Costco has launched the new Kirkland 9.0 hearing aid range and the rumours have been confirmed. The new manufacturer for the Kirkland range is Sonova. There has been much talk on the hearing aid forums in relation to this launch and quite a bit of anticipation among consumers. The buzz was based around the rumour that the new Kirkland 9.0 would, in fact, be a Phonak Marvel in disguise. The rumour was half true at least, the device bears some similarity to the Marvel, as it does to the Discover from Unitron. However, it is neither, it is a completely unique device, in fact, unique in more ways than one. The device is specifically manufactured for Costco and it is the first-ever Sonova branded hearing aid. Let's take a look at what we know.
As I said, the device is unique, while it does use the hardware that underpins both the Unitron Discover and Phonak Marvel, it is unlike either. It does use the Sword chip which will provide connectivity to any Bluetooth enabled cell phone, so that means iPhones, Android phones, and even bog standard dumb phones. It will also offer direct stereo streaming of audio and phone calls. It will also connect to a TV accessory that will allow you to stream audio from a TV or sound system directly to the hearing aids.
Hands-Free Phone Calls
The aids provide hands-free phone calls from your connected cell phone. You simply press the button on the hearing aid to answer the call and talk away. There is quite a bit of joy to that and many users of the Made For Any Phone hearing aids really love it.
App Based Remote Control
There is also an accompanying app for both Android and iPhones which will allow you to control your hearing aids remotely from your smartphone.
The hearing aid will be a Receiver In Canal device using a 312 battery, which will be suitable for hearing losses up to severe. It will not be a rechargeable hearing aid. Nor will it have either a telecoil or any tinnitus features. The device will not have any type of remote fine-tuning abilities either. The feature set is based on top of the range Sonova hearing aids and is as follows:
- Third-generation enhanced automatic operating system
- Premium-level classification of environmental sounds and streamed media
- Binaural signal processing and binaural beamforming
- Direct connectivity to any Bluetooth phone with audio streaming to both ears
- Hands-free phone calls with built-in microphones
- 20 fine-tuning channels, 9 automatic programs, 3 manual programs
- Receiver-in-canal (RIC) form factor with 312 battery
- 4 receiver power levels
- Accessories: TV Connector
Kirkland 9.0 Prices
The new Kirkland 9.0 hearing aids will be priced at $1499.99 for a pair. I have said it before about the Kirkland signature range, that's a whole lot of hearing aids for an amazing price.
The Kirkland 9.0, just like every Kirkland aid before it, is a great offering. It is an ideal hearing aid for people with bog standard, run of the mill hearing loss that responds well to amplification. Having said that, the absence of a telecoil means that it is not an ideal solution for people who need more than just a hearing aid to get on in complex solutions. As well as that, the lack of a rechargeable option means that Kirkland buyers will miss out on the ease of use of that function.
The Kirkland 9.0 isn't a Phonak Marvel hearing aid, even though some will say it's similar. The truth is, that it is similar, but the Phonak Marvel range offers so much more than the Kirkland, including:
- The call transcription app
- Live real-time remote fine-tuning
- A rechargeable option
- Tinnitus treatment ability
- Access to RogerDirect
- Telecoil options.
Having said that, as I said, it is a whole lot of hearing aid for the price.