Bluetooth Problems with Oticon OPN S and iPhone XS Max

#1

I just got new hearing aids last week, and am having problems with the Bluetooth connectivity.

They are Oticon OPN S and the iPhone is a 10Xs Max with iOS 12.3.1

The hearing aids work fine by themselves, but Bluetooth tends to start popping and garbling after a few hours of use. Rebooting the iPhone typically clears it, but I’m having to do it nearly every day and it is quite annoying.

I’ve put in new batteries…still no good.

Earlier today the garbling got really bad, and one hearing aid did a spontaneous reboot. That cleared up the audio for a short time, but the problem still persists.

I’ve tried repairing, but that doesn’t seem to help. The bluetooth still falls apart after a few hours.

I called Apple, and they had me do a “network reset” which is supposed to reset the bluetooth adapter in the phone completely. That didn’t help, as it started garbling right away.

I made the mistake of mentioning that my Apple Airpods continue to work fine. Apple then pointed the finger at Oticon. (sigh)

I just got off the phone with Oticon. They say they’ve never heard of this problem before. They are escalating the issue and are supposed to call me back.

My audiologist mentioned that I might have to keep rebooting my iPhone due to stability problems when I got the new aids, but I didn’t think it was going to be this bad. I see him again Thursday.

Previously I’ve had Phonak hearing aids with bluetooth connectivity through a streamer. I never had problems with that setup as long as the streamer was close enough to the aids. Unfortunately I lost them which is why I had to buy new.

Any ideas?

Thanks!

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#2

On a quick search I found this thread that sounds like a similar problem. And on another quick skim of the thread, it appears that the only solution found was to use an older iPhone 5, which would have been limited to an older iOS. So perhaps try to scrounge up an older iPhone…

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#3

I have OPN 1’s and iPhone XR. I suggest (can’t hurt) delete OPN app.
Unpair aids from XR. Hard reset phone. Repair aids. Also make sure iPad or iPod is not connected to bluetooth.
Previously I had iPhone 6 and sometimes I would get fluttering while streaming. I have to reboot the iPhone XR every few days-sometimes a few times in a day. No problems streaming with the iPad except for an occasional flutter at the 20 minute mark. I think it is an iPhone issue.

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#4

Sierra,

As far as I can tell, it is not necessarily specific phone, I’m guessing it is a problem with a bluetooth chip used in some devices… my iPad mini works fine, as does my other iPhone 5s. I understand some newer iPhones work fine as well, while my iPhone 6s does not. I corresponded with Apple engineers over a period of months, however, they seem to have moved on… which further leads me to believe it is a hardware problem… my suggestion, if money is no object, go to an apple store and buy the newest and tell them if it does not solve this problem you are bringing it back. If economy is important, and the age of the device is not an issue for you, then you could try a 5s, or a 7, and hope for the best. I really wish Apple would come out and definitively explain the problem so we would not have to guess.

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#5

You don’t mention MFi. Did you connect the aids using bluetooth or MFi? You should be using MFi. I have an iphone 7 with iOS 12.3.1 and I’m not having any of the problems you’re talking about. Of course, my phone is a different phone with a different BT chipset.

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#6

Yes. The hearing aids are set up through MFi.

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#7

I have iPhone 7 Plus and have no issues with my ITE OPN1s. They never drop connection to my iPhone but will to the ON app. To me the app isn’t needed anymore.

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#8

A shot in the dark, but I noticed today when I was looking at the new Connexx 9 fitting software that there was a place to set the “wireless address”. It says that it may be necessary to change it if there are conflicts. The HA’s have to be connected to the software to do it as the address needs to be changed at both ends.

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#9

Make sure you don’t have a bunch of apps running in the background.

Most people don’t ever clear their phones. There are many times when I am installing the APP, that a person might have 20 things running in the background. My experience has been when fitting any bluetooth compatible aids that if there are more than a couple things running on the phone, it affects connectivity greatly.

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#10

Well. I got a call back from Oticon. They say there should be nothing wrong and they’ve had no reports of any problems.

I mentioned the fact that others on the internet are reporting similar issues, and that my audiologist told me I’d probably need to keep rebooting my iPhone. The rep seemed to be in deep denial that there could possibly be a problem.

All he could suggest was going back to the audiologist and having the antennas replaced (which I’ll be doing Thursday).

This is very frustrating.

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#11

OK I have a question where are the antennas, I have ITE OPN1 aids and the only way to replace them would be to sent my hearing aids back to the repair shop.
I am not having any issues with my aids and my IPhone 7 plus

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#12

This is typical factory/manufacturer obfuscation.

I used to work for one of the big five, and we were told to say things like that, because if it gets out that they admit to a problem, it gets all over the internet, and they might lose the sale of a few units. Maddening.

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#13

If rebooting your iPhone always fixes the problem that most likely points to another program interfering with the connection. My recommendation is to delete Bluetooth-connected apps that you never or rarely use. It’s best to reboot the phone after each deletion but this can become time consuming. You can always simply add back any app to be back where you are.

Sometimes there are also settings buried in the system software that can cause issues and it can be a matter of luck finding the tech support person at Apple who knows about it. This I know from personal experience. If you have Applecare for your phone or can get to an Apple store, some of these people will spend an amazing amount of time and effort helping you troubleshoot.

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#14

Also for sanity check, verify that the OPN S is on the latest firmware version.

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#15

Software is 7.0
Firmware is aurorafw6.16.1

Not sure what is current.

I got a message to my audiologist. He’s going to express order new ones for my appointment on Thursday.

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#16

My OPN is firmware 6 so your S being firmware 7 makes sense.

If you have another iOS device (like a family member’s iPhone or iPad, you may want to try it on those devices to see if you have the same issue on then or not. If not, then it’s likely the Apple device having the issue. If same issue with all Apple devices then it’s likely an OPN issue

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#17

I have an older iPad I could try. It’s maybe 4 years old or so. I don’t know if it has Bluetooth Low Energy.

I’m now updating it to iOS 12.3.1 and then will see if it can pair.

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#18

One other possibility is that you’re in an environment where there are a lot of 2.4 GHz communication going on, causing interference. Not sure how you’d go about solving that issue, but at least there are things you can try to if it that’s the case or not.

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#19

I would guess there is a fair amount of 2.4G traffic going on from WiFi, but it’s never been an issue with anything else (like my AirPods).

I’ve got the iPad streaming now. Apparently I have to turn the iPhone off before it will stream from the iPad. Is there any way to stream from both devices with a priority? Maybe I need to use the streamer instead?

Listening for glitches now from the iPad. I think I’m hearing some minor glitches, but I’ll let it run a while and see if it gets really bad like on my iPhone,

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#20

No I have the same issue, I have to disable the Bluetooth one to stream from the other. But as soon as I have the connection to the other I can reenable the Bluetooth.

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