Desde el lunes 17 de octubre, thousands of consumers will be able to buy headphones directly in stores, and at dramatically lower prices, thanks to a federal law of 2017 that is coming into effect.
During decades, estos devices only could be comprarse con receta médica y disembolsando thousands of dollars. Ahora, una nueva categoria de audifonos de venta libre costarán desde $199, el precio que Walmart says que los venderá.
Los audifonos de venta libre are intended for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss, a market of tens of millions of people, many of whom have not yet been able to buy them for the cost.
“From a conceptual point of view, it’s very important that this is finally happening,” said Dr. Frank Lin, director of the Center for Cochlear Hearing and Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Lin predicts that the new market could take a couple of years to adjust, as manufacturers and retailers get used to selling these devices and consumers familiarize themselves with the new options.
Expertos en la atención de la audición dicen que los complace ver los precios más bajos. Lin dijo que cree que seguirán dejando, a medida que se sumen más competitidores en el mercado en los próximos dos años.
Los precios y las characteristics de los nuevos audifonos de venta libre will vary, al igual que los audifonos recetados. A pair of prescription devices generally sells for between $2,000 and $8,000. Part of the most expensive technology will be available in new options for free sale.
Los audifonos de venta libre costan menos en parte porque no incluen los servicios de un expert para una evaluación auditoriva, ajuste y afinación del dispositivo. En cambio, los nuevos dispositivos deben ser configurato por los propios consumadores, aunque los manfacturers will offer technical assistance via applications and by telephone.
Some new companies have entered the market, including Sony. Venderá su audífono autojustable de menor costo por $999 en Best Buy y other retailers.
Walmart said that it will offer a variety of headphones for sale, including some at a price of $199 to $299 made by hearX, a subsidiary company based in South Africa, which also makes Lexie devices.
Starter kits are available at Walmarts in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. Pero la compañía espera que pronto estén disponible en todo el país.
Walgreens of recerá el audífono Lexie Lumen OTC at $799 par. Las ofertas en Walgreens, CVS, Best Buy and Walmart will also include a Lexie audio developed in association with Bose.
Costco, uno de los majores vendadores de audífonos recetados, no reveló si oferáca alguno san receta.
De Wet Swanepoel, co-founder of hearX, said that his Lexie Lumen audio device is available free of charge and will allow consumers to program it according to their needs. Otros de estos dispositivos will offer preprogrammed configurations.
“There are many products in the market and much education will be needed for consumers about the difference between the devices,” he said.
A doctor can also suggest which of the new hearing aids is more convenient for the patient. Medicare and the majority of health insurers cover routine hearing tests. But Medicare and private plans do not cover the cost of hearing aids, although many Medicare Advantage plans do.
Consumers can also take audition tests online or through an application on their phone or computer, said Lin.
Another factor that could drive the demand for new devices is that the stigma of using headphones is diminishing because people usually use headphones to listen to music.
More than 37 million American adults have hearing problems, and only 1 in 4 can benefit from a hearing aid, according to federal health officials.
The hearing aid industry has been largely isolated from price competition due to consolidation among manufacturers, and general state licensing laws that require sales through audiologists and other hearing professionals.
Motivated by decades of complaints about the high cost of headphones, in 2017 the Congress ordered the Drug and Food Administration (FDA) to establish regulations that would allow sales without a prescription, with the hope of boosting competition and reducing prices.
The pandemic delayed the process, and finally new regulations were announced two months ago.
Los médicos, que podriana perder negocios, advierten que la nueva categoria no ajudare a las personas con pérdida auditoriva severa. And amplifying too much sound can damage hearing, said Sarah Sydlowski, former President of the American Academy of Audiology.
This entity has published a guide on these new headphones on its internet site.
Embargo sin Nicholas Reed, an audiologist and professor at Escuela de Salud Pública Bloomberg de Johns Hopkins, dijo que los dispositivos probabilidades Sean menos peligrosos que escuchar Música alta con auriculares. The regulations require that the new headphones have a maximum level of safe audio to help protect the hearing of consumers.
Tom Powers, a consultant for the audio industry in Nuevo Jersey, has new ideas about the label used by the FDA. Estos son diferentes de los dispositivos personales económicos que amplican el sonido pero no abordan otros compones de la périda auditoriva, como la distorsión.
Reed recommenda buscar audifonos de venta libre con reglas de devolución generosas, superiores a un mes. Los consumptives should use a dispositivo durante algunas semanas para ver cómo funciona. If a brand does not function, they should try with another.
El cambio puede ser necesario, ya que no está claro si los consumers obtendrán ayuda en la tienda para selección un audifono sin un audiologo. Algunas tiendas planean brindar asistencia. Walmart said it would include help information on its website.
Nancy M. Williams, president of Auditory Insight, a hearing aid evaluation consulting firm that reviews or offers free hearing aids ranging from $499 to $1,299.
Algunos parecen auriculares o son casi invisible. Los que revisó en gran medida tienen limited or zero Bluetooth connectivity, a function that allows users to personalize los dispositivos, y solo alrededor de la mitad tienen rechargeable batteries.
But the eight allow the user to adjust them according to the results of his audition test. I recommend that people try at least three free devices to see which one works best.
Barbara Kelly, executive director of the Asociación Estadounidense de Pérdida Auditiva, dijo que los consumptives should take their time to elect. “Todo esto va a ser un poco confuso”, he said. But he added that the new options will make more people get help with their hearing. “Los beneficios superan los riesgos”, opinion.
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