Bose hearing aids were supposed to be the affordable hearing aid option for individuals with a mild to moderate hearing loss and to help bridge the gap between untreated hearing loss and professional audiologic care. Nearly three years later, we still do not have a Bose hearing aid on the market, despite all of the excitement that this news generated inside of the hearing loss community.
The unfortunate thing about this is that a lot of individuals have postponed their hearing loss treatment for years in the hopes that Bose will someday eventually release their hearing aid.
Why is it taking them so long to actually release their self-fitting hearing aid?
Well, I can only speculate, but the two things I suspect is that Bose has underestimated the complexity of successfully treating a mild to moderate hearing loss, and that they have overestimated the demand for a do-it-yourself hearing aid option.
Take the Bose Hearphones, for instance. Back in 2016, Bose released the Hearphones for individuals who struggled to hear in complex listening situations, because you could actually set them to boost up speech a little bit more and cancel out some background noise.
Despite a few negatives, the Bose Hearphones were actually pretty popular in some circles.
However, despite the fact that the Bose Hearphones were a perfect niche product for a small group of individuals with hearing loss,
ultimately this product was discontinued, presumably because they couldn't make enough money selling it.
So whether the demand was too low, or the cost was not high enough to actually turn a profit, Bose ultimately decided to discontinue the Hearphones and abandon their customers with hearing loss.
Now there is some speculation that Bose is just waiting for the FDA guidelines for over-the-counter hearing aids before they ultimately
release their hearing aids.
But there is also speculation out there that Bose missed the boat on this, because there are a ton of other companies that are just saying
screw the FDA guidelines. We're gonna start releasing our hearing aids right now, because we know the FDA's not gonna do anything about it.
This leads me to the most recent news about Bose and their involvement in the hearing aid industry, which makes me believe that Bose does not think that they can compete in the hearing aid market on their own.
According to the hearX Group, Bose Ventures, which is the venture capital group inside of Bose Corporation, invested $3 million of an $8.3 million series. A funding round for hearX. hearX, if you were unaware, recently released a direct-to-consumer self-fitting hearing aid that does not require the help of a hearing care professional.
Sounds familiar, right? Now I have no clue if Lexie hearing aids are actually any good or not, but they may help to serve as an affordable option
for individuals with a mild to moderate hearing loss.
The point being, if Bose actually felt that they hand an ace up their sleeve with the Bose self-fitting hearing aids,
then they would not be making investments in these other companies coming out with a rival product.
That being said, I truly believe that we need some affordable hearing aid options from companies like Bose to help get individuals
started with hearing treatment.
Not only is high quality professional hearing care not affordable for everybody, but some individuals who can afford it would much prefer to dip
their toes in the pool rather than to jump into the pool headfirst.
At the end of the day, it's pretty disappointing to see how Bose has given individuals with hearing loss false hope, especially by giving them a taste of it with the Hearphones, only to take that back away from them without replacing it with another option.
I still think that Bose has the ability to serve individuals with hearing loss with the right product, and I will continue to root for them.
But if you still think that the Bose hearing aids are going to be the answer to treat your hearing loss, I wouldn't get my hopes up, because the high likelihood is that they never actually hit the market, even though I hope I'm wrong about that.
Overall, you cannot say that Bose hasn't tried to be that company responsible for increasing accessibility to individuals looking for affordable
hearing treatment options.
I just think that they completely underestimated how difficult treating hearing loss can be.