So you’ve been told the best treatment for your hearing loss is hearing aids, and you’ve been doing your online research to see what’s out there. But there’s so much information, it’s hard to know what to do.

Costco has shown up in your search results, and some of the reviews look okay, but there’s an audiology clinic near your home, and it just seems that having an audiologist look after your hearing rather than a grocery store makes sense.

But you’ve looked at prices, service, reviews, and product choice, and Costco hearing aids seem appealing.

Many local people feel the same way, and we often get calls to our office about the differences between our hearing aids and those that are sold on the shelf at Costco.

We’re here to help you understand those differences and make an informed decision on which option is best for you.

Costco Hearing Aids vs. Audiologist Hearing Aids: What are The Key Differences?

Honestly, there are advantages and disadvantages for each, but the main difference is that Costco focuses on one transaction whereas we’re more interested in supporting you on your lifetime hearing healthcare journey.

The other main differences between Costco vs Audiology are as follows:

Costco vs. Physicians Hearing Care: What's the Difference?
#1 – Convenience Store vs. Local Hearing Care Clinic In East Tennessee

Costco is a good place to get a free hearing test and then buy hearing aids. But a free hearing test at Costco doesn’t compare to a comprehensive hearing assessment done by an audiologist.

Costco’s hearing test serves as a convenient starting point, although it may not fully capture the entirety of your hearing experience, potentially leading to less precise treatment of your unique hearing needs. They specifically say it’s only a “test to determine if you could be helped by a hearing aid.”

Not only is our hearing test accurate and professional, we also examine the degree of your hearing loss and diagnose its root cause. And we conduct additional tests like tympanometry, otoscopy, and otoacoustic emissions (OAE) testing to ensure a holistic understanding of your hearing health. 

If your hearing assessment highlights an underlying issue, we partner with East Tennessee’s top physicians at Ear, Nose & Throat Consultants of East Tennessee, so we can refer you to our in-office specialists for further assessments.

This comes close to guaranteeing that the hearing device we recommend will be tailored to your unique hearing needs.

  • We’re locally owned and operated, and we care about getting to know you as a valued member of our community.
  • We have five locations, so you are guaranteed to find in-person care near your home.
  • We have an “Express Patient Care” service for immediate needs.

 Click here to schedule an Express Patient Care appointment.

#2 – Loss And Damage Warranties For Hearing Aids And Repairs

Both Costco and Physicians Hearing Care have good loss and damage warranties, so your aids will be fixed if you lose one, drop one, or it gets damaged some other way.

Costco offers 3-year protection for loss and damage on most of their models.

We offer a 3-4 year loss, damage, and repair warranty on our packages.

We also offer options for extended warranties to provide more coverage over a longer period.

#3 – Repairs And Maintenance On Your Hearing Aids

If your hearing aids need repair, you have to mail them in or bring them to your local Costco.

We do most repairs in office with a quick turnaround, and if we need to send your devices to the manufacturer because the repairs needed are more extensive, we’ll lend you a similar pair of hearing aids while you wait for yours to come back.

Both Costco and PHC offer free cleanings and checks. The key difference is that PHC proactively schedules annual and semi-annual visits. Our goal is to stay ahead of potential issues. Costco allows you to schedule an apt if you have a problem. However, it can be very difficult to get one of those slots-depending on the Costco. COSTCO is a retail model and as such they need to limit the number of no charge visits.

But wait, there’s more! You can book a spot in our Express Patient Care service, 1 PM – 3 PM, Monday to Thursday, if you need immediate attention, repairs, adjustments, or cleaning. You can also drop off your devices and pick them up when they’re ready.

When you’re in for an appointment, check our supply of everything you might need for your hearing aids while you’re here. We have wax guards, batteries, domes, filters, retention lines – you name it.

#4 – Remote Appointments For Your Convenience

Costco hearing aid centers have very convenient hours, including weekend hours, and they also offer remote options. This can make it difficult to get help if you simply cannot leave your home for some reason.

We’ve been able to help many of our patients stay at home and get support through virtual appointments where you can talk face to face with one of our hearing experts via a video call.

It’s a super convenient way to skip the traffic and stay in your jammies, while still accessing the quality hearing care you need. Our tele-audiology services are designed to provide the same high standard of care that you would receive in our office, ensuring your hearing healthcare is never compromised.

We can also do remote adjustments on your hearing aids that allow for it. Costco does the same but only on certain hearing aids.

If you need help outside of any appointment, you can call us from 9 AM – 5 PM, Monday to Friday.

#5 – The Price Comparison

Costco hearing aid prices are impressive. Their cheapest hearing aid, their Kirkland signature 10s, start at $1,399 and at a $1,799 starting price for other brands they carry. They charge extra for custom earmolds.

Our hearing care packages cover your hearing aids PLUS every aspect of your hearing care for the next three to four years. Our approach to pricing is transparent and all inclusive, with no hidden costs. We explain all the costs upfront, including the cost of the hearing aids, any fitting fees, and the cost of follow-up care.

Costco only has three major hearing aid brands to choose from, which includes their own brand, limiting the possibility of you getting the best hearing aids for your needs, whereas we work with all the major brands.

At Physicians Hearing Care, we are not the cheapest option, but we see our hearing aid packages as an investment rather than a cost. We are always available to help, and we’re here for you for the long haul.

#6 – Qualified Audiologists

Our doctors of audiology have many, many years of education, and we have years of experience dealing with every aspect of hearing care. Compare that to the hearing dispenser hired by Costco who only has to study for three months to pass a state test.

Does Costco have audiologists? Yes, Costco does hire some audiologists, but they usually aren’t doing hearing tests, so balance issues and tinnitus won’t be treated at all.

Physicians Hearing Care is a division of a premier otolaryngology practice, Ear, Nose & Throat Consultants of East Tennessee. So if we notice anything about your hearing loss that requires medical help, we can immediately refer you for the care you need, and you won’t go another day with an untreated medical issue.

Our Audiology Team Can Help You

If you or a loved one has any questions about hearing aids and choosing the best ones, we’re ready to help.

You can get in touch with one of our audiologists here. 

If you’re looking for the best place to start with your hearing healthcare, a comprehensive hearing assessment by an audiologist will define exactly what your needs are and your best next steps.

The rest is up to you.

Let us guide you to a life time of better hearing

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Dr. Kalyn Bradford Au.D.

Dr. Kalyn Bradford is the director of hearing aid services here at Physician's Hearing Care. She completed her externship with Physician's Hearing Care in 2013 and subsequently joined the practice in 2014 after graduating with her doctoral degree in audiology from Louisiana Tech University. She joined PHC as a clinical audiologist, where she performed comprehensive audiological exams and specialized in helping patients to hear better using the latest hearing aid technology available. She has carried that experience into her current role as director of hearing aid services, where she does an excellent job managing the audiologists to ensure that all patients are treated with the best hearing care possible.