Let’s jump right in: Bluetooth hearing aids versus custom earbuds. It’s an ultimate battle of hearing technology pitted against each other; but really, doesn’t everyone win when they’re treating hearing loss? Heck yes! However, if you’re looking to compare options, look no further than ExtremeTech’s review of the Audicus Wave against the Nuheara IQbuds2 Max. Welcome to our all-star match-up of Bluetooth hearing aids versus hearing assistance products.

In one corner, the Bluetooth hearing aid: Audicus Wave

While we’re certainly partial to this contender, what can we expect from Audicus’ Bluetooth hearing aids? First, superb customer service. Especially during the time of COVID-19 where we are asked not to leave the house unless absolutely necessary, it is quite convenient to take a hearing test online, order hearing aids online, and receive calibrated hearing aids in the mail. The 45-day return policy and reprogramming offerings don’t hurt either.

Regarding the technology, ExtremeTech reviewer David Cardinal liked the options of the 4 profiles for general life, conversation, music, and large spaces. This way, the hearing aids can adjust to the situation and pick up the sounds you want to hear. Cardinal also commented how good the music quality was when listening via Bluetooth headphones over traditional earbuds.

The Wave has a firm grip, fit great within the ear, and provides excellent audio during phone calls as well. Imagine, next time you need to make a phone call using your hearing aids instead of listening through a quiet phone speaker with feedback. The sound quality improves immensely and also allows the person on the other end of the phone call to hear you better. A superior conversation all around!

Some other nuts and bolts that makes the Wave a great purchase are the ease of recharging (no fussy battery replacement) and the user-friendly app that allows you to make changes to the hearing aid in real-time.

In the other corner, the personal hearing device: Nuheara IQbuds2 Max

Unlike the Audicus Wave, the IQbuds 2 Max are not actually hearing aids. They also aren’t exactly earbuds either. They’re a sort of smart Bluetooth headphone hybrid with even more options than you might expect. For the person in your life with hearing loss who doesn’t yet need hearing aids, this might be the right option.

When using the Nuheara devices and the accompanying smartphone app, you can control the volumes on the outside world, ambient sounds, and tonal balance. Once you find the balances you prefer, you can create presets for yourself or utilize their preconfigured options, such as home, workout, restaurant, or driving. Additionally, once you take the hearing test in their app, the earbuds will optimize sounds to your specific hearing levels, making it a perfect fit for you. The test measures volumes from 20 to 70 decibels in both ears, so each earbud is in entirely sync.

So who comes out on top? Depends on your need. No matter the Wave for hearing aids or the IQbuds2 Max for headphones, your ears will always win!

By: Diana Ford


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