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 ears checked for wax buildup.

Priced at $849.00, they include Bluetooth connectivity and an app, allowing 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 variety 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 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 be investing heavily into advertising to encourage people to consider that they might have a hearing challenge.
  • 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 a hearing test.
  • They’re going to serve as a great first step for many people to then step into more specific solutions for them (like “cheater” reading glasses versus prescribed glasses).

NEGATIVES:

  • A hearing loss can be caused by a large range of things, from a buildup of earwax to more medically concerning reasons – just self-fitting an amplification device without consulting with a professional may be negligent or, at the very best, a temporary solution to a much bigger problem.
  • You don’t have a professional hearing assessment before self-fitting. This means that the devices are unlikely to perform properly for you or will be programmed incorrectly, resulting in potential increased hearing loss.
  • OTC hearing devices are only useful for patients with mild to moderate hearing loss. Many people have losses beyond the reach of OTC in certain frequencies and therefore would not receive the hearing help that is necessary.
  • 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 coverage for loss or damage.
  • Most likely, people who purchase OTC devices, in an attempt to save time and money, will throw that money away when it could have been applied to a real solution and real support from a real audiologist. 

Overall, our team is optimistic that the availability of OTC hearing devices will change the conversations around the dinner table and result in more people at least talking about their hearing loss … however, it is likely a can of worms that will end up causing more harm than rewards.

What is the Right Solution and What Should You Do?

As a response to the launch of the Bose SoundControl, our team decided to create an offer in order to compete with over-the-counter devices from a price perspective while also delivering a complete hearing care solution by a doctor of audiology.

We then developed our “Fundamental Hearing Package.”

This package ensures that not only can you still step into 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.

Our “Fundamental Hearing Package” includes:

  • A pair of hearing devices from a top manufacturer – with crystal-clear sound quality, a sleek design, Bluetooth connectivity, and an app for manual adjustments and settings.
  • A professional diagnostic hearing assessment by a doctor of audiology – typically covered by your insurance, your hearing will be professionally tested through a methodical process in either our Lubbock or Snyder office.
  • Multi-step audiological fitting process to deliver best possible fit and performance – this ensures you get the absolute best in terms of comfort and efficiency.
  • 12-month repair, loss, and damage warranty ensuring you’re fully protected – you will be covered for any damage, repairs, or loss within your first 12 months, giving you complete peace of mind.
  • A $500.00 credit toward upgraded hearing technology within your first 24 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 credit toward that technology.
  • 12 months of audiological aftercare, including service, adjustments, and yearly prescription evaluations– for 12 months, our team of audiologists will have your back and support you to ensure that you hear the life that you love.
  • 12 months of hearing aid batteries included – you’ll receive all the batteries that you need to ensure your devices continue to perform.
  • In-person access to our service center for trouble-shooting, cleanings, and supplies.

Priced at $1,890 – it gives you a complete solution delivered by a hearing care professional with two precisely programmed devices, delivering the best possible performance.

To explore how our “Fundamental Hearing 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 Lubbock and Snyder 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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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.