Impressions of Demo at Costco.

Giganews Newsgroups
Subject: Impressions of Demo at Costco.
Posted by:  ray (
Date: Sat, 05 Apr 2008

I went to Costco for a hearing evaluation.  Because of unpleasant
experiences in the past I was a bit leery.  Other dispensers acted
more like used car sale persons, and an audiologist was not very
helpful.  I was given the standard tone test and my hearing is down
about 30 dB at 2 kHz and 90 at 3 kHz.  Not much change in the past 15
years and about 30 dB down in the past 50 years.  Random word
recognition was 80%.  In the past I have been told that an hearing
aide would not help me, but the technician said the newer versions
would help.  She programmed a Rexton, behind the ear open fit for me.
She said with the relatively good low frequency hearing open fit is
probably the best choice.  She told me to wander around the store for
an hour and see how they worked.  None of the other dispensers would
give me a demo even if I asked.

There were 3 programs with a remote to control the gain.  The program
that made the most difference was the one that had the most high
frequency gain, I think it was set to the maximum.  A noisy store is
as good as a place as any to try it.  I spent most of the time
evaluating the max hf boost program.  It made voices sound raspy,
something I could get used to.  The low frequency noise was not
amplified.  I could get directionality on voices, something that I
normally can not do.  Overall the difference was subtle at best.  The
real test is was my hearing any better.  I had my wife talk and read
books.  The recognition was no different.  Being in a crowded store
allowed me to get close to people and try to overhear conversations.
My wife could understand, I could make out a word or two from adults
but nothing from children.

I returned the aides.  There was no pressure to buy.  I had to ask to
find out what the price was.  Overall a very informative and pleasant
experience.  Will I buy?  Probably not.  The difference was very
small.  Being somewhat autistic I have very few social interactions.
My hearing problems come mainly from people talking too fast and from
people with "soft" voices like children.  I listen to books on tape
and have no problem with non fiction.  I understand very little of
fiction because they speak in different voices and try to be dramatic.
I have a fiend with a heavy German accent who I understand perfectly,
but phony accents I can not understand.  I can understand almost
nothing on TV because of fast speech and background noise (music).  I
have trouble separating speech from noise, or separating two people
speaking at the same time.  I probably have some form of central
processing disorder.  Any help would be appreciated.