ISSAQUAH, WASHINGTON — This week Costco officially rolled out the latest iteration of its “Kirkland Signature” branded hearing aids in stores across the United States. The Kirkland Signature 8.0 (KS 8) is the latest generation of the company’s popular private-label devices. Sivantos, currently in Costco under its Rexton label and the supplier of the KS 7 hearing aids, was chosen to produce the new devices.
Costco’s Kirkland Signature label has always been the value brand for many products found at Costco, both inside and outside the hearing aid department. Over the past several years, however, the prominence of the Kirkland brand in its hearing centers has grown significantly–making it perhaps the most dispensed brand at the hearing centers today. This is particularly significant, considering Costco is estimated to hold more than 11% market share of all hearing aids sold in the US, with continued growth rates of its hearing aid centers frequently exceeding 20% year-over-year.
Kirkland Signature Hearing Aid Prices Reduced Further
Kirkland Signature hearing aids are considered premium-level technology, but are offered at a much lower price than the company’s typical premium aids.
With each successive generation of Kirkland Signature (KS) hearing aids over the past several years, the price for a pair of instruments has been lowered by $100/pair:
- KS 4.0: $1,999/pair (manufactured by Rexton)
- KS 5.0: $1,899/pair (manufactured by GN ReSound)
- KS 6.0: $1,799/pair (manufactured by GN ReSound)
- KS 7.0: $1,699/pair (manufactured by Rexton)
- KS 8.0: $1,599/pair (manufactured by Rexton)
- KS 9.0: $1,499/pair???
The pricing strategy of Costco’s KS brand is consistent with recent calls for the hearing industry to lower pricing to increase access and affordability to amplification, most notably from the NAS and PCAST report.
What’s New in Kirkland Signature 8.0 Hearing Aids, Besides Lower Price?
According to the company, the KS 8.0 includes the following features:
- Receiver In Canal (RIC) available with 312 or 13 battery
- 48 channels, 20 gain handles, and 6 programs
- Optional model with telecoil
- Made for iPhone (MFi)
- 50% faster processing speed
- Enhanced music listening
- Motion sensing
- Smart Direct App
- IP 68 rated against dirt and moisture
Click here for a review of hearing aids currently available at Costco. If you’re curious how the latest Kirkland KS 8.0 hearing aids stack up against their name brand counterpart, check out this video from Dr. Cliff Olson:
For detailed specifications of the KS 8, interested readers can also refer to the datasheet and materials published at Hearing Tracker.
So, When will the Kirkland Signature 9.0 Hearing Aids Become Available?
According to our sources, the Kirkland Signature 9.0 (KS 9) is slated to be released in summer of 2019. It’s still unknown as to which of the four major companies might supply the next KS model, but considering the volume of Costco sales each year, it’s likely the competition will be strong among the suppliers to provide the next KS-branded devices.
Readers can click here for more hearing aid reviews, brought by our sponsors, examining different devices and quality, affordable options.
Calling the KS 8.0 “8th generation” is misleading since the first KS was the KS 4.0 in 2012.
The KS 8.0 is actually the 5th generation.
The KS 4 was actually the 4th generation of KS device, the list above doesn’t show them all the way back prior to 2012.
How do you know that the KS 8.0 is actually the 5th generation, do you have any prof if yes then Costco could be big problem.
Ive been employed with Costco for 26yrs. The KS1 was manufactured by Interton (Resound) KS2, KS3, KS4 manufactured by Rexton. KS5 and KS6 manufactured by Resound. KS7 and KS8 by Rexton. I would be happy to answer any questions regarding any of the above mentioned models.
Great answer this! Can you repair or replace after the warranty period passes? Or do I just have to buy new ones? 1/5/15 purchased KS562-DRW so much feedback I can’t put them in my ears!
This was an answer I just couldn’t get out of Costco. After 3 years, if there is a failure, can it be repaired and how much is that? What if only one is failing? Hearing aids last 6-8 years. Can I get another that will ‘match’ or do I have to buy two again? Will you be able to program these hearing aids if they last 10 years? No answer. The staff didn’t know and nobody has called me back with any of these answers after 2 weeks. Given that these are proprietary programmed hearing aids, these are all concerns.
You will not find “8th generation” in any Costco literature because Costco is not calling them 8th generation, others are. So, L, Costco doesn’t need to worry about “could be big problem.”
KS4 to KS8 took 6 years, following a consistent, historical pattern of a new launch approximately every year and a half.
KS 4 Quarter 1 – 2012
18 – 21 months
KS 5 Quarter 3 – 2013
18 – 21 months
KS 6 Quarter 2 – 2015
15 – 18 months
KS 7 Quarter 3 – 2016
15 – 18 months
KS 8 Quarter 1 – 2018
Do the math.
Going back from KS4 at 2012 would put the fictional, first generation KS at about mid 2007. Didn’t happen.
Anonymous, post the complete list “all the way back prior to 2012”
Well now, there you go. Even the authors of this article have changed their wording in the first paragraph from “8th generation” to “latest generation” which is how Costco describes each new release.
Not sure why “Anonymous” and “L” had such a knee jerk, defensive reaction to me pointing out this minor editorial infraction.
I say no more.
Just saying, as a first time purchaser of aids I’d appreciate a bit more productive discussion.
Doug, click on the “Hearing Tracker” link in the article up above. Find your way to the forum and you will get lots of productive discussion. Some exceptionally knowledgeable people over there.
Just starting to look into hearing aids and wonder of what importance the “generation#” vs. “latest generation” has if one is simply looking for the newest technology available?
You are absolutely right and Costco keeps it simple without a number. Although they did fudge a bit by launching the first Kirkland Signature (Rexton) as KS4.
Marketing; otherwise it is meaningless.
Funny, I HAVE REXTON KS3’s and they are GOOD, been faithful since 2011
Tanita is right. The manufacturers will release the aids to Costco only after 5 years of the product being introduced to the market. That’s the precise reason why these hearing aids are sold at reconditioned prices, because they cannot be classified as new after 5 years of shelf life. All in all, its a big hoax perpretated by COSTCO. Buyer beware!
This is simply not true, at least not anymore. While the latest hearing aids are usually available on the outside more quickly, Costco often gets them often within 1 year of their release, and in some cases, even faster.
Example: the latest KS 8 is said to essentially be the same as the new Signia Nx, and the ReSound Forte, released last year into Costco, same as the Linx 3D that came out in Spring of last year. In both of these cases, they were released into Costco within 6 months of being in the outside market.
Frank, You are absolutely right. I have the KS 8 and my voice sounds better to me as I would have expected of the Signia NX pure, just released last year. The KS 8 has better connectivity then the KS 7 and with 6 programs available instead of 4 as with the KS 7. I tried the Forte which as you said are modeled after the Linx 3D. I found then a little bright for my hearing disorder that can cause some distortion along with the loss. But the Forte were out within 6 months of the Linx 3D. Usually they will lack one or 2 features that the name brand has like a program for Tinnitus. Costco has a 6 months trial. Can’t beat it. I use the one In Frisco, TX and the people are great.
A brief addition to my last post. The Forte and Linx 3D are made by Resound. The Forte at Costco is basically the same as the Linx 3D sold outside of Costco. The Kirkland 8 are about $1000 less then the Resounds at Costco. They are the second most popular aids behind the Kirklands. Resounds main advantage was the connectivity but the Kirkland 8 with a new app has narrowed that gap. Both can now stream directly to your aids. No extra device required.
That is totally incorrect! In fact, the Kirkland 8.0 is state of the art. For example, Bluetooth hearing aids didn’t exist 5 years ago. The 8.0 is basically the Signia pure NX 7 without the tinnitus programs. Costco does “lock” their HAs so other providers can’t service them but they are current technology.
So how does the newest model differ from the Signature 7? Any real improvements?
Higher moisture resistance rating, faster processing speed, made for iPhone for direct streaming capability.
I just returned from the Costco Hearing Center in Thornton, Colorado and came home with new literature for the Kirkland Signature 8.0 premium digital hearing instrument. That’s how their marketing it.
After a thorough audio test, Melissa had me try this hearing aid, the first hearing aid I’ve ever tried. It blew me away. What an experience. Even my tinnitus was diminished quite a bit.
I see my life changing for the better, and at an incredibly low price. The new signature 8 will cost me $800. I only need one since my left ear is just fine.
Hope this helps.
What is the standard warranty on the 8.0 hearing aids?
3yr warranty on repairs, 2yr loss & damage policy (replace each aid once at no charge) and 6 mos full refund guarantee from fitting date.
Mine are following the 3yr theme by crapping out at exactly 3 years?? Seems an extended warranty would be nice to offer!
Can you buy the KS 8.o in Canada or just in the us?
Want to know as well!
yes, just released last week in Costco
The KS 8.0 is identical or nearly identical to the Signia Pure 312 7Nx. I’ve compared the features and specs and tried both. Rexton is manufacured by Signia (spun off from Siemens). I tried the Signia Pure 312 7Nx at a My Hearing Center in Salt Lake. $6300 a pair. The KS 8.0 T (with telecoil) is $1599 a pair. And with Costco I don’t have to worry about repair and reprogramming if I move to a different area. Waste your money if you want to.
BTW, The person or persons above talking about delayed technology release at Costco doesn’t know what they are talking about. I have worn hearing aids for 15 years and follow the technology closely. Costco is one of the most powerful retailers in the world. They are a disruptive force in the marketplace. The demise of the traditional, bizarre hearing aid business model is nearly at hand. Samsung and Apple will soon enter the market with their own “hearing amplifiers” which are simply hearing aids skirting the traditional audiologist fitting required by law in most states. Audiologists will soon find a business opportunity in fitting these devices without the pressure of making sales at egregious prices as is now done. Win/win for consumers and audiologists in the long run. Costco management sees this transition and is leading the way. They buy these KS 8.0s (Rexton/Signia Pure 312 7Nx) by the truckload and pass on the savings at a reasonable margin. Their audiologists are not under commission pressure as are tradition hearing centers. All you have to do to understand Costco’s power and influence is compare gasoline prices in your local market. Costco never marks up wholesale gasoline more than 4-6 cents/gallon. Watch the spread seasonally with major brands in your area and compare. It is easy to see who is gouging at any particular time.
Thank you, thank you! I just purchased my first set of hearing aides from Costco.
So the telecoil “option” is included in the base price?
Telecom only with 13 battery model
I have 7 year old Resound aids and still working and have been serviced in California and Illinois which is wonderful. Now i’m looking a head for a new pair but will wait for Android full application to arrive. Like others I won’t buy an I Phone just for a new set. Hurry Google!
Does Costco in the UK have a Hearing Centre and carry the KS 8?
So if I don’t have an iPhone, will i not be able to use these hearing aids? Or will I just not have the ability to use all the features?
I’d like to know too. The world doesn’t all revolve around Apple! I’m certainly not going to go out & pay a bloody fortune to buy an iPhone just so I can use my hearing aid & why should I be denied a certain hearing aid because I don’t have the popular type of most expensive phone (iPhone?) ….. It irritates me that “technology” companies refuse to acknowledge the variety of technology that surrounds us all? They seem to all live in a stuck-up bubble with severe tunnel vision.
I agree 100% no company should dictate what I can use. I hate that companies follow the mighty dollar and the hearing impaired have to suffer!!!
An iPhone can be used to change the overall amplification level of your hearing aids, but it isn’t permanent. Each time you open and close the hearing aid battery doors, the hearing aids reset to the permanent settings. You can pair your iPhone with your hearing aids and listen to phone calls via your hearing aids. You can also listen to music from your iPhone via your hearing aids.
Costco set my Kirkland hearing aids to auto so the buttons only change the programs. I can change some features with the app on my android phone but a phone is not required. Even the volume control is automatic. You can have the aids set to one automatic program where the buttons do nothing.
You don’t need a phone to use these hearing aids. You can change the settings with the Android or iPhone app.
The iPhone app has additional features that the Android app does not, and that is streaming. You can use the hearing aid like phone ear buds to stream your music and I think calls. I have the Android app. I also hardly change the settings. The volume that I set is fine and I don’t need to adjust it, and I keep the default distribution, with for me works well on one and one conversations, small dinners, dinners in loud restaurants and large meetings that I attend that are not amplified. I can now sit in the back of the room, which I prefer.
I bought KS562-DRW 1/15/15. I must say that I hear better however I’m not impressed with service after the sale. Once the sale is made the interest of the center at Costco is less and less to help with questions or problems. At this date 9-24-18 just beyond the warranty period the units I bought are feedback prone so bad their impossible to have in my ears. Service is lacking!
I think that must depend on which Costco you purchased the hearing aids at. I have had fantastic service after the sell on my hearing aids from Costco. I purchased a pair in 2013, and then a pair in 2018. I have dealt with the center for 6 years and have always had great service. I have even recommended the center to friend that need good hearing aids.at a reasonable cost. I would say try a different Costco center to see how the service is there.
The service life of any hearing aid is five years. After five years re sellers like Costco toss the software etc and recommend replacement. This is true for all models and at any hearing center. I know because Mr Bernifon HA at
six years needing reprogramming and it was confirmed by multiple sources that all hearing aids bought anywhere have a five year period of repair/replacement or reprogramming. It seems unfair but that was what I was told and had it confirmed by multiple sources. If anyone knows of a service that can reprogram older than 5 years, I love to find that place.
Advanced hearing in Pleasant Hill California has been servicing my Oticon hearing aids for about 7+ years. Although they would like to sell me new ones, they have not turned me down for service and very recently replaced major parts on them.
Not sure where this info has come from? I’ve had my hearing aids for well over 5 years. I’ve had 0 problems going to any local resound dealer/audiologist, getting new parts and having them reprogrammed. I wouldn’t be able to do that with my 15 year old in the ear hearing aids but they’re 15 years old.
One thing that impressed me was how thorough the audiologist at Costco was and how a large sign explained he was not getting a commission. I’d seen another audiologist who was considerably more rushed and whose prices were higher. I also chose the KS8 and am very happy with the performance. I tried a Phonac hearing aid that cost over a thousand more, and couldn’t tell much difference, perhaps slight better noise filtering for an extra thousand, but nothing you’d notice in everyday wear. I’m very satisfied.
I HAVE ACRRIVA 9 THAT IS 5 YEARS OLD. IS THE SIGNATURE 8.0 PREMIUM AT COSTCO ANY BETTER?