Hello. I am about to make my first hearing aid purchase this week and I could use some help. My audiogram should be in my profile, but it is kinda weird- like a reverse slope or cookie bite with some high frequency loss as well (I call it my roller coaster ) My biggest problem is hearing certain voices, especially if they mumble or look away from me when they speak, whether in noise or not in a varied range of situations (car, restaurant, home etc.) Other listening situations like the TV or phone I do fine with volume or subtitles. I use android. I get an insurance benefit through costco of $1750. My options are:
Kirkland Signature 8.0 - $1599/pr (so no cost, but I lose the extra 150 I don’t use)
or any of the following at $2500/pr (so $750 for me)
Resound Forte 8 (LiNX 3D platform)
Phonak Brio 3
Bernafon Zerena 9
Rexton Legato Li
I’ve demoed in the store the KS8s, the ReSound and the Phonak. I tried the KS8s twice on separate days and I really didn’t like them as much as the other 2 I tried. They sounded noisy and artificial to me and the adaptive noise control kept kicking in and making my left ear feel muffled. The second time I tried them on she turned the noise control programing off and adjusted some of the other settings to make it sound more natural and it fixed the ear muffling problem and helped a bit with the noise but I also had a harder understanding my SO.
The ReSound and the Phonak both sounded much more normal to me, like everything was just easier to hear (although of course it was noisy as well but tolerable) and I could hear the SO pretty easily.
To make my choice more complicated, I’ve consulted with 4 different “experts” (audiologists, hearing aid specialists, ent etc.) and they all seem to have a different opinion about which way I should go. One told me definitely Bernafon b/c of my reverse slope, another told me anything BUT Bernafon b/c it was the hardest to program and most of her customers seemed happiest with resound. The audiologist told me to go with the phonak because it was the only one that an independent audiologist could program in case I was dissatisfied with costco’s adjustments. The last one was pushing the KS8s as the latest and greatest thing to hit the market. I am tempted to go for the KS8s even though I didn’t really like them because I know a lot of issues people have are really due to the programing of the aids rather than the aids themselves and it would save me money, but if I end up trading them in for one of the other ones I will be basically throwing away $150 of my benefit. Any advice would be really appreciated, thanks for letting me talk this through with you guys, even just typing it all out helps.