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Best Buy to sell over-the-counter hearing aids following new federal rule

“Our expansion of the hearing collection and new store experience will let customers easily find a hearing loss solution from brands they trust.”
FILE – A woman walks with a boy to the Best Buy store at the Mall of New Hampshire, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. Best Buy, the nation’s largest consumer electronics chain, cut its annual sales and profit forecast Wednesday, July 27, 2022, citing surging inflation that has dampened consumer spending on gadgets. The Minneapolis-based company echoed Walmart, which earlier this week said higher prices on basic necessities are forcing shoppers to cut back on discretionary items. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Story at a glance


  • The company said its expanded suite of devices will include the “new FDA-regulated category of over-the-counter hearing devices to help perceived mild or moderate hearing loss.” 

  • Customers will also have access to a new online tool that will help identify their level of hearing loss and specific product needs.

  • The Food and Drug Administration’s new rule permits over-the-counter purchase of hearing aids without a prescription or medical exam.

Best Buy announced Wednesday it will begin selling an expanded collection of hearing devices this fall following a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruling allowing hearing aids to be sold over the counter. 

“Our expansion of the hearing collection and new store experience will let customers easily find a hearing loss solution from brands they trust,” Frank Bedo, category officer at Best Buy, said in a statement.  

“Our customers come to us for quality tech products and expertise, and this fall we’ll be able to better help them find the right solutions specific to their needs,” Bedo added.  

The company said its expanded suite of devices will include the “new FDA-regulated category of over-the-counter hearing devices to help perceived mild or moderate hearing loss,” with an in-store experience at 300 stores. 

Customers will also have access to a new online tool that will help identify their level of hearing loss and specific product needs.  

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The Food and Drug Administration’s new rule permits over-the-counter purchase of hearing aids without a prescription or medical exam by adults 18 and older — a move the Biden administration said would lower costs and increase competition.  

“This action makes good on my commitment to lower costs for American families, delivering nearly $3,000 in savings to American families for a pair of hearing aids and giving people more choices to improve their health and wellbeing,” President Biden said.

“It’s the latest action we are taking to make our economy more competitive and less concentrated,” Biden added. “When too few companies dominate, American consumers pay higher costs.” 

The agency said close to 30 million Americans could benefit from hearing aids.