Audicus Wave vs Costco KS10 - my experience and final decision

Okay, quick summary before the specific topic.

Been looking for hearing aids for a month now. Handful of manufacturers and about sixty brands does not make it easy - even for a “recovering Engineer” who tends to analyze thoroughly before making a decision.

My Costco south of Austin TX could not get me in for an appointment till Nov 23rd. As of Oct 6th I needed hearings NOW for business reasons. Went ahead and took online hearing test and bought the Audicus Wave.

Immediately had a hearing improvement. Only issue was that when listening to music, book tape, or on a phone call I get pausing and skipping. Audicus thought it was a Bluetooth issue so they replaced my first set after trying to fix it. New set did the same thing.

Given that I was under only a 45-day trial I called around and got a hearing test of a Costco on the north side of Austin and had it yesterday - far far more thorough than is possible doing an online hearing test.

Purchased the KS10’s - get fitted Tuesday and will send the Audicus back Wednesday. Note, the Audicus Wave appears to be identical to the KS10’s (i.e., Phonak Paradise chip both I believe). That said, when the Hearing Specialist configured a set for me to walk around the store they seemed to work better than the Audicus - even though the exact same product apparently. This goes to show you the value of a human hearing test versus an online test.

I’m a technology guy so online stuff doesn’t give me any angst. However, it appears this is one case where a thorough hearing test conducted in a sound proof room can provide a better solution.

They did point out that I may still experience the Bluetooth issue I was experiencing with the Audicus Wave where if I put the phone in my pocket or towards my side while listening to music, book tape, or on a phone call I get pausing and skipping. I guess I will have to live with this for a while until Phonak learns to play with iPhone better.

Thank you to all for your insight and help. Looks like I have a solution I’ll live with for a bit.


Have only had KS10 for 2 weeks and not experienced that issue. Other members here have noted that the default programming is that the BT communication to HA is to the right side, and therefore some of have been able to reduce the issue by having iPhone in right hand pocket for better proximity and less body mass between devices. The fitter in the Target software can change the BT “path” to the be the left HA if you’d prefer. Seems like you might enjoy and benefit from programming HAs yourself (I plan to go that route and have the option of making/experimenting with some adjustments myself. There is an active DIY sub-forum here.

Thank you, your comments are most helpful. When you program it yourself are you actually changing the frequencies set by the hearing professional? Doesn’t seem like I would want to change that since I don’t know any better than what they do. What other things might you want to change oneself programming? Thanks again

I will leave most of this to those who have a lot of experience/expertise. Only a minority of those on forum do DIY, and it > population it is far,far, far smaller - so not for everyone and does take a small investemnt (>$150 for hardware). The Phonak Target software is free and is the same as what your Costco fitter uses or a private audi would use.

If one undertakes DIY, I understand that a typical approach wold be: 1) Connect hearing aids via that <$150 hardware interface, and then in the Target software save the settings that had been programmed by Costco. This then allows you to change virtually all settings; try it out in real life; and always have the option of reverting back to what the “expert” or at least more experienced fitter had set. 2). Both fitter and DIY is guided by both the audiogram (properly done only in sound proof booth and thus not a DIY item); AND by the comments of the user. It is also guided by what Costco did at your fitting appointment as one step REM (Real Ear Measurement) which put very small microphones in eah ear canal to determine whether in actuality the amount of amplification the programming had chosen as the best fit for your hearing loss (audiogram) was actually being produced by your pair of hearing aids in your actual ear. This verification step is an important aspect of best practices for fitting. Often it does NOT result in any changes as everything is as hoped for; at other times the fitter might need to tweak the amplification by say 1 or 2DB for certain of the frequency bands. REM is not something you can DIY, but often is not needed again unless the type of domes is changed, or your hearing has changed overtime and the needed amplification has changed.
3) I think of DIY as a supplement to what a fitter might do; use it as an option as much or as little or not get into at all. So an example: The default/zero/0 volume that fitter set with my input was raised by 2DB from what the Target software suggested. With my experience (and I’ve worn HAs for nearly 6 years) the default volume would be better 2DB lower than where it is now. Rather than wait for my next followup appt. I could make this simple change myself. As it is and for other reasons as well I am often using the manual volume control to set the volume across all programs 2DB lower - not a big deal or much time to do, but would be nice to “fix” this myself rather than waiting. More important would be for example to make a copy of just the Restaurant (Speech in Noise) program, and then make adjustments to its functioning (noise suppression, etc.) and then save that program. With two options now in my HAs I could then do A/B comparison in a real life setting and determine which was better, or whether something “in between” worked better. So some of DIY is willingness to experiment with different settings (tweaking but not often radical changes from what fitter did); observing/taking notes; making decision. It is an iterative approach that for some leads to minor/somewhat to significant hearing improvement and is worth the effort. Most users as well as their fitter are not willing to invest the time in many appointments over a period of time to make such fine tuning experiments. My own hearing loss is in the Severe category and an optimal fitting is more challenging to achieve and there are more factors and tradeoffs in uncovering what is optimal. As an engineer you might like DIY, and it might not interest you at all.

Posting your audiogram to your Avatar/profile would allow members to have a clearer picture of your hearing loss and thus make any comments more helpful. But remember the audiogram is only showing how your ears respond to frequency/amplitutde input; listening takes place in the brain/mind and how any individual interprets sound/speech depends on how that mental processing takes place. An optimal fitting for two people with identical audiogram and using the same HAs might not have the same HAs settings (each person’s ear canal is a different acoustic environment, and of also great importance is the mental processing that takes place for any signal to “extract” meaningful information from it).

Enjoy your new hearing aids.

Edit to add this: There is no one right way to relate to hearing aids. Some leave virtually all decision making upto the professional; others like the ability to experiment and have independent capacity to adjust; and all variations in between. Everyone is welcome in the forum.



Thank You! For a detailed and very helpful reply to my post. I’m an Engineer but new to Hearing Aids so I’m probably over-analyzing everything. I’m picking up my KS10’s tomorrow. Once I get them I’ll consider the DIY for “tweaking” but prefer to leave that up to the professionals. Hoping I can get the Bluetooth issue resolved that is known with KS10’s (ED: and have been told by other brands interfacing with iPhone Bluetooth).

I will take a look and see what is involved in posting my audiogram from Costco.

I’m severe at 4k to 8k Hz. That said, my audio test came out that I was 95+% in word and letter recognition.

Again, thank you for taking the time to help me out. All the best…

1 Like

I have the KS10s and do not have any BlueTooth “pausing or skipping”. My fitter recommended a change in Target to “Fixed Bandwidth” as opposed to the default “Adaptive Bandwith” on the Device Options / BlueToooth tab in Target.

Hope that helps.

Edit: Caveat, I am an android user.


Thanks for the input. My understanding is that it is an iPhone issue - Androids are not hampered with this issue.


You can change that in your mobile device app, it doesn’t need to be changed in Target.

@WhiteHat. I live and learn. Thanks for the info.

Is there anybody with the KS10 AND an iPhone that is NOT experiencing Bluetooth issues?

I use Phonak Audeo Paradise P-90R, not Costco KS-10 (Made by Sonova.)

The SoC may be the same platform, but the hearing aids are not at all the same in software. Judging from the spec sheet it appears the Wave is the counterpart to the lowest level (of four) Paradise, the 30 Essential. The KS 10 is equivalent to the Paradise 90 Premium, the highest level. You should expect the KS 10 to be substantially better.

However, walking around the store tells you very little because that environment is very different than your day-to-day environments. (Unless of course, you work in a Costco or similar big box store.) That’s the purpose of the trial, to see how you fare across environments.

You have mild-to-moderate-to-severe loss, so you definitely want a proper fitting by a skilled HIS or Audi. Costco will have programmed the KS 10’s to “first fit”, which is typically 80% of prescription. So expect a series of adjustments to get to your target and fine-tune to your preferences, which the KS 10’s give you much more of than the Wave’s.

As far as DIY programming, @Edma gave you good advice. I’m only just starting on that path myself (also a retired engineer) and I’ve found that, while the software is certainly not daunting, it does require having a good understanding of the theory of operation in the instruments and particularly the inter-relationships of the settings. You can actually find all that info free online. Suffice it to say that much more is involved than just setting the gains to reach the frequency targets.

Good luck!

My understanding is that Bluetooth on the KS10 is a low power version, designed to minimize battery drain. I noticed this almost immediately using my iWatch playing iTunes while wearing my watch on my left arm. Switching the watch to my right arm solved the problem. I had the Costco audi switch my aid control to the left side for another reason and she correctly told me that would not solve the signal problem. I just wear my watch on the right arm for walks or talks and all is well. As a 25 year user of HAs, you got in at the right time. Three months into using the KS10 and the AI is doing some amazing things in low noise settings. I can now hear the TV at a volume level my rabbit eared spouse cannot. Just a smile and a, “Really? I”ll turn it up for you” brings a :blush:

1 Like


Got my KS10 fitting yesterday. Very thorough and yes they did the REM.

After a several month research and “starts and stops” - here is what I have learned (i.e., my personal perspective, others may beg to differ):

First, The KS10’s are a remarkable Hearing Aid and will work fine for my purposes. Bluetooth works far better than the Audicus Wave.

Secondly, the Internet is a powerful and useful force - however at this point in time I think that having a professional test you and fit you is really the best way to go, period.

Finally, you simply cannot beat the Costco experience in: 1. personnel; 2. product; 3. warranty and service; and 4. overall value

Thank you to everyone who responded to my various posts - learned a lot from all of you and has helped me settle in on my KS10’s.

1 Like

I love Costco. Been a member for over 20 years. They even gave me a walk-around-the-store demo of a pair of hearing aids this spring, and I was prepared to consider going there for HAs if the VA claim was denied. But it seems for every positive story like yours, I read of negative ones, too. It really seems to be hit or miss. Good HCP or bad, good day or bad? I don’t know. When a small independent shop is good or bad, it disappears into the weeds. But Costco seems to get a glowing red thumb from getting smashed.

Congrats on your new HAs! I have the cousins, Phonak P-90R. I wish you well in recovering your hearing ability with the excellent new tech!


Thanks WH.

I ran a company years ago that was a vendor to Costco. I learned that you better make a good product because if you don’t you will be put out of business by Costco and their Customers - as you should.

So far been to two Costco in the Austin area and everyone has been friendly and helpful. I’d like to think also it is how you treat the people on the other side of the counter that reflects the level of service you will receive. Not always true, but often enough to matter in my own life and experiences.

Sitting here working with my KS10’s Bluetooth receiving from Spotify on my Mac. Could never get the Audicus to do that. Raining outside today so when I take my walk will take out the KS10’s and put in my Apple Airpods.

Have a great day.


1 Like

You are safer with the KS10s in the rain. They are ip68 protected. Unless you have the airpods pro, they aren’t as well protected from the wet…

1 Like

By golly, just looked that up and you are correct. Apple AirPods Gen 1 and 2 are NOT water resistant at all. Thanks!

Do you shower with yours in?

This is my first full day with them and they have been great.


No. And I’m quirky about wanting dry ears before the domes go in. I’m considering going to the Audeo Paradise Life when the VA gets them on contract, with the Activevent receivers. I’m hoping that will give me a better mix of hearing is noisy places and also not feeling occluded when I don’t need it. We’ll see what the audiologist learns in a few weeks when they have the conference on the new contract.

Good luck. I noticed the KS10 do not have an “anti moisture” system in the charging case like the Audicus Wave did. Is that needed in any way?

Also, they have me doing some home ear was removal stuff and warm water flush right now. They said I had a lot of ear wax in left ear so trying to get that out - never thought about it before.

Good luck with the potentials