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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 by the Sonotone company of the first earphone in 1929. Hearing aids then became portable and increasingly discreet, particularly with the use since the end of the 1990s of smaller and more efficient microprocessors .

The hearing aid market can be divided into three product categories, namely :

  • The intra-auricular prostheses ;
  • The contour prostheses that make the user's BTE;
  • The prostheses with earphone in the conduit whose microphone is placed in the ear canal to reduce the size of the outer casing.

The global hearing aid market is experiencing a steady increase with the number of units sold increasing. The market is concentrated around a few international players


The french market displays a continuous expansion for several years, driven in part by an aging population and increasingly efficient technologies, although the price may still represent a barrier to purchase . The RAC 0 ("zero charge remainder") desired by the Government should, however, encourage a development on this particular point.

The market is organized around numerous specialized sales outlets s, sometimes independent, throughout the national territory, competing with the diversification of the activity of optical players and by some pharmacies


1.2 A growing global market

The global market for hearing aids is growing steadily. The following chart illustrates the evolution of the number of hearing aids sold by members of the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (***) . [***]

Source: ****
The following graph indicates that in **** the size of the global hearing aid market was *.** billion . It is expected ...

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

The French hearing aid market is undergoing a lasting growth for several years. According to the SNITEM (***), over ***,*** hearing aids were sold in France in **** is a **% increase over **** . The market is driven primarily by growth in the prosthetic headphone segment, which is expected to grow by **.*% in **** and account for ...


2.1 Demand based on medical needs

An 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 **** UNSAF study statue that the demand for hearing aids is inelastic to price . On the one hand, demand is increasing (***)

Source: ****
We can ...

2.2 Demand related to the ageing of the population

The ageing of the population and the lengthening of life expectancy
While life expectancy has only increased over the last ** years For both men and women (***), health is still at the heart of society's concerns.
According to a study INSEE of January ****, France, with a population of **.*** million, has one out ...

2.3 Reasons for non-equipment: price

According to data from the association, only **% of people in France are fitted with hearing aids PDUs What to Choose with more than *.* million people not equipped.
For the consumer association UFC Que Choisir, this under-equipment is mainly due to the excessively high price of hearing aids . The average price of ...

2.4 The renewal of prostheses

In a study led by the Health Insurance since **** and published in ****, it has been found that **% of the of patients took back one device before **** when they had two devices in the ****-**** period. Most of them renewed both hearing aids (***), and nearly *% of replaced only one of them from ...


3.1 The hearing aid market is particularly concentrated

It is necessary to distinguish on the one hand the hearing aid manufacturers s, whose activity is purely industrial, and the activity of the audioprosthesists which adapt the prostheses to the morphology of their patients' ears Hearing care professionals benefit from advances in design and *D printing, making it easier to ...

3.2 Distribution

The distribution of hearing aids and related services are provided by approximately *,*** sales outlets  spread throughout the country. Most of the market is controlled by shops specialising in hearing aids, even though optical shops also offer a range of products and occupy *% of the market of the market by value, while ...

3.3 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 would generate particularly high gross margins for the profession, in the order of **% This would be responsible for the high prices of hearing aids, but also for the fact that some people would not want to buy ...


4.1 List of products and prices

As mentioned above, the hearing aid market is generally divided into three product categories, namely :
In-the-ear prostheses; BTE prostheses, which make the contour of the user's ear; The remote headphones.
Next to the hearing devices there are sound amplifiers on the market that are sometimes referred to as "sound amplifiers" bugging ...

4.2 Focus on in-the-ear prostheses

In-the-ear prostheses, reputed to be more discreet and smaller, can take a variety of forms including :
Intraducts which are placed in the ear canal of the ear; The mini intraduct placed further up the ear canal; Intra-conques which are positioned at the entrance to the ear canal.
In-the-ear devices are worn ...

4.3 Focus on "contour" prostheses

BTE prostheses
BTE prostheses are placed behind the pinna. A small tube leads to an earmold that fits into the bowl of the hearing aid's ear. It has the advantage of being less intrusive and therefore more easily transposable to mildly deaf problems. Contour" prostheses are available in a wide range ...


5.1 The regulatory framework for the hearing aid market

The National Union of Hearing Aid Practitioners offers a reminder of the current regulations of the profession on its internet site .
Access to and practice of the profession of audioprosthetist is governed by a set of laws, decrees and decrees which are codified in the following documents Public Health Codes (***)
There ...

5.2 The management of hearing aids

Health insurance reimburses, on medical prescription, hearing aids and their accessories. Management depends on the patient's age and the severity of the hearing impairment. In total, the collective management of hearing aids is relatively limited, with a total in **** of *** million euros at the expense of the compulsory health insurance.
The ...

5.3 The stake of the zero charge balance (zero CAR)

The government wanted to implement the zero charge (***) in the dental, optical, but also hearing aids .
A major issue for the government is that this promised increase in reimbursement by top-up plans does not affect the price of top-up plans for patients. In this respect, the government has announced to the ...


6.1 Segmentation

The following market segmentation is used:

  • Sonova
  • Phonak
  • Sivantos
  • Prodition
  • Starkey
  • Widex
  • GN Hearing
  • Unitron
  • Audika
  • Amplifon
  • Alain Afflelou Accousticien
  • Audition Mutualiste

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