Jabra Enhance Select 500 review: Excellent hearing aids

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Most of the extra features on the 500 – including Jabra’s Soundscape speech clarity technology, top-notch support from professional audiologists and even a choice of five colours – haven’t changed in any way. A single button on both aids still controls volume (right button up, left button down) and a choice of four operational modes. Unlike many hearing aids, the button is large enough and well placed so you can easily find it without having to fumble around behind your ear.

The Jabra Enhance Select 500 use the same app as other Jabra hearing aids, and this time setup and management are the same. The app works great, is easy to navigate, and it’s easy to contact Jabra support if you want to change your listening profile, order a longer receiver wire, or just ask how things work. There are (still) plenty of eartips included to make proper fitting easier.

Impressive audio performance

Once again, I have no complaints about the 500’s audio performance, and I couldn’t notice any difference between the 300 and 500. Hiss is minimal and nearly absent at low volumes, and the different listening modes are thoughtful but not entirely necessary. The all-around mode works fine in nearly all situations. As I commented about the 300 Series at the time, these hearing aids boost audio just the right amount where I need it, never blowing my ears away or amplifying the wrong types of sounds such as footsteps, keyboard taps, or squeaking chairs.

Two dark grey rear hearing aids with grey cushions on wooden surface

Photo: Chris Null

The only real drawback is that the media streaming quality is pretty poor, making music sound like it’s being piped in from a tin can on a wire across the room. I’d only consider using aids like this for the occasional telephone call or in an emergency. Again: no change from the 300 on this front, although the 500 now only supports tap-based phone control on Android rather than iOS.

If there’s a problem here, it’s the price: The Jabra Enhance Select 500 hearing aids cost the same as the 300 when we originally reviewed them: $1,995 with a three-year warranty and support, or $1,795 with a one-year warranty and no access to Jabra’s audiologists. The first option is the one worth considering; Jabra’s audiologist tweaks make all the difference.

The real question is whether you should consider the Enhance Select 300 instead. Now priced at $1,695 (or $1,495 with a one-year warranty), the older model is 18 percent cheaper and, after all, only 3 percent heavier. Look at it another way: Is the FOMO worth $300?

The solution to this is left as an exercise for the reader.

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