Compare KS9 with Philips HearLink

Is there anyone out there that can compare/contrast both the KS9 and the Philips/Oticon from Costco? I’m not sure what to do here. Was in the store the other day and was told that all HA appointments are on hold until we’re past COVID19 and the stores are allowed to deal with the public again. I’m expiring on my trial time with the KS9 in early May and am not 100% in love with them. Was thinking of trying the Philips/Oticon instead but I can’t order them, even if I’d like to, everything is on hold with the HA department. I had the original Brio that I was very happy with. Was spliiting hairs over whether to go with the KS9 or the Philips, chose the KS9. It’s not bad but not great. Sometimes I hear things when in theory I should have trouble (noisy restaurant) yet my husband can be in the same room and I can’t make out what he’s saying, very frustrating. My tech keeps trying to push me into keeping them. I’ve been at 70%-80% of target, now set at 92% of target and I still turn them down. Washing your hands should not sound like Niagara Falls! Louder doesn’t necessarily do it, and I was told I don’t need a new hearing test – frustration! It’s the making out of the sounds that is sometimes the issue, not necessarily the volume.

On top of this, the new Brio 4 finally made it’s way into the store rather quietly. I saw them, they’re slightly larger, still not rechargeable, I believe it now has telecoil, was told the wire from the HA to the ear is slightly different (“a bit more noticeable”, it was not attached on the demo) and bottom line, has the same processor as the KS9 so theoretically should sound the same? I didn’t get the pricing, it may be on the Costco website.

So… with all of that… any comments? Anyone have either of these HA’s and love them? Suggestions for my tech person? Thanks a lot!

Thank you for all the links, I’ll read these!

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DeDe15,
After a good eight years with the Bernafon Chronos 9 (to help my mild high-frequency hearing loss), I was fit with the Philips HearLink 9010 from Costco a few weeks ago (just before the current virus restrictions). So far, they are great! Very natural sound, no distortion. Good for speech, and helps alot with TV clarity. Great for music (which is very important for me). I didn’t try the KS9, and have no desire to since I’m so happy with the Philips.

But what I find interesting about your post (and this is not a criticism) is that you call it the “Philips/Oticon.” When the Philips HearLink first appeared at Costco about a year ago, there was much speculation on this forum whether they are a de-featured version of the Oticon OPN. Or do the Philips share similarities with the Bernafon Zerena (or current Viron model)? Or are the Philips related to the Sonic Enchant 100 (or the slightly updated Sonic Captivate 100?) These questions arise because Demant owns all those brands. How are they different? How are they related? Interesting questions that I can’t answer!

A few years ago, one of the forum members, @Volusiano, did an excellent in-depth comparison between the Otiocon OPN and the Sonic Enchant and concluded that, although the Sonic is a great hearing aid, it is not the same as the OPN.

Complicating the issue is that the Philips and OPN both use the super-fast VELOX chip. I would guess that Bernafon and Sonic also use that chip, but I’m not sure. Each brand may use the chip in a different way.

But I find it interesting that the data sheets/feature pages for the Philips HearLink 9010 and the Sonic Enchant 100 are VERY similar! On the other hand, it doesn’t make sense to me that Demant would simply rebrand the Sonic Enchant under the Philips name.

Well, all this is interesting to me and other hearing aid geeks! But in the end, to answer your question, the Philips is a great hearing aid for me so far. But even more important than the choice of a particular premium hearing aid is having a hearing aid specialist (or fitter/audiologist) who knows how to program the aid and does REM. I have a great one at Costco, who is knowledgeable, experienced, and patient with a finicky musician like me!

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Yep same processor chip/circuits, some even have the same body components/parts. The difference is in the algorithm used plus some features deactivated, so as not to show up their No 1 brand they push
( Oticon )

It does make sense, It’s a common thing for companies to do, cars, phones, fridges,washing machines, TVs
It was excellent marketing by them, as the Philips brand is a very well known and proven brand worldwide.

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Thanks for your comments! I only referred to the Philips with Oticon mentioned as that’s what I thought the processor was, based on other comments here, an Oticon processor. I’m nowhere near as versed in this stuff as the folks on this forum! Didn’t know that Bernafon and now Sonic enter into it as well. Glad to hear they’re working for you, I may ask to try the Philips and see what they can do for me. Right now it seems that everything through Costco’s HA department is frozen until the virus issues are over.

I wonder if, for the original poster, it might be worth asking Costco if they would freeze the decision process, effectively pushing out the time one has to make a choice until Costco is back in a position to do hearing aid business again? (And for our finicky musician friend on this thread I would observe when I switched from Costco’s Oticon off-brand Bernafon label to the Oticon Opn S1, I was finally able to converse with fellow band members on either side of me while stepping back from the mics and playing. What a welcome change. Now, in fairness to the Bernafons that I had, my hearing had declined rather markedly in one ear which may account for the improvement with S1.)

  1. Posting your audiogram could be of use.
  2. Yeah, washing your hands is going to sound like Niagra Falls until you get used to it. There are sounds you haven’t heard in a long time.
  3. The KS9 is available with a telecoil.
  4. The KS9 is a RIC (Receiver in Canal) The receiver (speaker) actually sits in your ear and is connected to rest of the hearing aid via wire. The Brio 4 is a BTE (Behind the Ear) hearing aid. The receiver sits in the body of the hearing aid and sends sound to the ear via a tube.
  5. My suspicion is you largely just need to get used to the hearing aids, although since you’ve worn them almost 6 months? it makes me wonder how consistently you wear them.
  6. Being able to hear in noise (presumably with your husband speaking loudly), but not in quiet, makes me suspect your husband is rather soft spoken.
    Hope this is of some use.
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I’ve had HA’s for about 4 years now. I had the original Brio, which I really liked and I believe that also was a BTE model. The difference never occurred to me, the style differences. I wear them every day, i just don’t like an unnatural sound. I don’t remember having these kinds of issues with the Brios I had (lost them on a trip, or I’d still have them!) I don’t have my audiogram handy but would be happy to post once I have it. I also was told no telecoil with the KS9, that feature was on the Philips. And my husband speaks at normal levels, I wouldn’t call him soft-spoken.

It’s interesting – I find people that have programs or features activated on their HA’s via comments on these forums that my tech tells me are not available. I’m going to call Costco and see what the procedure is and if there are any extensions since everything is impacted with the virus restrictions. I like these but am not totally in love with them. Thanks for the comments!

Hi Friend! Glad to hear that the Oticon Opn S1 works well for you. Do you use a dedicated music program on them? If so, does that program do the usual things that other hearing aid music programs do, e.g. turning off most of the processing, especially feedback manager?

The KS9 aids can be bought with or without the T-Coil.

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I understand your reasoning, and that may be the case. But what is interesting to me is that, from some internet research, the Philips brand is available through independent shops in other parts of the world. It seems that their top-of-the line, HearLink 9010 RITE and BTE is only available in the United States through Costco. I’ve noticed internet advertisements from other countries that offer the entire Philips line of hearing aids (including custom-fitted CIC models and the lower end of the Philips models (HearLink 7010, 5010, 3000, and 2000, as well as the 9010).

I’m not trying to be argumentive here (just a friendly discussion!), but it’s just interesting to try to figure out what’s going on!

There are any number of hearing aids that are only available in so countries and not others. I have even seen here in the USA where some states have certain brands and other states do not. I guess it is a combination of where the company wants to market and even how the product sales in the locations. It is the same with other products and goods everywhere.

To be honest, I am not really sure about a dedicated music program. I have speech, speech in crowded situations, and music. The music program is more intended for listening, but I can tell you that when practicing my mandolin for the first few times boy could I hear the pick click! I cannot recall what setting I have it in when I’m at a full practice (remember those?) or on stage. I think I just have it on the “speech in noise” setting, but when this virus thing is over and we’re back playing again I’ll try to figure that out. I should add that I do not sing, so hearing the monitors is not that big a deal for me. My only use for the monitor is to hear whether my instrument is fitting into the mix OK. Cheers, and stay safe.

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Hey no problem, if you read the article in this link,


you’ll find most of your answers, I think its exactly as we find it today, there’s more to it when someone like Demant buys a licensing agreement with Philips to re-establish the Philips brand in hearing aids (remember Philips already sold hearing aids back in 2010 and then disappeared for whatever reason?) and as @cvkemp has stated it’s where ever the company wants to market/promote them so as not to upset the balance of their respective top tier brands names.

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Huh, was never told that. I’m a theatre buff and long time usher at our local theatre, would have liked to have known that.

I’m pretty sure they only recently released the t-coil model, it wasn’t available when the KS9 first came out.