It’s not often that upon discovering that a new hearing-related product has just launched that I stop what I’m doing and feel compelled to share my opinion about it.
But, with the launch of the new Jabra Enhance Plus (announced today, August 18, 2021), I am about to do just that, as I find myself very intrigued about the impact this product may have for the 18 million Americans that have an untreated hearing loss.
So, What Is the Jabra Enhance Plus and Why is it Different?
From the research I have done and the press release that has just landed, the first thing to say about the new Jabra Enhance Plus is that it is not a traditional hearing aid.
Instead, it has launched itself into its own, brand-new category called “lifestyle devices.”
This new category of devices promises to be discreet, multi-functional, and deliver the benefits that younger people with active and modern needs have long been seeking through a combination of the latest in high-grade consumer electronics and hearing technology.
All created to deliver what is promised to be sleek earbuds that offer capabilities including personalized hearing enhancement as well as offering great quality music and seamless in-ear phone calls.
That said, the Jabra Enhance Plus appears to have been created with the younger, more image-conscious person in mind.
But, Unlike The Recently Launched Bose SoundControl…
…the Enhance Plus encourages the support of a hearing care professional to check your candidacy first, which is a big step forward given how many people incorrectly self-diagnose themselves.
This means that you will be able to visit your local Certified Jabra Enhance Center, or work with an online professional, which is brilliant news for us audiologists who have been rallying this level of acceptance that hearing devices must be prescribed opposed to self-diagnosed.
Additionally, with over-the-counter devices currently being a very hot topic following the recent executive order from President Biden adding pressure for affordable solutions being made available to even more Americans, this product has potentially come at the best time.
Jabra claims that the Enhance Plus delivers hearing aid-like performance, that candidacy is still assessed and that it’s built for people with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss, which includes the aforementioned 18 million people.
The question is, how is it different from anything else that is available and what does this mean for you and the people that you care about who potentially have some form of hearing loss?
Things You Might Want To Know About The Jabra Enhance Plus
To avoid any confusion, the Jabra Enhance Plus is NOT a replacement for traditional hearing aids and it’s not in competition with them.
The Jabra Enhance Plus is specifically for people who have a mild-to-moderate hearing loss who are looking to improve their hearing ability in certain social settings while still enjoying the many benefits of a connected wireless earbud.
Jabra conducted in-depth research and learned that people wanted a simplified hearing aid that is a lower-cost and accessible alternative to hearing instruments, with hearing support being just one of many benefits.
With this understanding, they developed the Jabra Enhance Plus that is a set of miniature earbuds engineered for hearing enhancement, music, and calls.
The Major Benefits Of The Jabra Enhance Plus Include:
- Digital noise reduction to cut background noise
- Speech-in-noise capabilities to help you to hear conversations in louder environments
- 10 hours battery and up to 30 hours battery rechargeability when using the carry case
- EarGels in three sizes for a secure and comfortable fit
- Rich and clear sound for music and phone calls (just as you would expect from Jabra)
But the biggest difference between the Jabra Enhance Plus and some of the other readily available devices that are aggressively advertising is that Jabra ensures you make the right choice for your hearing by encouraging you to visit an experienced hearing care professional.
The reason that this is an essential part of the process is that they understand that the most important step in addressing any form of hearing challenge is that you first need to have a hearing assessment, in the same way that a complete eye exam would be your preferred option before determining your prescription for eye glasses.
With many other devices that only require self-diagnosing of your hearing loss through an app and programming your own devices, there are many risks, and as professionals, we would advise away from any solution that is selling you a product before understanding your own unique circumstances.
Attempting to self-diagnose is risky business, and there are many scenarios where self-diagnosis has resulted in significant long-term damage being caused.
We test many ears per week and we often meet people that believe that they have a hearing challenge that either don’t or the cause is something other than hearing loss, such as a buildup of earwax or a more complicated medical concern.
Who Are These Devices For?
These devices have been specifically designed for the 18 million of us who have an untreated hearing loss but are not quite ready for hearing aids, including people of all ages (except children).
Where traditionally, people with a mild hearing loss may have thought that hearing aids were an unnecessary overcompensation to a mild problem and therefore chose to “wait it out,” or worse, ignored the problem entirely, this product should create a mind shift where people can see these devices as a great alternative.
That’s because, based on Jabra’s research, they learned that a large majority of people wanted a lower-cost and accessible alternative to hearing instruments, with hearing support being just one of many benefits.
It appears as though Jabra has considered other factors as well, including the real concerns people have about the appearance of hearing aids, which is why this new product has been built around this research with hearing support, music, and phone calls all seamlessly working through a stylish earphone-like earbud instead of a hearing aid design.
The outcome of this is that these devices are mainly for people that:
- Acknowledge a hearing loss but are looking for support in certain situations only
- Want a “miniature” discreet but visible product in non-traditional form factor
- Don’t want a traditional hearing aid but do want the comfort of medical technology & backup support
- Want a multi-functional, easy-to-use, and affordable device
- Would like others to believe they’re wearing an earphone, when in reality, it’s helping them to hear
We are hopeful that these devices and others like this will start to normalize the treatment of hearing loss and give confidence to more people so that they don’t have to struggle as much as they do now.
In my opinion, this product would be great for people in Washington State who want to:
- Enjoy the sound of nature on hikes and walks
- Listen to presenters at meetings and conferences
- Try to cut through the background noise in airports and crowded venues
- Focus on what their friends and family are saying in social scenarios
- Better communicate with servers when discussing menu choices
- Give their barista their preferred coffee order (and hear them call their name when it’s ready)
- Engage in video conferences and Zoom meetings
- And much more
They’re aimed at assisting in certain situations, not being a long-term hearing loss solution – being ideal for people with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss that just need a helping hand, as well as a stylish earbud that offers additional capabilities.
How Much Does The Jabra Enhance Plus Cost?
At this time, it’s unknown as there’s been no announced cost. The general expectation is that these will be priced slightly more than premium headphones and slightly less than entry-level hearing aids.
Based on this, we’re predicting around $1000. But at this stage, it’s all speculation.
Here Is My Honest, Professional Opinion…
I am genuinely excited to have a non-prescriptive option to offer people who are struggling in limited situations. I love the look of the Jabra and am crossing my fingers that the price point is as low as we are anticipating.
The patients I am really looking forward to helping with this option, are those that come with concerns hearing in background noise but have normal hearing.
By increasing what we call the signal-to-noise ratio through the use of these lifestyle devices, we will hopefully be able to improve the lives of those that, in the past, we have struggled to help in a cost-effective way.
Would You Like To Further Explore These New Devices?
If you have just read something that has struck a chord with you, then you might have some questions.
Perhaps you’ve been noticing slight changes in your hearing lately, and although you haven’t thought it necessary to seek treatment, you still think it’s worth paying attention to.
If that’s true for you, then you could be one of the 18 million people that this new product has been created for, and it might be a smart move just to take that first step in finding out more.
If you have any questions about these new lifestyle devices, or you’d like to trial them out, then please request a callback and we’ll be right in touch. Alternatively, you can call us at any one of our offices to speak to a specialist and talk about any other hearing health concerns you or your loved ones may have.