Unitron Moxi 12 - review after 3 weeks

New HA user. Have been hesitant about HAs for 5 years or so. Still not convinced I “need” them, but I’m definitely a candidate. I don’t have anything to compare the Moxis to in any way, so I will just try to describe them as well as I can.

The Moxi 12 model was introduced in 2011, sort of succeeding the Latitude model. It’s a 12-channel BTE RIC unit.

To cut to the chase, I love these HAs. :slight_smile:

I read that with my type of loss, there is not a dramatic wow effect when first putting on HAs. I found this partly true, although the first thing I heard with them was the sound of paper rustling, and it was much sharper than before. And the second thing I heard was the audiologist turning and walking away from me while talking and I could hear everything she said. The first couple days I was unconvinced because things just sounded a bit “tinny” and I wasn’t sure that it made a big difference. But the thing is, it’s a subtle difference that ends up being a huge difference once you get used to it. Now, after three weeks things no longer sound tinny – they sound natural and sharper, and I want to wear the HAs all the time.

The Moxis are very comfortable. The BTE piece is so small and light that I don’t notice it at all once they’re on. I am conscious of the wires and the RIC dome in my ear. It is not a bad or unpleasant feeling – I would compare it to wearing light glasses; you know they’re there but they don’t bother you. The wires are a clear plastic-insulated copper wire which is relatively stiff. It tends to keep its shape, which is both good and bad. If it fits perfectly and hugs your ear as it wraps aound and over the ear lobe into the canal, it will stay that way, even after wearing them all day. But, if it doesn’t hug your ear perfectly, it can take some effort to make it do it. The right wire on mine was the one that fit perfectly, while I had to fiddle with the left wire continually and it still wouldn’t stay the way I wanted. I did just go back to the audiologist this morning to see if she could adjust it, and it seems that she fixed the problem by bending and shaping the wire, and replacing the “lock” that wraps inside the ear lobe and actually holds the dome in place. So, the stiff wires are an advantage once your audiologist gets them adjusted correctly.

The sound of the Moxis is sharp, clear, and pretty natural. There can be feedback if you put them in your ear too quickly after turning them on, but it is never loud enough to be painful. Once turned on and in the ears, I have never heard any feedback. My loss starts around 2K so normally when men are speaking I don’t notice much difference at all, except hard consonants like “T” or “S.” But when a girl or woman is speaking, the HAs kick in noticeably and really help.

In the office, one big difference is that I can hear the keyboard clicking. Before the HAs the sound from the keys was muffled, and I actually thought it was a “silent” keyboard. Heh heh. :stuck_out_tongue: I can hear co-workers a couple cubicles away from me without having to walk over to them.

I went to a few high school basketball games with the Moxi 12s. The squeaking of the sneakers is almost unreal. The whistle, though, is borderline too loud. The ref’s whistle is certainly loud anyway, and the Moxi amplifies it – this is probably one sound that I wish wasn’t amplified. On the plus side, the Moxis seem to have good directional sound because they focus on the voices of the people sitting with you, even though people are talking and yelling all around the echo-y gymnasium. They pass the test here, and this is a tough place.

In fact, there doesn’t seem to be a situation that the Moxis don’t work well in. At the audiologist’s office, she showed me the computer application that programs the HAs. As expected, there are a bunch of preset programs. I don’t remember all the names, but there were things like “restaurant,” “office,” and of course the default “automatic” setting. Believe it or not, there is even a “house of worship” setting, and it happens that I usher every other week at our church so I tested this setting while standing at the very back of the church, and it was really amazing how the Moxis sharpened up the voices of the lectors, deacon, and priest. I can only describe it as sounding un-muffled for once, and I don’t think I missed any words at all during the entire mass.

During the first follow-up visit, she retested me with the Moxis in for both the audiogram and speech tests. The audiogram improvement was more than 10db at all frequencies 3K and above. The speech accuracy test with high background noise was 84% accuracy (21 out of 25) versus 32% accuracy (8/25) without the aids!

For accessories, I have the uDirect bluetooth/wireless device and the Smart Control remote. I could not live without the remote, as I couldn’t imagine pressing the tiny button on the aids themselves for every program change. I have not really felt the need to adjust the volume at all, nor do I really mess with the “clarity/comfort” adjustment wheel much. The “automatic” setting is good enough for pretty much any situation, but I do like flipping through the programs - I think the limit is 3 programs at a time, plus the 4th is a mute feature that just turns the HAs off essentially - and really, when muting them it is almost exactly like not having the HAs in your ears – the RIC piece inside the dome does not block the ear that I can notice. But even though I’m not constantly changing the programs or using the remote adjustments much at all, I still could not imagine being without the remote. I have not used the uDirect for anything yet other than the cell phone. It works great though. It was simple to pair the unit to the phone following the directions in the guide, and simple to use the uDirect with the phone. The sound is clear and in both HAs. I think the volume can only be set by the audiologist, but mine seemed to be a comfortable level right out of the box, and we didn’t need to change it. There is a 1/8" headphone jack. I don’t have the cable yet, (but plan to get it tomorrow), but with a double male end stereo cable you can attach the uDirect to the headphone jack of an iPod and listen through both Moxi receivers. I am very interested to hear the sound quality of this. I can’t imagine that they will sound as good as regular ear bud headphones because the speaker drivers are so tiny, but the phone does sound pretty good through the uDirect and HAs so maybe I’m wrong. :rolleyes:

Finally, they are pretty discreet. If someone is looking for them and is within a few feet away, they would be able to see the wire going into the ear, unless it is covered by your hair. But that’s only if the person is looking for them and is very close. From 10 feet away, I would say that you can’t see them from the front. I feel pretty sure that when I’m in a store or public building that no one is noticing them.

Overall, for a first experience with HAs, the Unitron Moxi 12 have been great. Love the hearing improvement with them; am pleased with the comfort; and they are as discreet as a BTE RIC unit can be. I paid $3700 for mine, including the remote, uDirect, 2 dozen batteries, and 2 dozen cleaner sticks (and excluding the visits, which are covered by insurance). I am still in a 45-day money-back trial period, but I can’t see returning them unless they break. Definitely a nice unit.

Update on the uDirect audio streaming with iPod:

I bought the 3.5 mm stereo cable today. To use with uDirect, you plug the cable into the iPod/MP3 player headphone jack and the other end into the uDirect audio cable jack. The volume is controlled by the iPod. Once the uDirect is turned on, it automatically detects when music starts from the iPod, and you hear a couple beeps in the HAs and then the music will start streaming.

I was surprised at the sound quality. The bass is a little lacking, but still there, while the midrange and highs are quite good. There is very little difference in sound quality between a decent set of ear buds and the uDirect with Moxi 12s, other than the lack of bass punch.

Speaking of music quality and the Moxi 12s in general, I can certainly hear things I couldn’t hear much without aids. I listen to rock music for the most part, and now for example, I can hear cymbals again.

As I mentioned in another thread, I play guitar, and this instrument emphasizes one of the shortcomings of the Moxis: they add an unnatural sound to the guitar. It is especially noticeable when striking a single note on the higher strings. The sound is something like what a signal processing device like a Chorus or Phase Shifter effect adds to an electric guitar - these devices modulate the original tone with a slightly delayed oscillating sound. The Unitron Moxi 12s do the same type of thing, but not as dramatic.

When I first heard this effect added by the HAs I did not like it at all. Since then, my ears and brain have become more used to the HAs in general, and I have accepted the sound. Plus, the HAs allow me to hear nuances of the guitar I haven’t heard in some time, if ever. Things like the percussive scratching of the strings from the pick, and the harmonic overtones in the upper frequencies. So overall, I prefer the sound of the guitar now with the HAs as opposed to without them.

Thanks so much for this review! I will be a first time hearing aid wearer in a few weeks and am currently considering the Moxi 20s.

I also love music and play guitar, so this is a huge deciding factor for me. I don’t want my music experience to be compromised to the point where I just give up on either music or the aids.

Your review has just about everything that anyone could ask for, great job!