Bose Hearing Aids
The Hearing Tracker team was able to get a first look from the FDA on the new, not yet released, Bose hearing aids. Guess what? They look identical to Bose hearphones.
I mean seriously, these appear to be identical. So, considering that the hearphones are a personal sound amplification device (PSAP), my guess is that the hearing aid is more-or-less an enhanced version of the hearphones, with more amplification and a self-assessment test taken by the user through the Bose Hear app.
Here’s the thing though, will people with hearing loss flock to a form factor like this for an all-day ambient solution? I think the neckband form makes sense for situational amplification, i.e. keeping the device around your neck at all times, but only putting the earbuds in during challenging listening situations. This is effectively what the hearphones were intended to do – allow the user to use them as a music listening device and a situational amplification device. I think the form factor makes sense in that capacity, but I struggle with the idea that people are going to wear this type of form factor for extended periods of time like they would with a receiver-in-the canal hearing aid.
The hearing healthcare space is likely to see a number of new suppliers coming from all directions as the OTC legislation is set to take effect in 2020 allowing for over-the-counter sales of hearing aids. We’re likely to see a lot of new takes on what a hearing aid could potentially look like, but the consumer and the market as a whole will be the real judge of what’s practical and what’s not.
Bose is certainly on the move and introducing a flutter of new products. Along with the line of new amplification ear-worn devices, they’ve also introduced Bose Frames, which are sunglasses with a speaker built into the frame. What’s interesting with Frames, is that Bose has created its own platform for developers to build augmented audio applications for (audio AR). Priti Moudgill, one of the founders of the wearable company Peripherii, wrote a great piece on Frames for Fash Nerd this week that’s worth checking out to learn more.
-Thanks for Reading-