Costco’s market share of the U.S. market
Founded in 1976 under the name Price Club, Costco is known for its careful selection of quality products while also keeping costs down for its members.
In addition to food, drink, and household electronics, Costco has branched out with great success in several other areas, including travel, rental cars, pharmaceuticals, and hearing aids. As of 2019, Costco was the largest private provider of hearing aids in the United States, capturing 11% of the U.S. market. In part, this is due to low Costco hearing aid prices, especially for the company’s Kirkland Signature hearing aids.
Costco’s most significant selling feature is the price. While most hearing aids cost an average of $2,000 per ear, Kirkland hearing aids cost as little as $1499 for a pair and come with warranties and loss/damage coverage, as well as a free Costco hearing test, free hearing aid cleanings, follow-up appointments, and checkups.
Costco also carries a selection of hearing aids other than Kirkland hearing aids. In most cases, these hearing aids are less expensive than average. The necessary trade-off is that you get a functional hearing aid without higher-end options and features.
Kirkland is Costco’s house brand and used for products as varied as coffee, fresh produce, and hearing aids. Kirkland hearing aids are manufactured by Sonova International and use the Sonova Sword chip, a wireless chip that makes the hearing aid Bluetooth compatible.
The Kirkland Signature 9.0 is a reliable hearing aid if somewhat stripped of extra features. The hearing aid is a receiver-in-ear model that auto-adjusts program settings to match the surrounding environment. A pair of hearing aids can share information through binaural signal processing.
Kirkland hearing aids can connect to televisions, music players, and phones. The hearing aids can automatically distinguish between music and conversation when streaming audio, and they support hands-free phone use.
Also offered by Costco, the behind-the-ear Philips HearLink 9010 makes use of Oticon Open Hardware and offers more features than Kirkland hearing aids, including:
The downside is the price. While Kirkland hearing aids cost $1499 for a set of hearing aids, the Philips HearLink 9010 costs $1249.00 per hearing aid.
As we’ve noted, the biggest advantage of Costco hearing aids is price. If you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive, bare-bones hearing aid, Costco may be the solution you need. If you’re looking for more advanced hearing aids, you may want to look elsewhere.
None of the three hearing aids discussed above have tinnitus features, and only one – the Philips HearLink – offers the convenience of rechargeable batteries. Kirkland hearing aids lack telecoils, a feature in many other hearing aids that allows users to listen to audio broadcasts in airports, auditoriums, and other public places.
Kirkland Signature 9.0: $1499 for two hearing aids
Philips HearLink 9010: $1249.99 per hearing aid
Rexton Adore iX: $1249.99 to $1499.99 per hearing aid
Convenience is a large part of the Costco hearing aid experience; you can get a free Costco hearing test, try out hearing aids, and then go shopping. While Costco does hire some audiologists, most staff members conducting hearing tests are hearing aid specialists.
Even if you choose to purchase your hearing aids through Costco, it’s recommended you speak to a licensed hearing care professional for your hearing test. They can provide the best possible evaluation of your hearting and help you choose the best hearing aid for you and your lifestyle.
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