Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
Rajsx
Posts: 447
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:07 pm
Location: Florida

Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by Rajsx » Fri May 10, 2019 10:05 am

Lately I & my wife noticed my hearing is getting worse. Initially the TV needed to be louder, I am talking louder, hearing is worse in crowded places with the back ground noise, children talking among themselves or with DW is getting harder to hear. Long story short it is getting worse & I may need Hearing Aids.

I went to a ENT Doc who spent 2 mins with me, referred me to a Audiologist who found out my hearing is bad, left worse than the right after testing.She gave me a a week trial with the best ones she has - a $ 6000 Opticon Hearing Aids, which I thought was pricey. One of them was not charging right &the set had to be returned.

I am almost 63 yrs old, & was thinking this came on a little early on me, rather than in 70s & up. Anyway the question now is what kind(Brand) of Hearing Aids worked out well for you & how much were the damages ?? Any input in this regard will be greatly appreciated & will be very helpful to me. Any pointers to where I can get some objective information regarding the Hear Aids.

Regards
We do not stop laughing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop laughing !!

Gill
Posts: 5868
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:38 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by Gill » Fri May 10, 2019 10:07 am

There have been some lengthy posts recently on this topic and a large number of people have suggested Costco Hearing Aid Center. I believe their top of the line hearing aids run about $2,500.
Gill
Cost basis is redundant. One has a basis in an investment | One advises and gives advice | One should follow the principle of investing one's principal

rj342
Posts: 663
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:21 pm

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by rj342 » Fri May 10, 2019 10:09 am

Way out of my wheelhouse fortunately, but I read just the other day that the FDA is approving some hearing aids for over the counter sale WITHOUT an Rx.

mrb09
Posts: 185
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:02 am

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by mrb09 » Fri May 10, 2019 10:25 am

I got my first set of hearing aids in my mid-50's. I'm into "profound" sound loss, I can't hear high frequencies at all unless they're compressed into a lower frequency. Too much motorcycles, rock n' roll and loud lab equipment in my youth :)

I first did the $6k-ish ones (top of the line Phonaks). My audiologist worked with me over months to adjust me. It was quite an experience, since I was hearing things I had not heard in years.

When my first set started wearing out (they last about five years) and I had moved away from old audiologist, I went to Costco and got some $2.5k ones (Costco branded Resounds). These were on-par with Phonaks sound-wise, but much nicer integration with my Iphone. Some of that was Costco price advantage and some of it was just advances in technology making older technology cheaper.

I was happy with my Costco experience and the audiologist I worked with, but not sure that would have worked as well for my first set when I needed more hand-holding to adjust.

User avatar
flossy21
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 2:04 pm

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by flossy21 » Fri May 10, 2019 10:55 am

Here's a previous post and discussion that you might find useful.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=270221&p=4335925&h ... g#p4335925

I'll reiterate what I wrote in that post here...

OP -- You should think of hearing aids as a service...not a product. The skill, or lack thereof, of the person who fits your aids and provides your follow up adjustments is the most important factor by a wide margin. It's a hearing instrument that is specifically tuned to your hearing loss and it needs to operate well in all the environments you will encounter; noisy, quiet, speech, music, etc.

You can get the best hearing aids that money can buy and have them fit by a lousy provider and those aids won't serve you near as well as a cheap set of aids that are fit by a skilled provider.

As with any profession some Audiologists are great and some are not. Just like some non-Audiologists.

The question you need to answer is how do I find the most skilled provider whether they be at Costco or in private practice because comparing the aid just based on price or model is not the best solution.

JPM
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:29 pm

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by JPM » Fri May 10, 2019 11:11 am

Hearing aid technology has improved a lot over the past 5-10 years.

Simple amplification is relatively cheap, can be had at Sam's or Costco inexpensively. Good for one-on-one conversations but also amplifies background noise when background noise is present. $1500-2500 around here.

Directional feature adds to the price. Don't know if available via Costco, Sam's etc. It connects to iphone with an application that changes the direction that sound can be heard from and cancels out background if needed. If you are out to dinner with DW, you can focus on the 75-90 degrees opposite yourself and cancel out the background music and noise from the kitchen and surrounding guests. If you are at a concert, you can set it to 360 degrees to hear everything in the concert and you can adjust the degree of amplification. $7000 locally from audiology clinics.

The discrimination feature helps make spoken sounds more understandable. In old movies when the actors used poor diction, the recording techniques resulted in difficulty making out what they are saying when broadcast on TV. People with hearing loss often lose the discrimination function in ordinary conversation and mishear what has been said, leading to confusing conversations. The discrimination feature makes speech more understandable. $6000-7000 locally from audiology clinics.

The added features add expense to the hearing aid. If Sam's or Costco or Miracle Ear have the newer features they are probably cheaper than from an audiology clinic.

For the profoundly impaired, there are devices that match a lavalliere transmitter that your conversational partner wears and the receiver is an earpiece in your ear. This helps the profoundly impaired quite a bit in social interactions. They have a range of about 100 feet so your conversational partner can be heard at some distance outdoors or at home. These are naturally quite pricey. Not aware of price for this but have used this set with a very impaired friend late in his life and it permitted us to go out to dinner together when he otherwise could not have heard me with any of the standard hearing aids. With the amplification and discrimination dialed up we could have a normal conversation.


As with any self-paid medical item, balancing utility and affordability would determine what you choose.

User avatar
JPH
Posts: 952
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:56 pm

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by JPH » Fri May 10, 2019 11:24 am

On my Widex hearing aids I think the directional feature is not very effective. They placed one microphone at the very top of the case and a second microphone a few millimeters behind the first. The forward microphone is supposed to pick up sound in front of you and the rear one is supposed to pick up sound to the rear. But those tiny microphones placed so close together just can't be that directionally specific. Plus both microphones are concealed under a metallic shield-like cover, which I suspect further interferes with directionality. If other models work differently, I would like to hear about it.
While the moments do summersaults into eternity | Cling to their coattails and beg them to stay - Townes Van Zandt

GreenGrowTheDollars
Posts: 433
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:09 pm

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by GreenGrowTheDollars » Fri May 10, 2019 11:27 am

Evidence indicates that getting hearing aids (and using them!) when you need them helps with cognition. It also cuts down on frustration -- yours and your family's when you have to ask to have many things repeated.

However, adjusting to hearing aids is a process. I made the mistake of going to the grocery store when I first got mine, and the cacophony made me want to rip them right out of my head. I didn't like the way they sounded, it felt weird putting them in, and they didn't fix all my problems.

I'm five years into wearing aids and on my second pair. My first pair was from a local shop (Oticon) primarily because at the time I had insurance that actually paid about half the cost. The second pair is from Costco (Bernefon Zerena) that connects wirelessly to my iPhone. That has greatly improved my ability to hear well on phone calls. I can also use my iPhone as a supplemental directional microphone in restaurants.

As has been mentioned, this is a process and service purchase; perhaps more so than any other purchase I've made. I have been back to Costco for various adjustments five or six times to better tune to the programming to meet my needs. For example, a couple of the trips were because music streamed from my phone to my hearing aids sounded bad. We played around with quite a few treble adjustments before it sounded better to me. My hearing loss is at the high end of moderate in one ear and the low end of severe in the other. One surprise with the newer pair was that I was less tired at the end of the day. I realized that I had been using a lot of energy to mentally unscramble what I'd heard to try and turn that into something that made sense, especially in phone calls or with clients who had accents/intonations that I found challenging. My word discrimination improved significantly with the new aids and that led to a lot less stress.

I also learned to love closed captioning on YouTube, TV, or movies, though sometimes the word choice errors are unintentionally hilarious. Some restaurants are still a noisy misery, and I avoid them whenever possible. Overall, the aids have greatly improved my life. Best of luck to you.

pshonore
Posts: 6669
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:21 pm

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by pshonore » Fri May 10, 2019 12:05 pm

Gill wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 10:07 am
There have been some lengthy posts recently on this topic and a large number of people have suggested Costco Hearing Aid Center. I believe their top of the line hearing aids run about $2,500.
Gill
Costco got very favorable ratings in this month's Consumer Reports review

User avatar
CABob
Posts: 4789
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:55 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by CABob » Fri May 10, 2019 12:53 pm

I got some aids from Costco a couple of years ago. At the time I had a number of friends who had used Costco and were satisfied. I wore them for almost 6 months and then returned them because I didn't think they were doing the job I needed. I still had the same problems hearing (and understanding) in noisy environments and with certain higher frequency voices.
I recently had my hearing tested again from an independent local audiologist who suggested the Phonac were top of the line. I haven't fully decided yet but I think I will go back to him to get fitted. He also suggested that although Costco had very attractive prices they did not have the latest in technology.
Bob

S&L1940
Posts: 1658
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:19 pm
Location: South Florida

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by S&L1940 » Fri May 10, 2019 1:04 pm

rj342 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 10:09 am
Way out of my wheelhouse fortunately, but I read just the other day that the FDA is approving some hearing aids for over the counter sale WITHOUT an Rx.
Final approval of Over the counter hearing aids (really will be mostly over the internet) is due in about two years, like 2020 or 21
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

JPM
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:29 pm

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by JPM » Fri May 10, 2019 1:04 pm

Directional function on the rechargeable Siemens seems to work well for DW.

S&L1940
Posts: 1658
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:19 pm
Location: South Florida

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by S&L1940 » Fri May 10, 2019 1:26 pm

With all the bells and whistles that high end aids offer, if you have clarity issues - which I do - the aids are are not that efficient
Clarity, as I understand it, is controlled within the ear and aids can not add all that much to understanding dialog or hearing music and TV clearly

I put my $3600 set of aids aside and bought this:
https://www.bose.com/en_us/products/wel ... hones.html

Cost $500 no matter where you buy them, direct from Bose, Amazon or QVC.
At first I felt goofy wearing this thing around my neck connected to ear buds. Then I look around with people wearing phones and all sorts of audio music and book gadgets hanging out of their ears, I fit right in.

I find overall that pumping up the sound and controlling base and treble with a smart phone app, for me, works better than the aids
QVC has or had the best deal, free shipping and return if necessary with three months to try them out and payments over six months with no interest.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Te_bA1c4ilE

Yes Costco seems to have the best deal for aids. NO, I do not work for Bose or QVC or Amazon or Costco
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

Topic Author
Rajsx
Posts: 447
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:07 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by Rajsx » Fri May 10, 2019 4:25 pm

The Hearing Aid Specialist (Not a Audiologist) did her own ear testing & basically came up with a very similar report as the earlier one, she wants me to buy Phonak Audeo Marvel for $4200. I may be wrong, but the cost of the Hearing Aids seems arbitrary.

My Health Insurance does not cover them which I suspected it wont. They will let me try them for a month, if not satisfied the money is refundable except the $200. They are letting me try for the weekend for free & I pay up on Monday if I want to continue.

I am new to this game, I want to read/learn more before jumping in with thousands of $. So I am trying to take it slow
We do not stop laughing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop laughing !!

User avatar
Doom&Gloom
Posts: 3109
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri May 10, 2019 5:16 pm

Rajsx wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 4:25 pm
The Hearing Aid Specialist (Not a Audiologist) did her own ear testing & basically came up with a very similar report as the earlier one, she wants me to buy Phonak Audeo Marvel for $4200. I may be wrong, but the cost of the Hearing Aids seems arbitrary.

My Health Insurance does not cover them which I suspected it wont. They will let me try them for a month, if not satisfied the money is refundable except the $200. They are letting me try for the weekend for free & I pay up on Monday if I want to continue.

I am new to this game, I want to read/learn more before jumping in with thousands of $. So I am trying to take it slow
You can read a summary of my experience in the thread linked in Mr Flossy's post. I am a few more months in now and could not be happier with my HA's. For the first 2-3 months I was anything but happy. IIRC my trial period was 90 days. Had my trial period been only a month, I would have been a very unhappy and disillusioned customer and returned my aids. My audiologist also extended my trial period from the original 90 days in an effort to help me adjust (by his adjusting the settings).

Your person sounds much more like a salesperson than my audiologist. Unless she is not very busy (which would not be a good sign imo), she may have trouble seeing you often enough in a month to adjust the aids to your needs. And you may not have time enough to become acclimated and be able to tell if you are satisfied with the aids and the settings.

If I were in your shoes, I would keep shopping--more for an audiologist than the specific hearing aids.

Good luck!

Fallible
Posts: 7080
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by Fallible » Fri May 10, 2019 5:23 pm

Here is good advice from the Mayo Clinic on what to look for that will best pertain to your needs: "Hearng Aids: How to Choose The Right One":

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-con ... t-20044116
Last edited by Fallible on Fri May 10, 2019 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
John Bogle on his often bumpy road to low-cost indexing: "When a door closes, if you look long enough and hard enough, if you're strong enough, you'll find a window that opens."

S&L1940
Posts: 1658
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:19 pm
Location: South Florida

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by S&L1940 » Fri May 10, 2019 5:24 pm

Rajsx wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 4:25 pm
The Hearing Aid Specialist (Not a Audiologist) did her own ear testing & basically came up with a very similar report as the earlier one, she wants me to buy Phonak Audeo Marvel for $4200. I may be wrong, but the cost of the Hearing Aids seems arbitrary.

My Health Insurance does not cover them which I suspected it wont. They will let me try them for a month, if not satisfied the money is refundable except the $200. They are letting me try for the weekend for free & I pay up on Monday if I want to continue.

I am new to this game, I want to read/learn more before jumping in with thousands of $. So I am trying to take it slow
I posted this on another thread years ago:
The key to buying the high end stuff is service. Not only in the first few months but in years to come there will be need for adjusting the functions and just plain maintenance. Every time I am in Costco during the day there are people lined up to see the tech. Not what I want from a provider.
In Florida the papers are full of hearing aid offers. Mailings several times a week. The providers all talk of "free" 30 day trials with no obligations or return hassles.
If someone wants to sell me a high maintenance product at a high cost I am not interested in paying $200 for the test run. I would look to negotiate the terms
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

khale
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:48 pm

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by khale » Fri May 10, 2019 6:24 pm

There's already lots of good advice in this trail. My husband has had the expensive Phonak brand for more than 10 years. They're still working fine, even though they've been dropped a lot. They take abuse well.

The "behind the ear" style has a lot of strong points, but they're just about invisible, especially when lost. Being able to electronically locate a missing hearing aid is an important feature.

Right now, we're looking at whether the newer ones have compelling improvements. What we notice is the higher-end companies seem to be talking more about linking to phones/TV, etc, rather than documenting any advances in actual hearing quality. That is, more cheap eye candy rather than evidence of new R&D. Right now we're trying to figure out the guarantees on being able to return anything that doesn't work better than what he's got now.

One excellent related investment has been a big box that attaches to the TV, that can be set to optimize voice over everything else: it's called ZVOX, the feature is Accuvoice. I'm able to keep the TV volume down considerably, saving my sanity. The box keeps overall volume steady, while clarifying voice. Turns out everyone watching that TV likes it, even those who think they have no hearing loss.

clown
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:04 am

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by clown » Fri May 10, 2019 6:34 pm

The VA provides FREE top-of-the-line hearing aids to all veterans who need them. No need for a service-connected disability. I served 50 years ago and recently received a pair of Oticon aids. Retail about $6K. Absolutely free.

Quoting from the VA webpage at https://www.prosthetics.va.gov/psas/Hearing_Aids.asp "Once registered [ed: for VA healthcare] (or if already registered), you may schedule an appointment at the Audiology and Speech Pathology Clinic for an evaluation of your hearing. The audiologist will make a clinical determination on the need for hearing aids and/or other hearing assistive devices. If hearing aids are recommended and fit, the hearing aids, repairs, and future batteries will all be at no charge to you, as long as you maintain VA eligibility for care." They use actual audiologists, not techs.

Smoke
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:45 pm
Location: Saturn

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by Smoke » Fri May 10, 2019 6:41 pm

Rajsx wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 4:25 pm
The Hearing Aid Specialist (Not a Audiologist) did her own ear testing & basically came up with a very similar report as the earlier one, she wants me to buy Phonak Audeo Marvel for $4200. I may be wrong, but the cost of the Hearing Aids seems arbitrary.

My Health Insurance does not cover them which I suspected it wont. They will let me try them for a month, if not satisfied the money is refundable except the $200. They are letting me try for the weekend for free & I pay up on Monday if I want to continue.

I am new to this game, I want to read/learn more before jumping in with thousands of $. So I am trying to take it slow
I just went to an Audiologist as well yesterday, had the testing done and my results are exactly the same as yours, 65 yrs old, 30 yrs in a factory :wink:

I am getting the base Phonak Audeo Marvel rechargeable bte, my ins covers the base model fully. She agreed on the brand and model for my hearing loss. If that's any help.
They come in next week.
Arguing for the sake of arguing is something I am not going to engage in.

SleepCity
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:43 pm

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by SleepCity » Fri May 10, 2019 6:44 pm

What?

GreenGrowTheDollars
Posts: 433
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:09 pm

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by GreenGrowTheDollars » Fri May 10, 2019 6:45 pm

khale wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 6:24 pm
Right now, we're looking at whether the newer ones have compelling improvements. What we notice is the higher-end companies seem to be talking more about linking to phones/TV, etc, rather than documenting any advances in actual hearing quality. That is, more cheap eye candy rather than evidence of new R&D. Right now we're trying to figure out the guarantees on being able to return anything that doesn't work better than what he's got now.

One excellent related investment has been a big box that attaches to the TV, that can be set to optimize voice over everything else: it's called ZVOX, the feature is Accuvoice. I'm able to keep the TV volume down considerably, saving my sanity. The box keeps overall volume steady, while clarifying voice. Turns out everyone watching that TV likes it, even those who think they have no hearing loss.
My experience (n=1) was that the streaming directly from the phone greatly improved my ability to comprehend phone conversations and audiobooks. I also like the ability to turn off the external microphone when I'm streaming an audiobook in a noisy environment like the gym.

The ZVOX sounds great -- I'm going to explore that.

mortfree
Posts: 1984
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:06 pm

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by mortfree » Fri May 10, 2019 7:14 pm

Go to Costco
/thread

Remember you have bad hearing. The hearing aids will help but they will not give you super hearing powers.

Word recognition is an important test so be sure you know that score.

Hard of hearing since birth. Managed to get through life without HAs until Age 38. Went to Costco.

I believe their prices have dropped more and the top of the line might be under $2k for the pair. Additionally their trial period and return policy is excellent.

Batteries are cheap. Don’t get sold by someone promoting free hearing aid batteries. I pay about $20 per year on batteries at Costco
Last edited by mortfree on Sat May 11, 2019 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

carolinaman
Posts: 3949
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by carolinaman » Sat May 11, 2019 7:55 am

Gill wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 10:07 am
There have been some lengthy posts recently on this topic and a large number of people have suggested Costco Hearing Aid Center. I believe their top of the line hearing aids run about $2,500.
Gill
I have used an EENT practice and Costco. The only difference was the price. I bought Costco Kirkland brand hearing aids last time. The pair cost $1800. I was told this was same ReSound model EENT practice sold for $6000. I use a certified audiologist at Costco who is just as good if not better than the doctor of audiology at EENT practice. Most of the people at Costco are hearing aid techs but I recommend an audiologist if you can get one.

Costco is the number one seller of hearing aids in the world.

Topic Author
Rajsx
Posts: 447
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:07 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by Rajsx » Sat May 11, 2019 10:31 am

I want to thank every one for your input & helping me out.

We are heading to Costco to become members & go to their Hearing Aid Center. The greatest advantage I see for a Novice is their Return Policy of 180 days, granted I may have to wait some after making the appointment. I am retired so that does not bother me that much. DW is over joyed at the prospect of shopping for other things in the store while I get my hearing worked out.
Well, every choice in life has a good & bad attached. As long as DW does not get 17 bags of paper products & a crate of water bottles saying "You never know we might need it some day" & she does not drag me there every week on her shopping ventures I am OK . Only two of us( & a 20 lb dog) live in a downsized retirement home.

If Costco does not work out, heck get the money back & start over at some other HA place & by then I would have some time under the belt in the world of Hearing Aids so can make a more informed decision then. That is a big solace to a new comer.
By the terms of 2 private Hearing Aid Clinics I have been to, I do not know their return policies & the time allowed, but I do not think it will be as long as 6 months.

Lot to learn about the Hearing aids. I am sure I will have lot of questions.

Best regards
We do not stop laughing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop laughing !!

Nowizard
Posts: 2444
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by Nowizard » Sat May 11, 2019 10:49 am

Go to Costco. Even if you decide to choose another brand or purchase elsewhere, you will get a thorough evaluation at no charge and be allowed to try aids in the store. Several brands are targeted for general use, for those who like to have multiple ways to program them (More for techies), those who want music enhancement, and those who want rechargeable batteries rather than replacing them. Top cost several months ago was $1,599 a pair, plus they clean them free, offer one time, free replacement if lost and lifetime tuning. A friend paid $800 for a combination of the evaluation and future cleaning, tuning, etc. and $1,000 more for the same brand which is sold under the Kirkland 8.0 label. If you have complex loss you might want to see an ENT but the most common loss is high frequency which an in-the-canal aid can correct. You can also choose two sizes, one slightly larger to accommodate a slightly larger battery that adds a couple of days time to the typical 6-7 days. Easy to replace, though some who have significant arthritis in their hands might choose the larger aids and batteries. You can also purchase an accessory for television use if aids do not totally resolve that issue. You do not need a prescription. Interestingly, others ask me to repeat more frequently now since the volume of my speech has decreased since purchasing aids. I guess that would suggest to some that my volume setting is marginally higher than necessary, though it is easily changed by a click of a button on the aids. I also ask others if TV volume is too loud for them since a lower level works fine for me now. It has been an easy adjustment, but you can return aids for full cost for an extended period of time. If you have more than one Costco, check to see about waiting time. My wait was three days, and they have just added a second evaluation booth recently.

Tim

User avatar
CULater
Posts: 2374
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:59 am

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by CULater » Sat May 11, 2019 11:06 am

According to the ratings by Consumer Reports in their June issue there isn't much difference between the major brands: signia, oticon, phonak, widex, and resound. I was hoping one brand might stand out in this comparison rating, but none did. The biggest problem with hearings aids by far is how they function in noisy environments such as restaurants, and they are all lousy. You mostly have to take them out in these environments because they make things worse, unless your hearing is so bad you can't do that. According to CR, Phonak, Widex and Resound were a little worse than Signia and Oticon in noisy settings, but it's probably splitting hairs.

Costco/Kirkwood were on par with these major brands. I've tried Resound, Signia, and currently have Phonaks and they were all about the same. The one advantage of the Signia was that they had a longer battery life than the others (I don't use rechargeables). They're all expensive (except for the Costco aids which you can return within 6 months) but be aware that you can negotiate the price a bit. I think they've got a very large profit margin on these things. My experience with Costco was that they were actually more thorough doing the hearing evaluation and hearing aid setup that the boutique firms I've dealt with (3 or 4 different ones), so I wouldn't hesitate to check them out. I haven't found that the "Doctors of Audiology" actually do anything special or spend any more time with you at the boutique shops. They are all basically just product distributors.
On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 58808
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by LadyGeek » Sat May 11, 2019 12:47 pm

As a reminder, medical advice is off-topic. See: Medical Issues
Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes a list of their top recommended sites.
Please stay focused on the financial aspects, such as brands, where to purchase, pricing, etc.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

wrongfunds
Posts: 2203
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by wrongfunds » Sat May 11, 2019 2:46 pm

GreenGrowTheDollars wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 6:45 pm
khale wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 6:24 pm
Right now, we're looking at whether the newer ones have compelling improvements. What we notice is the higher-end companies seem to be talking more about linking to phones/TV, etc, rather than documenting any advances in actual hearing quality. That is, more cheap eye candy rather than evidence of new R&D. Right now we're trying to figure out the guarantees on being able to return anything that doesn't work better than what he's got now.

One excellent related investment has been a big box that attaches to the TV, that can be set to optimize voice over everything else: it's called ZVOX, the feature is Accuvoice. I'm able to keep the TV volume down considerably, saving my sanity. The box keeps overall volume steady, while clarifying voice. Turns out everyone watching that TV likes it, even those who think they have no hearing loss.
My experience (n=1) was that the streaming directly from the phone greatly improved my ability to comprehend phone conversations and audiobooks. I also like the ability to turn off the external microphone when I'm streaming an audiobook in a noisy environment like the gym.

The ZVOX sounds great -- I'm going to explore that.
Which brand allows turning off external microphone when phone-call is streamed from iPhone? This feature is sorely needed on my Oticon as it is impossible to conduct phone-call in a noisy environment.

User avatar
CULater
Posts: 2374
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:59 am

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by CULater » Sat May 11, 2019 3:02 pm

CABob wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 12:53 pm
I got some aids from Costco a couple of years ago. At the time I had a number of friends who had used Costco and were satisfied. I wore them for almost 6 months and then returned them because I didn't think they were doing the job I needed. I still had the same problems hearing (and understanding) in noisy environments and with certain higher frequency voices.
I recently had my hearing tested again from an independent local audiologist who suggested the Phonac were top of the line. I haven't fully decided yet but I think I will go back to him to get fitted. He also suggested that although Costco had very attractive prices they did not have the latest in technology.
Yeh, I heard that too but I don't really believe it. If you are trying to complete with Costco's prices what are you going to say? Best thing is to try out the Costco aids, even buy a pair that can be returned, and then go to an independent store and get fitted and try theirs out for the 30-day return period they give you and compare to the Costco aids.
On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.

Papago
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:27 pm

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by Papago » Sun May 12, 2019 1:18 pm

Stan: "Got a new hearing aid last week, it cost me $10,000."

Ollie: "Wow - what kind is it?"

Stan: [Looks at his watch], "It's a quarter past three."

GlennK
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:20 am

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by GlennK » Sun May 12, 2019 2:07 pm

When I was hired at age 23 at my company, they tested my hearing and it showed slight hearing loss in left ear, and slight to moderate in right ear. I was very surprised. I lived with worsening hearing until about age 38 when I delighted my wife and bought my first pair. These were the in the ear kind and I hated them. Because they blocked the air (even had the audiologist drill the hole larger), it still sounded like I had my fingers stuffed in my ears but the sound was louder. I thought that was the best that could be done and lived with them for about 10 years.

About 10 years ago I went to a different audiologist and got behind the ear aids and I was so much happier. I do not care if people see the aids or not because I can now hear a lot better. These are Sieman's. They do have the ability to tune out background noise at restaurants and such which helps a little. My biggest problem is talking on the phone. These do not pair up with my phone, so I still have problems on the phone. Also, I love the rechargeable battery as I put them in the recharger/dehumidifier every night. I did have to buy replacement batteries twice (actually one pair was given to me by audiologist) as they eventually only held a charge for 10 hours. Not long enough to get through my full time job and my part time adjunct teaching job.

My biggest problem is my audiologist, who actually gave me two rechargeable batteries, moved inside our local Sam's club. So I can no longer see him. I am hoping these last a few more years and then I will see what the latest are. I might drive 30 miles to the closest Costco after reading this thread.

retire2022
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:10 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by retire2022 » Sun May 12, 2019 2:12 pm

S&L1940 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 1:26 pm
With all the bells and whistles that high end aids offer, if you have clarity issues - which I do - the aids are are not that efficient
Clarity, as I understand it, is controlled within the ear and aids can not add all that much to understanding dialog or hearing music and TV clearly

I put my $3600 set of aids aside and bought this:
https://www.bose.com/en_us/products/wel ... hones.html

Cost $500 no matter where you buy them, direct from Bose, Amazon or QVC.
At first I felt goofy wearing this thing around my neck connected to ear buds. Then I look around with people wearing phones and all sorts of audio music and book gadgets hanging out of their ears, I fit right in.

I find overall that pumping up the sound and controlling base and treble with a smart phone app, for me, works better than the aids
QVC has or had the best deal, free shipping and return if necessary with three months to try them out and payments over six months with no interest.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Te_bA1c4ilE

Yes Costco seems to have the best deal for aids. NO, I do not work for Bose or QVC or Amazon or Costco
Has anyone attempted to use a off the shelf digital microphone and or recorder? seems like hearing aids pricing is a rip off.

retire2022
Posts: 1033
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:10 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by retire2022 » Tue May 21, 2019 8:53 pm

https://www.everydayhearing.com/hearing ... aring-aid/

found this article, I don't have impaired hearing, but wonder if this would help? I have a 88 year old neighbor who is deaf wondering if this would help.

another article:

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/6085 ... ring-aids/

Cuervo_loco
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:45 pm

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by Cuervo_loco » Tue May 21, 2019 11:09 pm

Rajsx wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:31 am
I want to thank every one for your input & helping me out.

We are heading to Costco to become members & go to their Hearing Aid Center. The greatest advantage I see for a Novice is their Return Policy of 180 days, granted I may have to wait some after making the appointment. I am retired so that does not bother me that much. DW is over joyed at the prospect of shopping for other things in the store while I get my hearing worked out.
Well, every choice in life has a good & bad attached. As long as DW does not get 17 bags of paper products & a crate of water bottles saying "You never know we might need it some day" & she does not drag me there every week on her shopping ventures I am OK . Only two of us( & a 20 lb dog) live in a downsized retirement home.

If Costco does not work out, heck get the money back & start over at some other HA place & by then I would have some time under the belt in the world of Hearing Aids so can make a more informed decision then. That is a big solace to a new comer.
By the terms of 2 private Hearing Aid Clinics I have been to, I do not know their return policies & the time allowed, but I do not think it will be as long as 6 months.

Lot to learn about the Hearing aids. I am sure I will have lot of questions.

Best regards
I have the Oticon OPN1 Minirite model and had read that it’s possible for other audiologists (if I were traveling for example) to adjust, so I went to Costco to ask if this was even a thing... unfortunately the answer there was NO. I was told that brands are basically ‘firewalled’, so network coverage is possibly of some concern if you travel often. Costco does not carry Oticon.

On the other hand, rechargeable batteries are $20 there, so that’s an excellent win for a yearly expense. The audiologist told me they’re rated to about 300 recharges and mine last about 20 hours (listening time) with Bluetooth streaming in use.

Edit: Costco can service their brands, but require an appointment. That can be a long list depending on your location and not all locations have an audiology service.

User avatar
CULater
Posts: 2374
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:59 am

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by CULater » Wed May 22, 2019 8:46 am

I don't have Costco aids. I've had no problem going to audiologists in multiple geographic locations and having my aids adjusted. They are all able to access the current setup online and do that. Don't know if that would be the case with Costco aids, but might be a consideration if one anticipates being in different locations and unable to get to a Costco for service.
On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.

User avatar
onthecusp
Posts: 742
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:25 pm

Re: Hearing getting bad, which Hearing Aids would you recommend ??

Post by onthecusp » Wed May 22, 2019 9:07 am

My Costco aids have been great. I did a lot of research and it seems that each manufacturer offers different "gee whiz" features. The aids at Costco seem to be anywhere from 1 month to 1 year behind the absolute latest, which means they are vastly better than what was available 5 years ago. If I pay 2300 a pair at Costco, I could buy another pair in two and a half years and have better aids than the bleeding edge I might find today for 6,000.

I had them do the hearing test, and they said I had to see an ENT, because of some bony projections in my ear canal, before they could complete the test and offer aids. The ENT confirmed no real problem so it was just a little extra hassle.

Plus a money back guarantee, even on your membership fee, so if they just can't help you, you are not out anything but the time you put into getting a much better education in your own needs than you can ever get here.

Post Reply