“It has the potential to assist over 18 million Americans with their untreated hearing loss, but should we believe the hype?”
It’s not often that upon discovering that a new hearing-related product has just launched, 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 August 18, 2021), I am about to do just that, as this latest advancement is huge news for hearing care professionals and the good people of Texas.
That’s because with over 18 million Americans (of all ages) suffering with an untreated hearing loss, this new device has been designed to specifically help them, which could include you.
So, What Is The Jabra Enhance Plus And What’s So Good About It?
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 actually classed as a hearing aid. Instead, it has launched itself into a brand-new category all of its own 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.
It’s distinctively different from traditional hearing aids, as it is a combination of the latest in high-grade consumer electronics and hearing technology designed 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 in specific situations.
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 great news for us audiologists who have been rallying this level of acceptance that hearing devices must be prescribed as opposed to self-diagnosed.
Plus, 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 following all state and federal laws, is only going to be available at this time through a hearing care professional to ensure you are getting the appropriate care, and that it’s built for people with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
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?
What Is The Jabra Enhance Plus?
To avoid any confusion, the Jabra Enhance Plus isn’t 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 many 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.
What Is The Price Of The Jabra Enhance Plus?
While we do know the Jabra Enhance Plus will be released within the coming months, prices have not yet been announced. We do know it will be listed at MSRP across hearing clinics, but the price point has yet to be announced. Stay tuned to find out.
The Major Benefits Of The Jabra Enhance Plus Include:
- Digital noise reduction to lessen the effects of 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.
Have you noticed some difficulties with your hearing lately? Book a hearing assessment for your own peace of mind.
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 not recommend 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. In reality, they either do not have hearing loss, or the cause is something different, such as a buildup of earwax or a more complicated medical concern.
Who Would Be Best Suited For These Devices?
These devices have been specifically designed for those who have an untreated hearing loss but it doesn’t impact day-to-day situations, or those who are not quite ready for hearing aids.
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.
Of course, there are other factors that Jabra has considered, 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 a hearing aid, 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 Texas who want to:
- Enjoy the sound of nature on hikes and walks
- Enhance presenters at meetings and conferences
- Try to cut through the background noise in airports and crowded venues
- Better 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.
Here Is My Honest, Professional Opinion…
For years we have seen patients in our clinic who have a mild hearing loss and feel it does impact certain situations, but not every environment they are in throughout their day. There are times they would like assistance, but the problem isn’t significant enough to wear a device throughout the day, nor it is impacting their life enough to justify the investment of an advanced hearing aid. The Jabra Enhance Plus is the ideal solution they are seeking. Yes, it is here to provide assistance when needed, but it is not designed to take the place of a true hearing aid or replace the features of a hearing aid option.
Quite often we know people who need a little help with their vision in certain situations. Maybe at restaurants to read the menu, read the morning paper, and so forth. In those cases, a pair of over-the-counter glasses, referred to as ‘cheaters’ are perfectly suitable. This is a great example to illustrate the need for the Jabra Enhance Plus.
There comes a time when those ‘cheaters’ are no longer providing enough assistance. At that point, it’s time to explore additional options to help you see your best. Same with hearing. As your hearing needs progress and you’re needing more background noise reduction assistance, more amplification to help you hear clearer than what the Jabra Enhance Plus can provide, then it’s time to talk with your audiologist about additional options. But in the beginning, if you’re just needing a little help here and there, the Jabra Enhance Plus is a great starting point.
Would You Like To Further Explore The Jabra Enhance Plus?
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.
With so much change and so many different options available, it’s natural that you may have a question. That’s why our team is here to help and offer you guidance to ensure that you or a loved one makes the right decision.
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 in touch.