New Costco Bluetooth BTE Aids


After reading about rumors of new aids at Costco, I asked my fitter about them. Today, he told me that they will be introduced on March 2. They are called ‘Rexton Cobalt Bluetoot’. They are going to retail for $3699. The fitter did not sound very enthusiastic about them. He was told to allow for at least an hour to set up the bluetooth. He also said that he read 5 reviews from users and 4 of them gave it a negative review.

He said that in a memo he received, that they would need to set realistic expectation for members. . . . that members (customers) needed to be aware of the shortcomings of bluetooth connections and the technology was not perfect. The bluetooth connection is through a device worn around the neck that also served as a microphone.

Other than the bluetooth, he thought there may be more channels (16 compared to 12), but he didn’t think they were all that different than the Kirkland Signature Premiums.

I have a Blueant wireless headset that works fine with my aids, as long as I am careful when I take it off. I don’t think I am willing to spend another $1700 to get a set of HAs that replace an $80 investment. If you’re interested ask your Costco fitter.


Costco-Siemens-Rexton-Kirkland Signature

Seems pretty steep. I was expecting something in the $400-800 range, comparing prices of the Gem 12 and Cobalt 16 and the Siemens Tek remote. $1699 more when I can wear earbuds with my Gem 12s (and have factory-integrated BT for my cellphone in the car) is a bit much.

I like how these Gem 12s with the 10 battery, size 2 receiver tubes and 8 mm domes fit and feel in and behind my ears. The Cobalt 16 that I’ve seen on the web uses a 312 battery, and I can’t imagine the same comfort level with a bigger device behind my ear.

I wonder if the $3699 includes rechargeable batteries and a charger?



And from my comparison of the Gem 12 and Cobalt 16, the only differences seem to be 16 vs. 12 channels, 312 vs. 10 battery, and data learning vs. data logging.

I can’t completely confirm the data learning for the Cobalt 16, though. Data logging stores information that your audie can use at future visits, and data learning learns the environments where you adjust the volume, and starts doing that for you over time.



I found a web site where the Cobalts cost a couple of hundred more than the Gems. The features they listed were identical with the exception of bluetooth.

I know that Costco supplies the remote. They must be providing something more for nearly double the price.



Your optimism is not likely to be rewarded in the hearing aid industry. There is no pony in this package :mad:
That $3699 price is nothing less than outrageous!
The words: “highway robbery” describe it more accurately. :eek:



As I stated in another thread. When I was in Costco they had a printout of the specs for the Siemens Life 700 and compared their new bluetooth HA to it. They told me it was basically the same HA and used the same TEK.



The Cobalt is a receiver-in-canal aid and the Life 700 is an open fit acoustic thin tube. It’ll be interesting to see on March 2 which one Costco is selling.



check this website for description and price.



I’m on a 90 day trial of the Rexton Revo+ (65db recever mold in one ear and 55db open dome in other) from Costco and am very happy, I’ll return and try the new Rexton version of the Siemens Pure. It comes with a remote/bluetooth and a device to put by the TV/stereo for the bluetooth. Don’t know that I’ll use the bluetooth but these are smaller and more advanced than the Revo+ for a few hundred more. Worst case I’ll return them and get the Revo+ again. I’ll tell you, honestly I can hear in noisy restaurants and at parties with these Revo+'s after a few tweaks by the Audi and use of programs on the remote.



LOL, there is no information about Cobalt on their own website.



I posted the following in this thread yesterday:

I was at Costco today, and stopped by the Hearing Aid Center to see if they had the Rexton Cobalt 16 on sale. They did, and a pair with the Blu RCU remote and cables is $3700. From the specifications, the only difference I could see from the Gem 12 is 4 more channels and one more program memory.

The Cobalt 16 can use the 55 and 65 dB receivers, whereas the Gem 12 uses just one receiver, the 45 dB. Those needing more power in an RIC could benefit from this. The fitter did say that for the higher power receivers she usually recommends a custom micro-mold.

The Cobalt 16 uses a 312 battery, and it looks smaller than I expected. Imagine the Gem 12 on steroids - same form factor but puffed out a bit. With the 312 battery it is noticeably heavier than the Gem with the 10 battery. The thing I like with the Gem is the overall feel in and behind the ear, and that extra weight of the Cobalt might begin to reduce the comfort level over the course of a day (relative to the Gem, of course).

The remote is a re-branded TEK, and looks to be a bit larger than a deck of cards. I don’t know that I’d want to be keeping track of that thing every day. With it, in addition to all the bluetooth stuff, and program and volume controls, you have the ability to adjust the treble. That could potentially be useful.

Since I have integrated factory bluetooth in the car, and have no trouble with my home, office or cell phones the extra $1700 for just some extra tech just doesn’t cut it for me.

Oh, and you can get the recharger and batteries, but that’s another $85 more.

The Cobalt 16s also aren’t stocked in the store like the Gem 12s. It takes a couple or three days to get them in.



Rexton Cobalt

Wireless Technology
Stereo Audio Streaming (via Blu RCU)
Connection with mobil phone (v Blu RCU)
Signal processing coupling
progran coupling
remote control option

Treble equalizer via RCU
Automoatic equalizer
Automatic acclimiation
sound locator
multichannel adaptive directional microphone
aqua protect
Color conversion concept

Basic Features/B] Feedback concellation soundSmoothing adaptive noise reduction windnoise cancellation automatic microphone automatic noise reduction data logging Natural lousness compensation power-on delay Automatic program control alert level low battery warning Battery door on/off

[B]312 battery rechargable
For mild to sever hearing losses
16 channel
8 compression control
push botton
5 memories

Good luck.



I stopped by Costco today and looked at these aids again. I’ve been wearing a pair of Gem 12s for about a month and like them, and was curious about the Cobalt 16 and the bluetooth.

I was able to wear the demo aids for a while, and they didn’t seem to be any different from a sound quality perspective from the Gems. With the 312 battery I was expecting it to be larger, but it seemed just as comfortable behind the ear as the Gem with the 10 battery. And the bluetooth features were nice, but it seems like a few more doodads to keep track of and keep charged.

And the Cobalt has 5 program memories versus 4 for the Gem, but it seems you end up using 3 of them for bluetooth. Right now I have automatic, driving noise, speech in noise, and music, and regularly use all of them. It would be hard for me to have to give up this arrangement for bluetooth, which I wouldn’t use as regularly.

The $1700 increase over the price of the Gems is a tough nut to crack, too, even if it is, by comparison, a pretty competitive price for these aids with the equivalent of the Siemens TEK remote.



I am a gadget guy, but the increased cost, the way it’s implemented, and personal experience with Bluetooth kept me away.

I am quite happy with the Gems.



I have 4 programs in my Gems, and use all of them. Last night I was in automatic, switched to driving noise to go to a high school baseball game, then switched to speech in noise at the game. On the way home it was back to driving noise, the automatic, and then music while watching some TV on my home theater setup.

Having bluetooth take up 2 of the available 5 program memories (removing the flexibility I haver and used last night), and having to keep that BLU RCU (aka TEK) remote with me just doesn’t appeal to me.

Having the recharger that’s also a dryer would be nice, but that adds another almost $90 to the cost difference.

I’m torn, because I’m a gadget freak, but think I’ll wait to see what’s up with audio connectivity when I need to replace the Gems.



And another thing that I like about these Gems is the overall size behind the ear. In my job I spend a lot of time on concalls and wear a Plantronics headset like this one. I find that I can wear the headset and my hearing aids, and not worry about pressure on that one ear. With larger BTEs it would sometimes become uncomfortable during a lengthy concall.



I went to the Costco here in Tucson, AZ. to check on the new Hearing aids. The young lady manning the booth said the new aids were due to arrive any day now. She suggeseted I make an appoinment due to their being booked up for two weeks straight.:frowning:



I got them at Costco 2 weeks ago, and they function perfectly after 1st sitting (by now I have enough experience to explain my needs). I can hearbirds, fountains, attend parties, and music sounds great and “crisp”. (and I am a musician).

I did not try yet the Bluetooth, but I assume that it will work fine too as it essential Siemens Tek.