Problem with new Soundgate 3

I have just been fitted with Bernafon RITE Juna9’s at Costco. The aids themselves and the Soundgate3 as remote controller are very satisfying. However BT functionality is disappointing: weak, tinny sound regardless of the BT source (android phones and tablets or BT 4.0 PC.) I notice that the sound volume/quality is just the same (i.e. bad) whether or not I wear either of the supplied “head strap” antennae. Does this suggest either a hardware or software setting fault that might explain unsatisfactory performance?

Let me add a more general complaint: In this era of device-savvy consumers (such as many of the helpful contributors on this site and, I fancy, myself) it is disappointing that manufacturers do not provide owners with downloadable software consoles that access the array of software settings Hearing Aid Specialists adjust at outlets like COSTCO. However agreeable these folks are (and mine is), I don’t expect them to be either fully conversant, have the technical background or are allowed by management to exercise curiosity regarding the innards and quirks of the diverse brands they sell.
Hey, I paid for it, and I want to play with it!

Your Costco fitter can adjust the frequency response of the SoundGate programs to provide more loudness and more bass, but if you’re using open domes, the low-frequency amplification will simply leak out before you hear it. You might have to switch to a more closed fitting such as tulip domes.

Your fitter has probably set up the Soundgate at the minimum settings. Go back and have them set it up with more bass and a louder setting. You might also have them set it up so the HA’s are muted when you are using the device also.

Well, you are at the sticky spot in the accessory/feature-control area. MFI (made for iPhone) is just underway. Android will play catchup here. Older and proprietary accessories abound. Some of them are pretty clunky compare with what’s there or just down the road.

Why a particular brand was recommended is a mixed bag. It wouldn’t hurt to do a walk-around Costco using a different brand that might give you more controls/feature you can operate. They should be happy to let you do that and show you what the others feature.

Thanks to you both; but could you please explain why the hearing straps provide no additional gain in sound volume over the naked Soundgate … could this mean that no signal is being emitted through the contacts?

Jean, I’ve not used a Bernafon product so I can only talk in generalities. There are apps for any smartphones that you might want to look at. This is the Android one. I am sure there is an iPhone one too.

Using the neckloop provides a more stable signal to the hearing aids from the streamer so you won’t experience any audio dropouts. It doesn’t affect the level of amplification you receive from the hearing aids; that depends on the software settings in the hearing aids.

Thanks for the explanation of the neckloop!
I have now extended the low audio problem to phono-input from an MP3 player. The Android Soundgate App recognizes the source of the signal but volume is inadequate at the highest setting both from App and device. Doesn’t this therefore exclude BT issues and instead point to the rebroadcast from Soundgate to HA’s?
Here’s a puzzle though: the sound volume of BT phone calls is fine! This was the only Soundgate functionality verified at the first fitting.

The hearing aids automatically activate either the SoundGate Phone program or the SoundGate Entertainment program when you start streaming. The Phone program is used for a mobile phone or Phone Adapter, and the Entertainment program is used for the 3.5 mm jack or TV Adapter. Your fitter can adjust the gain in each program separately.

Sigh, it´s not so easy to include a good picture here …

In the above picture (crippled, due to file-size restrictions), you can see that there is a complete section where you can adjust the sound of the sound-gate .

However, if you have open domes, you will never get a good sound. If you have closed-domes, you will get a better sound, but still no stereo.

A followup to sound level problems on bluetooth: The sound volume problems I was having may well have been due to the discharged state of the batteries in my HA’s at that time. Revisiting the problem with fresh batteries, the sound volume is acceptable at the top output setting of the broadcasting device. The tonal quality still suffers from low bass output. These comments apply to output using the Google Player or radio apps. When streaming is mediated by the Soundgate App on Android, conflicts occur requiring reboot of the applications. I have yet to see what advantages the Soundgate App provides.

I’ve been using the Soundgate for over a year, early on I had CostCo max the sound settings for all bluetooth sounds with the logic that I can always turn it down. Overall the bluetooth function is pretty weak…

I have the Bernafon Chronos 9’s from Specsavers and the android ready SG 3.1.

First off there is indeed a special program for the SG music and for the SG telephone which can be adjusted from Bernafon’s Oasis. I do this with a HiPro connected to the PC over the COM port (serial connection) and CAS44 cables to the hearings aids. Works great, but I actually didn’t change that much to the amplification of the frequencies. I think I only generally adjusted the volume +3dB. If you wanna play with your Juno’s try to find a really friendly audiologist willing to part with this obsolete part of equipment (I stumbled into one after making their life hard by demanding to be able to play piano with only my HA’s.) or be willing to part with 400$ on ebay for and USB-HiPro and cables. The cables are rather brand and model specific so be sure to get the right ones.

Secondly, the android app is mainly there to allow you easy access to volume and program control. Next to those you can configure the behaviour of your SG3.1. (My personal choices are to turn the lights and the auto-call button off.)

Thirdly, probably most importantly, every mp3 sounds like crap. Thin sound like from the radio. With 4k€ headphones you apparently need lossless audio in your mobile. I have been listening to FLAC-files for over 8 months now and rediscovered listening to music! It’s great.

Lastly, you can easily get louder sound by setting the pre-amplification of the equalizer of your audioplayer to +5dB. This should also be able to increase your low frequency amplification.

My personal choice has been AIMP for FLAC playback and preamp, but that is strongly motivated for stability sake on an older android phone (v2.35).

I just remembered a blog entry from a while back, that made sure that the low freqs didn’t leak out with spiraflex open domes: the Kookybite Bass Bung.

Personally, at that time I made do with switching out my open domes with power domes (That’s 2 closed domes in succession). Nowadays I play the piano with a custom mold with an 8mm air vent.Still like the power domes best for piano, but the custom molds are better for extended use.