Jabra announced its Enhance Plus earbuds back in August, debuting a model that offers assistance to people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. At the time, the company also announced that it would sell it directly to customers as a FDA-cleared self-fitting hearing aid. Later this month, Jabra will do just that. On February 25th, the company says you'll be able to purchase the Enhance Plus from select hearing care clinics for $799.
The earbuds put "medical-grade hearing enhancement" inside a more approachable form factor that looks like a set of regular earbuds. Jabra says this device is also quite compact, 40 percent smaller than the company's Elite 7 Pro which are already very small. The Enhance Plus can be customized to fit the user's needs, including three speech filters and three listening modes. The earbuds not only help with in-person conversations but also offer the ability to take calls and listen to music — the core features of any set of earbuds.
Four microphones work to reduce background clamor while improving the overall clarity of speech according to Jabra, so they're suitable for use in noisy settings. The company says you can expect up to 10 hours of battery life with an additional two full charges in the included case. The earbuds are also IP52 rated dust and water resistant and are equipped with on-board controls for basic functionality.
Jabra says the Enhance Plus have FDA 510(k) clearance as a self-fitting hearing aid. This means that it will be available direct to consumers as an over-the-counter device inline with the agency's pending regulation that expands access to hearing assistance products by creating a new hearing aid category. Jabra isn't the only company with devices that fit the FDA designation for OTC products. Another example is Bose's SoundControl hearing aids, which have been available nationwide in the US for $850 since last summer. Those, however, look more like traditional hearing aids rather than earbuds.
For now, state law may require a hearing test to make sure the Enhance Plus is right for you. If it is, the set will be available in grey and beige color options when it goes on sale later this month.