Is It True The New Jabra Enhance Plus Lifestyle Device Is About To Change The Stigma Around Hearing Loss?

Is It True The New Jabra Enhance Plus Lifestyle Device Is About To Change The Stigma Around Hearing Loss?

by | Sep 2, 2021 | Hearing Aids, Industry News, Patient Resources, Technology

A few comments from the AVI desk of Dr. Natan Bauman.

Hearing should be considered as the most important sense for our survival or at least should be considered one of the most important senses.

Better hearing goes beyond just improving what we hear by improving our brain function in terms of memory issues and helping us with our cognitive processing skills.

Better hearing can also reduce stress, giving us greater confidence in life thus helping our cardiovascular system. It also plays an important role in our mental status, it can even help to improve our digestive system and plays a role in maintaining a better auditory space perception thus it can also improve our balance.

When we address our patient’s hearing, we not only consider the most appropriate device to help to correct for the degree and the configuration of the hearing deficits, but we also consider all other above-mentioned issues as part of better hearing health.

We, at AVI, are here to help you with your hearing journey regardless of whether you decide to choose an OTC or a conventional hearing aid.

If you are considering a virtual hearing aid delivery, allow us to partner with you to help you with your intricate journey to better hearing.  Please keep in mind that only tested and not subjectively perceived mild hearing losses can be appropriate for a virtual hearing aid fitting.

If you ask yourself the question, why do I need help with my hearing and your answer is simply to hear better, then your solution may be OTC.  If, however you realize the weight of your question to be more involved, then stop and seek professional advice.

As I have tried to explain better hearing not only helps us to ask less “what did you say or can you repeat what you just said”, but also helps with many more health-related issues. Therefore, before you reach for OTCs please stop and try to answer the more complicated question of why I need to hear better.

Research has shown that we are poor judges as to what we need to “hear better”. For example, we would choose to hear subjectively more comfort in hearing instead of hearing with greater intelligibility (clarity).

When we listen to music an average listener would “crank up” the bass sounds and reduce troubling sharp sounds of treble sounds. In general, we find the high frequency, treble sounds more disturbing, and more annoying since these sounds by nature of design are more alerting, cause more arousal, and an unwanted and often frightening mental state. Therefore, asking a new hearing aid user to be responsible for his or her adjustments to an OTC device may not be the most optimal thing to do.

A new hearing assistive technology has entered the hearing improvement market and will certainly get people talking, but does it live up to its promises?

As a practicing audiologist for over 40 years, an electronic engineer, and an inventor of the most used hearing aid sound delivery system worldwide (Receiver-In-The-Canal, RIC), I feel compelled to say a few words about Jabra entering the hearing, over-the-counter market.

Technological advancements within the hearing care industry over the last decade have been significant, giving people the confidence to take the first step and improve their hearing health.

Despite the improvements in technology leading to hearing aids becoming more sophisticated and even more discreet, over 18 million Americans still live with untreated hearing loss.


Perhaps A New Premium Brand Of “Lifestyle Hearing Devices” Could Be The Answer?

On August 18, 2021, there was an announcement of a brand-new category of devices, spearheaded by a brand-new premium product – Jabra Enhance Plus.

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.

The Jabra Enhance Plus is distinctively different from traditional hearing aids, as it is a combination of the latest in high-grade consumer electronics and hearing technology. It is 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.

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.

With over-the-counter devices currently being a very hot topic following President Biden’s recent executive order adding pressure for affordable solutions being made available to even more Americans, this product is perhaps perfectly timed.

Jabra claims that the Enhance Plus delivers hearing aid-like performance, that candidacy is still assessed following all state and federal laws, and that it’s built for people with 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?


What Makes The Jabra Enhance Plus Different?

The first thing to note is that this new product is not a replacement for traditional hearing aids, and it’s not in competition with them. It’s specifically for people who have mild-to-moderate hearing loss and are looking to improve their hearing ability in various 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, which is a set of miniature earbuds engineered for hearing enhancement, music, and calls.

Note the use of an earbud sound delivery is in contrast with the open ear sound delivery. My original, patented open ear RIC system eliminated the “plugged up” feeling based on patient complaints of traditional hearing aids. Therefore, Jabra’s earbuds return to an occluded ear device delivering the sound, bringing with it many issues that most patients wearing hearing aids were so excited to abandon.


The key benefits include:

  • Digital noise reduction to cut background noise
  • Presumed 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 the company understands 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 eyeglasses.

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. As professionals, we would advise away from any solution that sells you a product before understanding your own unique circumstances.

Attempting to self-diagnose is a risky undertaking as it involves subjective guessing as to the status of your hearing, and there are many scenarios where self-diagnosis has resulted in significant long-term damage being caused.

I strongly feel that a formal hearing assessment prior to receiving any hearing advice is not only necessary but the only professional way to start your hearing improvement journey.  We often meet people who believe they have a hearing challenge, but they usually can hear perfectly fine.

Sometimes, the cause is something other than hearing loss, such as a buildup of earwax or a more complicated medical concern. Additionally, some people present with a normal hearing mechanism, yet they perceive having a hearing deficiency with perfectly normal results on a hearing test. This is not due to not hearing but rather not understanding what they hear.


Jabra CTA


Who Is The Jabra Enhance Plus For? 

Based on research carried out by Jabra, it was clear 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.

This new product has been developed based on this research to ensure the best hearing support, with music and phone calls all seamlessly working through a stylish earphone-like earbud.

This means that it has been crafted specifically for the 18 million adults with a self-diagnosed hearing challenge who are currently without a viable solution and may be fearful or not yet ready to become a hearing aid wearer due to concerns about how the devices may look or feel.

The outcome of this is that these devices are mainly for people who:

  • Realize they have a hearing loss but only want support in certain situations
  • Want a “miniature” discreet but visible device that looks different from the “norm”
  • Want an easy-to-use, multi-functional device
  • Would like the device to appear as though they are wearing an earphone, when in reality, it is helping them to hear

We are confident that these devices and others like them can start to normalize the treatment of hearing loss and will empower people, helping them to realize that they don’t have to struggle as much as they do now.

This means that the Jabra Enhance Plus may be the perfect option for people who want to:

  • Listen to presenters at meetings and conferences
  • Maximize interactions on game day
  • Engage in video conferences and Zoom meetings
  • Enjoy music AND communicating with their beautician, barber, or at social events
  • Enhance the sounds of nature on their next hike or fishing trip

The Jabra Enhance Plus aims to assist in certain situations. It is not a long-term hearing loss solution – meaning it is ideal for people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss who just need a helping hand, as well as a stylish earbud that offers extra capabilities and features.


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.


What Is My Opinion And Advice To You?

In my opinion, Jabra will have an appeal and an application to a certain segment of people who are looking for self-oriented help with their hearing issues.

My warning is that lack of personalization and professional input will compromise the fitting process. For example, verifying what you actually hear by measuring the sound delivered to your ear by the hearing device will not be available.

This is a standard procedure in our process of fitting our patients with hearing instruments. Additionally, with each patient, not only do we consider the hearing loss but also such factors as hearing sounds at your best listening levels and at what level of sound do you find too loud, making sure that the hearing device never exceeds such levels. This is not only to protect you from undesired sounds but also from exposing you to dangerous levels of volume.

Need Support With Your OTCs?

At AVI we are dedicated to helping hearing-impaired people to improve their lives.

In that vein, we are embracing the new concept of OTC devices hoping that this will afford many more people better hearing and a better life.

Therefore, we decided to start a program that will allow us to optimize your OTC devices by offering our professional services.

AVI is offering the following services to improve your satisfaction and success with OTC hearing devices:

  1. Full professional audiological diagnosis evaluation of your hearing
  2. Examination of the status of the ear canal to assure no earwax impaction and earwax management
  3. Consultation regarding various OTC device choices based on your hearing evaluation and based on your lifestyle and expectations
  4. Training on proper use and insertion of the OTC devices
  5. Various maintenance and service packages options


Get In Touch And Take Part In A Jabra Enhance Plus Trial

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.

Contact our friendly team, or request a callback. We can arrange for you to visit our office for a hearing evaluation, which will allow us to make sure you are a good candidate for a Jabra Enhanced Plus device, as they are for mild-to-moderate hearing losses only.

While you are with us, we can show you how they work and set you up to go and try them out in real-world scenarios so you can see how well they perform.

We are passionate about the early treatment of hearing loss, and we believe this is just what our younger patients may need to help them take their first steps toward better hearing.

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Dr. Natan Bauman

For more than 40 years, I have had the honor and opportunity of helping thousands of local, national, and international people to achieve a better life through better hearing. As an audiologist and electronic engineer, I have changed the course of the hearing aid industry by inventing the Receiver-In-The-Canal, the most widely used hearing aid in the world. Additionally, I established a tinnitus and sound over-sensitivity clinic and developed a special treatment program which I have been teaching to other practitioners nationally and internationally. Our practice follows the key principles that have defined my career: an adherence to best practices, use of the latest technologies, and personalized care in which the patient is treated as family.

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