When it comes to investing in better hearing, there are a number of options available, and it can be difficult to know where to go, whom to trust, and who will deliver the best solution.

With a Costco store not too far from a number of our offices, we are occasionally asked:

“What’s the difference between buying hearing aids from Arnold Hearing Centres compared to buying them from Costco?”

With many important differences – from service to repair warranty, levels of service, and different technology options – this article will share the key differences to help you make an informed decision on the right option for you.

The objective is to be as transparent, fair, and non-biased as possible, as both options differ greatly and, as you’ll soon understand, some people may naturally prefer one option and others will prefer the other option.

But before we jump into the comparison, there is one key thing to understand:

Buying Hearing Aids vs. Investing in Hearing Care

It’s important to understand that there’s a big difference between hearing aids and hearing care.

There unfortunately remains a narrative that the solution to a hearing loss is a hearing aid, yet that’s simply not true. Many people need a combination of great hearing technology and a great hearing care professional to receive long-term results.

While there’s no shortage of places to buy a set of hearing aids, the key thing that you should be looking for, especially if you’ve never worn hearing aids before, is a trusted expert who can help you on your journey to get the best performance from your hearing aids.

This is where there is a significant difference between working with somebody like Costco versus working with a trusted independent hearing care professional, like the team at Arnold Hearing Centres.

A good analogy could be the contrast between watching a movie in a state-of-the-art cinema with surround sound versus viewing it on a small, outdated television – the immersion in and enjoyment of the film will be on completely different levels.

To help you understand the key differences, we have developed a comparison chart to outline the benefits of choosing both Costco and Arnold Hearing Centres.

Comparison Chart of Costco Prices and Packages Compared To Arnold Hearing Centres.
The above is a comprehensive side-by-side comparison that shares a transparent overview of your options.

As you can see, there is a clear contrast in offerings.

Let’s explore them in more detail.

The First Big Difference Is That Costco Has a Very Limited Selection of Hearing Aids

Arnold Hearing Centres will always recommend the best hearing device for your hearing needs because we partner with all the top hearing aid manufacturers.

You’re guaranteed to get the absolute best hearing device for your lifestyle, hearing level, and budget.

Not to mention that the hearing aid bundles we offer include hearing care plans. We promise that our prices will always be upfront, and we will not hide any service packages or future in-office fees.

Our top package includes high-end hearing aids – Bernafon, Starkey, Oticon, and Phonak – along with a five-year comprehensive treatment plan, custom-fit earmolds, and your ear impression.

On the other hand, Costco’s selection includes just Rexton, Phillips, and Jabra.

Additionally, some features on their hearing aids are often deactivated by manufacturers, and some of their hearing aids are locked, preventing other hearing instrument providers from making adjustments.

You also have to be a Costco member in order to visit their hearing centre.

Comprehensive hearing assessment

A Second Big Difference Is Warranty and Support

Your warranty gives you peace of mind that if your devices are lost, broken, or damaged, you will be covered by the manufacturer to deliver a replacement or repair.

Costco offers a two-year loss and damage warranty on most of their hearing aids. They also have a repair warranty, but you need to pay for any repairs that the warranty doesn’t cover, and Costco won’t lend you hearing aids while yours are out for repair.

Conversely, Arnold Hearing Centres have loaners available to lend while yours are being repaired.

Arnold Hearing Centres’ warranties depend on the plan you choose, with the top Premier Plus Plan including:

  • Five years of inclusive batteries or a hearing device charger
  • Four-year full-service repair warranty
  • Two-year replacement warranty for loss or damage (+manufacturer's deductible)
  • $1,000 contribution towards purchase of upgraded technology within 60 months.
Our Essential Plan includes:
  • One year of inclusive batteries or a hearing device charger
  • Two-year full-service repair warranty
  • Two-year replacement warranty for loss or damage (+manufacturer's deductible)

A Third Big Difference Is the Ongoing Service

Having helped thousands of people to achieve better hearing, we understand that this is a journey, not a destination.

This means that regular appointments, visits, adjustments, and support are key to achieving better hearing. This is why we like to see you at least every six months to continually help you to care for your hearing devices and regularly reassess your hearing to make any required adjustments.

At places like Costco, the staff is available to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have, but their approach is generally less personalized and proactive.

What About the Investment?

Costco’s cheapest hearing aid starts at $1,599.99, and the cost of their next cheapest brand begins at $1,699.99.

Compare that to Arnold Hearing Centres’ hearing packages, which start at $2,005 for a hearing aid and include a comprehensive 17-point fitting process of style choice, treatment plan, fitting, counselling, programming, adjustments, and ongoing care.

To conclude, whether you decide to start your journey with Arnold Hearing Centres or Costco, taking the first step toward getting help is the most important part of addressing your hearing challenges.

Hearing loss is complicated and there is a range of factors that contribute toward its severity, dependent on the person. Your individual challenges and requirements are unique to you and only you can know what to do next.

We strongly believe that our track record of helping people to achieve better hearing proves that the most effective approach to a hearing challenge is working with a team of hearing care experts, not just buying a set of hearing aids.

Our hope is this article has helped you to understand the key differences and make the best decision for you or a loved one.

If you have any questions or if we can help in any way, then please know that we are here. You can contact us by clicking here, schedule an appointment here, or request a callback here.

Thank you for your time.

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Chris Arnold - Owner & HIS

Growing up in Kitchener, Ontario, Chris went to Durham and George Brown College. As the owner of Arnold Hearing Centres, he manages all locations, as well as handles all the marketing, reporting, meetings, and makes sure that both the staff and patients have a positive experience. Ultimately, there is a lot of pressure on Chris to ensure he delivers results year after year, but he credits the clinic’s success down to the amazing staff that has now become family. Truly, he enjoys working alongside everyone each day.