My father has a severe to profound hearing loss (since a few months before) and we are looking for the first hearing aids. We tried Bernafon Xtreme 120 and a Kirkland model (not the most powerful one due to no stock), without customized earmold, at Costco, but my father couldn’t tell what I were saying unless I speak very slowly and the distortion is quite significant. He did try a Siemens hearing aids at another place a few months ago and that roughly works for him, but isn’t Kirkland the same as Siemens? I was wondering if there is any hearing aids that can help. Thanks.
Thank you all for the info.
We went to an audiologist today and he did an audiogram and a speech recognition test (which we didn’t do at Costco). My father’s left ear is 60% recognition at 105 dB and right ear is 20% at 105 dB. The audiologist recommended Phonak S UP and Oticon Sumo (both are basic version), at a much higher price (+80%) than the Bernafon Xtreme and Kirkland Signature we saw at Costco. And there is about $400 restocking/service fee if we return the hearing aids within 45 days. Interestingly I was told that they charge the hearings aids not by brand, but by the level of technology: basic, middle and advanced. All brands at the same level are charged the same price. We didn’t get a chance to try the hearing aids as purchase is required first.
From what my visits to Costco and the audiologist, my understanding now is that every brand has a high power BTE plus earmold that may work for my father’s case. If this is correct, I would rather go to Costco again and give a try on either Bernafon Xtreme or Kirkland Signature. Our last Costco visit is disappointing as my father couldn’t recognize words when trying those hearing aids without earmold, but today’s speech recognition test gives me confidence that when the voice is amplified enough he can still recognize some words. I was told that Bernafon Xtreme’s residual amplification is a little better than Kirkland Signature, although Bernafon is actually a little cheaper at Costco (but Bernafon has fewer features than Kirkland). Is my understanding correct? Which one should we buy, Bernafon or Kirkland?
Another question is after we receive the hearing aids, does Costco specialist needs to adjust the amplifications on different frequencies or simply pick one of the preprogrammed settings in the hearing aids?
We went to Costco today (not the one we went last time as this one is closer), and we are ready to purchase hearing aids. The specialist had my father try a Kirkland hearing aid, and said that’s the best he has. There is another more powerful Kirkland, but he said he has never got good fitting results from it. Unfortunately, but somewhat expected, with this hearing aids, my father can understand some words, but not the whole sentence. The specialist suggests us to try the conventional body style hearing aids with external receiver before making a purchase at Costco, and said that’s designed for this type of profound hearing loss and more powerful as it is much bigger. He mentioned Oticon, Widex, and Phonak. i am going to find some local providers and see if these work better. If not, I will go back to Costco to buy the kirkland, as hearing something is better than nothing.
We are going to a local hearing aids provider that has Oticon Widex and Phonak. The difficulty to deal with local providers is there are many of them and it is hard to figure out which one is good and at what price they sell until we go there in person.
We went to a local audiologist. We tried Widex Clear 440, and my father can understand when I speak slowly. It is not perfect, but it is the best we have got so far. We also got a chance to try Oticon Sumo briefly, and it is not very good because the sound is not very clear and low frequency sound is very loud. The audiologist suggests not to use super power ones, like Widex Super, Oticon Sumo, etc, because Widex Clear provides better clarity and can replace more powerful receivers if needed. He also said that Widex Clear is very new tech, Oticon Sumo is a little old and Phonak Naida S UP is used mostly by hospitals for kids.
About price, Widex Clear 440 costs about $3000/each (not pair), Clear 330 costs about $2500/each. The audiologist suggest to get only one hearing aid (either 440 or 330), as the other ear can’t hear anything anyway. This is much more expensive than Costco (Kirkland, $2000/pair), but I have no choice but shop around to find one that sells Widex Clear for cheaper.