The global hearing aids market size was accounted at USD 10.5 billion in 2021 and it is expected to surpass USD 16 billion by 2030, expanding growth at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2022 to 2030.
Increasing adoption of hearing aids, the growing awareness regarding technologically advanced products for the treatment of auditory loss, and the rising prevalence of auditory loss are some of the factors contributing to the market growth. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2050, the number of individuals living with severe hearing loss would approach 900 million. Besides that, physiological ear aging, hereditary vulnerability, increasing noise exposure, vascular illness, and chronic inflammation are factors that will contribute to the growing need for hearing aid. Hearing aid support items are also benefiting from government-funded projects. The majority of nations with greater penetration rates have government-funded hearing aid and accessory programs, subsidies, or full or partial reimbursements.
Covid-19 has adversely affected the healthcare industry. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are opting for remote monitoring. The crisis has brought a new paradigm in hearing healthcare that mandates a revolutionary reconsideration of audiology service delivery. Low- and no-touch therapies are becoming increasingly important for audiology patients, who have been at the greatest risk for COVID-19 morbidity and death due to their old age. Hearing aid manufacturers have started to prioritize the use of mobile audiometry and digital hearing care solutions for remote troubleshooting, fine-tuning, counseling, and device monitoring.
Furthermore, rising public awareness regarding hearing impairment and hearing aid devices is anticipated to create an opportunity for the growth of the market. Increased public awareness regarding hearing loss and the benefits of devices to people with hearing impairment are expected to increase the product demand, which will positively impact the market growth. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) and its respective nations commemorate World Hearing Day on March 3rd each year to promote awareness regarding hearing loss and safe listening and the WHO provides a specific grant to anyone who wants to organize a program on these issues.
Increased noise pollution across the world has a substantial influence on people's hearing capacities. Adults' hearing capacity is projected to be harmed as a result of noise pollution in heavy-duty businesses and public carnivals, leading to an increase in demand for hearing aids. Furthermore, key companies in the sector are improving their products via technical innovation and the debut of new gadgets, which is likely to boost the market growth throughout the forecast period. For instance, Oticon, Inc. is extending its hearing aid range to make Oticon's innovative BrainHearing technology accessible to more hearing impairment. Two new Oticon More miniBTE models have been added to meet the demand for consumers who want compact, inconspicuous behind-the-ear (BTE) choices.
Product Type Insights
The behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids segment accounted for the largest revenue share of over 401% in 2021. BTE hearing aids consist of a small curved case that comfortably fits behind the ear. Modification of these products is possible by connecting them to external sound sources, such as infrared listening systems and auditory training equipment. Various BTE models are Bluetooth compatible and they enable better wireless connectivity, thus driving the market.
These devices also provide a higher sound amplification owing to a strong amplifier and a large battery. Furthermore, behind-the-ear (BTE) devices are easy to handle and clean and are more preferred by the younger population as they can fit into various ear molds. Moreover, they don’t need device replacement as the child grows. With technological advances, new products such as the Mini BTE are developed, which are smaller in size and provide more comfort. These factors are responsible for the growth of these BTE products in the market.
The canal hearing aids segment is anticipated to emerge as the fastest-growing segment in terms of revenue over the forecast period. Canal devices are discreet devices, which is one of the critical success factors for their rapid growth. Wearing hearing aids comes with a stigma, therefore, young adults prefer canal devices over other devices. Additionally, these devices are technologically advanced and significantly cancel external voices and reduce tinnitus. The above-mentioned factors are responsible for the growth of canal devices in the coming years.
Technology Type Insights
Digital devices dominated the market with a revenue share of over 90.0% in 2021 and are anticipated to expand at the fastest CAGR over the forecast period. The analog devices are on the verge of getting obsolete with a slower growth rate as compared to their digital counterparts. Despite this, manufacturers continue to produce analog hearing aids owing to the low cost and reluctance of a handful of users to switch to digital ones. Analog devices work on the principle of increasing the intensity of continuous sound waves. A uniform amplification of all sounds such as speech and noise takes place in these products. A few analog devices are programmable owing to the presence of an embedded microchip that allows the programming of different settings for different listening environments.
A digital device converts acoustic sound waves into digital form and facilitates the exact duplication of sound. The digital signal is then reconverted to a processed analog acoustic signal tailored as per the listener’s requirement. Computer chips in digital hearing aids help analyze speech and other surrounding noises. In addition, these products provide multiple program memories. These added features of these auditory aids are expected to drive their demand over the forecast period.
Sales Channel Insights
The retail sales segment dominated the market with a revenue share of over 71% in 2021 and is also expected to grow at the fastest rate over the forecast period. The implementation of OTC hearing aids acts as one of the pivotal factors for a large share of retail sales. E-commerce and government purchases of these devices are expected to grow at a lucrative rate over the forecast period. The growth of the retail sales segment can be attributed to a large number of retail stores, a rising number of manufacturing companies entering retail sales, and a high sales margin. Retail sales of these products are further segmented into company-owned retail sales and independent retail stores. Independent retail stores dominated the market owing to the low entry barriers for new retail outlets, high-profit margin, and high level of interaction with customers. Key players operating in independent retail sales include Walmart, Costco, and CVS.
E-commerce sales are considered a lucrative sales channel for hearing aids. The Internet plays a significant role in making a purchase decision and acquiring information about hearing aids, especially for young adults and millennials. These players help the wearer to get screened for auditory loss and acquire more information on technology. Their website also helps the wearer to make product and price comparisons, thus helping in making a purchase decision. These e-commerce sales channels also help to increase the affordability and availability of hearing aids in the global market, by providing premium payment plans to wearers. They help increase the sales volume by avoiding retail and wholesale markup costs and providing the lowest possible cost to their customers.
Europe dominated the market in 2021 with a revenue share of over 36% and is expected to grow at a lucrative rate over the forecast period. This is attributed to an increase in the prevalence of deafness and rising awareness regarding technological advancements. North America held the second-largest revenue share in 2021. An increase in the prevalence of auditory loss and a rise in awareness regarding technological advancements are the major factors driving the demand for these devices in Europe. In addition, the growth of the audiology devices market in this region depends on the reimbursement policies of each European nation.
According to the WHO's 2021 report about Hearing, 196 million people in the WHO area of Europe had some hearing impairment, with 57.3 million (6.2%) having a severe or higher degree of hearing impairment. Until 2050, 236 million individuals in Europe will suffer from hearing impairment in some form. Due to the increase in the aging population in Europe, hearing impairment is expected to rise, which, in turn, is expected to drive the market in Europe. For example, the German government has implemented a number of initiatives to enhance hearing care in the country, such as the State Care Benefits Act pertaining to hearing care devices, which is expected to boost the market growth.
North America is projected to witness rapid growth over the forecast period. Due to the high incidence rate of hearing loss in the U.S. and the increased adoption of hearing aids, the U.S. is likely to gain a significant share in the North American market during the forecast period.As per the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders' March 2021 update, around 2 to 3 children out of 1,000 children in the U.S. are born with a discernible level of hearing impairment in one or even both ears, and roughly 15% of American adults that is 37.5 million individuals and aged between 18 and up report some hearing problems.Furthermore, according to a source, 1 out of every 8 persons in the U.S. (13%) has a hearing impairment in both ears, and there are approximately 28.8 million adults in the U.S. who can benefit from hearing aids. As a result of the high incidence of hearing impairment in the region, demand for hearing aids would rise, thereby propelling the market growth in the forecast period.
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