Audiology Centers in Illinois that Offer Trials (Demos)

I need to find an audiology practice in the far western suburbs of Chicago that would offer trial/demo period (like 2 weeks) for hearing aids. So far, the audiologist in my ENT’s office does not, the audiologist where I bought my first set of aids is not “set up” to do trials. Hearing Connect is the only place I have found that offers this service, however, they are a part of Phonak so they basically only offer Phonak. I’m aware Costco will let you wear a demo around the store, but I need to try them at home, at work, etc. I don’t want to buy a HA first, give it 30 days and then go through a hassle if I don’t like them.

For the cost of a hearing aid(s), I want to make sure I chose the one that works for me that I feel comfortable with before I fork out any big bucks for a co-payment. If you can test drive an automobile, you should be able to do the same with a hearing aid.

At the top of the page, go to Hearing Centers. There you can search your state and area for audiologist.

Here is the direct link that Raudrive references.

It seems to me that if you time your purchase correctly with your credit card billing cycle you could get 3-4 weeks with the Costco aids, and still be able to return them without paying any interest. And if you like them, then you will likely save big bucks on the overall cost.

I saw that, but I thought perhaps someone in my state would reply and tell me, “I’ve dealt with such and such Audiology and they let me demo the hearing aids they carry.” I can find an audiologist, but I read post that say “I’m trialing such and such hearing aid for 2 weeks and then they will let me try such and such hearing aids for two weeks afterwards.” Where are these places that will let you try a couple of different brands before you buy?

Thanks for helping me.

California State law mandates minimum 45 day hearing aid trials, I’m on the central CA coast.

If I recall the last time I bought hearing aids from Costco I was allowed up to something like six months in which to return them. Whatever the period was, it was substantially in excess of the 45 days which is typical with most audiologists in my area (suburban Washington DC). That said, I paid for them up front, as I have with others from regular audiologists, but I’ve never had an issue with a return or a change for a slightly different model. (I recently paid for an tried the Oticon Opn S1 with rechargeable batteries, but for an ergonomic reason only had to swap them out for the identical model which takes regular batteries.)

Yes in the USA. Less in Canada.

@debbie_o, I’m not sure, but check and see if Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital or DuPage Medical Group has an audiologist that will allow hearing aid trials. Many audiologists who are affiliated with academic medical groups do allow trial periods. You might have to put down a deposit of about $200 that you will not get back if you don’t decide to buy the hearing aids, but that deposit will be applied toward the purchase price if you do end up buying. Good luck.

@richnfamus1 That is where my ENT is and the audiologists in the office there at Central DuPage said they don’t do trials. I may be headed for a cochlear implant and my ENT said that one of the requirements is at least a trial of a bicros system before while evaluating if you’re a candidate for the surgery. I asked my doctor. Where am I going to be able to trial a bicros? She said to go through the audiologists. They have two audi’s there and one has been really nice so I’ll get in touch with her after my eval with the CI doctor. Thanks for the suggestion. So far for my working ear, not that I’ve tried many brands, thus my post, so that I can work and communicate, I’m liking the way the Marvel sounds compared with my OPN 2. I’m probably going to get the Marvel in a left aid so that I can hear for now. Otherwise I can’t hear at all right now.

Costco does not do CROS or BICROSS. Just based on your audiogram alone your loss does not seem bad enough for a CI?

@Sierra That is a 2018 audiogram. I have not had the chance to update it. My right ear is no where where it was in that audiogram. It is now below where my left ear is towards the bottom. My life has been a bit crazy with doctor appointments and work since tthis has happened.

I do know one practice that was doing what you’re asking for, allowing two week trials of more than one brand, at least a few years ago before I moved away, and that was Audiology Associates in Deerfield, Illinois, but that’s a northern suburb and quite a drive from Plano. I wouldn’t personally want to take that on if there was something closer to where I lived, given that hearing aids need ongoing adjustment and service. (And by this point, their policy may have changed; you’d have to call and ask.) Have you tried searching audiologists by distance from you and just calling the closest ones around?

I bought my first aids with AA in Deerfield the way you want to do this, and I have to say that though I appreciated the opportunity to trial different brands, I found the outcome confusing to me personally. Part of the problem is that it takes your brain time to remap sound once you have new aids with a new fitting. So if you switch aids two weeks in, and then wait another two weeks to compare, you’re most likely going to conclude that the differences are minor, and that where there are differences, it’s a slight preference for pair A in a noisy setting, say, and a slight preference for pair B with music, and on balance, it’s a wash. Plus if you’d given the audiologist time to adjust the settings, maybe A would have improved with music and B in a crowd. Ultimately being able to try multiple aids may have reassured me that I was right to get hearing aids, but it wasn’t particularly helpful in choosing. And there’s no way to try every aid out there and make the best informed choice. When you hit pair three, you won’t remember exactly what pair one sounded like.

When I bought my most recent pair of aids, I told my audiologist what was important to me, listened carefully to his recommendation and reasons, why those aids matched what I wanted, searched the reviews here to confirm what he was saying, and bought the aids he recommended without a trial. And it worked out great. Using REM, he got the settings right on the first try. I don’t feel I need a trial of new aids anymore. There was a brief return privilege anyway, and I think Illinois has one written into state law.

If the trial is important to you, Costco is well worth considering, especially if you have one near Plano, and are a member (or don’t mind joining anyway). They are very good about taking aids back with minimal hassle, actually even months later, which is not going to be true with a private audiologist. And given that it takes a while to adjust to new hearing aids, that extended return privilege is great; they know you can only get a rough idea walking around the store for half an hour. However, they’re not going to let you take more than one or two pairs home, and even then, only one pair at a time. If you try and return two pairs, it’s not unusual to find yourself blacklisted at all Costcos from buying a third pair, for obvious reasons (you’re costing them money).