Kirkland 8.0 Hearing Aids Ordered

costco
#1

It is time to upgrade my 10 year old Siemens Motion 700s. My hearing loss is becoming more severe as I age and the old Siemens just were not cutting it. I contacted a local hearing aid dispensor in Windsor and trialed a pair of Widex Evoke 440s and had to make a decision to purchase in 14 days. While the Widex aids did improve my hearing they did a lot of strange thing connectivity wise. I also felt pressured by the audiologist and the 7000 dollar price tag made me proceed with caution. I ended up returning them primarily due to the cost although I liked the overall improvement and loved the bluetooth function, even if it was somewhat quirky. I also questioned the “service fee, dispensing fee and shipping fee” that made up almost 2500 dollars of the total price. She said that they were just being up front about the cost. Regardless that is a lot of money for fees especially since they are already making a healthy profit on the hearing aids themselves. The hearing test for the trial only lasted about five minutes which I thought was pretty short. I did have a more in depth hearing test done a year ago so she may have been relying on the results of that test.

The other issue was service on the aids since we spend six months of the year in the US. I would have had to ship the devices back to Canada for repair.

I ended up doing a bunch of research on this forum and others and decided to make the two hour trip to Costco in London, Ontario. Wow. The hearing test was in depth and completed by an Audiologist. No “fees” and the Kirlands came to a total of $2150. I also orded the SmartMic. The “loss” warranty was the same and the device warranty was a year less than the local clinic. All that at about a third the cost of the local hearing clinic. With the ADP funding 1000 dollars and my private insurance payout of 500, I will be out of pocket just over 700 compared to 5500 at the local clinic. I just need to wait three weeks for the aids to come in. And any Costco in Canada or the US will service them. There is a Costco Hearing Center a short drive from where we spend the winters. So far the Costco experience was very positive. Hopefully the Kirklands will work out for me as they have for many of the folks on this forum.

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#2

I use them and I think you will do just fine with your loss. I have some issues in my left ear which I am now attributing to feedback due to leakage around the click sleeves. I am now waiting for delivery of some custom silicone molds, and hope that will address the feedback.

I have a friend who snowbirds in Arizona and he has had no trouble getting service in the US for his Kirkland 7.0 aids. I think you made a good choice. Some fitting tips:

Ask them to do the feedback critical gain test to see if feedback may be an issue for you.

Ask them to do the REM fitting at soft, normal, and loud sound levels.

I would start with the vented click sleeves, and if you have feedback issue, then try the closed sleeves. If that fails then the custom molds are the next choice.

Ask them to do the Own Voice Programming. It helps with the sound of your own voice and it also give information to the HA’s that you are engaged in conversation so it can adjust automatically to that mode.

If you have a choice go with the iPhone for control of the HA’s. It gives you more control, and allows for direct streaming of phone calls and phone audio media to your ears.

Hope that helps some.

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#3

Hello…is that a thing? Is that just for the 8’s? I have the 7’s. I don’t remember seeing that in Connexx. 'Course I don’t have a REM machine either :slight_smile:
Or is it for all HA’s?
@MDB: Do you know if this is something for the 7’s as well?

I really struggle with soft speech.

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#4

Thanks for the tips. Really appreciated. I do have an iPhone.

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#5

It’s feasible, but not the way my Costco does “REM.” Mine considers it good if the 65 db (normal) is within about plus or minus 10db. However, you could tell them that you have issues with soft speech and ask if they could increase soft sounds.

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#6

Thanks
I’ve dabbled around with the soft sounds settings in Connexx but I didn’t perceive any real difference. Maybe I didn’t test well enough. So that’s why this REM idea twigged.

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#7

I may be imagining it, but I thought they did the REM at all three levels. I do know they adjust to the target in real time and keep rerunning the REM. So what I may be hearing is just the adjustments in the mid range sound level.

Connexx does have an option to do the actual REM test automatically, but our Costco is not set up to use it. The fitter uses the REM hardware and software (Aurical) to do the display and adjustment.

However for sure you can adjust the gain in each of the 20 bands (KS*) for soft, normal, and loud sound levels. That would be a manual adjustment of compression.

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#8

Good to hear! I’m contemplating getting the KS8’s too. I have the KS03 or KS04. Probably about 8+ years old and don’t think they cut it anymore even with constant tweaking.

Do you think it’s better to get the KS8’s or perhaps wait for when the KS9’s May ever come out?

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#9

One audiologist I saw for awhile said increasing soft sounds in the 2000 hz range can really help soft speech.

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#10

My original plan was to wait for the KS9’s but after I got my hearing test results, I decided not to wait. It is hard to guess what Costco is going to do. The KS8’s are essentially the best HA’s that Signia/Rexton has to offer to the Costco standard which appears to be without tinnitus masking and rechargeable. And, unless I have missed it, Signia has not announced anything new, so it seems if Costco sticks to their program of progressively offering more for less $$, it would seem they have to change suppliers. Others are suggesting it may be a Costco version of the ReSound Quattro. On a quick look that does not seem to be an obvious step up in features, so the main attraction may be price if Costco can negotiate a lower one than the KS8.

One possibility may be to wait until the details of the KS9 become public along with the price, and then buy the KS8 or KS9 depending on what you see. There may be a window where they are both available?

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#11

I also considered waiting for the KS9 version. However any enhancements over the KS8 would likely be minor. I don’t want the rechargeable ability and the KS8s have had good reviews. If history is any indication the price difference will only be about a hundred bucks. I figured no sense waiting. Besides I have 90 days to return the KS8s in the event that the next model is a huge step up, assuming that the KS9 comes out this summer.

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#12

My main reason for waiting is that I hope the KS9s will be compatible with Android. I am an Apple Mac fan but have always preferred Android phones and wish to stick with them.

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#13

I have single handedly made Apple rich over the years. Currently we have two iPads, two iPhones and two Macs between my wife and I. However since you do have an Android phone that is a good reason to wait. I really liked the interface between my iPhone and the Widex Evokes that I trialed a few weeks ago. Imagine that the KS8 will be similar.

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#14

The Kirkland/Rexton Smart Direct app is essentially identical to the Signia myControl app. A few terminology differences, but same function. There is a brief description as to what the MFi interface looks like. You pair independently to the iPhone with the MFi Accessability menu and with the Smart Direct App. The MFi connection seems to be much more reliable than the Smart Direct connection. I believe they both use BLE protocol, but I almost never have to repair with the MFi, but frequently with the Smart Direct.

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#15

I thought of a couple more things to get the most out of your initial fitting appointment.

Download the Smart Direct app for your iPhone before you go. There should be no problem pairing it with the HA’s but if you bring it with you it can be checked in the fitting session if you have the app installed.

Have a look at the KS8 Quick Start Guide that you can get at this link. Here is a snip of the section of interest. Everyone’s needs are specific, but here is what I have selected as options for my on aid buttons, and for programs - highlighted in yellow. On the Music one there is three choices; Live Music, Music Performer, and Listening to Recorded Music. I pick the recorded music one. It strips out most of the noise management options.

They may try to put you off selecting programs right away, but it only takes them a few mouse clicks to set up the ones you want if you have a list. One thing to note is that Reverb Reducer is not included in the Automatic or any of the other programs. If you anticipate being in reverberant environments you may want to include that one. I would suggest the Outdoors and XPhone are the least useful ones and good candidates to ditch if you want Reverb or one of the other ones.

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#16

My wife and I are avid nature photographers so “Outdoors” might be useful. Do you know what the parameters are for that program?

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#17

The audiologist at Costco had me take the ADP application to my physician. Basically it says that the doc has personally assessed my hearing loss. Since he has no objective way of doing that he indicated that he was going by the Costco audiogram. Not sure why he would have to sign off when there is a section for the audiologist to sign it. C

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#18

In Outdoors/Traffic the Noise Reduction is put in manual and set to Mild. Wind Noise reduction is set to max. The HD directionality function is shut off, and the microphone put in manual iOmni mode. Best bet is to try it and see how it compares to Automatic. It may help for bird watching where you are listening for them.

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#19

The Outdoor program can also be a good place to play around with frequency lowering. When I was trying to optimize my settings I would put more agressive settings in the Outdoor program and see what I thought before changing my auto program.

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#20

Thanks. I printed it up, marked my selections and will take it with me for the fitting. C

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