Anyone with recent experiences with Connect Hearing?

Just a bit of background. I’m 43, last week I found out I have mild to moderate hearing loss. I made an appointment with Costco and the audiologist at my ENT for this week and got an appointment w/ Connect Hearing Monday.

At Costco they had me try the resound Preza’s. They seemed pretty good, walked around the store, talked to my wife and didn’t have to say “What!?!” 20x. The tech showed me the app and raved about how good it is. Videos on youtube seem to support this. I was a little disappointed I couldn’t have some sort of extended trial but I guess that’s just how it works at some or most places. $2600 for the pair didn’t seem too bad.

At the ENT the audiologist had me try Phonak Audeo Marvels. At first I thought they were up too high or something, things sounded a little tinny but the audiologist said that was normal and pointed out things may be more clear. I think she was right, and although I wasn’t walking through a costco I think they were more clear. I guess it could have been my imagination. Next I asked the audiologist about Costco mainly to lead into negotiating later on, I kind of predicted what she would say: “They aren’t audiologists in a medical environment could have worked anywhere in the warehouse before then got a promotion got training and now they are a tech”. “All hearing aids at Costco have at least 2 - 3 year old tech in them.” and a few others that don’t come to mind. Like I said I expected this. She then asked me if I was happy with them, I was so then she showed me the prices. I guess I was and wasn’t surprised at the pricing. They range from 6k to 2k per pair and didn’t seem to want to budge on price. They do include all followup visits but do require $350 for loss / damaged per ear.

Up next up is Connect Hearing. I see some posts about them price matching back in 2015, local reviews of the store near me seem to be great all around. I also see that there is a AAA discount off the retail price of all hearing aids at Connect Hearing as well as a 2 week trial and price matching. I’m not a member of AAA but I figure I can always join quickly for a year to save.

Does anyone have experience with Connect Hearing recently? Anything I should watch out for, do they deal much outside of the AAA deal? How many visits if any are included, and if they aren’t how much are they? Anything else that I’m missing / should consider?

If you have a mild to moderate hearing loss I would go with the Kirkland 9.0 that is made by Phonak. Your cost is $1499.00 for the pair, a 6mo. trial , no cost to return, free loss. Just my option. Do a search here for the Kirkland 9.0 lots of free info.

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Thanks, I definitely think there good value, just a little defeatured. I really think I would use extra features more, like being able to adjust lows mids and highs, sensitivity etc.

I’m always amazed how walking around cosco for a short period of time is a good test. But who knows. Everyone is different.

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After thinking about this almost non-stop through my work day then convening with my wife, I cleared my head and think I came up with a game plan.

Reflecting on things, I’m satisfied with Costco’s service that they showed me when I was there. It went as I expected, they answered my questions and were helpful. When I was there a gentleman came up and said he was having a little bit of trouble with one of hearing aids. One of the employees immediately assisted him, asked if he he had any shopping to do, he did so they told him to come back while they inspected it and cleaned it. I could only picture what it would be like if I needed the same thing but I needed to go to the ENT.

As for the ENT, I guess I got what I expected. I don’t want to go on a rant and I still don’t fully understand why but I’m put off by them. I guess it’s the premium price they charge yet there is no way to do a demo while I get a pair ordered (by them no less). One other thing is how the audiologist told me all of Costco’s products are at least 2-3 years old technology. Maybe I’ll eat my words but everything I see online points to the Resound Preza’s being defeatured Quattro’s, a product tat seems have been released late 2018, so less than 2 years, and the pair she said I should go with, the marvel audeo, is about a year old. They seem to be pretty comparable at least to my untrained eye.

I don’t know what’s in store for me Monday at Connect Hearing. If nothing really blows me away I’ll probably just order the Prezas from Costco. If they can give me a pretty good deal I guess I could be swayed to buy the Marvel’s especially if I can walk out of there Monday wearing them or at least something so I don’t go out of my mind. The ones at costco are starting to grow on me because of the 6 month satisfaction guarantee.

It’s been a quick journey that I didn’t really foresee so I didn’t plan on it. Kind of like totaling your car. Yesterday you really weren’t thinking about new cars and now you need to get it soon. At the same time you don’t want to get ripped off or worse have buyers remorse.

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Location dependent. Our local Costco here in Richmond BC is ok, nothing to write home about, but the Connect Hearing on Westminster Hwy is pretty awesome. The difference in expertise and service is such that I would spend the extra to go with Connect in my case. YMMV.

I did n0t have a good experience with connect. She was a Phonak dealer, Even thou I told the vendor ahead of time the I usually use resounds as I have the assessors. She did not know how to program the resounds, and I had to pay for extra visits another office to get then functioning. This was thru true hearing , so a bundled program. No one used real ear measurement. I still need them tweaked but cannot go back to her. this is resound Quattro 9. she may do better do the Phonak marvels.

I think that someone said that costco has phonak marvels, under KS 9 or something, sorry I’m not in the USA so I didn’t remember exact names, but topics are here somewhere.

MG -
One + re: Costco is the long “trial” period. If they sell the Phonak Marvel under the Kirkland name - go for it. That tech is current. That (Marvel) is probably the most popular model now. If you are on the phone any amount of time - it is great. I have the Phonak brand because my HMO sells it along w. 2 or 3 other brands. Phonak was the first (maybe still only?) brand to come out w. an HA that worked w. BT on Android phones. Another brand (forget name) only works on the more expensive Apple phones.

@michael.grossman Did I talk w you on Reddit? :slight_smile:

What is a Reddit? I don’t know what you are talking about. Ha! You found me out.

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Hi Michael:

I agree with hyt upthread that it really is location dependent, so YMMV (your experience may vary)…however…

I am 48 and on my second pair of hearing aids. Where I got my first ones, there was no Costco near me. They were from an ENT affliated audiologist and they were also Phonak and it was quite a bit of money - some 3700 for a pair. However, the experience went smoothly and I felt really supported and cared for.

Then I moved to Florida, and through a combination of wear and tear over 5 years and wanting newer technology, I was in the market for a new pair. Since I had bought my original pair from an ENT affliated group, I decided to go to an audiologist for my current ones - a pair of BTE (behind the ear) Phonak Audeo Q. The price doubled, but I assumed, well, it’s been 5 years, so the price would have gone up in that time.

What they didn’t tell me could fill a book - my model was obsolete, the followup appointments were done by techs who hadn’t even had any training on anything and managed to snap the plastic tubing to my hearing aid twice -two different techs. (To their credit, they did replace it and didn’t charge me). I never saw the audiologist after I plunked down the money, and six months later, the removal tool broke off. (I am aware that most people have the removal tool…removed…and that there is several ways of getting around replacement.)

Since I didn’t feel comfortable creating my own removal tool or using the plastic tubing/wire that connects the microphone earpiece to the inner ear closed mold, I went back to my audiologist, and surprise, surprise, that removal tool? Was not covered by the warranty and I was out $200 to remake the entire mold. (There were several attempts to put the removal tool back into the original mold by their techs - the audiologist had several.)

But before I plunked down the $200, I went to three outposts of Connect Hearing. (Remember I live in Florida and hearing aid places are a dime a dozen here.) That’s when I found out that my hearing aids were obsolete (true), that if they drilled a hole to put the removal tool back in it would void the warranty (false) and didn’t I want to just replace with the latest and greatest technology? By the way, that newest and greatest technology they touted? Didn’t apply to me. Instead of the $199 for each ear, it’s $3999 - that is WITH the AAA discount - for each ear. Each Connect Hearing insisted on performing their own analysis of my hearing - which, fine, I get that - but each hearing test cost me $50. They would not accept any of previous ones I had just had done. I know you all will be shocked when I say the tests came out EXACTLY THE SAME each time.

So by the time I decided to check out Costco, just for a general chat, I was one really upset HA wearer. I am not a Costco member, but they were very gracious and explained I would have to be a member to get a hearing test and at that point, I didn’t want another, but they looked at the four recent ones I had done (audiologist and the three Connect Hearing tests) and gently said, “Well, we’re not surprised you went Phonak, but…you really don’t need BTE. Your tests show you might be better off with a RIC (receiver in ear).”

What I really wanted was an apples to apples comparison, so they showed me the Phonak Marvels they have in stock, similar to what I currently own. My $7000 hearing aids? Are $2500 at Costco. I am pretty sure I burst into tears right then and there.

I am hoping the current pair lasts a good long while, but if it doesn’t, I know where I am headed. And just in case y’all need a finer point on it, NOT back to the audiologist with the ultra convenient hours of 10-3 Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. (Mondays and Fridays are in their other location - 2 hours away).

Sorry for the novel, everyone. Good luck Michael.

Didn’t have the best experience with CH myself. It’s a chain, so each store may be different. Basically only offered the Phonak Marvels (also sold Oticons but spent half the time trying to talk me out of them), prices were on the higher end of what I was looking at, and they were more salespeople than audiologists.

that is so similar to my story. they are not knowledgeable, they milk you for every penny. and getting an appointment is difficult. too busy, booked up, rush you out the door , issue unresolved. horrible experience with connect. They left me with my assesories not connected, my phone ap not workable, ( I have a job and needed it to work) , and totally unable to hear soft spoken voices. on top of that no real ear measurement. no best practices what so ever. and thou I told her not once but twice that I needed a telecoil I did not get one.

My appointment went well. Things were a bit of a mess because it was their first day back since the beginning of COVID19. I ordered a pair of Marvels, I believe I got a good deal. I had hoped that I would be able to wear a pair out of there but they simply didn’t have any.
The store itself is convenient to where I live and seems to get good local reviews.

My daughter use to work at Connect Hearing -not an audiologist but office staff. I did not go there as I already had a place I was very happy with so I don’t really know about them. BUT, they had great batteries that lasted 2-3 days longer than any other batteries.

I like Costco. They have excellent service and all the talk about old technology is bogus. Do we really need the absolute newest gizmo? If you’ve got the money sure.

I went local audiologist the last time because Costco is too far away and you always need follow up service.

Hearing Connect ejected me from their store when I asked for the discount offered on signs in the waiting room. Seriously.

Make your Costco for a day when they’re not super busy - ever on the weekend.

Unitron Flex will also. In fact they will hook up to any device with blue tooth.

In Southern Ontario at least, Connect Hearing is associated with Phonak and Unitron. They can work with other manufacturers but their focus is Phonak and Unitron. Their knowledge of the other HA’s varies with the Audi/Tech. Hearing Life is similarly associated with Oticon but will work with others.

that is correct – ( connect hearing is definitely associated with Phonak ). (I did not know this when sent there ) However I told True Hearing ahead of time that I used resound hearing aids, and that is what I would be purchasing so supposedly I was sent to a dealer that could do resound. That was not the case, but instead of just saying I cannot help you and sending me elsewhere, she did not want to lose the commission and sold me hearing aids she had no knowledge of, and could not work on. ( I already owed the resound TV streamer and multi mic). True Hearing is the vendor that my health insurance sent me to .