Costco KS9 Bluetooth issues

I have had The KS9/Phonak ($1,500 per pair) hearing aids since December 26, 2019. I am generally satisfied with them when used just as a hearing aid, but I have a few peripheral issues. One relates to Bluetooth use.

I use BT both for telephone and listening to books (iPhone 11 Pro) Telephone connectivity is inconsistent and unreliable. I can initiate or pick up a call via Bluetooth, but the BT connection will generally fail after a few minutes I have to put the phone to my ear (which works just fine). I thought perhaps it had something to do with interference from other devices in my residence, but I have tried it in several places in my house and the issue is about the same all over.

I use BT for other purposes (for example, connect my phone to my Apple Watch 5, connect to my car, a Subaru Forester, connect to headphones) so I pretty sure it is not the phone, but rather the hearing aides.

Any ideas about fixing this issue? Hands free connectivity is very important to me, as I need to have my hands available to type while conversing. Thanks.

Welcome to the forum.
How many devices do you have paired to the aids?
I have found that only having the Bluetooth turned on one device at a time fixes a bunch of drop outs and issues. If two devices Bluetooth are turned on the aids fight over the connection and have issues.

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I use Bluetooth on multiple devices to connect to multiple other devices. I never turn Bluetooth off. What you must do however is DISCONNECT your hearing aids from the BT on one device to properly connect them to BT on a different device if you are having interference problems. You can use the Phonak app on multiple devices without interference but must have BT on on all devices.

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Just got KS9. Works great with my Chromebook and phone. Can’t get it to work with my desktop. Desktop works great with my bluetooth speaker. I can make the bluetooth connection to the R hearing aid but I don’t get any sound. My only thought is that the computer is on BT 4.0. Think that’s it, or am I just doing something stupid. Have unpaired hearing aids from other devices. Made sure I did have audio on. one thing I noticed is that after I pair the R hearing aid with computer’s bluetooth is that it ends up in the category of “other bluetooth device” instead of audio. This is definitely not critical, but curious if anybody has any thoughts.

I had a similar experience with completely different equipment (hearing aids and computers).

I have Oticon OPN S 1 with a work MacBook Pro and a home iMac Pro. I have to use an Oticon intermediary device (ConnectClip) with the computers but not with an iPhone as the aids are MFi. The ConnectClip just worked with the MacBook Pro and failed miserably with the iMac Pro (both have Bluetooth 5.0 according to Apple). Oticon had sent a Sennheiser BTD 800 USB bluetooth dongle with my ConnectClip - Oticon Tech support told me to use that with the desktop. Works with that - I do have to make sure the BTD 800 is selected as the audio output device. They told my provider and I that many desktop Bluetooth implementations were either buggy or incomplete and the Sennheiser was the fix. Sennheiser provides firmware updates (has to be done in Windows) for the device and, for me, it “just works” unlike the built-in Bluetooth in the iMac Pro. According to Sennheiser, the dongle supports audio only and it implements the various Bluetooth profiles that would be useful for streaming audio and operating as a headset. They provide it with their higher end headsets for use with PCs in teleconferencing and call centers, etc.

Good luck - Bluetooth can be a mixed bag and frustrating at times :frowning:

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Thanks! Yeah, bluetooth for the desktop makes sense and the Sennheiser seems well recommended.

In my case, Linux, few things have to be aligned.

  1. Ensure that HAs aren’t connected to the phone
  2. Connect with laptop bt
  3. Switch laptop output to headphone/headset even if they’re unplugged, since it is not doing it automatically from speakers
  4. Choose HAs as output device

Step 3 was crucial
I think now it does step 4 automatically
But step 3 I definitely have to check

Maybe your desktop is similarly finicky

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Thanks. Pretty sure #3 is the issue, but I don’t see any way to change things. Connects to Bluetooth fine, but doesn’t recognize hearing aids as audio device. I’m guessing because of this, they’re not an option to choose from in the audio devices setting. I looked for the Sennheiser dongle and it seems like it’s no longer available. Can anybody recommend an alternative? Almost seems like this is more of a Windows issue rather than hardware. If it recognized hearing aids as an audio device, I’m guessing it would work.

Hm, so you cannot choose ‘headphone’ as output?

I have to choose headphone first, then bt HAs pop up after a while and I can choose that.

The only option is something like “Realtek Speakers/headphones” (I think Realtek is the “soundcard” chip. My wireless bluettooth speaker shows up twice, both as a speaker and a headphone! I sent a message to Phonak. Have no idea if I’ll get a response

There is a TaoTronics $15 dongle that works great but you really shouldn’t need it. I would just keep playing around until it works. Disconnect the BT speakers. Turn everything on/off a few times. Sometimes this stuff is just quirky.

I think I’ve done all of that (except playing until it works!) I think it’s a Windows issue. Since the hearing aids show up as an “other device,” they don’t show up as an option in the sound settings. I can’t find anyway to change the classification to an “audio device.”

A company called Provantage seems to have a number (66) in stock. We have used that vendor at work for various things like high quality UPS for servers - their service has been good.

https://www.provantage.com/epos-sennheiser-1000227~7SEN929M.htm

Not inexpensive but sometimes paying a bit more reduces irritating issues, especially with computer stuff.

Good luck in finding a solution. Bluetooth can be “fun” - I’ve had nothing but frustration trying to use the standard Bluetooth interface in an expensive portable spectrometer ($75K). Bluetooth was a disaster - wired ethernet worked perfectly after we got that option. Sometimes the vendors (including big names) actually deliver buggy software/drivers and those devices can be hard to deal with.

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Thanks. I agree fully about wired connections. I have everything hard wired that I can. I think by nature wireless (Bluetooth and WiFi) is buggy. I’m guessing this is some sort of drivers issue. I’m curious what Phonak will say. Thanks again for link to Sennheiser dongle.

Heard back from a friend who works in IT. He thinks it’s a driver issue. He said he’s dealt with some headsets that behaved similarly.

Heard back from Phonak. Their only suggestion was a Sennheiser dongle, either BTD 500 or 800.
I guess tech support is expensive, but I was hoping for a more thoughtful response. This was a very canned response suggesting that they hadn’t even read my message.

Likely we have very different laptops but I can’t get my M50 aid to connect to my laptop via Bluetooth.

BUT my Phonak ComPilot works with my laptop and my B90 aid.

I’m baffled!

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Tried again with new batteries. Same thing. So guess I’ll try a dongle. Looked at drivers and it doesn’t use any. Just uses Microsoft Bluetooth enumerator and is considered a generic bluetooth device.

Issue resolved. Purchased Insignia USB Bluetooth adapter from BestBuy for $11.99 Works like a charm.

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