Audien Hearing is offering an affordable, FDA-compliant over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aid, the ATOM ONE, which will be sold exclusively at Walmart.

Retailing for $98, launched on Oct. 1 2023 online and in-store, the ATOM ONE seeks to aid millions of people suffering from hearing loss, the company says.

“Prior to the passing of government legislation, hearing aids were both hard to get and very expensive for most Americans,” says Audien Hearing Co-Founder Ishan Patel. “When we heard about the impending legislation announced in 2017, we quickly put into motion our plans to create the world’s first hearing aid that would be both financially accessible to most Americans and that would suit the individual needs of those affected with mild to moderate hearing loss; and while we’ve been able to offer affordable hearing to customers in other iterations for the past couple of years, we knew we could do even better – and quickly, too.”

Founded in 2019 and privately owned, Audien Hearing’s mission to make hearing accessible and affordable for everyone is stronger than ever as the one-year mark approaches on U.S. government regulations changing for OTC hearing aid guidelines, according to the company.

“We’ve come very far in a very short period and are thrilled with the prospects for the business, for the category itself, and for our ability to positively impact the lives of millions of Americans,” says Audien Co-Founder Dylan Garber. “After launching our first affordable hearing amplifier in March 2020, we were able to adapt and advance the technologies to allow for different levels of hearing loss, a longer lasting battery life, and crisper sound. With these advancements, the ATOM ONE is now the world’s first FDA-compliant hearing aid available OTC in-store for under $100.”

Further reading: Professional Hearing Services in the OTC Era

Following over half-a-million sales of its original ATOM Series (in-the-ear) and BTE Series (behind-the-ear) devices, Audien says it is aiming to shake up the multi-billion-dollar hearing aid market.

“We’re excited to be at the forefront of a brand-new industry with huge potential,” says Co-Founder Zack Hubbard. “Rolling out nationwide with Walmart is a landmark occasion that makes hearing aids more accessible and affordable for everyone. We expect this moment to be foundational for consumers with hearing loss – it will really blaze the trail for OTC hearing products to soon be available in most retailers across the country.”

Marked by three unique hearing modes, background noise cancellation, and a concealed in-the-ear design, this new model joins its other mid-priced device also available on since early 2022.

“Walmart’s mission is to help our customers live better, and that means ensuring they have access to affordable health and wellness products like OTC hearing aids,” says Staci Cochran, VP, Omni Merchandising – Health, Walmart. “We’re excited to exclusively launch Audien’s ATOM ONE, bringing our customers a high-quality item at an industry-leading everyday low price.”

Some 95% less costly than its competitors, Audien’s latest product launch covers a unique place in the audiology market and the overall healthcare system, according to the company.

“Hearing is a vital part of daily life and the previously prohibitive costs and the complicated path to purchase have made this all-important human function inaccessible for millions,” says David M. Yen, MD, FACS, an otolaryngologist and ENT physician. “The launch of products like the ATOM ONE will change the way people understand and manage their hearing loss – and while severely compromised hearing health may need to be continuously monitored by a doctor, the availability of products like this through a nationwide retailer as meaningful as Walmart will ensure hearing loss is better managed by individuals looking for affordable solutions like never before.”

Featured image: ​​Audien Hearing, ATOM ONE. Photo: Business Wire