Content of the study:
The hearing aid market - France

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1.1 The hearing aid market

A hearing aid is a medical prosthesis intended for people with a hearing impairment and allowing certain sounds to be amplified according to the needs encountered

Historically, the first modern hearing aids appeared at the beginning of the 20th century with the invention of the first earphone by the Sonotone company in 1929. Hearing aids have since become portable and increasingly discreet, particularly with the use of smaller, more efficient microprocessors since the late 1990s.

The hearing aids market can be split into three product categories, namely:

  • In-the-ear prostheses ;
  • BTE prostheses that contour the user's ear;
  • In-the-canal hearing aids with the microphone placed in the ear canal to reduce the size of the outer case.

The global market for hearing aids is growing steadily and the number of devices sold is increasing, until the health crisis halted this momentum. The market is concentrated around a few major international players

The French market has been growing steadily for several years and has not really been affected by Covid-19. This market is driven in part by the aging population and increasingly efficient technologies. The price represented a brake to the purchase, but to allow a greater number of French people the access to a hearing medical device, the government set up since January 1st, 2021, the 100% Health, the RAC 0 ("reste à charge zéro") which makes it possible to have a fully refunded device.

The market is organized around numerous specialized outlets, some of which are independent, throughout the country, which are facing competition from the diversification of the optical industry and from certain pharmacies

1.2 A growing global market

Hearing aid sales of EHIMA members World, ****-****, million units CAGR: *.* Source: ****

The graph shows the evolution of the number of hearing aids sold by the members of the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (***), the world's largest hearing aid manufacturers The global hearing aids market was growing steadily until ****, before the ...

1.3 Presentation of the French market, an important market with strong growth prospects

Hearing aid sales of the top * hearing aid manufacturers France, **** - ****, in thousands of units Source: ****

The French hearing aid market has been experiencing sustained growth for several years. According to the SNITEM (***), but the French market has therefore weathered the health crisis better than the global market. The growth continues ...

1.4 Impact covid

Hearing loss due to COVID-** infection?

Anosmia (***) are known symptoms of the virus, but some have wondered about hearing loss. In October ****, a patient was officially deafened by a Covid-** infection diagnosed as deaf [***]. If correlations between the two phenomena are proven, one can imagine that this would be a growth ...


2.1 Demand based on medical needs

Inelastic demand

Hearing aids are in demand because they are necessary for life in society. Hearing loss is a handicap that needs to be overcome. Thus, a **** study by UNSAF in fact, it has been shown that the demand for hearing aids is inelastic to price. On the one hand, demand ...

2.2 A demand linked to the ageing of the population

The ageing of the population and the increase in life expectancy

While life expectancy has only increased over the last ** years for both men and women (***), health is still a major concern for society.

According to the INSEE With a population of **.*** million as of January *, ****, France has approximately one in ...

2.3 Reasons for non-equipment: price

The rate of equipment in hearing aids is only **% in France in **** according to data from the association UFC Que Choisir With more than *.* million people not equipped.

For the consumer association UFC Que Choisir, this under-equipment is mainly due to the high price of hearing aids. As we have seen, ...

2.4 Prosthesis renewal

Time to renew hearing aids by year France, ****, % Source: ****

In a study conducted by Health Insurance since **** and published in ****, it was found that **% of patients had returned to a hearing aid before **** when they had been fitted with two devices in the period ****-****. Most renewed both hearing aids (***) and ...


3.1 Hearing aid manufacturers and hearing aid practitioners

A distinction must be made between, on the one hand hearing aid manufacturers whose activity is purely industrial and the activity of the audioprosthesists who adapt prostheses to the morphology of their patients' ears

Steps to take to get a hearing aid:

Source: ****

The first thing to do is to take ...

3.2 Distribution

There are not many distribution channels for hearing aids, the two main ones being hearing aid stores and pharmacies.

The purchase of hearing aids is regulated by law and it is impossible in France to buy hearing aids on the internet as the law obliges hearing aid specialists to receive the ...

3.3 The players: dependence between distributors and brands

Competition is strong among hearing aid manufacturers. There are * international players in the production industry GN Hearing , Sanova (***), Prodition , Followers , Starkey and Widex . [***]

As of ****, Widex and Sivantos have merged to create WS Audiology . This merger of two major hearing aid players has created a strong company with combined sales of ...


4.1 A wide range of hearing aids

As said earlier, the hearing aid market is generally divided into three product categories, namely:

In-the-ear prostheses ; BTE prostheses that contour the user's ear; The remote headphones.

In addition to the hearing aids In addition, there are sound amplifiers on the market that are sometimes called " listening assistants "These are pre-set ...

4.2 All price ranges of hearing aids

As a reminder, the average cost of a hearing aid is *,*** euros, which is an average investment of *,*** euros for people who have equipped both ears (***) and the average renewal time for a hearing aid is * and a half years. Behind this average price is actually a different range of prices ...

4.3 A shortage of hearing aid practitioners which increases the cost of hearing aids

According to the consumer association UFC Que Choisir, the shortage of hearing aid professionals has resulted in particularly high gross margins for the profession, in the order of **%, which is responsible for the high prices of hearing aids, but also for the fact that part of the population has given up ...

4.4 Hearing aid accessories

Hearing aids are available to provide more comfort to users:

TV connectivity accessories to transmit sound directly to hearing aids Accessories for rechargeable batteries Smartphone accessories for sound in hearing aids or for remote control of hearing aids Maintenance accessories such as cleaning sprays or damp-proofing tablets

Examples of accessories, found ...


5.1 Regulatory framework for the hearing aid market

The National Union of Audioprosthetists offers a reminder of the profession's current regulations on its internet site .

Access to the profession of hearing aid acoustician and its practice are governed by a set of laws, decrees and orders that are codified in the Public Health Codes (***)

There is also a national ...

5.2 Coverage of hearing aids: the 100% Health reform

The health insurance reimburses, on medical prescription, hearing aids and their accessories. The reimbursement depends on the age of the patient and the severity of his or her hearing impairment. There are two classes of hearing aids, Class I covers the so-called essential hearing needs and Class * covers hearing aids that ...


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Reviews (2)

Reviews (2)

The hearing aid market - France

Publicado en 18/10/2022 by Julien Croc - UNISSON

Elle est complète et intéressante sur le marché de l'audioprothèse. Le seul bémol que je pourrais donner est que je trouve que les chiffres ne sont pas suffisamment actualisés vu le contexte de grands changements sur ce marché en particulier.

The hearing aid market - France

Publicado en 30/04/2022 by Alexis Leblanc - Natixis Partners

Very good value for money, basic information is clear, big time saver in terms of research!

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