Sonova Acquires European AudioNova in Largest Ever Hearing Aid Retail Deal

Sonova announced on May 4 the acquisition of European behemoth, AudioNova, for € 830 million ($954 million). It is reported to be the largest transaction ever in the hearing aid retail market and makes Sonova-owned retail approximately the same size as retail leader, Amplifon.  Following this acquisition, Sonova will have over 3,300 stores worldwide with…

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Big Six, Beware: Samsung May Soon Enter the Hearing Aid Arena

  SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA—The consumer electronics titan Samsung is making plans that could shake up the hearing aid industry, according to a report published April 27 in the online publication BusinessKorea. After watching the successes of the partnerships that its industry rival Apple has forged with GN ReSound and Starkey Hearing Technologies, Samsung appears ready to invest in the…

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HHTM Exclusive: Findings from new MarkeTrak study show greater hearing aid use, satisfaction

    By David H. Kirkwood WASHINGTON, DC–The portion of Americans with self-reported hearing difficulty who own hearing aids has increased to 30.2% (from 24.8% in 2008), and the satisfaction rate with hearing aids has grown to 81% from 74%, according to the MarkeTrak 9 survey conducted last fall by Az Marketing Research with Online…

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Bernstein Research is bullish on ReSound; sees it gaining on Sonova and Demant

By David H. Kirkwood LONDON–Bernstein Research, a leading analyst of the hearing aid industry, sees continued growth and higher stock prices in 2015 and beyond for GN Store Nord (GN), parent company of ReSound. However, as the title of its latest report, Hearing Aids: A Review of the Major Sector Trends Going into 2015. Still…

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A rising IntriCon will provide hearing aids to the UK’s National Health Service

By David H. Kirkwood ARDEN HILLS, MN—Hearing care providers are familiar with the world’s “Big Six” hearing aid manufacturers, or at least their flagship brands. That’s only natural, as together Sonova, William Demant, GN Store Nord, Siemens, Starkey, and Widex account for over 90% of the devices sold in the U.S. and Western Europe. However,…

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Siemens to sell hearing aid division; $2.67 billion deal is industry’s biggest ever

This updated version of the post published on November 7 includes additional comments about the sale of Siemens from an informed source whom I interviewed this week. My informant asked not to be named because he was not authorized by his company to speak for publication.  David H. Kirkwood, Editor, Hearing News Watch   MUNICH,…

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The hearing aid market is growing slowly. So, what else is new?

By David H. Kirkwood WASHINGTON, DC–Consider all the reasons why hearing aid sales should have risen through the roof over the past decade or two. For one thing, there have been dramatic improvements in technology, fueled largely by the introduction of digital signal processing in the 1990s. Powerful 21st century hearing aid hardware and software…

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Analyst says Phonak decision on Costco is “probably right” despite “short-term pain

By David H. Kirkwood LONDON–Since this blog first reported that Phonak LLC would start selling Brio, a new premium hearing aid model, through Costco, we have received and published dozens of comments on the issue. Many came from independent practitioners who dispense Phonak hearing aids. They expressed outrage over having to compete with a “big box”…

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Costco says its hearing aid business is growing fast

ISSAQUAH, WA–While it may not bring joy to its competitors’ hearts, Costco reports that its hearing aid business is growing fast. Interviewed for an online article published in Bloomberg Business Week on July 11, Richard Chavez, a senior VP at Costco, said that over the past four years its hearing aid sales have grown by an…

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hearing aid company market share

Research firm analyzes market share, retail activity, and prospects of major hearing aid manufacturers

By David H. Kirkwood NEW YORK—A number of financial research firms in the United States and abroad follow the hearing industry on behalf of their clients. These include individual investors as well as institutional investors such as pension and hedge fund managers. The latest company to turn its sights on hearing aids is Sanford C.…

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