Costco KS8 first impressions

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#1

I got my KS8 HAs today and thought I would share a few first impressions from Day 1. This is my second pair of HAs (I previously wore Audina Sparo AD for 6 years).

  1. Importantly, these are SO much more comfortable in my ears than what I wore previously. The receivers just fit in my ear canal better. On my old HAs, the tube in my left ear, in particular, never really stayed seated properly and it irritated my ear. The KS8s I can’t feel at all.

  2. My immediate first impression was that I can hear my hair rubbing against them. It makes kind of a crackly noise that was a little disconcerting at first, but I’m already used to it.

  3. Noises that startled me when I got my first HAs six years ago, like paper rusting, are startling me all over again. Probably that’s because my hearing has gotten a little worse, and these new HAs are tuned to catch up with that?

  4. iPhone streaming - LOVE IT already! I feel like a bionic woman with phone calls, music, and audiobooks streaming directly to my ears. I remember seeing a question on another thread somewhere about whether you still have to hold the phone to your ear on phone calls, to speak into the phone mic, and I’m happy to report that the answer is no. It truly is hands-free. The mic works just the same as it does when I have the phone on speaker mode. I’ve tested this on two phone calls so far, and both people reported they could hear me just fine when I had the phone sitting on my desk or on the other seat in my car. My daughter said it was actually better when I had the phone in hearing aid mode than speaker mode (I switched back and forth between the two to test it with her).

  5. The KS8 can hold 6 programs, and the hearing specialist filled all 6 slots for me so I could experiment with as many as possible to see what I like. I haven’t had occasion to try them all yet in their intended settings, but I can report that the “Listening to Music” program really does make a difference in streaming music. The music sounds less “tinny” (for lack of a better word) with this program.

  6. One absolutely weird thing I noticed that never happened on my old HAs is reverberation. When making dinner tonight, I clinked a spoon against a bowl and it sounded like it was echoing loudly from another room. It kind of freaked me out. But fortunately, one of the programs the specialist added for me is “Reverb Reduction.” I switched to that and voila! Problem solved. I am now on a mission to learn more about HA reverberation. I didn’t know there was such a thing, until I experienced it tonight for the first time. But almost certainly the culprit is the acoustics in my house, with high ceilings and hard floors.

  7. I find it hard to open the battery compartment door while wearing the HAs. Not that I really NEED to do that, but I have a habit of listening for the differences with the HAs on and off, just because I’m always curious about how much difference they really make.

  8. In my home office, I can hear the fan running on my laptop. This is a sound I have never heard before, and frankly it’s noisy. I don’t like listening to it, but maybe I’ll eventually get used to it as white noise. (Also, my keyboard that I thought was a quiet keyboard apparently isn’t so quiet after all. I’d hate to hear what a LOUD keyboard sounds like!)

  9. I’ve fiddled a bit with the Smart Direct app, but most of the functions I would use regularly (changing programs, adjusting volume, checking battery level) are all accessible simply by triple-clicking the home button on my iPhone without having to search for the app. The app has some additional features (such as adjust the microphone pattern or changing the bass/treble balance) that I haven’t played with yet. There’s data I can look at too, such as sound exposure and hearing support, to get a sense of how much work my HAs are doing for me, but I haven’t had them in long enough for any meaningful information.

That’s it so far. I’ll report back after a bit more real world experience with them.


#2

Thanks so much for the detailed report. The KS8 is definitely on the shortlist of possibilities for me in my upgrade quest.


#3

what a wonderful review. I’ve been following costcos hearing aids myself under my older account. Please keep us updated on your experiences the KS8 is on my interested list of Hearing aids too.


#4

LoubyLou
Indiana USA (originally from surrey UK)
9h
what a wonderful review. I’ve been following costcos hearing aids myself under my older account. Please keep us updated on your experiences the KS8 is on my interested list of Hearing aids too.

+1^:wine_glass:

Cheers Ron


#5

Very nicely done Pleaides, thank you.
Can we look forward to reports qid?
:grinning:


#6

Thanks for taking the time to provide the group with so much useful information on the KS8. Please post an update once you’ve had them for awhile. Would be interesting to hear how often you have to change batteries.


#7

Well written review. No fog factor and good information easily understood by us neophytes (LOL).


#8

Thanks much for the review! I’m especially interested since you have a relatively flat loss like mine. Have heard there’s self-programming option but don’t know any details. Something you’ll be looking into? Thanks again!
-kate.


#9

Thanks! Looking forward to more once you have more experience!


#10

Thanks for the review too! I’m trialing some right now. Had them about a week. I had bought the Bernafon Serna’s but have not been “real” impressed. They’re nice, but I don’t know if they are $800 more nice. Here are some of my thoughts too.

  • Thanks for explaining your “echo” thing. I’ve noticed the same thing but didn’t know how to explain it. You explained it perfectly.
  • My Bernafons have feedback issues, even after lots of adjustments for whatever reason. When I would comb my hair, when someone leans over to whisper something to me, when my granddaughter would hug me. I know those are potential feedback situations, but the KS8 .handles them beautifully. Even when I put my hand right up to them.
  • Another big thing is a lot less of the “clicking” problems some made for iPhone aids are having.
    Your review came at a good time to help me decide to keep them.
    Thanks!

#11

Extremely helpful…looking forward to further reviews…Thanks


#12

Does the KS 8 stream live TV directly into the hearing aids without an intermediary device?


#13

I don’t know of any hearing aid that does. To get direct streaming typically requires that brand’s TV transmitter.


#14

After having the KS8s for several days, here are some updates.

  1. The first set of batteries lasted just a hair under 4 days, with about 15 hours/day of use. This is not as long as batteries lasted in my old HAs, but I’ve also been wearing these a lot more. I’ll be interested in seeing how long the batteries last over time, as well as comparing brands. I have a pack of the Costco batteries, and I also have some Rayovacs. Will definitely report back on battery life once I have more data to report beyond just the first pair.

  2. I haven’t been able to evaluate the programs as well as I’d like, since my listening situations during the past week have not been typical for me. With that said, these are the 6 programs that are currently on my HAs:

  • Automatic – It’s fine. Definitely sounds like things are coming to my ear through a speaker. I want to play with Bass/Treble settings on the app, but haven’t done so yet. Sounds such as the A/C fan are really loud.
  • Noise/Party – Haven’t been in a restaurant yet to really put this one through its paces, but in the work environment I was in this past week (a sales gallery with some light construction noise from renovations and piped in music playing overhead, rather than in my normal office), it did seem to slightly dampen the music and slightly amplify the voices of people I was talking to. I need more time and more noisy environments to really settle on that impression, though.
  • Listening to music – This one definitely makes a difference in the quality of the music when streaming from my iPhone. I like it!
  • (i)Focus 360 – Can’t tell much difference, but I haven’t played much with it.
  • Outdoor/Traffic – Can’t tell much difference yet between this and Noise/Party. But I haven’t experimented as much as I’d like to. I tend to be on the phone a lot in the car, so I haven’t really tested these in a “quiet” car environment.
  • Reverb Reducer – I use this one all the time in my house. It eliminates the echo effect in rooms with high ceilings and hard floors. I’m considering asking if this can be my default program.
  1. I really like the microphone-pattern adjustment setting in the app. In noisy environments, my worst problem seems to be noise coming from behind me. This allows me to adjust the direction the mics pick up sound from, and the arc. I can get a pretty narrow focus, straight ahead. This definitely helps with things like background noise and A/C fan noise. Only problem so far is that you can only adjust this on the Automatic program, not any of the other programs.

  2. I have experienced no feedback whatsoever with these HAs. With my old ones I’d always get feedback if I put my hands over my ears, or even if someone else put their head too close to my ear (like during a hug). Not a problem with the KS8s at all so far.

  3. I do experience very occasional clicking sounds when streaming to them from my iPhone. Like @member69, I’ve read that other MFi HAs have this problem as well. I don’t know how the KS8s compare to others, but I don’t find the clicking to be unreasonable at all.

  4. @momodottie, these only stream from iPhone. I believe you need some type of intermediary device for TV or other streaming.

Next week I’ll be traveling for work, so I’m sure I’ll have lots of new listening scenarios to give the KS8s a workout. I’ll definitely report back with any other impressions as I spend more time with them.


#15

Thanks for the update on your impressions so far.


#16

Greatly appreciate your update - thank you!


#17

Another great report, thank you.
I wold like to know what battery drain is like for people who don’t use iPhone.


#18

A couple of things I forgot to mention about the MFi streaming to iPhone:

  1. Incoming ringtone via MFi is VERY loud when I receive calls. I wish there was a way to control volume of ringtone from phone separately from everything else. If anyone knows if this is possible, please let me know!

  2. I also use Apple CarPlay in my car, which connects automatically via Bluetooth. If I am streaming a call or audiobook to my HAs and it gets interrupted by spoken map directions from my Maps app, it switches to CarPlay for Maps and then stays in CarPlay when whatever I was streaming resumes, instead of reverting back to my HAs. This is the most annoying thing I’ve found so far. I don’t know if this is an issue with the KS8s specifically or with Apple MFi/CarPlay in general as they fight for Bluetooth control.


#19

They do with no extra receiver


#20

I am happy to report that the KS8s can pair with multiple Apple devices. I successfully paired them with my iPad mini and watched videos on a flight today. Being cord-free when listening to anything on my iPhone and iPad makes these things worth every last penny, in my book. I am traveling today and feel sorry for everyone in the airport/on the planes who is tethered to their phones with earbud cords. :grin: