Yes, Bose QC has some passive noise reduction due to the muffling effect of covering the entire ear, on top of the active noise cancellation that they do via circuitry. But when compared this situation of noise cancellation when streaming from a SEPARATE source of audio, I think the hearing aids are performing on par in terms of passive noise reduction as long as the HA wearer is not fitted with open vent. HAs don’t really do active noise cancellation in this situation actually from what I can tell. They simply give you the option to turn the mics off, but the open vent, if very large, will allow noise to get in, as well as bleed the low frequencies of the streamed audio out as well. But then the HAs are not marketing or designed as noise cancelling devices anyway. And you can still use the HAs together with the noise cancelling headphones just the same as a normal hearing for the most part, assuming that your HA’s feedback issue is solved.
I wouldn’t say that HAs fail to provide better performance in noise like you think. I think that the opinion you have here is of a minority only, as evident from the responses on this thread, at least. The current solution the HA industry has in terms of directional beam forming, or even the new approach to noise reduction by the Oticon OPN, work for the most part with the majority of HA wearers. But it’s not perfect yet and it’s still the holy grail, and there’ll always be a minority of users who still don’t find the performance adequate for them yet in noisy places so they go out to see a different solution in these new hearing devices. But the jury is still out on whether these new devices like from Nuheara or HearOne or the Bose product have really achieved this holy grail. I highly doubt it. If they get good reviews from the public, it’d be mostly from people with fairly normal hearing, at least good enough hearing to not need HAs and only seek some temporary relief in noisy places. So in general, any solution would be a better solution than no solution at all. But I’d bet that if these people had been fit with hearing aids, they would find that the noise reduction performance of the HAs to be effective for them just as well, if not even better than these new devices.
I don’t think the miniaturization of HAs is the cause and compromise for them to not have good performance in noisy places. The issue is really a technical one and it’s simply just not easy to be able to distinguish what’s noise and what’s speech and be able to separate it intelligently if noise and speech are from the same source. I really don’t think that the mfgs of these new devices have achieved any ground breaking discovery that makes their new device superior to what the HA industry already has. I think they’re simply copying the directional beam forming approach that’s already been employed and incorporate it into their devices. If they get good reviews for it, it’d simply be because it’s being applied to the common masses who have normal hearing and only seek temporary relief from noisy places to understand speech better, so to them, “anything is better than nothing” for a device costing only a few hundred bucks. And besides, the common mass have very good hearing in the first place, so any easy relief is effective for their good hearing. Meanwhile, to the hearing challenged folks wearing HAs, “anything is better than nothing” is not the same standard for them because their device cost is in the thousands of dollars range, and on top of that, they truly have legitimate hearing challenges that must be addressed. So in general, comparing the success of a lower priced device (in the few hundred dollar range) that serve the normal hearing public to the success of a higher price device (in the thousand dollar range) that serve the hearing challenged folks are really comparing apples and oranges. They cater to 2 entirely different groups and you can’t generalize that if they’re good for the normal hearing group, then they’ll be just as good for the hearing challenged group.