ISSAQUAH, WASHINGTON — This week Costco officially rolled out the latest iteration of its “Kirkland Signature” branded hearing aids in stores across the United States. The Kirkland Signature 8.0 (KS 8) is the latest generation of the company’s popular private-label devices. Sivantos, currently in Costco under its Rexton label and the supplier of the KS 7 hearing aids, was chosen to produce the new devices.
Costco’s Kirkland Signature label has always been the value brand for many products found at Costco, both inside and outside the hearing aid department. Over the past several years, however, the prominence of the Kirkland brand in its hearing centers has grown significantly–making it perhaps the most dispensed brand at the hearing centers today. This is particularly significant, considering Costco is estimated to hold more than 11% market share of all hearing aids sold in the US, with continued growth rates of its hearing aid centers frequently exceeding 20% year-over-year.
Kirkland Signature Hearing Aid Prices Reduced Further
Kirkland Signature hearing aids are considered premium-level technology, but are offered at a much lower price than the company’s typical premium aids.
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: $1,499/pair???
The pricing strategy of Costco’s KS brand is consistent with recent calls for the hearing industry to lower pricing to increase access and affordability to amplification, most notably from the NAS and PCAST report.
What’s New in Kirkland Signature 8.0 Hearing Aids, Besides Lower Price?
According to the company, the KS 8.0 includes the following features:
- Receiver In Canal (RIC) available with 312 or 13 battery
- 48 channels, 20 gain handles, and 6 programs
- Optional model with telecoil
- Made for iPhone (MFi)
- 50% faster processing speed
- Enhanced music listening
- Motion sensing
- Smart Direct App
- IP 68 rated against dirt and moisture
Click here for a review of hearing aids currently available at Costco. If you’re curious how the latest Kirkland KS 8.0 hearing aids stack up against their name brand counterpart, check out this video from Dr. Cliff Olson:
For detailed specifications of the KS 8, interested readers can also refer to the datasheet and materials published at Hearing Tracker.
So, When will the Kirkland Signature 9.0 Hearing Aids Become Available?
According to our sources, the Kirkland Signature 9.0 (KS 9) is slated to be released in summer of 2019. It’s still unknown as to which of the four major companies might supply the next KS model, but considering the volume of Costco sales each year, it’s likely the competition will be strong among the suppliers to provide the next KS-branded devices.