Advice for hearing aid demo?

Someone on this forum mentioned demoing multiple hearings aids. So, I made an appointment with Costco today and they’re willing to let me try out different kinds during the appointment. It’s a long drive to get there and won’t be much time with each hearing aid, so I’m wondering what would be most helpful to look for in making a selection with only a few minutes with each device.

If something hurts or whistles or sounds fuzzy, of course. Conversely, if the sound is clear and natural. Then there’s the fitter’s recommendation. What would you look for in this kind of demo?

@cleimer101: I don’t think you’re going to have anything to show for this exercise other than confusion and a high fuel bill.

[FWIW, I think your loss is the kind that takes a skilful and experienced fitter … so choosing the fitter is probably paramount.]

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It’s always difficult to get hearing aids to not startle me or inundate me with noise yet leave speech unclear. It takes multiple tweakings and even then. For that reason I never would have even considered Costco–since presumably I just have to work with whoever the fitter is that’s assigned–if I hadn’t read so many people having a good experience there and reasonable priced hearing aids. The person I talked to there said after the initial in-person fitting they could modify settings remotely as often as needed to get it right. That’s what I’m hoping.

@cleimer101: That part of it will probably work fine for you, given the right fitter. But -IMO- wearing multiple aids for a few minutes each is not useful.

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Back to your initial request. Go to the noisiest part of the store. Hope that it is lunch or dinner time with many people eating and talking while the chaotic mass waits to check out, checks out, waits to go by the receipt checker, etc.? Maybe that would be good. You want horrid conditions! Maybe near returns? Don’t do this in the quiet part of the day. You want these HAs to suffer!

I went to “dinner church” at a church in town here. In the basement. Concrete floors, walls, ceilings, dozens of kids. My HAs went into speech in loud noise program. I can hear the person I look at, but that’s it! Good luck cueing to know whom to look at. If I hadn’t had my Roger on, it would have been a loss. The roger pulled it off.

You want a place like that church basement!

WH

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I’ll have to go early and scope out the store. Never been inside a Costco before. Thanks for this rec!

Usually the food court is near the checkouts and that whole area is loud during rush hour and much of the day on the weekends. Lunch time too, during weekdays.
Typically you enter one way, they check memberships there. Ten feet away is the exit. You go in the exit for food court and product returns/cust service. Maybe the hearing aid station will be along in there too? Maybe off in another corner. They often have optometrist’s shop near the opticians in a corner, and my Costco’s hearing aid shop is next to that.

WH

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Good response.
I’m looking forward to my 1 year re-assessment with my Audeo Paradise P90R’s. I had changes made early on that I need revised…
I have an excellent audi, and I’m grateful to have these hearing aids. However, Workman’s Comp is his client here in Ontario. I’m crossing my fingers.
Your test really interests me.
DaveL

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@cleimer101@DaveL is correct - @WhiteHat has given you good advice, if you really are going to go through with the auditory smörgåsbord.

My experience is that a 30 minute walk around in Costco is pretty much a waste of time. Fortunately Costco has a good return policy. I usually trial an aid for at least two weeks before I move on to the next trial pair. That’s just my opinion and of course my hearing is now pretty awful. One thing about the walk around. You’ll hear a lot of noise and for sure everything will probably sound better. But the brain needs time to adapt and that doesn’t happen in 30 minutes

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@hass5744 : Exactly, hass … Exactly!

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I guess I’ll find out. Won’t be the first time in my life I’ve wasted time if that’s what it turns out to be. :slight_smile:

I’m aware there are some things about hearing aids that I’d only know by wearing them awhile. But, the difference in sound quality between my old Oticons and Phonak Paradise is stark. That was evident the minute I put them on. Probably not that much difference in sound quality between top of the line models of major brands of the same or similar generation, but I’ve heard people here and in other forums describe some differences. Possible my brain won’t catch those subtleties that quickly. But maybe it will.

I’ve had multiple hearing aids over 30 years and basically just took the audiologists’ recommendation. That might be how it ends up this time too, but I’m now curious about what the different options can do. That said, perhaps I could trial each for longer but I don’t think many audiologists have the patience for that especially since my hearing loss is so difficult to match an aid to.

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It’s very likely all the aids you try in the noisiest part of the store will fail equally. Hearing aids don’t work well alone in noise, no matter how much spin manufacturers make about directional mics, etc. SNR is 6 dB at best. If you struggle in noise, better to consider BT streaming from you phone and the cost of the wireless accessories like remote mics, tv transmitters, etc. Phonak charges about 5x the costs of others in some cases.

Thanks. My first test of BT with phone and TV was amazing. Very clear. But the Phonak P70s totally failed in background noise. Only way I could get that noise toned down also blocked me in so much that it was uncomfortable and I really had to focus intensely even to hear the person in front of me–to interpret what they were saying.

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Well good luck and take your time

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If you LIKED the Oticon, try the Philips 9030 at Costco. If you LIKED the Phonak, try the KS-10 at Costco.

WH

Thx. They’ve got a great price on the KS 10. I assume buying a Costco brand though means only Costco will fit and work on them. Can’t take them to an independent audiologist since in my experience they have certain brands they work with. Presumably that wouldn’t include KS even though they’re made by Phonak. It’s one of the considerations I have in mind for selecting since presumably I’ll be limited to Costco fitters.

Standard Target software made my Phonak works with KS10 so anyone including yourself, could program them.

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Thanks, that’s good to know since I’m holding tuning them myself as a last resort. Good to know that’s possible.

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Whether another audiologist wants to work with them is different from ability. All the Costco aids are unlocked.

WH

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