Kirkland Signature 9 Hearing Aid Review and Alternative
Published On 18 Mar 2021
The Kirkland Signature 9 is a popular model available at Costco. The service is offered by appointment and the Costco desk clerk will take you to the hearing test area on request. You need to become a member to partake.
But is the Kirkland Signature 9.0 any good? We at WonderEar believe it a viable alternative to our own WonderWave, although it does have some limitations in comparison.
Kirkland Signature 9.0 and WonderWave Compared
Image Source: costco.com
Kirkland Signature Review
Kirkland Signature 9.0 Specifications
The Kirkland Signature 9.0 is a behind-the-ear model that will be familiar with most hearing aid wearers. It is a neat design that is small enough to be difficult to notice when worn.
The Kirkland Signature 9.0 offers 4 power levels for the receiver and has 20 fine-tuning channels. This model comes with a choice of 9 automatic and 3 manual program settings and is fully Bluetooth compatible making phone calls easy.
It comes with a convenient TV accessory and offers binaural signal processing which uses inputs from both ears and fuses them together to create a complete auditory picture at the brain stem. It works from a standard 312 battery, and features a third generation enhanced automatic operating system.
Also, the Kirkland hearing aid comes with a so-called telecoil loop which allows you to plug your Kirkland Signature 9.0 directly into a mobile phone, microphone or sound system and receive the sounds directly into your ear - of course, though, the devices on the opposite end must be hearing aid compatible as well.
Moreover, the Kirkland hearing aid is programmed specifically for your needs inside Costco while you wait.
On the downside, the Kirkland Signature 9.0 is not rechargeable.
Kirkland Signature 9.0 Pros and Cons
The specifications and customer testimonies point towards the following pros and cons of the Kirkland Signature 9.0 hearing aid:
- Available at Costco.
- Bluetooth compatible.
- Multiple fine-tuning channels.
- Telecoil compatible which means it plugs directly into and receives sounds from your phone or other sound devices - without background noises or interferences.
- Not rechargeable so batteries will need replacing.
- You will need to visit Costco for any program changes (such as software updates or having the default volume altered) as these can’t be done remotely.
- Only suitable for people with mid-range hearing loss.
- Not prepared for help with tinnitus.
Kirkland Signature 9.0: The Bottom Line
The Kirkland Signature 9.0 is a good hearing aid for mid-range hearing loss and comes with the convenience of being available from Costco.
While the price is reasonable – around $1500 for a pair – we feel the WonderWave is a better option in terms of price. However, the Kirkland may be a more appropriate model for some individuals with milder hearing loss who use Bluetooth.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Kirkland Signature 9.0
Who makes Costco hearing aids?
The Costco supplied Kirkland Signature 9.0 hearing aid is made by Sonova, a major player in the hearing aid market who also sell aids under the Phonak, Unitron and Hansitron brands. There has been suggestion that the Signature 9.0 is simply a rebranded Phonak model but Sonova assures it is entirely different.
Are Costco hearing aids good?
In addition to the Signature 9.0, Costco also supplies a range of other hearing aids. These include models from the ReSound range which offer similar features. All Costco models are good hearing aids that come highly recommended by many users.
When was the Kirkland Signature 9.0 released?
The Kirkland Signature 9 was introduced to the market in 2019 so is still up to date in terms of technology. It has been developed further with the added features of telecoil, for example, which were not available with the original release.
What does Costco’s claim ‘premium digital hearing aids’ mean?
Costco makes a claim to provide ‘premium digital hearing aids’ and at WonderEar we don’t doubt that they are indeed supplying quality products from reputable manufacturers. For that reason, we’ll compare the strengths and weaknesses of the Kirkland Signature 9.0 with our closest competitor, the WonderWave in a second.
WonderEar Alternative: the WonderWave
The WonderWave is, we believe, the model that goes directly up against the Kirkland Signature 9.0 in terms of suitability and specification.
At WonderEar we take great pride in the fact we manufacture our own hearing aids – this cuts out the added cost of having a supplier setting a retail price for us – and as such we can offer quality products at discount prices.
The WonderWave normally costs $999, and we currently offer it at a special price of $499. And in case that, after a few weeks of wearing it, you find that the WonderWave is not for you, we offer a no-questions money-back guarantee.
So let’s talk about the WonderWave’s specifications in more detail.
The WonderWave is a rechargeable hearing aid that needs no batteries. Plus the charger that comes with it is portable, so you can even charge the WonderWave while you’re outside with no outlet in sight.
The charger then – when letting the loading cycle complete – provides more than enough power for a day’s usage. Moreover, the WonderWave comes as a behind-the-ear design and is suitably compact to be difficult to notice when worn.
WonderWave has 4 sound environment settings that filter background sound in busy environments or reduce the level in quiet places, at the user’s request. The twin-microphone design means smart noise reduction is automatic, as the WonderWave will cut back on noise you don’t want and emphasize that you do – the perfect set-up for social environments.
We have designed WonderWave to be telecoil compatible for telephone conversations, and it is also usable when watching television.
We have not built in Bluetooth compatibility, as we wanted to keep the cost of the hearing down and not include any unnecessary features. At WonderEar we understand Bluetooth is of interest to some users, but we believe it is not a feature used by most of our clients.
The WonderWave is very simple to use and switching between programs could not be easier as this is done with a simple button press.
It is suitable for most cases of mid-rang to severe hearing loss and comes with a tinnitus masker that covers the internal noise of the tinnitus with external sound. (Depending on your individual case of tinnitus, we can’t guarantee, it will be 100% masked.)
WonderWave Pros and Cons
We at WonderEar are aware there are hearing aids that offer more features than the WonderWave, but we do believe hardly anyone can provide a premium hearing aid at the price of the WonderWave.
Here’s our list of pros and cons.
- Rechargeable so no batteries needed - plus the charger is portable, so you can charge outside.
- Compact design for comfort and low visibility.
- 4 environment settings.
- Low cost.
- Twin microphones enable the WonderWave to pick up on a wide sound spectrum.
- Telecoil compatible which means it can transmit sounds directly from your mobile phone and other sound devices.
- No Bluetooth compatibility.
- Not good for those with severe hearing loss.
WonderWave: The Bottom Line
We like to be upfront and honest at WonderEar and that’s why we’re happy to provide you with details of the Kirkland Signature 9.0 which is a good all-round hearing aid for those with mid-range hearing loss.
We believe the WonderWave is a better choice for people with more severe loss and one at least as good for people with mid-range hearing impairment. In terms of functions, it offers similar capabilities at a more affordable price.
WonderWave is committed to supplying products designed and engineered in the United States to cut out the costs that come with a supplier as a middleman, and also to cut costs by not having expensive high street offices.
We believe the WonderWave is the most cost-effective choice of hearing aid on the market right now, yet if it is not for you, we suggest you have a look at the Costco range or the other affordable WonderEar hearing aids.
We are confident that the WonderWave will impress you and invite you to talk to us about any hearing aid related questions you might have.
Kirkland Signature 9.0 vs. WonderWave at a Glance
We at WonderEar have no hesitation in recommending the Kirkland Signature 9.0 for those who find the WonderWave to be unsuitable for their individual situation.
Compared at a glance, the main differences between the two models are the non-rechargeable battery – for the Signature 9.0 – against the rechargeable WonderWave hearing aids, and the lack of Bluetooth on our model which was a decision made to cut costs. Instead, the WonderWave does offer a tinnitus masking feature.
We do believe the WonderWave is the best value as it costs half the price and has many satisfied users, so please do get in touch if you need more information.