The hearing aid market


1.1 The hearing aid market

A hearing aid is a medical device aimed at correcting a hearing defect.

The hearing aid market can be divided into two macro categories:

  • STANDARDs to which the Behind-the-ear (BTE) and Receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) belong.
  • CUSTOM or in-the-ear to which ITE CIC and IIC belong.

Historically, the first modern hearing aid appeared at the beginning of the 20th century with Sonotone's invention of the first earpiece in 1929. Hearing aids have become portable and discreet over the century, with the use of ever smaller and more efficient microprocessors since the late 1990s.

The hearing aid market is expected to benefit by a number of demographic and social transformation affecting the global society. The global market for hearing aids is experiencing a sustained growth , the number of devices sold is increasing.


The French market has been growing steadily for several years partly driven by ageing population and the increasingly efficient technologies which attract more and more consumers, despite the price still representing a barrier to purchase . Moreover, the issue of price on the market is key. As proof of this, the RAC 0 ("reste à charge 0") desired by the government should remove the price barrier.

The market is organized around many specialized points of sale sometimes independent, throughout the national territory, competing with the diversification of the activity of optical players and of some pharmacies.



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