See my reply to MDB.
It sounds like you’ve already made up your mind that you’re done with Phonak. As I said, both are excellent companies. My own bias is for Phonak, but both are premium. I’d personally take free Brio 2s over paying full price for either of the other aids.
Brio 2 NO LONGER an option. Replaced by Brio 3.
You are 90% correct … but I am willing to give Phonak another chance.
The Android app from Eesound, that works SO well is a huge factor.
WHY would you prefer Phonak?
So they are willing to replace your Brio 2 with a Brio 3 for free?! I would have thought they would have had replacement stock of Brio 2s. Like I said, it’s a bias (meaning I don’t have solid evidence to back it up). My impression of Phonak is that they have done a lot of research on speech in noise and that they’re products are really good at it. I also think in general, they’re pretty reliable (obviously not your experience). There is some evidence to back this up in surveys with providers that HearingTracker has done. I think part of why Phonak got behind the ball with direct BT streaming with hearing aids is that they were concentrating on their other research, and perhaps got overly committed to their Roger technology. Also my impression that they are the leading company for pediatric hearing aids. Seems to me that in general, they are more committed to improving hearing than the latest fad. My elderly Mom has a pair and they’ve been very helpful and reliable for her. Don’t know what your hearing loss is like. If you have severe high frequency loss, I think Phonak’s frequency lowering solution is superior to Resound’s. That said, Resounds are also very well thought of. If BT streaming with iPhone were my priority, I’d definitely prefer Resound over Phonak.
Dear MDB, I CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH! That is EXACTLY the kind of information I’ve been seeking. Are you an engineer of some sort? I am a Pharmacist with a strong science background.
Where is the Hearing Tracker survey you referenced?
As I wrote up front, the manager of my local Costco did me a HUGE favor at the store’s expense. Phonak, after a lot of discussion with Costco hearing, offered to replace the defective Brio 2 with a NEW pair of Brio 2. I was not happy with that option having been through 3 repair attempts and umpteen trips back and forth to Costco (about 28 miles round trip).
The Costco store manager finally okayed a full refund allowing me to buy any brand. By luck, my Costco just started selling the Brio 3 last week and the Resound Vida maybe 5 months ago.
I was satisfied with the Brio 2 for 15 months. Great, natural, sound. But I was unhappy with their horrendous app. AND, I didn’t want to carry around their " Compilot" device to use instead of app.
I have NO DESIRE to stream calls, music, or anything else straight to my hearing aids!
My hearing loss is moderate, almost identically bilateral. Notably in the voice range.
IF Phonak had an app equivalent to Resound, I wouldn’t hesitate to get the Brio 3. Fortunately, Costco offers 180 day trial period!
Thanks for compliment. No, I don’t have an engineering background. I’m a retired RN and I have enjoyed researching hearing aids. I sometimes don’t get things quite right, so take my comments with the proverbial grain of salt. Costco really seems to have treated you well. Here’s a link to a collection of the surveys (done at different times) Audiologist Survey - Updated for 2018
Resound has the best app in my opinion.
I have KS7s (now Costco has KS8). Although I initially was enthused with the app, now I never use it. Kind of comes down to do you want to play with your hearing aids or do you just want them to work. Others see it differently and enjoy having control in different situations.
My husband is wearing his first HA (a KS8) from the Costco in Carson City, NV. He has no hearing in his right ear so is only wearing one in his left ear. He has had a couple adjustments and feels like his hearing is only “OK” although certainly better than without HAs. The KS8 app is next to worthless to him.
At his last appointment on 10/20, he told the Costco fitter that he wanted to try something else. She highly recommended the Resound Vida. She has fitted several pairs already and has had good results.
He ordered a Vida and his fitting appointment is on November 2nd.
I’ll report back about how the Vida is working out for him.
Jim, I apologize for responding tardily - been busy with boat repairs ($$$). Basically, I took each aid, inverted it to sort of match the curvature of the ear canal, and stuck it in the opposite ear … left into right, right into left. Didn’t fit all that well, but sufficient to establish that my not hearing the infamous bubbling noise in my left ear is attributable to that ear’s significantly lower performance. I must say that I never noticed the bubbling sound until I read about it here and listened for it in very quiet situations… and when I clicked the Noise Filter in the 3D app, it disappeared. Since then, I’ve forgotten about it completely and never noticed it.
Thanks, Bryan, to both you and MDB for the tips. I’ll have to try it with my HA’s when I get them tomorrow.
I know about repairs and distractions. We had a supposedly leading local roofing company reroof our house. But these days for cost reasons, no one seems to put in metal valleys (the gold standard for asphalt-shingled roofs). Instead a method of just overlapping shingles from each side of the roof planes that meet to form a valley is used: the closed cut valley method. Someone screwed up somewhere and one of our valleys leaked, fortunately (if we had to have a leak), in a way that caused a pretty clean two-story drop onto our master bedroom ceiling. So it went rain, phone call, I-think-this-will-work patch jobs, more rain, more leaks again, etc. The old tried-and-true method of using a garden hose on the roof to detect the defective area didn’t work too well. The garden hose would always say, “no leaks” after the 1st one or two makeshift repairs but Mother Nature had other ideas in providing wind and torrential rains (I would kid them and say, “A garden hose is no match for Mother Nature”). Finally, they ripped up and reroofed the entire length of the valley, which was 22 ft or so++ in length, supposedly discovering the hidden source of the leak in the process as our roof hasn’t leaked since. (The inside of the roof valley that had a leak was in a pretty inaccessible attic space in our two-story house, which had the bonus feature if you fell off the rafter beams and through the sheetrock ceiling trying to get there, you’d enjoy a two-story drop onto the rug-covered concrete floor of our family room or tiled front hallway area-I finally built a 3/4 in plywood catwalk to get to that area in hopes of living to be 90 and not feeling so steady at 73 anymore-and not have any roofers do the same or crush the heck out of our attic insulation). But where did a month or two of my life go??! During this time if I was in bed and heard the pitter-patter of rain start on our roof during the night, I found it very difficult to fall asleep again awaiting the drip-drop sound of water that might fall into the bucket we kept under the leaking spot in our bedroom ceiling, then knowing I’d have to be awake, too, at 7:30 to 8:00 AM for the roofers to show up for the next merry-go-round of “can we find the leak this time around?” So I know all about the distraction of trying to get repairs right.
A number of us prefer the Resound Forte to the Brio 3 but everyone is different. As for the Apps, you should be able to download them and try them on Demo Mode. I found the Phonak app pretty basic whereas the Resound app has lots of adjustment options. However, you may not need that much flexibility.
Both Costco KS7 and KS8 models are from REXTON
THANK YOU! That’s the kind of information I was seeking. I get my new Resound Vida HAs in a few hours.
Yes, I know. Didn’t mean to imply otherwise, although I could see my paragraphing could have been more clear.
Just trying to be helpful!
I bought these a few weeks ago to replace Phonak’s that had been defective, repaired 3 times but never fixed. I’ve only had them “adjusted” once, so my comments are preliminary.
For MY needs, so far, the older model of the Phonak’s were SUPERIOR and I may return these and buy the new model of Phonak’s. HOWEVER, I emphasize that the old model of Phonak’s only worked well for about 15 months before failures of the programming.
I found the sound quality of the Phonak’s to be better for my needs than the Resound, so far. Following the first adjustment, I am STILL getting a ringing sound (feedback of some sort?) when I hear certain notes or frequencies.
While it is my understanding that all modern HA “self-adjust” with respect to volume and “program,” I doubt that this is happening at all. PLEASE NOTE that one of the reasons I replaced the old model Phonak HAs was development of defects in the self-adjustment programming. I OFTEN lamented the lack of ability to BOTH change program and adjust volume without the use of a large and clumsy additional Phonak device (Phonak Compilot). NO WAY was I going to wear that thing around my neck all day!
Initially, until the first adjustment, the Resound GN HAs had a strange problem. I sit facing a TV with my fishtank about 5 feet to my right and slightly behind me. The HAs would squelch the CONSTANT sound of the water and air pumps but the sound would slowly rise to again be squelched. I believe that adjustment has remedied this issue.
The GOOD NEWS - Resound apparently has NOT been bribed by Apple as it seems with Phonak. Resound has an EXCELLENT Android app. It did take two tries to pair the HAs with the app on my Samsung tablet, that I have with me all the time at home, and only one try to pair with the app on my Samsung J7 smart phone (Consumer Cellular model). NOTE: IF you want to use two different devices with the app to control your Resound HAs. you need to switch BlueTooth OFF the one you are not using. Apparently, the HAs have EXCELLENT BlueTooth connectivity even 10 feet away!
The app works very well and allows considerable sound shaping to suit my needs. The app includes a facility to SAVE “favorite” modifications to my existing programs. Unfortunately, whatever changes you make with the app vanish when you turn off your HAs, but they are STILL in the app!
My only complaint about this app is that the “equalizer” function (“sound enhancer” in the app) only has THREE frequency segments. I would far prefer at least five and, even better, seven. Not everyone understands or knows how to use an equalizer, but some of us do!
I have heard, but do not know, that the corresponding Phonak app is not as useful AND it is limited to connectivity with Apple devices because, I was told by Phonak, of “contractual commitments” with Apple. I was also told by Phonak that it is UNLIKELY that they will have a similar app for Android use. I have a thorn in my saddle for which I will NEVER AGAIN buy ANY Apple product!
December 19, 2018 UPDATE
I returned the Resound Vida to Costco today INSTEAD of making 2 or 3 or more trips back and forth to try to adjust them further. I DOUBTED that further adjustment would change the sound QUALITY PLUS these HAs actually HURT my ears physically when I held a conventional telephone to my head.
It is difficult to describe the problem I had with the Resound Vida. My BEST words are that the sound was “tinny” and “screechy.” AND, when listening to music, certain frequencies produced by violins, trumpets and human voice would cause a ringing. NOT feedback, but a ringing sound.
I should receive my new Phonak Brio 3 in a week. I am PRAYING that the electronics and programming do not crap out after a year. I was very happy with the Brio 2 for 15 months. NOTE: I bought the Brio 3 model that connects via BlueTooth to the new Phonak TV transmitter. It requires the larger #13 battery, but it still comfortable behind the ear. The new Phonak TV transmitter is ONLY $99 at Costco. Compare that with something like $270 for the Resound TV transmitter. The slightly smaller Brio 3, that accepts #312 batteries, requires TWO devices to receive directly from the TV. A transmitter and the ComPilot device, too!
Oh no, the Compilot 2 is much easier and quicker to use than any app. I want everything transmitted because my understanding is better that way. I use the Compilot 2 to connect to a cell phone, office phone, laptops, tablets, TV, and a generic Bluetooth transmitter.
I’ve had the Resound HAs for about 2 months now. I’ve had them “adjusted” twice; the last time, this week, by a COMPANY rep who happened to be at my Costco. I made up my mind and will be returning these and at least trying the Phonak Brio 3. While more adjustment is probably possible, I don’t think it will be worth my time, travel and bother. The SOUND quality of the Resound HAs is TINNY, with a ringing quality when I listen to music. PLUS, I am still having a hard time understanding speech.
NOTE: I recently had my hearing tested by an audiologist OUTSIDE of Costco. My hearing was basically the same as it was when I first got the Brio 2 HAs, roughly 2 years ago. IF I was able to understand speech with them, I SHOULD still be able to understand speech with new HAs!
I just wish the Brio 2 pair hadn’t crapped out after 15 months. I would still be using them and be HAPPY!
I currently have KS6 which are Resound Linx.
Last week, after my hearing test I demoed the KS8 (Rexton) & the Resound Vida. Speech recognition was much better for me with the KS8.
I get fitted with my KS8 next week. As a bonus, they are $900 less expensive that the Resound Vida.
Maybe I should try the KS8! I didn’t like the KS7, but I don’t remember why not.
Costco has a sign saying something like, paraphrasing, “we recommend the best HA for each patient based on their needs.” I’ve asked 3 of their HA dispensers “HOW do you decide which HA to recommend?” I’ve NEVER received any sort of meaningful answer!
VERY FRUSTRATING for the patient!
After my test when we could not adjust my KS6 for me, I tried the KS8. I then tried the Resound Vida for comparison because my KS6 are Resound.
Ignoring the price difference, I still would have chosen the KS8.
When I stepped out of the booth with the KS8s, the store background noise was really low too. The Costco person said Rexton concentrates on speech clarity with their aids. The sound is a little different than the Resounds, but not too bad.