COSTCO Bernafon Hearing Aids - Bad Experience

by Ralph Brock
(Westport, WA)

I got a pair of Bernafon hearing aids from COSTCO about 10 months ago. These were supposed to be THE BEST - State of the art.


Unfortunately, my experience has been awful. They do make things louder, but I still can't understand what people are saying to me. Ambient noise is a lot louder, and they can't filter it out.

I also have great trouble telling where sounds are coming from. I could go on, but over all, this has been a horror story for me. Worst of all, there was a 30 day free return period, but the hearing technician kept telling me that he could make them work and that they would stand behind these hearing aids.

I believed him and let the 30 days pass. Now I am out of luck. I know that COSTCO usually sells good quality stuff, but my experience with these hearing aids has been poor. Shop long and hard before you decide to get your hearing aids here.

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Jun 22, 2017
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Waiting for new Bernafons in July NEW
by: Rick

I am trying Kirkland 7.0 hearing aids currently but intend to switch them out for the Bernafon BTE that will be out in early July. I am in my second month of the six month Costco guarantee so I can just pay the difference if I choose to buy the Bernafon. The gentlemen Who said he only had 30 days but had speech recognition problems must have misunderstood and is plain wrong. You have 180 days to buy or get credit or trade out for something else. This is great. Some people have a hearing condition that makes speech recognition difficult and this can be helped with hearing aids but not cured.
I am getting the Bernafon because I am a singer and musician and Costco audiologist has recommended I try them. The Kirklands are cheaper but don't work for me as they seem to distort at the higher volume from singing and playing music. The capability of the audiologist is as important as the aids are but I found the hearing test that Costco gave to more detailed then the one I received from an independent doctor of audiology. Best value, Costco.

Jun 02, 2017
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LIES NEW
by: Anonymous

First of all, Costco has a 180 day return policy on hearing aids. NEVER have they ever had 30 days. Since the beginning of Costco Hearing Aid the policy was always 90 days AND last year it changed to 180 days. Also what you're not disclosing is your ability to understand speech/words. This is called a WDS, Word discrimination score. You were tested by repeating a list of 25 words in each ear at a volume of your liking. If you got anything less than a perfect score, this shows that even at an amplified volume, your ability to understand what people/tv are saying is impaired. Before making things up and slamming Costco, Get your facts straight.

May 09, 2017
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Hearing Aids only as good as specialist installing them NEW
by: Bernafon

It seems any hearing aid is only as good as the specialist that tested the hearing and adjusted the unit for proper sound.

My Bernafon bought at Costco 7 years ago worked great until recently. One unit stopped working, the other still works well but needs adjustment. (no longer supported)
I bought the new Costco model and unfortunately the hearing specialist was inexperienced and made some errors so the hearing aid is really unusable, way to loud and has an echo when talking. My 7 year old Bernafon was much better but if the new units were properly adjusted, they could work well too. Having to wait two weeks for a too short a visit doesn't help.

May 09, 2017
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Kirkland better than Bernifon NEW
by: Anonymous

I purchased a pair of Bernifon Verite hearing aids at Costco in Carson City, Nevada in November of 2009 with a Sound Gate and the TV adapter which transmits the TV audio to the Sound Gate which routes the TV audio to the hearing aids. I paid just under $3,200 for the whole thing.

They certainly helped, but were nowhere close to normal hearing. After a couple of years, I needed new speakers about every 9 months or so, which were no cost at first, then about $50 after about 4 years.... I had additional hearing tests and adjustments every couple of years. Overall, I would give them a "C" grade.

Yesterday, I had another hearing test at Costco and purchased a set of the Kirkland Signature 7.0 hearing aids plus the TV Adapter and their equivalent to the Bernifon Soundgate for just under $2,200. I was amazed at the quality of this product!

No hearing aid will restore perfectly normal hearing, but the Kirkland (Costco brand) product is FAR, FAR superior to the Bernifon.... given that I am comparing new technology to almost 7 year old technology. I now hear things like leaves rustling in the wind that I have not heard in many years. I can actually have a normal conversation . . . which I have not been able to have in over a year.

It's too soon to provide a complete critique of these hearing aids, but I must say that I am ELATED after only 24 hours with these new hearing aids.

Regarding the issue of Costco hearing test and buying through Costco, I am completely satisfied with the quality of service received through the Costco Hearing centers, both in Carson City and Burbank, CA, where I had a repair done in 2014.

I had my first hearing test done by an audiologist in 2008, who recommended the Bernifon Verite and quoted a price over $7,000 for the pair. I strongly recommend that any person needing hearing aids go to Costco.

Apr 30, 2017
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Bernafon is Good NEW
by: RST

I have Bernafon aids for six years now. Soundgate is great with bluetooth connections to TV and phone.
This is second pair with $135 replacement for each. If they last for five years for $270 is a bargain. Costco Hearing Center in Rockwall, TX is excellent with great service. Very Happy with my purchase.

Apr 26, 2017
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Aids great, Soundgate3 Bluetooth is Crap NEW
by: Sairys

I'm about to replace my second soundgate3 bluetooth in two years. The connection between the neckstrap and the device wears out so everytime I move, the sound cuts out. Atm it's constantly cutting out and is crap. The hearing aids are fantastic, the bluetooth Soundgate3...absolute garbage.

Mar 25, 2017
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Bernafon Hearing Aids from Costco NEW
by: Tony Mazzuca

I have had a pair of Bernafon hearing aids from Costco and they require constant adjustment. I have had them for approximately 3 1/2 years and every time they quit I would not wear them for a month or 2 then get them fixed and try again. Now the warranty is over and adjustment cost several dollars. I paid $2840. CDN. for these and I feel I did not get my moneys worth. Costco indicated that they are not the manufacture and at this point my option is to buy a new pair. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Feb 16, 2017
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Only good experience
by: Kelly in CO

I got my Bernafon Verite BTE hearing aids at Costco in 2009. After 30 years not being able to hear high frequencies it was amazing.

My only issue with Benrafon is that the wire on the left one broke last year and was repaired (actually replaced the entire device) for $135 through Costco. The right one broke a week or so ago and Costco sent it in.

I just got the call that Bernafon cannot repair it. The Costco that I got them from had an outstanding audiologist. I think that is the determining factor, someone that know what they are doing. The audiologist showed me, after I had my hearing aids, that she also had hearing aids. I have recommended Costco to several friends with hearing loss and all were very satisfied.

Nov 18, 2016
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Bernaphon hearing aids
by: Mark

Worst hearing aids ever. I have had to return to Costco every couple of months to have these things fixed. They have been sent back to the manufacturer 4 times in the 2 1/2 years I have had them.

There is obviously a defect in this product and Costco should not be selling them. They should either refund my money or provide me with a brand that does work.

I will be filing a complaint with the New York state department of consumer affairs.
My job depends on me hearing. This is disgraceful!!!

Oct 16, 2016
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Costco Frederick Maryland
by: Trsull

Went to Costco today in Frederick Maryland and Rachael administered my hearing hearing test. I tested with good hearing in mid to low range with poor high range.

I decided that I could no longer deal with poor speech recognition in environments with a lot of background noise. I also have mild tinnitus.

Rachael recommended Bernafon BTE with open ear piece to allow me to hear low and midrange normally. Demoed a set and walked around the store store and decided to order a pair of Juna 9s with Bluetooth 3.0. I will say I read several articles on what to expect first time

Oct 02, 2016
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Ratings don't match comments
by: Anonymous

I have read the reviewers commments and often the negative reviews show 5 stars??? Why is that? Did someone who monitors this site adjust the rating to show a better rating so the Bernafon aids don't look so bad as what they actually should? Interesting observation. People reading them should ignore the rating and read the comments....that gives a better indication of the level of satisfaction.

Sep 21, 2016
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Problems with the tools, not the aids
by: Anonymous

For some reason, Ralph's original post is undated but in a subsequent post by him, he says the original was in August or September, 2011. Even though that was 5 years ago, I am writing to say that I had an experience with my Bernafon Juna 7 aids starting in September, 2015, that was almost the same as Rahph's 4 years earlier. The main difference was that mine was not with Costco.

My experience was horrendous and lasted nearly a year. My problems started in July, 2015, with a couple of Widex aids. They were switched to Siemens and then to Bernafon. In the process, I also dealt with two different suppliers. It wasn't until about May, 2016, that things settled into a tolerable state.

In all that, the problems did not appear to be with the hearing aids. The problems seemed to be that the technicians did not really know much about sound. They were simply trained by the manufacturers to turn knobs and dials of the tools the manufacturers provided. That said though, the bigger problem seemed to be that the tools and facilities provided by the manufacturers are very poor.

For the most part, adjusting the hearing aids was a process of trial and error. It was about as reliable as hitting the bull's eye of a dartboard. Sometimes you are lucky and get the right settings without much trouble but sometimes you don't. When you don't, it seems you have to keep going back over and over until you do get fairly close to the bull's eye.

Basically, the technicians do not seem to have any way to ensure the aids are adjusted correctly before you leave their office. The only way to check the settings is to go out and live with them for a while. As that can take a week or two until you have encountered all the situations in which the aids need to be tested, you can very quickly use up any warranty-time, as what happened in the Costco case.

I got the feeling the tools and techniques the technicians have are oriented towards seniors living in quiet retirement homes, where the sound they live with is fairly simple to accommodate. For people still living normal, complicated lives, the tools and techniques (and training) are grossly inadequate. From what I could tell, that is mostly the fault of the manufacturers.

As it is 5 years since Ralph reported his problems, it seems that the hearing-aid manufacturers still need to be pressured to provide hearing-aid technicians with tools and techniques that pretty much ensure the aids are properly adjusted before the customer leaves the technician's office. Either that or let me adjust the aids with my computer or cell-phone so that I can adjust them myself when I'm actually out using them.

Sep 18, 2016
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Bernafon Juno 9
by: Anonymous

I have been wearing my Bernafon L&R for a little over a year now Sept2016. My experience at the Hearing Center at Costco has been absolutely wonderful. As a long term survivor of a cancerous brain tumor since my adolescence and now in adult life I have seen doctors, professions, and others for the late post effects, such as cognitive, comprehending, hearing impairedness, ... The service , care, and respect that I receive at Costco is great. I can not express how pleasent the audiologist Steve is. He is very patient, kind, and very understanding. And believe me that is worth all the gold in the world... because if the person serving you has no compassion in understanding their client all is lost. While Steve may not be there at the Costco forever he is always testing the current and new hearing aids and accessories to help his clients.


and their audiologist there has been totally outstanding. This will be my fourth time trying hearing aids and I can not say enough on how great Steve audiologist is, he is kind patient very understanding workable person I have met in my many many he is the most patient understanding audiologist

Sep 11, 2016
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Faulty
by: Anonymous

I purchased these at Costco about 4 years ago. They have greatly improved the quality of life as I am more engaged with others now that I do not shy away from interaction because of my hearing loss.

Right before the warranty went out, they started acting up, volume changes, beeping, cutting out. Costco changed them and I received a new pair at no charge.

Now, about ten months later, they are doing the same thing. I brought them back to Costco and they told me the repair is $135 per piece.

Wait a second, these were replacements for the first defective pair, why is there a charge? Seems unfair. Thinking about scrapping these altogether and buying another brand, not at Costco.

Sep 07, 2016
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Longer wires and larger domes helped
by: Anonymous

I bought the Bernafons
They are good but they kept falling out of my ear canal and off my ears.

I just kept complaining and asked for longer wires? and the audiologist said my wires were the correct size. When I went home i thought it over and thought she probably did not have the longer wires in stock so I called her up and just said "the wires are too short will you order longer wires for me and larger domes" an she said yes she would call me when they came in. Can you imagine THAT.

The longer wires worked and I had asked for bigger domes which she also said I did not need. The larger domes do NOT fall out and the longer wires are perfect.

Now I also said I wanted to try the Kirkland and for $1,800 but she said my hearing with is Moderate loss is not appropriate for the Kirlkland and I feel perhaps that information is also not correct???

Aug 31, 2016
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Different experience
by: Mike McCray

Sorry you had such issues, but I have nothing but good things to say about Costco and Bernafon. I bought 2 aids along with the Bluetooth adaptor in early 2010. They have been very good. I just had them repaired due to moisture damage, so I should be good for a few more years, though I may opt to buy new to get the more advanced Bluetooth.

So, in my experience, there is not reason not to buy Bernafon from Costco.




Aug 04, 2016
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The best decision I ever made
by: Anonymous

I have read all the comments below, from the happy and unhappy wearers. I appreciate this forum.

I must say, that as a musician and sound engineer, I was advised to buy the Bernafon brand. My experience has been stellar! I hear things now that I never heard before.

I have severe high end hearing loss, and after a few weeks of getting used to them, along with the Soundgate remote, my life has been changed. I wear them every waking hour. It is the second best thing to getting a new pair of ears.

The specialist at the Davie, FL Costco is the best. She dialed in the right presets within 3 visits. Once the Soundgate broke, they gave me a new one. Last week the phone started switching back and forth from aids to phone. 3 days before the 3 year warranty expired,
they gave me 2 new aids and a new Soundgate...free.

If you have a specialist like her, you will have nothing to complain about. I give Bernafon, Costco, and my specialist 5 stars!

Jul 23, 2016
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Bernafon - a good experience
by: Johnny P

I recently finished over four years wearing these appliances. Yes, in a restaurant you can't hear squat. But all things considered my support from Costco has been outstanding.

The state licensed techs have been responsive to all my needs. They recently failed but four years plus; I'd say that's pretty good considering everything today is made to through away.

I'm getting a new pair of appliances from a different manufacturer only because I wanted a rechargeable appliance. The ladies at my Costco are the best!

May 25, 2016
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Get rid of the "warble"
by: Anonymous

Hi,

The "warble" is produced by the feedback-suppression. Turn it off, then it´s gone. Of course, you might have feedback then.

For music, use the live-music plus program. The comfort in airplane is rubbish for that, it has noise reduction at maximum, which will ruin all music.

When set up correctly, Bernafon Juna sounds really good for music (which cannot be said about all hearing aids).

I have no problems to sing in tune, identify chords or whatever you like.

Apr 14, 2016
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Behind the ear Bernafon
by: smile

You need to give yourself more time. I am using Bernafon almost 2 years. I remember at the beginning I had lots of complains about loudness, it is adjustable, follow your appointment, they will adjust for you. Not recognizing direction will be disappear soon.

It is not all about the device. It is about being patient, give your brain time to remember the sounds which were already forgotten. you should also train your the people around you to talk clear, you need to know the subject to enjoy the conversation.

I am still struggling to catch the jokes sometimes. Oh well! I am happy to hear and believe never gonna be like my own ears. Thanks to technology, pretty soon we are going to have chip, more accurate sound, no cleaning, invisible :}

Apr 14, 2016
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hearing aid dislike
by: Anonymous

Ya got mine too but i constantly have to get them repaired.

Apr 14, 2016
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I'm a Musician, too
by: Ralph

I'm the guy who posted the original item. It has been interesting to read all the comments over time. I am a musician too, and as I recall, my Bernafon hearing aids sounded like they were out of phase.

You, being a sound engineer, will understand what I am talking about. I also had trouble actually hearing tones. If I played a C chord for example, I could hear the sound well enough, but for some reason, I could not pick up the pitch, so as to be able to sing along. Totally weird.

I originally bought Bernafon because they were Swiss, and supposedly state of the art, but I'm glad to be rid of them. I'm currently limping along on some old Miracle Ear aids (made by Siemens). They've been OK, but I'm still looking for something better, maybe something I can program myself.

Apr 13, 2016
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Warble / Vibrato
by: RonZ

I noticed immediately that tones had a warble or vibrato through my new Juna Berafons. A steady tone will warble. Singers sound like they sing with vibrato when they are not. I even have a vibrato when I sing and I don't do it.

The Radio/TV listening mode doesn't produce as much warble, so I use that most of the time. The only thing that the Costco Tech could do is install Airplane mode, which also doesn't have as much vibrato either. I'm a musician and sound engineer and so hearing that warble/vibrato really confuses me. I sometimes have to turn them all of the way down.

I don't know if there is a better solution or not. I'd just like a plain old high frequency amplification mode with no digital effects. I'll go back to Costco, but don't expect much.

Mar 22, 2016
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Bernafone Juna 9 Hearing Aids
by: Wolfgang Nikoley

I have had my hearing aids now for about 3 weeks, and I could not be happier. I can't understand all the bad comments, so I can only assume that they had a inexperienced tech. helping them.

My hearing instrument apprentice is Mark MATTOON at the Sparks, Nv. Costco on Galleria Prkwy.

He is very thorough and knowledgeable. I am very impressed with him. I also purchased the Sound Gate 2, and I have never heard my cell phone so clearly. My experience with my new hearing aids exceptional. Thank you Bernafone and Costco.

Mar 20, 2016
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Return policy for Costco Hearing Aids
by: Anonymous

I was told there is 90 days to have them remade if they don't fit and 6 months to return. Where you getting 30 days from?

Mar 08, 2016
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Bernafon Hearing Aids
by: Anonymous

The problems experiencing sh and ch sounds in front of the words could be due to the use of Frequency Composition whereby high frequency sounds are transposed down to a point where the ear can more readily hear it. If s sounds sound like sh sounds, this is a good indication. Ask the specialist to turn off the frequency composition and see if the artifacts diminish.

Jan 09, 2016
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Hearing aids
by: Anonymous

Very disappointing Bernafon hearing aids.

I was also deceived. Each time I went in I was told they would reset them. They would fix them so that would I would hear and understand. Just plain sweet talk.

Beware of the sweet talk.
I have sh sound or a ch sound in front of most words.
How do I get used to that?
What did i get for 1500.dollars
Bought them in Winnipeg Costco.

Dec 31, 2015
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80% delighted with Costco Bernafon Juno 9's!
by: Pat Nichols

I've been using my Bernafon Juno 9 hearing aids for some months. I knew in 10 minutes that I'd made a great choice. The programming required some tweaking but we had it right within a couple of weeks. The remote, blue tooth, TV and sound loop functions are wonderful when working (see below). Though I don't care whether people notice that I'm wearing them others tell me that with my white hair the chord is almost imperceptible. The service staff at the Costco in Pentagon City, VA, has been great throughout.

My one significant complaint is with the reliability of the remote and Bernafon's customer service. I"m about to send it in for 5th or 6th time. Bernafon has refused, to date, to send me a replacement or a loaner prior to examining the broken device, even though each time I've had a problem they have sent me a new one. I'm frustrated that they won't just build some good will by providing a replacement and letting me make the trade at Costco rather than leaving me without the device for a week or two each time. Or, why not provide Costco with some loaners?

Also, I'm now about to exhaust my warranty, which attaches to the purchase date not the date of service for the latest device. The Costco folks, whom I trust, tell me my problems are an aberration. However, if Bernafon believes in their product quality they should fully warrant each device, not merely the purchase.

Important to underline that I'm elated with everything else about the devices and the service. I actually think they've added years to my working life. I know they've added to life satisfaction.

Oh, one more downside: they have denied me a useful excuse for not listening to my wife.

Dec 06, 2015
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SoundGate 3 RF
by: Anonymous

I've had the Bernafon Pico RITE Juna 9 hearing aids for two weeks: wearing from morning until sleep. The SoundGate (around the neck) BlueTooth was programmed in after the two week period.

With the BlueTooth (WiFi) it works well with the telephone. The issue is with the right side gets warm with phone use. Then it also causes itch (or feels like skin is creeping) along ear and right jaw. I believe this is due to WiFi signal being received.

The hearing aids work well, but the SoundGate is not suitable for me. I did research for people having reaction to WiFi, but it appears that is not recognized as being a factor. I have the same issue with the cell phone when talking and hold it away from head. Is it possible that others might have this same issue?

Nov 08, 2015
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Very poor Bernafon Hearing Aids!
by: Anonymous

With good comments from several who had purchased hearing aids from Costco, I took that advice and went to Costco, purchased Bernafon hearing aids.

Bad advice, bad experience. Right one has been a problem since the very beginning and after supposedly sending it in to the factory, it was returned, same thing. IF it worked, might be beneficial but in my ear for a few minutes, then goes dead. Reporting this to the technician, he just smiles and does nothing.

Reach a point of deciding it's a lost cause and like many who leave their hearing aids at home, I can understand why. Money down the drain and I would not recommend Costco for that purpose to anyone. Frustrating and disappointing.

Oct 07, 2015
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Costco Foster City Hearing Center
by: Anonymous

Have Had the Bernafon Juna with Soundgate 3 accessory now for over 2 months and the audiologist still cannot get it right. I've gone back 3 time and each time they shaved off some on my right dome, left dome shaved twice and ended up with a pimple and then now some kind of ear irritation and still does not fit comfortably.

I don't think they alcohol or sani-wipe their ear instrument from one person to the next.

Anyway, Still not happy with the system possibly because the audiologist cannot adjust to my specifics, plus bedside (so to speak) manners are not the best. Seems to scold the customer, a bit authoritative. Not sure if I'm being stalled so the 90 days will expire and then I'll be stuck with them.

Oct 06, 2015
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i am sorry these hearing aids aren't working for you!
by: Anonymous

I have 80% and 50% hearing loss in my left and right ears respectively. I now have Bernafon Aids, and can't say enough about how well they work....had miracle ear and another brand before these.

I believe a lot has to do with the audiologist who does your testing and adjusts your hearing aids once you get them. You must understand that there are hundreds of settings that can be adjusted for your specific needs.

I use the streaming for my phone calls, and cried when I was able, for the first time in years, was able to hear clearly! I am awaiting my TV adapter and am very excited!!!

DON'T GIVE UP, IF ONE AUDIOLOGIST DOESN'T HELP GO TO ANOTHER. IF YOU ARE IN MASSACHUSETTS GO TO STOUGHTON, THESE ARE ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

good luck...

Aug 23, 2015
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Correction to recent comment
by: David Hodes

My hearing aids are Bernafon Juna 9 not 7.

Aug 23, 2015
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Answer to Bill on TV adapter
by: David Hodes

I have been using the TV Adapter with Bernafon Juna 7 hearing aids with good results. It will not improve on what is already a bad sound track as one would expect.

I used a headset prior to this purchase. The sound quality is not as good as a high quality headset but it is much more comfortable and when combined with closed captioning works very well.

Aug 23, 2015
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Almost worthless. Device
by: Connie

I purchased the hearing aids in 2013 after trying other devices and heavens what a mistake! The Bernafon hearing aids are very poor at filtering noise. All noise, sounds, and voices come in at the same volume.

I wear my devices 7 plus hours a day and they remain uncomfortable and often times painful even though they have been ground down by Costco and retooled by the manufacturers.

The sound quality is so very poor that conversations can absolutely NOT be understood. It is tantamount to trying to understand voices on Helium.

The volume cannot be adjusted by the consumer which is a feature typically associated with the lesser expensive devices.

Now one would think that proper adjustments could make things better but then there is the service provided by the distributor, COSTCO...... It takes days if not weeks to get an appointment but none of the techs are knowledgeable enough to make an improvement, they only make things sound different, not better..

Jul 26, 2015
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Bluetooth
by: Anonymous

I can't comment directly on the aids you mentioned, but bluetooth works well, so in theory, if the hearing aids work well for you, generally, then bluetooth TV, or whatever, should be very useful.

Jul 26, 2015
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This isn't a complaint but can I post a question?
by: Anonymous

I have the Bluetooth Soundate Cronos aides. I'm considering getting the adapter for the television. Have you tried one and are you satisfied / is it worth the money?

Thanks,
Bill

Jul 23, 2015
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Bernafon
by: Anonymous

Same story with Bernafon hearing aids.. noisy and can't understand any better.

Jun 15, 2015
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Why can't I hear! They make me sweat
by: Anonymous

I am excited I have gone to a different distributor to get new hearing aides! The man rushed me at Costco! They hurt and the gentleman if you can call him that said these big ones that covered my ear were the only ones I could use!

Don't let anyone tell you that! I know I have spent more but for my ears its worth it! My husband is going to retire the end of the year and I will only have Medicare! We are getting EVERYTHING WE NEED NOW!

Hearing aides, glasses, teeth done! Sure the aids might be cheaper but they get so sweaty they fall out! The others are wonderful! They work with smart phone! Battery Charger! Helps the terrible sounds! I am so happy! I have frequent free appointments! You bring them in they clean them! So so happy we saved enough for the good pair! Hubby has quit saying turn down TV or radio!

May 22, 2015
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Hearing Aids require a huge adjustment
by: Anonymous

Costco typically allows 90 days for all their products including hearing aids. My Bernafon hearing aid is 4 years old and works fine.

There is a huge adjustment (learning) period before you can get used to any aid. I use mine only when I need to (hear wife) or music or lecture. Never use one in a crowded or noisy location.

These are aids not magical devices. Allow about 1 to 3 months adjustment time if you wear them a lot. If on occasion allow about 1 to 2 years adjustment period. I wear mine about 2-3 hours per week which is not a lot. If your hearing is horrible, you may need to wear them all the time and just allow enough time to adjust to the louder sound level.

I wear mine sometimes outside to hear bird sounds and other nature sounds which are impossible to hear without them.

May 10, 2015
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I'm with you
by: Anonymous

Absolutely! It would be so much better to be able to program or adjust my own hearing aids. Of course that would change the nature of the industry completely, so don't expect to see the major hearing aid manufacturers rushing out to offer such a product.

I do seem to recall, however, one company (in Japan?), which did offer self-programming, but I haven't investigated it any further.

May 10, 2015
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Do your own adjustment
by: Anonymous

Has anyone ever successfully addressed the issue of the inability of the purchaser to make their own adjustments? I'm a professional recording engineer who knows his loss and am perfectly capable of knowing what I can and cannot hear... much better then a person who is not standing in my shoes! Duh.

Related to that, as proof, I refer you to the many many many comments below which basically state that the devices are only as good as the person who is tuning them up!

I anxiously await ANYTHING groundbreaking on this subject for the benefit of all. (Besides my own statement of the obvious, which, apparently is not so obvious.)

Apr 20, 2015
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Bernafon Acriva hearing aid problem
by: Anonymous

Similar situation. I was told that because of my loss level, I can no longer use the cheaper Kirkland BTE hearing aid. The Bernafon was recommended as state of the art. All S sounds sound like Sh.

The technician said she would be able to improve that. I was never happy with the unit. After the trial period ended, I was told the she has improved the sound as much as possible. Now I'm stuck with it.

I also have to use an ear mold now which doesn't vent well so it always sounds as though I am cupping my ears.

Apr 17, 2015
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Costco and Bernafon are greta
by: David

Have had my Bernafon Juna 9 hearing aids from Costco for 2 weeks now. I hear so much better. My technician(Joseph) adjusted them to decrease the volume down a bit and decreased the brightness if the sound. I recommend both Costco and Bernafon.😃

Apr 10, 2015
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The Technician was Correct.
by: Anonymous

I have been wearing a BTE hearing aid for over 50 years and NEVER has a non-MD ever volunteered to clean the wax out of the ear. It is just too easy to permanently damage the ear drum.

The technician did you a big favor. Over the years, I have found the most part of using an an Aid, is having confidence in your provider. They should demonstrate that they will be in business well after your purchase, and to provide some type of "loaner" aid when yours needs overnight repairs.

I am now in process of determining where to get my next hearing aids and have to find out the technical experience of the Costco fitter and how much experience they have. It is no bargain if your hearing aids don't work well or the service is not there for you.

Mar 31, 2015
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COSTCO bernafon technician, Sterling Virginia
by: Anonymous

I bought my Bernafon hearing aid from COSTCO (abour $3000.00) worked very well when the lady calibrated my hearing test with the aid.

I could listen to TV when it is muted from outside the house; then I had problem with them, the lady was gone and so did the technology because the technician was not professional, he did not even bother to coordinate them with my actual hearing.

Then I went to COSTCO Leesburgh, the audiologist was excellent, he adjusted them perfectly.

I had an appointment today at Sterling(the store is within 2-miles from the house and not 25 miles) for new test and adjustment and the technician upon examining my ears indicated that he cannot do it because I have to go to a physician to remove the wax from my left ear first when every audiologist I visited before was skilled to take the wax in few seconds. But his aptitude indicated that he does not want to do it because I complained to management about his work before.

Sorry COSTCO and Bernafon I will have to find new alternative.

Feb 03, 2015
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Good for you!
by: Ralph Brock

I am truly happy for anyone who has hearing loss, and finds a satisfactory solution, no matter where that is. I still struggle, and will likely have to try again,soon, to find aids that will work for me. I do hear that Phonak aids are good. Since the previous commenter had good luck with them, I will check them out.

Feb 03, 2015
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Bernafon Juna 9
by: David Hodes

I have been wearing hearing aids for 35 years. My hearing in the upper range is gone. I was a potential candidate for a Hybrid Cochlear Implant but I could not qualify for Medicare reimbursement because of my test score.

I have always purchased top tier hearing aids from either ENT offices or self employed audiologist with the Aud degree. I debated whether I wanted to try Costco and after careful research including the study of materials that audiologist receive I decided to speak with the dispenser at the Warminister PA Costco--David Eades. I spent 15 minutes with him and I was very impressed with his knowledge of the field but still reluctant.

I went back for a 2nd visit and finally decided to move forward. I had been happy with Phonak hearing aids in the past but David convinced me to move on the recently released Juna 9 hearing aid because he felt that this model was very suitable for my high range loss.

I purchased the Juna 9 with the Soundgate Remote, TV adaptor and Telephone Adaptor and clip on microphone, all for under #3,200. My prior audiologist had quoted $7,000 for the same Phonak package.

In 3 weeks I have gone from a frustrated listener to a happy camper. Telephone conversations have been very frustrating. I frequently had to have my wife listen in because I could not understand the person that I was speaking to.

Social occasions such as restaurant meals were impossible for me. Telephone callers were frustrated with me. All of that has amazingly changed. My phones calls are streamed directly to my hearing aids from both my home telephone and cell phone with not only amplification but processing. I hear my wife's timer and refrigerator door signal--sounds that I have not heard in years. I would rank Mr. Eades number ONE of all the hearing aid dispensers that I have been exposed to over the past 35 years.

He is most competent in his profession and most accommodating to his client patient--me. I have purposely used my name so that the reader does not perceive me to be a Costco plant. Frankly I am estatic. As to the comments made on this page by Ron Allander, NBC-HIS, whatever that stands for. He is not correct. My Juna 9 has all the features that he claims are stripped out of Costco hearing aids. I still can not believe the value and the level of expertise that I have received in this purchase and for only $3,300.

Jan 17, 2015
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Bernafon hearing aids
by: Anonymous

I have had my hearing aids with a SoundGate for a year now - I am on my second pair of hearing aids.

This is my first pair of behind-the-ear hearing aids. I am just delighted with them, took my time picking them out (my brother is a Speech Pathologist living out of town but advising) much prefer them over the full ear I had previously!!

I was patient, and picky through getting them adjusted, and had each ear adjusted separately!!!

I don't expect my hearing aids to be perfect or to solve all my hearing problems - they are a tool to improve the quality of my life!! I love love love the blue tooth for my cell phone in my aids - the best thing ever!!!

I do wish they came with a separate microphone to give to a dinner companion when we dine out - but they don't. Be sure to have realistic expectation for what a hearing can actually DO, have them adjusted for EACH ear, and WEAR them all the time!!!

Dec 30, 2014
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Another Update of Costco Bernafon Hearing Aids
by: Ralph

I posted the original piece regarding my experience with Bernafon hearing aids, purchased at Costco.

Since then, I see that some folks have had good experience with Bernafon/Costco, and some have had bad. In retrospect, I don't think that there was anything substantially wrong with the Bernafon aids themselves.

I now believe that my problem was the technicians who worked with me. What makes me think that? Read on.

About two months after I posted my initial evaluation, my mother died. I had purchased a pair of Miracle Ear hearing aids (made by Siemens) for her not long before.

So, I "inherited" her hearing aids. One day I decided to see if Miracle Ear could reprogram them to my hearing loss. I wasn't actually sure that they would do that for me, but they did.

After only two adjustments, the hearing aids were working very well, and I have not had to go back. [Please don't think that I am pushing Miracle Ear. I'm not. I think that they are way too expensive.]

My feeling now, however, is that you can do just as well, with almost any name-brand product, as long as you can find someone who can program them correctly for you. Ah...that's the trick!

Thank you, everyone, for your comments. Good Luck.

Dec 30, 2014
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A NEW HEARING AID USER
by: Vittorina

Today is my first day. Some people did not know I had a hearing loss. (Dec 2014) My son's visit was stressful as he spoke to me in another room and I noticed that I wasn't hearing him.

First had my hearing tested in 2010 at Costco(really just for information).

Had noticed that I was not hearing well Feb 2014 and had a scheduled a Costco hearing test. During the interview BEFORE the hearing test I was told by Lisa, the hearing tester that my answers indicated that I wasn't motivated (my word) so no test was given.

Now I was "motivated" and Jeremy, the tester, explained things very well to me. Got the SOUTHGATE model. Will be reading All the instructions which come with it. And will return on Jan 9th (2014) to follow up.

First day: It feels like everything is in a tunnel. My son says that I am speaking softly and I seem less stressed. Tonight I will be attending a dinner of nine people. Jeremy tells me that my inclination is to remove the hearing aid. "DON'T" because my brain has become programmed to hear sounds in a new way.


Oct 06, 2014
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Bad Experience with Bernafone Hearing Aids
by: Anonymous

I have to say the same thing about the Bernafone hearing aids, purchased at Costco in Tucson AZ,about twenty visits to different specialists ,no improvement.

I have an old NUear hearing aid and it outperforms the Bernafone all the way, the usual response is "your brain does not understand" my brain must understand the six year old NUear device, it would be nice if this company would pay more attention to the quality of their devices than to brain function!

Sep 23, 2014
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Response to Disappointed with Costco Telecoil
by: Ron Allander NBC-HIS

I would imagine that the Bernafon hearing aid representative may have been trying to distract you with other features of the hearing aids because it probably didn't have a telecoil. Costco strips out all additional features on their hearing aids such as telecoils and tinnitus maskers.

Costco's goal is to get mid-level technology at the best possible price. The manufacturer of the hearing aids leaves out as many additional features as possible.

Some patients are happy with the Costco technology because they may not need these features. The problem is when the patient needs additional adjustments or has trouble hearing on the telephone as may be the problem in your case.

The Costco technician and Bernafon hearing aid representative should have been honest with you and just told you that their hearing aids did not carry this feature.

Ron Allander, NBC-HIS
Complete Hearing Aid Reviews

Sep 22, 2014
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Disappointing telecoil technology with Bernafon Hearing Aids
by: Anonymous

I'm a theater goer and I was very excited to be able to take advantage of the telecoil technology but found it did not work very well.

My Costco dispenser, a very conscientious person, arranged a conference with a Bernafon hearing aid rep.

First, he didn't seem to understand my concerns and kept trying to distract me with the product's other advantages..

Second, when he finally reprogrammed the aids, he made the situation worse. The devices worked fine otherwise, but I need this particular feature and it disturbs me that even the company rep was unable to deliver on it.

I'm returning the aids tomorrow.

Jul 10, 2014
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Bernafon Acriva 9 from Costco
by: Cabin

My experience at Costco has been first rate. They are hearing aid specialists are professional, courteous and knowledgeable.

I brought in a hearing test that I had done at another audiology center, and they entered it into their system. In the store, over a couple of different visits, I tried out numerous different aids from the KS 5.0 to the Rexton 2C to the Phoenak and finally the Bernafon Acriva 9.

I purchased and have been trialing the Acriva 9. I had the initial fitting, then came back a week later and had them tweek the settings, came back again in a week and then two weeks after that. With each visit, the tweaks got smaller and the aids got better at doing what I wanted them to do.

At this point, I am pretty satisfied. I hear well in noise, hear soft speech and have the noise in the automobile under control. There are no real issues at this point.

The aids came with the TV adapter and the Wireless remote control, what they call the SoundGate 2. Works great.

Prior to the Bernafon, I used an older pair of Oticon hearing aids, which while good, were showing their age. I do not see that I have given up anything by going with Costco and have saved roughly, $2700 by doing so. What is not to like!

Jun 08, 2014
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More follow-up info
by: Ralph

I finally returned my hearing aids for a full refund at Costco, even though the stated return date had passed. They were very courteous and there were no questions asked.

Costco thus retains my loyalty. I just wish that the hearing aids had worked. Costco offers good quality equipment, at very good prices. I think my difficulty was that they just couldn't get them tuned in properly for me. Maybe I'm a tougher case than most.

Jun 08, 2014
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Costco Bernafon Hearind Aid Experience
by: Occasional Hearing Aid Wearer

The Bernafon Hearing aid works well and I use them about 2-3 hours per week. I can normally hear most voices except higher pitched female voices.

The hearing aid makes muffled sounds sound crystal clear. I am used to the quiet of hearing loss (not the Tinnitus) so all the extra noise that I am missing with my hearing loss is quite tiring with the aid in place all day.

I recently took a cruise and ended up wearing my Bernafon's most of the day and really enjoyed the experience. There were great sights and sounds and none were missed.

Hearing aids are wonderful for musical concert's, hall's with speakers who you can't normally hear. Your wife's and children's voices and even bird sounds which are impossible to hear without them. Restaurants, loud parties and other noisy places are very difficult for hearing aid wearers and should be avoided.

My Costco experience was OK and I was offered the usual 90 day return which all Costco products have. Costco Hearing aids are a great value and while hearing aids are expensive, their's are bargains by comparison to most hearing aid centers which cost 2 to 3 times higher for the same hearing aid device.

Jan 06, 2013
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Time frame
by: Ralph

I don't see a date on my original comment, but I think it was written around late August or early September of 2011. With that in mind, the subsequent comments might make better sense.

Jan 05, 2013
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Thanks, but my issues continue
by: Anonymous

Thanks to everyone for your helpful comments. Just a quick update. Next week I am going to a different COSTCO on the recommendation of a friend who had a favorable experience. I am hopeful.

I've been back to my original practitioner at least a couple of times since my first posting (I've lost count how many times I've been there, now), but still have very poor results.

FYI, I have been aggressive at trying to get the programming right, and have not been shy to express my dissatisfaction.

The only blame that I feel I bear in this whole affair, is that I did not demand my money back when I had the chance. The practitioner was so nice, and seemed so confident, that I believed him when he said he could get it right. All along, he said not to worry, it would be OK.

I would recommend that anyone who is still struggling with their new hearing aids, as their money-back deadline approaches, should request an immediate refund, or at least get an extension in writing.

Jan 03, 2013
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Be agressive
by: Anonymous

Ralph,talk to the store manager; explain what has transpired and advise of your displeasure with the product and the service. If What you are stating is true the manager will correct the problem. Seems like you were not aggressive about pursuing a satisfactory resolution.

Nov 18, 2012
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Go to another Costco Store
by: Anonymous

Be sure you go to a different Costco because they have a 90 day return policy. My wife works at Costco. They try to make people happy at the store she works at.

Sep 11, 2012
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Costco 90 Day Trial for Hearing Aids
by: Anonymous

Costco has a 90 day trial period starting from the day you pick them up. Possibly the hearing aid dispenser did not do a real ear test or mask.

Go to another Costco to have them adjusted for free. You may have to call and set up an appointment.

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