Lexie B2 Hearing Aids Review: Great Sound, Geriatric Look

While some shopper electronics firms, like Sony, have jumped immediately into the burgeoning over-the-counter listening to support market, others are getting there by way of partnerships. The newest of those is veteran audio producer Bose, which is “powering” listening to aids from a producer referred to as Lexie. Recently I took its newest mannequin, the Lexie B2 “Powered by Bose,” out for a spin by way of my auditory meatus.

Like the remainder of the business of late, Lexie’s B2s are self-fitting, over-the-counter listening to aids, which suggests you should buy them anyplace (not simply from a licensed listening to support retailer) and regulate them your self, with out the involvement of a physician or audiologist.

But in contrast to the opposite OTC listening to aids I’ve tried of late, that are designed to suit fully inside the ear canal, Lexie’s use a extra conventional design, with the electronics becoming behind the ear and a small wire connecting to a receiver which inserts within the ear canal. While technically generally known as receiver-in-the-ear (RITE), the design has an look very similar to that of an old-school behind-the-ear unit.

The physique of the listening to support nestles behind your ear, the place it is held in place by a stiff loop of wire main from the earpiece.

Photograph: Lexie

Having {hardware} exterior to the ear canal is problematic, foremost due to the way in which it seems. While new-school in-the-ear listening to aids are just about invisible, the RITE design telegraphs “I’m losing my hearing” from throughout the room, which most likely isn’t the aesthetic that almost all customers are searching for. While Lexie’s B2 is definitely svelte—every support weighs simply over 3 grams—they’re removed from invisible, and the impact on one’s look is decidedly growing older. There’s merely no manner you possibly can faux these are earbuds.

Getting began with Lexie was a bit comical, involving textual content verification codes that went nowhere and infinite pages of phrases and situations to scroll by way of earlier than I might begin utilizing the items. Fortunately, the primary portion of the app is a lot better designed, that includes an intuitive interface that allows you to regulate “world volume,” the general amplification stage, on one aspect of the display screen and set your choice for bass or treble on the opposite. Additional features allow you to regulate the stability between your proper and left ears—or mute an ear individually—and select amongst preconfigured environments (noise indoor, open air, music, or on a regular basis). You can set as much as 10 private environmental settings and select between two directional modes, whether or not you wish to amplify audio from all over the place or simply in entrance of you.

As is the case with most listening to aids, these extra refined settings might be hit-or-miss on the Lexie B2, because the grasp quantity setting is by far probably the most impactful. However, I discovered that they are often price toying with for those who actually wish to get nuanced about your audio expertise. Unfortunately, the Lexie B2 has no coaching characteristic that allows you to measure your listening to loss or fine-tune your listening to, equalizer-style, which makes it all of the extra shocking {that a} 124-page handbook is required to elucidate how all of this works.

Putting the aids on can also be one thing of a problem, and whereas there’s clearly a studying curve that may be overcome by the persistent, I by no means obtained to the purpose the place it was straightforward to slide a unit on with only one hand. Most problematic, although, is that I simply didn’t discover the items snug. Although the gadget consists of ideas (Lexie calls them domes) in three sizes and two kinds—open or closed—I by no means discovered any that each match nicely and didn’t finally begin to itch, although the smaller ones have been much less irritating. The silicone domes really feel gentle to the contact of a finger, however they sadly really feel a bit rougher within the ear.

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