My husband is currently wearing Phonak Audeo S Smart V hearing aids that he got in 2009. We’ve repaired them a number of times, but they’re pretty much done for at this point. We could really use some advice on comparable replacement hearing aids for him. He has a severe-profound hearing loss. See his audiogram attached here. Our budget is pretty tight right now and insurance will not pay for hearing aids, so we’re considering off-brands, Sam’s Club, Costco, etc., but can make it work somehow if off-brands just aren’t going to cut if for his hearing loss.
That is a pretty significant loss. Probably the best value in hearing aids is the Costco KS9 for $1500 a pair. They are much like the Phonak Marvel at a much lower price. Will they be suitable for the loss?? Not sure, but it would cost very little to do a trial. Audiogram is free with a membership, and they should give you a loaner pair to at least try around the store. Return policy is excellent if you decide they are no good.
Thank you! The Marvels would be the newest version of what hubby already has, correct? Is there a way to compare the differences, look up stats? I’ve had such a hard time trying to find info to compare what we have now and what’s out there, but I’m definitely a newb at this. Despite having such a severe hearing loss, hubby wasn’t wearing any hearing aids when I met him! So he’s a newb at this too!
I believe the Marvel is the most advanced Phonak Receiver in Canal (RIC) type hearing aid. Here is some info I found on the Audeo S Smart V.
The Marvel’s main claim to fame is being able to wirelessly connect to an iPhone or an Android, with no intermediary hardware device. Here is some information on it.
My understanding is that the Costco version would be closest to the M-312 model, M90 premium level, but without any tinnitus masking, without telcoil, and not rechargeable of course with the 312 battery. There is a long thread here on the Costco KS9 which probably has more detail in it, but is a long read!
You should check on the power level available in the Costco model. That might be an issue.
Here’s a thought. www.ziphearing.com. 1-877-785-2388. Give them a call. The new Phonak Marvels are far better than Costco’s although more expensive. The latest software upgrade is beyond description. IMHO the extra cost is well worth it. Good Luck.
Welcome the forum. I hope you find a viable solution to your husband’s hearing loss. I am a firm believer that with enough time and research, most people can significantly reduce their medical costs. The fact that you have found hearingtracker,com indicates to me, you are one of the smarter consumers.
I use Costco as my standard for comparison, simply because I have had a membership for years and my mother has had a positive experience with Costco.
If you choose to try Costco and you are not happy, not only can you return the hearing aids, within their return window, you can have your membership fee refunded. It is about as risk free as possible.
I think the advice you receive here is given by concerned members of the forum. Most members have no agenda, they merely want to help. If you go to Costco, Sams or anywhere else, listen to what the dispenser is advising. If it sounds unreasonable, ask questions. Members of the forum can only base our advice upon our experience and what we research, read and hear from others. The dispenser might fit hundreds of aids a month. They gain an insight that we will never have.
Make sure the fitter knows your husbands needs and expectations. It might avoid some unnecessary trials.
Hearing aids are an investment in our well being. I hope you find something suitable for your husband. Please keep us informed as you pursue this goal.
I’m in love with that audiogram. I don’t see many people doing perceived loudness curves like that.
The fit is more important than the device. If you can find a provider with great service who follows preferred practice, I’m sure they can work with you to meet your budget. Just tell them what your budget IS.
Thank you so much for the suggestion! We’ll definitely give them a look!
This forum has already been so helpful, yes! Great advice, thank you!
We loved that audiologist! He helped us through many repairs. Unfortunately we’ve moved across the country!
Hi, I am in a situation that sounds just like your husband. I also tried the same path you are considering and found that it is a waste of time if a person has profound hearing loss. I tried Sams Club, then the Resound from Costco. Neither would work for me. The Resound was much better than the Sams Club aid, but I yet struggled in so many social situations it was just unacceptable. I don’t know how others have found Beltone as a viable answer to their hearing problem, but that is who I worked with. I got the Legend 17 and they work much better than either the Sams Club or the Costco Resound. The downside is they are $8,999, but there is a $2,500 price reduction due to the technology “supposedly” being a year old. Not sure about that one, and I don’t care if the tech is new or a year old, as long as I can hear. My loss is so profound I can turn the tv up as loud as it will go and with my aids out, nothing. Total silence. I wish you well in finding something that will help.
As a Costco KS8 owner, I would certainly give Costco a shot. Like another contributor mentioned, you have nothing to lose. Before going to Costco, I went to an independent audi who fitted me with a trial pair of Opn1 which I was allowed to use for 2 weeks. Very nice aids. But the $6000 price tag made me do some comparison shopping. Went to Sam’s and unlike Costco, Sam’s hearing centers are not a Sam’s Club product but rather it’s an independent vendor with a desk and sound booth tucked away in a back corner. Plus the prices weren’t that great. At Costco, the hearing center is a Costco service so you get all the protections and benefits Costco offers. The actual hearing test was more comprehensive then what I got at the independent audi, the KS8’s were $4500 cheaper, I had 6 months to return them and follow up exams/fine tuning are no charge. And by the way, I specifically joined Costco just for the hearing aid service as the closet Costco is further away (I actually drive past two Sam’s to get to Costco).
You have nothing the lose by trying Costco and lots of money to keep if they are able to treat your husbands hearing loss.
Your husbands hearing loss is not far from my own. Your husbands loss would probably do well with a good frequency lowering software. Most hearing aid manufacturers have this frequency lowering but Phonak’s Sound Recover 2 is one of the best. If your husband can actually hear in is upper frequency profound hearing loss zones he would need a super power aid. If he can not hear in those profound frequencies lower powered aids with good frequency lowering may just be what he needs. The KS9 aids at Costco may be right for him. I trialed them and they worked well for me.
How he deals with TV, phone calls and other electronic devices would help in deciding which hearing aids are best for him. Everyone is different.
I agree, frequency lowering for sloping hearing loss. I know it sounds strange, but it “sounds” normal, except you hear things. All the brands have it but I’m familiar with Phonak’s version, which is awesome!
Did you know hummingbirds make a little chirp-chirp sound when they are mad? Now I know this.
New features to look at, and ask for:
- Soft sounds, medium sounds, and loud sounds each have their own loudness settings, so you can turn up soft voices without blowing out loud sounds.
- Noise blocking is very much improved, plus there are also directional programs so your hearing aids can really focus in on what you want to hear.
- Feedback control is so improved that feedback need not be an issue any more.
- Phonak Autosense is an environment analyzer that figures out what the sound landscape is, and changes to a setting/program for that environment (noise, calm, music, car, etc.)