Costco Generally and in Greenville, SC

Hi Everyone,

I am new to HT and to HA’s, and I have a few questions as I start my journey into HA use. I believe that my hearing loss is in the mild-to-moderate range in both ears (as tested a couple of years ago). (Ain’t procrastination great???)

First, although I know each Costco (and every other audiology center) is different, does anyone have any general thoughts or suggestions regarding Costco audiology services?

Second, has anyone had any experience with the Costco audiology services in Greenville, SC?

Finally, the Costco website indicates that the following HA brands are available: Rexton; ReSound; Kirkland; Phonak; and Philips. I cannot tell if those are for any given Costco or for the Greenville location, and I cannot determine what specific model(s) are available for each brand at Costco.

Any thoughts or suggestions about which brand or model within brand available at Costco that I should consider?

Thanks.

Gene

Costco have universal high standards that each Costco is obligated to follow. Their testing is very complete and when fitting aids they do Real Ear Measurement, which many private shops do not do. That said you can run into rogue fitters who are not following the standards. It is best to go in and talk to the people at the one you are considering. If there is more than one choice and you don’t get a good feeling about the first one, try another. A couple of years ago Consumer Reports did a survey of about 17,000 readers who had hearing aids, and Costco rated #1 for a retailer. Their Kirkland Signature aids rated #1 for a brand. At the time the survey was done, the Kirkland models were made by Rexton/Signia. The #1 brand was Signia.

Costco really only carries premium level hearing aids. Their aids get different names than you will see in other non Costco shops, but they generally line up to the premium level aids elsewhere. For example the Rexton Adore Li is essentially the Rexton Emerald 80, or Signia 7Nx. They typically only carry demo units at each outlet and after you pay for them, they will order you a set. They should have all the units shown at the Costco Hearing Aid Website. If you keep following links down, you can get details on most of them.

The current Costco Kirkland Signature branded KS9 aids are essentially Phonak Marvel M90 312 aids. At $1500 a pair it is really hard to ignore that choice. At private clinics the Marvel M90 may cost as much as three times that!

EDIT:
If you go to a Costco to get a hearing test and try out some demo aids, it may be better to do it in two appointments. Their initial audiogram testing takes a long time. You may want to use that appointment to all the testing done, and gather information on the choices and prices, but then come back for a second appointment to try the one or two you are interested in. For sure insist they do a Real Ear Measurement (REM) adjustment on the aids you are going to test. Most will allow you to go for a walk around the store with the demo aids to try them. But if you want to know what they are really going to sound like, you need the REM adjustment made.

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Sierra.

Thanks for your reply to my inquiry. I will follow your suggestions with respect to Costco and will try to let you (and others) know how it goes.

Welcome to the forum. I had a good experience with Costco, albeit in Northern Virginia. I am of the opinion that the brands they offer are actually second-tier, slightly older versions of the most up-to-date technology, marketed under other names (my Costco-sold, Oticon-built set was marketed as “Bernaphon” or some such.) That said, I was very pleased with them. I have since switched back to the higher-priced top-of-the-line ones only because I’m in a better financial place these days. I say give them a try. You’ll probably like what you get.

The KS9 is essentially the same, with a few minor exceptions to the top of the line Phonak Marvel M90. The Rexton Adore is essentially the same as the Rexton Emerald 80, or Signia 7Nx. Yes, Signia have a slightly newer X versions, released a month ago or so, but with questionable improvements. The ReSound Preza is very similar to the Quattro, but I don’t believe it handles Android wireless, like the Quattro Linx. The Phillips HearLink has replaced the Bernafon.

Not that the tail should wag the dog, but if you are sold on Android, I would suggest the KS9 is the only reasonable choice. If you have, or are willing to get an iPhone, then the rest are right up there. The KS9 will handle the Android or iPhone.

A friend of mine has used Costco in Greenville, SC and was very pleased with her hearing aids and their service.

Eliotb,

I will give Costco a try. Thanks for your input.

Sierra,

Thanks for the additional feedback. I’m an iPhone guy, so I will use that as one of my guidelines.

glbills,

Thanks for the feedback about the Greenville Costco. It raises my comfort level.

I’d like to also mention that you can get the hearing aids that you purchase at Costco serviced at ANY Costco Hearing Center. This has served me well on more than one occasion as I’ve traveled around the country and need them serviced. Oh, that has also worked for me for Vision Center purchases as well.

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The Rexton Adore I saw at Costco appeared to have only one button–not a toggle switch. The Signia NX had a toggle switch. Not a deal breaker, but a toggle switch gives more flexibility in controlling the aids.

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I have not tried the Adore. The photos look like it may be a single toggle style button, so still functionally a two button?

Maybe. Doesn’t look like a toggle switch to me.