Is a Sennheiser BTD 800 USB Bluetooth Dongle worth it?

Hey everyone!

I use a windows 10 PC and have Phonak Audeo Marvels. My computer is a desktop model and it has Bluetooth built into the motherboard. The computer is tucked underneath my computer desk. But I have trouble establishing a connection from it to my hearing aids. My computer motherboard is the x570 Creator from Asrock, it ain’t cheap and I’m surprised the Bluetooth connection isn’t working.

Phonak customer support recommended the Senneiser BTD 800 USB Bluetooth dongle and I am looking for people’s experiences trying to stream windows audio directly to the hearing aids. Is the connection stable? Does it make sense that it would work better than what’s built into my computer’s motherboard?

Thanks for your time!

I look forward to hearing what others have to say. I’d think something with better and more accessible antenna would be needed, but I have no idea. Have you tried the computer’s bluetooth with other devices?

I have completely different hearing aids and computer(s) but my hearing aid manufacturer technical support recommends the exact same device for me. I have Oticon OPN S 1 (OPN 1 previously) - they are MFi hearing aids so communicate with iPhones correctly but need an intermediary device (ConnectClip) to communicate with the bluetooth in computers. Mine would not work with an iMac Pro (expensive desktop with built-in Bluetooth 5) but worked fine with an Apple MacBook Pro with Bluetooth 5. When I asked my provider, she called Oticon and they told us that we should always use the Sennheiser BTD 800 (one was shipped with my ConnectClip) with any desktop as many bluetooth implementations were either incomplete or buggy. Using the BTD 800 allows reliable streaming of audio from the iMac Pro to the ConnectClip and on to my OPN S 1 hearing aids when the computer is running either the latest macOS or Windows 10. One difference is my iMac Pro sits on my desk as it is an all-in-one kind of computer with everything built into the 27" display - the USB 3 ports are on the back but it works for me.

Kind of silly that apparently the drivers for Bluetooth are so buggy/incomplete in both Windows and Mac boxes but I gather Sennheiser ships the dongle with some of their bluetooth headsets. They also provide an update program that updates the dongle firmware (and they issue firmware update every so often).

Not an inexpensive device but I find it useful and if Phonak recommends it for you, then it might prove useful for you also.

I have Oticon OPN1 aids with the connect clip and the connect clip works great with the built in Bluetooth of my MacBook, and also the built in Bluetooth of my ebook reader. I haven’t seen the need to buy the dongle.

How do you like the connect clip. My dad is thinking of getting one.

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I use it to stream from my MacBook, and also to stream phone calls from my home phone to my aids using the Oticon Phone Adapter 2. It has good sound, but the battery life can be a little short is you stream very much. If you have an Android phone or a non smart cell phone with bluetooth then the clip would also be a good thing to stream the calls to the aids.
To answer your question I cannot handle calls on the home phone without it.
Now I do have the iphone and Ipad so a lot of my streaming is directly to my aids from them but there are times that I prefer the MacBook. Oh yes facetime or zoom from the Macbook using the connect clip seems to work okay for me.

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Great thank you for your feedback I will let him know.

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I find my ConnectClip useful to stream sound from both my work and home computer to my OPN S 1 aids. It also allows a connection from my hearing aids to my work VOIP Cisco phone that has bluetooth. Sound quality is OK but closed wired headphones over my hearing aids provide fuller sound, particularly for lower frequencies. But the headphones do not allow for the bi-directional connection provided by the ConnectClip.

In general it is a useful accessory for me but I do tend to use my iPhone with direct connection to the hearing aids for most phone calls.

Some people with Oticon aids use a TV Adapter 3 to stream sound from computers - it works but only in one direction. The connect clip and hearing aid combination acts as a headset (the mic is in the ConnectClip) so you can use the ConnectClip for two-way audio with a computer where that won’t work with the TV Adapter.

Your dad may/may not need a better Bluetooth adapter than is in his computer as some implementations are apparently buggy and/or incomplete. If that is the case, he might need a Sennheiser BTD 800 USB dongle - my now old ConnectClip came with the BTD 800 and Oticon suggested that I always use it with a desktop computer (and use it with any laptop that had issues).

My dad is looking at the connection clip. He likes the ability to use other phones, and the microphone when in hard to hear situations. He also likes the idea of placing it by a tv to stream it into his aids. Thank you for sharing I will share this with my dad as he makes his choice.

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I expect that may work that way but my experience is the microphone array in the ConnectClip is quite sensitive and it picks up room noise (HVAC fans for example - quite loud in my office) quite well. The ConnectClip would also negate any stereo effect as it is a mono device. A TV Adapter 3 would be a better choice for hearing the TV as it streams the TV stereo audio without adding room noise. With the ON app, you can also mute the hearing aid mics so you hear mostly the streamed TV audio. I connect my TV Adapter using the digital optical (Toslink) input - that works well even with my now ancient flat screen TV.

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I bought the ASUS USB BT dongle to connect my OPN1s / ConnectClip to a windows 10 desktop computer. It works fine. I mention this because I think it uses the same Broadcom (?) chipset inside it as the Sennheiser, but was cheaper.

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I use a iMac 27" [late 2015] & MacBook Air [2014]. No problem connecting to either. Streaming does use up battery life. Phonak Marvel 70 early 2019 rechargeable. Sorry I don’t have any suggestions.

That’s interesting! Cheaper is nice. I’ll check out this alternate option.

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Thanks for the info! It’s a shame the bluetooth tech is so difficult to use for hearing aids with android/windows devices.

Thank you for your feedback. He likes to get the most out of things that he buys. I will suggest what you said.

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