Costco Hearing Aids - Whistling Feedback?

I’m seeking advice on Costco hearing aids. I tried (in the store) a pair of Rexton BTE and Kirkland Signature RIC hearing aids and both had whistling feedback when I brushed my hand passed my ears, or tried hugging someone (my husband!). The dispenser said all hearing aids will have some feedback, but I have also tried Starkey S series IQ RIC hearing aids through another audiologist and did not get any feedback. So I am wondering if this is a problem with the Costco hearing aids, or with the settings, or with this particular dispenser. I have a significant high-frequency and some mid-frequency hearing loss. I know Costco carries very good quality hearing aids, but if I can’t resolve the feedback problem I’ll spend the extra money and find an audiologist that can resolve the issue.

The aids you tried are both Siemens aids, which from other posts here seem to have issues with feedback. I’d recommend trying the Bernafon Verite or Veras, or the ReSound Vivid line of aids from Costco before giving up on them.

Hearing aids can whistle if covered with a hand etc.

If the ear mould is poorly fitting they will whistle quite easily on higher volume.
Shop around and get what you are happy with.

Please report back with what you end up getting and give us a review of your experience with them please.

Thank you. I read another post about someone who just tried the Bernafon aids and had feedback as well. If I understand correctly, the Rexton, Bernafon and Kirkland hearing aids at Costco are all high quality. Yet since these seem to produce the feedback, and the Starkey S IQ ones that I tried did not have any feedback, it leads me to believe that either the Starkey has better anti-feedback technology, or there was an adjustment that the audi made to eliminate the feedback (in which case perhaps with additional adjustments the feedback can be eliminated with the Costco ones).

I’d be interested in hearing if anyone has purchased the Costco Rexton BTE, Kirkland Signature (Siemens) RIC, or Bernafon Veras/Verite hearing aids and had a feedback problem that was eventually corrected with adjustments, or if you have learned to cope with the feedback over time.

Er, all aids produce feedback, not only the ones from Costco. It’s purely a tuning issue and to what extent you are happy to put up with a bit of occasional feeback as an exchange for having a more ‘open’ fitting.

Each manufacturer has a proprietary feedback management system, make sure that your dispenser has ‘run’ this part of the fitting software on the first fit. The datalogging on some aids will also tell you/the dispenser if they are feeding back often. Beyond this it’s quite possible to tune out specific resonances with the software controls, provided you have a proper REM system to identify where the problem is occuring.

BTW the Starkey feedback algorithm is one of the best out there, but when your main selling point is removing an issue that shouldn’t be there in the first place, it doesn’t make for a very good markeing message.

My audiologist recently told me the most common reason for whistling is wax in the ear. She was right; that was my problem. Getting the wax out is not something you should try to do on your own. My audiologist has a suction device that gets it out quickly.

One important thing to know about the Resound Vivid is that it is not new technology! I am an audiologist and I did some research on the differences between the new Resound technology out (Live, Alera, Dot2) and the older models. If you look at the features of the Vivid, you will see that the Whiste Protection with Dual Stabilization (another word for whistle/feedback control) is not Resound’s newest feedback technology. The technology in the Alera is called DFS Ultra and is far more effective.

What I am saying is that any hearing aid (not just Resound) marketed as Premium Technology at Costco is, in fact, OLD technology. How else do you think they can sell it to you at that price? If you look up hearing aid specifications for Resound Canta 770 or Metrix, you will find features that look an awful lot like Resound Vivid. Notice, too, how Vivid is “hidden” on the Resound website. It’s not in their product family. You actually have to google “Resound Vivid” to find it.

Resound hearing aids are good products, but be wary of how old the technology is that you are getting!

I had ReSound Live 5 last month and it had whistling when you waved you hand by it. I now have the new ReSound Alera. It has zero whistling. nada, none. Amazing. Sound quality of voices is also amazing. Restaurants are no problem. It’s worth paying more for technology that will be here for a while.

Feedback is simply the looping of sound. It’s like being in an auditorium and the person using the microphone gets too close to the speaker. You get that high pitched ear wrenching sound. Same concept - smaller scale.
The sound is coming out of the speaker - back in the microphone and continues until it’s that high pitched squeel… Yes, they all do it. Unless they are off.
BUT some aids have better abilities to handle and STOP the feedback.

So the Verite 9 isn’t current technology then, is it?

Verite 9 showed as a Bernefon release in June 2009 in a Bing search. I’d say that’s fairly current. The alternative is stuff that’s so new it still has “bugs” to be ironed out.

Good Luck,

That was really what I was trying to say.

If you shop judiciously, costco seems to represent a reasonable way of getting a hearing aid. I can say that without any affiliation whatsoever. Actually, I’ve never even seen a costco shop.

Nope, I am sorry to say that the Verite 9 is not new technology.

Being released a year ago doesn’t necessarily mean “newer technology.” I’m sure there are several “new” analog models that have been released in the last year or two by off-brand manufacturers. I’m not personally familiar with the Verite 9, but suspect the original platform it’s based on is more than a year old.

Um bongo and MatthewJones summed up the feedback issue fairly well. I’ll add that if you want to stick with open-fit instruments (and I suspect you do) to ensure that the instruments you select use a phase-cancellation approach and that the proper dome is being selected (to reduce the amount of sound leakage). Some older (and we’re talking just a couple years old here) hearing instruments eliminated feedback by reducing the gain settings, which you might think of as “turning the volume down” at the affected frequencies. This eliminates the squealing, but often does so at the expense of clarity. Most modern instruments now use the phase-cancellation approach, which can eliminate the squealing without affecting clarity.

Feedback is simply the looping of sound. It’s like being in an auditorium and the person using the microphone gets too close to the speaker. You get that high pitched ear wrenching sound. Same concept - smaller scale.
The sound is coming out of the speaker - back in the microphone and continues until it’s that high pitched squeel… Yes, they all do it. Unless they are off.
BUT some aids have better abilities to handle and STOP the feedback.

I said current.

Now I wouldn’t want to say that you are talking rubbish, but if you take a look at Bernafon’s portfolio you’ll see that the Verite 9 was realeased about a year ago.

The channel-free processing represents quite a departure from the other products on the market - as a concept, it’s been around for years but it’s now available in a faster processing package which seems to work for the customers.

If you want to get anal about it, you could say that the system doesn’t use the rise 2 chip like the new Agil, but then again at this time, neither does the rest of the Oticon family.

I’m struggling to see why anybody would have an issue with this.

If you’re trying to keep up with the latest technology in hearing aids or anything else for that matter you’re going to not only overpay you’re going to drive yourself crazy doing so.

I don’t think that anyone (speaking from personal experience) benefits greatly by the latest
and newest claimed technology - it’s evolutionary in nature and rarely are there substantial breakthroughs in hearing aid technology.

Remember the stand alone pen type controllers to change modes? They were the big rage and now they aren’t even made.

My point is that Costco or any other reputable dispenser of hearing aids should be asked for their opinion on the best “value” - in that way the user can decide how many bells and whistles you actually will use.
The breakthrough technology that we all seek is not going to happen and if it does believe me we’ll all know about it. My 3 year old aids have suffered feedback regularly and has the latest in feedback technology
and, my audiologist has continued to upgrade his software, still it persists. As an experienced wearer knows there is no single reason for feedback. Fit, wax, hair in the ear, day of the week etc can all be a reason for
feedback - my latest purchase is one with a dome and the other ear which has less loss is an open canal type - no feedback and wonderful sound - let’s see how well I can hear with them :slight_smile:

My experience over 14 years of wearing hearing aids is that “less is more” -


ALL AMPLIFIED SOUND SYSTEMS WILL EXHIBIT FEEDBACK. PERIOD! Including all hearing aids. You can help reduce feedback by reducing gain at specific frequencies and keeping the mic and speaker as far apart as possible. The newest technology will allow more gain in the prone frequencies of 2.5 k to 4 k range, but even the best only allows for an additional 13 to 17 dB. Other factors are the shape and length of the ear canal and the depth of the speaker in the ear canal. Also obstructions (like earwax) could reshape the canal, etc.