Updated April 2021
Outside of the Veteran’s Administration, Costco is by far 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, 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.
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. Additionally, a partnership with Google for direct connection to Android smartphones became available in late 2019 and 2020, on limited smartphone models.
ReSound’s newest hearing aid model, the Preza, offers an optional lithium-ion powered model that provides up to 30 hours of usage on a single charge. The charging case, however, does add an additional $199 to the overall price tag.
ReSound 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 4, is now available in Behind-The-Ear (BTE) with 13 or 312 battery, and custom models.
According to Phonak, the Brio 4 features include:
- Directly connects to any Bluetooth®-enabled device including iOS® and Android™ smartphones
- Truly hands-free calls
- Telecoil for connectivity in places with hearing loop technology (i.e. churches, theaters)
- IP68*: designed for durability and protection against dust and moisture
- Enjoy all day comfort and discretion thanks to a sleek, innovative design
- Control your hearing aids with the myPhonak app
**For those in need of more power- Costco is still offering the Brio 3 Power BTE.
The following wireless accessories are currently available for the Brio 4 devices, according to Phonak:
TV Connector Easy Line
-Enables direct media streaming to both of your hearing instruments
-Dolby compatible, plug-and-play TV and media streaming
PartnerMic Easy Line
-Worn by your conversation partner to stream their voice directly to your hearing instruments
Remote Control Easy Line
-Simple remote for volume or program adjustments
-Remote Control: Adjust and control the volume of your hearing aids and adapt to your environment with customized programs on your smartphone
-My Hearing Aids: Get more information about your hearing aids’ personalized programs and statistics
**Note: Phonak parent company, Sonova, is the supplier of the Kirkland Signature 10.0 hearing aids
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 closed its hearing aid centers nationwide in early 2019.
The most current hearing aid family available from Rexton is the recently launched Motion Core (M-Core) line-up.
The M-Core family is currently offered in a full line of BTE, RIC, and Instant-Fit styles.
Rexton’s custom family of instruments remains on the Adore platform, but the instant-fit device, the M-Core IX is available for those wanting a discreet in-ear model.
Rexton, like their other counterparts in Costco, offer wireless accessories and compatibility with smartphone apps.
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:
The hearing aids are also compatible with additional accessories, which can be purchased separately:
- Philips AudioClip–Allows for hands-free phone calls via Android™ phones.
- Philips TV Adapter–Stream the sound directly to your hearing aids from your TV.
- Philips Remote Control–Allows for discreet changes to hearing aid volume and program.
Costco Hearing Aid Prices
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 & Brio 4
- ReSound Vida & Preza
Bernafon Zerena 9
- Philips HearLink
- Kirkland Signature 10.0
Prices vary somewhat by state, but range from $1249-$1499 each (some companies also charge an additional fee for charging case), with the exception of the Kirkland Signature 9.0 devices ($1499/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). However, the latest Kirkland Signature 10.0 hearing aids, and previous KS 9.0, are manufactured by Phonak parent company, Sonova.
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: $1,499/pair (manufactured by Sonova)
- KS 10.0: $1,399/pair (manufactured by Sonova)
The latest KS 10.0 devices are offered at $1,399/pair, which are for the first time offered in a rechargeable form factor (the previous KS 9.0 hearing aids were only available in battery-powered model).
Costco Hearing Aid Center Reduced Services Due to COVID-19 – Update
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, over the past year many Costco locations have placed limits on hours and services. This has impacted the hearing centers, as well as other Costco departments, across the US since at least March 2020.
To help limit personal contact and create more space for social distancing, Costco has reduced service in some departments. At some locations, there will be limited or no service at the Hearing Aid department, Costco Optical, the floral department and the jewelry department. Limitations vary by location. Costco members may continue to shop for some of these items at Costco.com.
Regulations in some states, territories or cities have limited purchases to only essential items. Items deemed non-essential may be purchased at Costco.com. Adhering to these regulations requires that Costco not sell normally available items or categories at its locations. This could affect warehouses located in:
- Puerto Rico
–Costco website statement, March 27, 2021
Due to the varied regional impact that COVID-19 continues to have across the country, it’s unclear when all the centers may be open again in full capacity and whether this might occur on a state-by-state or national basis.
Individuals seeking services, but unable to do so, should contact their local hearing center for further information and possible referral to another clinic if needed.
Costco Now Offering Remote Hearing Aid Adjustments
In response to the pandemic, Costco began offering remote programming options for ‘select hearing aids’. Presumably these select devices are most likely wireless hearing aids with companion apps that offer the ability to connect remotely to a hearing professional (such as Phonak, ReSound, etc).
Individuals interested in remote services should contact their local hearing aid center to learn more.
- 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.