About seven or eight years ago, I purchased my first hearing aids at the age of 45 – Oticon Ino (not Pro, so no Bluetooth streaming). They’ve been great. I keep them in a Dry 'n Stor.
I’ve always been pretty happy with the HA provider, but after some recent experiences and having read some things here and watching some of Dr. Cliff’s videos, I’m not so sure.
The provider supplies lifetime batteries and lifetime free checkups, tuning, etc. As these are near end-of-life, they seem less interested in support. Sure, I get it from a cost perspective, but they’re probably going to lose a customer. First, my grips were worn/broken and they didn’t have any replacements and didn’t seem to be concerned about it. I ordered a couple on eBay and put them on myself. Now the left speaker seems bad, but they just readjusted slightly, which doesn’t really help. I’ve ordered a new speaker on eBay to install myself. Also, they only did Real Ear measurement this recent visit and once a couple of years ago, but not in the five years before that (I only learned about the importance of RE measurement from a Dr Cliff video the other day).
Frankly, I don’t even know what their credentials are (didn’t investigate it like I have now that I’m considering new ones).
Given the huge leap in technology and my mild/moderate hearing loss, I’m thinking that the Costco KS 9.0 is the way to go (also, I’m an Android user). I’ve heard that they’re required by Costco to use Real Ear measurement, so that’s a plus. To use my insurance, I need to go to an approved provider for the hearing test. I have a $3000 benefit (every 5 years). To get something comparable to the KS 9.0, I’d have to spend $5000 elsewhere, which would mean $2000 out of pocket. If I go to Costco, I’d be spending about $600 out of pocket and could get another pair later if necessary for some reason.
My only concern is fitting/programming, but after my experience with the hearing aid provider I got the Inos from (not bad, mind you, but now wondering if it’s not as great as I had thought), I’m wondering if there’s any way to tell really until afterwards anyway.
So, any thoughts or advice on this strategy? I figure replacing the receiver on the Ino won’t be wasted since it’s only $50 and I’ll have them for a backup or to wear in situations where I’d be worried about the better hearing aids.