A Miracle Ear Hearing Aid Review
Miracle Ear and Sears
Miracle Ear saw amazing success selling hearing aids in the 1980s due to a few things; A. location in Sears and B. lack of competition. Sears was the place to go in the 70s and 80s. (My family used to shop there) How are they doing 2015? I will start with A., Location. Having your hearing aid store inside of Sears or any larger retailer can be a double edge sword - dangerous. Fortunes for Sears have changed - consumers tastes have changed. Consumers are not going to Sears anymore. Many financial analysts now predict Sears is close to shutting down. Other retailers like Wal-mart, Target and Costco are kicking Sears butt. Many consumers today start their hearing aid search on the internet. Miracle Ear has sales locations outside of Sears too - but the ones inside of Sears - might need to start looking for new locations. Costco and Sam's club has hearing aid stores inside their stores too - could Costco and Sam's club fall out of favor with consumers in 10 years? And B. the competition for hearing aids in the US today is fierce, competition is everywhere - including the internet. I am not counting Miracle Ear out - they still have the brand awareness. If you were to ask 10 people to name a hearing aid company of the top of their head, and I will bet you, Miracle Ear would be in the top 5.
Miracle Ear Hearing Aid Technology
- Miracle Ear Hearing Aids use the Hearing Aid technology from Siemens Hearing Aids. That means when you buy Miracle Ear you are essentially buying a Siemens Hearing Aid. Siemens private labels them for Miracle Ear. Yes they are good hearing aids - Siemens has been in the hearing aid business for more than 100 years. The company introduced the first industrially produced hearing instrument, the Esha-Phonophor, in 1913; the first behind-the-ear aid in the 1950s; and the first in-the-ear device in 1966. It produced the first digital hearing aid in 1997. However, Siemens lost interest in their Hearing Aid division and sold it recently (in 2015) to a private equity group called EQT Partners - see Press Release here:
"Siemens, the German engineering conglomerate, said on Thursday that it had agreed to sell its hearing aid unit to the European private-equity firm EQT Partners and the Strüngmann family of Germany for €2.15 billion, or about US$2.69 billion."
So, Technically, when you buy a Miracle Ear hearing Aid today, you are buying a EQT Partners and Strüngmann
Miracle Ear operates as a franchise
- Essentially, this means that Miracle Ear (the franchisor) allows an operator, or a franchisee, to use the Miracle Ears trademark and distribute Miracle Ear's hearing Aids. In return, the operator (franchisee) pays Miracle Ear (the franchisor) a monthly fee. What that also means is that even those Miracle Ear is a franchise, the Miracle Ear brand is standardized. If you do a search for Miracle Ear on Google or Bing in Phoenix, and a search for Miracle Ear in Toledo, you will see the same exact website - but with Phoenix and Toledo address/phones respectively. You will see the same advertisements in papers or TV. Having the same website from city to city really helps with organic and paid traffic on Google - This allows Miracle Ear to perfect the keywords in one city that should work in all cities. McDonald's is a franchise and it is very successful - you are going to get the same cheeseburger in San Diego as you would in Dallas.
Miracle Ear Hearing Aids Types
- Miracle Ear offers Over the ear and In the Ear hearing aids but does not list many hearing aids on their website. I think this is a smart strategy - too many options confuses the customer. Of the three they do list on their website, The Miracle Ear ClearVation is the same as the Siemens Life
Miracle Ear also sells the Advanced Waterproof Hearing Aid called the Miracle-Ear Aquavi - which is the same as the Siemens Aquarius
. Do a search for "siemens waterproof hearing aids" on google and you will most like see a Miracle Ear Water Proof hearing aid advertisement. The In the Ear they offer is not identifiable on their site - there is only tiny little picture. Miracle Ear, I doubt, is not bound by any one hearing aid manufacturer - I am sure they could pick up another line of hearing aids at any time.
Miracle Hearing Aid Features
- Miracle Ear does not offer a detailed list of features or technical specifications for each hearing aid on their website. They do say, "Microprocessor includes 18 million transistors or Capable of executing 250 million instructions per seconds" which, frankly, does not mean anything to the hearing aid customer. Most phones, tablets, PCs, etc, have millions of transistors and process millions of instructions. They do say, "Up to 48 channels, making it easier to hear with less effort, even in noisy environments" . This offer of 48 channels has been researched by Starkey and testing conducted on over 1100 patients with hearing loss...Starkey tested them with 2 channels, 4 channels, 6 channels, 8 channels and so on. What did they find? Starkey test results showed that any hearing aid over 6 channels offered no improvement in clarity for the hearing aid wearer, see Hearing Aid Channels
And when Miracle Ear says, "Frequency range of 12kHz, for more brilliant and natural sound." Speech is in the 250hertz range to 6000hertz range. But, Sounds Past the 6 to 8k hertz range may be a great benefit to musician.
Miracle Ear Hearing Aid Pricing
- This, unfortunately, is hard to pin down. They offer no prices on their website or over the phone. You need to schedule an appointment...get a hearing test, get fitted, test the hearing aid, then get the price. BUT I can offer a couple numbers customers have shared with me......I have heard, from customers that end of finding us, that a Miracle Ear franchisee from Oklahoma gave a quote to customer for $10,000 for two aids. She was 80 years old. We do know that every Miracle Ear Franchisee can charge different prices from city to city.
Miracle Ear Complaints
- Yes you can find 100s of complaints on consumeraffairs and pissconsumer.com and ripoffreport.com There are many complaints on Miracle Ear for sure. But I think this mostly has to do with how long Miracle Ear has been selling hearing aids and the shear volume they have sold. Take a look at the complaints on Wal-Mart - there are a hundred thousand and 1000 plus ongoing lawsuits.
Miracle Ear Hearing Aid Review Conclusion
- since Miracle Ear uses the Siemens technology inside (or EQT now) the quality of the hearing aids are not in doubt. You cannot be in the hearing aid business for 100 years, be the first in many hearing aid innovations, and not be committed to the industry and helping people with hearing loss. So the technology is good to great. What ever state you are in, you are going to get a Siemens (EQT) hearing aid. Just like at McDonald's, they use the same exact ingredients for hamburgers and french fries in every McDonald's store. The only really open question you need to ask yourself about Miracle Ear is...."is the price right and is the service good and worth the price?". Service and Price are going to vary from the Miracle Ear in San Diego to the Miracle Ear in Florida.
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