The Future. Since the FDA started allowing hearing aids to be sold over the counter, sales have skyrocketed, especially among younger customers. With millennials and Gen Zers experiencing increased hearing loss because of their constant headphone use, popping in a pair of hearing aids may soon become a natural, frictionless habit.
Phone, wallet, keys, glasses… hearing aid?
- This year, companies like Sony, Bose, and HP have all jumped on the over-the-counter hearing aid market with low-price options that don’t have to go all the way into the ear canal.
- The devices can boost the volume of speakers right in front of you, while also fading background noise — all controllable by connected apps that actively measure hearing loss.
- And they aren’t just hearing aids, but also all-in-one listening devices with the ability to be used for chat, text, and video like any other typical, high-end pair of earphones.
According to the National Council on Aging, 48 million Americans experience some amount of hearing loss, but only 20% do something about it — typically because of denial of the issue or embarrassment around wearing devices in public.
Capturing the other 80% with over-the-counter devices could be a major boost to the already massive $7.7 billion hearing aid market.