GN Hearing Becomes World’s First to Support Direct Android Streaming to Hearing Devices Using Bluetooth Low Energy
Collaboration with Google on hearing aid specification now officially brings direct streaming of music, phone calls and other sound to people with hearing loss. For the first time, people can stream sound from their compatible Android devices to their ReSound hearing aids using Bluetooth Low Energy.
September 03, 2019 01:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
BALLERUP, Denmark–(BUSINESS WIRE)–GN Hearing, the global leader in hearing aid connectivity, and Cochlear, the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, together with Google, today announce world-first support for direct streaming from Android™ devices to hearing devices for the first time using Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE).
The new technology is based on a recent hearing aid specification, Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA) on Bluetooth Low Energy Connection-Oriented Channels, which Google has developed in collaboration with GN Hearing and Cochlear. This new direct streaming technology from compatible* Android devices allows people to use their hearing devices like a headset to enjoy music, take calls and much more, while using a protocol designed to maximise battery life.(1)(2) With BLE, people can use technology designed for streaming all day while preserving the battery life of their hearing devices, which is a challenge for the traditional Classic Bluetooth streaming currently available.
“We’ve partnered up with some of the leading technology companies in the world to deliver innovation with the user at heart. Now people with hearing loss can enjoy effortless streaming all day long and easily connect with people,” says Jakob Gudbrand, CEO and President of GN Hearing.
Around 466 million people worldwide live with disabling hearing loss**, and the number is increasing by millions every year, according to the World Health Organization.(3) With the official release of Android 10, Google Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 3a XL* will be the first Android phones to support direct streaming to ReSound LiNX Quattro™ and Beltone Amaze™ hearing aids. The new streaming technology will be available by way of an update to Android 10, plus a software update on the hearing devices. The streaming specification is open source, which allows other manufacturers of hearing aids and Android devices to offer direct audio streaming in the near future.
The GN Group is a global leader in intelligent audio solutions that let you hear more, do more and be more than you ever thought possible. Our ambitious 150-year journey has taken us from telegraph cables to radio waves and intelligent audio engineering. To celebrate our anniversary, we look to our unique competences within medical, professional and consumer audio solutions to help us continue to transform lives through the power of sound.
GN was founded with a truly innovative and global mindset. Today, we honor that legacy with world-leading expertise in the human ear, sound, wireless technology, miniaturization and collaborations with leading technology partners. GN’s solutions are marketed by the brands ReSound, Beltone, Interton, Jabra and BlueParrott in 100 countries. Founded in 1869, the GN Group employs more than 6,000 people and is listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen.
(1) Cochlear Limited. D1140877. Battery Life and Power Consumption Comparison between CP1000, CP900 Series and CP810 Sound Processors. 2017, Mar; Data on file.
(2) Direct streaming is possible from Android devices running on Android operating system version 10 and using Bluetooth version 5.0 to ReSound LiNX Quattro and Beltone Amaze hearing aids and the Cochlear™ Nucleus® 7 Sound Processor.
(3) World Health Organization (WHO): deafness and hearing loss, March 2019. Available at https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss. Last accessed August 8, 2019.
*For compatibility information and devices visit resound.com/compatibility. Cochlear will separately announce availability of cochlear implant sound processors with the ability to stream directly from Android devices. Full streaming compatibility with Android devices requires minimum Android version 10 and Bluetooth 5.0 and that functionality has been enabled by the phone manufacturer and service carrier. Accordingly, the compatibility information provided should be used for reference only. Although GN strives to achieve seamless device compatibilities, GN cannot guarantee full compatibility with all Android devices.
**Disabling hearing loss refers to hearing loss greater than 40dB in the better hearing ear in adults and a hearing loss greater than 30dB in the better hearing ear in children.