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The prices of hearing aids are high; we all know that. The price tag by itself is already shocking enough. But putting it next to the cost of other goods can provide a fresh perspective… and ultimately show how overpriced these devices are compared to the cost to make them.

The average pair of hearing aids in the US costs approximately $4000 (2 x $2000, or one for each ear) – with some pairs going for up to $8000. Audicus Hearing Aids compiled a basket of goods that can be purchased on eBay for approximately the same amount. We tried to be as broad as possible, picking items in categories as varied as consumer electronics, agriculture, jewelry, cars, office equipment, motorcycles, furniture and collectibles. This colorful set of data is shown below and sheds some light on how grotesquely hearing aids are priced.

Prices of Hearing Aids: A Comparison

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The average price of hearing aids is in the same league as a vintage 1968 Ford Mustang, a full-blown outdoor home-cinema set, or a 14 carat emerald and diamond bracelet!

But what makes this comparison even more sobering is if we consider the cost of manufacturing a pair of hearing aids (see infographic). The $300 implies a markup of up to 13 times! There are very few “consumer-focused” industries to our knowledge that come close to a similar markup.

Unfortunately only few consumers know this. We conducted a survey with about 200 hearing aid users, which showed that more than 96% had little or no idea why the prices of hearing aids are so high.

We really believe that price transparency should be at the core of patients’ interests and hope to do our part in raising awareness in subsequent posts and make hearing aids more affordable. By a lot. And with the savings you might even be able hop on that Harley Davidson, or sling that 1932 Yankees Baseball signed by Babe Ruth!

Read more about the prices of hearing aids vs. other consumer electronics.

Sources: Audicus Hearing Aids, eBay

by Patrick Freuler

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