I currently wear a pair of Bernafon Chronos 9 Nano Rite hearing aids purchased from Costco. The aids are now 8 years old, and although they still work well, my recent hearing test showed a bit more hearing loss (updated audiogram is in my profile.) That, plus the age of my present hearing aids have me looking at buying a new pair.
Eight years ago, I was fit with the Bernafons to address my mild high frequency hearing loss at the time, which was only in the 6k & 8k frequencies at around 40db loss in both ears. Many people probably wouldn’t have bought aids with that loss, but I am a musician, and hearing the best I can at all frequencies is important to me. The aids also help me hear high frequency consonants better.
My default program with my Bernafons is the “Live Music Plus” program, which is great with music as well as speech in most cases. That program doesn’t work well in noisy situations, so I use a “speech in noise” program, which is OK but not great.
Anyway, since Costco no longer sells the Bernafon brand per se, I’ve studied hearing aid data sheets and have narrowed my choices to either the Philips HearLink 9010 (a rebranded Bernafon of some type) or the Kirkland KS9 (a rebranded Phonak Audeo Marvel, minus a few features). Both seem to have good high-frequency response.
I’m not interested in any kind of connectivity or Bluetooth, as I don’t even own a cell phone (!). I have two hopes: First, to have a music program that is as close to normal hearing as possible that could also help with speech, considering my hearing impairment; and second, to have an effective “speech in noise” program.
My dilemma: The Philips are $2,500 a pair, while the KS9 cost a thousand dollars less at $1,500. I’m willing to pay more for the Philips if they are truly worth $1,000 more than the KS9. But are they?
Which would you choose? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.