Costco Hearing Aids

Reviews, prices, pros & cons

In the hearing aid industry, there may not be another 3 words as polarizing as "Costco hearing aids."

If you’re considering buying hearing aids from Costco we strongly recommend reading this post.

Before you take the advice of either a happy Costco hearing aid wearer, or of an independent hearing care provider competing with Costco, review the facts for yourself.

We’ll lay out the pros and cons of buying Costco hearing aids, review some of their models and prices, and reveal why Costco has become such a polarizing topic in the hearing aid industry.

Wait...Costco sells hearing aids?

Yes!

Costco has been selling hearing aids for over 25 years and along with the VA, is one of the largest buyers of hearing aids in the United States.

Costco’s growth in the hearing aid industry has been tremendous. It is estimated that Costco now makes up about 12% of the total US market.

Although some people might find it odd that Costco sells hearing aids- it’s not. Retail-based healthcare has grown as consumers look for less expensive, more convenient alternatives to traditional medical settings.

In addition to its hearing aid department, Costco has an optical center and a pharmacy. The pharmacy offers low-cost immunizations as well as screenings for heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Are costco hearing aids good?

Absolutely!

Costco has high standards for any products they retail, and hearing aids are no different.

Costco sells name-brand, quality hearing aids. Just because are less than most places doesn’t mean they are inferior products.

Costco hearing aids are sourced from several well-known manufacturers, as shown below.

What hearing aid brands does Costco sell?

As of December 2022, Costco offers the following hearing aid brands:

  • Jabra
  • Rexton
  • Philips
  • Kirkland Signature

Jabra is a sister brand of GN ReSound, which is a highly respected manufacturer in the industry.

Rexton is a brand manufactured by WS Audiology, a company that also produces the major brand names Widex and Signia.

Philips is a brand manufactured by Demant, which also manufacturers Oticon hearing aids- one of the oldest and most respected brands in the industry.

Kirkland Signature is Costco’s private labeled hearing aid brand and their best-selling hearing aid brand. You have probably encountered private-labeled products elsewhere at Costco, such as the Kirkland Signature paper towels. Because the Kirkland Signature model sells so well, hearing aid manufacturers compete aggressively to win the contract to offer their devices under the Kirkland Signature name.

Jabra and Rexton are rarely (but sometimes) found in neighborhood dispensing clinics, whereas Kirkland Signature and Philips are found only in Costco.

Costco hearing aid prices

The most compelling reason to buy hearing aids from Costco is their low prices.

The low prices stem from less reliance on advertising, a reduced variety of products, smaller product mark-ups, and lower overhead costs. Costco also gains revenue through the sale of yearly memberships.

As of November 2020, Costco hearing aid prices are as follows:

* custom earmolds, if needed for RIC or BTE styles, cost extra.

Costco hearing aid reviews

As is usually the case for a retailer- how they are reviewed depends in large part on the individuals staffing the location.

We know Costco hearing aids are good. What is up for debate, and reflected in the reviews found on Costco online, is how good the staff is at each individual Costco hearing center.

Consumer Affairs raters averaged 3 out of 5 stars for Costco (as of November, 2020). They praise the low prices and thorough hearing testing protocols. However, many reviewers note that the quality of the fitting and service can vary dramatically between Costco locations.

Consumer Reports ranked Costco highly (as of January, 2019) for value in their review of hearing aids. However, note as well that in their survey, many consumers want features such as tinnitus management that would not be available at Costco.

Retirement Living readers gave Costco 4.25 out of 5 stars (as of May 2020) for value and quality. They praise the free clean and checks of hearing aids. However, they note that the stores carry a limited selection of hearing aid models.

Pros and Cons of Buying Hearing Aids at Costco

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcuGM8QCfb0

So- should you buy hearing aids from Costco?

Depending on who you ask, you may get a very different answer.

If you ask most independent hearing care providers, their answer is probably going to be “no”, with a little truth and a few common misconceptions about Costco hearing aids mixed in.

If you ask a Costco loyalist their opinion, you’ll likely get a resounding “yes.”

However, taking either at face value would be a mistake- there's a lot to consider.

Pros for buying hearing aids from Costco

  • Amazing prices: Costco can provide hearing aids at lower prices than independent clinics for comparable models because they receive low, volume-based pricing for their products from manufacturers. This should come as no surprise. Costco’s strength lies in the enormous volume of business it does and the purchasing power that affords it.
  • 6 month trial: A 6 month trial is laughably good. With most states setting hearing aid trial periods at between 30-60 days, Costco’s trial period goes well above and beyond what the entire hearing aid industry considers a reasonable trial period.
  • Real ear measurement as a standard practice: Costco mandates that hearing care professionals in their centers perform real ear measurements with every fitting. Research has demonstrated that conducting real ear measurement improves speech understanding in noise and patient satisfaction. Surveys indicate that fewer than half of hearing aid providers routinely obtain real ear measurements.
  • Free loss and damage coverage with no deductible: Most hearing aids purchased through an independent office will have manufacturer-provided loss and damage coverage for a period of time with a deductible of a few hundred dollars, whereas Costco offers this with no deductible.
  • Nationwide support: Traveling and need service on your hearing aids? As long as the local Costco has service appointments open, they can service you, and at no charge.

Cons of buying hearing aids from Costco

  • Limited selection: Costco offers a limited selection of hearing aid models and brands, compared to an independent hearing aid clinic. At independent clinics, you have access to every make and model available on the market.
  • Not always the newest technology available: When the hearing aid manufacturers come out with new models or features, it takes a few months and sometimes years for that technology to arrive at Costco.
  • Hearing aids are sometimes defeatured: Some manufacturers remove features from their Costco models, such as tinnitus management, rechargeability, and remote programming.
  • Hearing aids are sometimes locked: A “locked” hearing aid is a hearing aid that can only be programmed by one clinic. This limits your options if you are not happy with the provider or need faster service in a location with long wait times.
  • Usually not suited for complex cases: For example, if you have assymetrical or unilateral hearing loss, Costco does not offer BiCROS and CROS hearing aids.
  • Lack of tools to diagnose hearing loss: While Costco does have a detailed hearing test protocol, Costco does not perform special testing that independent providers can offer to help diagnose the cause of hearing loss. Independent providers are able to more precisely diagnose the cause of hearing loss with tests such as tympanometry, otoacoustic emissions, acoustic reflexes, and auditory processing evaluations.
  • Costco will not file insurance claims for you: This helps Costco keep the costs down because they do not have to pay staff to perform the time-consuming task of filing claims and appeals. If you ask, the hearing care professional may provide you with a letter with your diagnosis code and the right codes for your hearing aid device. This letter may be submitted with your claim for reimbursement from your insurer if you have out-of-network benefits.
  • There have been reports of long wait times for appointments at some Costco locations: When you need service on your Costco hearing aids, you may wait a while.

Why Costco is Controversial

It should come as no surprise that Costco’s entrance into the hearing aid industry has been met with criticism from the majority of independent hearing care providers, for primarily two reasons.

It’s hard for an independent hearing care provider to compete with Costco based on price alone. Because of the tremendous buying power that Costco has, they are able to negotiate low wholesale prices with manufacturers, which enables Costco to retail some models at a price lower than an independent provider’s wholesale cost.

Independent hearing care providers feel manufacturers have turned their backs on them. Hearing aid manufacturers which have built their businesses on the backs of the independent hearing care provider have been perceived as turning their backs on that core support by selling to Costco, at much lower prices. This has led many independent providers to completely cut ties with hearing aid manufacturers who sell products in Costco.

Conclusion

From an industry perspective, It’s been interesting watching sentiment towards Costco hearing aid centers shift over the years.

In 2014 during a training seminar with several independent hearing care providers, I recall speaking up to “squash” the Costco-bashing that was happening in the room. Few hearing care providers were receptive to my message.

Interestingly, after the session I was approached by hearing aid manufacturer representatives in the room who acknowledged that they understood what I was saying to be correct- that Costco was not the evil monolith that many were making it out to be.

It’s been my observation that independent hearing providers who are “in the know” are coming around to respect Costco as a viable and respectable competitor. I just think consumers and hearing aid manufacturers understood this much sooner than most independent hearing care providers did, or sooner than they were willing to admit.

Is a Costco hearing aid center right for everyone? Of course not- no retailer is.

But so far, my impression has been that Costco makes a tremendously competitive offer and is a great choice for many consumers.

If Costco is able to motivate someone struggling with hearing loss to come off the sidelines and enter the world of better hearing, that is something I can get behind.

Have you bought hearing aids from Costco?

What has been your experience?

We're particularly interested in hearing from individuals who have purchased hearing aids both via Costco and an independent hearing care provider.

Please leave a comment below!

Jeff is a California licensed hearing aid dispenser and the President of ZipHearing- one of the largest discount hearing aid suppliers in the United States. Jeff lives in San Diego, CA with his wife and 2 young daughters. You can learn more about hearing aids and watch Jeff on ZipHearing's Youtube channel.

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58 Comments

    Fred

    Reply
    at 9:04 pm

    After three years with Costco aids I decided time for a new hearing test. They said my hearing had changed more in one ear than in the other and suggested I see doctor who specializes in hearing, nose and throat. He said Costco was wise to do this. Said my hearing of some words not getting fully to brain and that was not good for the brain and hearing. Said I should upgrade hearing aids to better ones. Now he said Costco was good but managed low prices because sometimes they used aids from a bit earlier and not the latest models. I could he said get new ones through his offices or get more expensive sophisticated ones at Costco.
    I had never heard of Costco using slightly older stuff to cut costs for their sales and wonder if this is true.

    After three years with Costco aids I decided time for a new hearing test. They said my hearing had changed more in one ear than in the other and suggested I see doctor who specializes in hearing, nose and throat. He said Costco was wise to do this. Said my hearing of some words not getting fully to brain and that was not good for the brain and hearing. Said I should upgrade hearing aids to better ones. Now he said Costco was good but managed low prices because sometimes they used aids from a bit earlier and not the latest models. I could he said get new ones through his offices or get more expensive sophisticated ones at Costco.
    I had never heard of Costco using slightly older stuff to cut costs for their sales and wonder if this is true.

    Kathy Dunkle

    Reply
    at 3:58 pm

    I am furious with Costco Hearing Aid department in Tukwila Washington. I Have had a hearing disability for 30 years and am on my second pair from Costco. After 6 months 3 weeks the hinge on the product fell off in my hand. Costco fixed it. Two months later the hinge on the other hearing aid fell off in my hand. At this point I realized there is a small plastic bar holding the hinge that broke and obviously is going to break again. You can’t open this product over and over without this happening. The hinge is too fragile. Costco would do nothing to help me when I explained what was wrong. Just told me I was 3 weeks away from the 6 month return time. I would like hearing aids that don’t break like this and would have gladly paid Costco for the exchange but MIKE, the manager refused. He also continuously talked over me, treated me with NO respect or understanding and continued to point the finger at me. I am furious with this store and would never recommend them or purchase from them again.

    I am furious with Costco Hearing Aid department in Tukwila Washington. I Have had a hearing disability for 30 years and am on my second pair from Costco. After 6 months 3 weeks the hinge on the product fell off in my hand. Costco fixed it. Two months later the hinge on the other hearing aid fell off in my hand. At this point I realized there is a small plastic bar holding the hinge that broke and obviously is going to break again. You can’t open this product over and over without this happening. The hinge is too fragile. Costco would do nothing to help me when I explained what was wrong. Just told me I was 3 weeks away from the 6 month return time. I would like hearing aids that don’t break like this and would have gladly paid Costco for the exchange but MIKE, the manager refused. He also continuously talked over me, treated me with NO respect or understanding and continued to point the finger at me. I am furious with this store and would never recommend them or purchase from them again.

    Alan

    Reply
    at 11:58 am

    I am on my second set of hearing aids from Costco. The first set bore the Rexton label, but I don’t recall which Kirkland “generation” they were. I now have the Kirkland KS7.0, which are considerably better. My hearing-aid dispenser is still there after all these years (now with two others working under him, and a former trainee now the manager of the Costco hearing center the other end of town); he told me that he had previously worked for another clinic but wanted to work where he could help more people.
    My insurance company at that time required me to consult an ENT to make sure that my hearing loss was of the kind that could be helped by hearing aids. He then referred me to the AuD next door who ran the standard hearing tests and asked how much I was willing to spend. Knowing that the then-current Kirklands were less than $2000, I said I was willing to spend $2500 to $3500, and she suggested what I knew to be pretty basic aids of a brand I recognized but now no longer recall.
    I am now thinking of upgrading to the newly released KS10.0 aids (rebranded Phonak Paradise), even though my insurance company no longer reimburses for aids bought at Costco but steers people to TruHearing — where the Phonak aids are significantly more expensive and include more limited “free” after-sales service.

    I am on my second set of hearing aids from Costco. The first set bore the Rexton label, but I don’t recall which Kirkland “generation” they were. I now have the Kirkland KS7.0, which are considerably better. My hearing-aid dispenser is still there after all these years (now with two others working under him, and a former trainee now the manager of the Costco hearing center the other end of town); he told me that he had previously worked for another clinic but wanted to work where he could help more people.
    My insurance company at that time required me to consult an ENT to make sure that my hearing loss was of the kind that could be helped by hearing aids. He then referred me to the AuD next door who ran the standard hearing tests and asked how much I was willing to spend. Knowing that the then-current Kirklands were less than $2000, I said I was willing to spend $2500 to $3500, and she suggested what I knew to be pretty basic aids of a brand I recognized but now no longer recall.
    I am now thinking of upgrading to the newly released KS10.0 aids (rebranded Phonak Paradise), even though my insurance company no longer reimburses for aids bought at Costco but steers people to TruHearing — where the Phonak aids are significantly more expensive and include more limited “free” after-sales service.

    Dale Fleming

    Reply
    at 6:45 pm

    I have purchased hearing aids at Costco as well as an Independent supplier, The Costco
    product is as good as the Independents product for less money, the service is fine here in Boise Idaho, I really have no complaints.
    Thank you Dale Fleming

    I have purchased hearing aids at Costco as well as an Independent supplier, The Costco
    product is as good as the Independents product for less money, the service is fine here in Boise Idaho, I really have no complaints.
    Thank you Dale Fleming

    Paul Drager

    Reply
    at 1:43 pm

    I purchased a set of hearing aides at Sam’s Club, and I did not like them very much, because of noise like wrinkling was paper any time I was outside in the wind. In northwest Texas that is nearly every day. I had a difficult time returning them but after nearly a year I just took them in and said I am through, and needed the promised refund. They did refund most of the $4500.00 price, so I am not unhappy they were trying to help me. Several months later, a friend recommended that I go to Costco. When I made an appointment to have my hearing checked Vicki Beyer was very helpful. I have has my Costco hearing aides for several years, and any time I had any type problem, if it could not be repaired at the store they sent it back for repairs. I know it has been over three years and my warranty is expired, so now I will have to pay for any repairs. I will most likely purchase a new set from Costco because they make every effort to make your hearing better.

    I purchased a set of hearing aides at Sam’s Club, and I did not like them very much, because of noise like wrinkling was paper any time I was outside in the wind. In northwest Texas that is nearly every day. I had a difficult time returning them but after nearly a year I just took them in and said I am through, and needed the promised refund. They did refund most of the $4500.00 price, so I am not unhappy they were trying to help me. Several months later, a friend recommended that I go to Costco. When I made an appointment to have my hearing checked Vicki Beyer was very helpful. I have has my Costco hearing aides for several years, and any time I had any type problem, if it could not be repaired at the store they sent it back for repairs. I know it has been over three years and my warranty is expired, so now I will have to pay for any repairs. I will most likely purchase a new set from Costco because they make every effort to make your hearing better.

    M.Denise

    Reply
    at 5:15 pm

    Thank you for this informative article. I am interested in comments regarding the audiologists at Costco in the Baltimore, Md area.

    M.Denise

    Thank you for this informative article. I am interested in comments regarding the audiologists at Costco in the Baltimore, Md area.

    M.Denise

    Adam Aronson

    Reply
    at 2:46 am

    I also extend my sincere thanks to the author of this article. From everything I’ve read about ZipHearing, you provide a high quality service. Moreover, in sharing honest conclusions that likely undermine your own profits, you’ve proved yourself an extraordinary gentleman of the highest ethical standards. I’m also grateful to you for publishing your readers’ helpful comments, and to all who took the time to write those comments, each of which I’ve just finished reading. If things don’t work out for me at Costco, I will definitely turn to ZipHearing as my “Plan B.” The world needs more business people like you, sir. I can’t thank and commend you highly enough.

    I also extend my sincere thanks to the author of this article. From everything I’ve read about ZipHearing, you provide a high quality service. Moreover, in sharing honest conclusions that likely undermine your own profits, you’ve proved yourself an extraordinary gentleman of the highest ethical standards. I’m also grateful to you for publishing your readers’ helpful comments, and to all who took the time to write those comments, each of which I’ve just finished reading. If things don’t work out for me at Costco, I will definitely turn to ZipHearing as my “Plan B.” The world needs more business people like you, sir. I can’t thank and commend you highly enough.

      Caryn

      Reply
      at 12:54 am

      Costco for years and very pleased with the one closest to me, other than re: time to get an appointment. I had a poor experience recently with another Costco.

      At the moment, my newest aids aren’t working out. It looks like Costco has only one other in-ear model, which may or may not work well enough with the iPhone. I learned about ZipHearing in a review and am very impressed with this article. Looks like I’ve got a “Plan B” as well.

      Costco for years and very pleased with the one closest to me, other than re: time to get an appointment. I had a poor experience recently with another Costco.

      At the moment, my newest aids aren’t working out. It looks like Costco has only one other in-ear model, which may or may not work well enough with the iPhone. I learned about ZipHearing in a review and am very impressed with this article. Looks like I’ve got a “Plan B” as well.

    M Weber

    Reply
    at 6:36 pm

    Good article. Thanks

    Good article. Thanks

    Norman Hatley

    Reply
    at 3:05 pm

    My first hearing aids cost me over $4000. From a independent dealer.I was easily impressed. Next time I took the time to get better education on hearing aids and prices.
    My second pair of hearing aids came from Costco. At about 70% cheaper with great warranty and a very satisfying experience.
    I always recommend Costco brand hearing aids now if you want a great price.
    Just my opinion.

    My first hearing aids cost me over $4000. From a independent dealer.I was easily impressed. Next time I took the time to get better education on hearing aids and prices.
    My second pair of hearing aids came from Costco. At about 70% cheaper with great warranty and a very satisfying experience.
    I always recommend Costco brand hearing aids now if you want a great price.
    Just my opinion.

    Linda Green

    Reply
    at 10:02 pm

    I bought my hearing aids from Costco and they have been going strong for 10 years. Service in my area have been good.

    I bought my hearing aids from Costco and they have been going strong for 10 years. Service in my area have been good.

    A. Galt

    Reply
    at 4:15 pm

    Bought the Costco hearing aids a few years ago. They were simple to replace the battery. Flip open the bottom of the hearing aid and pop in another $6 battery. Now they have to be sent away to have the battery changed at about $100 cost to the customer much higher than the cost of a simple battery that can be bought in a store . Add to this the time taken to have them returned plus the excessive cost of doing so and I suggest you shop elsewhere. Costco at one time was great but not now.

    Bought the Costco hearing aids a few years ago. They were simple to replace the battery. Flip open the bottom of the hearing aid and pop in another $6 battery. Now they have to be sent away to have the battery changed at about $100 cost to the customer much higher than the cost of a simple battery that can be bought in a store . Add to this the time taken to have them returned plus the excessive cost of doing so and I suggest you shop elsewhere. Costco at one time was great but not now.

      Dave

      Reply
      at 6:57 am

      So, even though you probably saved over a thousand dollars on the initial purchase of your hearing aids you are upset over paying $100 to replace what I assume are rechargeable batteries. Perhaps you should investigate what it would cost to purchase similar aids at other providers as well as their cost to replace the batteries.

      So, even though you probably saved over a thousand dollars on the initial purchase of your hearing aids you are upset over paying $100 to replace what I assume are rechargeable batteries. Perhaps you should investigate what it would cost to purchase similar aids at other providers as well as their cost to replace the batteries.

    Randy Hayes

    Reply
    at 11:21 am

    Yes …I have Costco earring AIDS … I love the service … I have been to several centers for my aids … in Indianapolis, mishawaka and Kalamazoo..
    Independent providers are a rip off
    I’m going to buy my second pair

    Yes …I have Costco earring AIDS … I love the service … I have been to several centers for my aids … in Indianapolis, mishawaka and Kalamazoo..
    Independent providers are a rip off
    I’m going to buy my second pair

    Anita

    Reply
    at 4:13 pm

    First time at Costco where I bought Resound Preza’s 3 weeks ago. I had a wonderful Fitter and he fit me so well I hardly feel I have hearing aids in at all. I wear closed double domes. No occlusion or feedback at all. Reading many comments about vents and molds being problematic. So thankful I am not experiencing those problems at all. I really love them and I am amazed beyond all my expectations.

    The only thing I am getting confusing remarks at HearingTracker Forum on the TCoil. Fitter asked me if I wanted them and I said no because I had them in my previous Sonics and I never noticed any difference. Some like them for phone calls others have said that is old technology. Did I make a mistake refusing them?

    Those were fit by a true audiologist and maybe he did not activate them. Now I am hearing on HearingTracker Forum that they help on the phone. My hearing loss is moderate to severe. I wish I got a lot of phone calls so I could test them more. I have given out my landline number to all doctors and other businesses. I moved from Florida 15 months ago to Independent living apartments and it has taken a long time to really make close friends and they don’t do much phone calling either. Hate to bother my kids and grandchildren too much as they have their own busy lives.

    Since this coronavirus I have not been able to find a restaurant to test for noise. Went to one for brunch today and they are now a Wahlburger with plastic utensils, quiet w/ no noise at all. It was just not the same as a real restaurant. I have not been able to find a restaurant to test for noise. Most are still closed.

    I live in the Twin Cities Minnesota area and I am very pleased with the fitter. He has 25 years of experience and is kind, considerate, and helpful. If any of your posters have a thought good or bad about the TCoil please email me or Post here.
    Thank you, Anita.

    First time at Costco where I bought Resound Preza’s 3 weeks ago. I had a wonderful Fitter and he fit me so well I hardly feel I have hearing aids in at all. I wear closed double domes. No occlusion or feedback at all. Reading many comments about vents and molds being problematic. So thankful I am not experiencing those problems at all. I really love them and I am amazed beyond all my expectations.

    The only thing I am getting confusing remarks at HearingTracker Forum on the TCoil. Fitter asked me if I wanted them and I said no because I had them in my previous Sonics and I never noticed any difference. Some like them for phone calls others have said that is old technology. Did I make a mistake refusing them?

    Those were fit by a true audiologist and maybe he did not activate them. Now I am hearing on HearingTracker Forum that they help on the phone. My hearing loss is moderate to severe. I wish I got a lot of phone calls so I could test them more. I have given out my landline number to all doctors and other businesses. I moved from Florida 15 months ago to Independent living apartments and it has taken a long time to really make close friends and they don’t do much phone calling either. Hate to bother my kids and grandchildren too much as they have their own busy lives.

    Since this coronavirus I have not been able to find a restaurant to test for noise. Went to one for brunch today and they are now a Wahlburger with plastic utensils, quiet w/ no noise at all. It was just not the same as a real restaurant. I have not been able to find a restaurant to test for noise. Most are still closed.

    I live in the Twin Cities Minnesota area and I am very pleased with the fitter. He has 25 years of experience and is kind, considerate, and helpful. If any of your posters have a thought good or bad about the TCoil please email me or Post here.
    Thank you, Anita.

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