KS9 or Philips HearLink: Which is better for my hearing loss?

I have trailed both ( I currently have loner Philips) and when I look at the spec sheet on them can’t tell which would be a better fit long term. Both use # 2 receiver. Each have plus and minuses. No need to tv, phone, remote devices just need straight hearing aid for voice. K9,s seem to have a low level of a hiss maybe floor noise. Fitter did not seem confident he could get it out. The 9010 seem to change to sound changes a lot depending on the amount of noise it receives. Just trying to figure out best device for my hearing loss. I think the other issues should be able to be solved with proper fitting. The fitter does not prefer Philip’s said it took more time to program, so he tries minor adjustments to program before I arrive.
Costco is not steering me to any specific brand currently have K7’s

The hard truth is which ever sounds best to you and allows you the hear the best

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What are you trying to improve upon compared to your KS7s? If nothing in particular, or if neither replacement accomplishes that, stick with the KS7s until something better comes along, or the KS7s break.

I would think either one would be ok for fit. Unless you go to frequency compression of the highs you probably need a P receiver. Not sure what a #2 receiver is, but if it is like a Rexton M receiver it is probably not quite powerfrul enough for your left ear. Phillips and the K9 both should have a P equivalent. There may be some differences between the brands including the Rexton Adore Li that Costco has in how they handle frequency compression. The K7 is a Rexton aid like the Adore, except that the Adore is rechargeable, and it has the next generation of technology like Own Voice Processing, and the 3D classifier. OVP can make the closed fitting that you should have feel more comfortable. The 3D classifier however needs a smart phone with a motion sensor to be fully effective as it uses inputs from the phone to make it functional. The very latest Signia product the X version has a built in motion sensor, but I don’t think Costco offer it.

3 objectives

  1. improve hearing my wife. loose a few words and refer to saying huh didn’t hear you.
  2. looking for something better/faster processing, hearing in noisy area, in car etc. thought newer might have improved over k7’s
  3. last year to limit hearing aid cost to $1200. retirement benefit I pay the 1st 1200 they pay up to 5000. wanted to stay with Costco due to ease of appointment extra freebees from time to time sample batteries beside domes and cleaning. Then they seem to do all they can to accommodate me. I’ve been known to come back an hour after appointment and have them adjusted again. Even give me loners to try at home for weeks at a time. I never been charges for anything not even receiver upgrade. don’t no what #2 rec. is either but stamped on my Philip loner. Just if buying get the best /reliable/ aid for my loss I look at the spec but fail to grasp the relationship to my hearing. If there is little differences from the K7’s I can ask for a p receiver and move on. The 7’s are only 6 months old were replace after they could not be fixed mgr. request new ones be sent.

I can think of a few options:

Stay with KS7 - This is essentially no cost. If you don’t want to try frequency compression, which I think might help you with your wife’s voice hearing, then I would ask for a P receiver especially for your left ear (if you don’t have it already). I believe the KS7 can do frequency compression, but it may not be the best at it. If my memory serves (and often it does not!), @MDB has KS7 aids and uses frequency lowering. I would certainly defer to his opinion on how much benefit there may be for your loss. I have KS8’s and do not use it. I believe it is a both ears or no ears decision. In my case I want to not use it for my right ear, even though it might benefit my left. In your case it may benefit both, but I see that the Rexton software does not default to recommend it. The image below is what it would do, if you forced it to do it. This is a simple request to Costco, and would be easy to try. They just turn it on. From what I know, no need to redo REM, just turn it on.

I have a friend that had KS7’s and had all kinds of volume dropout issues, that never got resolved. About 6 months ago they agreed to replace them with KS8’s (very similar to the Rexton Adore Li). He says they are much better than the KS7 for hearing in noise, but obviously only a testimonial kind of thing. I think I already gave you info on what the difference is in the two generations of Rexton/Signia aids.

Go with New Aid - First off, if you have to pay the first $1200, and insurance pays the next $5000 you may as well go for the best you can get. I don’t think there is any way you could spend $6200 on aids at Costco. However, if you went somewhere else – then quite possible. At Costco I would consider the Phillips (as you are), the KS9’s even though they would go the lightest on your insurance company, and the Rexton Adore Li. The KS8’s are gone, and the Li version is rechargeable. My gut feel is that the Adore Li may have advantages over the Phillips, but that is just an opinion without a lot of research. For sure I would consider the ReSound Preza. It may be quite similar to the very credible ReSound Quattro, but you would have to do some detailed checking to be sure. My fitter at Costco tells me that the ReSound aids have the best phone app, for what that is worth.

Hope that helps some. My thoughts would be to try the frequency compression on the K7’s first and if that does not help, then move on to trying the other choices for new aids.

My take is that if you want something to be able to hear better in noise, I’d go with a good auxillary microphone. So, if you stick with Costco, that would mean getting a Resound Preza and a MultiMic. That setup will allow for a notably better signal to noise ratio than hearing aids alone. If you’re game to go outside of Costco (and your great insurance looks like that is feasible), I’d look into Phonak Marvel and a Roger Select microphone.
You might benefit from frequency compression (yes KS7s have it) but from my experience it takes tweaking and time to adjust to.

Thanks for the replies, both MDB & Sierra always give the most detailed and personal responses.
The decision needs to be made in about 20 days. If I do nothing and continue to try to improve the K7’s I’ll keep the 1200. If I hold out next Oct. new K10’s would only cost 300 or less with yearly price drops. I have been grateful for Costco to let me try each for extended time periods as long as 4 weeks that’s seem to be huge. Switching back and forth between 7’s with m rec. & in the others and have them tweaked in those trails I have not seen a greater advantages in my hearing even trying to convince myself there was new greater tech available. By noise I mean at stores in the mall, Walmart a casino etc. no phone issue carry on conversation a lot of time w/o aids in. Don’t wear aids when exercising. It look as if my expectation are greater than available tech buying into all the ad hype to get a fool to spend their money. Most advances seem to be in phone & remote devices not really looking for bells and whistle just improved hearing.
Thanks and Happy Holidays

In the noisy situations you mention, there’s a good chance a MultiMic (Resound) or Roger Pen or Select microphone worn around the neck of the person you want to talk to would help a lot. For use at a restaurant table, the Roger Select can “point” it’s microphones at the person talking when sitting on a table. The Roger stuff is very expensive tech–the MultiMic more affordable.

Both aids trialed are fine aids. The KS9 aids may be a better choice for hands free day in day out use when tuned properly due to their automatic controls but that is strictly an opinion. If you are happy with the KS7 aids why change.

What domes or molds have you used with these aids?
The gain needed in the higher frequencies compared to your lower frequencies is substantial.
The choice of receiver and acoustics could play a big part in speech recognition.

I was changing to try to get a better aid than the K7 before my benefits expired on aid purchase this will be the last time I will be able to use that offer not just this year but forever. As for Roger pen would be great if I lived in a Beaver Clever household mine is more like Ricky and Lucy. Been married 42 years my wife said she learn to be hardheaded from me. She does not want to wear it would rather contend with I can’t hear you than have arguments about criticism/gripes she might mumble under her breath. Some things are better not heard.
I am currently using 8 mm open domes ( fair to good hearing at lower levels to 4000) for K 7’s and Philips believe both are m receivers. I have tried every dome for 7’s except mold. The 8 closed were to small to be a closed dome and the 10’s felt like an ear plug but kept them on for 3 months trying to get use to them same issue with tulips and mainly in right ear. The mgr. thought the new aids might offer some better results but so far very little if any worth while gain. Reading other comments by what appears to be worse hearing than mine and they are having a better than slice bread results. That leads me to believe my expectations are off the chart. I had increased low level hum with the k9’s that went away when I remove the aid and back when I put them in

The Rexton software shows feedback problems with your loss, when using NAL-NL2 and open domes. I may have posted these before but here is what open domes look like. The top curve is the gain for soft sounds and goes into the red and blue feedback zones. My experience with the Rexton KS8’s is that you nee a significant margin from these computer simulated feedback zones. The computer seems optimistic in the relief you get.

I know you said you tried all the domes they have except molds, but have you tried closed sleeves? They tend to be more comfortable and provide better feedback protection. Here is what they look like:

They give you about 10 dB margin from the feedback zones and should be enough. What I am thinking is that the fitter has probably cut your gains back in the higher speech frequency range to avoid feedback when using the open domes. If you went to closed sleeves you could potentially get more gain and recover more of your speech loss in those frequencies. If you haven’t tried it, this may be a no cost option to improve your hearing with the existing K7’s. The sleeves come in 4 different sizes, and tend to be easier to find the right size and still be comfortable.

image

I tried sleeves a year ago mgr ran a test said she did not see improvement did not send me home for a trial did say if I can keep closed dome from being an issue in right ear she could improve setting but was as far as she could go with open dome for high freq. Was not sure about results with closed since issues When it’s a short time I can wear close or sleeves after about an hour or two I get a pressure feeling. The sleeve were black and I believe I was told they were not rexton but would fit guess it would not hurt to try again

The sleeves apparently were originally clear silicone and now are a smoky colour. Here is a link to an article about them.

Signia Click Sleeves for RIC fittings improve audiology and usability

According to Signia testing the gain you can get with the open sleeves is about the same as the closed double dome, about 6 dB better than open domes. The closed click sleeves are supposed to be about 12 dB better than open domes. These are averages however on 19 individuals tested, and it is the individual fit that counts of course. I find they are sensitive to fit and it pays to get the best fit. I asked for a range of three sizes and took them home and wore each for an extended period of time and then finally picked the small size.

Do you happen to remember which domes were on the KS9 aids you tried?
My wife’s hearing is not as bad as yours and she uses open domes with great results. When I tried the KS9 aids the fitter used P receivers with power (double) domes. My hearing is much worse than yours. The power domes actually did pretty good for me. The pressure or stuffed up feeling you feel with closed domes can probably be adjusted out with the occlusion control settings of the KS9 aids.
Have you considered using earmolds?
There is a thread on the Phillips aids from Costco. It is pretty thorough and many good things are said about them too.
Using this benefit you mentioned to get new aids would probably be a good idea due to failure issues you mentioned with the KS7 aids.

K9’s issue had that low level constant sound that fitter felt he could not eliminate. I was constant and very annoying and distracting not sure of cause but am sure it was from aid removed aid sound was gone replace aid noise was back tech’s lack of assurance it was fixable had me dismiss them. Domes were closed with one or two air holes was told it was the same as M but had no identification on receiver. If noise cannot be eliminate it’s a deal breaker at any cost I notice the full pressure feeling with the Philips also it also develops with time 3 hour or so. Don’t know what’s going on or if it just grates on my ear and after so long I have a reaction to it. And yes the $1200 is burning a hole in my pocket wanting to be spent but definitely need an improvement for 1200

Too bad wife refuses to wear microphone. Communication really is a 2 way street. I heard constant low frequency noise with both Phonak Marvel and Oticon OPN. I got used to it pretty quickly and would only notice it when I put them on. It was a bit more noticeable with the Oticons and remarkably they greatly lessened my tinnitus.

Your hearing loss with any open type domes could be the issue for that noise you have mentioned. The amount of gain needed due to your loss is pushing the receivers. This could be forcing the feedback manager to work extra hard. Just thinking out loud.
I haven’t put your audiogram in Target but you may also need P receivers.

My take it that it’s going to be very difficult to get anything useful out of the right ear from 4khz up. I’d focus on the left ear. If you’re not getting the high frequency with amplification, try frequency lowering. You could also try frequency lowering on both aids at different settings, but that might prove to sound odd.

K9’s tried for 3 agonizing weeks with closed domes the feedback or floor noise or??? was just to much to take was best guess m receiver since it was not stamped I could not identify it. I have been shying away from freq. lowering I heard from a few people how it was difficult at best to get use to unless absolutely needed. The fitter at Costco also confirmed many complaint when lowering. What could be expected from using a P receiver? I currently have K7’s open domes with no noise but it may be lowered so as not to get feedback. When I looked at the rem for 7’s it was set very close to the line on the chart but could be boosted with closed domes. I have a grasp on audio gram and fitting spec for 7’s
image at 3 hz nearing 100db that about the extent of understanding the charts.