Hearing Tracker has broken the news that Sivantos (formerly Siemens Hearing Instruments) and Audibene have launched Hear.com, a new online hearing-aid sales and support site for consumers in the U.S. The site builds on Audibene’s success in Europe operating its own online hearing site and presents head-to-head competition with Sonova’s HearingPlanet web site. Click here to read Hearing Tracker’s exclusive report. [Read more…]
Update 2/3/2017: Kirkland Signature 7.0 was recently released. Read reviews for the KS7 Costco hearing aids.
Costco has made a quiet entry into the Made-for-iPhone hearing aid market, selling its own Kirkland-brand iPhone-compatible hearing aids for $1,799.99 a pair. The new Kirkland Signature 6.0 hearing aids, utilizing technology from Big-Six hearing aid maker GN ReSound, can receive phone calls, music, podcasts and other audio directly from Apple iPhones, iPads or iPod Touch devices without requiring an intermediate streaming device.
With an aggressive price point for advanced iPhone-compatible features, the hearing aids are Costco’s latest move to expand its footprint in the global hearing-aid market. Once a provider of entry-level hearing aids based on older generations of technology, the “big box” retailer is now pushing up-market by offering higher performance products at attractive prices. Volume purchasing agreements and low-overhead “store-within-a-store” hearing aid centers have enabled Costco to gain market share by undercutting prices charged by independent audiologists. [Read more…]
Hearing Review’s report on the 4.8 percent increase in 2014 U.S. hearing aid unit sales underscores the roles Costco and the Veterans Administration (VA) have played in driving the growth of the hearing industry. The report shows that Costco, the “big box” retailer, and the government-funded VA accounted for nearly a third of the more than three million units sold in the U.S. last year, with both channels growing three-to-five times faster than sales through independent audiologists. What makes Costco and the VA different from private independent sellers, whose growth rate was less than three percent? Lower prices, for one thing. But the fact that both the VA and Costco are delivering better products than ever before may be even more important. [Read more…]