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Bose unveils SoundControl, its first-ever hearing aids

Bose SoundControl
(Image credit: Bose)

Bose's first hearing aids also happen to be an industry first. Because not only do the SoundControl wearables feature audio tuning tech similar to that used in the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, they’re also the first FDA-cleared hearing aids you can buy direct to consumer. That means you don’t need a prescription, or an appointment with a doctor, an audiologist, or even a hearing test – you just buy them as you would a pair of wireless headphones.

They're aimed at people with mild to moderate hearing loss, with audio calibration being one of their standout features. Using the Bose Hear mobile app, you can tweak the volume levels, tone, treble, and bass so they sound right to your ears.

According to Bose, the process should take around 30 minutes, and it promises to be super simple, with only two controls to play with. World Volume amplifies quiet sounds more than loud ones to make listening more comfortable, while Treble/Bass can adjust tone to accentuate or diminish certain vocal frequencies. Treble makes everything crisper and brighter, while Bass modifies richness and depth.

There’s also a Focus feature to help zone in on conversations or deal with particular situations. Select the Front setting and you’ll laser in on conversations, which will be handy in busy environments. The Everywhere setting enhances sounds from all around, so is useful for walks, working around the house, or a day at the park. You can set and store your own presets for activities and places (“a day at the park”, say, or “movie night”) for quick access.

Bose SoundControl hearing aids come with three sizes of ear tips with both open and closed domes. The app has a step-by-step guide to finding the perfect fit.

Need some more help? Using the app, you can schedule a one-on-one video appointment with a Bose product specialist at no extra cost.

Unlike wireless earbuds, they’re not rechargeable. Instead, each earpiece takes a 312 zinc-air battery. Bose bundles eight batteries in with the device, with each lasting up to four days when used for 14 hours a day. The hearing aids are water-resistant to survive “light exposure to rain or water” and come with a carry case. 

Included is a 90-day risk-free trial, so you can always return them if you're not satisfied. Initially, they'll only be available in 5 US states: Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas, although Bose promises a nationwide rollout will follow. They cost $849.95 (about AU$1200) and go on sale on 18th May.

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