Has Lucid's price-tiered arrival on the OTC hearing aid market opened up the price war front?
- Published on 19 October 2022
First shots in an OTC price war? It is the first week of over-the-counter hearing sales, and Lucid Hearing has launched seven hearing aids at prices ranging from $199 to $799, all available online.
Lucid's lower-priced OTC models undercut prices for already-announced devices, for example the $999-priced devices from Sony/WSA and Bose/Lexie.
Starkey announced this October 2022 that it also has an OTC produc tready - Start Hearing One - which will retail for $899 but will, says Starkey, only be sold in healthcare clinics.
The Lucid range
At the low end of the Lucid range is a behind-the-ear, replaceable battery hearing aid boasting three programmed settings. The top end features a rechargeable in-ear device with app-controlled customisable sound settings and a rechargeable battery that can last 16 hours.
"Our technology for these devices has been in the making for years and is based on research done in conjunction with the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), a top audiology research university," said Lucid Hearing President and COO Jason Kidd.
A glimpse at the Lucid Hearing website's new page for its OTC product offers a taste of what is surely to come now that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruling of August has translated into a sales reality (October 17, 2022).
Online and physical OTC
Founded in 2009, Lucid Hearing offers free hearing tests for people age 19+ at more than 500 hearing centres across the USA, most located inside Sam's Club warehouse locations. The Lucid devices will sell at more than 450 Sam's Club physical warehouses, and on Sam's Club's online site - as well as other retail outlets, Amazon, and lucidhearing.com. Sam's Club pricing for Lucid's OTC hearing aids will range from $199 to $799.
Mild-to-moderate hearing loss segment
Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Lucid, Bennett Griffin, declared that the company's OTC hearing aids will offer numerous features including wireless streaming and varied styles including discreet in-ear offerings. He added that Lucid's significant investment in scientific and innovative pre-set programs developed as a result of the UTD audiology research offer "a unique advantage in that they will cover the vast majority of consumers' perceived mild to moderate hearing loss needs."
"Lucid Hearing has deep roots and decades of experience with hearing research and technology," added Griffin. "Now we're able to offer our expertise with OTC devices to millions of consumers who may not otherwise get help for their hearing loss, allowing them to reconnect with the sounds and experiences that matter most."
Source: PR Newswire