US Hearing Aid Market

Part
01
of six
Part
01

US Hearing Aid Market - Top Manufacturers

The top five manufacturers of hearing aids based on market share in the US are Sonova (30%), William Demant (21%), GN Resound (17%), Starkey (16%), and Sivantos (formerly Siemens) (12%). The market share percentage is based on sales at the end of 2015, the latest data available, and our research suggests that there hasn't been any significant change since the end of 2015. Below, you will find more details.

METHODOLOGY AND FINDINGS

To find data on the top manufacturers of hearing aids in the US, our research team started by extensively searching market research databases such as IBIS World, Market Research, Grandview Research, Orian Research, among others. Although we found data on global players, some of whom are based in the US, we didn't find any objective data OR metric such as their market share or revenue with which to rank them.

Next, we decided to search statistic databases such as Statista and Statistics Brain. We were able to find data on the top manufacturers ranked by market share based on their total sales in the US at the end of 2015 on Statista (see the screenshot of the data). Wonder has a policy of only using sources not older than 24 months so we tried to find more recent data. However, we discovered that the data has not been updated and it is the latest available.

We tried to use recent revenue figure to rank the companies listed as key players but this was not possible because the companies are global companies and they only published global revenues without any break down by country. In addition, most also of the companies operate in other markets and didn't publish sales for just hearing aids.

We also tried to find more recent data on the biggest players in the US by reviewing media and industry sources such as Hearing Mojo, Hearing Review, Fullerton Hearing, Audiology Worldnews, among others. We did find several recent lists of the biggest manufacturers but none had a metric with which to rank them. However, the data helped support the fact that the 2015 list from Statista is most likely still accurate.

For instance, Hearing Mojo stated that the “Big Six” hearing aid manufacturers globally are "Sonova Group AG, GN ReSound, Sivantos (Siemens), Starkey Hearing Technologies, William Demant, and Widex" and that they account for about 80% of all hearing aid sales in the world. Five out of the six on the list are the same companies featured on Statista's list we have provided as the top five. A 2018 market report published by Hearing Review also lists the same set of companies. This is also the case in a 2017 report published by Fullerton Hearing.

Hence, we have concluded that the data published by Statista based on 2015 sales is most likely still accurate as we didn't come across any data that suggests that the U.S. market has changed significantly since the end of 2015. However, there is a possibility that Sivantos (formerly Siemens) now has a bigger market share than it did in 2015 as the company also acquired TruHearing in 2018.


Part
02
of six
Part
02

US Hearing Aid Market - Top Retailers

The top 10 retailers of hearing aids in the US (ranked by market share) are Costco, GN (Beltone), Elite (Amplifon), Starkey (Audibel), Amplifon (Miracle Ear), Demant (Various), Demant (Various), Sonova (Connect), Sivantos (Hear USA), Sivantos (Hear USA), Walmart, and CVS.

FINDINGS

The top 10 retailers ranked by market share in the United States hearing aid market:
1. Costco: 12%
2. GN (Beltone): 9%
3. Elite (Amplifon): 7%
4. Starkey (Audibel): 6%
5. Amplifon (Miracle Ear): 6%
6. Demant (Various): 2%
7. Sonova (Connect): 2%
8. Sivantos (Hear USA): 1%
9. Walmart: 1%
10. CVS: < 1%
  • The top 10 hearing aid retailers have a combined market share of approximately 47%(12+9+7+6+6+2+2+1+1+<1).
  • The top 5 hearing aid retailers have a combined market share of 40% (12+9+7+6+6) .

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • The global market share of the top hearing aid companies:
-Sonova (Phonak, Unitron, Hansanton): 25%
-WDH (Oticon, Bernafon, Sonic): 24%
-GN (ReSound, Beltone, Interton): 16%
-Sivantos (Signia/ Rexton): 16%
-Starkey (Starkey, Micro-Tech, NuEar): 11%
-Widex (Widex): 8%
  • There were 3.28 to 3.65 million hearing aids sold in the US in 2016. It is estimated that 22% of the total sale was made through the Veterans Administration Hearing Aid Program and 78% through private retailers.
  • The sales of private retailers grew by 6% in 2016, 8% in 2015, and 3% in 2014.
  • Costco was estimated to be growing at 5-8% in 2018.

Part
03
of six
Part
03

US Hearing Aid Market - Market Analysis By Channels

In 2018, there were 3,969,895 hearing aid units sold in the US, which were valued at approximately $9,130,758,500. From October 2015 to September 2016, the market size of the US hearing aid was broken down (in terms of the units sold or percentage of the total hearing aid units sold in the US) into the following: Government services (706,000 units sold or 20%); Independent Private Practices & Medical Offices (855,000 units sold or 24%); Manufacturer Owned / Financed Retail Networks (1,189,000 units sold or 33%); National Retailers (504,000 units sold or 14%); and Virtual Retailers (292,000 units sold or 8%). Below are our detailed methodology and deep findings.

METHODOLOGY

To find the market size of the hearing aid in the US, we began our search by going through the market reports published by Market Watch, Business Wire, Orbis Research, among others. However, these sources provided only the global market size and did not specify the market share of the US. While searching for market reports, we found data given by the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), Washington, DC on the number of hearing aid units sold in 2018. We noted this number as this could be used to express the market size in terms of units sold. Also, it could be a key source to triangulate and present the market size in US$.

Next, we searched through the media articles from ABC7, Forbes, and PR Newswire as well as on Statista, but these sources also mention the global market size alone. Since we could not find a pre-compiled answer for the US hearing aid market size in terms of US$, we proceeded to triangulate the information, this is, by determining the average unit price of the hearing aid in the US and then multiplying this by the number of the hearing aid units sold in 2018, hence, we could calculate the market size in US$. We also found out that the average price per unit of the hearing aid is $2,300 as per the President’s Council for Science & Technology. Therefore, the market size of the hearing aid in the US in 2018 was valued at approximately $9,130,758,500 ($2,300 X 3,969,895 units).

For the breakdown of the US hearing aid market, the same above strategies were used to locate the data. As mentioned, the market reports and articles we found are not specific to the US market. On further research, we came across a market breakdown in terms of units sold per sector of the hearing aid market, which was the data from October 2015 to September 2016. We tried to search for the recent data from Sivantos (the company which has provided the statistics) and Everyday Hearing (the website on which the statistics are posted). However, the 2015-2016 data seemed to be the most recent that they have. On the other hand, the figures provided by the Hearing Review and HHTM are too broad or too specific to satisfy the research criteria, hence; we used the 2015-2016 hearing aid market breakdown in terms of units sold to answer the research criteria.

CALCULATIONS FOR THE MARKET BREAKDOWN

Units sold per sector between October 2015 to September 2016 according to Everyday Hearing:

Therefore, to calculate the total units sold in 2015-2016, we took the sum of the numbers above: (706,000 + 855,000 + 1,189,000 + 504,000 + 292,000) = 3,546,000 hearing aid units sold from October 2015 to September 2016.

HEARING AID MARKET SIZE IN US

In terms of unit sales, the market size of the hearing aid in the US in 2018 was 3,969,895, which was 5.3% more than the sales in 2017. As per the President’s Council for Science & Technology, the average price per unit of hearing aid is $2,300, hence, multiplying the total unit sales by the average hearing aid unit price gives the market size of hearing aid in the US in 2018. According to the calculations above, the market size of the US hearing aid market was $9,130,758,500.

BREAKDOWN OF THE MARKET SHARE

According to data provided by Sivantos, the market size (from October 2015 to September 2016) in terms of unit sales of the hearing aid in the US was 3,546,000 (calculated in the methodology section). The market size of the US hearing aid market was broken down into the following (units sold or percentage of the total hearing aid units sold in the US):

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

In terms of a broader breakdown, 18.8% of the total hearing aids sold in 2018 were from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which was a 2.4% increase from 2017 sales. The private/commercial sector which translates to a 5.95% growth from 2017 sales sold the rest hearing aids. The percentage of the hearing aid units sold in the private market in 2016 was broken down into the following:
  • Other buying groups for independent and small chains: 26%
  • Independents and small chains: 26%
  • GN (Beltone): 9%
  • Elite (Amplifon): 7%
  • Starkey (Audibel): 6%
  • Amplifon (Miracle Ear): 6%
  • Demant (Various): 2%
  • Sonova (Connect): 2%
  • Sivantos (Hear USA): 1%
  • Walmart: 1%



Part
04
of six
Part
04

US Hearing Aid Market - Market Growth By Channel

The US hearing aid market's average year-on-year sales growth rate from 2014 to 2018 is estimated to be 6% with an estimated 3.78% growth in private sales and a joint 6.54% growth in the retail and e-commerce sales channels. A screenshot of these statistics is provided in this document.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To provide the requested information regarding the US hearing aid market, we looked through reports from research firms such as Grand View Research and IBISWorld, in search of relevant data on the US hearing aid market and its sales channels (retail, e-commerce, and private). Using this approach, we were able to identify global data for the sector, but US-specific information was behind a paywall.
We then proceeded to search through some official agency databases such as the Hearing Industries Association (HIA), MarkeTrak Publications, and Hearing Health & Technologies Matters, for information on the sales channels of the US hearing aid market. We found data points for market sales, sales growth, and information on the private channel. Also, we found joint data for the retail and e-commerce channels.
We conducted an extensive search through reputable media sources in search of separate information on the market share and growth data for the retail and e-commerce sales channels. While we were unable to find data for the growth rate of the retail and e-commerce sales channels, we discovered articles published by Hearing Health & Technology Matters and the Hearing Review, which highlighted that the number of sales units/sales revenue estimation of e-commerce sales channel is not publicly available. The reports showed that the information for the e-commerce sales channel was included conventionally in the retail sector’s estimation, as such no one can predict its growth direction due to its low market share.

Lastly, in the report, we assumed that, since a state-licensed audiologist approved all the hearing aids dispensed under the US VA hearing aid program after conducting a hearing evaluation, then the VA sales are equivalent to private sales.

CALCULATIONS

AVERAGE YEAR-ON-YEAR SALES GROWTH RATE FOR THE US HEARING AID MARKET
We estimated the average sales growth rate of the US hearing aid market by taking the median of the sales growth increase in 2014 (4.8%), 2015 (7.2%), 2016 (8.7%), 2017 (3.4%), and 2018 (5.9%) as follows:

Average sales growth rate for the US hearing aid market = sales growth rate for each year/number of years = ((4.8%+7.2%+8.7%+3.4%+5.9%) / 5) = 6%.

THE YEAR-ON-YEAR GROWTH RATE FOR THE PRIVATE (VA) SALES CHANNEL OF THE US HEARING AID MARKET
Using the same strategy employed in the previous calculation, private sector sales increased by 9.8% (2014), 4.8% (2015), 1.6% (2016), 0.9% (2017), and 1.8% (2018). Taking the median, we can calculate for the average sales growth rate for the private sector sales channel of the US hearing aid market as follows:
Average sales growth through private channels = [(9.8%+4.8%+1.6%+0.9%+1.8%) / 5] = 3.78%.

THE AVERAGE YEAR-ON-YEAR SALES GROWTH RATE OF THE RETAIL AND E-COMMERCE SALES CHANNELS OF THE US HEARING AID MARKET
The retail and e-commerce sales channels of the US hearing aid market grew by 3.4%, 7.8%, 10.6%, 4.0%, 6.9%, for 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 respectively. Using this data and the earlier provided strategy for calculating the average sales growth, we calculate as follows:
Average retail and e-commerce sales growth rate = [(3.4%+7.8%+10.6%+4.0%+6.9%) / 5] = 6.54%.

THE US HEARING AID MARKET STATISTICS

US HEARING AID SALES VOLUME GROWTH/GROWTH RATE
On average, the US hearing aid market is considered to have a growth rate of 2-4%. In 2014, the market had 3.13 million sales, 3.36 million sales in 2015, 3.65 million sales in 2016, 3.77 million sales in 2017, and 3.98 million sales in 2018. As of 2016, private sales accounted for 22% of the total sales volume of the US hearing aid market, while retail and e-commerce sales channels jointly provided the remaining 78%. Private sales increased by 1.6% in 2016 while the joint retail and e-commerce sales increased by 10.6%.

AVERAGE YEAR-ON-YEAR SALES GROWTH RATE FOR THE US HEARING AID MARKET
The average sales growth of the US hearing aid market is estimated to be 6% from 2014-2018. The industry's sales showed 4.8%, 7.2%, 8.7%, 3.4%, and 5.9% for the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 years respectively.

THE YEAR-ON-YEAR GROWTH RATE FOR THE PRIVATE (VA) SALES CHANNEL OF THE US HEARING AID MARKET
The US hearing aid market had an estimated average year-on-year sales growth rate of 3.78% in private sales from 2014 to 2018. Private sales showed 9.8%, 4.8%, 1.6%, 0.9%, and 1.8% growth for the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 years respectively.
THE AVERAGE YEAR-ON-YEAR SALES GROWTH RATE OF THE RETAIL AND E-COMMERCE SALES CHANNELS OF THE US HEARING AID MARKET
According to Hearing Health & Technology Matters, the number of sales units/sales revenue estimation is not publicly available for the e-commerce sector (direct online/mail order retail) which includes pure-play internet retailers e.g Lloyds, Hearing Help Express, etc., mixed internet retailers such as Audicus, America Hears, and Hearsource, and referral internet retailers. However, it is included in the retail sector’s estimation; as such, no one can predict its growth direction due to its low market share. Globally, the hearing aid market's retail sales channel was valued at $3.9 billion in 2018, and it is projected to experience fast growth between 2019 and 2025. On the other hand, the e-commerce sales channel of the global hearing aid market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.8% from 2019-2025.

Using combined data, the estimated average year-on-year sales growth rate for the retail and e-commerce sales channels of the US hearing aid market from 2014 to 2018 was 6.54%. Retail and e-commerce sales grew by 3.4%, 7.8%, 10.6%, 4.0%, 6.9% in the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 years respectively.

US HEARING AID MARKET SIZE IN TERMS OF USD
According to IBISWorld, the US hearing aid industry was expected to reach $2.4 billion in value at a growth of 3.4% from 2013 to 2018.
Part
05
of six
Part
05

US Hearing Aid Market - Pricing and Technology Evolution

Technological evolution in the past three years include the increasing popularity of Bluetooth technology and advanced digital platforms for better performing hearing aids. Price changes and growth of the premium level hearing-aid segment has been influenced by ongoing technological advancements in the market.

RESEARCH Strategy

To find information on how hearing aids in the US have evolved in the areas of pricing and technology in the last few years, our research team started by scoring through industry sources such as Hearing Tracker, Hearing Review, Healthy Hearing, My Hearing Centers, Audiscus, among others and media sites such as Business Insider and Reuters. We found relevant insights as regards ongoing efforts to produce digital hearing aids. While we found major shifts in technology and price changes for periods of up to decades, we found small changes over the past three years. We also found information on the rise of Bluetooth technology in hearing aid devices.
To get additional insights, we consulted research databases such as IBIS World, Market Research, Grandview Research, Orian Research, among others that often highlight past, current, and future industry trends. We were able to gather general insights into the trends in the market including Bluetooth streaming and IT-enabled devices as some trends that have been captured over the past three years. We concluded that a three-year period is not long enough to have significant shifts in technology and price changes. Hence, we presented our findings as ongoing evolution that started more than three years ago but have been continuing for the past three years.

Evolution of HEARING AID Technology

In the last three years, there haven't been major shifts in technology in the US hearing aid market, except for the continuation of technological advancements that began more than five years back. Manufacturers are constantly upgrading their products (hearing aids) to suit consumers' needs and preferences. For instance, the past few years has seen the rise in technology-enabled diagnoses and treatment of hearing problems as well as increased use of IT enabled devices. Presently, manufacturers of hearing aid devices are more inclined towards hearing aids with rechargeable batteries.
In the past three years, the US hearing aid market has intensified digitization efforts. Since 2016, manufacturers have continued to explore possible digital functions in hearing aids for better performance. An example of the recent developments in the market is the partnership between iHEAR Medical; the leading D2C and OTC hearing solutions', and Atlazo Inc. in developing an advanced digital hardware platform to power iHEAR’s hearing aids and hearables to deliver voice commands and real-time health tracking.
Bluetooth technology has gained popularity over the past few years. Most of the digital hearing aids today utilize Bluetooth technology. Tech-savvy individuals enjoy the convenience of using the Bluetooth-enabled devices with their hearing aids. Bluetooth connectivity today aids several manufacturers of behind-the-ear (BTE) and in-the-ear (ITE) models. Opn from Oticon is made for iPhone and allows direct streaming into hearing aids.

The use of analog programmable hearing aids has been on the decline over the past few years even as individuals continue to replace the same with digital options that are more effective.

Price Changes

Price changes in the US hearing aid market over the past few years has been influenced by the emergence of hearing devices made from advanced technologies. Such advancements in technology have led to the growth of the premium level hearing aids (that have advanced versions of features) segment. Individuals spend between $5000-$6500 per pair of hearing aids in exchange for speech clarity and good sound quality.
According to a survey conducted in 2018, the average price of a single hearing aid is $2,372. In 2016, the average price was $2300 per aid. It shows a small change in pricing over the past three years. Majority of people opt for high-end premium level hearing aid with popular brands being Oticon, Phonak, Widex, ReSound, and Starkey.
According to an article by Audiscus, prices of hearing aids have been escalating year after year. Industry analysts argue that the rise in hearing aid prices is as a result of high cost of producing advanced hearing aids following the use of sophisticated digital technologies. Such analysts also say that the pricing bubble is not expected to burst soon.

Part
06
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Part
06

US Hearing Aid Market - Projected Shifts in Pricing and Technology

Our research team has provided an overview of the major pricing and technological shifts that are expected to happen in the hearing aid industry in the nearest future. The research has covered information on the decrease in the average price of hearing aids, and the use of Bluetooth to build new technologies.

OVERVIEW OF HEARING AID INDUSTRY

There are three significant new technologies forecast to affect the hearing aid market. These technologies include Artificial intelligence (AI), Binaural signal processing, and the incorporation of the result of neurological studies.

The hearing aid industry is expected to show significant growth in lower end hearing aids. This growth will be supported in the United States by both the baby boomers demographic moving into their senior years, and by the recent law passed by the United States Congress to set guidelines for Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids.

The price of these lower end hearing aids is expected to drop considerably, and Bluetooth technology seems to be firmly embedded in the new technology trend as it provides the necessary infrastructure for the more modern technology in the pipeline.

NEW TECHNOLOGIES

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
The newest technology expected to support the growth of the hearing aid market include sound-cleaning features, such as feedback and noise cancellation, wind noise suppression, dereverberation, and directionality. These features will vastly improve overall sound quality and speech intelligibility.

There are seven sound classes: ''Calm Situation, Speech in Noise, Speech in Loud Noise, Speech in Car, Comfort in Noise, Comfort in Echo, and Music.'' These sound classes need to be applied selectively to ensure maximum benefit and safety to the user. Originally these were manual settings managed by the user. Recent research has shown a strong preference for these settings to be automatically activated. The expansion of AI in hearing aid software will support this feature.

BINAURAL SIGNAL PROCESSING
Dual path compression can be activated based on the listening environment to maintain the usual inflections of speech in all environments. This allows “temporal and spectral cues in speech” to be more easily identified and used by the wearer. One vendor has designed four wirelessly connected microphones to create a narrow beam towards the front, for access to speech in especially loud background noise.

NEUROLOGICAL STUDIES
The value of Binaural signal processing (BSP) has been shown in neurological testing using the “Limited Resources Theory.” This theory states that the brain has a limited number of neural resources. Hearing the full audio spectrum and bidirectionality helps to reduce both the listening effort and memory effort. The theory is that "efficiencies in sensory processing, through the use of such advanced signal processing, may serve to free up resources to benefit higher cognitive processing for the wearer."

BLUETOOTH INFRASTRUCTURE
Both the AI technology and the Binaural signal processing require Bluetooth access, also, the transmission of sound and the processing power is needed for AI.

Wireless technology like Bluetooth provides the hearing aid access through the user's cellphone to virtual supercomputers and the cloud infrastructure. This offers immense computing power to support complicated AI algorithms. Bluetooth technology can also be used to connect the hearing aid directly to a TV or streamed audio. It is therefore predicted that Bluetooth will remain integral to advancement in hearing aid technology.

PRICING FOR HEARING AIDS

Affordable healthcare programs are being implemented in various countries in the world. This will lower the costs of hearing devices across the globe. For example, by 2020 the FDA is expected to have established and regulated hearing aids that can be sold over the counter for “people with mild to moderate hearing loss.” People will be able to buy hearing aids directly without consulting an ''audiologist or hearing aid dispenser.'' ''Experts say they hope the over-the-counter hearing aid law will spur competition and product innovation and bring down prices."

PREMIUM SEGMENT OF MARKET.

For purposes of this report, given the rise in OTC devices, we are defining the premium market as custom-made hearing aids. The invisible hearing aid is almost entirely hidden in most ears.
An Invisible hearing aid is designed as a 3-D computerized representation. Increasingly they are being built with 3D printers.

An examination of current market research reports on the hearing aid market project significant growth shows there is a growing trend for premium hearing aids. This report is behind a paywall, and has provided specific growth numbers for premium hearing aids.

Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "Big box retailers like Costco and Sam’s Club have certainly impacted these figures, with Costco now making up about 12% of the total hearing aid market and growing at what many speculate to be a 5-8% annual pace"
From Part 04
Quotes
  • "In total, combined sales have increased by 5.9% through the first three quarters of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017 (6.9% private sector, 1.8% VA). Last year, the US hearing aid market grew by 3.4% (4.0% private sector, 0.9% VA)."
  • "Most market analysts consider “average growth” for the US hearing aid market as 2-4%. Thus, the overall picture of the US hearing industry in 2018 has been one of above-average sales powered by the commercial sector, which has seen quarter-on-quarter growth of 7.2%, 7.3%, and 6.2% in the first three quarters of the year, respectively. In contrast, the VA saw its dispensing activity slump slightly by -0.48% and -0.38% in the first two quarters, only to rally with a 6.4% gain in Q3."
Quotes
  • "This statistic displays the annual change in hearing aid sales in the U.S., sorted by private sector sales and Veteran Affairs (VA) dispensing, from 2007 to 2016. In 2008, private sector sales went down 2.5 percent, while the veterans sales market increased almost 10 percent"
Quotes
  • "n 2016, the last full year of data, between 3.28 and 3.65 million hearing aids were sold in the U.S.1,2 This consists of 22% sold (roughly 1/5th) through the VA (Veterans Administration) hearing aid program and 78% sold in the private market (Figure 1).2 This percentage is minimally changed with those reported on this site in 2015."
  • "These same big six companies are believed to represent a similar high percentage of hearing aids sold in the U.S., but the percentage is not clear, with various unreferenced citations listing this number from 80% to 90%."
Quotes
  • "IBISWorld estimates that industry revenue will increase an annualized 3.4% to $2.4 billion over the five years to 2018."
Quotes
  • "To receive hearing aids or similar devices (such as a cochlear implant), you first must qualify for VA Health Benefits. Once enrolled, veterans can seek out benefits for hearing tests, examinations and hearing aids. To begin this process, veterans should apply for enrollment online or by calling 1-877-222-VETS or visiting a local VA healthcare facility or regional office."
Quotes
  • "Direct online/mail order retail "
  • "Pure play Internet retail (Lloyds, Hearing Help Express, etc.) Mixed Internet retailers (Audicus, America Hears, Hearsource, etc.) Referral Internet retailers (require significant interaction with audiologists)."
  • "No estimate of unit sales is available for these categories, but whatever it is, it will take from the previous percentages. This percentage is thought to be low at this time, but it is anyone’s guess what it is, or its direction."
Quotes
  • "Retail sales dominated the market with a revenue of USD 3.9 billion in 2018 and is also expected to expand at the fastest CAGR over the forecast period. Implementation of OTC hearing aids act as one of the pivotal factors for a large share of retail sales. E-commerce and government purchase of these devices are expected to grow at a lucrative rate over the forecast period."
  • "The E-commerce sales is considered as a lucrative sales channel for hearing aids. The E-commerce sales channel is expected to develop at a revenue-based CAGR of 4.8 % over the forecast period. Internet plays a significant role in making a purchase decision and acquiring information about hearing aids, especially for young adults and millennials. These players help the wearer to get screened for auditory loss and acquire more information on technology."