First impressions with Phonak Remote App and Audeo B Direct

phonak

#1

Update 19/09-18: I’ve returned my Audeo B Direct as they stopped working. I’ll try some other brand instead.

Yesterday I got a pair for Phonak Audeo B Direct B90.

I think I’ve got a bad first fit. My previous HAs (Phonak Ambra M H2O) are better right now, however i know fit matters a lot so it just means I’m unable to judge them at all as hearing aids - yet. I also got some closed soft domes instead of open ones i had before, and I’m not sure i can get used to that. So i think I’ll go back to open domes. Still need to do some more testing so i know what to ask for next time :wink:

One thing however is, that I’m surprised how slow the connection to the hearing aids are when i open the app. It’s not too slow, but it still takes a 1-5 secs. This is something I think would annoy me, but since using my phone as a remote is way better than a external device, I’m sure I would be able to deal with it. Still anyone else with Direct HAs? How long does the connection take when you open the remote app?

I’m using a Nokia 7 Plus with the latest updates.

I’ve tried a few Phone calls (You have to pair the aids twice, one time for the app, and one time for the phone call) and they worked perfectly fine, but i haven’t yet tried them in noisy environments.

Since I’m on the public health care in DK, it’ll take some time before i can get readjustments or another aid. However is anyone interested in updates? Because if not, I’ll just stop :slight_smile:

UPDATE: First impressions with the Music experience is better. I enjoy listening to music on my home stereo, and my previous HA’s had way to much treble for it to be enjoyable on the long run.


#2

Got a few updates:

First of all, after changing the closed dome to a smaller one (so both my ears are now medium) the fit and feel got better. I barely notice them. I tried changing between my old HA and these directs. While not perfect (no HA is) it’s definitely better than my old ones.

Tried calling on my bike. The victim (of the test) could hear me clearly. Properly because my hair is blocking the wind for the mics. However inside a local fast food chain with not too much noise and some background music i had to change to the phone as i got a call, and they couldn’t hear me.

I’ll update again as i get trough more situations, and get more experience with them. (It says average wearing time per day since yesterday is 15.2 h, I think it means I’ve worn them for a little more than 16 hours now :slight_smile: )


#3

Same thing when I used them with my Samsung Galaxy S7. When I opened the app, the connection progress bars (for L and R) would show some progress, and then jump back to the beginning, and so on. Sometimes it finished both sides quickly, and other times it was interminable. I think it was worse in my car, where the phone was also connected to car Bluetooth.

Meanwhile, with iPhone and MFi hearing aids you don’t even need an app if all you want to do is change volume or program. It’s built into the hearing aid control center of the OS. What’s more, the hearing aid control center is reachable via the accessibility shortcut of pressing the side button 3 times quickly. I can get there pretty much instantaneously – release the button after the 3rd press, and the control center is on the screen. It shows its last-known HA state momentarily, and then, if I’ve since changed volume or program via buttons or the app or power cycle, the HA state updates on the screen. I’ve never had to wait for it, or wait to change the volume or program.


#4

I cannot deny that MFi looks nice and have some benefits that other platforms not yet can offer. However I’m not a fan of other parts of the Apple experience, hence why I don’t use them. Also: We already have several discussions about it in this forum, including: Android vs Apple operating systems for HA’s

The connection time might be longer than 5 secs, but mostly it quickly done. They no longer have a progress bar, but a circle that turns until they’re connected. However, since I’ve only had them for ~30 hours it’s too early to make any judgements.


#5

It’s now about a week after I got them. I’ve worn them for approximately 12 hours a day according the Phonak’s app. I’ve been mostly home, where Its like 50:50 when i use them. I always wear aids when i go out (Unless it’s just 10 minutes to get some milk, then I might skip them).

They are better in some situations, worse in some others, and the same as my old ones in the rest of the situations I’ve experienced during my week.

For day-today talking with people I don’t really notice them for the most part. They have a bit less amplification than my old ones, but i don’t notice that when I’m talking with people inside (I’ve also been at a restaurant, and they performed very well there, but so did my old ones). They have very bad wind noise reduction. Its worse than on my old aids, combined with much louder hair noise (for me at least) makes it really annoying to bike if the wind is going right on the microphone. (Since I’m more careful to clear my hear of the microphones and the hair makes more noise now. Before i think my hair actually worked like a natural wind damper, like you see on weather programs with hosts in some storm.

Also this happened:

For anything speech related on tv they’re worse for understanding. The speech is less clear, however I get more of the other sounds. I’ve had situations where I’ve heard some uncomfortable sounds, not sure if it was distortion, or just some sounds that wasn’t amplified before.

Sometimes I feel like they, unlike my old HAs, amplify my tinnitus.

Using them for phone: The voice is clearer, but everything sounds very hollow. And sometimes even at max volume I can’t hear some people. usually not a problem when I’m just using my phone normally. A downside is that i can’t be sure that everyone can hear me always on the other end. Seams like they’re sometimes very good, and other times very bad at picking up my own voice. The hollowness can maybe be removed with adjustments. But I don’t know for sure.

The connection to the Phonak App on my android phone has been mostly reliable. occasionally would my phone ear fail, but then I’ll press retry and it was almost instantly connected. Other times it retired on its own. However most times it works fine.

Feedback is both worse and better. In autosense os, it’s basically impossible to get feedback, unless i move my hand fast towards my ear or away from it. However feedback now happens with over the ear headphones, especially when i even out the pressure in my ear. And while the feedback for my old HAs was this kinda distorted sound, these have a very clear tone. It does definitely not help against my tinnitus. Feedback is ofc worst in the music program, both on my old and new ones. If i just put my hand near the ear i would get loud feedback on my old HAs, however this does not really happen on the new ones. But they do start to feedback if i put my head on a pillow. Old ones didn’t really do that. Maybe it’s because now feedback control is lower in the music program, whereas on my old HAs it couldn’t be turned completely off.

Even with all of the bad I’ve said I still choose the Audeo B Direct B90 over my old HAs.

As a end note I need to say that I’ve only had an initial adjustment and i also got closed domes with two ventilations instead of open domes this time. I’ve had several adjustments with my old aids, so its not completely fair to judge the sound yet. And just “out of the box” standard phonak formular amplification isn’t bad at all, it’s just not perfect. Ideally I would like to end up with a sound somewhere in between my old HAs and the Audeo B Direct B90.

As before I hope someone can use this for anything at all :slight_smile:


#6

Just had something really odd happen. My left Audeo B Direct just turned off. No sound at all. Right one working fine. Restarting it (opening and closing the door again shortly afterwards) didn’t work. Then i grabbed my battery checker, nothing wrong with the battery. Replaced it just a few days ago, and my first run have been with 9 days of battery life, so that’s fine. But apparently being turned off for a while they were able to turn on again.

Not sure what to make of it. but in less than two weeks both HA’s have turned off without any warning or reason, with one of them not rebooting on its own…


#7

emil:
I have had the Audeo B90 Directs for about 8 weeks now. Go back in this Thursday for an adjustment.
When I open the phone app it takes 1 to 3 seconds to activate both sides. It only stays on a short time and times out but if I am using the app it stays on the entire time.
I have not had a problem with either side turning off by itself.
I have bad tinnitus in both ears from Meniere’s. my program stops at least 80% of the noise.
I had the right ear dome slipping out so went to a larger one that created feedback so played with sizes and now that is working great. No feedback in either ear. I have severe loss in the left ear(no vents) and moderate in the right ear. had to have a stronger transmitter in the left ear installed.
I am in Florida and right now it is in the 90’s and the humidity is in the 90’s so if I am doing yard work or working in the garage where I am sweating a lot I learned to take the aids out before I go to the garage if it is for 30 minutes or more.
The clarity on my cell is great. I have the Samsung edge 7. Sometimes at work I forget and walk away from my office while talking and it starts to break up and I realize I walked away from the phone.
These are my first aids in 15 years so a lot of new sounds. The wind and tire noise in the car is really loud. Sometimes rather than rely on the Autosense feature I reach up and use the button to change to the speech in noise program.
My Audiologist and her husband have these. She is trying to get me to learn to rely on the buttons on the aids and not the app.
In reference to some of your comments I cannot relate because my head is shaved so I have no hair to cover the aids or to create noise from the hair rubbing. That is one of my problems with sweat if I am working in the garage or yard for extended periods of time.
Keep the updates coming.


#8

Kinda a update, and a response to your post @ttyndall :wink:

Not sure exactly what you mean with “it stays on”. I would rather say that the connection time is 3-6 secs. It rarely connects in only 1 sec for me with my Nokia 7 Plus. Also you can only change programs when both aids are connected. It is a bit strange, as they could sync the programs when you change them on the aids themself with a button press. It would be faster to change programs if you only had to wait for one aid to get connected, and then the HA could relay it to the other one, But they don’t do that.

Therefore I don’t use the app that much, because its slow to connect. But it’s way faster than changing programs when you have to hold for 2 secs, then lift and repeat. (when it’s set to change volume and program depending on the length of the press)

It has only happened once for each side for me. Great for you. I hope it won’t repeat itself. So far it have not happen again.

Great they’re working for you. :slight_smile: Tinnitus treatment is about distraction, and nothing works better than actually being able to hear.

The tinnitus thing (were I said they amplified my tinnitus) disappeared after a few days. I just had to get used to them. Now they’re like my old ones (and any other I had before that). I usually don’t notice tinnitus when i wear them, unless its too silent, or i think about it. (that’s the reason I hear music all day long, but only when I’m not home. For whatever reason if its silent when I’m not home, I usually don’t notice my tinnitus. Maybe it’s because i almost always have to listen to something when I’m not home; Traffic, Group chats, Lectures, Work stuff or something else.)

Wind noise is fine on the bike in most cases. It was just a few days that the wind always went directly into the mics. Also the wind noise you describe may be different from the one I hear. I hear the wind directly in the mics, where as (unless you have a roofless car) you experience the noise of the car itself.


More experience with the phone: I had a situation where the phone was ringing, and i was talking to someone. Normally i would be able to mute it, and than maybe if it was still calling take it after a few sentences, but it is really distracting when both your ears are beeping :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: . Most on the other end can hear me fine, but some tell me the sound is hollow, or i sound far away.

Feedback isn’t a problem normally as stated previously. Hair noise have gotten slightly better as I’ve gotten know the aids better now. Still annoying.

They’re comfortable for all day use. I barely notice them. Took a while to get used to them, but its fine now :slight_smile: I also compared them to my old ones a few times, but I keep wanting to get the these ones on, instead of the old ones :wink:

My adjustment time is sometime in september, I sure need to get them adjusted (but not so badly that I can’t wait). I feel like i turn the volume on the tv up higher with the settings now, and volumes i know was loud before isn’t as loud now. Sometimes it’s great, other times not. I have trouble understanding some persons, but not sure that’s because of the aids or their settings. Some people are just hard to understand as they don’t talk clearly, and with a low voice level/low volume. - Still this is just more of the same as i even stated in my first post of this thread. I’m still on the initial fit, but even then; I’ve gotten mostly used to the Initial/default fit (My audi didn’t make any changes to the amplificated prescribed by the HA’s after a hearing test on the aids themself.)

I hope I make myself somewhat clear, if not please ask :slight_smile:


#9

emil: when I say they stay on a short time I am referring to the app showing the aids connected. If I don’t use them for a minute they automatically disconnect. If I am using them they stay on the full time.

Since we use cars so much (work is 35 miles each way, the Audiologist want me to get in the habit of the buttons for volume change or program change. Florida just passed a law that is a fine if you are caught holding your phone while driving. Getting use to the button is quicker. Just hard to break the habit of the app.

You are correct about it being the car noise.

I am going in for an adjustment Thursday because my autosense drops the volume more than I want it to. I’ll be watching TV and the volume goes down and if I raise it with the buttons it may come back up in a commercial. I want to have her look at that.

I am lucky. She is 15 minutes from my house and gives unlimited support. She has me set for a 6 month appointment but I can call and go in anytime. Usually takes 3 or 4 days for an appointment time. She has me change the batteries every Sunday when I get up so I don’t worry about them going dead. She gives me free batteries so told me not to go past 7 days. Said to put them on when I get out of the shower and put them in a box when I go to bed. I just looked and the wear time was 13.4 hours a day and that is with me taking them off a lot this past week working on the exterior of the house. Did not want to get sweat or sawdust from sanding in them.

Keep us updated. You may remind me of something I need to ask her about.
Ted


#10

The technical issues is never ending with these HAs. I’ve never had so many problems.

Just today might left aid refused to receive commands from my right hearing aid. For whatever reason the right one would accept commands just fine from the left one. Also both HAs, including the left one worked fine with the Remote app on my phone. The issue is that the volume up shortcut only is on the right aid. Resulting in only the right aid turning the volume up. With the left one turning the volume down “synced” for both of them. Why does this even happen in 2018?

To sum up, my current issues are

  • Less than ideal adjustment
  • Technical problems; Lost connection, HAs turning off/rebooting for no reason
  • Phonaks are a gimmick with only around 50% of the calls working for both ends. Often my own voice is too unclear on the other end.
  • Wind noise while biking
  • Hair noise
  • I feel like there is distortion in the sound
  • Worse speech understand than my previous HAs (problems because of the less than ideal adjustment)
  • Much lower volume at tv, music; any consumed media. I have to turn the volume up almost the max for those, if i need to understand speech.

Also the wind noise is terrible. even with comfort in noise at lowest settings. This is important for me as i bike mostly every day, and taking them on and off all the time would be annoying. I did hear wind noise on my old HAs, but nowhere near as loud as this. While the wind isn’t that bad every day, it happens often enough that i can’t look past it. Especially since the volume setting seem to have very little effect on it…

I’ll have to get a appointment with my audiologist as soon as possible to sort this out. I’m NOT impressed with having so many technical issues just within the first month. And as far as i know Phonak does not release firmware updates to their hearing aids. UPDATE. They don’t have any time before my existing appointment september 19. :frowning: The less good side of a public health care system. But i’m up for a call if anyone cancel their appointment.


#11

emil, an update. My aids are set to be in the Autosense program by default. They started dropping the volume at times when I was in the car at low speed and smooth road as well as watching TV. I could push the button and increase the volume one step at a time but could not make it return the the normal volume it was at before it dropped.
A week ago the Doctor gave me a new pair and turned down the sensitivity on Autosense. Not as bad but still happens. Last night it happened and I took them out and cleaned, new tips, new batteries and tuned unloaded the app from my phone. Turned them on and they were normal. reloaded the app and started watching TV. 20 minutes later it did it again. I turned the volume up on the app so the TV would not get too loud for my wife. Later went to bed. Got up this morning and put them in and walked in the Family Room and turned on the TV and scrambled for the remote because the TV because it was so loud. So they were back to normal this morning. Doctor is out of town this week.
If I new what was a comparable or better brand and model that uses and iPhone and had the capability of hearing phone calls in both ears and uses Bluetooth with my computer for You Tube I would change when she comes back and get an iPhone. I just don’t know enough about the models that have those features when used with an iPhone. Gets frustrating.


#12

Sounds you have plenty of technical issues. And it’s not because of bad HAs or bad settings. Sounds more like a design that’s not fitting you (and properly not me either). You’ve had several adjustments at your audiologist to my understanding. It should be better now, not be at a standstill.

I also have autosense by default. While autosense is great in theory its hard to find issues, as you never know exactly what autosense program it uses. So when you go down and say you have problems they properly have to guess on what settings to change. Hopefully they know the HAs so they can make a qualified good guess, but still…

I don’t notice them turning the volume down, but turning the volume up isn’t always comfortable, as it also amplify sounds that i might not want to hear, or that’ll make speech understanding worse. My general feeling is that I have to ask “What / Could you repeat that / Sorry what did you say” more often now than before. Or just decide that properly wasn’t important or for me and don’t ask.

Still as stated in almost every post, I’ve only had one adjustment. I have an appointment in a bit more than three weeks.

You’re asking for sound in both ears over bluetooth with a iPhone? Most modern day hearing aids can do that. Widex, GN Resound, Signia, Oticon, Starkey all have Made for iPhone aids, many by default.

Another thing about the remote app: I miss feedback about change in audio level when i change the volume on the app. The beep that says something has changed. Its kinda odd, as I’m sometimes unsure if the HAs got the command. A sound to confirm it would have been nice. But that’s how they’re designed :frowning:


#13

emil,
I am having to turn these up a notch or two to get the same volume as the others. Audiologist says they are set the same. I’m finding myself not understanding speech recognition as good on soft voices. I know I can turn up the volume but that gets aggravating.
While I wait until next week for the Doctor to get back I would like to find someone that can recommend (in case I do change brands) a top of the line brand and model name that works with iPhone. I would love to have the phone ring in my hearing aids (both). I would like if possible to connect Bluetooth with my computer for videos. At wok if I want to hear a you tube video or training video I normally would use ear buds before I got hearing aids. Now if I put the ear buds up to my ear I cannot hear anything and if I put them up the the mic’s I can barely hear the words. Very annoying to miss out on something I had before hearing aids. Music would also be great.
There are so many choices of brands and models. It’s almost impossible to narrow which ones would come close to what I would like to accomplish. In case I do suggest changing I would like to have an alternative to give to the Doctor. She has been very good working with me.
15 years ago I had CIC Widex and they worked wonderful from the beginning with great word recognition. This has been a battle.
But it will all work out. If anyone can give me a suggestion of a model to look at it would be appreciated.


#14

Certainly very reasonable to try Widex Evoke. My leanings if Bluetooth with an iPhone is a priority would be Resound Quattro.


#15

Wow, I’m sorry to say that the Audeo B Direct seems to have gotten worse, not better, since I trialed it this past spring. Most likely firmware issues, I think. Maybe related to lack of experience with the new chipset? Just a guess.


#16

I don’t know. But as you can tell from this thread I’m not impressed with the number for technical glitches I’ve had in so short time. It’s not something that’s likely to get better with time… :confused:


#17

Is there a trial period for aids supplied by your public health system, or are you stuck with them?


#18

There is a two or three month trial (if i remember correctly). I know for sure I’m not stuck with them. My first appointment is well within the trail.

I’m considering to try either Oticon or Widex (or GN Resound…) idk I’ll ask what they think. I really like having a button to change programs, thats a downside for Widex, but Widex got soft molds. I’ve had some bad experience with hard shell molds from Phonak making my ear canal sore. So the soft ones from Widex might outweigh the others if a custom mold becomes necessary. I’m kinda on the verge with my hearing loss, it depends on the aid whether i need a mold or not.


#19

My Doctor comes back next Monday so I am hoping she can perform some magic with the tuning and solve the problems. I just would like to research and see what the next alternative would be if she can’t.
I am not a fan of iPhone but will buy one if it helps solve my hearing problems. When I had Widex 15 years ago the sound was very normal and speech recognition was good but my hearing has changed so I cannot place blame on Phonak since things have changed.
If I changed I would like aids that have Bluetooth like the Phonak’s. However. it would be nice to still have the phone ring in my hearing aids and be able to answer and disconnect with the aids and not the phone. I have this now and love this feature. I don’t have music and I cannot with Bluetooth to the computer to listen to you tube or webinars. I would like to be able to do this with the phone and not having something hanging around my neck.
Does the OPN1 and the Evoke have these features if used with an iPhone? I know they don’t with a Samsung.
Also, this morning I was watching the news on TV before coming to work and I use the phone app normally when changing volume while watching TV. The app would either only connect the left hearing aid or not connect at all. I would close it and open it and finally they would connect but before I could make a change they would lose connection. I just now tried it sitting at my desk and it connected both sides but kept the slider grayed out so i could not do anything. This just started this morning. Very frustrating for expensive models.
If anyone can give me feedback on the OPN1 and the Evoke I would appreciate it.
Ted


#20

OPN and Evoke both support direct streaming with iPhones, for any media. There is no microphone (that can send audio back to the phone), so you would need to pick up the phone to accept any calls.