It has finally happened.

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

Currently available in 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 permit them to sell their devices nationally.

The question is, are the Bose SoundControl hearing aids good and should you invest in them?

Having helped thousands of local people to achieve better hearing, you won’t be surprised to learn that we have an opinion on over-the-counter devices.

POSITIVES:

  • The companies promoting them will invest heavily in 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 many 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 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 eyeglasses – 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.

What’s The Solution, And What Should You Do?

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 “Start” level package.

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

This includes:

  • An entry-level hearing device from a top manufacturer – you’ll get a pair of highly-rated hearing aids from a world-leading manufacturer.
  • A hearing assessment by a hearing care professional – your hearing will be professionally tested through a methodical process in one of our three offices.
  • 12-point fitting process to guarantee the perfect fit and performance – your devices will be fitted following our 12-point process to deliver the highest performance and comfort.
  • 12-month repair, loss, or damage warranty – you will be covered for any damage, repairs, or loss within your first 12 months, giving you complete peace of mind.
  • A trial period for 45 days, return anytime – if you decide that they’re not right for you, then you can return them within 45 days.
  • A $500.00 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 $500.00 contribution.
  • 2 years of aftercare, including service, adjustments, and yearly prescription evaluations– for two years, our team of audiologists will have your back and support you to ensure that you hear the life that you love.
  • 2 years of hearing aid batteries included – you’ll receive all the batteries you need to ensure your devices continue to perform.

Priced at less than $2290 – 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 “Start” 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 appointment by clicking here.

Ensuring that we care for the hearing health of the people of Fall River, Hyannis & Dartmouth 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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Nancy Duncan, Au.D.

Dr. Duncan’s Southcoast roots run deep, establishing a special connection to the community where she practices. A homegrown product, she graduated from Somerset High, just across the Taunton from Fall River, and received her B.S. in communication disorders and psychology from Worcester State College. Her master of science in audiology was awarded at the University of Arkansas in 1997, after which she worked for several private audiology practices in Arkansas, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.