My Rexton BiCore C R-Li hearing aids came in this past Sunday, and I wanted to wear them a few days before giving my initial thoughts. I trialed all 3 pairs around Costo (also Jabra & Philips) before deciding on Rexton. Sound-wise, Jabra and Rexton seemed very similar to me, but I went with Rexton for two reasons: 30+ hour battery life and the directional microphone feature on the app.
I need to preface all this by saying that I’ve been wearing a single Phonak Lyric in my left ear for 8+ years. (It wasn’t appropriate for my right ear, as it is worse) I know that Lyric isn’t very popular here, but it suited me perfectly well for a long time. It obviously wasn’t meeting all my hearing needs, but it was way better than nothing. And it was incredible in the sense that it was “set and forget” and low-maintenance for my active lifestyle. It was invisible, I didn’t have to take it out to shower or sleep, I never had to worry about feedback issues, I could talk on the phone and wear earbuds, and never have to worry about losing it or sweating during a workout, etc. Basically, I never even had to think about it.
So, I knew I was going to be a touch crowd for the switch to RICs. I’m only making the switch because my speech comprehension was never going to be maximized with the Lyric, which are analog.
And so far, as expected, I’m not the least bit impressed with Rexton. (not sure whether to laugh or cry!)
They make my ears ache and are so itchy. I can only wear them a few hours a time before I want to rip them out.
They are much higher-maintenance. I have to take them out for showers and bed, and clean them every morning. I have to worry about water and sweat, and be careful when brushing my hair or being active that I don’t lose one. Not to mention setting one down, and my cat making off with his new toy!!
Everything sounds tinny and a bit distorted at times. They are connected to my phone, but the audiologist needs to turn up the internal sound on them, because I can barely hear phone conversations, even though they are directly streaming into my ears.
Everything is much quieter. I have to turn the TV up to 50 now, instead of 40 (with my Lyric). I need more volume.
I’m not sure that speech comprehension has improved. Conversationally, I’m hearing my partner and friends about the same as I did before. At the gym earlier, a sweet older lady was trying to talk to me, but I could not understand her at all. Her voice was so quiet and soft that I had zero chance, so I just gave up and moved on. (But maybe that’s a situation where even hearing people would struggle?)
The feedback. Oh, the feedback. It’s terrible. My audiologist set my baseline volume at 7, but I have the ability to turn it up to 15. Since the Rextons are much quieter than my Lyric was, I must turn the volume up to hear on Teams meetings, or hear the TV. But when I do that, the feedback starts. My partner cannot give me a hug, or even get within 3 feet of me, and the feedback starts. He even heard it three rooms away! Thankfully, I mostly work from home. But I’m a little worried about going back to the office and my the entire floor hearing it.
My audiologist did do the feedback tests before I left the store, and everything seemed fine in his office. But out in the real world, I have to keep the volume at 7 or below and not get within 3 feet of anyone
- The app. It seems fine, I like being able to choose a microphone direction (which does help) and different programs. I have Automatic, Noise/Party, Outdoor/Traffic, Television. Although I don’t think there’s enough difference between any of them to tell a real difference, so I just leave it in Automatic.
I know that I sound like a Negative Nelly! I’m trying very hard to be positive and give these a real chance. I have 6 months, so there is nothing to lose. And I know it will take more than a few days to truly get used to the sound.
I do need quite a few tweaks that I will tell him about at my 2 week follow-up appointment: more volume overall (for both external and internal), address the feedback issues, and address the issue of not hearing the soft-spoken woman at the gym.
If you have any suggestions, please do chime in! I wish I knew what algorithm they are set at, so that those of you who are geniuses at this sort of stuff could give me some tips! I can ask the audiologist at my next appt. I have the power receivers and my domes are vented, I believe.
And if you made it this far, thanks for reading