As I am coming late to the conversation here, my contribution will not add all that much but I do want endorse the frequent mention of “Costco” and also also their new version 8 of their Kirkland Signature, which I have been using these past four months and most happily as this pair “does the job” for me that my former pair (which cost me three times what I paid for these) never did! So I now wear these all the time and every day and often find myself about to go to bed without removing them as I no longer know they are there! This does not mean that I am suggesting not to also try out other models available at “Costco” but rather to be sure to include trying out the Kirkland Signature 8. (This is an unpaid commercial by a most pleased customer!) P.S. And yes, I do “tell everyone” about my delight and pleasure at having found a pair that works for me!
The latest from Barbara: went to Costco today with my audiogram from audiologist I chose because a friend recommend her. It was within and ENT practice.
Told the Costco lady that I have a quote for Oticon and want to see what Costco has. She asked about my activities, work in office or not, travel… etc.
Went into a box and pulled out Zerena 9. Never heard of them, never read about them. So I say to her, you have so many options here, why theses? “They are the best for you in my experience.” I put them on and walked around the store… not the best test area… but they felt great. She gave me another pair… forget who, but I bought Zerena at $2500. Will try them
Out for a while… they give you 6 months, and will go from there. the OPN 1 were $6800.
The Zerena is from Bernafon, a sister company with Oticon who makes the OPN. But the Zerena is not the same as the OPN. However, it should be a good pair of hearing aid.
I haven’t tried the Zerena but I’ve tried the Enchant 100 from Sonic which is supposed to be similar to the Zerena. Sonic is another sister company with Oticon as well. I like the Enchant a lot, too, although I still prefer the OPN . But that’s just my personal preference.
I wonder why they recommended the Zerena to you over the KS8. But that’s OK, the Zerena is still much cheaper than the OPN anyway.
I’ve had the Zerenas since March and I like them quite a bit. I opted for the version with the telecoil since several of our live theaters are looped and hearing all the dialogue is a treat. I went from the Brio 2s which were super but I wanted a direct connection to my iPad so when the Zerenas were available I upgraded. Had Bernafons previously so I thought I’d like their sound. Only negative is that the Zerenas come in boring colors relative to the Verite that came in green, blue, red as well as the boring colors and red with Chinese dragons, silver with NW totems, blue with whales and one other graphic. One could change out the panels to suit your whim. Always amazed me that with my short hair no one noticed those red aids with dragons. Go figure.
Hope you like them,
Barb, my wife also has the Bernfon Zerena’s from Costco (since the beginning of April 2018) - this was the only pair she tried there and they were recommended by the audi there. She did try another pair at her ENT office and didn’t really care for them.
She’s had a few adjustments and some programming and they have been prompt, professional, she’s happy and frankly, they have absolutely changed her life (and mine)
We don’t see a lot of mention here about these aids but we could’t be happier.
Thanks Joe and everyone else…
I pick up Zerena’s next week, and post how they are for me.
Im going to ask her why she picked these over all the options in the store (Costco)…
And CLEOCAT: having bright colors and dragons on a HA? Im trying to hide them! Your must be very young.
Barb, since the Costco audi knows more than we do she trusted his recommendation I have read where some audi’s push aids they have had success with and I was concerned this was one of those cases. I’ve been back to Costco with here a number of times and I’ve seen her audi talking to other clients of his that have other aids than the Zerena.
and another question is.
I assume Costco audis are either employees or contracted out . I dont think they get a commission for hearings aids they sell , but is there any incentive to sell one aid over another? Like maybe they get "points’ and those points have some sort of value to the audi or to Costco?
The only thing I’ve heard is that they keep track of their number of returns, but even that’s just rumor.
Barb! I’m so happy for you, and I hope to hear that all goes well for you. Do you have them yet? I have my fitting appointment at noon today. I will give a progress report soon.
Ah – I just saw your more recent post about getting them next week.
@gremlinperson: You can edit and/or delete posts very easily. The little line of grey-ish icons in the lower right of your post has a couple icons. One is a pencil that lets you edit your post. The other is 3 dots that expands to show a little garbage can where you can delete your post.
If you like
Barb123, when considering Costco or any other retail outlet, you need to remember any employee under their roof is there to sell things.
Go to an ENT doctor who does not sell hearing aids. Determine if your hearing loss is just age, or something else. If your insurance covers it, see if you can get that ENT specialist to get you an MRI.
If you’re just a nice grandma who’s hearing has worsened over time, it’s likely you could be helped by relatively inexpensive hearing aids.
If on the other hand, you’re a nice grandma who also happens to be a retired USMC Gunnery Sergeant, then you likely have other issues.
Learn about hearing, hearing loss, hearing aids, and their capabilities and limitations. I don’t hear what you hear, so there is no way I or anyone else can tell you what you need.
I’d disagree on a couple of things but agree on others. My wife to Costco to get a hearing test and was told her hearing was fine. When I went, there was no push to buy. I think one runs into a lot of variety. An ENT doctor may not know a whole lot about hearing and hearing aids, so advice might not be current. I personally think pushing for a MRI is wasteful. An audiologist will suggest one if something suspicious is noted and a hearing aid fitter (at least at Costco) likely has a list of things that they know to suggest you see somebody else.
I do agree that we’re all different and just toughing it out isn’t going to work for everybody. I remember being exhausted the first few days I started wearing hearing aids, but it did eventually get better. Having good self awareness helps a great deal. By that I mean knowing how you work and what approaches have worked well with you in the past is very helpful. I agree that some people are not helped by hearing aids. I think this would be fairly common for people who are very sensitive to loud noises. If there’s a very narrow range between audible and comfortable, it’s going to be very challenging to adjust to hearing aids.
Yes, that’s been my experience. The fitter at Costco saw an air-bone gap and told me I’d have to see an ENT before they could fit me with anything, in case there was something that could be fixed with surgery. The ENT ordered an X-ray and found nothing fixable and cleared me for an HA. So I’m going back to Costco for an HA.
I also had something like that. The first test I had he said that maybe things should be looked at before proceeding. Did that and the ENT said something like whatever we might do would not be worth the risk for the minimal gain. So off I went to get HA’s (not from the first guy).
Will let you knowv Greimlin
I went to and ENT office and was directed to the audiologist within the practice. They do sell the hearing aids… I actually took my results to Costco and they fitted me based on the results from ENT office.
I don’t think the audi at costco gets a “commission” for what she recommends or sells, but there is some sort of compensation back to Costco or hearing department … maybe it’s points… something. Anyone know for sure how it works at Costco?
And by the way, see my exchange with Costco Audi
I asked how she picked the Zerenas fir me out of all the product she had:
We base our decision on the results of your test, meaning the severity of your loss, the shape of your loss, and your word scores. As well as your everyday life style. the Bernafon is a sister company of Otocon and are the closest to the Otocon OPN 1.
The Otocon and the Bernafon use the same app.
I hope that helps”
It is an interesting point about how sister companies use the same stuff. Since I stream my 2 way for the 12 hours I am at work, I had to have a 2nd streamer. I picked up one from eBay. It had the Cochlear branding, but is the same thing as Resound.
Oticon and Signia evidently share the same plastic frame for their streamers, but have their own internals so that they aren’t compatible with one another.
This is the second time I’ve heard this and the two streamers look nothing alike. The Oticon has buttons on the front and the Signia has buttons on the side, and the cases are different sizes.