Lexie B2 Powered by Bose Hearing Aids
Reviews, Prices, and Sound Samples
Lexie B2 Powered by Bose is an over-the-counter (OTC) self-fitting hearing aid available for $999 a pair. Lexie B2 is the second "Powered by Bose" device, and the first to offer rechargeability and more recently iPhone voice streaming. In terms of other features and functionality, Lexie B2 is almost identical to the slightly-older Lexie B1, which runs on disposable batteries, and comes in at $849 a pair.
Lexie B1 and B2 are both receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids that offer good sound quality, on-device volume control, directional microphones, noise reduction, smartphone app control to customize to individual users, and free, remote expert support from Lexie. Both the B1 and B2 use Bluetooth wireless technology to connect with the Lexie app, but only the B2 can stream phone calls from an iPhone at this time.
HearingTracker Audiologist Matthew Allsop provides his perspectives on the Lexie B2 Powered by Bose hearing aid. Closed captions are available on this video. If you are using a mobile phone, please enable captions clicking on the gear icon.
Lexie B1 and B2 both come with a 45-day risk-free trial, as well as a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. Although Lexie says the aids are “water resistant,” they also warn not to expose them to anything more than regular perspiration and light moisture.
In May 2023, Lexie announced firmware updates to its Lexie B2 hearing aids, enabling voice call streaming capabilities for iPhone users. That means B2 wearers with iPhones (iOS v 13 or later) will be able to conduct voice calls via Bluetooth using their aids for added convenience and an elevated user experience, says Lexie. However, hands-free calling will not be available yet; in other words, users will be able to receive audio from their iPhones, but they'll still need to speak into the receiver to be heard by the other person on the line. While the update will allow any audio content streamed on an iPhone to play through the Lexie B2 Hearing Aids, it was not designed or optimized for music or video content streaming.
Note: If you're a current Lexie B2 user who has exceeded the trial period, you can update your hearing aids for $50, but you'll need to ship your hearing aids directly to Lexie for the update. Call Lexie at (800) 499-1336 for details.
HearingTracker Audiologist Matthew Allsop explains how people currently in the trial period (45 days) for the Lexie B2 Powered by Bose can get a free update for streaming voice calls from iPhones; those users outside the trial period can upgrade for $50. Closed captions are available on this video. If you are using a mobile phone, please enable captions clicking on the gear icon.
The Lexie B1 and B2 Powered by Bose hearing aids complement the Lexie Lumen slim-tube behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid which sells for $799. All are sold online at lexiehearing.com and at retail stores and pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS, and Best Buy.
As with all OTC hearing aids, these devices are reserved for adults ages 18+ only (children with hearing loss should always see an audiologist) and are limited in how loud they can amplify sound—so they're only applicable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Lexie B2 Powered by Bose hearing aids with charging case.
Who makes the Lexie B1 and B2 Powered by Bose Hearing Aids?
Lexie Hearing is part of the HearX Group, a hearing healthcare company based in Pretoria, South Africa, co-founded in 2015 by a respected audiologist and academic, De Wet Swanepoel, PhD. HearX provides affordable hearing testing and amplification products “using smart digital health solutions that anyone can use, anywhere.” Along with its Lexie hearing aid line, hearX makes a clinically-validated online hearing test (hearScreen), which is used by companies like CVS, Best Buy, Costco, and Lexie Hearing itself. Other HearX products include the hearTest clinical smartphone audiometer and hearXSTK (self test kit) remote audiology solution, as well as Go hearing aids.
Although Lexie distributes and doubtlessly plays a key role in developing their hearing aids, they do not actually manufacture them. Lexie Lumen is manufactured by Intricon, a longtime experienced “white label” hearing aid developer and manufacturer based in Minneapolis; Lexie B1 and B2 Powered by Bose is manufactured by Novidan which is also based in Minneapolis.
Geoffrey Cooling, a seasoned UK-based audiologist who writes the HearingAidKnow blog, has praised Lexie as “the best direct to consumer hearing aid business we have come across.” And objective performance testing at HearAdvisor's lab in Illinois showed that the B2 was in the top performing group of devices test. (Scroll down the page for audio samples and performance scores from HearAdvisor.)
In June, TIME Magazine included Lexie Hearing in its "TIME100 Most Influential Companies of 2023" list.
SoundControl and the Lexie-Bose partnership
As its name suggests, the Lexie B1 and B2 Powered by Bose hearing aids borrow their technology from Bose and the company’s now-discontinued SoundControl hearing aid which was launched in May 2021. Bose has a reputation for making quality audio systems and noise canceling headsets. As such, SoundControl generated a lot of interest when it became the first FDA-cleared self-fitting hearing aid designed for mild-to-moderate hearing losses—available to the public without the assistance of a professional—helping define what would become over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids.
SoundControl and its CustomTune self-fitting system, which was based on the innovative EarMachine app, allowed users to fit, program, and control the devices for “clinically proven, audiologist-quality results—without a doctor visit, hearing test, or prescription,” according to the company.
SoundControl was initially priced at $849.95 a pair, but did not achieve the popularity Bose had hoped, even after some impressive clinical results. This was probably due to two missing features that consumers may have expected from a Bose product: it didn’t employ Bluetooth streaming for music or phone calls, and it wasn’t rechargeable.
Because a hearing aid must conserve battery life to provide for daily extended use, SoundControl also had to make some compromises in sound quality when compared to Bose's other audio products. Ultimately, the hearing aid became a victim of the company's strategy pivot in May 2022 when news broke that Bose was ceasing hearing aid manufacturing and refocusing on its core audio products.
This provided an excellent opportunity for a Lexie-Bose partnership, because Bose Ventures—the venture-capital arm of Bose— had already invested an undisclosed amount in HearX in 2019, and then again in early 2021 with $3 million. In late-July 2022, Lexie announced their partnership with Bose to carry on with its SoundControl technology—renaming it the Lexie B1 Powered by Bose and quickly following that product up with the B2 rechargeable model in October 2022.
Lexie B1 Powered by Bose hearing aids with carrying case in background.
Who should use Lexie B1 / B2 Powered by Bose?
The Lexie B1 and B2 Powered by Bose hearing aids can help adults (18+ years) with mild to moderate hearing loss. You might be interested in the Lexie B1 or B2 Powered by Bose if you are:
- Seeking an OTC hearing solution that can be easily customized by you for your unique hearing loss.
- Looking for convenience and time savings but would like some remote support when needed.
- Seeking similar technology found in a basic modern hearing aid, including directional microphones, feedback and noise reduction, app-based controls, etc.
- Not needing to stream high-fidelity audio for music or video to a smartphone, tablet, or computer to your hearing aids.
- Fairly proficient with smartphone technology, apps, and the idea of self-directed care and remote support.
- Free of any health contraindications or red flags that indicate you should first seek the care of a physician, such as a hearing loss in only one ear, a sudden decrease in hearing, ear drainage or pain, and more (please take the free Mayo/Northwestern CEDRA screening).
Lexie B1 Powered by Bose hearing aid are intended for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss and provide a customized OTC hearing solution.
Key Technology in the Lexie B1 and B2 Powered by Bose
The Lexie B1/B2 Powered by Bose are RIC hearing aids—meaning a wire extends from the main processing unit situated behind the ear to a receiver (or speaker) and eartip (flexible dome) in your ear canal. This is different from the Lexie Lumen BTE which uses a slim tube and air conduction to transfer sound from the processing unit to the dome in your ear canal.
Key features of Lexie B1 and B2:
- Dual microphones for directionality that focuses on hearing the person or sound source in front of you.
- Adaptive Noise Reduction designed to improve comfort and listening in noise
- The B2 streams phone call audio directly to the hearing aids.
- Feedback suppression (reducing the risk of self-generated squelch/whistling) and wind-noise management.
- A manual volume control button on the hearing aids: press button up/down for louder/softer volume simultaneously in both hearing aids.
- Lexie App that controls volume (called “World Volume”), program settings, and directional response simultaneously in both hearing aids.
- Programs designed to match your environment, including Everyday, Indoor Noisy, Outdoor, Music, and Companion Mic (which requires an a separately purchased accessory). You can modify these programs to your personal preferences, as well.
- 7-day-a-week remote care and support.
Lexie Hearing Aid Controls and App
The Lexie app allows you to adjust the volume as well as the directionality of your hearing aids. You can adjust the volume of the hearing aids by either manually pressing the World Volume control on the back of the hearing aids or manipulating the volume control setting in the Lexie app. To make your surroundings louder, press the top part of the World Volume button; to make things quieter, press the bottom part of the World Volume button. You only need to press one button to raise/lower the volume in both hearing aids simultaneously.
The Lexie app showing screens (l to r) for the volume and tone controls, different program settings, and remote assistance of a Lexie expert who can help you with questions, adjustments, and troubleshooting.
The Lexie app also allows you to select the Front feature (a “directional setting”) on the app to focus on sounds in front of you, which is ideal for conversations in noisier environments. The Everywhere feature (an “omnidirectional setting”) lets you listen to sounds both in front and around you, which is best for general listening, walking outdoors, etc, and is the mode you’ll probably use most.
The hearing aids also allow you store your preferred settings as environment programs for frequently encountered places and situations.
Customer support for Lexie hearing aids
Lexie Care is a service provided where you get real-time help from Lexie Experts by video or voice call, 7 days a week (9am - 9pm ET). The service gives you access to advice and support from Lexie Experts who can assist you in optimizing your hearing aids.
Battery Life of Lexie B1 and B2
The Lexie B1 uses a size 312 battery and gets up to 56 hours of runtime—or up to 4 days of use with an average usage of 14 hours per day. This battery life will vary depending on the frequency of use and your listening environment.
The Lexie B2 uses a lithium-ion rechargeable battery and a full charge reportedly powers the hearing aids for up to 18 hours. It takes the hearing aids about 3 hours to fully charge.
Should you select the B1 disposable or B2 rechargeable battery model?
The Lexie B1 and B2 Powered by Bose have nearly the same features, except the Lexie B2 is rechargeable and it streams audio from iPhones. Therefore, it might seem like a no-brainer to opt for the rechargeable Lexie B2 model, even if it's more expensive. But there are some trade-offs beyond the higher price tag for any rechargeable hearing aid.
On one hand, not having to buy or replace a tiny size 312 button-cell battery once or twice a week is the obvious BIG benefit of the rechargeable hearing aid; you'll probably save more money in the long-run by not having to purchase batteries and it's better for the environment. Additionally, the small batteries can pose a real challenge for anyone with vision or dexterity problems. A less apparent benefit: rechargeable hearing aids are generally a little more waterproof and durable because they're more self-contained than a hearing aid with a swing-out battery door that can allow entry of water, dirt/dust, and debris.
The major downside to a rechargeable hearing aid is that, if you forget to charge it or it runs out of power during a long day, you might need to cool your heels (about 3 hours in this case) before it's fully recharged. In contrast, when a disposable battery is drained, you can just pop in a new one. Also, with a rechargeable model, you're tied to the charger; this may be a problem if you like remote camping or find yourself away from the power grid for any extended time (e.g., a long journey or during a natural disaster like a hurricane). Finally, most modern prescription hearing aids purchased from an audiologist last 3-7 years; however, similar to cell phones, rechargeable hearing aids generally have a shorter practical lifespan of 3-5 years because the battery power gets shorter as the years pass.
Frequently Asked Questions about Lexi B1 and B2 hearing aids?
Yes. Lexie B1 and B2 Powered by Bose are self-fitting over-the-counter (OTC) FDA-cleared Class 2 medical devices intended for adults ages 18+ who have a mild to moderate hearing loss. “OTC hearing aids” differ from prescription hearing aids in a number of ways including the fact that they are limited in volume/loudness (i.e., they're not suitable for more severe hearing losses) and they are not required to be fitted by a hearing care professional like an audiologist or hearing aid specialist.
People with mild hearing loss are broadly described as those who have situational hearing problems, often in noisy places like bars and restaurants. In contrast, people with moderate hearing loss may have difficulty hearing parts of conversational speech even in relative quiet. There are also several good independent hearing screeners that can help you determine your level of hearing loss. These include but are not limited to the Mimi Hearing Test App, the World Health Organization's hearWHO app, and AARP’s telephone-based National Hearing Test.
Lexie has a 45-day risk-free trial period, although you might have to pay for the return postage to Golden Valley, Minn (where they are manufactured). The trial period starts on the day you receive your hearing aids. Make sure to keep all the items that come with the hearing aid and its original packaging in case you need to return them. Details of the return policy are available from Lexie.
If the hearing aids don't provide you with benefit, we highly recommend that you see a hearing care professional who will be able to conduct a more accurate hearing test and recommend several other options.
No. Currently, Lexie does not work with any healthcare insurance companies, and in general direct-to-consumer hearing aids are not covered by insurance. However, there are a few private insurance and Medicare Advantage plans beginning to move toward coverage of OTC hearing aids so it wouldn't hurt to check with your provider. Lexie products are all officially FSA and HSA eligible items.
What do users say about the Lexie Hearing Aids?
So, what's the word on the street when it comes to Bose hearing aids from Lexie? I checked the Hearing Aid Forum and found the following review:
...got the Bose B1 aids and popped them in with no problem, thanks to previous hearing aid experience. No expectations that they would work well, as they were only $850 (model that takes regular batteries, not rechargeable) and not fitted professionally - DIY.
Very pleasantly surprised. I'd say they improve my hearing something like 80%. Still have to occasionally ask someone to repeat, otherwise, no problem hearing "low talkers" and people at a distance. Still some issues with mumblers, fast talkers, bad acoustic environments (echo), but much improved over no HA's at all.
Big surprise was that the sound, in comparison to previous HA's, is very natural. It's as if you took my natural hearing and turned up the volume. I can adjust the side to side volume so that everything is in the center. The sliding frequency control in the app lets me tailor the amount of bass/treble I need to understand conversation. I can use front mics only for environments with background noise and all 4 mics in quiet surroundings. I don't hear every bird tweeting in a 10 mile radius, tire noise, all the annoying sounds that the Costco aids amplified. I hear speech, TV, music, and just enough other sounds to sound natural.
My own voice doesn't sound overly loud. I don't hear the ridiculously loud sounds of my own chewing as I did with the Kirklands.
Competing OTC products and hearable alternatives to Lexie B1 / B2 Powered by Bose
You will find several good-quality competing OTC hearing aids for $1000 or less now making their way onto the market, as well as hearables, including:
- Jabra Enhance Plus is a $799 rechargeable OTC hearing aid made by the GN Group (maker of ReSound and Beltone hearing aids) that looks like modern wireless earbuds but deliver speech amplification, directional microphones, noise reduction, and feedback suppression and also stream audio and provide hands-free calling via Bluetooth® (iOS only).
- The Sony CRE-C10 self-fitting OTC is a $1000 hearing aid that has been developed by hearing aid manufacturer WS Audiology (Widex and Signia brands) and uses size 10 disposable hearing aid batteries, has a 12kHz extended bandwidth with 48 processing channels, and a reported battery life of 70 hours.
- Apple AirPods Pro 2 earbuds can be configured to perform much like an OTC hearing aid for situational use, but they have some notable limitations, including a limited battery life.
Additionally, you might consider the following that may involve professional hearing care:
- Check to see if your insurance plan covers the cost of prescriptive hearing aids or if you might gain coverage from the VA, TRICARE, Medicaid, etc. Some insurance programs may start covering OTC hearing aids, as well.
- Most hearing care clinics and retail offices, including Costco and Sam's Club, carry sub-$1000 prescription hearing aids that include a professional fitting; they just don't spend money advertising these hearing aids—so call them and explain you're interested in their lowest cost prescriptive hearing aid and you're considering buying an OTC aid.
Pros and Cons of Lexie B1 and B2 Powered by Bose Hearing Aids
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: Lexie Powered by Bose B2.
Bose Model Comparison
|Lexie Powered by Bose B1||Lexie Powered by Bose B2|
|Made For iPhone||
Lowest iOS Version
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bose Technology Details
|Lexie Powered by Bose|
$849 / pair
$999 / pair (B2)
|Self-fitting||Tuned based on hearing test through device|
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 email@example.com.
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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Hearing Tracker uses a ten-question survey to assess consumer feedback on hearing aids. The percentage bars below reflect the average ratings provided per question, averaged across all hearing aids belonging to this family of devices.
Note: Original answers provided in star rating format.
I'm very happy with my purchase. Zero issues and prefer not to have to travel to the hearing clinic... I'm out in the boonies.
I purchased a pair of Lexie B2 hearing aids from a family whose mother recently passed. She supposedly never wore them, but I bought a new domes just in case. I basically bought these as a backup pair in case my currently 12 year old aids ever decide to die. I was extremely disappointed in theses aids. Doing an online hearing test, which of course isn't the best source, the best I was able to do was one notch better than no hearing aids. At most frequencies, there was no noticeable improvement. I then tried them in my regular environment to see if maybe they'd work better in such situations. Nope! Despite having the volume turned all the way up, the overall improvement to hearing was basically nil. Very disappointed in these aids and definitely not worth their retail price.
I wanted to buy the Bose hearing aids when they first came out, but I was holding out for something rechargeable. These have really exceeded my expectations in many ways, most importantly, I am hearing much much better than before. I still struggle in noise, and I'm a little disappointed that Bose didn't find a way to stream bluetooth audio to these. I'm going back and forth between the hearing aids and my bose wireless buds. It works well enough, and probably music would sound terrible through these hearing aids anyway. I've heard that most people are unhappy with music through their aids.
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