Costco Brio 3 vs KS8

costco
phonak

#1

I am currently looking to upgrade my aids. Is the extra cost on the Phonak Brio 3 worth it over the KS8’s? I am primarily looking for the best sounding aids I can get. As a teacher, hearing the kids is critical to what I do. As a musician, an authentic, true sound is essential. I am currently wearing KS5’s so I would expect either choice to be a significant upgrade. Thanks for your help.


#2

I had KS5 and went with KS8 and I’m happy with the sound. There is a music program and you have to specify whether you are listening to live music, listening to music over speakers, or playing an instrument. I went with music through speakers.

Streaming music is very good.

My audiologist recommended either the KS8 or Phonak for me and she leaned toward the KS8 because she knows how important connectivity is for me.


#3

Thanks Don. What connectivity do you find useful on the KS8’s that I would not have on the Brio’s? The music programs sound very interesting as you describe them.


#4

KS8 gives you ability to stream directly from iPhone without an intermediary device. Brio 3 has a more advanced frequency compression program. This would only be of import if you have a significant high frequency loss. No hearing aid is going to provide “an authentic, true sound” for music.


#5

Also, two things. The KS8, in the First Fit, were way too low for soft speech. I have had it turned up twice and will probably increase that a little more.

Turned up, they are really good.

The other thing is, the frequency compression was not turned on initially. Once that was turned on it moved sound from some dead areas down where I can hear it.


#6

If you like the sound of the KS5s, you might also want to look at Resound Fortes. Very nice aids that are made for iPhone and would likely share some similarities with your KS5s. Similar price to Brio3.


#7

Thanks Don & MDB for these replies. I am currently on Android, so much of connectivity does not apply for me. I read that the new version of the Phonak, that is not at Costco, has both Android & Apple connectivity. I recently had my KS5’s tuned up and find them harsh now. Further adjustments are needed particularilly in the higher frequencies. I’ll take a look at the Resound Forte as well. I believe they are the same price as the Brio 3. These premium products including the KS8’s are probably leaps ahead of what I am wearing now.


#8

Android needs a accessory. The one for the Phonak is clunky by more modern standards. Any other brand Costco sells will have a better option. The one for the Forte is quite nice and the one for the KS8 is now similar. It adds a couple of hundred in cost but can also connect to computers, TV, tablets with Bluetooth.


#9

Just going by what other people say, the Phonak Bluetooth device may not work as well as others, but in theory it should provide similar functions, i.e., connect to cell phone, TV, laptops, tablets, and Bluetooth transmitters.

I assume you have the Resound Phone Clip+. The KS8 device, the Smart Mic, doesn’t work as well as the Phone Clip+.


#10

Maybe the Resound Forte is a better choice for android users. I will dig deeper into this. At this point I am not really interested in wearing a connectivity device like the Phonak Compilot 2. Having aids that just do the job well and hopefully adjust for different environments is what I think most people want. Does the Resound Forte adjust to different needs on the fly?


#11

The Resound Forte is only Android-able as far as an app to control things like volume…not streaming direct. As mentioned, Android users need an intermediate device for those features. Only the Phonak company you mention can connect to Android for mono calls.
There are people still perfectly happy with their KS5’s. Maybe after some more adjustments they can still be fine for you too.


#12

Good advice on the KS5’s. Mine are 5.5 years old and apparently have a little corrosion in 1 of them. Near end of life, so they will make a good backup solution for me. Is streaming a big deal anyway?


#13

Some like it. Listening to music off the iphone or videos or whatever audio is coming out of the phone. That and phone calls.
But that’s only with iphones. Most modern smartphones can direct connect to the one Phonak but not streaming from the phone.
I bought my KS7’s not thinking it was any big deal and being anti-Apple it wasn’t an option. But now I think I would like maximum options available. I need to wait another 3 years for insurance coverage so we’ll see what is available then. In the meantime, I can use the telecoil with home made loops. Just not in stereo.


#14

Connectivity with the Bluetooth device is a requirement for me. I’m in Webex meetings every day and could not do it if I had to use the handset or speakerphone. Besides that requirement I have several other devices that produce sound and have terrible speakers.

I had the Resound Phone Clip+ for several years and it works well, but now I’m doubting it is actually stereo. My new hearing aids and Bluetooth device, KS8.0 with the Smart Mic, is true stereo. The Phone Clip+ will connect to two phones at one time, but the new Smart Mic connects to only one. That’s a hassle and Signia should have anticipated that.


#15

Look at this.


#16

Maybe. It might really happen, but I think those that have been on the forum awhile will believe it when we see it. We’ve been anticipating this for years. Will be great if it happens.


#17

Still…the HA manufacturers need to provide the capability from their end. It’s all very well for one end to say “yeah we have that”, but the other end needs to play along. Indeed…we’ll see. Can the technology be small enough, can it use little power, can it be standardized?


#18

Thanks. jleslie. According to https://www.phonak.com/ca/en/hearing-aids/phonak-audeo-b.html , that connectivity is already there in non-Costco version of the Brio. I’m sure it will spread quickly once one manufacturer comes out with something “new” like that. Unfortunately, the Phonak Brio 3 does not have that feature. I doubt it would be a simple software update that recent aids could have added. Sort of related, I recently got an email saying my 2015 car was able to get Android Auto added at no cost. In fact, I was able to do it at home. That would be a dream to have Android connectivity added to recent hearing aid models.


#19

Sorry for being cynical, but we’ve been hearing this for years. It’s not a version of the Phonak Brio. It’s the Phonak Audeo B Direct. It along with something similar from Unitron offers direct streaming from Android phones. It gave up several features to accomplish this. Again, don’t hold your breath.


#20

Hey MBD. Is not the Brio 3, the Costco version of Audeo B Direct? Did I misunderstand the Costco audiologist? My understanding is that manufactures put different names on current products to market in Costco.