Could anyone offer Trax 42 programming suggestions to reduce restaurant background noise?

A Costco store is graciously allowing me a three-week trial with “loaner” Trax 42’s.

What I’ve read here about the Trax suggests that they are state-of-the-art for isolating a target voice sitting across from you in a noisy restaurant. Even after extensive programming tweaks, the Phonak Audeo Q90’s I have had for the past two years seem to amplify everything, background chatter included. So far, after two weeks, the Trax seem better, but not a lot better.
Can anyone recommend an adjustment tweak the Costco audi might do in the noise/party program? I am looking for the experience other posters have mentioned of having the background noise greatly reduced while still having the mics focused on the speaker directly in front of me in a noisy restaurant.

I do not want to spend the money to replace my Phonaks unless I can get much better speech-in-speech-noise performance from the Trax42’s. Thank you.

I had my HIS add a Party/Noise program to my Trax 42s and I came back to him with the observation that while I could hear the person right in front of me better now over background noise, I still had trouble hearing those sitting beside me. He somehow widened the range and that seemed to help hearing folks sitting alongside.


Thank you, bobwal. At this point I am just trying to get a good experience hearing someone directly across from me when I am facing him/her. I had a long conversation with someone in a rather noisy bar/restaurant last night and I had a difficult time hearing everything he said.
During the conversation, I tried putting the Trax into Noise/Party mode and cranking up the volume. I was hoping that doing that would have the perceived effect of amplifying the target voice while keeping the background noise at least somewhat suppressed. It worked a little, I guess, but not nearly well enough. That’s why I am hoping an audi on this forum might suggest a possible adjustment like I described in the original post.

op are you sure your aids are paired\linked?

Some people seem to have great success with voice in noise; but when a restaurant or bar is super noisy, the background noise just seems to overpower what the aids are amplifying. I would also like to know if you get some settings that work for the Trax, since I might be trialing them soon.

Just a few minutes ago I ran my fingertip along the mic on my left HA and heard nothing. When I pressed the program change button on that left HA I heard the beeps for program changes in the right HA. When this happened with my Phonaks it was almost always fixed by changing the wax guard. But I don’t have any replacement wax guards for the loaner Trax. I changed the batteries…still nothing from the mic.

Then, as I started typing this, I ran my finger over the left HA mic and now it works again. Was the left HA working last night when I was having the troublesome conversation referenced above? I don’t know. This is so frustrating!
DD, is the binaural beamforming/pairing something the audi has to turn on manually? It seems like that would be a default setting. When you read my posts above, does it suggest to you that the binaural beamforming was never turned on?
It seems like I remember reading posts (maybe from mjd2k?) about the Trax becoming unpaired spontaneously. Do you know about this phenomenon? Thanks. As I finish typing this post, again there is no sound as I run my fingertip over the left HA mic.

I too had the same problem with the restaurant setting. The clinking of plates and silverware in the background drove me crazy, overpowering the speech from my table. The Costco dispenser could not solve the problem before my 90 day trial period elapsed, so I returned them and bought their KS6. They work better but are still not where they need to be.

I’m fairly new to hearing aids and completely new to the forum. I bought my aids at Costco 3 years ago. I have never been completly satisfied with them. My main problem is hearing consonants. My wife’s voice is hard to understand if there is not a word string that makes me aware of what words might be coming. Previously to going to Costco, I had a Beltone tech examine me. He demoed his aids to me in the office, and I could understand my wife’s words much better than without the aids. Those aids were quite a bit more expensive than the one I bought at Costco. Now, just last week, I had the Beltone tech examine me again. Again, those aids worked well in the office with my wife speaking single words. Here is my thinking - I don’t think that the Costco tech did a good job. He didn’t really take enough time to educate me in the use of my aids. He also had different graph curves as I remember looking at the Beltone ones. I didn’t get to keep the Beltone graphs, as I didn’t buy anything from them. I am going to try going to a local audiologist for examination, and see if he will adjust my Costo hearing aid, and if not, I will try to take my graphs to the Costco tech to see what he might do. The Costco tech is not the same one now as when I was there for the original fitting. Incidentally my aids are Rexton 4.0, at least that is what is on the box. The hearing aid techs that I have been examined by are not audiologists, just hearing aid techs. Thanks for reading all this, and any replies would be appreciated. – Dex Henschel

Belton aids are made by Rexton as are Costco’s KS6. If you don’t get similar result, it is likely the fitter.

I had a pair of the Trax 42 xm’s that acted like that also. It drove me crazy for several weeks untill Rexton finally decided it had a bad chip. The aide would turn itself off and constantly bounce between programs by itself. Also when a call would come in through the smart connect, it would change the Costco programing in the aides and I had to return to the store and start over again. Rexton wanted to refurbish it but I wanted a new set so I wound up purchasing a new set and getting a refund on the defective pair.
I have had wonderfull results with them handling background noise and being able to hear conversations in a crowd since I bought the new set. The aides focus in on the person I am looking at and the pitch of their voice changes slightly to make it easy to understand the conversation. They had to run the first fit program a second time to get them working properly and sounding right . The first time the software made them sound terrible even though the REM test looked ok. The only issue that I still have is noise reduction in my car, and the smart connect locking up. I am sure they will eventually get that fixed because thry have a ticket filed with Rexton now.

I bought Rexton aids from Costco in September and questioned my fitter (whom I thought excellent) carefully about adjustments.
He told me that only another Costco fitter was able to adjust any brand aid purchased through Costco, just as Costco fitters were not capable of adjusting aids by the same manufacturers they carry which were not bought at Costco. This is due to software idiosyncracies, not to the competency of audiologists or Costco and other fitters. Perhaps your hearing changed between the time you got your Rextons and tried the Beltones. Good luck…I’d keep after Costco until you feel that you have the best clarity possible.

Yesterday I went back to Costco and they removed wax that had clogged the Trax. They work again, but I still am experiencing performance that is not significantly better than my current Phonak Audeo Q90’s.
I asked the Costco tech if she could adjust the noise/party program so that the beam is very narrowly focused by default. She said that the HA’s were set to the default setting of a wide beam. In order to achieve the narrow beam I want, she said I would have to have Rexton’s iPhone app installed and wear the SmartConnect medallion (which they didn’t want to provide for my 3-week loaner mini-trial).
I also asked if it was possible to adjust the HA’s so that the background chatter was reduced even more in the noise/party program. She said no. I was surprised to hear that the narrow-focus beam couldn’t be programmed through the software as the default setting.
It seems to me that, during this mini-trial, I will not really be able to experience the optimum performance of the Trax that so many posters have raved about. I have to return them in three days. The obvious next step would be to buy the Trax and do a full trial, but the Costco people are not encouraging that step. Three years ago I returned many times for adjustments to the Resound Forza’s I was trialing at the time and ended up returning the HA’s. They are afraid the same thing will happen with the Trax.
At this point, I think I will have to return the Trax and go back to the unsatisfactory experience of the Phonaks. Unless I actually experience performance from the Trax significantly improved from my Phonaks it doesn’t make sense to spend the money to replace the Phonaks. I feel like although it’s very possible I could get that improved performance with the Trax after optimum adjustments, I won’t get that opportunity, at least not this time. Frustrated again…

My Costco audi added the noise/indoor programme to my Trax. She said the beam was focused essentially forward of my shoulders. It actually works well when I’ve used it.

I have the SmartConnect app and can focus the beam very tightly, but I haven’t specifically tested that versus the indoor/party programme.

If I try that, I will let you know.


Just wanted to say here, although ‘beam’ is used extensively by the manufacturers, it’s a bit of a misrepresentation due to the torch connotation. The ‘beam’ in this case is more like a candle with an adjustable shroud throwing a pool of light in more or less one direction.

Most directional fields break down within 6-10 feet and all are subject to head diffraction. A well matched pair of instruments will give you a few dB extra sensitivity directly ahead of you (unless they are dynamically able to follow a speech source). Remembering that each dB improvement in SNR can result in 10% better Articulation Index score, it all sounds great. Two big caveats: Firstly, the assumption that the person talking is actually audible over background noise - negative SNR are sometimes audible to a person with 0dB loss, due to the exceptional processing of the brain - but not audible to hearing aids. Secondly whether your loss/auditory resolution can actually resolve the information supplied into meaningful words.

I bet your problem is solely a wax issues.

either you regularly clean the wax out of your ears or you buy a bte aid.

Better to keep your mouth shut than remove all doubt!

I have never worn BTE aids, only RIC’s. I had never considered that wax buildup could be an ongoing problem. I do have a tendency to produce wax. The Costco audi told me that wax tends to build up from the bottom of the ear and eventually the buildup gets high enough that it affects the HA’s.
I have never been diligent in cleaning out my ears. As I described above, when my HA’s stopped working I would assume that the wax guards needed to be changed. When I would change the wax guards it would almost always fix the problem and I figured I was good to go until it happened again. Occasionally I would ask my doctor to do an ear cleaning. I guess I need to be a lot more diligent.
DD, do you really think this could be the root of my problem? Doc Jake, from your post it sounds like you disagree with DD. I very much value both of your opinions, and the opinions of other members. I would appreciate any follow-up suggestions from either of you or from any other members. Thank you.

Two big caveats: Firstly, the assumption that the person talking is actually audible over background noise

And that is a big one. On my second day in aids I was in a Coney Island that had a steady atmosphere of 80+ decibels. It was uncomfortably loud with the new aids. BUT I could hear everything that was being said by the folks at my table who, by the way, had to speak up in order to hear each other. So far I have found that if those with normal hearing can hear what is being said, so can I. And if I’m having trouble so are most of the other people I’m with.

I ended up returning the Trax to Costco after three weeks. I do think they might have been a little better than my Phonaks, but not so much better as to have justified the cost to replace the Phonaks with the Trax. I guess I’ll wait for new models to be released before I look at upgrading from my current Phonaks again.