Lexie Partners with Bose to Offer Lexie B1 Powered by Bose Hearing Aids
Lexie Hearing, a US direct-to-consumer hearing aid provider, announced today it will be offering self-fitting hearing aid technology which was formerly featured in the Bose SoundControl hearing aid. The new Lexie hearing aids will be Powered by Bose and allow people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss to fit, program, and control their hearing aids with what the company reports is “clinically proven, audiologist-quality results—without a doctor visit, hearing test, or prescription.”
The Lexie B1 Powered by Bose is priced at a $100 premium to the Lexie Lumen.
With this new partnership, Bose SoundControl™ Hearing Aids will no longer be manufactured or sold, according to the company, although Bose will continue to support customers who have previously purchased the product. The Lexie B1 and SoundControl devices appear to be very similar if not the same, based on appearance and features.
The Lexie B1 Hearing Aids Powered by Bose are priced at $899—$100 more than the Lexie Lumen hearing aid—and are available at lexiehearing.com starting today. The Lexie Lumen hearing aid is manufactured by Minneapolis-based Intricon, a longtime manufacturer and developer of “white label” hearing aids and hearables, and the owner of HearingHelp Express.
Bose SoundControl hearing aids.
As the first FDA-cleared self-fitting hearing aid, Bose SoundControl helped define what will soon be known as over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids via an FDA de novo application in October 2018 and a Class II medical device designation one year later. The product and its CustomTune self-fitting system, based on the Ear Machine app (purchased by Bose in 2014), was originally priced at $849.95 a pair but did not offer the same product support consultation as Lexie.
The Bose SoundControl hearing aid was launched in May 2021 and the product attained impressive clinical results for its self-fitting method. However, a May 2022 article in the Boston Globe suggests lackluster sales in several new divisions, “from hearing aids to audio glasses,” eventually led to Bose’s exit from the hearing aid market in order to concentrate their efforts on core products.
The Bose-Lexie partnership shouldn’t be a huge surprise, since they have a mutual history. Bose Ventures led an $8.3 million funding round for Lexie Hearing’s parent company, hearX, investing $3 million of its own capital at the end of 2019. Central to the hearX global hearing care strategy is supplying disruptive, affordable digital solutions that support audiologists—including a tablet-based hearing test solution for diagnostic assessments outside a sound booth.
In March 2021, Lexie Hearing collaborated with Walgreens, the second-largest US pharmacy store chain and its Walgreens Find Care® to offer free “online hearing test + results” and expert consultation with Lexie Lumen hearing aids.
“We selected Lexie Hearing as our partner to continue to deliver our industry-redefining technology because of our shared mission to make hearing aids more accessible and affordable,” said Nick Smith, senior vice president of Bose strategy and business development, in a press statement. “Their understanding of the complex regulated hearing aid market, and ability to reach more of the millions of people who suffer from hearing loss today, was also critical to our decision. Bose remains committed to developing technologies and innovative experiences that improve how people hear the world around them.”
“This partnership with Bose represents an exciting evolution for Lexie Hearing and its commitment to making hearing healthcare accessible to everyone, everywhere,” said Nic Klopper, founder and CEO of Lexie Hearing and hearX Group. “The Lexie B1 Hearing Aids Powered by Bose are one of the most revolutionary devices of its kind, marrying convenience and customer service with Bose’s groundbreaking self-fitting technology and customization. By offering top-quality products like these, especially as the FDA prepares to permit the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids this year, we will give more people control of their hearing.”
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