Fox’s new top-of-the-range bite alarms are a technological marvel
RRP: £169.99 (alarm), £169.99 (receiver), £599.99 (three alarms and receiver) | www.foxint.com
Honestly, when we saw the first promo videos and stills of Fox’s new RX+ alarms we liked them but we weren’t blown away. In the flesh, however, they are supremely impressive.
It’s a bit like casually watching a top footballer on TV, then witnessing them first-hand at a match and marvelling at their pace and positioning.
With bite alarms it’s easy to get blasé about ‘just another bleeping plastic box’ when you see them from afar, but, having got up close and personal, we can attest these are the real deal.
We’ll come to the extensive list of features shortly, but more generally these buzzers are just top notch from every angle.
The build quality of the pre-production samples we saw was very high – from the lovely notchiness of the adjustment dials to the feel of the buttons on the rear of the units, it’s clear a lot of time has gone into perfecting the RX+.
They look better in the flesh, too. The ‘ears’ are longer and the body slightly squatter than the NTXrs, but it’s an aesthetic that works. They also sound great, which – let’s not kid ourselves – is a key part of the buying decision.
The colour of the LEDs can be changed with a quick cycle through one of the rear push buttons (you no longer need to remove the battery cover to do this, as was the case with the NTXrs) and the intensity of the bulbs can now be adjusted. Programmable day and night modes also store your preferred brightness settings.
In addition, the tone of the alarms changes depending on whether you’re getting a run or drop-back indication, which is a very handy way to tell if you’re getting liners without having to look at your setup.
Sensitivity has also been massively upgraded since the NTXrs were released nearly a decade ago. Just 2.8mm of line movement is now needed to elicit a beep at the highest setting (it was 8mm on Fox’s previous flagship alarms).
In an apt demonstration of the thought that has gone into these alarms those settings are logarithmical, so the notches on the sensitivity dial are not equal. The nearer you get to maximum sensitivity, each click of the ‘S’ wheel delivers a finer adjustment. At the other end of the dial the adjustments are much broader.
Fox promises the range of the receiver is also ridiculously long, though we haven’t had a chance to test that. The receiver unit itself isn’t the prettiest or smallest, but it feels very rugged and responds instantly to all adjustments made at the head end.
It also comes with a ‘bivvy light’ feature which illuminates your bivvy only if you get a number of beeps in short succession (to avoid false positives from liners). It’s cleverly done, but the illumination is fairly weak and is perhaps the only real gimmick on these sets.
Overall, we were seriously impressed by the RX+ range, and the fact that, as technology has moved on, Fox has kept the prices below those of its previous top-end alarms.
The noticeable number of people flogging their Delkims and NTXrs to get a set of these is testament to the hype, but it's hype that's fully justified.