Help with Kirkland KS 6.0

This is my first post on this great forum. I have been lurking for awhile and joined today because I need some help.

I’m not sure how to generate the little graph that many people posting have in their signature, but to make a long story short, my hearing in both ears drops off quickly above about 2k. I can’t hear beeps and alarms above 2k and generally have a problem catching all of the words in a conversation. I think my problems are related to shooting firearms when I was younger.

I have had three experiences trying to be fitted with hearing aids. The first occurred several years ago when I attempted to take advantage of a small benefit through my wife’s insurance. I was issued one low-feature hearing aid that did nothing for me except amplify background noise such that my hearing was even worse than before. I turned it back in and got my money back. The dispenser agreed that the hearing aid would not solve my problem.

The second experience was about two months ago when I was issued a single more feature-rich hearing aid through the audiologist that works for my ENT doctor. This episode also ended badly because once again, I really needed two hearing aides instead of just one and it just didn’t let me hear much better than without it. I also experienced a problem during the adjustment phase which I will explain more fully below.

Through this forum, I learned about Costco’s hearing aid service and made an appointment to have the hearing aid test. I was subsequently fitted with two of the new Kirkland 6.0 aids.

When I was fitted with the two Kirkland aids, I experienced basically the same problem that I had with my last fitting involving a single hearing aid. When the Costco technician programmed the hearing aids based on my test results, it sounded like listening to a radio on a very small speaker that could not adequately handle the frequency range. I tried to explain the way it sounded to the technician, but all she seemed to be able to do was turn the volume down to a point where the hearing aids really weren’t doing what they were supposed to do.

In fairness to Costco, this seemed to the same problem that I had with my previous fitting involving one hearing aid through my ENT. It seems that getting the volume high enough to do some good results in so much distortion that I can’t stand to listen to it. It would be like listening to a radio all day long on a really bad speaker.

I am probably not doing a good job of exactly describing the problem, but it does surprise me that the dispenser technicians in both cases can’t seem to be able to understand what the problem is. I am sure it is related to the particular hearing loss I have and somebody must have dealt with it before.

I am thinking that maybe I should just program the hearing aid myself if I can find the software. I probably can’t do any worse than the last two dispensers have done.

So, has anyone else had this type of problem getting fitted? Are their any opinions of what can be done to tell the Costco technician to try?

I would be grateful for any help. I really want to be able to clearly hear conversations again.

post your audiogram. people can only guess what your issue is without it. Is suspect it’s like this person below.

Ok, thanks.

Here it is:

250 Hz L-15 R-25
500 Hz L-25 R-25
1000 Hz L-40 R-45
2000 Hz L-85 R-100
4000 Hz L-100 R-95
8000 Hz L-95 R-95
SRT L 35 dB R 45 dB

The Kirkland Signature 6.0’s are at the limit of my budget, but if there are other suggested models that might work better for less than $2000/pair, I would appreciate the recommendations.

Thanks for any help you can give me and any suggestions I can tell the Costco technician to try. I’ll put the audiogram in my signature.

Below is a screen shot of the complete audiogram. Sorry for the size, I kept reducing it until the upload function would accept it.

I know little about it, but wouldn’t this type of hearing loss be suitable for some of the frequency-shifting hearing aids? I don’t think there are too many available, but that’s about where my knowledge ends…

Folks will be able to give you better info when you’ve had your hearing test and can share it here. The KS6’s are fine aids. I’ve been trialing them. The next step up and that is subjective, would add $800 to your cost. You’ll find the KS6’s are better aids at the price than anything close in price. You can sample all their aids after the test. They will fit you and let you wander the store. Take someone along. Visit the snack bar and chat a bit. Talk to the employees sampling to get an idea of various voices. It is a great intro but not having worn aids you will find that everything seems too loud. That will go away as you get used to the improvement that you haven’t heard in a long time.

My hearing loss is similar to yours and probably for the same reason. I had two tests done, one by a private audi and one at Costco. Both audis said my particular loss is hard to correct, that I could get some benefit from hearing aids but that it would seem a lot less than perfect sound. I am currently trialing the KS6s. I have had them for about two months now. When I first got them, they sounded terrible. I was tired at the end of the day and it was almost a relief to take them out. Now I feel like I have adapted to them better and they sound a bit more natural. They still sound ‘tinny’ but less so than they did at first. I can now hear conversations much better and hear things like microwave beeps and smoke alarms (yikes! can’t believe I could not hear smoke alarms. they are LOUD).

My suggestion to you would be to get the KS6s. Wear them a lot. The sound should become more natural sounding over time. You have 90 days to trial them and you can get your money back if they don’t work out. But expect some fatigue and frustration. It lessens over time.

I have the same basic cause of hearing loss, and like you, I didn’t get hearing aids until much later. The problem with that is, it makes for a longer adjustment period when you do get hearing aids.

The good news is, you’re normal. There are some basic adjustments they can do if you say too muffled, or too tinny, but the hearing aids are doing what they are supposed to do, boosting the frequencies you can’t hear well, and you are not used to hearing those frequencies.

If you turn down the hearing aids to sound more comfortable, then you are missing some of the benefit. There are two ways you can go about this. You can have them set for 80% of your prescription, for a couple of weeks, then 85%, then 90% and so on, and wear them all day every day like that, or, you can have them set for 100% of your prescription, and have a schedule for getting used to them, like 4 hours a day for a week, then 6 hours a day for a week, until you get up to full time. Both methods will get you up to full power and full time over a few weeks.

But doing one of those methods does not mean you will be fully adjusted to them. With your loss, like mine, it will take a few months to get totally comfortable with them.

The distortion is because the hearing aids are boosting the sound up into the range where you could hear it, but the ears are damaged. In other words, it’s not the hearing aids that are distorted, it is your hearing perception. When I got my first one I had that in the high frequencies and thought that was just the way things are, but eventually (several months) I noticed the things that sounded distorted before sounded crystal clear. I still have some distortion and if I go to a football game and forget and leave in my hearing aids, the crowd noise when really loud will sound distorted.

So my advice is pick an adjustment method, and stick with it for a while. Make sure, before the 90 day return period is over, that things are adjusted as well as can be and that the only thing needed is more time, and you should be fine.

Thanks so much to everyone that has replied!

I think, based on your responses, that I will ask her to increase the volume back to where it was initially and then work to get used to them.

This is the first time I have ever received information that it is normal to expect some hearing aid distortion with my level of hearing loss.

Next time you visit Costco, you might in-store demo the other aids available. One may seem superior. At least you’ll know your at the best solution with the KS6. The Rexton Trax 42 has many here that like/suggest it. The Phonak Brio is older tech but has been well received. Connect Hearing price matches those with newer tech. And, the Bernafon has its friends.

The thing about aids is that they may be or represent being close in technology but our subjective view is as important.

Yes, I agree that’s a good suggestion. Part of my problem is that the technician hasn’t been very clear on which hearing aids would actually solve my problem. She first suggested some Bernefon Junas, but they are $2800 per pair and we just can’t afford them.

She then suggested the Kirkland 6.0’s (which I am wearing), but after reading a lot of posts on this forum I’m not sure they are really going to solve my particular problem. I didn’t get any other suggestions from her.

find an audiologist you trust

I think it’s possible that you may not get satisfactory results from any conventional hearing aid. You have a profound high-frequency loss which is very difficult or impossible to aid with amplification. You may need to consider alternatives such as a hybrid cochlear implant, if your health insurance will cover it.

Our insurance will not cover implants. The maximum insurance benefit would be $1000 against the purchase of hearing aids and we are not even sure if it applies to Costco since it is not an in-network provider. That is something we are looking into now.

I agree with you about normal hearing aids probably not solving my hearing problem because of the ski-slope.

I have an appointment with our dispenser at Costco on Monday and I’m going to ask her about Phonak Brios and the sound recovery feature to see if I might be able to shift some of the beepers and alarms down into a frequency range that I can hear.

Do you have an opinion about the Phonak Brio or the Bernafon Juna?

Thanks for your reply. Much appreciated.

The KS6 has frequency lowering technology, called Sound Shaper. You can ask your Costco fitter to enable it. She should also verify audibility of high-frequency speech cues using real ear measurement.

Wow, that’s news to me. I asked her whether the K6.0’s could shift higher frequencies to lower frequencies that I could hear and she said that it was not available on those aids and I would need to pay more for that feature. I’ll ask her about it on Monday. Thanks.

rasmus,

Do you have a specific website that says that the Kirkland 6.0 has “sound shaper”? I thought this would be an easy find, but after googling it, I only found this pdf http://www.gnresound.at/~/media/DownloadLibrary/ReSound/00-local-downloads/US/ReSound-LiNX/Sound%20Shaper%20Whitepaper.ashx which apples to the Resound version. I would like to be able to show something to this technician in case she starts arguing with me.

I’m sure I’m just missing it, but I haven’t stumbled across it yet.

Thanks!

It’s not mentioned on any website, but you can print out this spec sheet that I uploaded:

the problem with these sound recovery systems you need somewhere to recovery it to… thats why most manufacturers recoomend turning it off for power receivers.

Holy Moly, thanks a lot!

That’s exactly what I needed. I also reviewed the Resound pdf doc on setting the sound shaper feature, so I can show her how it should be set too.

rasmus,

I see from your data sheet that the 6.0 is available in S, NP, HP and UP versions.

Can you elaborate on the differences between these versions and should I be asking the tech to fit me with another version of the 6.0 that would be more appropriate for my hearing loss?

Thanks.