We are excited to announce that we have partnered with Lexie Hearing to bring you the NEW rechargeable Lexie B2 Self-fitting OTC Hearing Aids. Powered by Bose, these hearing aids feature Bose self-fitting technology and are available for purchase on the Lexie Hearing website.
The buttons on each hearing aid control World Volume. A single press up increases World Volume by 5 steps. And a single press down decreases World Volume by 5 steps. Pressing the buttons on one hearing aid will adjust the World Volume levels of both hearing aids.
The Focus feature allows you to hear the direction you want to hear. There are 2 settings available for the Focus feature: Front and Everywhere. In Front mode, the microphones in the hearing aids focus on sounds in front of you. This setting can help you hear better in occasions like group conversations at a table in a restaurant. In the Everywhere setting, the microphones are not just focused on sounds in front of you, but all around you as well. This setting is ideal for occasions like walking on a busy street or at a park.
After removing the hearing aids, remove earwax and debris from the eartips and microphones using the provided hearing aid brush or a soft, lint-free cloth. It is recommended to replace the eartips every 3 months.
People can still get hearing aids by seeing a doctor first, and experts say there are advantages to this option, such as being professionally fitted for a hearing aid based on your individual needs and having a doctor monitor the progression of your hearing loss.
"So if this would inspire people or motivate people because they see these hearing aids in the mainstream, that should be more affordable or at a different price point, they might take that first step sooner rather than later," she added.
In the past, the device itself only accounted for about a third of what a person would spend to get a hearing aid. The rest of the price went toward doctors' appointments and other medical services, and Medicare and health insurance typically doesn't cover the cost of hearing aids.
However, Carr with the HIA said hearing aids obtained through the traditional medical route aren't always so expensive, and that people who buy the devices over the counter will miss out on the advice of medical professionals.
(Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Charles Grassley found in a report earlier this year that the HIA was among the organizations that made "serious attempts to undermine the effectiveness of OTC hearing aids." The HIA now says it supports the FDA's new rule.)
Sales are set to begin soon. According to Reuters, the pharmacy chain Walgreens said it was planning to sell Lexie Lumen hearing aids for $799. Walmart said it would begin selling hearing aids in stores and online starting at $200.
Additionally, consumers should know the difference between hearing aids and personal sound amplification products, or PSAPs, which are currently sold over the counter and intended not for people with hearing loss but rather for those with normal hearing who want to amplify sounds, such as hunters.
PriceCostco is one of the single largest purchasers of hearing aids in the entire industry. Because they purchase such a huge quantity of hearing aids from manufacturers, they are able to drive the prices down significantly, and then pass those savings along to their members.
Kirkland brand premium hearing aids are good quality hearing devices that will cost you about $1600 per pair, which is about half the price you can expect to pay for name-brand hearing aids you can also purchase at Costco such as Rexton, Phonak or ReSound.
QualityCostco hearing aids are made by reputable manufacturers, and the quality is pretty good. When reviewing feature comparison charts, you can see that premium Kirkland hearing aid technology is quite comparable to the technology found in other premium aids.
Low Number of Repeat CustomersIndependent and credible industry sources report that only about 20-25% of first-time hearing aid users purchase a second set of hearing aids from Costco. This means that about 75-80% of first-time users either decide to quit using hearing aids or purchase them elsewhere. This could be explained one of two ways. Either most Costco locations are not using best practices such as real ear measures, or they are not offering a very positive patient experience. Either way, a return customer rate this low definitely triggers a red flag.
Hearing Aids are De-FeaturedWhile feature comparisons between Costco hearing aids and those purchased in audiology clinics are similar, some of Costco hearing aids may be de-featured. Representatives from manufacturers have disclosed that the hearing aids they sell to Costco have had some of their advanced features removed. If you struggle in some environments with your Costco hearing aids, the issue may not be with you. It may be that your hearing aids are missing the feature that would best help you in that particular situation.
Long Wait TimesSome Costco customers have reported very long wait times for an appointment to get hearing aids in some areas. We often have patients come to our clinic who decided against Costco hearing aids because they did not want to wait a month or more for their devices. These customers are also nervous that if something ever goes wrong with their aids, there might be another long wait time before they can get into a Costco to get their issue resolved.
Costco sells quality hearing aids at affordable prices; however, it is not right for everyone. Once you understand the pros and cons of purchasing your hearing aids through a big box retailer such as Costco, you can make an informed decision on whether or not it is right for you.
Costco is one of the largest purchasers in the hearing aid industry. This gives them incredible buying power and this drives down the cost of devices for their members. They are also the 2nd largest money makers for the Big Box store behind only Wine.
Pro #2. The hearing aids are Good. The top tiers of devices are comparable to top tier name brand devices. In fact, all of the hearing aids are either name brand, or re-branded from a name brand manufacturer.Pro #3. Some Costcos have experienced Audiologists and Hearing Instrument specialists. The hearing care professional you work with is even more important than the devices you buy. You just have to find a Costco that has a phenomenal hearing care provider.Now on to the Cons:
Con #1. Only 20-25% of patients return to Costco for a second set of hearing aids. Obviously, this is on average. I suspect that Costcos with terrific hearing care providers have a much higher rate. The only possible excuses for these low numbers are either they are not performing best practices like Real Ear Measures, or they are not providing a good patient experience (ie. Customer Service)
Con #2. Some hearing aids they sell are LOCKED! Watch out for locked hearing aids. They lock them to prevent you from getting them serviced from other hearing care providers. You must go to a Costco no matter what.
Con #3. The hearing aids are De-Featured. Despite the hearing aids still being good, manufacturers do remove features from the devices they sell to Costco. If you aren't hearing well with Costco hearing aids, it may not be you, it may be the devices.
Con #4. Long Wait times. I have had patients mention that wait times to get hearing aids from Costco have been up to 30 days to even be seen by the provider. There are also concerns that if you do purchase hearing aids from Costco that you will have to wait too long for service if the hearing aids need to be repaired or re-programmed. Overall, Costco is known for providing good hearing aids at very low prices.
Some people receive excellent benefits from Costco hearing aids as long as the hearing care provider they see is top notch. As long as you are aware of the Pros and Cons of going to Costco for your hearing healthcare, then you should be able to make an educated decision on what is right for you. 781b155fdc