Can any HAs bluetooth without a streamer?

In reading about bluetooth use, it appears most manufacturers use a streamer type device hung around your next to pick up the bluetooth signal and send it to your aid. Does anyone know of a manufacturer who can pair directly with a device, such as my phone, without a separate device?
I have an in-the-ear Widex Clear440 and they don’t have one but in reading, I am not finding anyone else.

Thanks

I don’t think we are there yet in terms of technology. I think the main issue is size and power, technology today can not fit a Bluetooth adapter in a hearing aid and power it with the battery. I am sure we will be there someday, maybe sooner than later. This is just my opinion, I could be wrong.

That is what I have discovered as well and I was shopping just last week for new HAs. Right now there is no stand alone HA with Bluetooth. I had good hopes of finding a manufacturer that had integrated the new low power BT into their HA but no, we might still be a year or two away from that…

Unfortunately, No. I believe in addition to the power requirements it has a lot to do with the size of the Bluetooth module needed. It would make the HA very large.

However, there are few companies that have the intermediary device that doesn’t need to be around your neck, only close to you.

I think unless they can shrink the Bluetooth device significantly any HA with internal Bluetooth would be bigger than the Bluetooth devices people now wear for their cell phones. As for streamers that use a loop worn around the neck to transmit the signal to the HA’s I don’t see a real problem with it, almost everyone who has ever asked what the thing hanging around my neck is for, and once I tell them what it is they think it’s pretty cool and some have said they have to go get their hearing tested so they can ditch their Bluetooth device they now wear and get their own streamer! I have also found the streamer to work when it is all rolled up in my shirt pocket.

ReSound has an iPhone compatible hearing aid in production (not just the iPhone app, which is available already) which will allow iPhones to stream directly to the hearing aids without an intermediate device.

The main problem so far with bluetooth has been battery drain, which is why you’ve needed a gateway device up until now. There’s a newer bluetooth protocol which doesn’t need as much power, so that’s why the direct hearing aids are finally a possibility.

Siemens have the minitek which works very well, still a separate device, but no neck loop so you can keen it in your pocket or clip to your shirt, its certainly less obtrusive than most.

Unfortunately the HA technology wasnt up to par for me, if I could have siemens streaming with phonak HAs Id be very happy!

To agree with Audiogal’s statement. Resound and Beltone have a new bluetooth app for both iphone and android phones. You still have to wear a clip on your shirt collar or near you that contains a mic so the person on the other end can hear you…that seems to be a big issue too. There has to be some device containing a mic in order to make it work

Another nice feature of the app is you can use it to control the volume and programs of the aid too. Pretty cool!

Starkey has the streamer device that you do not have to wear around your neck. Also you can talk on the phone without having to clip a mic because the mic is built in the HA.

Very interesting! How well does it work?

@Atl-Hrg-Spclst

I don’t know yet, I will be getting my new Starkey 3-series HA and streamer next week. I am hoping it works well. I currently have the iCom and my main issue with using this for phone calls is everyone complains that I sound like I am in a tunnel. From what I have been reading on this board, it seems most HA manufactures don’t put a lot of effort into creating a good quality streamer. I hope it works out, I will let you all know. The other issue with the iCom is that if there is about 3 seconds of no sounds, the icom kicks off. This is very bad when having a conversation with someone because by the time it recognizes sounds, it takes about 2 seconds to kick in, and by that time you missed a lot of the conversation.

I know form experience the first version of the Resound/Beltone phone link has some problems with too much background noise being heard by the the person on the other line. From what I have heard this issue has been addressed in the new version that has the app for Iphone/android phones.

I also think any bluetooth phone device, hearing instrument connected or not, is never going to be as clear for the other party as talking into the phone normally would be. Common sense I guess, a microphone not close to your mouth will never sound as good as talking directly into phone. I always try to set some realistic expectations for my patients on this.

But…you can’t beat the convenience factor!!!

Keep us posted on how you like the new Starkey setup.

i would have to agree that it is too much of a power drain currently.
if the surflink mobile is an indication, which is the size of a credit card and thick as a pencil, it lasts 4hrs before it completely drains out. i cant imagine technology will be there for a long time.

This is a good summary of how HA connectivity works http://www.hearingloss.org/sites/default/files/docs/10_GalsterWirelessDHAC.pdf

Basically, there are two technologies to connect you to your phone (or other device), near field magnetic induction and radio frequencies (e.g. bluetooth). Magnetic induction is similar to a telecoil and requires you to wear a loop that works best when centered on your body. Bluetooth devices can be worn anywhere on the upper body. You also do not need to wear a device when watching tv, as the transmitter will send the sound from the tv directly to your HAs, whereas with magnetic induction you still need to wear the loop around your neck.

As of right now, there is no way to pair your HAs with a bluetooth enabled device directly. There will always be an intermediate device due to power consumption and to keep the size of HAs relatively small. It’s good having the intermediate device anyway so that you can easily control what you’re connected to. Imagine fiddling with buttons on the back of your HAs to switch from your phone to the tv or whatever else!