First impressions with Phonak Remote App and Audeo B Direct

phonak

#41

OK, dumb question for the day: why do these Audeo B90 Direct aids need a phone app?

I’ve been wearing the Phonak Audeo B-Direct aids for a year now, and have never needed to install an app on my Samsung Galaxy9 cell phone.

I answer the phone by pressing a button on my LEFT aid (only ONE aid can stream calls to ONE ear); I can increase the volume on the call by using my cell phone OR the volume button on my aids. When my phone rings, it instantly streams to my left ear the minute I engage; hangs up the same way. If I dial out, the call immediately streams as soon as I dial the number.

I also have two sets of TV streamers: one is hooked up to my laptop, the other to my home TV. They stream stereophonically to both ears (which I LOVE!).

So what benefit is the phone app? Am I missing some key functionality? I’m not sure my Audeo B-Direct aids even have a phone app.


#42

Hope you get this fixed and let us know what happened! I was thinking of both wax and then battery - both of which you ruled out. Even if the aids needed a firmware update, one aid should not fail utterly as you’ve experienced.

Could this be related to the phone app part of the equation?


#43

You don’t need to use the phone app. However you might gain some extra functionality if you have tinnitus masking noise, then you’ll be able to adjust the balance between that and your environment.

There are also a few other settings that you can only adjust in the phone app, but it depends on your settings. It might be exactly the same as adjusting with the buttons on the hearing aid itself.

It is easy and risk free to check out. Download the app, connect and see if there is something there, that isn’t available otherwise :slight_smile:


#44

Shouldn’t be the issue, however as previously stated i suspect that the my audeo b direct got more stable when i stopped using the hands free functionality. But I’m not sure. Even then it’s a feature you pay extra for, so why stop using it? Then rather get something else.

Or well I don’t pay directly for my hearing aids as they’re part of the public health care program in Denmark. But you lose some features to get direct functionality, so even then you “pay” the price…

I’m not aware of phonak making firmware updates. I’ve tried to search this forum, Oticon have updates, Signia have updates, but I’ve never read anywhere that Phonak aids can be updated. I also think that the new Widex Evoke can be updated… :confused:

You’re on a trail in Denmark as well, Its much shorter two months and I don’t wanna be stuck with some hearing aids that stopped working just weeks after getting them. So I’ll return them and try something else.


#45

Phone app can be used to change programs, increase/decrease volume, mute the aids, and if you have the Speech Direct program you can change the focus to front, right, left, or rear (or 360). It is like a more functional remote control.


#46

^^^ I guess the phone app would be used instead of my index finger placed on a button on either right or left aid, eh?

At the end of the day, fewer gizmos and gadgets are my goal - hence my happiness with the Audeo B-Direct, which requires no phone app nor a streamer device to stream to the cell phone. :wink:


#47

INDEED! Phonak DOES have firmware updates! I got one on my aids last Sept and again just yesterday. I’m hoping the firmware update will remove some annoying bugs I’d been having with my Phonak Audeo B-Direct aids lately: 1.) phone calls were streaming with a LOT of static & noise - even dropouts; 2.) TV streaming was completely wonky the past 10 days; 3.) aids would just up and REBOOT for no reason! They just did this when I was on a long phone call. Verrrry irritating.

My aud-guy says hopefully yesterday’s firmware update will remove these issues. In fact, he said the key to knowing when to come in for my firmware update is when odd things start happening sporadically (not every time, every day) with my aids.

To which I countered: “Why not just send me an email notification to come in and have an update every X-months?” Ah, whatever! Fingers crossed my probs are resolved.

If you DO keep the Phonaks, don’t ask, INSIST on the firmware update. When the audiologist opens the software with your aids ID (the serial number) you will see the notice right away.


#48

you do not need app because all you need is fixed directionality and appropriate noise reduction due to your loss and non ability to understand speech in noise with opn pardigm,
majority of falk use app to alter spatial change i usally do it since i need more accurate volume balance that not possible with rocker switch. + low freqeuncy loss + asymetrical one ear already has appropriate bass and treble but usally i do increase treble in right
more over in noisy i wont rely on my left just right since its good ear . lol


#49

spontanous connection dropout is every where its part of Bluetooth unless google implement direct connection like MFI.


#50

1Bluejay,
Everyone is correct that you do not have to have the phone app.
However, everyone is not set up the same. I do not use a TV Streamer. I let my wife take the TV controller (that’s hard) and she set the volume for her. Then if the volume is high or low for me I can adjust it more accurately with the app than I can with the buttons. Because of my work I have to keep the phone by me till I go to bed anyway. No extra inconvenience.
Also my right ear is the best and can actually answer phone calls at work with out a hearing aid to some point. Since the MIC’s are on top of the aid I have to take the receiver to the phone and position it just right over the mikes to hear anything. Hard to do and hear properly. I sell real estate and two days a week sit at the front desk and take calls. My desk pone is forwarded to my cell which goes to my hearing aids. Wonderful. At the front desk I cannot do this. I finally figured out I could raise and maximize the desk phone volume. Then go into the app and only raise the volume of the right ear to the max. It is enough to hear properly.
Therefore there are other reasons for the app than just raising and lowering the volume which the button does. Hopes this clarifies a little.


#51

Also, I have been lucky I guess. I have never had either of my hearing aids disconnect and reconnect.
I have lost connection to the app in bad weather but have never lost connection with the aids themselves.


#52

Why can’t you just update the hearing aids with your phone. Ofc you can’t answer that, but I hope Phonak will improve.

I’ve returned my Audeo B Direct, and I’ll try some Oticon OPN late next month instead.


#53

@emil:
In this forum I have read that Phonak will introduce the new Phonak hearing aids in November.


#54

I’m not sure when they’ll have them at the public health care in Denmark, even then; I would rather use something well tested than something so new, that nothing is known :wink:

From reading here, many have great experiences with Oticon OPN hearing aids. Some have had issues, but according to the forum they are either totally resolved, or mostly resolved with firmware updates. They also evolve around the MFi part, that I won’t use.


#55

emil, my aud-guy never mentioned getting any app on my Samsung Galaxy S9 to run the Phonak Audeo B-Direct on. I tend to avoid downloading any app that would require an account at Google or some-such (hackable) cloud-based location. Ah well, I’m absolutely FINE with using just my index finger and a button on my aid for controlling the programs, volume, answering phone, etc., and will just have to reconcile going to my aud-guy once a year for the firmware updates, I guess.

GOOD LUCK with your next choice! Do let us know how it works for you! You are so very lucky to have a healthcare system to cover aids. Over here, the US insurance business model covers things like gastric bypass for folks but NOT a critical sense like one’s H E A R I N G.

To my eternal ire.


#56

1Bluejay, I have the B90 Directs. I also have the Samsung Edge S7 that I use for the direct streaming to my right hearing aid.
I downloaded the app from the Play Store. You are right you don’t have to have it. But for people like me that need to Increase one hearing aid it is great to be able to control them separately. If you don’t need to do that it is not anything you will miss.
I had some problems with mine but with the Doctor using her magic on the tuning everything is working great. It bothered me when the Autosense would change volume while I was watching TV but It finally dawned on me it did not affect anyone else. For them the volume was the same. Totally happy with mine after a few adjustments.


#57

Wow, that is great news ttyndall! I didn’t know that the phone app would actually let one take control of each aid individually, cuz if I hit the button to change volume or program, BOTH aids move in lockstep. Hmmmm … food for thought!

My only reservation here would be having to download the app from the Play Store - which, in itself would require a username & password and then the whole “Internet of Things” yada yada.

I may sound paranoid, but with the odd problems in streaming I’d been having the past month, I actually wondered if someone in my neighborhood was trying to hack into my aids! It was just so odd and sporadic, only occurring in the evening from 8-10pm.


#58

You’re right to be careful, but it’s also obvious that you don’t understand too much about internet of things.

The password you talk about is properly just to download the app itself.

The hearing aids are equally likely to be “hacked” whether you use the app or not. They are always in pairing mode for 3 minutes after you turn them on, no password required to pair them.

But even then they can’t capture audio from you without you knowing it. Otherwise they can “only” change programs, see what program you use, see if your hearing aids are on or not and see how many hours you aids are on in average and when+where you last had them adjusted.

However you’re likey to notice if anyone connects to them as the aids properly would change programs on their own, and even then the wireless range is very short. They would have to be very close to you.

As you might be able to read the phonak aids are kinda “stupid” devices, and I wouldn’t consider them as a IoT device (like the Oticon opn). You can’t change anything over the internet, it has to be changed on the app itself while it’s open and connected to your hearing aids.

And as always remember that security will always be to a matter of degree, never absolute. That is also true with data security.

Updated and fixed lots of spelling and understanding errors. I hope I got them all, otherwise please ask if I made myself unclear.


#59

1Bluejay,
emil is correct. Make a password you do not use for anything else. If you want make an e-mail account with someone you don’t presently have. For example make an account with Yahoo and dont ue it for anything else.
Emil is correct if they hacked your aids all they could do is change volume or programs.
I was a Microsoft Engineer and Compaq Engineer and worked for Allstate and Prudential as an IT Manager for a number of years. Don’t over worry the situation. Just don’t use passords you use for anything else.
For me the feature of being able to individually adjust the volume comes in handy.
Good luck


#60

Thanks emil & ttyndall for your encouraging advice! I’m glad my Phonaks are the DUMB kind of aids, cuz I really don’t want to be connected to things that can be hacked through other devices. I follow some of Schneier’s philosophy on these things … so yes, I am paranoid. So much so, that I have a 16-digit encrypted password list of ALL the passwords I use for online accounts - never are two of them the same, nor do they include any hint of birthdate, address, or anything but random letters, numbers & characters, LOL!

I know Schneier may come across as even more paranoid than me (and God knows he LOOKS like he’s spooked!), but I also think there may come a day when devices can be used without our knowledge or consent to create mischief in the cloud-based world. Recall the use of home webcams to hack into domain name servers, which resulted in taking down some online shopping sites. We are now looking at the Internet+ of things, which extends beyond just internet-connected devices to include the phones, computers, databases and online service providers. I can’t help but wonder at the opportunity for the gov’t to put listening devices in our AIDS! That way, they’d hear all the conversations we have plus our phone calls and what kinds of shows we watch. :dizzy_face:

Well. I rant. But I DO appreciate the info about my Phonaks. For now, I’ll keep it simple and be grateful for phone & TV streaming.