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.