When I started this venture, I thought I would be able to approach it the same way as with other purchases - do some research, read reviews, compare features, and so on. But it has turned out to be very different. There don’t seem to be any impartial reviews of the different hearing aid models. Consumer Reports rates the merchants, not the HA models. Maybe I am overlooking a source, but I can’t find comparisons that I can trust.
Also, HA’s are extremely complex, with many features that may or may not be useful to me. The different features have trade names that are inscrutable. So far I have not found a source that explains these features concisely and logically. Well, I’m not sure I even need such an outline, or need to spend that time, because 90% might not be relevant to my needs. But the approach I usually use to research a purchase is not working well for buying HA’s.
Very rarely will I put myself at the mercy of a sales person. But for HA’s, it seems like it will be necessary.
Yes, there are the free trials, but a new user like me is not likely to be a good HA evaluator. My first HA is going to sound weird. That is what they say and I understand the reason. It would be quite an undertaking to test and compare a few different models. For a reliable assessment, the tests should be blind, and each HA would have to be tried more than once, to remove biases. Now that would be quite the testing program, but it is unrealistic to carry out.
Therefore, contrary to my inclinations, I will have to put myself under the sway of a merchant. And consensus is that Costco is one of the better merchants.
Maybe they will recommend the KS7, which is “night and day” better than other brands (“night and day” = “slightly better” in forum talk).
Thanks for your input.