Hearing Aids that use BlueTooth technology

I’ve had my HA (Phonak V) for about 4+ years. For years before that I wore a BT headset most of the day because I’m on the phone a lot.
I have continued to wear my headset w. my open fit HA. (I can even use a phone w.o. HA or headset.)

Now that BT technology is coming to HA, do any of the phones allow voice calls to be transmitted to the HA besides transmitting commands to change settings?
And, how do tiny HA batteries power the relatively large power requirements BT requires?

I'd be willing to wear larger HA, but that ain't going to happen.

Iphone and the Samsung S5 android directly transmit to the aids from Starkey and Resound. That feature is in a state of flux with BT4 vs older BT2. The battery life is affected with the 312’s be a bit marginal. The 13’s are an option to consider, if you don’t mind a bit larger aid. There is added drain when using them to stream, obviously.

Thanks for the response. I am def. not part of the Apple eco system. Wife has an S5. It sounds like the marriage of BT tech w. HA is still in its early stages.
I wouldn’t make use of the music streaming feature. I would want to use it to replace my BT headset for phone calls. Guess I’ll wait a year to see how this all develops. My S4 is almost ready to be replaced - but I can probably wait a year.
(Not going to get an S6 because its battery is not replaceable. These HA developers need to develop BT capability by Operating System, not phone model. Eg. They need to run on all Androids on OS 5 and above - not just one make/model phone.)

I came to the same conclusion regarding streaming. I tried two different streamers with my Phonaks but found them both to be cumbersome at best. I ended up with neither one. It amazes me that hearing aid technology has advanced to the point it has but accessories seem to still be years behind. I have an LG G4 which is a brand new phone so if they would work with anything my phone should definitely be one of the models. But…that’s not happening.

How do these HA w. BlueTooth pick up the users voice? Incoming is streamed to the HA via BT. Where would the mic be for the outgoing voice?

I use a Kirkland 6.0 and iPhone 6. The phone calls stream directly to the aids with great clarity. The mic on the phone is very good and I can have it close and it works fine. If I am working on my computer I will have the phone laying beside the keyboard and if a call comes in I can take it and they hear me just fine.

You have to still speak into the phone microphone, so it is not truly hands free.

I use the Resound Phone Clip+ device. It is very small. I wear it on a lanyard around my neck, under my shirt. Phone calls are great with it and it is truly hands free, and works with any bluetooth capable phone. I also have a device at work connected to my office phone and desktop computer, a Plantronics MDA200 with an SSP2714-1 bluetooth dongle. The Phone Clip+ works great with that.

So I use it for phone calls at work or on my cell, webinars and music from my computer at work, and music and videos on my tablet and laptop at home. I also have the TV transmitter at home for the TV, which I like also.

If I’m watching a video on my tablet and I get a call, it interrupts the video and lets me answer the call. Same way with the TV transmitter.

I’m sure they will come out with new features in the future but right now this is as good as I could hope for. Every device I have goes through the hearing aids.

Don -
Thanks for reply. Not being completely hands free doesn’t work for me - as I’m hands free now. It sounds like you wear the “Phone Clip+” like you would a wireless mic - altho in the pics, the Phone Clip+ seems MUCH larger.
It would seem to me that the controls that are in the “Clip” could simply be put in an app in the phone.
As I think about it, I almost always carry my phone in my shirt pocket. Therefore I could simply put the phone in my pocket upside down and the mic would easily pick up my voice.

miket,

what don described has been available for nearly all aids for the last half decade. some providing this feature even earlier.

I would suggest you compare with other brands. resound aids top out at 7kHz in terms of frequency range when competing aids are hitting 10kHz. You will be leaving a lot of hearing on the table.

read the following, nobody is choosing the linx (not the newere linx 2) also known as the ks9 at costco over the rexton trax 42/rexton emerald/also known as the siemens binax Siemens Pure 7bx without tinitinitus features.

you have more of a need for the bluetooth feature so maybe you will decide to go with a linx2 aid anyway. but imo you should try a siemens binax aid so you can experience what the best hearing technology available today sounds like. this is adaptive binaural beamforming tech that just came out this year and it’s revolutionary. only available in phonak venture and siemens binax or rexton trax 42 aids.

You could do that and it would be a fine way to use the phone, but there is the potential problem of bending down and the phone coming out.

The real problem with doing that is you are limited to that one phone. That may not be a big deal, but I have several devices that produce sound and I enjoy having them all go through my hearing aids (personal cell phone, work phone, work desktop computer, home tablet, and home laptop). There is no way currently to do that without a bluetooth device. Using the iphone directly will not give you sound from any other device.

I bet Costco and Resound would be surprised to hear that.

The Phone Clip+ is about the same size as the Resound mini-mic, maybe slightly smaller than the mini-mic. I just measured mine, it is 2 5/8in x 1 1/4in. Thickness not counting the “clip” is 3/8in. Including the clip it is 7/8in.

I normally wear it on a lanyard under my shirt although I have worn it using the clip, clipping it to my shirt. It has a lot of teeth in the clip and will probably be sturdy enough to wear like that. I just never really trust that the clip will hold it if I’m walking around with it.

I just bought the Rexton Trax a couple of days ago. I did compare the Bluetooth of the Kirkland S6/Resound and Rexton Trax 42/Siemens technology at Costco as part of my decision making process. The Rexton Trax is basically the same (per Rexton) as the Rexton Emerald, and almost the same as the Siemens Pure 7bx, as others have mentioned. The Siemens Easytek neck loop/pendant and the Rexton Connex Smart Connect neck loop / pendant appear identical in photographs.

My cell phone is an LG G3: one year old Android running the latest android operating system.

During my demo at Costco I tried the Kirklands with their clip-on phone mic device clipped to my collar. The Kirkland clip-on device allowed me to make a voice-dialed call from my Contacts with the phone still in my pocket. I believe I had to press a button on the device to begin and end the call process.

I was told that without wearing the Kirklands clip-on device I would still be able to hear the phone ring and the caller’s voice through my HAs, but I would still have to pull the phone out of my pocket and speak into the cell phone’s mic in order for them to hear me. I believe I also still had to press a button on the phone to answer and end the call if I wasn’t wearing the clip-on device and using its button.

I was told that the BT power output of the Kirkland HAs is greater (in order to reach the phone without the clip-on’s additional power supply) so this results in only a 3 day battery life of the HAs themselves.

The Rexton/Siemens neck loop device has its own rechargeable battery supply and amplifies the weaker BT signal (compared to the Kirklands signal output) of the Rexton/Siemens aids. This supposedly will approx triple the battery life of the HAs themselves compared to the Kirklands because the biggest power drain has been transferred to the pendant’s large battery. The Rexton neck loop’s pendant also has an imput jack for plugging in an external device like a music player. You must wear the neck loop device for Bluetooth transmissions to your HAs.

In making/receiving trial calls in the Costco Store, call reception through the HAs was similar for me with both Kirkland and Rextons, but my wife said the sound of my voice was clearer to her with the Rexton system.

The sound quality of BlueTooth streaming of music to the hearing aids from my phone was very tinny sounding with both Rexton and Kirkland, and there are discussions of possible causes and fixes in the Rexton Trax posts.

I eventually went with the Rexton Trax / Siemens system due to the voice quality noted by my wife, the much longer battery life, and what I perceived was better speech in noise comprehension as I walked around Costco comparing HAs.

The biggest downside compared to the Kirkland/resound system is that I do have to be wearing the neck loop to have the ringing of an incoming call transmitted to my HAs. But, I would have needed to wear the Kirkland clip-on device anyway for an actual hands-free call, so I felt I could live with that particular negative point. I also felt the neck loop would be almost impossible to lose compared to the Kirkland’s clip-on device, and the loop is not visible when worn under my shirt.

Corey

After mowing my lawn today in the summer heat, I will say that the Rexton neck loop device (Smart Connect) will be exposed to sweat if worn inside a shirt against your bare skin, and I noticed that the feel of the rubberized neck loop against my hot, moist skin was kind of sticky and noticeable. I wore it outside and inside my T-shirt, and liked the feel of it better when the rubber was not against my bare skin ( the hard plastic if the pendant was not noticeable).

I will probably make a little goretex and cloth pouch for the pendant to protect it from sweat, and a cloth sleeve to slide the neck loop into, for those times I want to wear it against my bare skin.

I got a call while mowing with my noisy lawn tractor, and I was able to hear the phone’s ring through my HAs and then answer and conduct the call hands free using the pendant. One nice thing I found with the micro (1") sized BTE Trax aids is that the ear muffs I wear to protect my hearing when mowing were able to fit over the hearing aids comfortably, unlike my much larger BTEs that the Trax aids replaced.

corey

Thanks, all, for the great info. Lots to digest. I’ve been carrying my phone in shirt pocket for years - never dropped it. I automatically reach to cover my shirt pocket w. my right hand if I’m going to put the phone in jeopardy.
I’ve had cells phones since the day they first went on the air. Had a Moto brick phone. First phone was mounted in car. Finally phones got small enuf to put in pocket - then shirt pocket.
Now the newest top of the line phones are getting bigger. The S6, Apple 6, LG G4, HTC M9 are really too big for shirt pocket. My S4 is perfect size - even wife’s S5 would work ok.

I’ve been using the Oticon Streamer for four years now and very rarely remove my phone from it’s holder. With the Streamer I can make and receive calls, watch TV and use a landline phone if I want to, but usually I just pick up the phone and use it the old fashioned way.

The only complaint I have with the Streamer is it’s short range of about 30 feet: my wives Phonak ICom has a range of about 100 feet and I can’t believe Oticon can’t figure out how to get more range out of theirs.

I have an identical setup to Don - Resound Verso aids and a Phone clip linked to my computer and phone. One thing that no one mentioned is that the link to the Phone Clip is Bluetooth - so you don’t get the annoying feedback that the telecoil loops produce when you are around electronics. I’ve broken my phone clip now - the plastic was really cheap and fragile. It sits on my desk and I use it like a mic. But it still works.

My one issue is pairing to a land line. It seems hard to find a true Bluetooth handsfree transmitter for the desk phone. I’m currently using a Plantronics - but I have to wear the headset over top of my hearing aids - and I’m nearly maxed out on the volume.

Does anyone have a Bluetooth landline something that paired to the Resound unite phone clip?

Panasonic has a Bluetooth phone. Amazon should have them.

For my office phone I use a Plantronics MDA200. It has a USB port on the front of it. They sell a Plantronics SSP2714-01 bluetooth dongle that is specifically for hearing aid bluetooth devices and plugs into the MDA200 USB port. Since it is a Plantronics device there is a Plantronics EHS cable for my office phone so I don’t have to take the handset offhook.

It works great. I had to fiddle with the settings on the bottom of the MDA200 to get it where I don’t hear my own voice.

For home phones Panasonic (and others) have bluetooth capable home phones. They have two main functions. One is, they will communicate with a bluetooth headset. That is the function you need. The other thing they will do is connect a cell phone to the Panasonic home phone base so that cell calls go through the Panasonic base. You could answer both types of calls with the Panasonic handsets.

The only problem with using the Panasonic home phone with a hearing aid bluetooth device is that the bluetooth connection is at the phone base, not all the wireless handsets, so you can walk around but no more than 30 feet from the phone base.