Costco Philips HearLink 9030 for reverse-slope hearing loss

I tried the Phillips 9030 new HA today in Costco and I was blown away! I have RSHL (reverse slope hearing loss) and am very sensitive to noise. I purchased the KS9’s about a month ago and Costco has been great tweaking them but they still aren’t great. (I’ve worn HA for 16 years). The Phillips were 100% better with the noise reduction and speech clarity without any tweaking and I could actually hear a conversation in Costco that wasn’t overpowered by the store noise. This is a first for me! I liked it so much I placed an order for them cannot wait until they come in. I feel with a little tweaking they will be perfect. My HA specialist at Costco suggested I try them since the KS9’s have been difficult to get to my liking. She has been awesome to work with and very patient with this weird loss.

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Oticon seems to have done a bit of research on how to treat reverse ski slope hearing loss and they’ve incorporated what they thought would work best for that kind of loss in their proprietary fitting rationale. If the new Phillips HearlLink 93030 uses this Oticon VAC+ (Voice Aligned Compression), then perhaps that’s why you like it with your reverse ski slope loss. I know a number of folks on this forum with reverse slope loss who specifically went with Oticon mainly for their VAC+ fitting rationale. Since Phillips is a licensee from William Demant who owns Oticon, Sonic, and Bernafon, it’s very possible that they use the Oticon VAC+ fitting rationale in their HearLink 9030 line.

I just had my KS9 refitted after I went from a normal slope to severe slope on the left. Costco said I should hear low frequencies fine, but it sounds like a tin can.
She kinda shrugged. I don’t know if it’s my ear or the aid at this point.

Despite the noise issue, were you actually able to hear the lower frequencies on your KS9?

I have really struggled with the KS9’s even with all the tweaks we’ve done. I’ve almost gone back to my 6 yr old Unitron’s but haven’t because I know it’s a slow process to get the program right. That’s why I was so excited when she said let’s see what the Phillips sounds like. As I said the Phillips were the best straight off the bat with just minimal tweaking I’ve ever experienced since 2005.

As far as low frequencies go, my experience has been the mid tones need boosted for low frequencies to be heard. But, there are still low frequencies I cannot hear even with a good programmed HA. There are only about 4000 people in the U.S. with RSHL and most HA specialists want to use what the computer tells them or an automatic program and it doesn’t work for us, it makes everything worse. They actually need to do the opposite of what they think will work and we get better results.

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Yeah, that’s pretty much the gist of what Oticon found and implemented as well. Conventional wisdom wants to amplify the lows and not the mid and high to compensate for the loss in the lows. But Oticon found that doing that didn’t help with speech understanding. They found that by focusing on amplifying the mids and some of the highs, people with reverse slope loss end up understanding speech better, despite the unconventional strategy. It may not be great for music, but it’s better for speech. I guess they can still deliver the conventional amplification strategy for a special Music mode, however.

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If your loss is now severe, maybe a change to a higher output speaker is in order. I would ask to see the fitting chart to see if the output is adequate.

My loss is moderate and hasn’t changed in over 30 years. Thanks.

I am new to hearing aids. I haven’t purchased them yet. I tried the Phillips 9030 yesterday and KS9 but I found the sound of my own voice of the 9030s compared to the Costco KS9 annoying. The person who helped me said she might be able to adjust the 9030s but no guarantee it would improve.

And I do understand I need to get used to my own voice but if some are better at this why would I choose the Phillips over the KS9?

Did you notice that the sound of your own voice was more amplified?

I want a rechargeable but was amazed at how good the KS9 sounded.

I will be trying their other options tomorrow.

BLW: I am blown away at how knowledgeable the Costco folks are at the Seattle Location.

Sound of voice is often related to the fit and kind of dome used. If the Phillips used a more occlusive dome than the KS9, that could explain the difference you heard and have nothing to do with the hearing aid itself.

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I had my appointment at Costco today with the intention of trialing the KS10s. They didn’t have the KS10 demo aids in yet so I was unable to try them, however, the fitter recommended I try the Hearlink 9030 due to my reverse slope loss. I only had them on for about 10 minutes because I wanted to compare to the KS10 before making a decision. However, I will say the Philips sounded really good to me. Clearer and better noise management than my current Oticon Opn1. I have to research these more, but I came across this HearingTracker article which has some interesting insight into these possibly being rebranded Bernafon Alpha which might be comparable to Oticon More…

There’s another thread here Anyone tried new Costco Phillips hearing aid? that discusses the new Costco Phillips HearLink 9030.

It looks like Costco seems to be giving folks the impression that the HearLink is similar to the More because it has AI technology. But I had a post in that thread (see below) where I read the whitepapers for both the HearLink and the More on their respective AI technologies, and as far as I can tell after reading both whitepapers that they are not the same AI technology.

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I downloaded the Philips HearSuite program and plugged in my audiogram. It seems that Philips is unsurprisingly employing a similar approach to Oticon with their RSHL programming. Without making any adjustments, the software recommends no more than 22 db for the low frequencies and at least 10 db on the highs. One oddity is that it recommends 10 db for all highs for both soft, normal and loud speech on the right ear for me. This is using the proprietary Fit4Speech rationale.

I’ve had the Phillips 9030 for 2 weeks in addition to my KS9’s. At first I thought the Phillips we’re going to be my final choice as the noise suppression is awesome. I’ve had them adjusted twice along with my KS9’s and but I quickly realized that the equalizer can only be fine tuned during streaming. This is the dealbreaker for me why I will be returning the Phillips this coming week. I also didn’t like how I could hear the noise suppress cut in and out with conversation it is really annoying to me.

I will also be fitted for the KS10’s at the same time and if they are as good or better than the KS9’s then they will be my final choice. I love their app and the fine tuning ability.

Another note is the KS9’s can directly bluetooth connect to my Samsung smart TVs and the Phillips cannot without the TV connector.

Hope the KS10s work out for you. I’m hoping the same for myself as well. That’s tough about the noise suppression kicking on and off.

Just this fact that the 9030 is very aggressive with noise suppression is a clear sign that it’s not from the same mold as the More which still continues with the open paradigm. In fact, some people even report hearing more sounds from the More compared to their OPN or OPN S.

This is an interesting point. It also got me thinking. In my experience with Costco both back in 2016 and current, Costco pushed me very hard onto a Demant hearing aid, first Bernafon and now Philips. In 2016, the fitter literally would not sell me anything other than Bernafon and this past weekend (at a completely different Costco), the fitter made a very hard pitch for the new Philips Hearlink 9030. I wonder if Costco is aware of the RSHL subroutine built into VAC+ and other Demant proprietary fitting rationales and figures this would be their best chance to please a RSHL patient. Although @Crickee was fitted with a KS9 previously so maybe this is specific to the Costco fitter.

I went for an adjustment yesterday and returned the Phillips, the fitter said she didn’t realize the equalizer was only available in the streaming program. I would possibly give these a try in the future if Phillips changes the app, but I didn’t want to wait it out since these are so new.

The fitter did listen to me and turned the overall volume down and she let the software fix some loud ness after she ran a feedback test. I also had her adjust the very high pitches a little lower. I also had her increase the mid tones, she was reluctant to add just a little more when I asked but she did. I can honestly say I had the best day at my school today in years without struggling to understand speech. Our open office has high ceilings and it’s been a constant issue then add in the masks just made it worse. I could actually understand the 3 soft spoken men who I have historically struggled with and didn’t have to ask anyone to repeat themselves!

It will be interesting to see how the KS10’s compare. I will let you know, I get those on Saturday.

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Will be interesting to hear your comparison. I’m going to be trying the KS10s and the Philips in store within the next couple weeks so will be a nice to see the comparison considering our losses are both RSHL

Well, I guess I’ll be the second RSHL person to trial the new Philips Hearlink. I placed my order today. To be fair, the fitter didn’t put much effort into trying to make the KS10s sound good to me. I pick them up next Sunday and also ordered the Audioclip.

Is your OPN 1 still working? How does the KS10 compare to the OPN 1?