Well, we knew it was coming and the time has finally arrived…

After years of speculation, Bose has released their first ever over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids – the Bose SoundControl.

Available in only a few states right now, including Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas, these new devices are available to purchase without visiting a hearing professional, having a hearing assessment, or even having your hearing checked first for a buildup of earwax or something physically blocking your ear canals.

Priced at $849.00, they include Bluetooth connectivity to sync to a cell phone app and allow you to make adjustments depending on your environment. They also include a 90-day warranty.

They are anticipated to be the first of many over-the-counter hearing aids developed by a breadth of different companies that are entering the hearing care industry, all awaiting the green light from the FDA to give them permission to sell their devices nationally.

The Big Question For You Is:

 Are The Bose SoundControl Hearing Aids Good And Should You Invest In Them?

Well, as Anchorage and Eagle River’s most trusted audiologists, it’s only right that we give you our honest, professional opinion…

POSITIVES:

  • The companies promoting them will be investing heavily into advertising to encourage people to consider if they have hearing challenges.
  • Hearing loss will become “normal” – just as a problem with your eyes will seamlessly lead you toward having them tested, a problem with your hearing should also lead you toward testing.

  • They’re going to serve as a great first step for many people to then step into more specific solutions for them (like reading glasses versus prescribed glasses).

NEGATIVES:

  • A hearing loss can be caused by a large number of things, from a buildup of earwax to more medical (and potentially dangerous unless treated) reasons – just self-fitting an amplification device may be needless or be like adding a Band-Aid to a fracture.

  • You don’t have a professional hearing assessment before self-fitting. This means that they are unlikely to perform properly for you, or they will be programmed incorrectly resulting in potential further problems.

  • Hearing aids are easily lost or broken due to them being so small, especially when they’re often dislodged by face masks and eye glasses – most traditional hearing aids include hefty loss or repair warranties, while the Bose SoundControl and many OTC devices don’t offer any cover.

  • They may result in people trying them and deciding that hearing technology is not right for them.

We’re optimistic that they will change the conversations around the dinner table and result in more people choosing to take positive steps toward addressing a hearing challenge, but we do worry that they’ll potentially cause as much harm as good.

So, What Should You Do?

Firstly, we strongly encourage you to consider your options before making a decision, and this is what we have done to help you do that…

When the Bose SoundControl was launched, we held an emergency meeting with our management team, as we wanted to ensure that we could not only create an offering to compete with over-the-counter devices from a price perspective but also deliver a complete hearing care solution.

We then developed our “OTC Done Properly” package.

This ensures that not only can you still step into better hearing for an entry-level fee, but you can also access audiological standards, testing, fitting, and support to guarantee that you get the best possible performance, both short term and long term.

Our “OTC Done Properly” Package includes:

  • An entry-level hearing device from a top manufacturer – with crystal-clear sound quality, a sleek design, and Bluetooth connectivity.
  • A professional hearing check performed by a doctor of audiology
  • Comprehensive multi-step fitting process – this ensures you get the absolute best in terms of comfort and efficiency.
  • 12-month repair, loss, or damage warranty ensuring you’re fully protected
  • A $500 contribution toward upgraded hearing technology within your first 12 months – if you decide that you would like to step into upgraded technology or get a better performance within your first 12 months, then you can benefit from a $500 contribution.
  • 30-day trial period on your hearing devices (excluding service fees) – in the unlikely case that your hearing aids aren’t right for you, you can return them within 30 days of purchase.

Priced at $2449.00 – it gives you a complete solution delivered by a hearing care professional with precisely programmed devices, delivering you the best possible performance.

To explore how our “OTC Done Properly” package works and discover whether it’s right for you, then you can either “Request a Callback” from a hearing professional to discuss your circumstances and receive some no-obligation advice, or you can schedule your hearing assessment appointment by clicking here.

Ensuring that we care for the hearing health of the people of Anchorage and Eagle River is incredibly important to us, and this step is to ensure that you can access complete hearing care, regardless of budget.

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Dr. Emily McMahan

Dr. McMahan attended the University of Cincinnati where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2009. She furthered her professional education by obtaining her Doctorate of Audiology from Salus University in Philadelphia in 2013. She completed her residency in Anchorage and has been applying her expertise to her patients in the Pacific Northwest for several years. Whether you need hearing testing, hearing aids, or assistance with managing tinnitus in your daily lives, Dr. McMahan is qualified to assist you!