Review of New & Poorly Designed 'Resound' Costco hearing aids

by Jim Alexander
(Central Point, OR. USA)

The new hearing aids being sold by Costco under the Kirkland name are made by Resound for Costco.


Instead of a tube going to the ear mold they use a wire to a flexible ear mold. Inside this flexible ear mold the wire drives a little speaker which improves the sound greatly. That's the part they got right!

What Costco did wrong, in my experience, is:
1. Making these hearing aids and using a small battery which only lasts for 3-4 days and;

2. Selling the hearing aid with a bluetooth system that costs an extra 200.00+ dollars over and above the 1800.00 I already spent on the hearing aids and;

3. When using the hearing aids with the separate bluetooth adapter you must have brand new batteries ( 1 or 2 days old) or else the bluetooth will drop your calls with no advance notice.

I find my self hearing a Beep, Beep, Beep in one hearing aid and that on will shut down but the other hearing aid will still be working on Bluetooth for about 15 seconds when the second hearing aid will just cut off without warning.

Only very new batteries will work on the bluetooth adapter so I find my having to change the batteries daily to make sure I don't drop a call.

Just a very poorly thought out design. If I didn't get such good sound from not having the 'air tube' I would return the aids to Costco and get my money back, as it is I have to suffer with no useable bluetooth and short battery life even without using the bluetooth. I have worn aids for 10+ years.

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Nov 01, 2017
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Email just sent to COSTCO Corporate Office NEW
by: fitzie63

Okay everyone, it's in the "works". Copied and pasted below is the email message I just sent to the Costco Corporate Office CUSTOMER SERVICE MANAGER on behalf of all of us:
"We have been Costco members since we purchased a membership in Tucson, AZ (where we owned our home for 17 years) in 1988. Additionally, I started using the Kirkland bilateral behind the ear hearing aids in 2005, the second (replacement) set in 2013 and have prepaid for a new pair which will be delivered and programmed to my needs this coming Friday.
My shopping style is to carefully read a lot of CUSTOMER REVIEWS on most things I plan to purchase that have a cost of >$30.00 then do my own average evaluation of those reviews when I go to the retail stores to make a final decision on whether that product will suit my needs and if it might be a long term reliable product. In the past 2 days, I have found some very unfavorable customer reviews on the Kirkland Signature 7.0 hearing aids and the #312 Kirkland batteries that you would be wise to investigate and rectify the issues. When customers have to spend nearly $2000.00 and up for items from Costco Stores, the onus of the responsibility is on the shoulders of your Corporate Executive, Mr. Jelinek, his team and yourself. Attached is a document of those relevant fairly recent customer reviews which I created and exported into Adobe .pdf format, for your convenience, so they could be interpreted by any type of computer.
After I receive my own new pair of Kirkland Signature hearing aids, I will be evaluating their effectiveness as well as the #312 battery life very carefully. You can be certain that I will be sharing that complete evaluation on all social media and with the Hearing Aid Users Forum of which I have recently become a member. Thank you for your time and careful consideration of the issues related to these two vital products. I look forward to receiving a personal reply directly from you at your earliest convenience."

Nov 01, 2017
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Customer Reviews here NEW
by: fitzie63

This is to let you know you have my whole hearted support. I have just prepaid for my third pair of Hearing Aids from the Bellingham, WA Costco Hearing Center. Will be receiving and getting them "programmed" to my smart phone this coming Friday. All your various issues with this product is of great concern, therefore, I have copied and pasted most of the current/relevant reviews into a document which I'm sending to the CUSTOMER SERVICE MANAGER of Costco at their Corporate Headquarters in Issaquah, WA immediately after I post this message. We customers are a "team". Costco is a retail BUSINESS. Without customers, the business cannot survive. They "work for US";not the other way around.

Aug 02, 2017
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Why music to HAs via Bluetooth sounds tinny NEW
by: Anonymous

Poster Anon, below, notes that he gets poor audio quality ("tinny") from his HAs when streaming music via Bluetooth. I too experience this. Here's my theory. For the majority of us, with "cliff" type hearing loss, HAs boost midrange and treble while doing nothing for bass. The assumption is that, in normal use, bass comes in directly to your ears. But when BT streaming, bass doesn't get to your ears at all, so what you hear is the tinny result that, well, is exactly what your HAs are programmed to deliver, per your hearing loss chart. The only solution is to use headphones (to provide low frequencies) in conjunction with your HAs, i.e. stream to both at the same time. Unfortunately, my iPhone 5s turns off BT when I plug headphones in, so one needs to be able to BT to both HAs and headphones (necessarily wireless) at the same time.

Jul 21, 2017
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Misrepresented by Costco - NOT Samsung compatible NEW
by: Anonymous

I just came home with pair of Cala8 aids. Big surprise when I picked them up though. They are entirely incompatible with my Samsung G8 telephone! No ability to adjust programs. No "direct streaming".

These are pointlessly overpriced without these features. I will wear them for a while (my 1st pair of aids) so I can learn what they can do for me. But I will buy a cheaper set since I am not getting any of the bluetooth functions.

Jul 03, 2017
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New to HA in SC NEW
by: Wayne

I have had the CALA 8 for a week now and am somewhat pleased. Without the iOS app offering adjustment I would have already returned this to Costco. The audiologist IMO has limited experience with programming the app functionality as they had only the basic All Around program as I left the store. I returned the same day and had them add Sound Enhancer and when I return in two weeks I will insist on all functionality available. I am hopeful that directional hearing will be helpful as noisy environments are very unpleasant. Restaurants with no sound absorption are a nightmare.
Battery life seems very good unlike the April post. Bluetooth works perfectly with no dropped calls or any problems like he mentioned. The streaming music from either my music or Pandora on the phone is a joke. My Bluetooth headset that I use in the gym has vastly superior sound quality and I paid $37 from Amazon which I find very hard to understand. Hopefully there is programming that will overcome that problem.

Apr 16, 2017
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Great hearing aid...but not perfect NEW
by: Anonymous

Battery life? I get a ten days or more but I don't use the Bluetooth adapter. I have an Android phone which precludes some of the usefulness of the adapter. And Costco in CA included the adapter for free in the cost of my HAs, although they cost me $2,800, $200 more than my sister paid for the same HAs WITH the adapter at Costco in CO.
I've tried listening to music with the adapter and it's a HUGE disappointment! I expected much greater fidelity than listening with ear buds, since the music would be transmitted through the HA's circuitry. But instead I found music to sound very tinny.
As for the ear tube vs. the Resound's wire, I tested another hearing aid that used an air tube for several weeks and found virtually no difference in sound quality. Although the other HA was significantly cheaper (offered through my United Healthcare insurance), I decided to stick with the Resound because of the superior programming capability, notably the setting for TV viewing.

Feb 27, 2017
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Microphone -In-Helix
by: Patric B.

Please note in the previous comment I am referring to the Resound Cala 8, Microphone-In-Helix, using the size 13 battery.


Feb 27, 2017
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Resound Cala 8
by: Patric B.

First off my hearing loss is of the profound nature which has progressively changed for the worse since the mid 90's. I have used various styles of aids and usually the most powerful to help my everyday function.

I have never been comfortable with the "behind-the-ear" model even though they were the best rated at the time (2004) for power and versatile mic (Phonak Nadia).

The Costco display caught my eye and I must have walked by over a course of 6 months before making a move.

I have had the Resound Cala 8 now for 3 months and could not be happier. Using my Iphone 7 the versatility is what makes it special. Between outdoor environments, TV channels, and talking with friends, I have understood more vocabulary on a consistent basic than in many years.

Also, and very important, I am not shy to use the phone for calls. For many years I did not answer calls because of troubles understanding the caller.

Overall comfort is to the point that I forget I am wearing hearing aids. And the mic being tucked into the protective pocket of the ear is less likely to be affected by moisture.

The batteries on average last 7 days with all day use and bluetooth connectivity.

I am not connected to Resound or Costco (just a member) in any way. I am 68 years old and quit working 1 1/2 years ago r/t to my hearing loss. Everything changed with the acquisition of this model hearing aid.




Jan 31, 2017
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Resound Cala 8 with size 13 battery
by: Anonymous

The weakest link when fitting a new hearing aid is the audiologist and their expertise. I am lucky to have finally met a fantastic audiologist at Costco having worn hearing aids for some 35 years.

I can say with experience that this is a great device. I have an iPhone and stream it often and the battery lasts approximately 1 week. It is so far the best hearing aid I have worn with little feedback. I have profound hearing loss and require a powerful aid.

In my other ear I have a Bonebridge implant. Thanks for the great prices on hearing aids Costco!

Oct 10, 2016
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Adjusting Hearing Aids
by: Anonymous

I have been wearing hearing aids for over 25 years and the last set I bought was GN Resound from Costco.

What I left with was the Cala 8 BTE High power BTE style. I have my own ear molds by the way. These have the 13 battery and last quite a while. Just to let you know my hearing is so bad I can not carry on a conversation without the aids. I guess what I have learned is that the hearing aid is no better than the person programing them, also I forgot to mention that from what I can find out is that these aids ( correct me if I wrong ) are supposed to be just like the Linx 2 9 without the echo and something else.

What drives me nuts is after 25 years plus jacking with hearing aids is setting in a sound proof booth having the hearing aid stealer adjust the aids in the booth complete quite, and he or she asks the question > how do they sound < my GOD you have to be kidding, what are you to hear in the sound proof booth. They need to take you and the lab top they use to adjust the aids out to a coffee shop or somewhere in the REAL WORLD and then adjust the aids and then ask > HOW DO THEY SOUND <. 10/10/2016

Apr 09, 2016
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batteries
by: Anonymous

I cant believe that the Costco hearing aid battery only lasts 3 days! OR is it the quality of the aid? My friends have spent more than the $1800.per pair than I have. Their batteries last as long as a week. Whats the real story with the Costco aids?

Dec 26, 2015
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Hearing Aid Loaners
by: Jim Brown

A potential problem with this is that hearing aids must be programmed to the hearing loss of each individual user. That significantly complicates the loaner process, and increases cost to the vendor (in this case, Costco).

Dec 16, 2015
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Costco hearing aids
by: James d BurtonAnonymous

I have had my aids for 150 days and one need repaired so I have to send it in for repairs to the factory. Why does Costco not supply loaners while my almost new aids are being repaired?

Oct 28, 2015
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Dropping calls from the iPhone
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the insight about dropped calls due to less than full battery life. I could not figure out why some calls drop and other don't. I have also experienced the single aid drop while the other stays up for the duration.

I guess that is due to one battery being stronger at the time. Then you have uneven battery life causing both batteries to need to be changed when only one is dead. Anyhow, I hope someone has a solution to this besides changing the batteries every time you want o make a cell call. The biggest problem I have with my iPhone 5s is when the called is dropped on my hearing aids the caller is still connected on my cell phone and they can hear me, but I can't hear them and I can't switch the phone to speaker or regular so all I can do is ask the caller to call my landline...which I can't hear from anyway.

The bluetooth connectivity to the iPhone has finally made it so that I can talk on the phone and clearly hear what the caller is saying for the first time in 6 or 7 years. The bad thing is I get a lot of dropped calls.

Any advice?

Aug 30, 2015
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Short battery life
by: cawnaz

I have used resound hearing aids for the last 18 months. My batteries (312) last 3-4 days max. And yes, I open them at night. If I stream bluetooth TV for about an hour a night, the life drops to 2-3 days.

Other than that, the hearing aids are great. Much better than the previous model which had the speaker up in the hearing aid with a resonance tube bring the sound to the ear. This model has the wire to the ear with the speaker in the ear.

Aug 23, 2015
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Resound
by: John Dendy

At least 2 of these reviews are highly suspicious. especially the guy saying 2 days battery life. I have had mine for a couple of months and I typically get at least 7 days use from a battery. This is no problem as the batteries are very inexpensive.

Couple of points.
1. If using for Audio Streaming, you will get slightly shorter battery life. This is mentioned in the user manual.

2. Take them off when you go to bed and turn them off by opening the battery compartment. This is also mentioned in the user manual.

I have seen other review sites where hearing aid dealers bad mouth Costco. These people are border line con men and criminals. Be careful who you take advice from.


Sep 01, 2014
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Costco Hearing Aid Battery Life and Phone Clip for Series 5
by: Sid

I am very unhappy with the battery life of my Costco Hearing aids. The 312 vs the size 13 batteries are 30 to 40% less power.

I have to change batteries ever 2 days. Only use the phone clip+ to connect to my phone for voice calls only. I had to wear the phone clip+ no more than 10 inches from my hearing aids to keep them from dropping the connection.

I have returned the Clip to Costco and the took it back with no questions asked. Only complaint is that the hearings aids will squeal on sometimes while watching TV and high squeaky voices. Other than that I suppose I am satisfied that technology is the best it can be in 2014.

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