Philips HearLink 9040 Hearing Aids at Costco
Reviews and Prices
In early 2023, Costco Hearing Centers, the United States' largest retailer of hearing aids, launched Philips HearLink 9040, a new set of "premium" hearing aids that incorporate Demant's latest AI speech enhancement technology. Within the USA, HearLink is sold exclusively at Costco hearing aid centers for $1499.99.
Philips 9040 hearing aids at Costco are available with apps for iPhone, Android, and Apple Watch.
Philips entered into a branding partnership in 2018 with Demant A/S, the Danish parent company of Oticon, which is one of the “Big 5” global hearing aid manufacturers. Beyond the Philips-labeled hearing aids, Demant also manufactures Bernafon and Sonic hearing aids and owns numerous hearing healthcare companies.
As with the two other hearing aid brands that Costco currently offers (Rexton and Jabra Enhance Pro), Philips hearing aids rely heavily on the parent manufacturer’s technology, giving Costco Hearing Aid Centers a hearing aid tailored to their mass-merchandiser dispensing model. The new Philips HearLink 9040 hearing aids promise improved noise reduction and sound clarity, and offer an updated smartphone app, the HearLink 2. They are appropriate for mild to severe-to-profound hearing losses and are offered in behind-ear styles and various colors, depending on your needs.
The Philips HearLink 9040 incorporates technology carried over from the previous Philips HearLink 9030, including artificial intelligence (AI) sound technology, binaural program/volume control syncing, multi-channel processing, automatic and adaptive directional microphones, feedback control, and wireless streaming for Apple and Android devices.
Tangible features like the available domes (the soft component that fits into your ear), chargers, and the look of the hearing aids also remain the same. However, the company has improved upon the previous HearLink 9030 by introducing new features to address listening comfort and clarity, as well as ease of use via a new smartphone app.
This article takes a closer look at the specific HearLink 9040 models, improvements in technology, features and functions, and how they can benefit you. While we'll focus on the 9040, keep in mind that outside the USA, there are less premium models available within what Philips refers to as the HearLink 40 series.
What we love about the Philips HearLink 9040 hearing aids
Philips HearLink 9040 Hearing Aid Models at Costco
The Philips HearingLink 9040 hearing aids are currently available in 2 different RITE (also known as Receiver-In-Ear or RIC) hearing aids and 2 different BTEs. All of the RITE and BTE products come with an IP68 dust and moisture protection rating, and have 4 program settings. The devices are available in 6 different colors including a new beige color.
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Currently, custom in-ear hearing aids are available only in the Philips 9030 product line, and these include In-the-Ear (ITE), In-the-Canal (ITC), Completely-in-Canal (CIC), and Invisible-in-Canal (IIC) styles.
Here's an overview of the Philips HearLink 9040 models:
Philips miniRITE T R and T hearing aids
In terms of functionality and features, the two Philips HearLink 9040 miniRITE models are essentially the same; the only real difference is the T R model is rechargeable while the T model uses a size 312 disposable battery. Both offer directional microphones for better hearing in noise, an LED indicator to let you know if the device is on/off or recharging, and a telecoil comes standard for receiving direct audio transmissions from loop systems or landline phones.
Philips 9040 Receiver-in-the-Ear (RITE) hearing aid.
Audio streaming of music, podcasts, and phone calls for both Apple and Android devices is offered, with hands-free calling for compatible iPhones and Apple devices. In addition to the onboard push-buttons, the hearing aids can be controlled through the HearLink 2 app and can receive remote adjustments by your hearing provider. With an Ingress Protection rating of IP68, these hearing aids have the highest moisture/debris resistance available for hearing aids.
Philips miniBTE T R and T hearing aids
The two Philips HearLink 9040 miniBTEs models differ from each other only because the T R model is rechargeable while the T uses a size 312 disposable battery. Their functionality is essentially identical to the above miniRITE hearing aids relative to directional microphones, LED indicators, telecoils, Bluetooth audio streaming with hands-free calling and app controls, remote adjustments, and an IP68 rating against moisture and debris. The miniBTEs have a single, multifunction push-button control that differs slightly from the miniRITE's two buttons, but both allow you to control the same basic hearing aid functions.
The miniBTEs can use either a discreet thin-tube or a larger standard tube, depending on your hearing loss.
Philips HearLink 9040 miniBTE R T.
BTEs or RITEs/RICs?
There are several cosmetic and functional differences between Behind-the-Ear (BTE) and Receiver-in-the-Canal (RITE) hearing aids. (Note: “RITE” is just a different name for Receiver-in-Canal or “RIC” hearing aids). BTEs are generally slightly larger than RITEs and can supply greater amplification for people with more severe or even profound hearing loss. However, because they use an earmold, BTEs tend to occlude the ear canal more (i.e., a “closed fitting”), leading to a less natural sound experience, especially for your own voice, compared to RITEs that usually have a more “open fitting.”
On the other hand, BTEs are usually considered more robust. This is because BTEs have their receivers fully housed inside the shell of the hearing aid, making them less vulnerable to moisture and debris. Additionally, the earmolds of BTEs are relatively simple non-electronic parts that can be cleaned easily. In contrast, RITEs have wax guards to keep wax out of the receiver, but the receivers can still get clogged and need periodic replacement.
Nevertheless, the RITE/RIC style is by far the most popular due to its versatility and sound quality; over 81% of all hearing aids dispensed in the U.S. are RITE/RIC devices compared to only about 6% for BTEs and 13% for custom devices.
When properly fitted, both styles can provide an excellent outcome. Your hearing provider can help guide you to the best hearing aid style selection based on your hearing loss, needs, and lifestyle.
Philips HearLink 9040 costs and prescriptive hearing aid services at Costco
At the time of this writing, Costco's website lists the rechargeable models at $1,499 which includes 2 hearing aids and a charger (for rechargeable options). This is the same price as the Rexton hearing aids but $100 less than the Jabra Enhance Pro hearing aids also offered at Costco.
Custom hearing aid prices are not listed on the website nor are the prices for the non-rechargeable BTEs. However, one Florida store told me that the HearLink 9030 custom products are sold at $1,999 a pair and that non-rechargeable BTEs are also $1,499.
HearingTracker has been generally bullish about Costco hearing aids and its services, as this mass merchandiser provides a lower-cost option for consumers, offering high-quality hearing aids with professional dispensing services. All Costco prescription hearing aids include a standard 3-year warranty covering any repairs that may be required, including replacement of your hearing aid if necessary. They also come with a 2-year loss-and-damage warranty, with no deductible cost, to replace up to one hearing aid per ear during the warranty period. These warranties are as good, if not better, than those offered by most name-brand hearing aid makers and dispensing networks. Finally, Costco's generous 180-day trial period is the longest we've seen in the industry.
However, as we've noted on our Costco page, there are several trade-offs associated with the low prices, including having to be a Costco member ($60 membership fee) to buy hearing aids, the possibility that Costco hearing providers may not have as much "skin in the game" as a private practice owner, and a dispensing model geared for higher volumes—meaning the professionals at some Costco stores are very busy and may not have hours of time to devote to your hearing solution.
But Costco can represent a very good deal, particularly if you have a relatively "typical" hearing loss that is not too severe or complex.
Costco Hearing Aid Centers are located in about 450 Costco stores in the United States, and all look fairly similar. The Centers are also located within Costco stores in many other countries, like this one in New Zealand.
Technology highlights of the Philips HearLink 9040
The new Philips HearLink 40 product line has numerous technology and feature benefits for hearing aid users.
SoundMap 2 Plus is the name given to the Philips HearLink 40 sound processing system, which contains several key components, including Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based noise reduction features, multi-channel amplification, feedback cancellation and their environmental classification system, among other features. Essentially, it's the brains of the hearing aids.
What's new for the HearLink 40 series of hearing aids is the addition of enhanced datalogging, new Notify Me voice alerts for low battery warnings, and new Sound Protect noise reduction systems. Let's discuss each of the new features briefly.
First, the enhanced datalogging can give you and your hearing provider a bit more information about your listening environments. That is, what type of environments have you been in (think noise, quiet, etc.) and how much time was spent in conversation in each environment.
This information is made available to your hearing provider via the fitting software and to you via the HearLink 2 app. The datalogging information can even show your provider wearing trends. While many hearing aids provide at least basic datalogging data, this enhanced data for the Philips HearLink 40 products can help you and your hearing provider set and monitor listening goals. It can also assist in programming your hearing aids so that you get the optimal performance from all of its features.
You can access some of the information via the free and optional smartphone app, HearLink 2, where you can monitor your progress against listening goals.
Notify Me voice alerts
The new Notify Me voice alerts are just that-- a voice alert generated by the hearing aid to let you know that the battery is getting low and should either be changed or recharged. This spoken alert is available in 9 languages, including English, Spanish, German, Chinese, and others. Many may find a voice alert regarding a low battery status more useful than simple tone alerts.
Improved noise reduction system
SoundMap 2 Plus also includes an enhanced noise reduction system utilizing AI. Here's how the Philips website describes the system:
Artificial intelligence in the noise reduction process has taught itself the optimal approaches to reduce noise. SoundProtect effectively and quickly reduces challenging noise sources delivering a cleaner signal to the AI sound processing. During a guided training phase, the knowledge is built up and validated. The intelligence in the AI-NR coordinates the noise reduction effect across its 24 frequency bands. This way AI-NR becomes more precise, more efficient and a more powerful system to make speech clearer in noise.
SoundProtect for more listening comfort
New to the Philips HearLink 40 hearing aids is the addition of SoundProtect with new wind noise and transient noise reduction systems. Wind noise is a common complaint for hearing aid wearers, especially for those wearing BTE or RITE (RIC) style products.
This new feature also helps diminish the sound of "manual handling," like when manipulating the hearing aids to change the program or remove/insert into your ear or if you are taking glasses on/off. Transient noises are quick and often annoying sounds in the environment, like the sound of a fork on a plate, hammering, clinking of glasses, etc.
While most hearing aids on the market (even more entry-level products) have some type of wind-noise reduction and transient noise reduction, Philips claims to have improved upon these types of noise reduction systems to maintain speech clarity while at the same time improving wearer comfort.
Remember that these hearing aids also address steady-state noise, such as fan noise, car engine noise, etc. Further, they are equipped with automatic and adaptive directional microphones (although some custom products may not accommodate directional functionality), one of the best ways to improve speech understanding in noisy listening environments.
Rechargeable and disposable battery options in Philips HearLink 40 hearing aids
Two of the new Philips HearLink 40 products are rechargeable, while the remainder utilize standard, disposable hearing aid batteries. The miniRITE T R and the miniBTE T R are standard with lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, and the desktop charging cradle is included with your purchase of the hearing aids.
Standard desktop charger for miniRITE R T and miniBTE R T models.
Both the desktop charger and the portable Charger Plus utilize inductive charging and are easy to use. A full charge will take between 3 to 3.5 hours and provide a "full day's use" of up to 24 hours. Note that how long the charge lasts will vary depending on how the hearing aids are programmed and how you use them. For example, if you spend a lot of time streaming audio, the battery life is negatively affected. Regardless, you should expect to get a lot of life out of one charge. In fact, compared to similar competitive hearing aids on the market, the published battery hours are quite good.
The "premium" portable Charger Plus is available at an additional cost. At the time of this writing, one store quoted an additional $200. The smaller, portable charger once fully charged itself, allows for 3 hearing aid charging cycles before needing to be plugged in again. The portable charge is helpful when traveling, camping, or otherwise when power may be inconsistent.
The miniRITE T R with the Charger Plus charger.
The HearLink 40 miniRITE T and miniBTE T work with a standard, disposable size 312 battery. Again, your overall battery life will be dependent on how the hearing aids are programmed and how you utilize them but, in general, you can expect around 3-6 days of use with one battery.
None of the custom Philips HearLink hearing aids are available in a rechargeable option and, instead, use standard, disposable hearing aid batteries. The size and battery life will be dependent on the style chosen but the custom products will either use a size 312 or 10 battery.
If you prefer to have a rechargeable custom product, you may want to discuss the Jabra or Rexton options with your hearing provider as both of those manufacturers offer the option.
Bluetooth Wireless Features
Modern hearing instruments are now expected by many consumers to include wireless functionality. For example, many hearing aids allow for ear-to-ear wireless communication which can sync volume and program changes as well as align features such as directional microphones and noise reduction. It also allows for audio streaming from compatible devices, and the ability to connect to smart apps and accessories such as TV streamers and remote microphones
The new HearLink 40 products are no exception and incorporate an updated Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) protocol which will connect directly to both iOS (Apple®) and Android-compatible devices. However, at this writing, these hearing aids do not have the latest BLE 5.3 standard that will allow them to receive Auracast broadcast technology.
Additionally, hands-free calling is only available with compatible iPhone and iPad devices. The hands-free option essentially turns your hearing aids into wireless earbuds that pick up your own voice and allow you to hear the caller in both hearing aids. This is a feature enjoyed by many hearing aid wearers and is not unique to the HearLink 9040 products but is a big benefit of the technology. For Android phones, you can hear the person on the line through your hearing aids, but you'll still need to speak into the phone's receiver for them to hear you.
Another small limitation is that the HearLink 40 hearing aids only allow for one active connection at a time. That is, while you can pair numerous compatible Bluetooth products, only one active connection is allowed. This isn't a problem for many people, but if you enjoy using multiple electronic devices or have more than one cell phone (work and home for example) this may be a bit frustrating. To be fair, this isn't unusual for many hearing aids on the market.
All of the 40 series (like the 9040) products are standard with wireless technology, but not all of the custom products from the 30 series family will be. That is, the larger custom products such as the In-The-Ear (ITE) and half-shell products, which both utilize a size 312 disposable battery, are available with wireless features. However, the smaller custom products cannot accommodate that technology.
If you would like to know if your phone, tablet, or other device is compatible with the Philips hearing aids, please visit their compatibility page for more information.
HearLink 2 App
The updated smartphone app is a free accessory that you can download from the Apple App Store® or from Google Play™. As with most hearing aid apps it turns your smartphone (or Apple Watch®) into a remote control for the hearing aids. That is, it allows you to change programs, volume, check battery status, and even help you find them if you've lost them. You also have access to a library of helpful documents. One very convenient feature is that the app also incorporates remote care features, allowing you to communicate with your HCP from the comfort of your home—more on that below.
HearLink 2 app with miniRITE hearing aids.
HearLink 2 also has a streaming equalizer, allowing you to change the frequency response of streamed audio. This additional control may help improve clarity and the overall preferred sound quality of the streamed signal, especially music.
New as of August 2023, the HearLink 2 app now includes a new sound equalizer and a journal feature. The sound equalizer allows you to adjust the tone of the instruments (think treble and bass controls) for your environment. The journal feature allows you and your HCP to set wearing goals, like hours a day to wear, and track your progress.
Unfortunately, the app's overall rating is not favorable: it is rated at 2.2 (out of 5) on both platforms. Multiple complaints center around connectivity and maintaining a stable connection between the app and the hearing aids. This was a common complaint before the latest app update as well. In fairness, app connectivity and stability are common complaints across hearing aid manufacturers, but this rating is somewhat lower than what we have seen for competitors.
Finally, the use of the smartphone app is not required. That is, unlike some hearing aids on the market, the Philips HearLink 40 products have an onboard control (button) as well as an LED status light. The controls vary slightly depending on which device you are fitted with, but the control can act as a volume change, program change, and allow for turning the hearing aids on/off. For many, this means the smartphone app isn't necessary.
However, we will note that using the button may be confusing or difficult for some people. For example, the hearing aids can be programmed to have both volume and program change available via the button. This means a short press will change volume, and a prolonged press (2 sec) will change the program number. Holding the button for 3 seconds will turn the hearing aids on/off.
This may take a bit of practice, and for some, the simple remote accessory or the smartphone app may be preferred. Alternatively, your hearing provider can limit the functionality of the buttons via programming.
Remote Fitting Service
Remote care is available through the Philips HearLink 2 app but only in the latest generations of products (30 and 40 series) with Bluetooth connectivity. It allows you to communicate with your hearing provider by video/audio chat, and your provider can make real-time adjustments to the hearing aids during the session. Please note you must request an invitation from your HCP to participate in a remote fitting session, and your first fitting of the products will always be in person.
Remote fitting options provide the advantage of not having to go into the provider’s office to get hearing aid adjustments. For those who struggle with transportation issues, live a significant distance from the provider, or simply prefer not to go in person to an appointment, the remote fitting service can prove invaluable. However, if this is a feature you believe you would like to take advantage of, you should discuss with your HCP about the actual availability of this service. Keep in mind that Philips hearing aids are only sold at Costco hearing aid centers, and it is not known how and to what degree this service has been integrated into their business model.
Several accessories are available for the Philips HearLink 40 hearing aids, including a TV adaptor, a simple remote control, and an AudioClip. These accessories are available at an additional charge from your hearing provider. However, many people find accessories improve their overall satisfaction with hearing aids. For example, the TV streamer will help ensure a stable and direct connection with your TV and provide an excellent sound quality experience from the TV audio.
The Philips AudioClip remote microphone allows you to hear one-to-one conversations in noisy environments or listen to someone speak from a distance. The person speaking only needs to clip the device somewhere close to their mouth (e.g., their lapel). The microphones pick up their voice and transmit it directly to your hearing aids.
Additionally, if your smartphone is not compatible with the hands-free calling feature, the AudioClip can help. Remember that after your phone is connected to your hearing aids, conversations will stream directly to your hearing aids, greatly improving the overall sound quality of the phone call. However, for Android or other devices that won't allow for hands-free calling, you will still need to speak into the phone receiver in order for the caller to hear your voice. The AudioClip makes those hearing aids hands-free. The AudioClip is a microphone that allows you to put the phone down, clip the accessory to your collar or shirt, and carry on the conversation. This can be particularly useful when driving.
The Philips TV Adaptor is another popular accessory that allows for audio streaming from most TVs directly to your hearing aids. Once again, this provides a cleaner audio signal to your hearing aids and can improve overall audio recognition from the TV. It also allows for others in the room to listen to the TV at their preferred level and for you to adjust the volume independently.
The Philips Remote Control is a very basic but handy volume control, and is particularly useful for people who don't have a smartphone or won't use the app.
Any accessory will come at an additional cost (around $200) so be sure to discuss both your listening needs and options with your hearing provider.
The bottom line
The Philips HearLink 9040 series is the latest hearing aid offering from Philips. They share much of the same advanced technology found in other Demant products and can be considered premium hearing aids of high quality.
Updates to the Philips HearLink 9040 series incorporate some new technology that primarily aims to improve your overall listening comfort. The HearLink 2 app also has new updates that may make the hearing aids easier to use; however, the app is not highly rated and there are consistent complaints about connectivity issues.
As with all three hearing aid brands (Philips, Jabra, and Rexton) at Costco, the price point is extremely attractive for the premium technology. Keep in mind, however, that the warehouse delivery method may not be preferred or ideal for everyone—especially if you have a hearing loss that is more severe or complicated or need treatment for tinnitus.
As always, discuss your hearing healthcare options with a professional. You will want to make sure that any technology you choose is appropriate for your hearing loss, your symptoms as well as your lifestyle and listening needs. There are many choices available so be sure to work with a professional who will take the time to discuss your needs and answer your questions.
A note to our international readers
As you will see below, the Philips 40 series is available in three different technology levels, the 9040, 7040, and 5040 (in order from most to least "premium"). Within the USA, Philips is distributed exclusively via Costco, and Costco only sells the top technology level (the 9040). Outside of the USA, Philips hearing aids are sold more widely, and shoppers may have the choice of lower-tech models like the HearLink 7040 and 5040 from the 40 series.
HearLink Model Comparison
|HearLink miniRITE T R||HearLink miniRITE T||HearLink miniBTE T R||HearLink miniBTE T|
|IP Rating (Liquid)||8||8||8||8|
|IP Rating (Solid)||6||6||6||6|
|Made For iPhone||
Lowest iOS Version
Lowest iOS Version
Lowest iOS Version
Lowest iOS Version
Push Button Options
Push Button Options
Push Button Options
Push Button Options
|Water Resistant Coating|
Model details listed above may be incomplete or inaccurate. For full specifications please refer to product specifications published by the original equipment manufacturer. To suggest a correction to the details listed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HearLink Technology Levels
|HearLink 5040||HearLink 7040||HearLink 9040|
|Extended Dynamic Range|
|Binaural Noise Management|
|Binaural Volume and Program Change|
|Comfort Control||2 options||4 options|
|Dynamic Directionality||1 option||2 options||3 options|
|Noise Reduction Mode||3 options||4 options||4 options|
|Pinna Mode||1 option||2 options||2 options|
|Soft Noise Management|
|SoundProtect Transient Noise Reduction||4 options||5 options||6 options|
|SoundProtect Wind Noise Management|
|Speech Clarifier||2 options||3 options|
Technology specifications listed above may be incomplete or inaccurate. For full specifications please refer to product specifications published by the original equipment manufacturer. To suggest a correction to the details listed, please email email@example.com.
Hearing aid reviews are fundamentally different from reviews for most other consumer electronic products. The reason is because individual factors, like degree of hearing loss, have a profound effect one's success and overall satisfaction with the product. When purchasing a hearing aid, you'll need to consider more than just your hearing outcome ... Continue readingWrite a Review
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Hearing Tracker uses a ten-question survey to assess consumer feedback on hearing aids. The percentage bars below reflect the average ratings provided per question, averaged across all hearing aids belonging to this family of devices.
Note: Original answers provided in star rating format.
Had a pair of Resound hearing aids that worked really well for me but mine were several years old and no longer serviceable at Costco. Gat a new pair of the Philips and they don't work nearly as well. Sound quality just isn't the same. I don't hear nearly as well as I did with the Resound. Have been back to Costco several times to have them adjusted and it hasn't made any difference. I'm disappointed with these hearing aids. When I purchased them I was told that they are the best available from Costco. I've always appreciated the service at the Costco hearing center but believe that it may be time to look elsewhere.
Sadly, I must return the two Philips 9040 HearLink hearing aids. Several fittings (including double domes) have failed to eliminate the sudden screeches, garbled pronunciations, and whistles. It seems that the hearing aid’s AI algorithm fails to maintain a clear speech to noise ratio over time. The AI algorithm, and the SoundProtect seem to keep increasing the volume of the hearing aids over noise, but the volume becomes too loud, and word ending screech, when the ambient background returns to quiet. The only (inconvenient) way to correct this is to turn the hearing aids off, then back on again.
I'm reasonably satisfied with the HearLink 2. My only gripe is that I have only two program choices. Either automatic AI or I can change to the telecoil where it's available. I'd like to be able to shut off the rear microphones when I'm in a noisy restaurant so that I can focus on table conversation in front of me.
Beware if something happens to one hearing aid (defects happen) you will have to charge and wear both. Sorry but the root cause issue is the app. It will not work if 1 hearing aid is in the charger and one is out ergo you wear both.
Do not purchase this product!!! I follow all the directions, including keeping the phone within 2-4 feet of the Hearing Aids, and it still repeatedly disconnects. Loud rooms become noise, and it is with virtually impossible to pick up a speaker.
A friend demonstrated the app for his hearing aids to me, it has automatic settings for loud rooms, music, concerts, small gatherings, business meetings etc. This App is archaic in comparison.
Do more research before resorting to this product.
After wearing hearing aids (Widex, Siemens, Resound) for over 25 years, these are worst performing hearing aids I've ever owned. They are uncomfortable. I can't find a dome size which fits...they either slip out of my ear or are incredibly tight. They do little to improve my hearing and are really diminishing my quality of life. Service at the Birmingham Costco was inattentive and tone-deaf.
Mine will randomly drop out. One of them more so than the other. Suddenly, I notice all my hearing is in one side. When I hold the button to shut it off it plays the power down chime (so it is actually still on). Once I reboot it, it usually stays on. I had it happen when I was in Costco at a follow up visit. The guy there actually decided to look in my ear to see if I had a wax build up. Even though I told him rebooting fixed the issue. Needless to say there was nothing in my ear. That’s when I lost faith in my “hearing professional” at Costco. He ended up replacing the “receiver” part. Still having the issue one month later.
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