We’ve been watching and waiting for the release of the Jabra Enhance Plus hearing device to see if it is as good as the hype, and now that we’ve seen it in use, we think it’s a great starting point for people on their hearing journey.
Last year, President Biden gave an executive order that rocked the hearing world – low-cost hearing aids must be made available over the counter (OTC) without the need for a prescription from an audiologist or hearing specialist.
The hope in this order is that the 28.8 million people who could benefit from using hearing aids will be more likely to at least start treating their hearing loss.
Ever since then, manufacturers have been developing a type of hearing device that would meet this need. Bose was the first to market their SoundControl device, and now Jabra’s Enhance Plus high-tech, 3-in-1 wireless earbuds that include hearing technology are here.
As a Certified Jabra Enhance Center, we know quite a bit about this device already. Many of you have had questions about these new pieces of technology, so we’ve written our answers to some of these questions below.
Who Are The Ideal Candidates For The Enhance Plus?
We’ve found the Jabra Enhance Plus to be a good choice for anyone curious about hearing health and improvement but not ready to commit to prescription hearing aids.
- Good for an occasional bit of extra help – It’s a great product for people with a mild-moderate level of hearing loss who have difficulty with mild to medium noise situations – such as a busy workplace, a restaurant or party, or a big family event. Overall, the person with a mild-moderate hearing loss hears well and just wants a little help versus help all of the time. They may be curious but nervous to try prescription hearing aids.
- Short battery life – It’s not a good option for all-day, everyday wear, and the charge only lasts for ten hours.
- Great for streaming – Our younger patients who are already comfortable with Bluetooth devices like them as well as our patients who love to stream all their audio – phone calls, audiobooks, podcasts, radio, TV, video, and music.
- Aesthetics – One of the best features of the Enhance Plus is that it looks like an earbud rather than a hearing aid, so anyone who has been reluctant to wear a hearing aid seems to have no problem wearing this in their ear.
- Cost – Most people with a mild-moderate hearing loss do not feel the financial justification for a prescriptive hearing aid given they only have certain situations that are difficult. At the introductory price of $799, it’s an option worth considering.
- Tinnitus – One of the other downsides of the Jabra Enhance Plus is that it doesn’t have a tinnitus management system.
It is important that new products like this exist because people are different! Their likes and dislikes and needs vary. It only makes sense that there are different products for different people and each unique challenge.
Self-Fit A Hearing Aid Or Get A Prescription Hearing Aid?
The Jabra Enhance Plus is still only available for purchase through a Certified Jabra Enhance Center like ours, but once the FDA regulations are in effect, they can be bought in any store.
When it comes to buying an OTC hearing aid, the hard work is in “your” hands! We provide you with our knowledge on the device and instruct you how to use it safely, but you oversee what to do from there.
- Fitting – Sold as a self-fitting device, the Enhance Plus comes with three domes or ear canal tips, limiting the ability to have the device fit exactly to your ear size, as you would get with a prescription hearing aid. Some wearers have reported that the earbud can fall out if it doesn’t fit properly.
- Programing – Unlike a prescription hearing aid, our ability to tailor the Jabra Enhance Plus to specific situations is eliminated. Think of the Enhance Plus as amplifying sounds in certain situations, rather than a device that can be tailored exactly to your hearing needs. It’s quite similar to buying reading glasses rather than prescription reading glasses – the Enhance Plus aids work well for the odd noisy event but not for hours of listening.
- Setup is easy – take the hearing test in the iPhone app (no android option available yet), put in the earbud, and the phone app will make all the adjustments itself. You can then make minor adjustments of your own.
The Enhance Plus offers a more general style, and its features are more simplified than a prescription hearing aid, so it adjusts sound automatically depending on the background noise in your environment rather than having preprogrammed settings that match the exact results of a professional hearing assessment.
Unsure If You’re Ready For Hearing Aids?
If you aren’t ready for any type of hearing help, that is okay. Our job at Alaska Hearing & Tinnitus Center is to educate, support, and counsel you on your hearing needs and possible solutions and not try to force you into better hearing.
For any treatment for any health challenge to work, the person needing help needs to be onboard with it, and we think that the Jabra Enhance Plus is a great way to see what hearing help would be like without the feel of wearing a hearing aid.
That said, if you are not ready to move forward with hearing help, then we will encourage annual monitoring with the ability to return sooner if needed. This way, we will have your baseline hearing test results available to compare with any new test.
We all must start somewhere, and a professional hearing test is the first step, followed by our advice. Armed with that knowledge, you can decide what to do next.
So book your hearing assessment and bring all your questions. We look forward to helping you hear the life you love.