First Costco hearing test


#1

I’ve had Siemens CIC hearing aids since 2010, and as I’m replacing them I went and signed up to Costco (here in Oz) to begin the process. I’ve done lots of reading here over the years, and it was quite evident that Costco should be the first place I go after becoming so jaded about the hearing industry first time around, and it exceeded my expectations.

I’ve read a lot of reports here with the usual stuff about getting what you pay for, poor service, machine instrument fitters yadi yadi ya etc, but for me it was the opposite. I was assessed by an audiologist with a Masters degree, and given by far the most comprehensive testing regime in my life. Every hearing shop I’ve ever been in has only put me through a lot of beeps under headphones. At Costco I had that plus speech testing with a number of accents, the bone testing (sorry, have forgotten the correct term for that where it measures the bone behind the ear), and this all went on for an hour.
No hard sell at all, just a list of compatible devices and their pricing for me to go and contemplate at my leisure. Cost was 50% of what I paid for a very similar setup in 2010.

I’m having ear impressions cast this coming Thursday, by which time i’ll hopefully have decided which way I’m going to jump, Rexton/GNResound/Phonak.

All in all, very happy with Costco, and bought a bag of tasty bread rolls and a slice of pizza while I was there - a first for me at the audiologists :grinning:


#2

@SilenceIsGolden, nice to hear. With Costco only being outsold in the US by the DVA, sooner or later the cartel will have to adjust. My Costco just hired 2 more fitters and will now have to expand the space.


#3

You would think other audiologists would catch on and have better pizza.


#4

I have.been Extremely pleased with my experience as well as my COSTCO Hearing Aid’s. I had been to a doctors office and then on to Costco and the test and the audiologist at Costco were top notch. I can’t thank them enough for making it financially possible for me to have such wonderful hearing aids.


#5

I purchased my first HA’s three years ago at a Costco that had just opened near our house. I had done my own research and tried three different brands before settling on Phonak. The testing that was done was very complete and my service from Costco has been great. The Costco three year warranty with one time loss or damage coverage on Phonak is something you should factor into your decision. Not every brand they sell has the same warranty.

One thing clear from reading this forum is each person has unique needs and preferences. The HAS who did my testing had no prior experience with Phonak, and I was the first one she fitted with the brand. Now, three years later, she tells me Phonak is her favorite. I just ordered the new Brio 3 R-C that just became available at Costco. It has the new SWORD chip that streams cell phone calls directly to your HA. It also has a new bluetooth TV transmitter that streams stereo sound from your TV. The one complaint I have read is it only streams phone calls to one ear. According to Phonak that was a trade-off they had to make in order to enable the aids to stream calls to both Iphone and Android. I guess there are only so many features they can cram into that small of a package.

Back to Costco. My current HA’s required one previous warranty repair, which was done in less than a week, and recently. I can see some corrosion on the battery terminals, and they have begun going through batteries rather quickly… The three year warranty ran out this past week. MY HAS called the company and asked them to extend the warranty which they did. When my new HA’s arrive this week she plans to send the old ones in for warranty repair. I will then have a backup pair. Bottom line, my experience with Costco has been top notch.


#6

I also was pleased with my Costco hearing test. In contrast to an audiologist I just saw who was pushing a pair of Oticon OPN1s ($7000), the test involved not just the beeps under headphones, but also bone conduction and speech recognition. The fitting was guided by the excellent software, and I could follow the process on the big LED screen. At each step, she explained what she was doing and asked for my preferences. I decided to purchase the aids she recommended (Resound Forte 8) and I’m pleased with my decision… including saving more than $4000.

There are drawbacks to purchasing hearing aids at Costco, to be sure. The aids are defeatured in contrast to those made by the same manufacturer that are offered by audiologists, and it’s pretty much impossible to determine which features are missing. In the case of the Forte 8s, it appears that the two missing features are tinnitus reduction (missing from all Costco aids, it seems) and online adjustment, which does not require an office visit. But I’m just guessing. No spec sheet is available. The Fortes do work with Resound’s wonderful Linx 3D app. Additionally, the aids are locked for adjustment except by Costco technicians, which is something to consider if you think you might move where there’s no Costco nearby.


#7

Can anyone tell me if Rexton is the Syvantos marketing name for their range at Costco? ie: Is Rexton only available at Costco, and similar devices sold elsewhere with a different name, Signia I think?


#8

The KS7 has Rexton printed on it. I seem to recall that the KS8 does as well.
I think Costco also sells a Rexton-named/branded HA.
Signia is another brand under Sivantos.


#9

Sometimes I wonder if the HA manufacturers follow the marketing lead of cereal companies. Essentially the same wheat , sugar, and additives, with slightly different formulations and a dazzling variety of packaging.


#10

I’ve noticed almost everything electronic at Costco has a slightly different model numbering scheme and is tough to compare on the manufacturers website for specs and such. I’m sure they have agreements with Cosco to get “almost” the same thing as the model with “all the bells and whistles”. But when you’re saving $500-$3000 on a product, who cares?


#11

I care, for one. Do Costco’s Resound Forte 8s work with Resound’s nifty Multimic? Probably, but nobody at Costco knows.


#12

It shown on the Costco Resound accessory site.
http://future-resound.com/
Click the “Wireless Accessories” tab


#13

Thank you! Great news!


#14

My pleasure, glad I could help. I tried two HA brands from an audi that turned out to be out of my insurance network. Now waiting for HMO to accept referral to an in-network audi, and have a Costco appointment in 2 1/2 weeks. I’ve been researching and saving links like a madman for two months now.


#15

I was thinking about the Multimic, but instead I ordered the Phone Clip+ for use with my Android phone, and am planning to try a third party Bluetooth transmitter, which is much less expensive than the Multimic. I don’t really need the mic so much as a 3.5mm jack type accessory.


#16

I didn’t think Costco had a Audiologist?


#17

There is one at my Costco.


#18

I wish there were an easy way to find a good audiologist at Costco (some kind of search engine). My current fitter has moved to a Costco which is too far away. I have gone to some Costco locations and collected their business cards, but the cards don’t give their certification levels.


#19

I had my Costoc audiologist email me my test, and her signature section on the bottom of the email had all her qualifications listed, one of which was a Diploma in HDPE, which I could only discover meant High Density Poly Ethylene! I guess in the audiology world is must mean something else. My wife thinks it could be that plastic foam they squirt in my ears to take an impression for my CIC aids :grinning:

I suspect if I looked she probably also had her qualifications hanging on a wall as well - will check it out tomorrow when I go to get my er impressions done.


#20

On the topic of selection, I’m trying to think of a good reason not to choose the Rexton Legato CIC aids over that of the Phonak/GNResound/Bernafon offerings.

My audi said that each of the manufacturers had their own particular focus, with Phonak concentrating on sound quality and hence have the best sound quality but not a lot in the way of external controllers. Sivantos/Siemens/Rexton spend lot of focus on the peripherals, hence a selection of bluetooth controllers etc. Having a good external controller is important to me, which is why I’m leaning towards the Rexton.