Rexton Trax vs. Phonak Audeo

I have been wearing Phonak Audeo Q90’s for the past year and a half and I’ve never been satisfied with them. I have had many adjustment sessions with two audiologists and even resorted to trying self-programming. I’m beginning to think that my problems might have a lot to do with auditory processing.
I have been reading where members say they were impressed with the speech-in-noise capabilities of the Siemens Binax and now Costco’s version, the Rexton Trax 42. Speech-in-speech-noise comprehension is, by far, my main issue.
My health insurance will allow me to buy a new set of HA’s at TruHearing’s discounted price in 2016 but I am considering trialing the Trax 42’s now. The Trax 42’s would cost about the same as new HA’s through TruHearing and TruHearing does not offer the Siemens brand.
However I was very disheartened reading about mjd2k’s disappointing experience with the Trax’s speech-in-noise performance. So I wanted to ask the forum members: Has anyone else switched from recent-vintage Phonaks (Quest or Venture platforms) to Siemens Binax or Rexton Trax? Did you experience a “Eureka” moment compared to the Phonaks when you tried out the Binax/Trax HA’s in a noisy bar/restaurant situation? Thank you.

I don’t think mjd2k ever experienced binaural beamforming as his aids seems to keep getting unpaired. I have never read of this issue with any aids. I suspect mjd2k knows what the problem is.

Evil Scientist, markcl, ksam, CoreyF and lots more have not had problems with the rexton trax 42 in fact they’ve all purchased the aid. No, I don’t think these people are having a eureka moment as the additional help seems subtle. But I bet you will notice it more than these people who I think are mostly new users.

you should try it as it really only cost you time.

if you can program your aids I can see that you should not have sound recover on as your loss is flat. not going to cure all things. what situations are giving you the most problems? obviously speech in noise is not working out for you. have you’ve tried audiogram direct in the target program? I would just use it to determine where to aid more gain vs your existing audiogram. also many are writing about feedback processing (entrainment) issues with these aids and are advising to throw out the feedback test in the trash via the trash icon and turn all feedback test related features off (whistleblock).

Hi, DD. Thanks for the response. I do have SoundRecover turned off in all my programs. I have tried to mess with WhistleBlock with some success. I’ve tried minimizing it as much as possible without creating feedback. It doesn’t seem to affect speech comprehension much either way.
I have not tried Audiogram Direct yet. Can I save my current settings and then create a new set of settings using Audiogram Direct? Also I have considered trying NAL2 programming conventions instead of Phonak Adaptive. Some of this stuff seems way beyond my technical ability and understanding of the Target program.
I just have this feeling that with the correct HA’s and/or correct settings I could hear much better than I do in the noisy bar/restaurant environment that I am required to spend so much time in. I also often have trouble at checkout stands and Starbucks.

ziploc, from the new version of target you can select whether you want to use the result from audiogram direct vs the audiogram that was entered. and interchange them to your heart desire. If you are really worried about messing things up, you can create a new user and have target read your aids settings in. You can always go back to your old user settings but be careful not to have target read the setting from the aids. Even if you screw up the new target software provides the ability to go back to a previous set of settings that was saved.

did you make sure everything is defined correctly for your aid in target? the dome style? wire length?

I realized another thing that might help is if you change your “noise only situation” from “maintain audibility” to “maximize comfort”. If your aids are in “maximize comfort” mode then change it to “maintain audibility”. comfort keeps the microphones in omni/directional state longer vs audibility which I believe makes the aid change the microphone state faster.

I believe you can widen the focus of your directional microphones in the speech in noise program. Do it slightly and I bet it will help somewhat.

be aware that looking at the speaker is important to hearing in noise. The worst thing you can do is to have somebody face one of your ears and speak into it as most directional microphone setup considers everything that comes from the side to be noise.

you probably also want to play around with the “speech in loud noise”. you need the speaker to be directly in front of you and you facing them directly for this to work. if the feature is on and this is not the scenario then you will not hear much. You should look into the datalog to see if this feature is constantly on or not. if it is, then you should lower the activation level.

Do you have a separate speech in noise and a stereozoom program? these programs will ensure the aids are in the right settings when you are in difficult noise situations. in the automatic program things could be changing all over the place.

Wow… These are good suggestions. Some of them I have already done or have considered, but there are some eye-openers there too. Back to the drawing board again. And thank you so much, DD.

If you have not resolved your difficulties yet, I would recommend running the feedback manager without the device in your ear, but hold your finger over the speaker tip so you can’t hear any feedback. It will turn the feedback control features on but it will not clip out any of the gain. Your loss is not severe enough that feedback should be a big problem. Recalculate the devices to target, turn off soundrecover, make sure you are 100% gain adaptation. Create a stereozoom program, and then when you are in those really noisy situations, switch into stereozoom and look directly at the person you want to hear. If you find you want the automatic program to be more or less responsive/aggressive, then click on the Soundflow program, then program options, and you can adjust the sensitivity and activation levels… Make minor changes until you are happy with the responsiveness of the automatic program switching. But always remember to use stereozoom manually in those really noisy situations.

Thank you, Justin. Just the kind of specific, nuts-and-bolts info I need!

Well, I just return from Costco and had them order the Trax42 aids. I’m wearing the KS6 and the trial is all but out. I’ll get the Trax 4 days before the 90 days. The audi isn’t sold on the Trax and tried to talk me into staying with the KS6 I actually thought that was a good response. We’ll see who is right.

I wore a set in the store. It wasn’t definitive but I did notice what I thought might be improved understanding. The KS6’s seem to localize voices more. I was about 40’ from the checkout and a women was talking to a friend and I could hear most of that. It wouldn’t have happened with the KS6.

Another reason for at least trying the Trax is noise. I was in a loud restaurant the other day and had a hard time understanding my friend across the booth we were in. I’ve thought the voice in noise left something to be desired with the KS6. I may find the same issues with the Trax but it seems worth the try.

As a negative, the Rexton accessories appear to be pretty outdated. I don’t think any other brand could be more clunky. But, I do adequately on the phone and listening to the TV. I doubt I’d pay the prices for accessories that Rexton has. They seem about $100 over the KS6 accessories which seem overpriced already.

I got the “free” remote. That offer is still going. That seemed an easy choice over the charger which some have said doesn’t last them a full day. Batteries are too cheap to put up with that. I tried to get credit for the remote against the blue tooth accessories – she called them and no go. There is an app that does what the remote does and it will probably end up in a drawer if my Android handles it well enough.

As an aside: there must have been a dozen sample tables. I used that to talk to the staff – getting a feel for a variety of voices. If I hit all those sample spots often trialing aids, I’d gain 5#. :rolleyes:

KenP. In fact the Smart Connect accessory for the Trax is quite sleak. Less bulky than the Bernafon thingamabob and much lighter and far less bulky than my old Phonak iCom. Yes, it is a neck loop, but it is so light it doesn’t bounce and under your shirt it works great. You can easily forget it is there.

The battery lasts a long time as well…it is actually quite nice to have.

I got the Smart Remote as well…barely use it…might be nice to have if I have to dress up and need quick and easy access to functions. I try not to use the programs thought…I’m a big fan of automatic (set and forget). The Rexton seem to work well in that regard.

Evil.

If they colored it gold, at least I would feel like Mr. T or a rapper. Lol

clunky and outdated? Im confused you are talking a out the trax42?

If it were Apple, I would expect that…along with a 10K price tag! :wink:

Yes, take evil’s idea to wear it under his shirt. Who wants that thing announcing itself to the world? It like wearing a pocket protector. I’ve heard that it is old 10M technology – CB was on 11M. Bluetooth is on 2.4G. The antenna requirements are what make for the necklace. Look at what you had stuck on your car for size against what you see on your router. And that’s likely comparing a 1/4 wave antenna to a 5/8th. That’s clunky.

It probably made some sense when Siemens introduced the tech 10 years ago. It was the less expensive frequency to implement back then. GHz transmitters were far more costly until smartphones got rolling. Other accessories implement controls along with communications. So, now? Yeah, outdated.

Folks are say Binax is cutting edge. Too bad it’s attaches to those 90’s accessories.

CQ CQ this is Rubber Ducky putting the hammer to his 40 footer down the 501, good buddy.

Seriously, a phone works fine for me. Why would I clutter myself with a hub cap around my neck. I got the remote control for free but likely won’t carry it because there’s supposed to be a phone app that connect the hearing aids – I heard using audio frequencies. So, I hope I can avoid another thing I have to keep in my pockets and drag out on occasions. My pants pockets are starting to get as bad as a women’s purse even without another chunk of technology. Hey, if they have made it like a sock… :slight_smile:

It’s a little ironic complaining about that “old” 10M “technology” while at the same time touting plain old telephone service, don’t you think? :rolleyes:

And let’s be clear for those who aren’t up on it: 10M isn’t a type of “technology”. It’s really nothing more than a designation of the radio channel* the thing operates on. CB radio operated with AM dual sideband or SSBSC. Those are types of technology. But you can run and kind of technology you want to run on 10M- FM, TV, digital fsk spread-spectrum or whatever you want to do. 10M is nothing more than a spot on the radio dial.

If, indeed, some or all of the neck streamers operate at 10M, that’s as irrelevant as the color of the neckloop. I was playing with my Smart Connect yesterday and trying to find it on a spectrum analyzer and could not verify that it operates at 10M. Maybe it does, and maybe it doesn’t. But I don’t care because it works like a champ.

Note from above:

  • 10M refers to “10 meters” which is a reference to wavelength. Wavelength and frequency are directly related: as the frequency goes up, radio waves become shorter. That’s because all radio waves travel at the speed of light, which is roughly 300,000,000 meters per second. The formula to compute wavelength is the speed of light divided by the frequency. So for 30 MHz, that would be 300,000,000 divided by 30,000,000 or 10 meters.

2.4G is a reference to frequency also. In that case, the formula computes to a wavelength of .125 meters, or about 12.5 cm.

(Note: cellular phone 3G and 4G refer to something else entirely)

Well, Greg, I haven’t had a POTS phone in years. I’ve even upgrade from the old flip to a smart.

The thing about frequency is that some work better in specific situations than others. 10M doesn’t go thru wall, bodies, whatever as well as 2.4G. So, you get better distance in the home and office. The antenna for 10M needs to be much longer. You won’t get a quarter wave antenna so the gain will be less with the 10M than with the 2.4G – again affecting signal strength at distances. Also, the newer technology is at 2.4G because there is a huge market there.

The one negative is that also router frequency and a poorly designed router could cause interference as some have noted.

Really, phone/computer technology has driven or is the basis for almost all the major improvements in aids. Some brands have embraced that more and fully updated all their technology. Some have maintained old compatibility or designs beyond their viable life. Upgrading is a cost to their bottom line.

Audio science has been stable for decades. A notch filter is a notch filter. Digital Signal Processors from video translate easily to audio. Low power in that for phones drives hearing aid capability. It is fast changing technology and that can be costly to reimplementation. One of the biggest benefits at this point would be better batteries.

The Smart Connect streamer operates at 3.28 MHz. It does not use 10-meter band frequencies.

That is all true, Ken. It’s also true that the wavelength of an AM radio station at 600 KHz is 500M. That requires an antenna 410’ long for a quarter of a wavelength, but somehow the 3’ rod on my Ford pickup works well enough.

And well enough is all we’re after. I don’t want my hearing aids connecting to streamers on the other side of a wall. LOL. I want it to have a robust connection 2’ away. My Smart Connect does that.

never let facts get the way…

Receiving and transmit antennas are different animals. Tx requires a resonant antenna. That can be by length or use of a tuner consisting of capacitors and coils. If this isn’t there, a standing wave will feed back to the amplifier and either overheat or destroy it. If a tuner is used, it consumes power and the output wave is weakened. The antenna must be matched to the transmitter impedance in some manner and poor antennas consume power and drop the signal strength. Takes a lot of science to make any electrically short antenna both efficient and resonant on a relatively small cell phone or aids that works well both for Tx/Rx because of the size need dictated by frequency.

There are people here who have reported that they drop connection or drop it on a single aid.

All true, and I am among the people reporting that- on the Mini Blue, not on the Smart Connect.

But the Smart Connect seems very robust. It connects pretty much every time and stays connected. Then again, the neck loop of the Mini Blue is a cloth ribbon, while the neck loop of the Smart Connect is a 24" cable that functions as an antenna. If it’s 10M that’s only 1/16th of a wavelength. But it’s apparently plenty good enough.