Phonak Hearing Aids Accidentally Connected to Phone... Briefly

phonak
#1

I am very new to hearing aids and am on day 3 of using them. So far, so good. I am impressed that it seems like they are not there until i take them off and the world gets a little quieter.

I bought Phonak Brio 3 R RIC from Costco. On fitting day I ordered a Command Pilot thing so I can connect to my phone or any other BT device of my choosing.
I do not have the Command Pilot yet.

Today, I received a phone call and held the phone up to my ear to listen. I could not hear well so I moved it around some to try to get the hearing aid mic to pic up the sound. All of the sudden I heard a melody and then the callers voice was super clear in BOTH ears like I was wearing headphones. Unfortunately it only lasted a couple of seconds before it disconnected. After the phone call was over, I held up my phone to my Left HA and it connected again, but all I heard was the melody again and then some hiss, then a different melody when it disconnected.
The only explanation I can think of is that phone’s NFC is connecting. Given the proximity that the phone was to my HA, it seems likely.

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#2

Your phone may well be an old-fashioned landline with a strong magnet in the receiver earpiece. I don’t know about Phonak Brio’s but ReSound Quattro’s have an Acoustic Phone program and hardware in the HA that is activated by proximity to a strong magnet. Might not be remembering correctly (I’m a relative ignoramus about HA’s) but when the phone program is active, the HA picks up the magnetic fluctuations in the phone earpiece and figures out what sound frequencies they would convert into and creates the electrical impulses in your HA that reproduce that sound in your HA receivers. So the “middle person” of hearing sound from the phone receiver is cut out and essentially the electrical signal that generates “speaker” vibrations in your phone earpiece is picked up and used directly by the HA - that’s why the sound is so clear. More knowledgeable forum members can correct errors in my explanation.

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#3

Telecoil. They really are remarkable little doodads. So old tech but still so usable.
Depending on programming, some HA’s will auto-switch to this mode when triggered by a magnet. Then they’ll use an internal transmitter to copy the sound to the other side.
It’s unfortunate that the new KS9 doesn’t include it.

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#4

My iPhone has a strong enough magnet that my DuoPhone program kicks in. I wear Phonaks as well.

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#5

Arghh… I should have been clear and mentioned my ‘phone’ is a Moto X4 Smartphone. Our landline gathers dust.

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#6

If that phone has bluetooth, you would be able to connect that phone and listen in one ear and it uses the mics in the HA’s.

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#7

It appears that your Moto X4 is telecoil-compatible and has the highest rating Motorola accords (T4).

https://support.motorola.com/in/en/solution/MS123782

According to the product specs direct from Phonak, the Brio has both an Acoustic Phone program and telecoil reception- see page 6 of the specs. So either one or both of these is probably kicking in when you bring your Moto X4 in proximity to your Brio HA’s. (see page 6)

BTW, the ReSound Quattro does not officially have a telecoil (by using it in conjunction with a ReSound Multi Mic, it can pick up telecoil transmissions) but it does have an Acoustic Phone program. I would think that the Acoustic Phone idea works on the same idea as a “telecoil” but just picks up very local, “unofficial” electromagnetic emanations from a phone earpiece whereas telecoil is an area electromagnetic broadcast protocol that has to meet certain performance specs (my ignorant surmise - looking to learn from corrections).

There is also this link from Motorola explaining what the phone ratings mean - I’ll let you follow the explanation in detail. If seems like the compatibility/performance of the Moto X4 has been upgraded (see 1st Motorola link) since the ratings on the explanation page (link below) were issued:

* Correction:

Apparently, acoustic phone (for Phonak) is just audio pickup but routes the output sound to both HA receivers so the reception sounds louder and clearer. But it is activated by magnetic detection of a phone receiver. Since the Moto 4 is rated for Acoustic Phone (unless it tells you to add a magnet to the phone in your HA or phone instructions), it can presumably activate the Acoustic Phone program of your HA’s.

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#8

@jim_lewis
No I think the magnet is detected by the telecoil which sets off any programmed activities.

Fancy words for a 1 ohm speaker. :slight_smile: Really. I use a simple powered computer speaker amp hooked up to a hearing loop. The input is the center speaker of my surround amp.

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#9

Thanks for the advice!

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#10

Thanks! I also found this which list my phone’s model number: hearing aid compatibility (USA) | motorola US

I enabled the hearing aid setting in the phone app, but it didn’t seem to make much difference. I get the feeling that telecoil tech is dated tech as there was alot of buzzing and dropped signals. The placement of the phone in relation to my HA was far too sensitive for practical use. Hopefully the Command Pilot I bought will solve the issue. I also hope my hearing aid person can turn the telecoil feature off but i do have a sinking feeling that the com pilot uses the same tech.
Perhaps I should have insisted on the Phonak Brio RC which I think has a dedicated BT receiver. They say it only transmits to one ear, but that would be an improvement to my current situation.

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#11

Oh yes you’re right…the RC is the equivalent to the B-Direct. Apologies.
Using a telecoil would be sensitive to other dirty electrical interferences. Not its fault. Just emissions from other things that it picks up. And you have to keep your head aligned the right way. Sitting watching tv I have to keep my head more normally upright. I can’t just tilt back and watch down my nose :slight_smile: .
I think all these proprietary external devices use their own transmissions…not using the telecoil. Aftermarket ones use the telecoil.

Get your hearing aid person to set a program for you to manually switch to it rather what you have now as the automatic method.

But now (or soon) Costco is offering the newer KS9 (Phonak) that can use bluetooth in stereo and uses the mics on the HA’s like the Brio RC.

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#12

No it doesn’t use telecoil, not at all.

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#13

You should ask your audiologist so that you are able to manually switch to your “acoustic phone” program. And if you don’t have a prefered side for phone calls then your audiologist also should program your HAs so that you can pick up the sounds from your phone on that HA on which you manually switched to “acoustic phone” program - at the moment you can use acoustic phone program only on your right ear.
Edit: In the same session you should turn off “EasyCall”-feature. This is responsible for the automatic activation of this program anytime when you get too close to any magnetic field.
As soon as you have your ComPilot and this is connected to your mobile phone speech is much clearer in loud environments.

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