If you have been scouting for hearing aids lately, you may have come across the Costco hearing aid brand. It’s safe to say that Costco hearing aids have been rising to popularity since 2017. Costco is one of the most frequented stores in the U.S., and customers have warmly welcomed the convenience of buying hearing aids and having a service center in a nearby Costco outlet.
Costco Hearing Aids: Style and Accessories
Costco hearing aids are available in a wide variety of styles including custom in-the-ear (ITE), behind-the-ear (BTE) and open-fit behind-the-ear BTE, custom BTE and receiver-in-canal (RIC). Costco hearing aids are also equipped with numerous up-to-date features such as Bluetooth connectivity (stream audio wirelessly), rechargeable, and advanced directional noise suppression.
There are also wireless accessories available, one of which includes the best-selling audio transmitters or TV audio streamers that can stream audio directly to the ear via hearing aids, a product that works quite well in facilitating hearing over background noise. Other accessories for Costco hearing aids include remote controllers and remote microphones.
Disposable hearing aid batteries can cost you around a hundred dollars or more per year. Costo hearing aids, specifically the Kirkland Signature 9 model comes with 10 fee disposable batteries. For other brands, a patient will be given a set of new batteries but no extras.
Smartphone Apps Most hearing aid models now come with dedicated smartphone apps that can be downloaded for free from an app store or directly from the manufacturer’s web site. These smartphone apps make it easy for a user to personalize or adjust the device settings. With the smartphone apps, users can adjust the volume, switch program settings, manage accessory connections and generally control the hearing aid in a lot of ways. With the numerous developments in the hearing aid industry, Costco hearing aids will surely remain competitive enough to add more value to their product offerings.
Costco Hearing Aids: In-store Service
When on the process of purchasing hearing aids, you need to be more than just a shopper; you need to step up and be a wise consumer. Take note that hearing aids are considered to be an investment and not just some lanky pair of headphones that you purchase at a gas stop.
Before you buy a product, you need to learn about its pros and cons, overall features and compatibility with your lifestyle so you get to enjoy the maximum consumer experience with Costco hearing aids. A customer can call or go to the nearest Costco store to schedule a free hearing test in the nearest Costco hearing centers. Said hearing centers are usually manned by a state-licensed hearing aid dispenser.
One commonly asked question about Costco hearing aids is this – are the practices in conducting a hearing test the same with how it is done in the clinic of a professional audiologist? We would have to say probably; while most of the Costco hearing aid centers staff comprise of a licensed dispenser, there are instances when an audiologist is present to conduct the test. According to Costco, a consumer won’t have to worry about the warehouse location because in-house hearing centers actually have a sound-proof booth specifically designed to offer conducive conditions for an accurate hearing test.
Nevertheless, if you are uncomfortable submitting yourself to a hearing test in Costco, it would be best to make an appointment with private practices and health clinics manned by professional and licensed audiologists in your area.
A good thing about Walmart hearing aids is that they are labeled honestly – legit hearing aids are labeled as FDA-registered. So if you see a hearing device that has no such label, you know what it means.
Another thing to look out for when planning to purchase Walmart hearing aids is to check the price tag. More often than not, if a device is priced below $150, it is less likely to be a “legit” hearing aid. In this case, the concept of low price-low quality may just be applied.
How Much Do Hearing Aids at Costco Cost?
Quite the tongue twister, right? Kidding aside, the prices of Costco hearing aids vary depending on the brand and model. Here’s a rough overview of the brands and the corresponding prices of the devices:
- Kirkland Signature: $1,499 per pair
- ReSound: $1,249.99 each
- Phonak: $1,249.99 each
- Philips: $1,249.99 each
- Rexton: $1,249.99
As you can see, the cost of Kirkland Signature hearing aids is significantly lower than other brands. By comparing the prices of Costco hearing aids to devices offered in audiology clinics, you will learn that there is really a big difference – the products offered by the latter will seem to have a more premium price tag.
However, when we get to the bottom of it, Costco hearing aids are cheaper because of the concept of distribution volume. If you look at the details, the price you pay at a private practice is well worth it, considering that you are paying a visit to a licensed audiologist. The warranty and follow-up visits are also usually incorporated into the payment for a hearing aid from a private practice.
Costco Hearing Aids: Advantages and Red Flags
There are always two sides of a coin – and in this article, we will be looking at Costco hearing aids in that perspective. On the bright side, Costco hearing aids are getting good reviews from Consumer Reports and online forums mainly because they are affordable and accessible.
Now to the cons – Costco hearing aids mean that you will be purchasing locked hearing aids. By locked, we mean that if you need to have them repaired or checked, only Costco service centers can fiddle with it which would be quite a hassle if you are out of town or far from a Costco hearing center. Additionally, while Costco boasts of using REM for Costco hearing aids fitting, the procedure of REM testing may be quite questionable. Think of it this way – Costco has state-licensed dispensers to do REM for a patient, while private practices have a licensed audiologist who spent years in school to perfect that procedure and more.
Another disadvantage with Costco hearing aids is the alleged long waiting times for scheduled appointments in some Costco centers. Finally, Costco does not offer hearing aid “loaners”, otherwise known as an extra pair of hearing aids you can use should your original set break down and need to be sent off for repairs. In contrast, most private practices offer hearing aid loaners so a patient can still carry on with everyday life while his or her own set of hearing aids gets repaired.
We also do not recommend Costco hearing aids for patients with poor hearing health and severe levels of deafness. With severe hearing loss, it is highly recommended that an expert audiologist handle the case to avoid further deterioration and to carry out the needed intervention as efficiently as possible.
Walmart Hearing Aids: MDHearingAid Core
Costco Hearing Aids: Are they worth it?
One of the main reasons why the sales of Costco hearing aids are doing so good in the market is because of its price. Technically, Costco uses volume purchases and distribution clout to give their members lower priced hearing aids compared to private hearing healthcare practices.
There are also distinct trade-offs that come along with low prices:
- Costco doesn’t usually carry the latest and high-end versions of name-brand hearing aids. This is understandable because hearing aid manufacturers usually prioritize private audiology practices.
- Costco may have dependable service when it comes to servicing and the like, but hearing aids are usually fitted by a state-licensed hearing aid dispenser. If you’re okay with that, that’s cool, but if you would like to be seen by a licensed audiologist, Costco is not the way to go. Compared to a hearing aid dispenser, an audiologist spent years of schooling to get a doctorate degree.
If you are on a budget and looking for an easy way to get a pair of hearing aids, Costco hearing aids may just do the job for you. However, if you or someone you know is dealing with severe hearing loss and other complicated hearing concerns, going to a licensed audiologist is the best way to go. When it comes to costs, Costco hearing aids may seem to be a great deal and give you a lot of savings, but private practices are also worth checking out. Plus, audiology clinics may also have a bundled offer which covers the hearing aids, warranty, professional fee, repairs, services, etc.
Hearing Health Clinic – Osseo, MN
If you are in the Osseo, MN area and are looking for a reliable audiology clinic, Hearing Health Clinic houses a team of professional and friendly audiologists that can help you with your hearing needs.
Hearing Health Clinic audiologists can help you or your family member with anything concerning hearing loss. From conducting hearing tests, tinnitus management, down to hearing aid fitting, Hearing Health Clinic welcomes patients of all ages. Call us and set an appointment!