Frequency Shifting - Which Hearing Aids at Costco include it?

Of the hearing aids currently sold at this time at Costco, which of them if any include frequency shifting which would increase my ability to hear and comprehend the soft high frequency tones of my wife’s voice?

Has anyone on board on the forum trialed and/or purchased same if they exist and if so, can they please report their experience with them here?

You should post your audiogram (well, include it in your profile, anyway)… Based on what you say in your profile, I doubt you need frequency shifting.

I believe all 4 brands of Costco aids support frequency shifting. Phonak, Resound and Rexton (including KS7) all use frequency compression and Bernafon. uses frequency transposition.
This is a great article that goes into considerable detail: 20Q: Frequency Lowering Ten Years Later - New Technology Innovations Joshua M. Alexander 20Q with Gus Mueller Hearing Aids - Adults Hearing Aids - Children VA Selections 18040

I use frequency compression on the KS7s (called bandwidth compression on the fitting software) It definitely allows me to detect higher frequencies than I could with just amplification. It’s definitely not a simple topic–again the article provides a good introduction.

MDB: Thank you so much for this comprehensive reply!
Best wishes, Nate :smiley:

mblank: > “You should post your audiogram (well, include it in your profile, anyway)… Based on what you say in your profile, I doubt you need frequency shifting”.<

mblank, I was told that I would be a good candidate for frequency shifting.
In your opinion was I was misinformed? I have updated my profile to describe my present circumstances. I see now that it was out of date.

I tried frequency shifting on my Phonak Audeo V90s. They are similar to the Brio 2 from Costco. Frequency shifting tends to be activated automatically by Phonak but I did not need it. It was activated without my knowledge. It did sound different but I could not have pinpointed that that was the difference. It sounded a little more “closed” if that makes sense. I prefer without it but it is good to know it does not sound bad if I ever need it one day.

Speaking of Audiograms; if you are going to stick around for a while look at Tip#2 in Hearing Tracker Tips in the Forum support category.

When you are reading a topic/thread (like this one) you may notice that some avatars have a little “avatar flair”/headphone icon at the lower right of the avatar. That indicates that they have entered their audiogram for other members to view. Click one of those avatars now to see what your audiogram will look like after you enter it.

You’re most welcome. As mentioned in the article, frequency shifting is not just an on/off thing. There is considerable control available in the setting. I would agree that you should be a good candidate.

I suggest you have them program two identical programs for Universal. One with and one without. That way you can switch them to test them in different environments. Other poster is right, FC is not an on off thing. You can control the band and the compression go reduce the effect. Louder is not necessarily better clarity, so much experimenting here. After you try the two programs, change one of them with a different setting for FC.

My wife and I sit in the living room about 9-10 feet apart. Even with my KS5s re-tweaked at CostCo, by a specialist I trust, about 4 months ago when my hearing was re-tested as above, I still need the accompanying microphone on her lapel, plugged into its charger and on at all times, assisted by a pair of baby monitors which also help, in order to understand what she is saying.

Without the assistance of her microphone and the baby monitors, I hear the sound of her voice through my hearing aids but am unable to make out what she is saying. No one else in the family has any trouble understanding her, and indeed she has a beautiful voice. With my hearing aids alone, I have no trouble understanding men’s voices.

That is why the specialist who most recently adjusted my KS5s suggested that I might consider one of this year’s models, with frequency shifting.


I wouldn’t have very high expectation that the frequency shifting will let you be able to hear your wife’s voice much better. Maybe by a little bit. For sure you’ll hear the “s” and “sh” sounds of her voice (or anybody’s voice for that matter) better. But the majority of the benefit is mostly in the shifting of sounds from the 4-8KHz regions down to the 1.5-2.5KHz region maybe (depending on the mfg and their FS method). And the part of the human voice (even female voice) in the 4-8KHz region is the “s” and “sh” type sound mostly.

The real reason for not being able to make out what your wife say may be due to her being a soft-spoken speaker, and on top of that having a female voice. Frequency shifting won’t fix the soft spoken issue for you. Some HA model may have a soft speech booster feature, and this may prove more useful to let you hear your wife’s voice better than the frequency lowering.

But of course it doesn’t hurt to try out the FS thing. Just don’t put all your hope in it because the human voice doesn’t really go up that high except for the “s” and “sh” type sounds.

you don’t need frequency shifting. you need to have the “soft sounds” 50db - properly adjusted.

Now I am losing hope to solve my problem, after reading the above.

My KS5s did a wonderful job for me for several years, I am assuming that my hearing has deteriorated more, inasmuch as an adjustment as recent as Aug. of this year cannot restore me to the levels of enhanced hearing the KS5s gave me when purchased new, and it is suggested above that frequency shifting is not the solution to my continuing to hear my wife’s soft voice.

In view of the above, I guess I am resigned to a continuing loss of quality of life since I am retired and our lives revolve around attempting to communicate with each other while sharing our lives together on a daylong basis.

I knew my hearing was far from perfect, but until this forum conversation I had no idea that present technology could not assist me further.

PS The last time I had asked for an increase in volume in my KS5s they had told me that they had gone as high safely as they could without causing damage to my remaining hearing.


What does “properly adjusted” mean? They told me it would not be safe to raise my volume higher.

Um…talk to an expert. You’re getting free advice from unknown strangers on the intertubes. Many participants here may very well be experts and they’re very generously offering their advice and insights but they’re doing it behind a screen and not in front of you with your ears in front of them. They’re handicapped and you’re getting conflicting information. Maybe get another opinion?

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I thoroughly agree with Z10. You shouldn’t take anything you hear here too seriously. I cringe at times some of the confident statements people make that borders on medical advice. Your provider suggested trying frequency lowering and it’s a reasonable thing to try. It can help the s, f and t sounds and potentially the k sounds. (Google “speech banana” and take a peek) It’s probably not going to be an earth shattering difference, but it combined with the overall improvements in hearing aid technology could help.

“Properly adjusted.” Hah, I doubt there’s little agreement on what that means. To me, it would mean providing gain consistent with an established fitting formula (usually NAL-NL2) and then adjusting as needed.

I think there is plenty of reason for you to be hopeful.

MDB and z10user2,

Thank you very much for your encouragement!
You are right.
Time for me to make another appointment at the Costco Hearing Center!
Best wishes, Nate :smiley:

Properly adjusted means the settings they have on your aids are not correct for your hearing loss. The Frequency adjustment doesn’t fix that fundamental problem, it just puts a band aid on the problem. You don’t have enough 2k to 4K at soft sounds, which is 50db, or maybe also at normal sounds, which is 65db. Best start with soft sounds first, and I would try 3K to see if the “s” sounds improve. The simple thing to do is to turn up the volume at those frequencies for all bands, but since you seem to have problems only with soft sounds, then just change that.

Most Costco audiologists have a real time analyzer. Have the audiologist run a real time analysis test on your aids and make adjustments “live”, and test the new adjustments with real world sounds, to make sure it works for you. This is important: Before the test is run, turn off all sound processing on the aids. Anti feed back, noise suppression, speech enhancers, etc. These are active and will interfere with the test. If the sound is muddy at louder volumes, then the limiters, on hearing aids called MPO, are too aggressive and they need to be reduced. Then usually the overall volume turned down a little.

I suspect you may be working with an audiologist who doesn’t know or does not want to, The warning of " Don’t want to make the aids too loud, seems to reveal this. What should be done is to find the problem areas and sort them out. work with the EQ settings on the aids. If the get balky, then ask them to call the hearing aid maker for tech support. Costco offers unlimited follow up adjustment visits, so stay on them until your aids work for you.

Drat - i tried to attach a consonant pitch chart to this post but it would not so it. So google the phrase and use this to help you communicate your problems with speech to the audiologist.

But try this one:

from the general search of

Nate S: …or somewhere else. Costco isn’t the only game. They may be the cheapest dispensary but they only have their select few HA’s to choose from. Gather as much as you can from them and maybe go back to Costco with what you’ve learned (like from here :slight_smile: ) or…maybe they click with you and they’ll become your provider. Be prepared to spend a bit more. Maybe ask about used returns or something and bring the costs down. If they do that. :slight_smile:

I just really had to pipe in on your earlier post. I could feel your pain coming through your writing. At the end of the day, they’re your ears. Only you can advocate for them.


Thank you very much, azureblue for these very detailed and specific instructions for the hearing specialist!

I am going to call for a new appointment, and copy and print out those paragraphs in your post and take them with me, minus the third paragraph :laughing: which I will nonetheless also keep in mind.

Good chance I will not be able to get in before January, but in any event will report back!

Best wishes, Nate :smiley: