59% drop in US hearing aid sales due to COVID

According to statistic generated by the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), Washington, DC, hearing aid net unit sales in the United States decreased by 58.6% in the second quarter of 2020 due to the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and mass shutdowns it caused in March through May. Unit sales for the commercial/private sector decreased by 52.5% in the second quarter, while the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) dispensing activity decreased by 83.4%.

Source: US Hearing Aid Sales Fall by 59% in Q2 2020 - Hearing Review

Wow! But too bad that the Thumbs Up button is not more like Facebook’s Like button so that one can vote on a range of reactions - it would be nice to have a Wow!, a Sad, and a Care button - but maybe it would make the user interface too complex and maybe Facebook has copyrighted the Wow! button, etc.! <<< just kidding >>>

I can sure see this happening. Not just hearing aid sales has taken a hit.
Besides hearing aid businesses not being open for business, people have lost jobs and do not have the money for new aids.

It is a sad position.


Haha Jim. Yes, I think we’ve all been spoiled for choice.

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I was wondering as other health areas are facing the same challenges of Covid 19 and the closings that resulted. It is also hard for people to invest in hearing aids when you are not sure if you will have a job or money for food and housing. This was also said by another person on this forum. It is sad to see people getting hurt through no fault of their own.

My own feeling, especially in the U.S.A., is that folks tend to feel that humans are Masters of The Universe. I think the pandemic and stuff like global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, super-volcanoes (Yellowstone), plate tectonics, etc., will show that we’re like ants right here on our “own” planet. There are forces and events that so far exceed our ability to control them. Right now, we don’t think there’s any Yucatan Peninsula-like asteroid out there but we could always go the way of the dinosaurs with something like that. Fortunately, most of these possible apocalyptic events are pretty rare. But once every few hundred million years on earth, there’s been an event that causes 75% or more of life on the planet to be obliterated (a lot of it was tied to vulcanism, which is said to have died down a lot since the younger days of the earth). So maybe we all should rejoice it’s just a coronavirus pandemic and not a supervolcano that has exploded and caused a “nuclear” winter…

Ok. So now what for the manufacturers? Do they have a huge surplus of HAs that they will need to sell before they introduce new ones? Will one manufacturer introduce their next generation HA and platform and try to catch the other manufacturers with that huge surplus that they are now going to have to basically discard or sell cheaply because they won’t be comparable to the newest and best? Does Costco buy the huge inventories dirt cheap? Do all the manufacturers collude to postpone releasing their next generations? Interesting times…

Endless speculation of “what if”, “what might be” or “what could be” is a waste of time.


I am curious if new models will be delayed. Have any audiologists heard any rumors from their reps? And agree with Grandpaw that speculation is a waste of time, but it’s fun!

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Saw this from Sonova: Current outlook | Sonova International

They are not predicting a rosy outlook. It seems likely that this could impact future development. Note: For those that don’t know, Sonova is the parent company of Phonak, Unitron, and Hansaton hearing aids as well as Advanced Bionics Cochlear implants.

Due to facial masks you are going to see a percentage of people who should try hearing aids, take a pass. Many first time users of HA’s are skeptical of the whole process to begin with, plus the cost. Throw in facial masks and an Audi wearing a clear mask - and X amount of people that should wear a hearing aid are going to say - NOPE. Not for me.

And as we know the elderly are the largest age group to buy aids - but I’m afraid those dealing with aids for the first time along with masks/bands on ears. muffled sounds, etc. will impact and depress hearing aid sales this year and next year. On the plus side maybe HA prices will drop due to slumping sales.

You are right as demand slows it makes it harder to invest in research and development. Hopefully things will improve after they make and distribute a vaccine.