Review Of Jabra Enhance Hearing Aids
If you walked up to me on the street and asked me what hearing aids to buy, I’d probably recommend Jabra Enhance as a serious contender.
While many online hearing aid sellers focus on automating the treatment process, Jabra is betting on remote Telehealth care with staffed audiologists. I believe in the company and they have 1,000+ 4 and 5 star customer reviews.
I wore the Jabra hearing aids for a couple of months from dinner parties to days and home and would include them among some of the best products I’ve trialed. They were comparable to my locally programmed Resound OMNIA hearing aids which retail for 2-3X the price.
Jabra Enhance is a great place to start if you want overall value.
✅ Half the cost of comparable brick-and-mortar products
✅ Conveniently shipped to your home
✅ Impressive customer service, returns and warranty
✅ Professionally programmed
✅ Bluetooth enabled and rechargeable batteries
❌ Can be a challenge for those who are not familiar with technology
❌ Still expensive for some compared to OTC options
If you’ve tried Jabra Enhance (or Lively) hearing aids, I’d love to hear from you. Just send us a note at [email protected].