Costco vs Sams


#1

New to the forum, first post. I searched for opinions regarding Costco vs Sam’s for hearing aids, but most discussions I found were fairly old. Historically, the traffic here seems to lean very much toward Costco. I’m wondering if that’s still the case here in 2018.

I’m looking for HA to deal with high frequency loss, to replace my existing Phonak Alexia Art Mirco BTE devices I’ve used about 6-7 years. I want iPhone bluetooth interface, TV connection, and other features. Longer warranty & support are very important. Any suggestions would be helpful.


#2

I have both Costco and Sam’s club membership. From what I can tell, the brands/models offering at Sam’s club is much more limited compared to Costco. That’s probably why the Costco HA business thrives and the Sam’s HA business stagnates. I think this in turns also affects pricing as well and Costco has much better pricing.


#3

Thanks for the reply. I also have memberships at both, as well as BJ’s club. I eliminated BJs immediately, and Sams is most convenient for me. But this is a very important decision so it looks like I’m quickly drilling down to Costco as the best option, even though it’s a half-hour drive away vs 10 minutes to Sams and BJs.


#4

I’m in the exact same boat. Decided to go with Costco after checking out their HA. It’s a 50 minute drive but worth it IMO. I’ll be picking up a set of KS8.0’s this afternoon. With a 180 day trial period that’ll provide plenty of time to fully evaluate to see if they fit my needs.


#5

I’ll be very interested in your experience. Have only been on this site for a few hours, but what I’m reading here and in other places already has me 80% convinced that a set of KS8’s from Costco is my best option.

Looks like the MFi is essential for this iPhone/Apple diehard. A 180 day trial period is incredible. And at under $2K, they’re a lot more practical than the $6K Phonaks I bought 6 years ago.


#6

I’ll post here in a couple of days. I hope they’ll do the job. If not I’ll try the Resound Forte’s. What I like about the Resound is the IWatch interface.


#7

Our Sams Club does not carry hearing aids. Just purchased a set of Resound Forte 8 from our local Costco. This is my third set of hearing aids in 8 or 9 years, and my first dealing with Costco. Went in targeting the KS8, but from in-store trialing of their sample sets, the Resound had a much more natural sound to them.

Picked up my set almost two weeks ago and have been very pleased. I was really liking the concept of all the connectivity and adjustability with my iPhone and Apple watch, but honestly, these things, set on automatic, need so little adjustment for me that I haven’t had much use for the software. The automatic streaming from the iPhone is super nice and a most welcomed change from my previous neck-worn remote setup. For most of my phone use, I still prefer my Plantronics Voyager 3240, which I can wear WITH my hearing aids still in so I get the best of both worlds, but I’m loving never having to struggle to hear through the phone anymore! I only use the Plantronics when I KNOW I’m going to be on the phone. When I’m not wearing it, the Resounds make a perfect backup system! :slight_smile:


#8

Worn the HA’s for 1 week. So far so good with no major complaints.

I have 2 programs - Automatic and Noise / Party. I have 3 listening programs - Café, cinema & theater, and group conversation.

In automatic mode you can adjust the mic direction and it’s really cool - one can adjust it from 360 to directly in front of you and it really works. The mic direction adjustment only works in automatic mode - it’s disabled in all other modes. I leave it set for 360 but I tried it in a noisy restaurant with the mic direction adjusted to the front and it really made a difference and I could actually hear and understand my wife. That wasn’t possible with my Oticon Agil Pros and when I worn them in restaurants I would turn the volume down so the noise wouldn’t overwhelm my ears and normal conversation was all but impossible.

For the most part I leave it in Auto mode.

I can tell very little difference between the café, cinema or group conversation listening modes. I can hear very slight differences in the background noise when one of the listening modes are selected but otherwise no discernible difference.

I just replace the 312 batteries today and that running them about 10 hrs / day.

Streaming phone calls is great. I really like receiving phone calls thru the HA’s. Music streaming is a different story. Much of my music is clipped and or suffers from hissing and or clicking (static). I’ve tried adjusting numerous setting to no avail. I would give music streaming just so-so.

The app seems pretty good. I found that the battery status bars are inaccurate. Today the status was showing approximately 80%. 2 hrs later the left battery started dying.

2 times when the app was open it wouldn’t connect. Tried restarting the app but it didn’t help. Had to turn off the phone and back on to get it to reconnect.

I’m currently wearing 4mm domes. I previously wore 6mm domes with my Oticons. I think I might go back the 6mm domes.

My HAS said to give the HA’s at least 2 months. I’ve got my next follow-up and the end of July so I will have worn them for 4 weeks before my first adjustment.

Overall I’m pleased with KS8.0’s We’ll see how they work after tweaking…


#9

Great report. Looks like the battery life is reasonable, and your experience with the app is overall encouraging. You’re proving that getting things optimized takes some time and effort, but the positives make it all worthwhile. I get my KS8’s next Wednesday and am looking forward to beginning the journey. Thanks for sharing your experience thus far.


#10

My KS8 fitting is at noon today. :hugs:


#11

Like to hear your impressions…


#12

So far, so good! :slight_smile:

Best part – I really can’t feel them in/on my ears! I didn’t think I would use the bluetooth much, but I was WRONG. I love the handsfree talking straight into my ears! And I’ve already set up a bunch of This American Life podcasts – I’ll be able to understand and enjoy without background noise competing.

Went out to a restaurant with friends last night, and I could fully participate in conversation – with no repeating.

Looking at your message above – I have the 4mm domes, too, and same modes as you, and like you, haven’t really detected the difference. I guess I’ll have to go to a movie soon. I usually (well, for past 2 days :slightly_smiling_face:) have them on auto and mics set in front of me.

I’ll be back with more info after a few more days. Happy hearing!


#13

Glad to hear you’re doing well with them. For the price I’ll take them over the Oticons I currently own. Last year I wore Oticons OPN1 for 2 weeks and really liked them till I found that my insurance wouldn’t cover them and >6k was abit much to swallow.


#14

Also ordered the Resound Forte 8’s and picking up next week at Costco. Thanks for your review. I was a rock musician for 40 years and did some damage. Have severe hearing loss but really seemed to get bad this past year. Will report back to the forum when I’ve had them a couple of weeks. Sure loved the price at Costco.


#15

Today, on my first return visit (three week checkup), I had her remove the music program, as I just don’t think that is something I would get much of any use out of, had her turn down the program change dings (which I erroneously had her turn up on first fitting), and had her set the left rocker to switch programs, while the right rocker continues to be volume control. At factory setting, both rockers serve as volume control, and holding either of the top rockers for a few seconds changes the program, and holding either bottom rocker switches to streaming (for those that have remote mic gadgets or TV gadgets I suppose), so I wanted a single click up or down for program changing, in case I don’t want to pull out my phone or my remote control, or don’t have them with me. However, I spend about 90% of my time on the first “Auto” program.

Very happy with this, my third set of hearing aids, and even more so that they only cost me HALF what each of my last two sets costs. I also got a nice bonus bit of information today. Whenever I go to Costco to shop, I can drop my hearing aids off with the receptionist at the Hearing Center and she will clean and change the wax filters while I shop, AT NO CHARGE. No appointment needed, and no limit to the number of times. That is awesome! Not that I can’t clean them myself or change my own filters, but what a nice bit of customer service!!

I hope you have a great experience with your new hearing aids, and with Costco as well. No disrespect to any independent Audies out there, as I was very appreciative of both my previous ones, but I’m extremely happy with my third experience!


#16

I recently went to both Costco and Sam’s for hearing loss evaluation and to see what they had to offer. The test results were very close to the same, and agreed with an additional test at an ENT’s office. I also wanted connectivity through my iPhone, telecoil (very important if you spend much time using a traditional home phone), and enough power to give me the volume I need with my severe to profound hearing loss. Sam’s had the features I wanted, except for the iPhone conectivity. At that, their prices for a similar product were much higher than Costco. For me it was a no brainer.


#17

Your mention needing the telecoils for landline connectivity (I presume using a magnet on the receiver). I think the KS8’s offer a handy solution. Have the fitter activate the "XPhone " feature (also known as Cross Phone or Cross Talk). That allows you to choose to have the input from one HA streamed to the opposite HA. You can choose either L-to-R or R-to-L, but it’s fixed in the program. When you answer a landline phone, just activate the “Phone” feature and hold the receiver to the controlling HA. In my case, my “Automatic” program is at the top of my list and the “XPhone” feature is at the bottom of the list, so its possible to toggle between the two by simply hitting the top or bottom rocker on my left HA. The feature can also be selected in the iPhone app. I’ve described this in more detail in another thread if this isn’t clear enough

I also believe it’s probably possible to connect a Smart Transmitter 2.4 to the landline phone using a headphone-to-RCA input adapter included in the Smart Transmitter 2.4 accessories, but in that case the feature would be limited only to that phone.


#18

Excellent explanation. I think also that the XPhone can automatically switch to the phone program…no need to switch to it manually.


#19

I don’t think I made myself clear in that post. I’m not talking about the iPhone X here. I’m talking about a program offered within the KS8 named “XPhone”. It’s a way to manually link the two HA’s together so that a regular landline phone held to the “Controlling” HA can be simultaneously heard in the opposite HA. But the changeover must be done manually in the app or via the left side rocker switch.


#20

I think I understood completely. What I’m saying is that I think it can be set up in the fitting software to make the aids switch automatically to the phone program rather than pressing a button manually. This happens upon the aids detecting the magnet and being triggered.
But I’m no expert :slight_smile: