Got lucky with a very good Costco hearing aid specialist with 30 years experience, very laid back and a good listener. He explained everything thoroughly, answered all my questions and did a good hearing test using insert earphones and included speech discrimination, bone conduction and in-situ audiometry. Interestingly, he used a Siemens testing program. When completed he went over the graphs with me, pointed out the components of male (500-1000) and female speech (2000-4000) frequencies (where I have the most trouble) and explained my speech discrimination test which he said was very good.
Are the bone conduction test results listed on the printout? Forgot to ask and don’t know what to look for it on my copy.
Then he opened up the Kirkland box and started pulling out stuff, explaining what came in the accessory kit. I politely interrupted and asked that with this ski-slope graph wouldn’t any of their hearing aids work. He said yes, so I requested Bernafon Veras BTE with Open Fit since I was interested in the ChannelFree technology, one of the newer models, either the 9 or 7, if he thought that would work.
After discussing why I wanted an open fit type he smiled and opened up the Bernafon box and brought out a teeny, tiny model 9. I was awestruck at the size of the BTE (or lack of size). He chose the Micro model which he thought would be very good for me. Then he popped on a 0.9 mm tubing, choose a size 10 dome and placed them in my ears. Awesome, couldn’t even feel them in place! Then he hooked them up to his Hi-Pro box with a single cable (boot not needed) and started the Oasis 11.5 software.
First he imported my audiogram into the software then did an In Situ audiometry to measure comfortable hearing threshold levels (CSL 70) and uncomfortable levels (USL 85). We went through the Life Style settings and I chose one of the four programs (Live Music). After all the basic settings he started manipulating the graph (gain changing). Each time he made a change, we waited 10 secs or so while it was transmitted to the aids, then we would talk and I would evaluate the results of the changes. Each tweak he made resulted in clearer sounds. After about 10 minutes I was satisfied and awestruck that I could clearly hear his voice and mine! How wonderful is a deep male voice
We then left the sound booth and he smiled at my excitement with all the new sounds I was hearing again (sounds of cart wheels, overhead fan, cash register). He showed me how to use the remote then told me to wander around the store for awhile while he did the paperwork. I played with the volume controls and the 4 programs. First one was auto program that would switch settings based on the environment. Second one was speech in noise. Third was TV/music. Fourth was their new Live Music program. I’m heavily into home theater and wanted to try this out so he swapped out the (T-coil) phone program for this one. Eventually I’ll keep just one of them and put the phone one back in.
Wandering around the store I just struck up conversations with people. Speech sounded so natural! I then went over to the TV section and played around there for awhile with programs 3 & 4. So much clearer than at home.
The only negative I found thus far is if I put my hands up close to my ears I get feedback that only stops when I move my hands away The specialist said that was due to the open fit and something he couldn’t adjust with the software.
I am so satisfied with these hearing aids and especially the hearing aid specialist. I was so sorry to have to return the demo ones to him. My aids will arrive next Tuesday, but waiting will be painful! I offered him an arm and a leg but he thought money would be enough
Breakdown is $1,299 each, $99 for the remote (I may upgrade to Sound Gate after I get used to the aids, not into BT yet). So with tax it was $2,705. It comes with a 3 year warranty, 2 years damage and/or loss (only 1 replacement/ear allowed), 90 day trial.
I do have a question. In the speech discrimination test, it has listed SRT Mask and WRS1 Mask. The WRS1 Mask was the one that listed my scores. What does this mean and what’s the difference between them? Anyone know?
I know this is a long post. I spent more than a week reading everything I could on this site and just wanted to give something back to the next newbie wondering what the experience of getting hearing aids was all about and my initial impresssions of the Veras 9.
I highly recommend this Costco hearing aid specialist to anyone located in the Bloomfield Hills, MI area.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this site and make it such an informative place to learn. I’ll update this after I get the aids. Hugs to all!