Nuheara continues its role as a leading force among hearables companies. We’ve seen several companies start and then back out of the hearables device space, including Doppler Labs and Bragi (although Bragi has shifted focus to software and hearables platform development from its former role as a manufacturer). Nuheara announced IQbuds, the company’s first smart hearables device in Fall 2016 and started shipping in early 2017. Nuheara followed up in 2018 with IQbuds Boost, with notable hardware improvements but also adding a more radical feature. IQbuds Boost includes Nuheara’s proprietary Ear ID hearing threshold calibration software that incorporates National Acoustics Labs’ NAL-NL2 self-fit protocol that previously had only been used by professional audiologists. I have used Ear ID and IQbuds Boost and can attest to the quality of the products and the improved hearing I enjoy when I wear the hearables.

Nuheara recently announced a new direct to consumer self-care hearing platform that starts with a first-level online hearing assessment. Nuheara’s technology is intended to help with mild-to-moderate hearing impairment. If the online test suggests that the device is appropriate for their needs, customers then can purchase IQbuds Boost which includes the Ear ID hearing threshold calibration software. Previously available only with a one-time $500 payment, Nuheara’s new program includes a 12-month purchase plan via a account. With the 12-month plan, customers pay $1.50 per day for the Nuheara IQbuds Boost, with 12 equal payments.

When the U.S. Congress passed the Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act, motivation for the bill’s passage was powered by the evidence that 80% of people who needed hearing aids failed to get the help they needed due to the cost of medical exams and hearing aids. The OTC Hearing Aid Act won’t take effect until 2021, but Nuhera’s direct-to-consumer hearing self-assessment and IQbuds Boost hearables payment programs enable consumers to get help with mild to moderate hearing problems now, without the aid of a professional audiologist. We expect to see other companies follow Nuheara’s lead, but for now, this sets a new standard for consumer access to hearing support.