New Starkey Series 3 i90 Great!`

I just replaced a set of Dual Minis with Starkey Series 3 i90s. The difference is amazing, I can hear things now I haven’t heard for years. The Duals were 3 years old and were very good when I got them. The i90s, with the wireless and Binarual mode are superb. I also got the Surflink Mobile and I ordered the Media streamer to improve my TV viewing and let my wife have normal volume again. Overall very happy. The advancements in technology are amazing.

I am very interested in your experience. My i100s do not have nearly enough volume except in TV watching mode and there I have plenty. On your remote do you have 3 levels or 5 levels of volume control? I only have three.

I have a set of Series 3 i110’s and a set of Wi i110’s.
Some observations:

  1. The number of volume steps is selectable in the programming software, assuming your HA’s have the headroom for the number of steps you desire.
  2. For some reason the Series 3 default setting was for 3 positions. Could only decrease volume down in 2 steps. I changed it to 5 steps (default plus 2 steps up and 2 steps down), but I ultimately put it back to 3 steps when I realized I never increase the volume setting, only turn it down. Just be aware that the number of steps is configurable. Ask your audi to change it to what you want.
  3. @bzam. Ask your audi to increase gain in your programs where they’re not loud enough. Also, ask him/her to give you more volume steps.
  4. The Series 3 uses a new receiver design that’s much improved. It snaps in place without having to remove the mic cover as in the Wi series. The standard is also 50db, not 40 or 50db as before, thus reducing the inventory your audi has to keep.
  5. The Series 3 does not have the internal feature of doing real ear measurements using only the aid. Not sure if this is of much importance as most audi’s don’t do real ear measurements anyway as it takes too much time and is error-prone if they’re not extremely careful to get repeatable readings. Of course, they can do real ear using external equipment if they’re so equipped.
  6. The Series 3 programming algorithms are new, using some additional capability that the Series 3 has over the Wi’s. So far, I think the sound quality of the 3 is better than the Wi, but only slightly. This also could be a placebo effect, as the 3 is newer and I expect it to be improved. Either aid is really good though.

I also have both of the remotes. The mobile remote’s performance is vastly superior, except for battery life as has been mentioned here. If anyone’s interested I could comment some more on the features and performance of each remote.


I would like to hear more about the remotes. Also, Series 3 is newer than the Wi. My audi gave me the impression he was showing me the latest technology?

I have 5 volume levels. The aids default to level 3 on power on.

Following is a letter that was forwarded to Starkey a year ago last May through my audiologist. It summarizes the issues I had with the original Surflink remote. The new Mobile Surflink Remote solves virtually all the issues I had, mostly by improving the communication with the aids so the L and R don’t get out of sync any more.

Suggestions for Improving Starkey SurfLink Remote Control
May 8, 2011

  1. Improve the range and reliability of communicating with the HA’s
    Many times the remote will communicate with one aid but not the other. I have used three samples of the remote and all three suffer from this problem to some extent. It happens changing memories and changing volume. It is not reliable when holding it in my lap when sitting. I can get reliable communication by centering the remote in front of my face and very close to my face. This is not a solution, however, as it’s quite embarrassing to do this in front of people such as at a concert or play. When at a concert I use the buttons on the HA’s as this is less noticeable than putting the remote up to my face.

  2. Sequence the audible indicators
    When using the remote to change either memory or volume, the audible indicators occur almost simultaneously in both ears. This makes it very difficult to tell if the change happened to both ears, especially when other sounds are present such as at a concert or play. This is not a problem when pressing the physical buttons on the HA’s as the indicators are sequenced, i.e., first the left HA followed by the right HA. This makes it very easy to tell if the change happened to both HA’s, even if I can’t understand the change in the presence of other sounds.

  3. Add visual feedback
    The remote should have a visual display of the status of each HA, showing both the memory number and volume position. This is especially important when in the presence of other sounds which make the audible indicators less useful or unusable. The visual display should not be distractingly bright. An LCD display can work fine. The Resound remote control has such a display and it works fine.

  4. Eliminate flashing red and blue lights
    These lights serve no useful function other than showing the position of the top switch that selects which HA is to be controlled. Since I can easily see or feel the switch position, the lights are redundant. They are also very distracting to others around me, drawing attention to me when I don’t want it – such as in a dark theater. Also, both lights flash whenever any button is pressed, regardless of success of the intended communication. They also use battery power.

  5. Have user-replaceable batteries
    I have no idea how long the batteries last, but it bothers me that they are apparently not user-replaceable.
    Because of the above issues, I have relegated my SurfLink remote control to my home theater. I use it as it is the only way to turn on media streaming using my SurfLink media streamer. As a suggestion I would add the ability to enter streaming mode using the HA’s. I can mute the HA’s by depressing and holding the button on my right HA. Why can’t I enter streaming mode by doing the same thing on my left HA? This functionality might currently exist, and if so I apologize.
    If the range and reliability were improved (suggestion #1), suggestions 2, 3, and 4 would be less important.

(Name and address removed)

Owner of the following Starkey devices:
S Series Wi i110 RIC hearing aids
SurfLink Media Streamer
SurfLink Remote Control

The new Surflink Mobile is really reliable. I have used it several times at dark concerts and I can use it so nobody thinks I’m texting like they used to with the prior remote. I have yet to experience it communicating with one aid and not the other. This was a common occurrance before.The only issue I have with it is the life of the rechargeable battery when using bluetooth. Since I don’t use bluetooth too much, it isn’t much of an issue for me. Bluetooth is not used at all for communication with the hearing aids. The more reliable RF is used to communicate with the HA’s. Bluetooth is used with wireless connections from the remote to bluetooth devices such as mobile phones, iPads, laptops, and other bluetooth equipped devices. But, it is not used in communicating from the remote to the hearing aids.

The best new feature is the ability to use the built-in microphones in the remote to help in problem areas. I just lay it on the table at a restaurant, put it in focused (rather than omni) mode, point it at the person I want to hear and voila! I can hear that person really great in noisy restaurants. The same would also work in meetings, or even point it at the TV to make it more understandable.

By the way, all features work just fine while the device is charging, with the exception of wired streaming that uses the same micro usb connection.

That’s all I can think of at the moment, but I’ll be glad to answer any questions you might have.

I was told by a Starkey representative that there is no difference between the 3-series and Wi series internally. The only difference is the casing and the switch. So I am going to assume there should be no difference in sound quality between the two. Does anyone not agree?

I have a couple of questions…

First is ballpark price of Mobile vs. Media? Or difference in price if you are uncomfortable answering.

Second, what is the firmware version of your Mobile? It’s found under Settings -> Tools -> Screens -> About.

Third, how does the Media co-exist with the Mobile? How do you determine what your sound source is when you have both. Does the Mobile still operate some functions (remote?) while you have the Media streaming?

I find with my Mobile and my Wi i110 CICs that I lose connection of one ear or the other now and then. Once I even had to re-pair to get it back. I don’t use Bluetooth (yet) and I don’t like that I have to manually turn the Bluetooth off if I power-on the Mobile from being completely off. The charging/streaming cable I am working on a solution for.

Finally, have you been reading about Starkey moving their whole streaming thing away from 900MHz and to the 2.4GHz that ReSound is using? Fallout from theMade for Apple iPhone thing.

Ok, I went back for another adjustment and while I have more gain and vol I have problems even understanding my wife. Gave them a 24 hour try and went back to my Phonaks.

But tonight I was looking at them and the cover on pickup mic seemed having a very narrow opening so took a pin to see if it needed cleaning the tiny opening. It poped off and its such a tiny thing I had trouble finding it! So put in aid and have great sound without it. Took the other one off and now find them very good. Were these little covers meant to stay on or should the audiologist removed them before setup?

They are meant to stay on, they lock the receiver in place. Sounds like you need the aids set a bit higher in any case.

These covers serve a dual purpose. First, as the prior poster said, they have small legs (very fragile) that serve to lock the receiver to the HA body. Second, they serve as a filter to keep debris from falling into the microphones and mucking them up. They have 2 holes, each with a mesh filter covering the hole. It sounds to me that your filters were clogged and needed cleaning.

I can’t answer this, sorry.

I have firmware version

If you’re in range of the Media streamer, it either comes on automatically or turned on/off with the Favorite button on the Mobile, depending on how it’s programmed in Inspire. I don’t like mine turning on automatically, so I use the Favorite button to turn it on or off. Other streaming sources (iPhone, iPad, etc.,) are selected by the Mobile remote in its Streaming screen. They show up as additional sources in addition to the Focus and Surround microphones. Finally, you can control volume, select programs, return to Home, or Mute while using the streamer.

I experience no disconnects between my Mobile and HA’s, but I do between my streamer and HA’s sometimes as I rotate my head.

I haven’t heard this but don’t think I like it.

Those metal covers need to be replaced as a regular maintenance item. They protect the aid from hair and skin oil which attracts dirt and skin cells clogging up the hearing passages on the aid.

My Audi gave me a bag full which I swap out every two weeks or so.

My only complaint is the performance degrades so slowly that it is hard for me to realize it needs changing. I get ticked off, remember this and swap the covers out. Aids now perform as advertised.

Thanks for the various answers.

I got a call from Starkey. The latest version is and your audiologist should have the update next time he/she updates Inspire. There are some new Bluetooth profiles and a few other things.

Also rumor has it there is a carrying case for the Mobile, but I have no idea if it is hard/soft or what.

I found some prices online:

SURFLINK MEDIA (with hearing aid purchase) … $399
SURFLINK MEDIA (Retail) … $499
SURFLINK REMOTE (with purchase) … $199
SURFLINK REMOTE (Retail) … $249

Finally got my firmware updated to By the way, it’s not updated through Inspire but with another update program that is available through the StarkeyPro site for registered users. I really don’t see anything different with the new FW yet.

After living with the new firmware on my SurfLink Mobile, I’m convinced it has extended the battery life between charges. I encourage users to go to your audiologist/fitter and get the firmware updated to v or later versions as they are released.

Hi Citation444,

Speaking of battery life, how many days on average do you get with your Starkey i110’s? I have always had the powerful 675 and get 3-4 weeks with them. I will be trying out the starkey 3-series (with power mold) i110 next month. The publications says you can get about 7-9 days, but I read someone post they only got 5 days! I guess I will just have to get used to changing my batteries at least once a week. Kind of sucks that I might have to spend 4 times more on batteries than what I have been doing for so many years (over 40 years).

Since I get batteries free as part of my deal, I seldom wait for the HA’s to announce it’s time to replace the batteries. I would make an estimate of 5-7 days and I wear the aids at least 14 hrs per day.

Thanks for the info. Still seems like a lot to have to change every 5-7 days when you are used to going 30 days. Guess it’s just something I will have to get used to.

You need to compare apples to apples here. What battery type are you talking about? The in-the-ear custom formats use smaller batteries.

Also, my SurfLink Mobile CASE is in, so I’m curious to see what that’s like. I am using an iPod case so far and it’s a bit too big.