Looks like you’ve got lots of good advice so far. I’ve heard good things about Costco, but haven’t used them yet. One thing I did hear, and don’t know if it’s true, is they are usually distributing the previous iteration of any model that might be new on the market. For example, when the first direct to iPhone aids came out, it took Costco about a 6 months to a year to start selling them, so what you hear from your audiologist about available technology, and what’s available at Costco might not always be in sync.
The other thing to be careful of is some retail chains are fronts for a particular company. For example, in Canada, Hear Canada (I believe it’s Hear USA south of the border) is a retail arm for Signia/Siemens. My audiologists clinic just got bought by Hear Canada, and having a fairly long relationship with her, she gave me the low down. They have strong incentives to sell Signia product. In Canada, every registered audiologist has to provide a patient with any device the patient wants, but these clinics make it hard to choose something else. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, just something to be aware of if an audiologist seems to be pushing a particular brand. To my knowledge, most, if not all of the major manufacturers have a national chain that they push their products through. A good run down is here: U.S. Hearing Aid Market| Wayne Staab |hearinghealthmatters.org/waynesworld .
In my case it worked out. They recommended a Signia hearing aid, to replace my 5 year old Siemens aids. The gave a free two week trial, no money up front, and one of their top of the line models Signia Pure 13 BT 7px was on sale for half price, which made it cheaper than the model a step down. The performance of these, in comparison to my previous is amazing, the connection to my iphone is amazing as well.
Also, totally agree with everyone saying to stay away from an audiologist that won’t give you a copy of your test result. Totally shady.