Bose has announced its SoundControl Hearing Aids, which are the first FDA-cleared, direct-to-consumer hearing aids; the move comes as Sennheiser is sold to a Swiss hearing company.
This is a huge revolution, given they can soon be purchased without a doctor visit, hearing test, or prescription, and will cost a fraction of the price of a hearing aid, being sold directly from Bose for US$849.95. Users can also adjust the settings in real time, to react to any given environment.
“In the United States alone, approximately 48 million people suffer from some degree of hearing loss that interferes with their life. But the cost and complexity of treatment have become major barriers to getting help,” said Brian Maguire, category director of Bose Hear.
“The Bose Hear app lets owners set up and customize their SoundControl Hearing Aids from home — in less than an hour — to reconnect with the moments that matter. That’s an amazing advancement the industry has been missing and nothing short of a breakthrough.”
A ‘World Volume’ setting can be controlled to amplify quiet sounds more than loud ones, while Treble and Bass can be adjusted to accentuate or diminish certain frequencies.
The ‘Focus’ feature is might impressive. As a Bose press release explains: “Users can choose the Front setting to zone in on conversations — ideal in a busy environment. Or they can select the Everywhere setting to hear sounds all around — ideal for walks, working around the house, or a day at the park. Presets for activities and places can be named and stored in Modes, providing effortless access to preferences for a favorite restaurant, dinner at home with the family, or watching a movie together.”
There is no word on when these will be available in Australia, but let’s hope our own regulators will fast track them.