Sound quality Phonak TV connector vs Bluetooth

Thought I would start a new thread for this.

With the Green-Colored-Line representing Bluetooth transmission from the TV connector to your hearing aids;
What do you mean when you say “vs Bluetooth”?
vs Bluetooth from where?
vs Bluetooth from what other source?

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Do you mean Bluetooth from a different device? Like from a cellphone?

I was wondering the same thing about the tv connect, in the article talking about the Marvels it mentions that they would pair with a smart tv with bluetooth capabilities. My firestick has such bluetooth capabilities .
I get my M90 R marvels on March 12 and I will try connecting to the firestick before ordering a Phonak TV Connect.

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oic; Youse guys are wondering if Phonak is messing around with your audiophile signals by providing you with a sub-standard device to use as your audio source?

Streaming via TV connector (or streaming via whatever) can only provide stereo sound because you only have two channels/aka-two hearing aids. That 2-channel limitation is preset for all streaming sources (TV connector or whatever).

But all is not lost because you can still pickup (surround-sound/side-speakers/sub-woffer sounds) through your hearing aid mics so you can still enjoy the dramatic/scary/explosive events.

I think you should look at the benefit of streaming as this; It helps you to understand dialogue.

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Oh, on the topic of quality of music streaming directly to your hearing aids vs earphones (or even earphones over hearing aids) you should search to find many previous discussions.

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Not necessarily a substandard option but $200.00+ for the connect tv versus streaming by smart tv bluetooth or a $50.00+/- streaming device like used for headphones…

Yep, there are many discussions on alternatives too. Some say to look for low-latency devices.

Is the TV connector mains powered or battery powered?

Per the User Guide Page 8, you plug it into the wall.

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The manual says that you can also plug the TV Connector in to an available USB outlet on your TV to power it.

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Oh yeah, alternatively via USB on the very next Page 9. Good catch. I stopped reading after Page 8 :no_mouth:

I just picked up my new T13-90 Marvels and a 2nd TV connector. Here are a couple of responses to the questions that have been asked based on my experience.

  • Power: The TV Connector is wall powered using a USB cable with micro USB on one end for the device and a regular USB plug on the other end. Theoretically you could power it from anything that can power the USB cable with whatever is required by the device. I’ve got a meter to test that, but haven’t hooked it up yet.
  • Quality: The quality of the streaming seems exactly the same as the Bluetooth streaming from my phone. It provides another way of streaming audio so I don’t have to swap the pairing as often due to the single device pairing limitations with the Marvel.
  • Frequency: The frequency/format of the streaming from the TV connector is that it is a custom 2.4 broadcast from Phonak proprietary to their Hearing Aids called AirStream. While that may be in the same band as Bluetooth, they aren’t using Bluetooth for this. The AirStream is really a broadcast to paired devices. Bluetooth doesn’t work that way and has a lot more security, handshaking and responding transmissions required from the Hearing Aids, (and probably power as well). The TV Connector can supposedly be picked up by an unlimited number of devices as long as they are paired and you can’t do that with Bluetooth. That also means that the TV Connector doesn’t know/care if your hearing aids are receiving the signal or not.

This is from an Audiology Online article sponsored by Phonak:
The TV Connector uses Airstream™, a Phonak proprietary 2.4 GHz streaming protocol which offers high quality audio streaming from any television directly into the hearing aids. Designed with the end user in mind, it is easy to use straight out of the box with no complicated pairing or connection steps. It is an easy plug-and-play setup when installing for the very first time. Some benefits of AirStream technology include:

  • High quality, stereo audio signals to Audéo B-Direct hearing aids with very low streaming delay
  • Audio streaming with the TV Connector, without the need for body worn/around-the-neck streaming interface
  • Broadcasting to an unlimited number of listeners with one compatible accessory
  • Lower energy consumption than any suitable Bluetooth classic protocol/profile
  • Easy plug-and-play connection to the television
  • Up to 80 hours of streaming and listening enjoyment with one hearing aid battery

Since we’re using the proprietary streaming protocol, it delivers low hearing aid battery consumption. Patients can stream up to 80 hours on one single battery.


That’s the same frequency as the Phonak Roger.

Roger systems monitor continuously which channels are free and adaptively hop around channels occupied by other systems at 2.4 GHz.

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Thanks for detailed report GR8Dane. I’m a little puzzled though regarding the need for a TV connector, when someone trails new hearing aids, say Phonak Marvel. Shouldn’t the new HA by itself be so advanced that someone wearing new HA’s hears TV clearly without “device” support? One would think when new HA’s are worn for first time with TV, the HA user (1) would not have to turn TV volume up as high and (2) there would be improved understanding of TV language comprehension. If both of those are true then I would think a TV connector irrelevant. Everyone has different levels of hearing loss but one would expect that new HA’s that cost $2000 plus certainly should improve TV listening to the point a TV connector is not needed.

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When I am watching the 6:00 o’clock evening entertainment programs (used to be called news) and everyone enunciates clearly, then I don’t bother streaming. I can hear it well without streaming.

Ah, but if I’m watching a movie, or a series, and the actor or actress has a difficult to understand voice or accent, then I rely on streaming to understand more of the dialogue. Works the same for her. We both stream to catch more dialogue.

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So you make some very interesting observations. I have definitely benefited (as has my wife) from me now being able to watch TV without having to turn up the volume. In fact my wife now often asks me to turn it up a little for her!! But there are still some shows/movies we watch where both of us (she has “normal” hearing) have some trouble understanding the dialogue of certain actors especially when they have or are mimicking an accent (e.g. Outlander). I have an excellent surround sound system and I don’t want to give up the ability to hear all the sounds coming from various directions so I’m assuming when streaming from the TV Connector I would still have access to the streaming slider that allows for outside noise or elimination of outside noise; is that correct? And assuming I want to watch a movie on TV that is disturbing to my wife, can I mute the TV (my receiver/speakers) and still hear through the TV Connector? Lastly, I’m wondering if you have had occasion to hook up the TV Connector to a laptop and if so is it easy to move it from the TV to the Laptop and back again?

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Well I have Oticon Opn’s so I don’t know much about your sliders for mic volume and streaming volume. Maybe someone else has studied this.

My excellent surround sound system does not go to waste while I’m streaming. It still makes us jump out of our chairs during dramatic sounds that boost your side speakers and subwoffer. If you mute that source (to your mics) then you will lose your surround-sound and just get stereo.

I leave the TV Connector always hooked up without moving it to a laptop. Maybe it will lose the paring when/if you disconnect power. I don’t know. Should be easy enough to test.

Just some info:

Tv connector use less battery than bluetooth (as mention earlier).
The Tv connector has a power on/off - when on, the HA connect automatic when you get within its area.
Bluetooth - you only connect to one HA (“master” side is decided under fitting) - the other HA “spy” on the bluetooth signal with no delay. If you lose “master” HA - you lose the ability to connect through bluetooth. You pair devices with only the “master” HA.

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Ok hopefully somebody with Marvels can comment on the slider functionality with TV Connector. Can you tell me if you are able to mute the TV and still hear through the TV Connector? This would allow me to watch some shows/movies my wife doesn’t like to hear.

Oh, I’m sure you can do that. But you said you have surround-sound so will lose your surround sound channels (center/sides/subwoffer) because they will be muted/off. But the left/Right stereo channels will still be transmitted to your hearing aids for you to hear while your wife hears silence.