Need advice about Philips or KS9 hearing aids at Costco

I have had two hearing tests with high hearing loss in left ear. 40% left 80% left. Trouble hearing women’s voices, high tones, and word recognition. Went to Costco because of cost, warranty, and unlimited service. My concern is they wanted to fit me with the Philips HearLink 90 or their Kirkland 9.0 $2500 Philips and $1500 Kirkland. My problem is they are locked. Are these good hearing aid? Are Philips Hearlink 9010 a good aid? Would I be ahead to go with someone where the aid is unlocked and a brand like Phonack or Motorala mid line like the 50 for $500 more and less warrant or go too brand like Marvel 80 for $1000-1500 more? All help appreciated.


Welcome to the forum.
The Costco KS9 aids are not locked. I have not heard if the Phillips aids are locked or not.
Many members have the KS9 aids and are happy with them. Not all but most.

Both these KS9 and Phillips aids are good aids. Both should help you hear better.

Good luck

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Pretty sure the Phillips aids are locked. Yes, I commented on this video and Dr. Cliff corrected himself and said Costco’s Phillips and Resound aids are locked. I agree that their Rexton and Phonak aids (including KS9) are not locked. Dr Cliff's new Costco video

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Get the KS9. They are not locked. They should serve you fine, but you’ve got 6 months to learn about hearing aids and decide if you want something different. If you decide you want to spend more money somewhere else, you can return them and do whatever you want.


I have the KS9s picked them up Nov 1 2019. Here is one link to info on them, I seem to recall a much longer review but I could not find it just now (I tend to be technically challenged) Kirkland Signature (Costco) 9.0 Hearing Aid | Product Info, Reviews, Prices, and Videos

Like you, I have my hearing test report as part of my profile. I asked on here for what things to think about / ask for based on my report. Folks advised I get a P receiver for my left ear (and they explained why) and an S receiver for my right ear. And small vent domes. I gathered up the info and was able to have a very good meeting with the audiologist at CostCo, got things set up as suggested on here. I encourage you to keep asking questions and gather info, the folks on here are wonderful sharing their expertise. And it means you get the best fit possible. Oh, you may still need follow ups for the fine tuning, that is true for all. But it means you get the best set up for your trial period, and don’t have to waste time getting the basic set up right. Good luck!


Looking at your left ear 50% word recognition you might have a bit of a tuff time acclimating to aids. What could happen is lots of new sounds that ear hasn’t heard in a while. This might or might not be uncomfortable for some time while getting used to your new aids but hang in there and it will get better.

My wife ended up with the KS9 aids after a long trial of Starkey’s top of the line aids. She has really done well with these Costco KS9 aids, her first hearing aids.

I have an appointment with an audiologist Friday to go over my hearing test and recommend aids. They sell Unitron brand and he said they are $2800 - $5000. I can’t afford the high ended version. $3000 is my limit. My problem is I have also been tested at Costco for Resound Preza, Phillips 9010 for $2500, Kirkland 9.0 $1500-5 year replacement, free loss 3yr, unlimited adjustments- 6 month trial. The audiologist is 3 yr warranty, 3 yr loss @$400 each loss, 2 week trial, free adjustments, I am lost which way to go. Costco cheaper @ least $300, 2 yrs more warranty, longer trial period but fitted by an experienced certified specialist vs a audiologist. I am a first time buyer and no nothing about the brands offered. I have to believe the audiologist Unitron will be low to mid grade at starting price $2800. I am told Costco is mid-premium grade but some say the will be last year models. I do not know. I simply want a good aid where I can understand my wife and the words she is saying and keep my marriage. :-). Please offer any and all the advice you can. Thank you.

Nobody can make the decision but you. It depends on your priorities. Any of the hearing aids you mentioned should be able to do the job. What are your priorities? If money is an issue, Costco is the obvious choice. If you’re super wowed by the audiologist and convince they’ll do a better job, it’s reasonable to go that way. For equal or lesser money, Costco’s will be the better hearing aids and MIGHT do better in noisy situations than the entry level Unitron hearing aid. More important is the individual fitting the hearing aids. Just because somebody is an audiologist does not guarantee that they are good at their job.


If cost is a concern, why not try the KS9s for the 6-month period Costco gives with full price refund for any reason? If you’re not happy, return them and try the Phillips. I have the KS9s. It was an easy choice since they work with an Android phone with no intermediate device and the Phillips don’t.

Other than on cost and trial period, I can’t give objective advice. I’m so in love with my KS9s I’m just not reasonable.


I had the original Phonak Brio from Costco (had one earlier trip to an audiologist and the price was much higher, as you know, so Costco it was, great value!) Was very happy with them but lost them last year and had to do something else. I took the KS9 (Phonak), while waiting for the updated Brio to come out which didn’t appear in the time frame I needed them. I was having a lot of trouble still hearing with the KS9 vs. my earlier experience with the original Brio, driving me crazy! I thought “SURE” that the Philips would be the answer to my prayers after trying several adjustments to the KS9… guess what? Not the case, at least not for the difference in the price between them. My HA specialist at Costco knew I was struggling with this and I was able to have an extended demo in my own surroundings and the difference was not that big.

What did make a difference? Finding the right adjustments to the KS9, which I am keeping. I happened to find a new specialist in Costco one day shopping in there that did a quick adjustment for men’s voices (i.e., my husband standing right next to me and I couldn’t figure out what he was saying, sounded jumbled!) There is also a program to correct wind noises in the car, adjustments for noisy restaurants (which worked really well.) So I’m much happier now and can catch most of what is going on around me. I also have them set to about 80% of the target on the computer program, as that was a huge issue. I’ve been in hearing aids for about 4 years now and at the higher levels, everything sounds hugely overdone and loud and I’m after the most natural sound possible. Your brain takes at least 30 days to adjust to the new aids, but even so, dishes clanking, water running, etc. were like nails on a chalkboard to me and I made the Costco person adjust accordingly. (Even called Phonak customer service about this and was told that even though the program says “X”, you need to do what’s comfortable to you and not everyone “needs” to go to “X” if it’s driving you crazy!) I can always make them louder if the situation calls for it or go higher on the program on another visit, but I’m in a much happier zone now!

The point is that you’ll need to do a little work to get them to where you want them, no matter how much you’re going to spend. The KS9 and the Philips are both great hearing aids – the Philips processing profile is supposed to be more of a 360-degree sound, which some people notice more than others. I have an Android phone so the KS9 works well with my phone, which the Philips would not. It also seemed that the KS9 had the edge as to a slightly more natural sound, in how they process things.

Sorry to be so long-winded! Hope some of that helps you. I agree with tribalrose above, you have 6 months to try them and tweak them to your liking with Costco and you can’t beat the price. I hope you can find a good specialist there that will listen to your needs and adjust accordingly but it’s a long trial period and you’ll have lots of time to work with them and make adjustments. Good luck!

p.s. the “new” Brio finally came out and I was discouraged by several of the specialists there about them, as they were not like my old ones – thicker body style, behind the ear vs. receiver in canal and I forgot what other changes were made. The KS9’s are closer to the original Brio in size, look and function.

So did you try the Brio new model and are they worth the $1000 extra over the K9? You would recommend the K9 over the Phillips Hearlink for the money? What about the Resound Prez? Definitely going Costco but not sure what HA is best for my 30-80mhz range what poor word understanding and trouble hearing high pitched and women’s voices.

Costco aids are not mid level or last year’s tech. tech.


Any chance you have military service?

Great. Thanks people can not believe what they read in reviews

No I am not military. Retired

@rkennedy1945 go with the one who does real ear measurement as a verification of fitting.

Check my posts from today where I explained it. Why it’s so awesome and helpful.

It saves tremendous amount of time and energy on your side, because it needs just a few sessions. Even first one is really good if you have common loss type. Your audiogram looks like common one.

And also, if both of them do REM, then you can do fair trial on both.

Costco often does REM, I think it can depend on branch though. Check.

If both don’t offer, check Youtube dr cliff aud and his website, he has a information about providers who do best practice, REM is just one step in the process. Maybe there’s someone nearby.

And I think I’ve read somewhere that trial in USA should be at least 30 days, check that out. This 2 weeks look like putting a pressure to decide.

And remember it’s your money and you can walk away and also you can return later. Don’t be pushed into it, jump by yourself :smiley:

Costco does real-time and have a 6 months trial period. Thanks for your response.

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I don’t believe the Philips hearing aids are locked. You can download the “Hearsuite” fitting software from their “Professionals” website. That program also does REM verification.


I called and they confirmed all their phones are locked

Welcome to the forum, rkennedy! There are lots of great advisors here!

Are you referring to Costco’s phones or their hearing aids? I’m not sure their hearing aids are locked, so if I were you I would double check that. I realize that you called Costco, but there is lots of incorrect information out there about Costco, partly because they are offering fair prices and services for hearing aids for the first time, compared to other providers. If the ones you want are locked, are you concerned you might want to get service elsewhere?

Costco’s 6 month trial is hard to beat, and their fitters tend to be experienced and knowledgeable. The audiologist from whom I bought my hearing aids offered a 2 week trial, which is not enough time to try new hearing aids, even when you have been wearing them for years, as I have been. I bought from him anyway, and spent much more than I needed to.

If you are purchasing hearing aids for the first time, I think it’s good to have a long trial period, since you may need to work closely with your fitter to adjust to the sound of hearing aids. Many people on the forum agree that it’s how you work with your professional, and their skills, that are important rather then whether they are an audiologist or a hearing instrument specialist (HIS). I did not buy my last hearing aids from Costco, but from a private audiologist who agreed to match the price I got from an internet seller. It has been nothing but a hassle, and I will buy from Costco next time.