HA's that works best in "Background Noise"

As opposed to what? This is an internet forum where people discuss their real world experiences; look for answers; share solutions; relate experiences both good and bad and often look for answers to a multitude of questions—some of which are as simple as “is this normal”? And though there are some general rules that are universally applicable, sound is a very subjective thing making personal experiences anything but universal and certainly not authoritative in any sense. The only exception to that are men like Neville, um-bongo, rasmus braun and others such as them who are practicing audiologists and qualified to speak objectively and authoritatively. And they’ll be the first ones to tell you how difficult it can be to help the hearing impaired.

What no one needs is a presumptive know it all telling them what they need or criticizing and belittling them (if only by implication) for what they have done.

I haven’t read this thread in detail, but wanted to correct one glaring inaccuracy. Costco is not particularly limited in the brands they offer. Sorry to be repetitive for knowedgable readers, but they offer Bernafon, Phonak, Resound, Rexton and their house brand, Kirkland which is made by Rexton. That’s 4 different manufacturers. Many private audiologists offer just one brand.


This is a very odd thread. I’m no longer sure who I am. :rofl:


I’ve never seen a place in my area that worked that way. Either you tried the demo pair for a few days, less than a week, or you bought them with a specified return period.

Yes, Costco has a 180 return period. Costco does much more than a half-decent job on severe-profound losses. See my audiogram as an example. They have excellent hearing aid models and state licensed pros.

Do you mean your pro doesn’t offer roasted chickens and pizza??


This is why the (in general) the hearing aid industry is so screwed up. There is no “standard” what so ever from one HA retailer to another HA retailer. Be it ordering HA’s, testing HA’s and paying for HA’s. In any case I’ve found that (by far) the majority of HA retailers (excluding Costco) sit down with a customer and after reviewing hearing level discuss options for trying/purchasing a new hearing aid. Once a specific hearing aid brand is decided the HA retailer orders that HA from the manufacturer. In most cases a contract will be signed stating the HA user has X amount of days to test HA and decide if he or she wants it long term. And the cost to test that HA is $100 to say $200. Maybe a touch more for two HA’s.

I’m not sure I’d want to test a demo unless it was just a chance to “try the HA of interest” before ordering for a 30 to 60 day trial test. A demo might to not give you the “hearing answers” you are truly looking for. And if you wear a “shell mold” a Demo HA won’t work - unless you have a shell mold made before testing. And as I’ve said early you don’t pay full price for squat - unless you want to run the risk of being locked into some bogus contract that can burn you short term or long term. Costco excluded on this, though I’m not sure Costco is going to be in the HA business long term if lots of customers return HA at the end of a 180 days.

I think the key thing some people are missing here is the word “Test”. And in my opinion when you “Test” something you don’t pay full price for it. You are trying some item or gadget or HA on a “test trial basis” that does not or should not require full payment. Seems to me Costco HA customers are tying to defend Costco full payment up front by adding the 180 day return policy. So one bad cancels out one good.

If Costco was more “consumer friendly” they would charge $200 to test a HA for 45 days. If HA is returned then maybe a refund of $75 to $50. If HA purchased then user pays in full, with option to return in 180 days for full refund if not satisfied with HA. Now that is what I call fair deal - but maybe the masses think paying out $2000, $3000, $4000 up front is just peachy.

There is no need to do it that way and I don’t know any place who does it that way. Costco has a painless return/refund process, so it would not be beneficial to go through the imaginary paid test process. You have a much longer period in which to work on adjustments and fit and if you decide to return anytime in the first 180 days, they refund 100% of what you paid. I’ve done it, going right up to day 178 and received a full refund.


I had the Widex Mind 330s and have just been fitted with the Evokes. I had a couple of bad set ups due to inexperienced dispensers when I couldn’t hear well. As soon as they were set up properly with an experienced fitter I walked out 1st fitting, went to a noisy Christmas party that night and it was incredible. I heard all other 7 people around the table no problem. A properly set up pair of Evokes will blow you away & as a long term Widex user, nothing else will ever come close. From streaming to cinema, shopping trips to quiet time, they are making me happy everyday!


Well you must of gotten you’r money worth out of the Widex Mind 330 because they came out in 2009. So your old HA’s must be eight, nine years old. I’d be curious to find out what software settings your AU used to counter act background noise with the Evokes. Are you just using a standard noise app or profile when in a noisy restaurant or has your AU fine-tuned (made adjustments) within noise level setting?

Hi, Craig

Why not lay off the Costco thing? As others have suggested, you have gone elsewhere, found a setup that works. Others do different things. There is no need to repeatedly harangue other folks about the choices that they freely made. There is lot of online advice besides what you are offering now. Presumably these folks sought advice, including that from friends and relatives, and made their choices as wisely as they could given the opportunities available in their locales, etc… And most respondents have said that wherever they go, they usually pay full price and only get a refund on returning the HA’s minus a restocking fee.

I once had a lab mate in Berkeley who was a very radical person. She thought one problem with America and Europe were all the different car models. It was a tremendous waste of economic effort. What the world needed was just one standard car or at most a few generic types (I don’t even know if she was allowing for a preference in colors!). This would be so much more economically efficient and avoid a tremendous waste of human effort in making lots of different cars and styles, many of which no one buys, and all the extra effort of marketing, etc.

What I found scariest about this person was not that everyone should just have one of a few generic car models but that she was relentless in insisting everyone should think her way. It’s wonderful to live in a country that gives us a lot of freedom to think and purchase as we want. It would be great if you could grant that liberty to a lot of other folks on this forum and stop trying to sell us just one type of car as the only way to go. Didn’t buy it > 50 years ago. Ain’t gonna buy the idea now.


Right, I don’t know anyplace who does it that way, not one. It makes no sense for a hearing aid pro to rent a hearing aid for a month. I have heard of very short term lending, a day or two, but nothing more. I don’t know where you are but it is not the norm here.

But why would that matter to you? Things are done differently in different areas.

About Costco, they provide good products and service for a lot of people. Does that matter to you or are you associated with another outet, because it is starting to sound like that?


We have made no adjustments, I stay in the universal programme which has 11 automatic sound classes. I don’t notice them changing & when in noisy surroundings my hearing is as good as everyone else round the table. The crucial part is the sensogram. I have custom aids & the hearing test is then done directly through the aids during fitting, meaning the prescription is as accurate as can be & holds the hearing strong through out all the sound classes. Music is a joy, I have briefly tried other aids but they don’t come anywhere near the Widex sound.


The Evokes are amazing aren’t they? I had never thought of Widex until I was looking for something that might do some justice to music because the Alta2 Pros were so horrible. And now to find out they do everything else as well. And the app is simply terrific. No one gets it except other users. Couldn’t be happier.


They really are. How were yours fitted-did you have a sensogram & have you made any changes since? I am so happy with mine & having found an audiologist who correctly fitted with the sensogram, I bought some for my son too. He had the initial fitting, a check up 2 weeks later & the only change made was to slightly increase the volume.

Mine was done with REM. I added and deleted programs, and tried some settings that were available in the software–high frequency boost for example–to see how those affected things. And I like playing with the app and tailoring sounds to the situation I’m in, especially the music program and what I’m listening to.

How do they do a test in booth for background noise with hearing aids on? If they use inserts, that can’t work because you already have aids in your ears? If they use a headset, how do they place it? Over the aids?

I have the Marvel M90R hearing aids (new user two months thus far). My audiologist has a very sophisticated office setup and her soundproof booth is quite large and comfortable. She did my test for background noise by placing me in the booth with my aids inserted and then she “piped in” the test recording through speakers in the booth so no headphones needed. The test had a voice saying short sentences with noise in the background and I had to repeat each sentence. The background noise was increased after each sentence until we finally reached a point where I could not accurately repeat the sentence. She told me my score but I don’t remember what it was. She mentioned we might want to go to a custom mold for my right ear when I come back for my six month visit but first she will run that test (and others) again.

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They play through an external speaker. A woman’s voice is used to speak a sentence where there is background noise which you are required to repeat. With each sentence background noise is increased.

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I think it’s other way around. It’s “Buy then you try” for 30-45 days trial.

I would like to propose this to the audiology association and request they adopt this as standard practice. Shall we all start a petition together???

I saw my audiologist yesterday to try to decide about molds. She told me my word recognition score with the piped in sentences and gradually increasing noise was 92 with the Marvels which she said was quite good. She has recommended I not go to molds at this point because getting the venting size right can be problematic. Also because I am doing well with the vented domes she doesn’t believe molds will have much if any benefit for me. Further she told me she doesn’t like silicon molds at all and always recommends acrylic molds when the decision has been made to go with molds.