Hear.com trial experence and Costco KS 10 tuneup

My normal hearing aid is the Costco KS-10. I have been using them for about 2 years. My main issues are (i) irritating noises other than speech (traffic, don’t walk signs, impulse noise, ….), and (ii) understanding any young lady with an accent, (iii) understanding speech in situations with multiple people talking, and (iv) feeling drained after wearing them. Sometimes I can hardly wait to get them out of my ears at the end of the day.

The Hear.com trial began on Sep 29. A remote hearing test showed much less aggressive hearing loss than the Costco test did. The vendor said the audiogram being much less aggressive than the Costco test was no worry: he based his tuning on his 30 years experience. There was no Real Ear Measurement, which is impossible with a remote fitting. When I asked about this the vendor told me that the REM was not needed because the modern hearing aids tuned closely to the spec. I set aside any judgments.

I liked the Horizon Go 7AX hearing aids instantly. Speech sounded “natural.” The irritating sounds were not irritating at all. A couple of dinners with 4 people present went well. The rubber domes were comfortable, and the simple anchor locks worked perfectly in keeping the aids in the ear. I have had trouble on both counts with the KS-10s. Best of all, I did not have a single day where I felt any annoyance with the Horizon aids. I looked forward to putting them in first thing in the morning.

I found the portable charger to be very convenient. But battery replacement over a longer term is a concern.

The vendor who did the fitting, a HearUSA vendor from about 60 miles away, told me that the Horizon 7AX is identical with the Signia Pure Charge & Go 7AX. He said Hear.com, HearUSA, and Signia are all WS Audiology companies. He said I should be able to go to almost any HearUSA store and get friendly help with small items.

The Horizon 7AXs did everything I could ask for. I had no complaints at all about the Hear.com experience.

Over the course of the trial. I went from an Android Phone to an iPhone 12 Pro. The Horizon aids were much happier with an iPhone, and they are superior to the KS-10s in terms of sound quality over Bluetooth. This is in part because of the Apple MFi, which the KS-10s do not use.

A big kicker arose in the middle of the trial: I was forced to change my insurance. I found a Medicare Advantage plan that pays $3,000 for new hearing aids. The preferred provider is a few blocks from my house. I can buy a new set of Signia Pure Charge and Go 7 IXs for a few hundred dollars less than the last generation 7 AX from Hear.com. I get a convenient local provider, a choice of brands, a diagnosis by an MD, and best practices fitting by an AuD. This made the decision not to purchase the Horizon aids from Hear.com easy.

Hear.com received the aids back on Nov 1. I received a refund on Nov 2. No complaints on that score.

In the course of educating myself via Dr. Cliff etc, I realized that any of the new generation hearing aids would have probably been a significant improvement over the KS-10 which was based on the Sonova Paradise which was introduced in August 2020.

I went back to Costco with my complaints and remarks about the 7AXs. My normal fitter was not available and a new person made some adjustments, did a real ear measurement, and greatly improved the situation. Speech is much improved. However, irritating sounds are still irritating. To make the irritating sounds acceptable, I cannot hear speech properly. The use of the Adjust Program feature in the EasyLine app is helpful. See Dr. Cliff for tutorials on the MyPhonak app which is identical to the EasyLine.

After the adjustments, and some playing with the Adjust Program features, I no longer feel drained from wearing the KS10s all day. But, I looked forward to putting the Horizon 7AXs in my ear. I do not look forward to putting in the KS10s.

The Hear.com vendor was correct about the Horizon being identical to the Signia Pure Charge&Go AX. In addition, both are also identical to the Rexton Bi-Core, which is carried by Costco.

The Signia Pure Charge&Go IX is the latest upgrade from Signia and is a step up from Horizon and Rexton models which are comparable to the AX. I was told by a Rexton rep in September that Rexton would be getting the IX upgrade in about 6 months. So, you could by the Signia Pure C&G from the local audiologist now for the higher price OR buy the Rexton Bi-Core from Costco and exercise their return policy when Rexton gets the upgrade, which should be some time within the Costco 6 month return period. You could then switch over to the Rexton upgrade, which will be identical to the Signia IX, and save some money.

Thanks. I did not realize that the Rexton was the same as the 7 AX. I have gotten good service from Costco and that would be the obvious way for me to go.

If you’ve been over powered with your KS10 then that is likely why they haven’t worked as well.

It’s good that your new trial is going well but if the new audiogram is correct, might be worth getting the KS10 reprogrammed as well.

Thanks for the suggestion. I am sure that the audiogram is not correct.

The HearUSA fitter told me that if we had done it in a proper environment, it would have shown my hearing was worse. But he brushed this off on his 30 years experience doing this. So I think it was the new hearing aids.

Be interesting to see how my costco person responds to a suggesting that we use an hour of his time doing a new fitting, and then have to go back to the original. :slight_smile:

Hi Zebras,

I have been thinking more about your remark, and will try to do it. I am sure that the Costco audiogram is correct because it was checked independently my an audiologist working for my health care provider. However, this fitting game is such a black art, that one cannot rule out the possibility that the “best” practices with a proper audiogram and real ear measurement don’t produce the best result.

I talked to Costco and explained that wanted to try both the Phillips (Oticon technology) and the Rexton (Sigina 7AX technology), but that I did not want to mess anyone over by buying a set of hearing aids and then returning them (which apparently somehow puts a black market on the fitters record).

To my surprise, nay amazement, they readily agreed to allow me a two week trial. I should get the Phillips sometime in the next few days.

They also stated that the Phillips is electrically identical to the top of the line Oticon, and the Rexton to the Signia 7AX. But they said the programming may not be the same. This of course makes all the difference.


Will the Philips have the same audiogram as your Phonak/KS10?

It’s interesting that you hear better with the Hear.Dot Trail as the hearing aids are underpowered as the audiogram doesn’t match the Costco one closely.

If you hear well with Philips with the same audiogram, it’s likely a Phonak programming issue or it could indicate that KS10/Phonak is not the sound for you.

Except that the Philips is not identical to the top of the line Oticon. The Costco staff apparently can’t even keep their stories straight. A Costco audiologist recently told me that the Philips is a Bernafon (another Demant company). I have no idea who’s right, but I do know that the Philips is not an Oticon clone.

On the other hand, Rexton Bi-Core is a Signia Pure Charge&Go 7AX clone.

Yes. The Phillips was programed to the same audiogram as the KS10. But no REM was done. We have a friend who varies tremendously in frequency, volume, and rapidity of speech. So he was an excellent test subject for the comparative test with between the KS10s and the Phillips. Neither came out on top.

The Phillips did not work any wonders with “irritating” noises, and the interface to an iPhone was pretty lame. I have ruled Phillips out as a contender.

Thanks for this information.

The Costco audiologist told me she will be happy to arrange a loaner of the Rexton, but there is an inventory problem for the next few weeks and nothing was available. I am hoping this means they are switching to the IX generation.


Sorry to hear of your bad experiences with the KS10. Obviously there is no next time with that device, but I do recommend REM. Only through my own experience of Phonak where I too, had a dispenser give me a poor fit a few years ago. If fitted correctly, the KS10 should have been a good device.

I loved the previous generation of the Rexton, so let us know if they get the upgrade in. I’m currently wearing Phonak L90 and I’d like to compare the two.

It may be awhile, but I will certainly post something if and when a Rexton trial occurs. I am also very interested.

The Signia AX’s were much better for me in two respects. One was better speech understanding, a more “natural” sound. The second was the phone app volume and sharp / soft controls allowed me to make the easily make the irritating sounds OK. Not just less irritating, but not bothersome at all. But I could still hear them. The word natural again comes to mind.

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Thanks, @GAC . My experience as well. Very natural sound.