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Thread: Going to visit Costco (Canada)

  1. #11
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    We certainly have a variety of opinions of the forums--some expressed more strongly than others. I guess I could be considered a KS7 fanboy, but it's measured. I suggest them because they are an exceptional value-- at leat $800 USD less than other similar Costco hearing aids. However, if iPhone streaming were important to a user, I would suggest the Resound Linx2 and if somebody had a striking high frequency loss, the Phonak Brio 2s might be worth considering because their Sound Recover program seems to be well thought of. If music is important, all bets are off. The Bernafons have a good reputation, but music appreciation is so individualized that I think finding a hearing aid that makes a music afficianado happy might require a lot of trial and error, or they might be decide a good set of headphones is better than hearing aids for listening to music.

    Quote Originally Posted by KenP View Post
    Freddy, when people buy a particular aid, they tend to promote it. Partially, because they know they made the best choice. Understand that every aid has its fanboys. It like a thread that goes at it about Apple vs Windows.

    So, take it all with a grain of salt. Consider that most of us are dumb users like those Win-Apple fanboys. You don't hear the audiologist and fitters posting here come up with similar views. And why would they fit all the brands if one was so superior?

    So find a good fitter and depend on that person. And at Costco you have either a 90 or 180 day trial where you can determine if the brand/fitter has given you something that really improves you situation.
    .25 .5 1 1.5 2 3.0 4.0 6.0 8.0

    15 15 20 30 30 55 75 90 NR ​KS7
    10 10 20 15 25 35 65 85 95 WRS 100/92@45/40

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    I agree with MDB. It was about the value. For my first foray into needing HA's the price was the lowest for entirely usable first-time HA's. I have company benefits where I could've gone higher cost but thought that to get started in the world of HA's these would be fine.
    There's a slight chance that after these first HA's that I might entertain Widex but we'll see how these turn out.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by KenP View Post
    Freddy, when people buy a particular aid, they tend to promote it. It is, because they know they made the very best choice and they can't be wrong. Understand that every aid has its fanboys. It like a thread that goes at it about Apple vs Windows.

    So, take it all with a grain of salt. Consider that most of us are dumb users like those Win-Apple fanboys. You don't hear the audiologist and fitters posting here come up with similar views. And why would they fit any/all the brands if one was so superior? Retails are close for a reason.

    So find a good fitter and depend on that person. And at Costco you have either a 90 or 180 day trial where you can determine if the brand/fitter has given you something that really improves you situation.
    Thanks, KenP.

    When I started this venture, I thought I would be able to approach it the same way as with other purchases - do some research, read reviews, compare features, and so on. But it has turned out to be very different. There don't seem to be any impartial reviews of the different hearing aid models. Consumer Reports rates the merchants, not the HA models. Maybe I am overlooking a source, but I can't find comparisons that I can trust.

    Also, HA's are extremely complex, with many features that may or may not be useful to me. The different features have trade names that are inscrutable. So far I have not found a source that explains these features concisely and logically. Well, I'm not sure I even need such an outline, or need to spend that time, because 90% might not be relevant to my needs. But the approach I usually use to research a purchase is not working well for buying HA's.

    Very rarely will I put myself at the mercy of a sales person. But for HA's, it seems like it will be necessary.

    Yes, there are the free trials, but a new user like me is not likely to be a good HA evaluator. My first HA is going to sound weird. That is what they say and I understand the reason. It would be quite an undertaking to test and compare a few different models. For a reliable assessment, the tests should be blind, and each HA would have to be tried more than once, to remove biases. Now that would be quite the testing program, but it is unrealistic to carry out.

    Therefore, contrary to my inclinations, I will have to put myself under the sway of a merchant. And consensus is that Costco is one of the better merchants.

    Maybe they will recommend the KS7, which is "night and day" better than other brands ("night and day" = "slightly better" in forum talk).

    Thanks for your input.

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  4. #14

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    Thanks for the comments, MDB and z10user2.

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  5. #15
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    Freddy, the brands at Costco represent 4 of the 6 major manufacturers. Missing are Starkey and Widex.

    KS7 is from Signia -- formerly Siemens. Siemens had let the brand languish. Signia is aggressive with improvements. It is now recognize as current in feaures.

    Resound has also played catchup in recent years and its feaures can be considered Comparable

    Phonaks has been a solid product in the digital revolution and is well place with features.

    Bernafon is behind the current levels a bit. The platform Costco offers lags a bit in hardware. It should see an upgrade. It is a second label product from Octicon and will lag the primary brand.

    At Costco, all products are typically last years model. That much less a big deal over 5-10 years ago when hardware was improving almost exponentially. Hardware says how powerful the programming can be. This is a real-time processing activity and processors create definite limits. With processor levels fairly comparable, you can expect that the programming /feature-set is close between the brands.

    So, it boils down to what seems to sound better to your ears and yours are different from mine and everyone else. That makes choosing an aid an empirical operation that is valid on an individual basis.
    Last edited by KenP; 05-08-2017 at 10:37 AM.
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  6. #16
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    Here's the closest I've found to an objective source. https://www.hearingtracker.com/best-hearing-aids

    However, it's just based on user feedback, sometimes with very few responses and in a few cases it seems like somebody was either trying to promote or denigrate a hearing aid which makes me question motives. My take from all this (including issues you state) is that there is no one hearing aid that is markedly better than others for all individuals. Using cost, special features or a hearing professional's recommendation are all valid ways to approach.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freddy View Post
    Thanks, KenP.

    When I started this venture, I thought I would be able to approach it the same way as with other purchases - do some research, read reviews, compare features, and so on. But it has turned out to be very different. There don't seem to be any impartial reviews of the different hearing aid models. Consumer Reports rates the merchants, not the HA models. Maybe I am overlooking a source, but I can't find comparisons that I can trust.

    Also, HA's are extremely complex, with many features that may or may not be useful to me. The different features have trade names that are inscrutable. So far I have not found a source that explains these features concisely and logically. Well, I'm not sure I even need such an outline, or need to spend that time, because 90% might not be relevant to my needs. But the approach I usually use to research a purchase is not working well for buying HA's.

    Very rarely will I put myself at the mercy of a sales person. But for HA's, it seems like it will be necessary.

    Yes, there are the free trials, but a new user like me is not likely to be a good HA evaluator. My first HA is going to sound weird. That is what they say and I understand the reason. It would be quite an undertaking to test and compare a few different models. For a reliable assessment, the tests should be blind, and each HA would have to be tried more than once, to remove biases. Now that would be quite the testing program, but it is unrealistic to carry out.

    Therefore, contrary to my inclinations, I will have to put myself under the sway of a merchant. And consensus is that Costco is one of the better merchants.

    Maybe they will recommend the KS7, which is "night and day" better than other brands ("night and day" = "slightly better" in forum talk).

    Thanks for your input.
    .25 .5 1 1.5 2 3.0 4.0 6.0 8.0

    15 15 20 30 30 55 75 90 NR ​KS7
    10 10 20 15 25 35 65 85 95 WRS 100/92@45/40

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Freddy View Post
    Very rarely will I put myself at the mercy of a sales person. But for HA's, it seems like it will be necessary.
    I'm with you. I investigate the heck out of larger purchases and yes quickly found that there was no real way to compare. Sticking with the big well known brands seems safe. They'll all handle the standard aging ski slope loss fine. When you get into severe to profound loss then you need to make sure you're getting the right one. And yes that would mean relying on the sales person. Digging into some of the technical documentation can find useful info. Things like frequency response and how much amplification seems to be available.
    Another approach is to try out demo modes of the fitting software and see what is available on the specific aids and see what their ranges and capabilities are using your audiogram.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDB View Post
    Here's the closest I've found to an objective source. https://www.hearingtracker.com/best-hearing-aids
    Thanks! That is quite the site. I will take some time to digest it. Some of it might be skewed, but it still looks quite useful.

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  9. #19

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    People get exicted about the KS7 not because it's better, but because it's cheaper and yet still fairly comparable.

  10. #20

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    You can read and research as much as you want but it all comes down which one sounds better to you.

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