Product Qualifier Keys – Use the following six keys as a filter to narrow the number of hearing aids under consideration from several thousand to less than fifty, and thereby guarantee that the product you buy will be high performing current technology from the leading manufacturers.
Only consider RIC style hearing aids, a new design standard that has come from nowhere in 12 years to capture 60% of the market.*
Only consider products from the Big Six manufacturers. With 98% market share between them, all have the massive capital resources needed to offer consumers up-to-date designs, and are the firms most likely to survive any future market “shakeouts.”
- William Demant
Only consider the Big Six’s flagship brands to ensure you are getting the full feature-set of their most current technology. This is also essential for valid price comparisons:
- Phonak by Sonova
- Oticon by William Demant
- Siemens by Sivantos
- ReSound by GN
- Starkey by Starkey
- Widex by Widex
Only consider RICs with the newest generation or one-back generation circuit. This is the only way to avoid being sold older obsolete generations that remain in the market.
Only consider RICs with premium or advanced level performance. Dealers routinely sell the inferior standard and economy RICs for more than Costco’s current price of $2,600/pair for Phonak’s one-back premium level RIC. Why pay the same or more for less performance?
Only consider RICs with wireless capability. The ability to connect to cell phones, TVs and other devices with Bluetooth is now a common feature of hearing aids. Wireless also allows hearing aids to communicate information back-and-forth that helps in noisy and other difficult listening situations.
* Unless managing a RICs day-to-day use is not practical