retail hearing aid pricing

US Hearing Aid Pricing: Part 3 – Nominal Retail-Side Trends

In late 2020, readers were provided with data on nominal and inflation-adjusted wholesale hearing aid prices. In this third installment in this series on hearing aid pricing, the reader is presented with nominal retail hearing aid pricing.

 

What is the Retail Cost of a Hearing Aid?

 

The response to this question varies, with retail prices ranging between $1000 to >$6000 per device.1 Internet information—for what it’s worth—also suggests that hearing aid prices are always on the rise, potentially increasing by 15% over a five-year span starting in 2015.2

hearing aid retail pricing
Figure 1. Nominal retail hearing aid prices, in US dollars, for average (blue filled circles), premium-tiered (orange filled circles), and economy-tiered (gray filled circles) product lines.

 

Premium-Tier Retail Pricing

 

  • Premium products are depicted as orange filled circles in Figure 1.
  • Data are nominal (i.e., not adjusted for inflation).
  • In 2004, hearing aid users paid an average of $2842 for a premium-tiered product. In 2019, a markedly more advanced, premium-tiered product was available for the average retail price of $2901.
    • The nominal difference in retail price between 2019 and 2004 is $59. Over a 16-year span, this difference equates to < $4 per year increase.
    • Between 2015 and 2019, hearing aid retail prices are essentially the same. So much for the predicted 15% increase over this time period!
  • Over time, the retail pricing for premium-tiered hearing aids increased modestly, with a low of $2605 in 2006 and reaching a peak of $2906 in 2015.  

 

Economy-Tier Retail Pricing

 

  • Economy products are depicted as gray filled circles in Figure 1.
  • Data are nominal (i.e., not adjusted for inflation).
  • The retail pricing for economy hearing aids demonstrates a low of $1230 in 2005, a peak of $1666 in 2012, with prices slightly recovering to <$1500 in 2019.
  • Economy-tiered products in 2019 cost a nominal average of $264 more per unit than in 2004. Over a 16-year span, this difference equates to $16.50 per year increase.

 

Average Hearing Aid Retail Pricing

 

  • The average retail price for a hearing aid is depicted by blue filled circles in Figure 1.
  • Data are nominal (i.e., not adjusted for inflation).
  • The average retail price includes all product tiers (e.g., Economy, Economy-Premium, Mid-Level, Advanced, Premium).
  • Between 2004 and 2012, the average retail price of a hearing aid increased by $605.
  • Between 2012 and 2019, the average retail price of a hearing aid has remained within roughly $100.

 

Premium-tiered vs. Average Retail Cost

 

  • In 2004, the nominal difference in retail cost between a premium-tiered product and the average hearing aid yielded $1057. 
  • In 2019, the nominal difference in retail cost between a premium-tiered product and the average hearing aid is narrowed to $617. 

 

Average Retail Cost vs. Economy-Tiered

 

  • In 2005, the nominal difference in retail cost between the average hearing aid and an economy-tiered product was $635. 
  • In 2019, the nominal difference in retail cost between the average hearing aid and an economy-tiered product increased to $790.

 

Summary

 

In Part 4 of this pricing series, we will look at how retail prices perform after being adjusted for inflation. In the final blog in this series (Part 5), we will assess cost-based markups of wholesale to retail pricing.  


About Amyn Amlani

Amyn M. Amlani, PhD, is President of Otolithic Consulting, a firm that provides market analysis, financial services, professional development, and technology assessments. Dr. Amlani has been in hearing care for 25+ years, with extensive professional experience in the independent and medical audiology practice channels, as an academic and scholar, and in industry.

1 Comment

  1. Competition is what is keeping hearing aid prices stable. I believe the prices will even go comparatively lower as the big box stores and EBay continue to upgrade their hearing aids and lower their prices to pose a greater challenge to private Audiologists.

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