Bose Corporation was probably the best known brand to enter the race to produce hearables for people with hearing impairment. Bose first made the company’s intentions clear with a website for Bose Hearphones in 2016. in mid-2021, Bose announced that the FDA-cleared over-the-counter (OTC) Bose SoundControl Hearing Aids would be available to customers in five states. On July 26, 2022, however, the company announced that Bose will no longer manufacture or sell Bose SoundControl Hearing Aids.

In the same news release Bose announced a new partnership with Lexie Hearing, a U.S. direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales hearing aid company. We wrote about Lexie Hearing’s Lexie Lumen DTC digital hearing aids in 2020. The Bose and Lexie partnership will incorporate Bose’s self-fitting hearing aid technology with Lexie’s hearing aid products. The new Lexie B1 Hearing Aids will be Powered by Bose. This technology will enable Lexie customers to fit, program, and adjust Lexie hearing aids without requiring a visit to a doctor, a hearing test, or a prescription.

While we don’t know the factors behind the company’s decision, the Bose market departure as a standalone brand for hearables is a bit of a surprise. Bose is a leader in noise cancellation headphones and one of the premier brands for over-the-ear headphones and in-ear earbuds. The high-level decisions involved in the change might have focused on developing and marketing hearables for comfort and entertainment. By developing technology for Lexie Hearing, Bose can continue working in the hearing health field in its development labs and licensing departments, but leave the manufacturing and marketing to an established company in the hearing assistance space.