The Jabra Enhance Plus Is Now Available – Is It All That’s Been Promised?

03/07/2022 | Hearing Aids, Hearing Protection, Patient Resources, Technology

Jabra Enhance Plus blog feature

Ever since Biden’s Executive Order to provide the public with low-cost, over-the counter (OTC) hearing aids, we’ve been watching to see who would step up to the plate.

Last year, we shared our thoughts with you about Jabra’s announcement that they would be entering the hearing device market.

Since then, we have become a certified Jabra Enhance center – because of the helpfulness of this device. And now that the Jabra Enhance Plus device has been released to the public, this is our follow-up of thoughts and information we’ve gained since then.

Who is the perfect candidate for a product like the Enhance Plus?

The ideal candidates for the Jabra Enhance Plus are people with the following needs:

  • Mild hearing loss – Suspected mild to moderate hearing loss who are not ready to move forward with a traditional hearing care treatment plan (i.e., hearing aids).
  • Occasional use – The Jabra Enhance Plus is a great tool to use occasionally — in meetings, etc. — but it’s not intended for all day, everyday use. It’s a great introductory hearing device for a younger, tech-savvy consumer who might also need to stream phone calls and audio from a smart device.
  • Apple product user – However, so far the Enhance Plus only works with Apple products. Android is working on developing an app for it’s users.
  • First-time hearing device user – It’s great to have an introductory product for people with a hearing loss to try if they are not quite ready to move forward with wearing hearing aids, just like reading glasses are a helpful “baby step” into wearing traditional glasses.
  • Concern about how it looks – This product doesn’t look like a hearing aid. It looks more like an earbud but can help amplify some of those softer sounds in challenging environments.

I see this being most useful for patients who are still in the workforce and have occasional difficulty hearing in meetings and on the phone.

jabra device

What “Self-Fitting” Really Means

Self-fitting means that the patient takes a modified hearing check on the Jabra app and those results are used to program the device for the patient.

The patient, essentially, tests their own hearing and then programs the device through a series of questions in the fitting module.

A hearing test or screening by a professional is still recommended in order to ensure that the patient’s hearing loss fits in the mild to moderate category, but those settings are not used in any way to program or fit the device.

Are There Any Limits To What The Jabra Enhance Plus Can Do?

The Jabra Enhance Plus is a very simple hearing solution without a lot of consumer control.

  • Sound – Through the app, consumers may turn the volume up and down and choose from 1 of 3 listening scenarios.
  • Fitting – There are 3 different dome sizes for the ear, but that is the limit of the customization.
  • Programming – With a prescription hearing device, the diagnostic hearing test is used to program the hearing aids. The hearing test taken through the app is not as accurate, although it does identify what frequency hearing loss a person has.

When we talk about mild to moderate hearing loss, it needs to be understood that we are looking at a group of frequencies that are tested from low pitch sounds to high pitch sounds.

Most patients who come to us for help show a different loss at each of these pitches. In the low pitches, their hearing may be totally normal, but that patient may have a hearing loss in the higher pitches.

The style of hearing aid and programming prescription is based on these results, and these choices are what make patients satisfied with their hearing aids, which is why most patients who try the Jabra end up not choosing them as a long-term solution.

The Jabra Enhance Plus is not a solution people will enjoy wearing all day every day, so a prescription hearing aid would be a more permanent solution for everyday use.

People with a newly diagnosed hearing loss are sometimes just not ready for hearing aids and they like the Jabra Enhance Plus, as it feels more like a hip, new, streaming earbud than an actual hearing aid.

Have Hearing Challenges But You’re Not Ready For Prescription Hearing Aids?

I would say that you should try these 3-in-1 earbuds. You need help hearing and these will help you hear better.

I loved my over-the-counter reading glasses; they offered me a great deal of help and made my daily life easier, but my prescription reading glasses made everything clearer. Likewise with hearing devices, at some point, you may need a more sophisticated hearing solution, but to get started, I would say this is a nice fit.

Several of my patients who have tried the Jabra Enhance Plus really enjoyed them for meetings and streaming phone calls and audio. But many also had issues with the fit of the device, so we are looking into some custom solutions that may solve that problem.

The Jabra Enhance Plus is not perfect, but it does help patients hear better in challenging situations. And that’s what we’re all about at Cornerstone Audiology – helping you optimize your hearing so you can enjoy your best life now.

Contact us to talk more about finding the best hearing solution for you.

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Julie Hubik, Au.D., CCC-A - Doctor of Audiology & CEO of Cornerstone Audiology

Dr. Hubik is the owner and founder of one of West Texas' most trusted and professional hearing providers, Cornerstone Audiology. She received her bachelor of science degree in communication disorders as well as her doctorate of audiology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). In her youth, Dr. Hubik became interested in helping people with a hearing loss to communicate more effectively and therefore pursued a degree in this field. Dr. Hubik was born and raised in Anton, Texas, and appreciates working with the people of West Texas. She and her team are proud to serve the hearing needs of their community.

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