Starkey Surflink Mobile updates

This is very sad news. Here I am about to spend over $5,000 because I want to take advantage of the latest wireless technology. This doesn’t sound like progress and is most likely not worth spending so much. I am especially disturbed to hear that others don’t hear you well on the other end of a phone call. That;s the problem I had with Phonak’s iCom.

Q: What does the bottom slider bar (RANGE) control?
A: In general, the RANGE setting (lower slider bar) on the SurfLink Media modifies the distance that hearing aids will be able to start streaming. It has no effect on the active audio streaming distance, which is fixed and not user adjustable. If a patient is in “Manual” streaming mode, pushes “star button,” and they are outside of RANGE broadcast distance, then no audio stream will be heard. Both “Automatic” mode and “Manual” mode must be close enough to RANGE to activate “streaming.” Once streaming is active, “Manual” mode and “Automatic” mode behave the same.

Q: After I start streaming audio, does the RANGE setting matter anymore?
A: In rare cases where there is strong local interference, streaming audio may be discontinued until the patient moves back into the RANGE setting distance, whereby the hearing aid reacquires the streamed audio from the SurfLink Media.

If RANGE slider is farthest left (one blue dot), this is a test mode (6” – 12” activation distance). Two blue dots typically activates within 4’-8.


PS. I read somewhere else that the SurfLink bandwidth is about 4k, so you can forget about listening to music with any kind of fidelity. It will be more like an AM radio experience. So it’s mainly for voice and TV dialog I guess. There’s probably a way to test that, but I can’t think of how at the moment.

I just got a pair of Wi 110’s with a SurfLink remote control. I’m confused by the terminology here. The device I got allows me to change programs, to adjust volume and perhaps a bit more, forgive me, I’m just discovering the possibilities as they are only a few hours old.

I see here “mobile” and “media”.
Which one do I have?
I got this used. The previous owner said they couldn’t find the cable; that they would send it along when they found it. I assume this cable is the re-charge unit.
How to use the streaming function?

I want to get a little familiar with some of these devices and capabilities of the aids before I go to a dispenser with my (used) aids.


The SurfLink Remote has hard buttons and no rechargeable battery, hence no place to plug in a cable.

The SurfLink Mobile has a touch screen, volume control buttons on the side, a rechargeable battery, and a socket for a micro usb cable for recharging and reprogramming. The SurfLink Mobile is much larger than the SurfLink Remote.

Sounds like you have the Mobile if it has a cable connector.

Mobile is a pocket sized super-remote. It does remote functions, has a microphone, can stream audio, has bluetooth, etc.

Media is a much larger table-top item that plugs into a TV or radio for sending (streaming) shows directly to your aids.

i did spend that much and it wasn’t too much. i wanted the technology and got it from arguably the best, Starkey. i thought that this time around the bugs would be worked out with the surflink. my audie is working with me and is pinging on Starkey about the issues i’m having with the surflink. I’m confidant that they will do whatever needs to be done as there is a huge market at stake for whoever gets this done the best. the Wii aids are in my opinion the best choice i could have made.

I may have missed it, but is there anyone here using the Surflink regularly as an ALD device? I’m curious to know what your experience has been, as I’m generally a fan of using ALD for really noisy environments.

The answer is no, and yes. If your TV is bluetooth compatible, then you can stream the TV signal wirelessly. Otherwise, you must connect the TV by wire to your Surflink Mobile, which, in turn, streams to your aids. However, you must keep the Mobile close to your aids, and keep your head reasonably still, or you lose the signal. As for setting the device in front of the speakers, you can charge simultaneously if you do that; I just haven’t been happy with the sound quality.

OK - I understand now. FYI - I use a Bluetooth adapter that I hook up to my TV which makes it bluetooth compatible and would allow you to use the surflink mobile wirelessly while charging.

While that may work, you might find that there is a small audio delay. This delay can be annoying at times. Plus the compounding of devices and encodings can make the levels difficult to adjust optimally and without distortion.

You know, you are absolutely right, I found this delay to be annoying which was one of the reason why I stopped using it!

So you guy’s aren’t impressed with the surflink mobile? I’m demoing one atm, with my Wi. The Wi sounds nice, but I really don’t have any reference as I’ve only used one other aid in the last decade. I think I like the surflink. But then again I don’t have any reference. I watch a lot of netflix, hulu, computer based streaming, audio podcasts. The surflink seemed perfect for that. The only way I would buy it is if I could plug it into usb 3.0, where it stays charged, because wired streaming a movie drains the battery 2-3hrs. I was going to buy a bluetooth adapter for my computer, and test the usb 3.0 route. But I’m second guessing that as you guy’s say there’s a noticable audio delay. I’ve also bookmarked this device. I can’t post the link and don’t even know if it would work with a HA. Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter for Bluetooth Audio Devices. Any ideas?

So, yeah, on the fence to get the surflink or just get some nice headphones. As long as I’m wearing the Wi, it’s okay to wear headphones now right?

I’m a little underwhelmed myself, but both the Mobile and the Media. Fidelity is mediocre (bandwidth less than 4k), charging is a nightmare. Works good as a remote and that’s what I use it for mostly. kind of cool for privacy listening … you can listen to audio and no one around you has any idea. :wink: And it makes a decent eavesdropping device for about 20 feet. But like i said, practically, the remote aspect is the most useful for me.

I’ve had the Surflink Mobile for about a month. It works better than the original remote plus it has more features. Bluetooth w/phone works although I’m not a heavy cell phone user. The surround and focus functions work as advertised.

Battery life - so far - isn’t too bad but I don’t tax the unit as perhaps others do. I don’t use it that often during the course of a normal day. The unit came with v firmware so I have no experience with earlier versions.

One of the things the Starkey Surflink Mobile is weak at, in combination of with the Media is volume countrol of the two sources and the overall volume.

It’s too hard to set the mix between “room” sound and “direct” (TV) sound. There is a control on the Media player, and the Surflink changes either the hearing aid volume or the streaming volume depending on whether streaming is running or not. Really, they should have put a couple of controls on the Mobile’s streaming page that let you alter the two sources, and possibly the “master” independently:

  • Direct volume up/down buttons (this would affect the TV)
  • Mic volume up/down (the room sound)
  • Master volume up/down.
We could probably live without the last one, but my recommendation would be to put master on the exterior up/down buttons and the two source controls on the screen.

Last night my Surflink Mobile “went dark”, wouldn’t turn on. Battery was just charged and remote was used during the day w/no problems. Have had the unit a little more than a month. I did charge it overnight - still dark.

Called the VA audiology department and they scheduled me for a 1pm appointment. I luckily work close to the facility.

It was determined that the unit had indeed failed and another was ordered. I learned mine was not the first Mobile that had failed. I’ll get another in the mail.

While I have no idea why the remote failed, I will say that I’ve been very impressed with the audiology people at the VA. They’ve been great.

This has happened to me twice. I called Starkey the first time, and they recommended holding the power button down for 30 seconds. It is analogous to a reset. It worked both times this happened to me.

Big Al, This sounds interesting. but to clarify, hold the power button down for 30 seconds on what? the bluetooth adapter?

I think he means the SurfLink Mobile … that reboots it from scratch.

No, there is a power button on the Surfflink Mobile itself. There are also volume controls. It is the power button that you hold down.