We've written before about high hearing aid prices, and the cost benefits to buying online.

In the past, we've cited academic studies and industry-leading research. For this week's entry, we wanted to approach it in a slightly different way. We read recently that hearing aids cost more than their weight in gold, and decided to do some myth-busting.

Hearing aids cost more than gold? That can't be true... right?

In fact, our research revealed that hearing aids are much, much more expensive, on a per-gram basis.

A modern, RIC BTE hearing aid weighs in at about 2 grams. It may wholesale for $500, and resale for $2,500. On a per-ounce basis, that's a staggering $7,200 at wholesale, and $36,000 at resale. For comparison, gold is currently trading around $1,600 an ounce.

In all fairness, this approach penalizes manufacturers for making technological strides to reduce the weight of hearing aids, and increase comfort and satisfaction.

Nevertheless, the conclusion holds: on a per-ounce basis, hearing aids cost twenty times their weight in gold.

In fact, our internet research turned up a long list of luxury items with a lower price-to-weight ration than hearing aids. On this list are caviar, saffron, uranium nuclear fuel, a top-of-the-line artificial heart, and the Space Shuttle Endeavor.

It actually took us a while to identify any substance, manmade or otherwise, with a higher price-to-weight ratio than modern hearing aids. We think contact lenses come close, but they were too light to register on our scale. But we did identify two clear winners. Plutonium is one. The other is a diamond.

Readers, can you help us out with some others?

Clearly, this analysis is overly simplistic. But it's pretty striking nonetheless.


Hearing Aids

Gold is more expensive than virtually any other good...

Hearing Aids Prices

...But hearing aids are so much more expensive, we had to put them on a different chart


Hearing Aids Cost Research