Need Help?

Costco Adds Philips HearLink Hearing Aids to Their Line-up

Costco has added the new HearLink hearing aid range from Philips to its line-up. It appears that they have also priced the HearLink range quite aggressively charging $1249.99 for a top of the range 9010 hearing aid. We aren't exactly sure about that and we are trying to clarify it. While the Philips HearLink range is a full line-up offering, it appears that Costco is only offering the Receiver In The Ear and the Behind The Ear models. There has been some confusion about exactly what Phillips HearLink hearing aids are with some believing that they are just Oticon Opn in disguise. That couldn't be further from the truth. While the HearLink shares hardware with the Oticon Opn S (both are built by Demant, the parent company of Oticon, Bernafon and now under licence, Philips), the features used are quite different. Let's take a look at what is going on and what the HearLink has to offer.

Phillips HearLink hearing aid range

Costco Hearing Aids

Costco is the largest private distributor of hearing aids in North America and has been for a while. In terms of volume of hearing aids dispensed, they are in fact only second to the VA. They sell hearing aids from all of the world's biggest hearing aid manufacturers including Sonova, Demant, GN Hearing, and WS Audiology. They also sell their own white labelled Kirkland-brand hearing aids, which are currently manufactured by WS Audiology and are based on the Signia Nx range.  Bernafon, who are owned by Demant has been sold at Costco for some time, however, it appears that they have dropped them in favour of the new Philips range.

Brand Recognition

We would imagine that Costco decided to drop the Bernafon range based on decisions around brand recognition. While Bernafon offers pretty great hearing aids, outside of the hearing aid world, no-one has ever heard of them, but I would imagine everyone has heard of Philips.

Oticon Opn in Disguise?

There does seem to have been some confusion about the HearLink hearing aids and there is a feeling that they are Oticon Opn hearing aids in disguise. They aren't, but I can kind of understand why people may be confused. The HearLink hearing aid range is a collaboration between Philips and Demant. In the first instance, Demant has provided the hardware and the HearLink hearing aids look similar to both Bernafon and Oticon hearing aids.

While the chipset and components are shared across the three brands, what each brand does with them is quite different. There will be a marked difference between how they sound. The biggest difference between the Opn S and Bernafon and Philips hearing aids is the OpenSound Navigator. This is a unique system for handling the sound picture that is only available from Oticon. There are other differences, but I won't bore you to tears.

Only The Non-Custom Hearing Aids?

It appears from the Costco site that they are only offering the RITE and BTE devices. There is mention of custom ear molds but no mention of custom hearing aids and the images they are using are all of RITE and BTE device. That isn't completely clear and we are following up with Costco on that.

Costco HearLink Hearing Aids Pricing

As I said, the information out there points to a pretty aggressive pricing strategy on the HearLink range. It has been said that Costco is offering the premium 9010 hearing aids starting from $1249.99. That isn't immediately clear on their website and we are following up with Costco to get some clarity on that.

The Features

The HearLink uses the latest super-fast chipset from Demant and its new feedback control system. The features unique to Hearlink are as follows:

  • SoundMap Noise Control: This feature uses a conventional approach with Directionality and Noise Reduction, using a twin-microphone to estimate noise more accurately.
  • Speech Guard: This feature uses a more linear amplification strategy to preserve small changes in speech level
  • SoundMap: The amplification strategy uses a noise estimate from the sound environment that controls the compression ratio to better preserve speech information in noisy environments.

The Models Available

The Costco range seems to be made up of three Receiver In The Ear (RITE) hearing aids and a Behind The Ear (BTE) hearing aid as follows.

Hearlink Mini RITE

Small and sleek Made For iPhone RITE instrument with size 312 battery that fits discreetly behind the ear. This hearing aid can have different speakers for mild to severe hearing losses.

Phillips Hearlink MiniRITE

Hearlink MiniRITET-R

Lithium-ion Made For iPhone rechargeable RITE instrument with a lithium-ion power pack. Fully charged within only 3 hours and providing a full day of use. This hearing aid can have different speakers for mild to severe hearing losses.

Phillips Hearlink MiniRITE Rechargeable

Hearlink miniRITE-T

Discreet Made For iPhone RITE instrument with size 312 battery, telecoil and double Program Button. This hearing aid can have different speakers for mild to severe hearing losses.

Phillips Hearlink MiniRITE-T

Hearlink BTE PP

Full-featured powerful Made For iPhone BTE instrument with size 13 battery, telecoil and double Program Button. This hearing aid style is most commonly used for severe to profound hearing losses. It’s powerful and easy to handle.

Phillips Hearlink BTE PP

As always, as we find out more, we will keep you updated. Like us on Facebook by clicking the button below to keep up with our latest burblings, you know you want to!

If you like what you see, share it so others can benefit

Posted by

Geoffrey Cooling

Geoffrey Cooling

LinkedIn Twitter Facebook GooglePlus Amazon Author Page Co Founder
Geoffrey (Geoff, anything else makes him nervous) Cooling is an Irish hearing aid blogger and has been involved with the hearing aid industry since 2007. He has worked in private practice dispensing hearing aids and as a manufacturer's rep. He has written two books and they are both available on Amazon. He loves technology, passing on knowledge and is legendary for many other things, primarily the amount he curses, his dry and mischievous sense of humour and his complete intolerance of people who are full of themselves. Please feel free to connect with him.

Rate this article

(Rated 4 stars by 58 people)

You might find these related articles helpful

Can't find what you are looking for? Search all of our articles using the box below

Or, you can ask us a question!

Ask us anything about hearing aids, hearing loss, ear wax, tinnitus or other ear-related problems and we'll do our best to answer it.

Looking For the Latest Hearing Aids or A Hearing Test?

Arrange a consultation with a trusted Independent hearing healthcare professional in your area

Find A Provider Near You

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Don't worry, we hate spam too - that's why we only send out content you will want to read.

Looking For Hearing Aids or A Hearing Test?

We can arrange a consultation with a trusted Independent hearing healthcare professional in your area

Find A Provider Learn more about The Test