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iqbuds2 max and bose hearphones side-by-side

A look at two innovative devices for enhanced hearing

A recent article by WebMD provides a good synopsis of the motivating factors behind the pending, FDA-regulated category for over-the-counter hearing aids.

While an estimated 30 million Americans have hearing loss, only about one to three in 10 adults over age 50 who might benefit from hearing aids use them. This matters because hearing loss can lead to social isolation, a decline in memory and thinking skills, and a higher risk for dementia. But hearing aids, the primary treatment for hearing loss in older adults, simply aren’t an option for many Americans.

January 29, 2019 – WebMD

In the face of such massive need for more affordable and accessible solutions, a growing number of hearable solutions have emerged. Particularly among the large percentage of adults with mild-to-moderate, untreated hearing loss, such devices offer new alternatives for better hearing.

Two hearables with strikingly different form factors, yet many similar features, are the IQbuds² MAX (Nuheara) and BOSE’s Hearphones. Both devices enhance hearing and allow the wearer to augment and control the sound of their physical world in addition to their digital audio. Both offer strong battery life and high quality sound. In the opinion of Dr. Cliff Olson, AuD, expert reviewer for Hearing Tracker, both the BOSE Hearphones and IQbuds BOOST (the 2018 predecessor to IQbuds² MAX) received high marks:

Below is detailed look at how the products compare side-by-side with respect to various features.


Form Factor

Truly wireless earbuds.
IQbuds² MAX

Hearphones

Earbuds connected via wire to around-the-neck yoke.
BOSE Hearphones


Price

$399.00 (US)
IQbuds² MAX

$499.95 $429.95 (US)
BOSE Hearphones


Product Weight

16 grams (0.56 ounces) – Both earbuds
IQbuds² MAX

64 grams (2.25 ounces) – Complete unit
BOSE Hearphones


Directional Hearing

Focus directional hearing technology isolates and enhances sounds directly in front of the user. Controlled via IQbuds App or via custom tap touch on earbud.
IQbuds² MAX

The microphones within the earbuds can be configured via the Bose Hear app or from the buttons on the side of the inline remote on the connecting wires.
BOSE Hearphones


Automatic Personalization / Calibration

Ear ID analyzes your hearing thresholds using a prescription formula (NAL-NL2) & calibrates IQbuds² MAX to your personal hearing profile.
IQbuds² MAX

*Not available.
All sound augmentation must be manually adjusted.
BOSE Hearphones


World Volume Control

Adjust outside world volume up or down using IQbuds App or tap on the earbud to turn World On/Off.
IQbuds² MAX

Turn real-world sound up or down based on where you are using the Bose Hearphone app or headset controls.
BOSE Hearphones


World Noise EQ

Use World Equalization via IQbuds smartphone application to adjust low and/or high-frequency sounds for outside world.
IQbuds² MAX

optimize real-world sound by making everything you hear brighter or deeper.
BOSE Hearphones


Ear Balance

Hearing profile assessed for each ear independently during Ear ID set-up. Earbuds auto-calibrated accordingly on each side.
IQbuds² MAX

Individually adjust each earbud through the Bose Hear smartphone application.
BOSE Hearphones


Balance World Noise vs. Speech

Speech-in-Noise Control (SINC) Wheel adjusts balance between world noise and speech through the IQbuds smartphone application.
IQbuds² MAX

*Not available.
World noise controls limited to volume, bass and treble, and directivity.
BOSE Hearphones


Customizable Location Settings

Enable optimal listening for 7 pre-set locations (home, office, restaurant, driving, plane, workout, street). Locations can be customized + saved through IQbuds smartphone application & accessed via tap touch.
IQbuds² MAX

“Modes” feature enables user to save and store device settings for common uses via Bose Hear smartphone application.
BOSE Hearphones


Accessories Included

3 pairs silicone reusable tips, 3 pairs of Comply memory foam tips, pocket-sized charging case, soft cloth travel pouch and charging cable.
IQbuds² MAX

3 sizes of custom tips, a carrying case for unit, and charging cable.
BOSE Hearphones


Battery Charging Time

1.5 hours.
IQbuds² MAX

3 hours.
BOSE Hearphones


Battery Life

5 hours of Bluetooth streaming / 8 hours of hearing amplification only on a single charge.
IQbuds² MAX

Up to 10 hours per full charge on average.
BOSE Hearphones


aptX Compatibility

aptX & aptX low latency compatible.
IQbuds² MAX

*Not available.
BOSE Hearphones



February 28th, 2019