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$899 OTC Hearing Aid Vs. $4,500 Prescription Hearing Aid

August 6, 2022
Blake Cadwell
Written by
Blake Cadwell
Blake Cadwell

Blake Cadwell is a hearing aid wearer and co-founder at Soundly. He regularly tests and reviews hearing technology to share his experience with Soundly’s readers. Blake's research and perspectives have been featured in the The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, AARP and FastCompany.

Soundly Staff
Reviewed by
Soundly Staff
Soundly Staff

Soundly conducts in-depth research to guide prospective hearing aid wearers. Our work is funded through reader support. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.

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If you’ve spent much time reading this blog, you’ll know that we review hearing aids in every shape, size, and style. You might also know that my guides to the best hearing aids include products at a wide range of price points.

Today we’re going to do something a little different. Instead of a well-rounded list of options, I’m going to compare just two hearing aids in a “head-to-head” style matchup.  

We'll compare the $4,500 ReSound ONE hearing aids to the $899 new Bose hearing aids.

Like the refs in a Monday Night game, you might not agree with my call. Every person’s hearing and budget are different, and you’re entitled to throw a pillow at the screen if you think I get it wrong.

One important note: Bose hearing aids are best for mild-moderate hearing loss while ReSound ONE can work for mild - profound loss.

Head-to-Head Rules:

This matchup will go six rounds, with a winner in each category.

Round One | Aesthetic - Which hearing aid (aid carry case) serves looks?  
Round Two | Price - Show me the money.
Round Three | Comfort - Like a hug for your ears?
Round Four | Performance - Time to deliver the goods.
Round Five | Extra Features - What else you got?
Round Six | Care - Who you gonna call?

Round One - Aesthetic

Image of Bose hearing aids side by side with ReSound ONE hearing aids

Bose hearing aids come with a mesh carry case that looks great on your desk or in your bag. The hearing aids look nothing like the big, beige hearing aids of the past. Right now, Bose hearing aids only come in tech-forward gray color. To me, the whole package looks more like a pair of headphones than a medical device.

This round was close because ReSound ONE is one of the sleekest hearing aids on the market. ReSound offers a wide range of colors and a slightly bulkier (but more functional) recharge case. I love the slim, pointed ends on this design. But still, I’ve got to give this round to Bose for their fashionable case and modern color choice.

Round One Winner: Bose

Round Two - Price

Image of Resound hearing aids and Bose hearing aids

This one was easy. Bose hearing aids are just $899 for a pair through (Bose does not sell directly). ReSound ONE hearing aids cost around $7,500 if you walk into an audiology clinic. Depending on your tech level, you can get ReSound ONE through pre-negotiated prices from $3,198 to $4,598—more on hearing aid prices here.

Round Two Winner: Bose ✅✅

Round Three - Comfort

Image of a woman and man wearing ReSound and Bose hearing aids

Bose and ReSound ONE hearing aids are a similar size. Both designs sit behind the ear. Bose devices have a stiffer receiver wire that gives a clean appearance and prevents movement. That’s good, but the more rigid wire is slightly less comfortable after a long day of wear. It’s enough to give ReSound ONE their first win.

Round Three Winner: ReSound ONE

Round Four - Performance

Resound hearing aids vs Bose

ReSound ONE is a leading hearing aid with the latest tech set, including:

  • Bluetooth streaming on iPhone and Android
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Sophisticated sound algorithms that sort out background noise
  • Fully customizable (and remotely adjustable) by an audiologist

Bose takes a different path with a simple (hard-working) device that you program yourself. Bose offers:

  • Self-programming app
  • Two microphones instead of three
  • Less sophisticated sound algorithms for background noise suppression (still very effective for most situations)
  • Disposable battery powered

Bose hearing aids are innovative and well reviewed by customers and professionals. They are good, but they are also simple. ReSound ONE wins this round handily.

Round Four Winner: ReSound ONE ✅✅

Round Five - Extra Features

Image of ReSound ONE accessories and hands free calls

ReSound ONE offers extra features like hands-free calling on Apple devices (tap your hearing aid to answer a call) and a full range of accessories like remote controls and TV streamers. Bose keeps it simple with just their hearing aids and the fitting app.

Round Five Winner: ReSound ONE ✅✅✅

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Round Six - Care

Image of Lexie care for Bose hearing aids and audiologists fitting ReSound hearing aids

Bose and ReSound take entirely different approaches to care.

ReSound ONE hearing aids are only sold through prescription channels (you can’t buy them directly). That means you'll work with a local clinic to test your hearing and customize your hearing loss. That local clinic will offer 1-3 years of follow-up appointments, cleanings, and tech support.

Bose takes the audiologist out of the equation and uses technology to let you program your hearing aids. You'll get lifetime support from a remote hearing expert through Lexie (read more here), but you'll be in the driver's seat.

Working with a local clinic gets you more hands-on care and customization, but a product like Bose gives you more freedom and a lower price.

I'm giving this round to ReSound ONE, but I would be remiss not to give Bose's care partner, Lexie, a shout-out for their impressive customer service.

Round Six Winner: ReSound ONE ✅✅✅✅

Time to Tally The Score

ReSound ONE hearing aid comes with more tech and more in-person care. But also a hefty price.

Bose uses a different strategy by giving customers the power to program their devices through an innovative app. Bose hearing aids also cut out bells and whistles to keep their prices low.

So who’s it going to be? Drumroll, please…

ReSound ONE is the winner of this head-to-head 🏆

…but for the price, I’ve got to say that Bose put up a heckuva fight. What’s the saying? Never bring a knife to a gunfight.

I hope you enjoyed this breakdown. Let me know what you think about these two hearing aids at

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