Bose has entered the market of hearing aids with its new Bose SoundControl hearing aids. Prescription-free, they can be easily be purchased online via Bose’s website without having to visit a doctor first, and they are an FDA-approved Class II medical device.
The new SoundControl hearing aids are targeted at those with mild to moderate hearing loss and 18 years old and older. They feature Bose’s own technology to help deliver a high-quality audio experience. They also pair with a mobile app that allows the user to adjust the volume of the environment around them, along with sliding between treble and bass (high and low frequencies) to help tune everything to what sounds best to their ears.
When it comes to an MSRP of $849 (a pair), it may sound a little steep to some. However, hearing aids are incredibly expensive and much more complicated than a pair of consumer in-ear headphones or “environmental enhancement” buds (ie, Here Buds). They normally run someone $1K+ for a pair, sometimes reaching as high as $6-$8k. So when you take this into account, $849 suddenly sounds like an amazing price. Especially, coming from a company like Bose.
There are some caveats though. The biggest being that only those living in certain states are able to purchase these online. Specifically, those living in MA, MT, NC, SC, and TX. Bose plans to be shipping everywhere in the near future, but for the moment (likely due to red tape related to being prescription-free), only those living in those five states can buy into a pair.
Another caveat is you’d think that a pair of hearing aids from a company like Bose would also stream music and/or phone calls. However, the SoundControl hearing aids are not able to do that. They are simply, hearing aids. So answering the phone or listening to music will be the same experience as any other normal hearing aid. Maybe this is something they will touch on in the next generation of the product, but for now, they are likely focusing on battery life and performance more than anything.