Kirkland 8 vs Others: Sound Quality?


#1

My hearing loss is not all that bad and my use is primarily:

  • Restaurants with poor acoustics: having to lean forwards and cup both ears vs being able to sit back and understand almost everything with the Kirkland 8’s

  • Watching TV: Being able to set TV volume at a comfortable level for others in the room while BlueToothing into it with the Kirklands and getting the extra volume I need. … I use the Android app to set the profile to “XPhone”, turn up the volume a little, and accentuate the base a little.

  • Listening to music on my Phone via the SmartMic device.

So far, the Kirklands have been a big improvement over no hearing aids at all - and the service at the King of Prussia CostCo has been an 11 on a scale of 1-10.

But I have to wonder if I am missing anything.

The Question:
Has anybody moved from Kirikland 8’s to higher-priced aids and noticed a significant diff in sound quality (music being the main consideration)?


#2

I do not have any direct experience, but from reading on the forum, I’d say yes, people have moved from KS8s because they weren’t happy with and been satisfied with another hearing aid. Whether that had anything to do with the hearing aid (versus how they were set up), I have no idea.

Some ideas that come to mind. You don’t include your audiogram, but guessing from “loss is not all that bad,” I’ll assume you have fairly normal lower frequency hearing and a notable high frequency loss and are wearing open domes. For that setup, it will be impossible to have “good” sound quality. They will feel weak in the bass and the highs will seem way over accentuated. Things to consider: 1) Have a music program set up. It will likely sound better if you decrease the highs and add gain to the lower frequencies. 2) A likely much better solution for listening to music is to consider skipping the hearing aids entirely and use high quality earbuds or headphones. A compromise could be wearing headphones over the hearing aids. There are other possibilities and I don’t deny the possibility that different hearing aids could help (especially for live music).


#3

I moved from the KS8 to the Phonak Brio 3. I can’t say there is a difference in sound quality with any current aids. There are adjustments and things may sound slightly different depending on how they are set up, and everything is adjustable.

I do like the Phonak speech in noise processing a little better than the KS8. I got good results with the KS8 but felt like I was rigging it. I used the noise/party program for steady background noise and that was very effective on steady noise, but not on dynamic, unpredictable noise. For that I used the directionality, and that was effective. But I switched around a lot.

On the Phonak I use the main program that recognizes environments, then I have a speech in loud noise setting, then for a few circumstances I use the directionality program.

To summarize, if you are getting good results you are probably not missing anything. To put it on a number scale, all the current hearing aids are 80 to 85, then your pro and your adjustments get it to 90 to 95. So if your results are on the high end, your good.


#4

Please don’t let the KS8 price lead you to feel that they are of low quality. They are simply a steal of a deal.