Friday, October 1, 2010

Rexton Cobalt hearing aids - 18 month followup review

So it has been about 18 months since I got my Rexton Cobalt 16 hearing aids, and I figured I would write a followup review in hopes that it may help people weigh the options.

Overall opinion: I have very little to complain about with these. They perform admirably in almost every situation, and fail where I imagine every hearing aid will fail. My experience with Rexton customer service has been very good, and they seem very generous with parts--more on this later.

The good: these hearing aids are small and basically invisible. If you're like me and don't necessarily want them to blend in, Rexton offers interchangeable colored shells. I bought silver and blue and mixed so the top of the aid is blue and the bottom is silver. I think they look cool! My batteries last about 7 days, but I need pretty high amplification, so others may get better life. I haven't tried the rechargeables that came with them yet because I know I would forget to charge them anyways. These aids really shine in ambient noise, where they make things like air conditioners silent. In lots of noise they seem to bring down speech levels slighty, too, though. The bluetooth receiver works GREAT. I plug in my receiver to my TV and at church, and everything seems very clear with none of the normal echoes that kill clarity. Compression is really great--what I mean by this is that they bring down the volume of very loud sounds, and bring up the volume of very soft sounds. Music can be a little tricky because of the compression and background noise suppression, unfortunately. I find that music that is not complex (something like James Taylor acoustic) is relayed very accurately, while music like Metallica ends up being highly filtered by the circuitry.

The bad: like many hearing aids, these things do very little to help when the ambient noise in a room is PEOPLE. I can last about 15 minutes at a time in these situations until I am exhausted from concentrating so hard to understand. The remote control, although very advanced in terms of hearing aids, really seems antiquated in the age of iPhones. I need more than 5 programs, seriously.

Wishlist: I think they could be head and shoulders above others if they just did a couple things. There is no reason not to allow the ability for more programs. They could make the remote more responsive in terms of "reading" the settings of the hearing aids.

Customer service: I have had to send back one of the units so far for an amplifier replacement. I also had a couple receivers go out. Rexton was very fast about fixing my aid, and shipped me a few extra receivers for each side for no charge!! This is really an improvement over Phonak in my experience.

I hope I have helped!

5 comments:

Aaron said...

I forgot to mention one other downside. These aids seem to block a good amount of noise coming from behind. I know this is meant to be a nice feature, but I would rather hear people calling me from out of my vision than not. I'm sure this can be tuned, but again I think I need more programs and I have already used all available. In general I would say that these hearing aids may be more challenging for people new to hearing aids because of all the advanced features and tunability--if you cannot describe the problem or what you want to change, it will be very hard for the audiologist to tune them right for you.

One other upside: wind noise used to be a HUGE problem for me, even in very light breezes. These aids are very effective at reducing wind noise, except when the wind is coming from perfectly behind me (in which case I just turn my head slightly or move).

buy hearing aids fremont CA said...

I have been waiting for this review about that rexton cobalt hearing aid. I am also planning to get one for my friend. I am so thankful to read this review.

Mike said...

I can say that your Rexton Cobalt hearing aid has a great quality. Your review about it is so good. I will wait for more update about that hearing aid.

Leslie Myers said...

Thank you so much for your review.

I am getting the Kirkland Signature hearing aids tomorrow at Costco and cannot wait. I have heard they are essentially the Rexton Cobalt 16s.

I have had good success with Rexton in the past. My last 2 pairs were Rexton CICs. Tried Interton ITCs because they had a telecoil feature. Hated them because I got weird feedback that the company rep and the hearing aid tech could not fix. I went back to Rexton which I loved.

Now I can't wait to try my new ones with the bluetooth feature.

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