Costco or Hearing Provider (Oticon?)

I have Costco KS10 hearing aids and have been happy with the Audiologist at CC. My speech recognition is ~70% with aids.

Q: I’m trying to decide if I should go to a private Audiologist and pay $5k+ (Oticon) or try one of the new CC aids (Philips 9040 etc.) at < $2K ? I want better speech recognition.

The KS10s work ok but I still miss words even in quiet settings.
The local audiologist will still charge $200 for a hearing test and a restocking fee if I don’t buy the hearing aids. I’m a DIY, so I don’t need much in the way of follow-up visits.

If I thought the Oticon’s were that much better, then I would be willing to give them a try, but I haven’t seen much in the way of comparison and I know each person is a bit different.

Posting your audiogram (Top of page, click on FORUM and then My Hearting Tests) would be helpful.
Costco doesn’t typically test for speech recognition with aids. They typically test for Word Recgognition (WRS) at a certain fixed dB level (fixed across all frequencies, but sometimes at different levels on each ear) Telling us those would also help.
That said. Your KS10 aids are pretty current and are very nice aids. If you’re talking about word recognition in quiet situations, they should do as well as any aid out there. Potential areas for tweaking would be more gain and different ear pieces (depending on what your loss looks like)
If you’re talking understanding speech in noisy situations, you’ve got the possibilities of great auxillary devices (Phonak PartnerMic and Roger devices (if you decide to buy, make sure you thoroughly understand how these work before purchasing)
It’s possible you might like Oticon better than what you’ve got currently, but I think what you have has good potential.

Thanks! I added my last audiogram. I currently use open domes. I may try the closed domes again. The aids do ok in noisy (not great), and I’ve adjusted them for car so I can hear most conversations if I’m not sitting in the back seat and people in the front are talking.

Part of this issue will be open domes.

The more open the domes, the more ‘noise’ can travel in to your ears, not via the hearing aids and drown out what is being amplified.

It likely will be the same for all hearing aids that use open domes.

I would guess with that audiogram that you would have better than 70% WRS with a decent dB level (around 85dB or higher) Oversimplified, but word recognition in quiet is largely having enough gain and having a functioning auditory nerve. Did you ever go a long time with hearing loss without wearing aids?
With open domes, I doubt you’d get adequate gain at 4000 Hz and higher without generating feedback.

It has another column that says WRS/SRS 2 RT 90% - 65db, LT 70% 80dB.
I’ve been wearing aids for 20+ years. I had a sinus infection that I believe caused the problem. My ENT thought it was hereditary at first but later thought it might be due to infection since I lost my hearing after the sinus infection and was fairly young (30s).

kharri, I’m in a bit of the same boat, for different reasons. My audiogram has the same general rolloff of the high frequencies as yours (I keep forgetting to ask Costco for it!). My loss gets to about 90 db down, as I recall. I have the KS10 now.

My hearing has gotten a bit worse since I bought the KS10 and I’m starting to say “What?” to my wife more than either of us prefer, so I scheduled a re-test. Also, I’ve begun to encounter the charging problem and have lost some confidence in the reliability. And when I do streaming I sometimes don’t get through to bedtime.

Speech in noise with the KS10 for me is difficult, like all hearing aids that I’ve ever owned. I bought a Roger Select on ebay, early on, and it is great! But I keep leaving it at home absently minded. It doesn’t do much good there lol. So I’d like a hearing aid that can be a bit better than the KS10 for speech in noise, so that I don’t have to remember an auxiliary device.

Finally, I want more of the open landscape effect, where I hear more of the sounds of life, and I learned recently of the Oticon philosophy.

So those are my problems/interests.

I was on a path to try Oticon, but then I learned from folks on this forum about the Costco Philips 9030/40. Some people report an open sound experience similar to Oticon, and I’m not about to drop an extra bundle on Oticon if there is a Costco option.

Also, I recently came across some information on the Rexton BiCore at Costco that is the same as the well reviewed Signia AX, and the dual processor technology is an interesting approach and would seem to also offer a more open listening experience.

My recent experience with KS10: Costco did the re-test and gave me new, higher powered receivers at no charge, which was nice. They recommended a power dome, and I declined. I have the little black vented domes, which I like a lot, and they let some natural sound in. So now I’ve been fiddling with the KS10 adjustments, to the extent of what the app will allow, trying to get more of an open overall sound. Mixed results, not totally happy.

Last Thursday I did the brief Costco walkaround trial of both the Philips and the Rexton. I was more impressed with the Philips. It may have been because they seemed to be adjusted a bit louder, not sure if they were, can’t tell too much in such a brief test. But what I noticed with the Philips is that they really did seem to zero in on speech in a noisy environment, without closing off the environment as much as my KS10s - I went around engaging women in brief discussions, and their voices seemed to literally jump out of the background, and one of them had a fairly soft voice.

I bought the Philips aids and they will be in next Thursday. I think they have a shot at being at least minimally acceptable in a speed in noise environment w/o an auxiliary device. We shall see. I bought the removable battery version, as I have found that with rechargeable batteries the daily convenience is there but when we are on the go it’s a bit of a hassle to have to have a charger, and if something goes wrong w/the charger when we are traveling it would be a big problem.

I plan to send the KS10s in for repair/replacement once I get the Philips going, given the intermittent charging problem. Then I will have an excellent set of backup hearing aids. (It’ll be a bit of an adventure to send in the KS10s when they have the Roger Select “receivers” installed in hearing aids that may be replaced. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.)

So I can’t say anything that directly addresses your question about Oticon/Philips comparison, but I am coming from the KS10 as you are, and the above is the way that I’ve dealt with a situation that isn’t totally different from yours. And I agree w/the comments about open domes - for me at least, at down 90 db, that ship has sailed. :wink:


OK, here’s what I’ve heard so far. 1) Your speech understanding is about 70% with hearing aids. Is that your estimate or are you going by the WRS scores above or was there another test. If the later, can you describe the test? 2) Your hearing in the RT ear is pretty darned good and should be able to corrected fairly well. 3) Unclear WRS in LT ear isn’t as good. It may just be variation as it’s not a huge difference. 4) My suggestion would be to return to Costco and try getting fitted with closed domes and have feedback management and REM redone. For what you describe as your issues, I wouldn’t expect any benefit from new hearing aids other than be newly adjusted.

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The 70% is from the WRS scores and what they told me. Also that is my guess as well (my wife thinks its worse). I just put the closed domes on and did the audiogram direct. There were a few differences from before (worse), but similar. I don’t have the ability to do REM, but this will give me a good start.
Thanks for the help/info!

@Torbill I look forward to hearing (no pun intended) your results.

I’d try this out for awhile. Then I’d consider bumping the gain up to 110%. (It’s an option in Target) Might seem loud at first, but try it a bit and see if it helps. If you’ve then got feedback issues, you’ll have to tweak.

Costco claims the Philips is a premium HA and similar to the Oticon Real/More. Some people on the forum claim Oticon is better but that the Philips is very good. I just tried the Jabra Enhance Pro 10 (Resound Omnia) at Costco for a week and am now trying their Philips 9030. Both are loaners. It is too early to tell which is best but I like both so far.

I would have to be convinced that the Oticon Real was a LOT better before spending that much. If you do decide to go with Oticon, you should check out TruHearing or Ziphearing. They are both middlemen who sell you the HAs but you work with local audis or specialist for testing/fitting/etc. They offer deeply discounted prices and have good warranties and a number of people on the Forum have had good experiences with that approach.

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I know you have very little loss at low frequency, but given your highs I might suggest trying molds. Costco is not only cheap (it was $40 ea when I got mine a month ago) but you can return them if you don’t like them. Might help.

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thanks, I’ll ask them when I go next time, but they did not recommend one when I was fitted. I have very small ear canals so it has been difficult for them to get something to work when I had CIC aids.I’ve tried the power domes and they drive me crazy (occlusion, fit).

That’s what I like over the power domes - I find there is less occlusion with the vents.

I stopped by a local provider and talked to them about the Oticon Reals. They said they’ve had patients try all the other brands and found the Reals were the only one that helped them hear. They suggested I try the Costco aids and if they work for me I’ve saved a lot of money. They only provide tuning, cleaning, etc for 1 year then you have to pay. Costco provides it for 3 years. Not a big deal but I thought if I was paying 3x that I would get a Costco equivelent service.


The Phillip HAs are basically Oticon’s rebranded. In a year the behind the ear hearing aid will be replaced by Earbud style for us with comprehension loss. The mic needs to be in the ear not behind the ear

From what I’ve read the Phillips is not a rebranded Oticon. Sounds like Phillips bought the hardware chips and some basic software routines for controlling the hardware from Demant. Then Phillips had their software developers develop the algorithms for the 90x0. They may have licensed some routines like wind noise reduction. It sounds like the basic software algorithm structure is different (look for @Volusiano posts), even though they may both use AI (broad term).

Here’s the link where I explained the differences between the Philips HearLink and the Oticon More/Real:

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I still think they are very similar, everything is supplied from Demant A/S I don’t think Philips did anything other then pay Demant A/S to develop for them, the software is shared across a few different platforms from Demant A/S, they are definitely not exactly the same as @Volusiano has pointed out.