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Bose Hearing Aid Review
Products & Services3.5/5
Ease of Use4/5
Customer Support & Reviews4/5
Bose has been in business for more than 50 years, and is well-known for headphones, speakers, and stereo systems. What you may not realize is, in 2018, the company began making hearing aids. Bose has a direct-to-consumer approach, that has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), allowing customers to buy hearing aids from them without the need for a prescription or recommendation from a hearing care professional.
Bose announced in October 2022 that they are developing a self-fitted hearing aid, in partnership with Lexie Hearing, that will be sold in the upcoming over-the-counter market. It’s expected that this will be available nationwide in the next week.
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Products & Services
Currently, Bose only has one hearing aid option on the market and it only comes in one color. It’s called the Bose SoundControl Hearing Aid and it sells for around $850. It’s designed for adults 18 and over and only works for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. If you have more severe hearing issues, these hearing aids won’t work for you. Bose says this is the first self-fit hearing aid and it’s controlled through the Bose Hear app (available for both Android and Apple phones). You buy the hearing aids directly from Bose, then fit, adjust and program them yourselves without help from an audiologist or other healthcare professional.
The Bose SoundControl Hearing Aid is lightweight and fit behind the ear, but they do not include Bluetooth connectivity or streaming capabilities, unlike other hearing aids which can be used to take calls or stream music. They are equipped with Bose’s patented CustomTune technology which allows you to customize the sound quality. Bose says its clinically proven to give your hearing aids the same sound quality as you would receive if an audiologist set them up for you.
These hearing aids run on a size 312 zinc-air battery. The batteries have a relatively good life. They’ll last around 56 hours – or about four days using them around 14 hours a day. Bose recommends you replace the ear tips and wax guards every three months and the cable every year.
In general, it’s important to keep your hearing aids dry for optimal use, but the SoundControl hearing aids are water-resistant. So, getting caught in the rain won’t tear them up. Depending on how wet they get, they may need to dry out for 24 hours before you’re able to use them again.
Bose SoundControl™ Hearing Aids
- 312 zinc air battery
- Fits behind the ear (BTE)
- Can’t take calls or stream music
Bose only offers one hearing aid and it’s designed for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. It comes in one color and sells for around $850. The SoundControl hearing aids can be controlled with the compatible Bose app for adjustment and customization.
Bose has a free hearing test you can take online, but it’s not required to purchase the SoundControl hearing aids. It takes roughly five minutes and you’ll be asked some questions about yourself and then will listen to a series of noises. Bose recommends you take the test in a quiet place and wear headphones. It is not considered a diagnostic test, but only help you determine if you have some difficulty hearing. You can take the test as many times as you’d like, but it’s completely optional. These hearing aids can be purchased without a prescription or a recommendation from a doctor.
Hear Product Experts
Bose does offer product support to help you when you need it. The company offers a free virtual set-up session when you receive your hearing aids. You can also call, text, or have an online chat with a Hear Product Expert for any question you may have. The app also has many videos and tips to help you achieve better results.
Bose SoundControl Hearing Aid Accessories
Replacement Receiver Cable
The replacement receiver cable comes in three sizes for either the left or right side. Bose recommends you replace the receiver cable at least once a year. It costs around $50.
Hearing Aid Battery Packs
Bose SoundControl hearing aids run off of regular zinc-air battery (size 312). The company says its batteries will give you up to 56 hours of life, depending on how much you use them. You can buy a pack of eight replacement batteries from Bose for around $8.
You will receive a case when you purchase your Bose hearing aids. But if you need to replace it or want a spare, Bose offers them for around $20. The interior is color-coded to make it easy to figure out how to place your device in the case.
Hearing Aid Ear Tip Kit
The kit contains three pairs of replacement open ear tips to help you hear more external sounds. They come in three sizes, are made of soft silicone and come with a cleaning brush.
Bose is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A+ rating with the consumer protection organization. There are dozens of complaints registered with the BBB against the company, but they all deal with other sound/audio equipment the company sells, not their hearing aids.
You will find both positive and negative reviews of the hearing aids on the Bose website. All the reviews are from verified buyers and most of them have bought other brands of hearing aids before purchasing a pair from Bose. Many customers love the sound quality and rave about the improvement they make in their quality of hearing. Among the negative reviews you will find those who have trouble getting the hearing aids to fit correctly or producing the sound quality they need. In many of the negative reviews you will see that Bose has responded to the customer in attempt to correct the issue.
Compared to other brands, the SoundControl hearing aids are very affordable. The full price for the pair is $850, but Bose does run sales – sometimes discounting by 30 percent. All orders through Bose over $50 ship for free. So, you won’t have to pay any shipping costs for your hearing aids and they will arrive within two days.
Bose doesn’t accept flexible or health spending account cards, but you can submit your receipt to your insurance for reimbursement. Bose SoundControl hearing aids are available for sale and shipping in the 50 states, but not in Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands or APO/FPO military bases.
Klarna Payment Option
Bose does offer a payment plan option called Klarna. When you check out online, you can choose the payment method and then enter you credit or debit card information. This will allow you to pay for the hearing aids in four, interest-free installments. Payments are withdrawn every two weeks until the full amount is paid off.
Warranty and Returns
Hearing aids are expensive, so it’s important that you get a pair that is right for you. Bose offers customers a 90-day, risk free trial. If you aren’t happy with the hearing aids for any reason, you can return them within 90 days for a full refund.
Bose offers a one-year warranty for its SoundControl hearing aids. You can buy an extended warranty for longer coverage period.
The name Bose is widely known and recognized as a leader in the production of home audio systems. The company was founded in 1964 in Framingham, Massachusetts by Amar Bose. He bought a stereo system and was disappointed in the sound, so he set out to create his own, better version. The company has grown to employ 7,000 people and has manufacturing plants in China, Malaysia, Mexico, and the United States.
Before starting the company, Amar Bose attended and worked for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 2011, he gave a majority of Bose’s non-voting stock shares to the institute. MIT receives an annual dividend from the stock shares to help ‘advance research and education.’
The Bottom Line
The Bose SoundControl Hearing Aid is a good option for someone with mild hearing loss. The device won’t restore your hearing, but it will help you amplify the hearing ability you have. It has been cleared for use by the FDA, but it doesn’t have many of the features that medical grade hearing aids do. The hearing aids are inexpensive compared to other brands and you do not need a prescription or recommendation from a doctor to buy them.