Usually, my articles include second opinions and fact checks from industry leaders and audiologists.
Not this article. Today, I’m here to speculate. If I get it all wrong, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Today I’m thinking about Costco. Specifically, I’m thinking about their beloved Kirkland Signature hearing aid. Costco released the Kirkland Signature 10.0 in early 2021. Then in September of 2022 they discontinued the product without much warning.
Why do I think we might see KS11 hearing aids soon?
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First Some Background.
Costco doesn’t manufacture its Kirkland hearing aids. Instead, the retailer partners with a large hearing company called (most recently Sonova). Sonova’s flagship brand is called Phonak, and a white-labeled version of the Phonak Paradise product is what Costco previously branded as Kirkland Signature 10.0.
Phonak released a new product in August.
In August 2022, Phonak announced an upgrade to its popular Paradise model. The new Phonak product called Lumity comes with more capabilities in background noise and an updated design.
Less than a month later, Costco pulled Kirkland 10.0 hearing aids (now an old model) out of stores.
There were some online rumors that Costco pulled the latest batch of Kirkland 10.0 hearing aids due to battery issues (which is possible), but I have to guess that newer technology on the horizon is a factor.
The big question is, will Costco’s Kirkland 11 come from Phonak’s newer technology or another brand? Recent reports from Sonova leadership indicate that the two companies may be parting ways which could mean that another leading brand like GN, WS Audiology, or Demant will manufacture Kirkland 11.
What would Costco’s Kirkland 11 look like?
Costco typically chooses one of the five largest manufacturers to make its white-label hearing aid. If we assume they keep their contract with Sonova, the new KS11 will probably look like Phonak Lumity.
Time will tell, but it seems to me that we might see KS11 by the end of 2023.