Updated June 4, 2019
Outside of the Veteran’s Administration, Costco is the largest provider of hearing aids in the United States. Analysts have pegged Costco to currently hold more than 11% market share of all hearing aid sold in the US, with continued growth rates of its hearing aid centers over the past several years exceeding 20% year-over-year.
As Holly Hosford-Dunn, PhD, recently pointed out in her series on Costco’s Hearing Aid Center growth and business model, “As fast as Costco warehouses have multiplied, Costco Hearing Aid Centers have multiplied faster.”
Understandably, hearing aid manufacturers have been watching this trend for years and have taken notice. Today, four of the “Big Six” hearing aid manufacturers (which in 2019, became the Big 51) are selling their hearing aids in Costco warehouses across North America.
Reviewing Hearing Aids Available at Costco: An Overview
Hearing aid brands available for sale at Costco Hearing Aid Centers include: Phonak, Rexton, GN ReSound, and Philips.
ReSound launched its Forte hearing aids in the fall of 2017 into Costco, which was then subsequently replaced with the Vida line of hearing aids. The Vida family of instruments offers a full line of custom, Behind-the-Ear (BTE) and Reciever-In-Canal (RIC) styles.
Unlike the company’s previous devices at Costco, the new Vida family has an optional rechargeable battery option offered in its Receiver-In-Canal form factor, which utilizes the silver-zinc battery system from Zpower.
ReSound’s Vida, like its Linx 3D and Quattro devices outside of Costco, offer direct connection to iPhone and work with the company’s Smart 3D app (GN is also reportedly be working with Google for direct connection to Android smartphones in the latter half of 2019).
The hearing aids are also compatible with various wireless accessories:
Phonak became the 4th vendor in Costco after launching its Brio hearing aids into Costco in 2014. The company’s most recent technology, the Brio 3, is now the 3rd generation of hearing devices released into Costco from Phonak.
The Brio 3 is offered as a full family of custom, Behind-the-Ear (BTE) and Reciever-In-Canal (RIC) styles.
- The Brio 3 R-R, Receiver-In-Canal model offers lithium ion rechargeability for all day use
- The Brio 3 R-C, Reciever-In-Canal model using a size 13 battery, offers “Made for All” bluetooth technology allowing direct connectivity, hands-free calling from iPhone, Android and even classic phones using bluetooth.
- The Phonak Remote app is offered exclusively for the Brio 3 R-C and gives users the ability to Control focus of their hearing aids between environmental sounds and the streaming signal (e.g. television or phone).
While GN ReSound and Phonak are familiar names, both inside and outside of Costco, Rexton is not as familiar. A sister company to Signia (formerly Siemens), Rexton aids can be found at Costco stores in the US and were also offered at CVS Hearing Centers until CVS shuttered its hearing aid centers nationwide in early 2019.
The most current hearing aid family available from Rexton is the Adore line, which replaces the previous Legato family of instruments. The Adore family is offered in a full line of custom, BTE and RIC styles. Among the styles offered, Rexton is one of the only manufacturers in Costco to offer a lithium-ion rechargeable device (Adore Li), as well as a nearly invisible standard fitting device (Adore iX) that fits in the ear canal without an impression.
Rexton, like their other counterparts in Costco, offer wireless accessories and charging options. The company was the supplier of the previous Kirkland Signature 7.0, and is also the supplier of current Kirkland Signature 8.0 hearing aids, which means the company almost certainly holds the largest market share in Costco today–perhaps 50% or more.
Part of the Demant Group (which also owns the Oticon and Sonic hearing aid brands), Bernafon had been present in Costco for many years. However, in spring of 2019, the company decided to remove the Bernafon brand from Costco and instead, launched its new Philips-branded devices in Costco warehouses in May 2019.
Philips hearing aids are the newest addition to Costco and were released in US stores in early May 2019. According to company representatives, the Philips HearLink hearing aids at Costco include the following styles:
- miniRITE T
- miniRITE T R (lithium-ion rechargeable)
- BTE P
The new Philips hearing aids are Made for iPhone to allow direct streaming of calls and audio to iPhone. The devices also offer compatibility with the HearLink app for iOS and Android:
Costco Hearing Aid Prices
(Updated: May 2019)
Unlike many hearing aid retailers, Costco is unique in that it maintains a set pricing structure2 and
offers technology at 3 levels: Entry level ($499.99 each), Advanced ($899.99 each) and Premium ($1,299.99 to $1,499.99 each). The most popular styles of hearing aids, such as the Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) or Completely-In-Canal (CIC), are not offered in the Basic level of technology.
Costco’s current lineup consists of the following premium devices:
- Rexton Adore
- Phonak Brio 3
- ReSound Vida
Bernafon Zerena 9
- Philips HearLink
- Kirkland Signature 8.0
Prices vary somewhat by state, but range from $1249-$1499 each, with the exception of the Kirkland Signature 8.0 devices ($1599/pair) that are described below.
Kirkland Signature Hearing Aids
While many people today know that Costco is a major supplier of hearing aids, many are unfamiliar with the company’s Kirkland Signature hearing aid brand, even though it is now one of the biggest sellers (if not the biggest) in warehouses across North America.
Kirkland hearing aids, historically, have only been produced by 2 companies: Rexton and GN ReSound (Interton, which was acquired by ReSound in 2005, produced the early Kirkland model).
Kirkland Signature hearing aids are considered premium-level technology, but are offered at a much lower price than the Costco’s typical premium aids (as noted above, which are typically $1249-$1499 USD per aid). With each successive generation of Kirkland Signature (KS) hearing aids over the past several years, the price for a pair of instruments has been lowered by $100/pair:
- KS 4.0: $1,999/pair (manufactured by Rexton)
- KS 5.0: $1,899/pair (manufactured by GN ReSound)
- KS 6.0: $1,799/pair (manufactured by GN ReSound)
- KS 7.0: $1,699/pair (manufactured by Rexton)
- KS 8.0: $1,599/pair (manufactured by Rexton)
- KS 9.0: unknown, anticipated in second half of 2019
Click here for information on the Kirkland Signature 8.0 hearing aids released in February 2018.
- The “Big Six” are now known as the “Big 5” following the merger of Widex and Signia in 2019. Today, the only major hearing aid manufacturer not selling hearing aids in Costco is Starkey Hearing Technologies.
- While there is a set price structure for majority of states, California prices add an additional $50-100 to the unit price of hearing aids, due to “increased cost of business” in that state.