I have Widex Beyond hearing aids. Although they are meant for Apple phones, I have been using them with my old Samsung Galaxy V phone for about one year and they work well. I wear a streamer around my neck (it cost $150 and I got it at my audiologist’s office). I use my cell phone for work and personal calls. The streamer is great. I hear others very well and they hear me too; plus, I like wearing the streamer around my neck as it allows me to use both hands and type on my computer during phone calls. My phone is getting old and running out of storage space so I will be getting a new one soon. although my audiologist recommends that I buy any Apple phone, I’m not sure if I will purchase one or stay with an Android.
Yeah, that’s not a problem with Phonak. Bluetooth connections seem solid also.
HA’s ReSound Quattro 9 61’s. Connector: Phone Clip+. Have only used a few days but for streaming, the Phone Clip+ works extremely well. The audio quality is excellent. I haven’t had any of the warbling or stuttering issues that @teejayess and others have reported with LiNX 3D-related devices. I don’t do many phone calls a day but there seems to be a slight 1 or 2 second gap in connecting up with the caller or callee in taking or making a phone call but it doesn’t bother me. Could be the relatively poor cell tower connectivity where I live or the fact that my wife and I are on different plans, different levels of AT&T service (I’m prepaid, she’s postpaid).
My main complaint with the Phone Clip+ is that it just has an all or nothing battery indicator. You can’t tell if it’s about to run out until it starts flashing a yellow LED and then you don’t have too many more minutes of streaming/connectivity left, 20 or 30 minutes?, until it just shuts down. Happened to me in the middle of a 40-minute walk last night.
Interesting phenomenon or maybe just flaky ReSound Smart 3D app software. As the Phone Clip+ battery was dying, the app showed that both my phone and the Phone Clip+ were connected to my phone only through the left ear. The right ear was just marked in red (bad or no connection) to both the phone and Phone Clip+. But I could hear the streaming fine in both ears. Don’t know if the Phone Clip+ streams to each ear independently or one HA gets the stream and passes it to the other ear through NFC or whatever but I guessed the abnormal depiction of HA connectivity might have been caused by the weak, dying Phone Clip + battery. I switched off the Phone Clip+ and when I got home, I turned the unlinked HA off and on and that HA (the right) then showed a good connection with at least 40% of its battery left in the phone app. While doing this, the other HA lost its connection to the phone (or at least the Smart 3D app showed it not connected). Stopping and starting BT on the phone fixed that depiction problem and I also had at least 40% charge in that HA, too (the left).
It would be nice if ReSound allowed you to see the % charge of any auxiliary device like the Phone Clip+ or the Quattro charger case in the Smart 3D app itself and also would be great if you could set LOW BATTERY alerts or notifications in the app AT THE LEVEL YOU DESIRED, not only for the HA’s but also for any auxiliary device. Perhaps reading battery state is extra processor busy work that would detract from the performance and battery life of the connected device BUT ……
I had many similar experiences with the Phone Clip+ like that. Seems that happened at least once a day and sometimes as many as four times. I posted about one here, but there were many more. The fact that the phone Smart 3D app showed connection issues when the HA connection as still good was a daily occurrence for me.
The Phone Clip+ dying quickly after 3-4 hours of constant streaming, music or podcasts is what finally drove me away, even though it is supposed to go 6 hours. I have a power brick for phones on long days or overnights, but I had to add that to my pack to plug in the PC+ while stopping for coffee and sometimes reading with music streaming (music helps distract me from tinnitus or masks the sounds of people all around in coffee shops).
It sounds like the faster more powerful processors in the Quatro solve some of the stutter issues I had, or maybe it was just the BT connection between my Pixel 2 XL and the PC+. BT does not always play nice between devices, one reason I had three different BT headsets depending on what I wanted to connect, one for phone, one for computer and laptop. One was older that did not work well with either, but was available if needed.
Thanks for the info! I should have checked other programs in the app to see if the “missing” right HA was shown connected via any of the other programs (next time around!). Forgot to say in my post just above that the audio quality in streaming seems to be a lot better than in phone call streaming (great vs. OK) but then as I mentioned, for phone calls the phone to phone connectivity issues, how each phone participant is holding their phone, brand, service provider, etc., all come a bit into play.
So how many hours does the PhoneClip last on a charge?
Tim has MUCH more experience than I have so far and probably gives the best answer. The instructions that come with the PC+ are NOT very helpful. Just says battery life may vary according to usage (chirp!). Presumably if the device is not actively streaming but just on standby, it can go much longer. The first day I got it, I had it idling 10 to 14 hours, then a couple more hours on subsequent days and I would say that I streamed altogether close to 2 hours on top of the idling before the battery died (Oops! Forgot. Add an hour or two as well for streaming audio component of videos from my PC thru Phone Clip+ to HA’s) . I think since I only stream for about an hour and a half at most, that I will just charge up my PC+ a bit before I go for a walk and find out on an ad hoc basis the minimum charge-up that gets me through a 1.5 hour walk no matter what random charge state the PC+ was in before I initiated the pre-walk top-up a bit charging. My hearing is so good with the ReSound Quattro’s that I can answer and speak through a cordless phone just fine without streaming to the PC+, without a magnet on the phone to initiate any phone program, etc. YMMV, obviously, according to your audiogram, etc.
Go to this page (ReSound Pro site).
Then this link will download a pdf data sheet with more info.
VIEW THE PHONE CLIP+ DATA SHEET
Thanks for the tip, Tim! I actually downloaded all the manuals and data sheets for my ReSound HA’s and accessories back in early October but, unfortunately, I didn’t bother reading the PC+ datasheet (or remember reading it, if I did!). Thanks for pointing me back in the right direction!
I don’t think that I had 80 hours of standby time accumulated and perhaps 6 hours of phone calls is not equivalent to 6 hours of streaming high-quality stereo audio at a high bitrate (are phone calls mono only at a lower bitrate with less frequency range to support, too, in data carried?). So in the first few days of just tomfooling around with the PC+, it’s hard to tell how much usage I really put it to, but the lack of anything that even grossly indicates % charge such as the 3 little LED’s they put on the charger case that let you know if it’s > 33%, >66%, or at 100% is really a big shortcoming of the ReSound Phone Clip+, IMHO.
Anyone know an effective way to send feedback to ReSound? I used the Contact Us link on their web page, sent an inquiry as to the projected lifespan of the Quattro 9 61 Li-ion batteries and never heard back from them. I’d like to send them the suggestion that at least in the audi’s software that they put the ability, if possible, to evaluate the remaining mWh capacity of the Quattro batteries such as iOS devices and Windows devices have to judge remaining Li-ion charge capacity and know reasonably well how you are doing relative to the prospective lifespan of the battery. I’d send along my opinion of Phone Clip+ battery status monitoring, too!
My audi has not yet activated/(or maybe recommended that I use) the ReSound Assist feature on my Quattro’s - she said wait 'til first revisit in 7 days. But I don’t think that’s the best way to send general feedback/suggestions to ReSound, is it?!
Forgot to note, too, that I was doing my stereo audio streaming using the ENHANCED Samsung UHQ (ultrahigh quality settings). These settings upscale to 32-bit audio from, say, 16-bit, and offered increased bandwidth but I haven’t been able to find anything on the relative change there. But streaming at UHQ audio settings might be an appreciable factor in reducing the time I can stream stereo audio through my Phone Clip+. Especially since I am mainly listening to “talk” shows, I probably should be happy with the audio format the podcast is delivered in and not waste battery and listening time by upscaling.
Upscaling invents data and thus can easily result in all kinds spurious output and loading up the stream of data that could even be just blank but taking up stream space nonetheless. Or something like that
Take a 128kbps mp3 and upscale it to say the max 320. Compare them both in something like Audacity and you might see that the data representing higher frequencies is filled with nothing. But you’ve bulked up the file with “data”.
Take a flac file and downscale it to even 320 mp3 and you’ll see much of the higher frequency hits but a lot less baggage.
Start with as high a quality as you can find. Downscaling at least still leaves you with some originally existing data.
Remember too that the HA’s can barely output 8khz to 10khz. And down to maybe 250 if not higher.
Anyway…I’m no audio engineer…I spent a crapload of time examining all of this when curating my music collection.
My ears are still screwed though. I have a little theory running in my head that as one ages and advances in their work that they are crossing lines in life with deteriorating hearing and more and more expensive audio gear. They spend more and more money trying to find audio nirvana all the while their ears are failing them.
Sorry…a little stream of consciousness ramble triggered by the mention of upscaling.
I could do several hours of streaming on mine. It was very unusual for mine to die. It was normally after 4-5 hours of phone calls/meetings and a couple of hours of TV.
The following is a great post in the XDA-DEVELOPER’s forum about Samsung audio and BT and basically says the obvious that no matter if I’m listening to audio that was high quality at its source reproduced in UHQ format on the device, it won’t do me any good unless the I can stream in BT-UHQ format and have a listening device certified as UHQ capable. But it does claim at the end of the article that upsampling on the sound playing device is useful for “smoothing” out the sound.
I see via SEARCH that in years gone by on the forum there has been quite a bit of discussion about sound bit depth and transmission frequency rate. Again, perhaps reflecting my ignorance, the most important thing about bit depth is that it controls the maximum possible amplification. A good hearing aid like the Oticon Opn1, according to a past post, works at a bit depth of 24-bits, which allows up amplification up to something like ~120 dB SPL whereas an HA operating at 16-bit depth could only achieve an ~96 dB SPL. On transmission frequency, you have to digitally sample at at least twice the frequency of the highest possible frequency sound that you want to reproduce, e.g. if you wanted to represent up to 10 kHz, you’d have to sample at at least 20 kHz. So, ignorance showing here, if you want good sound reproduction with maximum possible amplification (there is an upper limit on much amplification can be achieved from a “speaker” device), you’d want an HA that could deal with 24-bit depth x 20 kHz = 480 kbps of uncompressed digital sound. And that’s for a single ear/HA.
So for stereo streaming of compressed sound, I presume you need 2x that data rate or 960 kbps of information. But just like zipping a file, to make transmission easier, I gather the data is much further compressed for purposes of BT transmission, e.g., the BT-UHQ codec.
In the search to relieve my complete ignorance, I came across two further blog posts. One from 2012 cites the human ear as placing an upper limit on the quality of reproduced sound that one can deal with and says anything beyond that limit is pure marketing:
The other post by an apparently successful sound company and of more recent vintage (copyright 2018) states that it is worthwhile in capturing sound to reproduce frequencies well above what the human hear can hear because in the playback, these “unhearable” high frequency sounds, through interference patterns in the air, recreate lower frequency hearable sounds accompanying the main sounds of, say, music and therefore these accompanying background sounds recreate a more realistic, higher quality listening experience that would otherwise be removed by digitization, etc.
So in conclusion to all this meandering, I think it’s too bad that HA companies are not clearer in the bit depth and bitrate that they’re devices are capable of (or I did I miss all that somewhere in spec sheets somewhere). That way, you’d know for sure in streaming how much audio quality you should even try to stream to your HA’s.
BTW, Samsung, in their product literature, claim the smoothing effect for UHQ upscaling and also claims that UHQ upscaling does not increase the data transmission burden presumably because of an improved compression codec in BT-UHQ or the like. It also seems that not all upscaling protocols are created equal, e.g., difference in DVD upscaling according to TV manufacturer, so it could make a difference what upscaling protocol one uses for audio, too.
Just a bit of clarification with the 96dB and 120dB SPL. I think that’s dynamic range and not maximum sound level. Bernafon’s claim to fame in bygone years was to achieve good music quality by fully using their 96dB, by starting at a level higher than zero. For example, starting at 24dB would get you a max level of 120dB.
That’s a good point. And relative to that, what is the absolute lower-level baseline for human hearing? One post that I read on this forum made by a knowledgeable person claimed that because of Brownian motion, i.e., essentially molecular noise, that 20 dB SPL was really the baseline for human hearing. But an online article claimed that the human ear can actually hear to -8 dB SPL at 1,000 Hz (I think) but that for practical purposes, the baseline for “normal” human hearing was set to 0 dB SPL at 1,000 Hz. Apologies if my recollection is faulty.
I guess even with really occlusive domes or earmolds, one is going to start out around 20 dB just from processor noise, Brownian motion in the ear mechanisms aside, etc.
I find it quite conceivable that some people hear -8 dB SPL or even better. However, I doubt many of them are candidates for hearing aids. My take on the Brownian Motion comment was that was for the interaction with hearing aid microphones and the subsequent amplification. I doubt there’s much benefit for hearing aid users to try to amplify sounds less than 20dB.
BTW, two Oldies But Goodies threads dealing with bit depth and bit rate are the following:
16 vs 24 bit converters and HA Audio quality, (2017 vintage)
In the 2017 thread @Volusiano says that for HA voice quality (the main HA purpose), he doesn’t think that 24-bit depth vs. 16-bit makes a difference but he thinks for music reproduction in general bit depth does make a difference. Somewhere I think that he offers the opinion that an advantage of 24-bit for HA’s is that it gives you more headroom above the noise level and less associated “hotness” in sound reproduction to work with. But there are lots of good comments in these two threads other than just on bit depth and bit rate.
Maybe I need to check what I’m reading or maybe opinions go different ways for different folks. @Um_bongo, the person who cites air molecules hitting the microphone surface as a source of noise in many different threads says increased gain in HA’s is a major source increased noise (shows I could learn more by following other recent threads!).
I just don’t like using the Surflink Mobile to pair with my phone for phone calls. Maybe it’s the disembodied voice in my head that freaks me out.
I love using the Mobile for all other kinds of audio. My audi dedicated one of my programs to a Surflink Mobile setting.
I can say that, for me, streaming audio (TV, phone internet radio, etc) is the absolutely best speech quality/audio I’ve ever experienced in my life. I imagine it must be what non hearing challenged people hear like.
BTW, no matter how I use the Mobile I just keep it in my pocket in the wood shop, gardening, remodeling. I use a Surflink streamer for the TV now since finding one online them for $30.
Best of luck,
Weighing in with my own Samsung S9 + Phonak Audeo B-Direct marriage …
So far, it’s been really GOOD! I have paired my aids with my Samsung, and while the audio only streams to my LEFT ear, it’s better than no streaming. I also LOVE that these Audeo B-Direct aids require NO necklace device or clip-on. It’s easy, effortless and device-free for streaming with my Samsung.
My old Oticon Alta Pro aids also pair with the Samsung S9, but they require my wearing a StreamerPro necklace device, but at least I get stereophonic hearing from these aids that are now 5 years old!
I guess that’s why I’m super interested in the Phonak Marvel model - I’d enjoy stereophonic streaming from my Android phone to this new model.
For the TV, I have a Phonak-compatible TV streamer that is about the size of a matchbox. That also works great with my Audeo B-Direct aids: stereophonic streaming to BOTH ears. Only when the battery gets low does the streaming get flaky.