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According to a new series of reports on the U.S. market for hearing devices by iData Research, the market is driven by product innovation. The focus on technological innovations to improve sound quality and immediate post-fit satisfaction, as well as a myriad of new features is driving the growth of premium models and lower-tier devices.
The hearing aid market comprises the largest segment of the overall U.S. hearing aid and audiology device market. This was due to an increasing penetration of big box retailers such as Costco. This was followed by the cochlear implant, hearing aid battery and bone-anchored hearing aid markets.
“The hearing aid battery segment will increase its share as the market continues to be driven by the growing number of hearing aid users,” explains Dr. Kamran Zamanian, CEO of iData. “Future growth will also continue to be fueled by larger purchases by Veterans Affairs (VA), an increase in the over-65 population and a change in hearing aid consumer attitudes caused by the aging baby boomer population.”
Segments within the diagnostic equipment space are expected to experience lower growth rates. This is primarily due to the high level of penetration in the otoscope market, as it is a required piece of equipment for audiologists to meet the standard of care for hearing evaluations. The market well penetrated and sales are generated predominantly for the replacement of old products.
The hearing aid and audiology device market is largely controlled by four main holding groups: William Demant, Sonova, GN Store Nord A/S and Spectrum Brands. Sonova is the leading provider of hearing aids, operating under the Phonak and Unitron brands. In addition to their current dominance in the market, they are also very active with ongoing acquisitions to further secure their leading position.
There exists a number of other smaller competitors in the manufacturer hearing aid market, including companies like Audina, Hansaton, MicroTech, Micracle-Ear, Person Medical, Rion, SeboTek Hearing Systems and Songbird Hearing. These companies have significantly smaller distribution networks and consequently experience far less market penetration.
Emerging competitors continue to gain market share through niche segments like bone-anchored hearing aids, cochlear implants and middle ear implants. Product innovation is the focus of nearly all competitors, even those in the battery market. Success will be determined on who can capture market share based on not only price, but also functionality. Examples of this include recent introductions of smartphone pairing capabilities and app connectivity as demonstrated by products such as Cochlear’s Baha® and ReSound’s ENZO2.
For Further Information
More on the hearing device market in the U.S. can be found in a series of reports published by iData Research entitled the U.S. Market Report Suite for Hearing Devices.