Recommendations for someone who uses Bluetooth streaming a LOT?

Hi everyone. This is my first post here. I’ve had a set of Rexton CIC hearing aids for about 4 years but the left one has pretty much died and it’s time for another set. One thing I love about having hearing aids is that I can stream podcasts and music from my phone to my hearing aids. My Rextons talked to a transceiver (basically a black disc that hung around my neck by an insulated wire). The transceiver then rebroadcasted the Bluetooth data through the wire around my neck which the hearing aids were able to receive. This worked very well and I was able to walk outside with my phone in my pants pocket reliably streaming to my hearing aids.

A couple of weeks ago when I went back to Costco, they said they didn’t have that type of hearing aid anymore and that virtually all hearing aids now incorporated Bluetooth directly into the aids themselves. This meant that CIC hearing aids have a tougher time connecting to my phone since they’re jammed into my ears. I ended up with a pair of Resound GNs which are in-the-ear style. They do fine with augmenting my hearing but as for Bluetooth streaming…not so good. Outdoors, with no way for the signal to bounce from my phone and inside my ears, streaming is terrible. The ear on the side farthest from my phone gets no signal and the one closest gets a very intermittent signal. Indoors, as long as I’m near walls, the streaming works.

So a couple of questions:

  • Can anyone recommend hearing aids that are very reliable for Bluetooth streaming outside? Bonus points if they’re units that Costco carries (I’m in Canada BTW). Oh, I’m looking for hearing aids that use removable batteries. I don’t want to be in a situation where I’ve forgotten to charge them and then have to do without for 30 minutes or so while they recharge.
  • I might have to consider behind-the-ear hearing aids. Do they interfere with wearing a COVID mask or make it uncomfortable?

Thanks very much for your input!

I have Phonak P90 and love them them.
They are the same as Costco’s K10

Unfortunately the KS-10 HAs are rechargeable, not HAs that use a disposable battery.

Don’t know if it will help but I keep my phone in my shirt pocket. I had the primary set to the left ear. Seems to work well for me but I have ks9’s.

As mentioned above placing the phone in a front pocket in your shirt or jacket works great outdoors in my experience. You can also put a lanyard on your phone case and hang the phone around your neck.

Yes I was going to say that carrying the phone in a pocket while streaming outdoors tends to cause disruptions to the streaming

Thx for the replies so far. This morning as I walked from the parkade to my office, I put my phone in my jacket breast pocket and even then, the streaming connection was intermittent.

In any case, carrying my phone in a chest pocket isn’t viable during the summer when I typically just wear a t-shirt (and none of my t-shirts have chest pockets).

Well more and more people carry them in their hands. Are there a lot of buildings where you work

I’ve never had an issue with my Phonak Sky M70 SP breaking up connection when outside. I can carry my iPhone SE 2020 where ever on my body.

Not really. It’s not a busy downtown area. It’s an suburban city.

Even carrying the phone in my hand, I have to be sure to carry the phone in front of my chest which is annoying when I’m going for my lunchtime walk and listening to a podcast for 40 minutes.

Well I’m not an expert on this but I do know that Bluetooth was developed to allow transfer of files over a short distance. Obstacles, such as a body or a building can interfere with the signal. I also know that a WiFi signal can interfere with Bluetooth. To make matters worst a multi channel wifi can cause a dropped Bluetooth signal causing Bluetooth to take longer to find an open channel. Unfortunately people tend to let their WiFi signal spill out all over the place

I think the problem is the HA antenna is too small. I often use a pair of bluetooth headphones. They have a range of about 50 ft. With the HA I have a range of maybe 10 ft. They also save my HA battery. They are sitting on top of my ears. So the mics of the HA are still open and working.

I have an older version of these.