Walmart has announced that customers with mild to moderate hearing loss can now purchase hearing aids in its stores or online without needing a prescription and medical examination by an audiologist – and they’re all affordably priced well under $1,000.
Walmart’s announcement comes after the US Food and Drug Administration announced a rule change in August of 2022 that established a regulatory category for over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids.
According to the FDA, the end goal of the new regulation is to make hearing aids more affordable and accessible by allowing more companies to enter the space with new innovations. Today, more than 30 million Americans need hearing aids but cannot acquire them due to high prices or lack of insurance coverage.
In a study published in JAMA, researchers found that people spend an average of $4,000 on hearing aids, with some hearing aids costing as much as $6,000. Walmart aims to offer a broad assortment of high-quality hearing aids at a more affordable price to customers who are 18 and older.
Walmart hearing aids
Three over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids are available online at Walmart.com and in Walmart Vision Centers in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.
The Go Lite is a small wireless in-the-ear OTC hearing aid. It is available at Walmart.com for $199.
The Go Prime has the same features as the Go Lite but has additional features like noise cancellation, and a memory recall function that stores your preferred settings so you can use them again when you power on the device. It is available at Walmart.com for $299.
Bose Lexie B1
The Lexie B1 hearing aid from Bose is a Bluetooth-enabled in-the-ear canal hearing aid that can be paired with the Lexie app to provide customizability functions. It is available at Walmart.com for $849.
Jabra Enhance Plus
Jabra also offers the Jabra Enhance Plus which is unique in the way that it provides users with a 3-in-1 experience. To that effect, in addition to hearing enhancement, users can listen to music and make calls with it. While it’s not yet available at Walmart, the Jabra Enhance Plus retails for $799 at Best Buy.