ISSAQUAH, WASHINGTON — This week, Costco officially rolled out the latest Kirkland Signature branded hearing aids in stores across the United States. The new Kirkland Signature™ 10.0 (KS 10) is for the first time being offered in a rechargeable form factor, which has previously only been available in the name brand devices currently offered at Costco: Rexton, Phillips, Jabra and Phonak.
The new KS 10 is being produced by Sonova, the parent company of the popular Phonak hearing aid brand, which also produced the previous generation KS 9.0 hearing aids. By securing the contract with Costco for a second time Sonova almost certainly holds the largest level of market share at the retailer.
Costco is estimated to hold more than 11% market share of all hearing aids sold in the US and the KS-branded devices are often the top seller at the warehouses.
Rechargeable Kirkland Signature 10.0 Hearing Aids
According to the company, the new “Kirkland Signature™ 10.0 with Tcoil Premium Digital Rechargeable Hearing Instruments help you in various listening environments. They combine universal connectivity and automatic performance so you can engage in all of life’s moments”.
The latest KS 10 hearing aids are the first to offer rechargeability, which has typically been a premium feature offering in hearing aids sold both inside and outside of Costco.
Features of the new KS 10 are said to include:
- Experience stereo-quality sound, just like wireless headphones
- Connect easily to any Bluetooth®-compatible devices**
- Stream direct media to your hearing instruments via the TV Connector**
- Remote services now available
- Tcoil compatible
- **The Bluetooth® word mark is a registered trademark owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. Select TV models may require the purchase of an accessory.
- Access Bluetooth functions with a double tap of your hearing instrument or tap twice to answer the phone or start playing music**
- Adjust volume, programs and options from your smartphone with the Easy Line Remote™ app
- Move seamlessly from one environment to the next, no button pushing required
- Smart technology automatically adjusts settings to your environment
- Designed to optimize speech in difficult conditions
- Designed for durability and protection against dust and water (IP68)
- IP68 indicates that the hearing aid is water resistant and dust tight. It survived continuous immersion in 1 meter of water for 60 minutes and 8 hours in a dust chamber as per the IEC60529 standard.
Costco Reduces Hearing Aid Prices — Yet Again
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 continued to grow significantly–making it perhaps the most dispensed brand at the hearing centers today.
The pricing trend continues what has been observed over the past several years with the KS brand devices, with each successive generation of Kirkland Signature (KS) hearing aids, the price is 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 (manufactured by Sonova)
- KS 10.0: $1,399/pair (manufactured by Sonova)
The reductions in price, now at $1,399/pair for the KS 10, are consistent with growing calls to increase accessibility and affordability of hearing aids by consumer advocacy groups.
The $1,399 price includes the hearing aids and charger, along with a brush and cleaning cloth.
For more information about the KS hearing aids, visit Costco’s website.
When will the Kirkland Signature 11.0 Hearing Aids Be Released?
While Costco has historically announced a new KS-branded hearing aid every 18 months or so, it’s unclear if there will be a delay in the release of the KS 11.0 due to ongoing product and shipping delays that continue to hit hearing aid manufacturers sporadically.
If history is any indicator, we might expect a KS 11.0 device to be announced later in the second half of 2022. Additionally, no manufacturer in recent years has held the KS contract for more than 2 consecutive cycles, so it’s anyone’s guess who might be the supplier of the KS 11.0. However, some recent unsubstantiated rumors have implicated Demant as the next KS supplier – a significant development if true, because Demant has never held the KS contract despite being in Costco (currently under the Phillips brand) for well over a decade.