Costco vs Audiologist

I decided after a recent hearing test at Costco to also have a second one done at the hospital my wife works at in their audiology department. Best decision I have made in regards to exploring my need (first time hearing aid user) and the results.

Costco - “you need to wear both and need to have closed domes”

Hospital - “you need one hearing aid (rt ear) as there will be no benefit with one in the left. You need open domes”

Hearing test at the audiology department was in my opinion more in depth, for example ear drums were tested. The room (unlike Costco) was nearly completely soundproof and the audiologist was outside of the booth, unlike Costco. Both audiologists present to answer all questions had Doctorate degrees.

The graphs turned out quite similar nonetheless and my word rec score was higher at the audiologist.

Costco of course only sells HA’s by the pair, but why be told to wear something that is not needed?

Ordered my single OPN1 with the audiologist today. I know there are on this forum that are pleased with Costco but I’ll stick with Costco for other items.

My personal thought is that if you are on the fence about Costco, see an audiologist and ENT.

I’m not posting this to upset anyone that uses and is pleased with Costco. This is just my personal experience, which I found interesting and enlightening.

Thank you to everyone here that has posted so much information. I went from knowing nothing about the technology available now, to having very good information in a few weeks of using this site.

During my research, I also contacted some online sellers that have been ‘assertive’ in the forums (not necessarily the online seller area)as I wanted to get what was best for me at a reasonable price. It seems the online game is changing as I was told - no out of state sales on Oticon or Phonak anymore.


Sounds like your own rationalization. And that’s fine. It’s your money.
From your audiogram and what little I might think I know…you appear to have less than ideal hearing in the left. So I’m kinda surprised at the hospital saying you don’t need one in the left. Then with your low-ish low frequency response I’m kinda surprised they said open. But I’m no expert.
Domes are swappable so if the closed doesn’t work for you then switch them.
I would bet you paid more for the one OPN than you would for the two from Costco.
But again it’s your money. My rationalization was about the money for my first HA’s.

And then good to go get different opinions. I had a total of 5 hearing tests in the span of about a year.


I agree with you Z10user, however the price (because of the health insurance we have with the hospital) was astounding. I would have paid up to 2500.00 for the single OPN1 through those audiologists and their expertise vs the Phonak pair at Costco which with the ‘pendant’ would have been around 2800.00 or so

1 Like

Oh hey if you have some insurance coverage then have at it. Good for you.
The “pendant” is optional. And for two.

I’ll comment only on the open vs. closed dome issue. I think this choice depends a lot on one’s tolerance and aversion to occasional feedback vs. possible plugged-up feelings. I suspect that Waynetc will do fine with an open dome with almost no feedback, especially with An OPN1. Obviously, for loss levels much worse than Waynetc’s, closed dome and then ear molds are the only practical choice.

My fitter initially set me up with tulip domes. I experimented with closed domes and really didn’t like the back pressure in my ears that that caused. So I’m all open now. Some day I’ll get around to experimenting with single vent hole, single dome, closed domes.

Costco will sell individual aids. Just divide by 2. :slight_smile:

I agree with @z10user2 that a hearing aid in the left ear would likely be beneficial… Keeping your hearing balanced leads to greater speech recognition, especially in background noise… and besides, you lose out on half the advantages of sophisticated hearing aids when you only wear one unit. There are lots of binaural processing technologies that help understand speech in noise.


In this case, there’s enough variability in practice that neither clinic is wrong.

I’d also lean towards two hearing aids (return the left if no benefit) and closed domes (move to open if tolerance issues, particularly in the left).

Practically, I’d say you should check which clinic is doing real-ear verification and go with them.

1 Like

I’ve been using hearing aids for 15 years, and read about the KS8’s, so last week I visited Costco. I was extremely impressed with their operation. The person in charge has a PhD in Audiology, and the technician who tested me was careful, thorough and professional in all ways. No different from my audiologist. I tried the KS8’s and Bernafones, walking around the store with them for 10-15 minutes. The KS8’s are a great improvement over my ReSound Linx961, and I ordered them on the spot, to be delivered day after tomorrow. The aids truly were able to decrease background sound from behind me, and to discriminate against noise not coming from the direction you choose with the app. I’ll give more details when I get them and can test them more thoroughly. However, I have never had a pair of aids that can really “focus” in any direction, despite their promises and apps that pretend to do it. The KS8’s were great in discriminating against noise and gave me better speech recognition during the short test. More follows in a few days…

1 Like

Since I am new to all of this how would i know if a real-ear verification test was performed?

I know the word score tests were done
Also that small plugs were placed in my ears for tone tests and the word tests as well.

A bone conduction headset was worn after this for tones as well
White or pink noise was also added to the bone conduction tone test
Lastly there was an eardrum test. Larger plugs were placed in each ear to test eardrum movement

The above was all at the hospital audiology dept. Costco’s test was not as extensive.

Perhaps I can add the second HA after a few weeks or months on the one.

I’ll be at some pretty noisy gatherings soon (wedding etc) so …we’ll see how it goes once I pick it up

Thank you

I’ll put in my 2 cents - left ear is definitely borderline, but I would try a pair and return the left if minimal or no benefit. Id lean towards open domes as well. Pretty sure Costco sells hearing aids as a single unit - if they didn’t they would be losing out on a lot of business to those who only need one hearing aid! If you have the time try the single OPN from the ENT and the pair from Costco, be interesting to see what recommendation provides the most listening benefit.

1 Like

You could ask or, you should know if the following was done:

1 Like

Thanks for the link…that happens next week when I get fitted for the one OPN and also see the ENT.

Sorry if I was not clear - I do not have the HA yet.

I do like the idea of trying the pair from Costco (I may try the Bernafon as I did prefer the KS8, but liked the Phonak they carry)

I’m just glad I finally went and recognized that the loss I have needs tending too.

Thanks for the input. It’s appreciated.

No, it was me not you. I sometimes lose track of who says what.

There’s no question that binaural devices will lead to better speech intelligibility and sound processing for you. Now, you may not need one of the devices to actually pump out much amplification into your “good ear,” but what you do need is for that device to hear what THAT side of your head hears, and to send that information to the device on your “bad ear,” so that it can be amplified for the “bad ear.” Speech processing is massively improved by binaural devices.


Got my KS8’s about 6 weeks ago … part of the fitting was a real ear verification as described in the link.

I believe real-ear measurement is only used once hearing aids are fitted. It is meant to check that the aids are doing what the fitting curves say they should be doing, once they are in your own, real ears. Costco definitely did one on me when I first got the KS7s.

I’d be curious to hear what the pro’s have to say on this. When I first got aids, only one ear really needed it. The clinic – government-run, so no bias – really convinced me to get two. As soon as I started wearing them, I got what they were talking about. Having two from the start also made it far easier to adjust when the hearing in the better ear got worse.


Naw, you didn’t did you?:grinning: