Are you considering Costco’s hearing aid options? Philips hearing aids are a quality hearing aid option in Costco's portfolio. For background, the global health care and hearing aid company Demant manufactures Philips hearing devices and other brands like Oticon and Bernafon.
In this article, we’ll break down the latest models from Philips, their technology levels and features, pros and cons, prices, and how they compare to other options available at Costco.
An Audologist’s Review of Philips Hearing Aids
Latest Models from Philips
Philips makes three different types of hearing aids: behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-the-ear (RITE), and in-the-ear (ITE). In 2021, Philip released its most recent edition, the HearLink 30 series. The BTE and RIC models work for a variety of lifestyles, as they are available in both rechargeable and disposable battery options to fit your unique needs. And in terms of aesthetics, both of these models look similar to the Oticon More. Keep in mind that the ITE hearing aids are available only in disposable batteries.
Philips Technology Levels and Features
Philips offers different technology levels from basic to premium, which are based on the user’s individual needs. These levels of technology range from 9030 to 7030 to 5030, with the highest level of technology at 9030.
What does that mean? The higher number represents a more advanced level of technology, with the 9030 level being the premium product.
Philips hearing aids offer features like artificial intelligence algorithms that automatically adjust sound processing based on your surroundings. New features in the Philips hearing aid line include connectivity and streaming options for both Android and iPhone, a new and improved SmartPhone app, refined noise reduction, and an option for remote care (when coordinated with a provider). Additionally, there is a new portable charger for those on the go, which can hold a three day charge for long weekend travel. Other features include tinnitus masking (to mask ringing in your ears), and rechargeable batteries for greater convenience.
For folks with mild to severe hearing loss, Philips also offers options with the HearLink miniRITE hearing aids which come with or without telecoil and rechargeable or 312 disposable batteries. To note, the Philips HearLink BTE PP comes only in a disposable size 13 battery.
As for color options, Philips offers six colors in shades of gray, beige, and brown that can blend well with common hair shades. The brand also offers several accessories that work with these hearing aids such as an AudioClip, a TV adapter, and a remote control.
Making daily life simpler and easier with a SmartPhone app, HearLink, is a convenient option that works like a remote control for the hearing aids. On this app, you'll be able to adjust the volume of the hearing aids as a pair or individually, adjust the streaming sound (bass, middle, and treble), switch programs, and even find your hearing aids if they get lost. Even more, this app will also tell the battery percentage, so you'll know if the battery is running low and needs to be charged or changed (in the case of disposable batteries).
Philips Pros and Cons
The biggest pro of using Philips hearing aids is their quality—they are made from durable materials and have advanced sound processing capabilities to ensure optimal performance. With this in mind, Philips offers a wide selection of models and technology levels, so you can find one that works for you.
Now, let's review some potential disadvantages. In my experience, Demant products have been known to have connectivity issues with Android phones. However, software updates do occur periodically that can help with this and you'll want to check whether there are any current known issues when purchasing. As for voice controls and features, you will still use the microphone on your phone to pick up your voice, but the tap control is not a feature offered on these hearing aids to answer phone calls.
In my experience, other Demant products like Oticon are favored among musicians or those more sensitive to louder sounds. For those that are more budget-conscious, Philips products through Costco are a solid option.
Even better: Costco also offers a three-year warranty on the devices, plus a loss and damage policy for a one-time replacement at no additional charge for the first two years.
Keep in mind that if you're looking for tinnitus masking programs or do a fair amount of streaming with an Android phone, there may be better options out there.
What to Consider With Costco
Regardless of the hearing healthcare you choose, it’s essential to make an informed decision to choose an option that best meets your needs.
One crucial element to consider with Costco is the service you'll receive for hearing aids. At Costco, it’s likely you’ll be seen by a hearing instrument specialist rather than an audiologist. And, it’s typically not the same person with each visit.
If your hearing aids need repairs, the store does not provide loaner devices while waiting for the device to come back from services. Some people choose Costco and are perfectly happy with their selection but this brand may not be the best option if you prefer more customized care, seeing the same provider regularly, or have a more complex hearing loss. Another important point is that the Philips devices through Costco are locked, meaning that another provider outside of Costco cannot program them.
Philips hearing aids start at approximately $1799 per pair, depending on the technology level, and may vary slightly based on geographic location. To add, custom earmolds cost about $100 more than the standard price too.
Compared with prices at local audiology clinics, Philips hearing aids are a good value. But you’ll also need to consider the level of service and follow-up care you’ll receive (and versus what you need).
Comparison With Other Options at Costco
Compared to other options available at Costco, such as Rexton or ReSound Philips hearing aids are similarly priced. While not always the latest technology, Costco's hearing aid offering includes options from reputable hearing aid companies, such as ReSound and Signia.
If you’re looking for high-quality hearing aids with a more budget-conscious price point, then Philips is a wallet-friendly option. They offer a wide selection of models ranging from basic to premium levels, so there’s something to suit everyone’s individual needs and finances. Compared to other options available at Costco, they are priced well. All in all, Costco is one option for effective hearing healthcare.