Jabra Enhance Plus Hearing Aid
Reviews, Prices, and Sound Samples
Jabra, a Danish audio and video equipment manufacturer, launched Jabra Enhance™ Plus in February 2022. These medical-grade FDA-approved hearing aids look like modern wireless earbuds but deliver speech amplification, directional microphones, noise reduction, and feedback suppression—functionality more often associated with traditional hearing aids. They also stream audio and provide hands-free calling via Bluetooth® (iOS only).
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Jabra is marketing the compact earbuds as a solution for the millions of people worldwide with hearing loss who have yet to purchase traditional hearing aids. The hearing enhancement earbuds are intended for those with mild to moderate hearing loss and are personalized based on the unique hearing loss profile of the wearer.
Let's take a closer look at some of the features of the Enhance Plus.
- Miniaturized earbuds with hearing enhancement
- FDA approved as a self-fitting hearing aid for mild to moderate hearing loss
- Jabra Enhance Plus iOS app for personalization and control
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery with portable charging case
- Bluetooth wireless functionality compatible with iOS devices
- Ear to Ear data communication
- Stereo audio streaming
- IP 52 rating
- Available colors include dark grey or gold beige
- 1-year warranty
- Available only through Jabra Enhance Plus certified providers
Jabra notes that the Enhance Plus earbuds are 50% smaller than their Elite 75t earbuds, launched in 2020. Jabra also draws a size comparison between Enhance Plus and IQbuds² MAX, a competing hearing enhancement earbud, stating that the IQbuds are 50% larger. These are some of the smallest earbuds I have seen, and they are lightweight, coming in at only 33.7 grams (just over an ounce).
Jabra Enhance Plus (left) vs. IQbuds² MAX
Enhance Plus was designed to be cosmetically appealing, lightweight, and comfortable. The earbuds come with three sizes of "EarGel" tips (the little mushroom that goes into the ear canal) to accommodate users with small, medium, and large ear canals. I had to change the tips from the default medium size to the smaller size. Despite my small ears, they fit reasonably well, and the tips were simple enough to change.
I was able to wear the earbuds for several hours before I experienced any discomfort, and then only in the left ear. This is not unusual for me as most non-custom earpieces eventually cause some degree of discomfort, particularly for my left ear. In general, I would consider these to be lightweight and comfortable earbuds. The charging case is also quite small and can easily be carried in your pocket.
The earbuds are personalized to your hearing via the iPhone / iPad app during the initial setup process. The app takes you through a multi-step process that begins by asking you to go to a quiet place where you can listen through the earbuds. The app then determines if the environment is quiet enough to proceed with a hearing test (you will listen for very soft sounds).
The app asks you for your gender and birth year (you can refuse to answer) and then takes you through a hearing test practice run. You'll tap the screen each time you hear a tone, regardless of how quiet the sound is.
Your test results are used to create a personalized hearing profile. A well-researched hearing loss prescription fitting formula, NAL-NL2, is used to determine the appropriate amplification levels. This same formula is used by hearing care providers (HCPs) to fit conventional digital hearing aids. However, keep in mind that a full spectrum of frequencies (pitches) is not tested; only a handful of frequencies are measured during the in-app hearing test.
Walking through the setup process to "fit" and "personalize" my Jabra Enhance Plus hearing aids.
After the hearing test, the app allows you to select a preferred speech filter— "clear," "normal," or "full." You can change this setting at any time. You may find that certain filters work better for you in certain situations.
The personalization process took roughly 8 minutes, but I did pause a few times to take screenshots and make notes. Most people should be able to set up and pair the devices within 10-15 minutes. If you aren't comfortable with technology, worry not; an expert should be able to assist you with the setup process. As you'll learn below, these earbuds are currently only available for purchase through a network of expert hearing care professionals.
How loud do they get?
Jabra Enhance Plus earbuds are intended to help those with mild to moderate hearing loss hear better in everyday listening situations. They are capable of providing up to 25 decibels of amplification (in the high pitches) for conversational speech, which should meet the needs of most people with mild age-related hearing loss. The high pitches are typically the first to go as we age, and high-pitch consonants are vital for good speech clarity.
Enhance Plus also incorporates two types of noise reduction: steady-state noise (think fan noise) reduction and impulse noise (think clattering dishes) reduction. In addition, the hearing aids create a four-microphone adaptive directional microphone array using the two microphones on each earbud. These noise handling features are consistent with many of today's more conventional digital hearing aids and are intended to improve listening in noisy environments, such as restaurants.
Wearing the Enhance Plus
After setting up the Enhance Plus earbuds for my hearing, I tested them out in a local restaurant where I had recently had difficulty following conversation with my family. I have only the slightest high-pitch hearing loss, but I still struggle to follow conversations in loud restaurants.
I sat in the same booth to see if I could hear any better with the earbuds. While hardly a scientific trial, I can report that I did hear speech more easily and didn't need to concentrate as much to follow along. They also made listening more pleasant—the overall listening experience was more focused and slightly more relaxed.
Unfortunately, I did experience the occlusion effect when I was speaking. The occlusion effect is that feeling of "talking in a barrel" that many people report when first wearing hearing aids. This effect occurs when our ears are blocked and low-pitched sounds can't escape. Vented EarGels would probably help, but they aren't currently available. The occlusion effect can be very bothersome, and for those who can't learn to ignore it, wearing hearing aids can be a challenge.
Jabra Enhance Plus incorporates Bluetooth® 5.2 for wireless and hands-free connectivity with compatible Apple® devices using the Made-For-iPhone (MFi) protocol. Unfortunately, hands-free calling is only available for iPhone® 11 or newer devices, and iOS 15.1 or later. This means that my iPhone XR, which was released in October 2018, allowed audio streaming for phone calls, but I had to speak into the mic of my phone to be heard. The earbuds work with iPhone 6 and up, but hands-free is only supported by the newest Apple devices.
Enhance Plus supports audio streaming for music and podcasts from your phone or other Bluetooth-enabled and compatible devices. I used this feature to stream music using my iPhone and the Spotify app on several occasions. I found that the overall quality of music was good, but not as good as other wireless headphones that I've used, particularly when the Jabra Enhance Plus earbuds were set to my typical listening profile. Selecting the "Full" speech filter provided a richer listening experience for music. Unfortunately, switching the speech filter requires opening the app and clicking around a fair bit.
Pairing your phone with the earbuds is a bit cumbersome as the pairing process takes place outside of the Jabra Enhance app. For those who struggle with technology, this could be a pain point.
Android™ phones are currently not compatible with Enhance Plus, and Jabra has not provided a timeline for that functionality.
A portable charging case is included with the purchase of Enhance Plus. The internal lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in the earbuds will last up to 10 hours on a single charge for regular listening. Streaming will reduce run time significantly. The portable charging case, once fully charged (after ~3 hours), will allow for up to 30 hours of listening on a single charge. The fully-charged case will allow for up to 3 charges of the earbuds without being connected to power.
During my testing, I left the charging case unplugged for about ten days, and it was able to recharge my earbuds without difficulty.
This will be a handy feature when traveling, during power outages, or for those that might only use the device intermittently.
The charger utilizes magnets to guide the earbuds into the proper position, making practical use of the charger easy for most people. There are also LEDs on the earbuds that indicate correct placement in the case and battery status or pairing status. The devices themselves are marked left and right and are color-coded blue (left) and red (right) at the point on the device where the EarGel tips attach. The charging case ports are also marked left/right. However, with the EarGel tips in place, it is difficult to see the colors, and the L/R markings are a bit small to be easily read. In addition, the L/R markings in the charging case are the same color as the case (black) and are also somewhat difficult to see.
Another slight drawback of the charger is that it only comes with a USB charging cable but no AC adaptor. This means you'll need to utilize a USB port on another device such as your laptop, a USB port on another charger, or purchase an adaptor separately to charge the earbuds.
Jabra Enhance iPhone app
As mentioned above, a smartphone application is available for compatible Apple devices and is used not only for the in-app hearing test but also to control the earbuds and allow firmware updates. Support materials such as an FAQ and videos are available as well. App controls include volume changes or muting (in both earbuds simultaneously), listening mode changes, and checking the battery status of the earbuds.
Keep in mind that there are buttons on the device that allow for control, including powering on/off, changing volume, muting, and accepting/rejecting phone calls. However, these buttons do not allow for media control. For example, the buttons will not let you pause music streaming.
The app also makes available three different listening modes including "adaptive," "focus," and "surround ." As with many hearing aids on the market, these settings determine the functionality of the directional microphones. For example, the "focus" listening mode may be ideal when in a noisy restaurant and during my tests, this was the case. "Focus" allows you to focus on speech coming from directly in front of you while sounds to the side or behind you are reduced.
Adaptive mode is used when you expect to be in various listening environments; the earbuds will automatically choose the most appropriate microphone setting. Finally, "surround" will amplify sounds from all directions, which may be ideal when you're spending time outdoors.
Setting listening mode and volume on the Jabra Enhance app
Unlike many traditional hearing aids, there are no wireless accessories available for the Enhance Plus. That means no TV streamers or Bluetooth adaptors. Of course, the earbuds can be used when listening to TV but will not provide the same sound quality as a TV adaptor would likely offer.
Where to purchase the Enhance Plus
You may be disappointed to learn that Enhance Plus cannot currently be purchased online or in your local Best Buy. I know, I know; what about the promise of DTC? Well, that's the long-term strategy, according to Gitte Aabo, the CEO of Jabra's parent company, GN. But GN is playing it safe for now. Due to a complicated patchwork of state and local hearing aid sales regulations, GN has opted to sell its FDA-cleared self-fitting hearing aid exclusively through state-licensed audiologists and hearing instrument specialists.
Most industry pundits expect the FDA to issue rules that will preempt state laws regulating the sale of hearing aids. This will clear the way for cautious companies like GN to sell their self-fitting hearing aids directly to consumers, without the threat of state-level lawsuits getting in the way.
So, where exactly can you buy the Enhance Plus hearing aids today? When you visit Jabra's Certified Jabra Enhance Centers webpage, you'll notice that Beltone is the primary local distributor on the map (more businesses will likely be added over time). Jabra's parent company GN also owns Beltone, so distributing Jabra's self-fitting device in a tightly regulated market makes a lot of sense. They have licensed hearing care professionals across the country that can help Jabra move the new devices with as little friction as possible.
The earbuds come standard with a one-year warranty "against defects in materials and workmanship". Warranty claims are initiated directly with Jabra through their service center. Repaired or replacement earbuds are mailed back to the owner. According to the User Manual, the expected service life for the earbuds, charging case and App is 2 years. This includes the battery in the earbuds.
Why you might consider purchasing Jabra Enhance Plus
- Low-cost choice for hearing assistance compared to conventional hearing aids
- Sold through HCPs who can ensure the devices are appropriate for your hearing loss and provide other assistance
- Small, lightweight, and discreet earbuds
- Rechargeable with good battery life, especially when not streaming
- Easy to use and small/light charging case
- Hands-free calling with compatible iPhones
- Good sound quality overall
- On-board controls and an available smartphone app
Potential Drawbacks Jabra Enhance Plus
- Not appropriate for more severe hearing losses or children
- Hearing test through earbuds does not cover all frequencies and does not consider other audiological factors such as uncomfortable loudness levels
- Limited controls so cannot be precisely tuned to your hearing loss
- Good sound quality but not as good as other earbuds or well-fit hearing aids
- Non-vented EarGel may cause problematic occlusion for some
- No Android compatibility at this time
- Higher cost than some competitive hearing enhancement devices currently available
- Limited color choices
- Not as cosmetically discreet as some conventional digital hearing aids
- Likely not comfortable enough to wear all day for some people
- May not fit properly for unusually small or large ears
The Jabra Enhance Plus earbuds are small, lightweight earbuds that provide good sound quality and wireless connectivity to compatible Apple devices. The rechargeable devices also come with an easy-to-use and very portable charging case, which provides extended battery life on the go.
If you have difficulty hearing in some situations but aren't ready to try conventional hearing aids, Enhance Plus are a great lower-cost entry-point to better hearing. However, since these self-fit hearing aids cannot be programmed in the same way as professionally fit hearing aids, they likely won't provide the same level of benefit. And unlike conventional hearing aids, they may become uncomfortable after a few hours of use (and won't last a full day).
On the other hand, Jabra Enhance do offer an alternative for those that prefer the "look" of wireless earbuds over conventional hearing aids, or who just need a solution for those occasional difficult listening situations.
As these devices are fit only through HCPs, your hearing will most likely be tested professionally, and your HCP will most likely counsel you on the appropriateness of Jabra vs other hearing aid solutions. Be sure to get any questions that you have fully answered and discuss not only your hearing loss but also your listening environments, lifestyle, and any physical limitations to using the devices.
Table of Contents
HearAdvisor partners with HearingTracker to provide objective laboratory performance data. All hearing aids are fitted and performance-tested for mild sloping to moderate hearing loss. All audio samples cutoff above 10kHz. *Specific model tested: Jabra Enhance Plus.
Jabra Enhance Plus Physical Specifications
|Jabra Enhance Plus|
|IP Rating (Liquid)||5|
|IP Rating (Solid)||2|
|Made For iPhone||
Lowest iOS Version
Push Button Options
Model details listed above may be incomplete or inaccurate. For full specifications please refer to product specifications published by the original equipment manufacturer. To suggest a correction to the details listed, please email email@example.com.
Jabra Enhance Plus Technology Details
Technology specifications listed above may be incomplete or inaccurate. For full specifications please refer to product specifications published by the original equipment manufacturer. To suggest a correction to the details listed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jabra Enhance Plus Reviews
Hearing aid reviews are fundamentally different from reviews for most other consumer electronic products. The reason is because individual factors, like degree of hearing loss, have a profound effect one's success and overall satisfaction with the product. When purchasing a hearing aid, you'll need to consider more than just your hearing outcome ... Continue readingWrite a Review
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Note: Original answers provided in star rating format.
I've been using these earbuds at home for watching TV on my iPad. I was using a pair of headphones before, but my wife got tired of me not being able to hear her. The streaming audio quality is OK, and now I can hear my wife when she needs me. Very comfortable and small, but I don't know how I feel about wearing them in public yet.
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