I recently purchased the Transcend EZEX CPAP and having used it for a few nights and I would like to offer my thoughts and opinion. Overall I am very happy with my decision to have purchased this machine. The size and transportability make this an ideal machine for camping and overall traveling. Having taken it on a camping trip this past weekend proves the point a smaller size makes for easy transportability. Granted the Transcend is Spartan in its user features but it capabilities is equivalent to my full size CPAP machine. I also purchased the multi-night battery and for my setting of 12 cmh2o and breathing pattern I got two full nights of use. That battery option is what really sold me on this unit in the first place. For my full size unit I have a Respironics System One (460) CPAP machine and I use a 12 volt 22ah lead acid battery for camping which gives me three full nights of use (humidifier off). But the size and weight of all of that hardware makes travel a real pain. The Transcend EZEX relief does work but it seems not as effective as my System One unit. I find that for my pressure setting I really don’t need that relief function for the Transcend and I leave it turned it off.
Nothing is ever perfect and the Transcend CPAP is no different and it does have its negative aspects. I think the most negative of the Transcend EZEX is the sound transmission of the air movement. I use a Resmed Activa LT nasal mask and the dead space within the mask acts like a speaker. The “Darth Vader” breathing sound seems amplified to the user since those sound waves are hitting your face. This is probably due to the direct air path from the machine to your face. To someone listening externally, they may not find it very loud, but to the user it might not be at a tolerable level. As an experiment I plugged the Transcend EZEX into my System One humidifier and that breathing sound was reduced to almost nothing at my face. I then tried running my System One 460P CPAP machine without the humidifier and the sound level was almost as loud as the Transcend machine by itself. This would indicate that by disrupting the sound path (in the humidifier chamber) to the dead space of your mask the breathing sound is reduced. Looking for a simple fix I purchased some viral/bacteria filters, which plugs into the air path, to see if that would help. The filter actually cut that sound level in half. The other benefit of having the plug-in viral/bacteria filter is cleaner air for us allergy sufferers. I would recommend that Transcend users buy these filters not just for sound reduction but because the machine’s foam filters is only a coarse level filter.
Wanting to improve on the sound reduction I created a muffler for my Transcend. Going on the assumption of dead space and disrupted sound path I used a 4 oz plastic jar, which created a dead space with the air inlet and outlet ports offset as to disrupt the direct air path. The result is a muffler that now makes my Transcend EZEX as quiet as my System One 460 with the humidifier. And it even fits in the Transcend carrying case. I plan to do some more experimentation to reduce the size of the muffler. I think a sound muffler is something Somnetics should offer as an accessory for those who have problems tolerating the noise level.
Overall, the Transcend unit is something that I will not regret buying and would recommend to others. This is a great second CPAP machine for home and especially for travel. I think Somnetics has a winner, if they can come up with a way to reduce the air path sound level they could silence the naysayers. And I also would like to see the price of the battery packs come down, having more than one pack would be a real plus. I think my next add-on purchase will be the solar charging unit. If I am to use CPAP for the rest of my life, I am going to do it well equipped.