Usefulness or otherwise of bluetooth


After 8 years my Seimens Motion 501 CICs are dying, so I’m off to Costco(South Australia) to seek reolacements.
I’m really ambivalent regarding the usefulness of bluetooth, so I’m wondering about other’s experience with it. No problem with bluetooth in action, but when paired with my smartphone, every little beep and tingle from my phone due to some Facebook or email notification, then the HA’s bluetooth re-establishes the connection, shuts off the external microphones, transmits the beep etc, then drops the link and turns the external microphones back on.
This drives me nuts! It makes sense that a permanent bluetooth connection would probably drain the batteries, and in any case it would also switch off the external microphones, as intended by design, so all in all not a great system.

In practice I disable bluetooth. So how does it work for you?


Turn off every little beep and bip your phone makes maybe? I hate all the sound notifications. I have ringer and that’s it. Otherwise a little red light is my only notification.


I had that problem with Android and a streamer. Even the beep from unsilencing the ringer would cause my hearing aids to switch into the streaming program and then back out. This hasn’t been a problem with iPhone and MFi.


Take a look at Resounds line of accessories.

The notifications can be disabled for the streaming.

There are some issues that are almost across the board. Those issues seem to be attributable to Apple and not the HA manufacturer.

I would recommend either Oticon’s OPN Hearing aid or the Resound Linx 3D Hearing aid.


I turned off all unnecessary notification. Also, the hearing aid pro can set how you want the microphones when streaming. 100% on, 90%, 75%, or whatever. Then you could mute the mics on those occasions you are on a call and you want to mute out the background noise.

I have everything possible going through Bluetooth to my aids, cell phone, office phone, laptops, tablets, a generic Bluetooth transmitter, I also have the TV transmitter. It’s like wearing headphones and hearing everything much clearer than through the air.


The MFI seems to distinguish the alert tones from the phone and audio out streams.

Having the google map lady go directly to my ears is real handy. My wife asked me how I knew where I was going in a strange town and I just pointed at my ears and said “I hear voices.”


I haven’t been near as happy with MiFi as I thought I would have been. It seems like things keep getting hijacked or something (I have Apple Watch, and my Volvo car is connected to phone via bluetooth) and things keep getting confused–like I get a call while driving, and it’s showing on my car, but, it won’t let me answer it except on my iPhone…or sometimes my watch. I assume part of this is Apple and other vendors not quite getting things right, but…there have been a LOT of updates, and it’s still not right. I think there needs to be an explicit setup screen for how YOU want MiFi to work for you, and not just a few kinda generic settings that don’t exactly work all that right. I finally just disconnected my aids from my iPhone…and not only does the batteries last a LOT longer (almost double), but things just work like I remember pre-MiFi. Progress…isn’t always progress…


You have those issues because you have to use a separate transmitter (remote around your neck, etc). If you move to MFI hearing aids and an iPhone, those are a non-issue, as the connection is constant (no pinging or changing programs).

I had the same problem when trying to hear my GPS (Bluetooth) through my Min-Tek streamed to my Siemens Hearing Aids. Every time the screen would change, my hearing aids would change from normal listening to Bluetooth streaming. Completely useless.

Get MFI and Get and iPhone and if you don’t like iPhones, get used to using one. Fighting the change is a waste of time and with very disappointing results. I was an Android user for years. I still miss some of the features, but life with the iPhone and MFI aids is so much sweeter.


I really appreciate your reply - clearly you have had the same issues I have. I was unaware of what MFI was. I’m not a Mac guy, so I’ll have to wait until Android catches up some day.


I’m not a Mac guy either, but when it was time to update my beloved Android, I bought an iPhone 8, knowing it would serve my primary purpose far better. It did. No regrets. Little bit of changeover learning curve, but there are plenty of sites out there with instant help.


I second that. I don’t like Apple, and I think I know more than the Geniuses at the Apple Store. But hearing aids convinced me to switch to iPhone. Part of it is the MFI hearing aid feature, which I find much more convenient than carrying, wearing, and charging a separate streaming device. The thing that pushed me over the edge, though, is that I liked my trial ReSound hearing aids, but the Android app for them is terrible. It actually corrupted the program names and who knows what else in the hearing aids themselves. Also, I found myself having to force-stop the app practically every time I opened it, making it difficult to use its widely praised sound adjustments.


That might work for some people, but i have several devices I need to connect to, including cell phone, office phone, laptops, tablets, and additional Bluetooth transmitters. I would not be without the Bluetooth hearing aid device.


That’s interesting info too. Costco here in Oz sell amongst others the Resound Cala, so something to keep in mind. I haven’t researched the Resound devices yet, but the Seimens I have and their updated version, the Rexton Legato, both have a separate controller device, which I intend to buy even though I know they all have fancy smartphone apps, for the reason that I actually mount mine on my motorcycle dirt bike’s handle bars! :slight_smile:

I go riding with friends out in the scrub, and found that having to mess about retrieving the controller, or smartphone in this case, from my pocket was a big time waster and socially undesirable, so having it front and centre on the handlebars meant I could just lean over and un-mute it to have a quick chat, then mute it again when we take off. I’m 64 and not about to give up scrub bashing any time soon :grinning:


You Aussies have off the Wall humor and like to take the piss out of everything.
We yanks, you call seppos …something to do with septic tanks?
Your sparkys…electricians…have a weird fascination with goats…
But you gave me Olivia Newton John, AC/DC, Mel Gibson and Mad Max and so much more.
I would really like to visit there one day.


Didn’t realise I said something funny?
Yeah, lots of abbreviations for all sorts of things, though I don’t know if we are unique in doing that. I’ve been to the US twice, and would love to spend a few months in NYC. You’d find a lot of similarities, and some stark differences too, but that is what travel is all about!


TL;DR - I find Bluetooth with my hearing aids to be useless,

My first HAs are Starkey Halo i110s and I have been wearing them for a little more that four years. I almost always have the connection between my HAs and my iPhone disabled. If I don’t disable that, I get every phone call in my HAs (I prefer to use a headset and InnoCaption, so I rarely answer incoming phone calls). I play music in my office from my phone to external speakers (I work from home) when I am not on the phone to mask my tinnitus. If my hearing aids are connected to my phone, I have to constantly remind my phone to stop sending the sound through my hearing aids. All of the application and iOS controls can’t seem to get the message.


Getting my second HAs soon and bluetooth is not even a consideration… I drive a truck for work and using a phone in any form (including Bluetooth) is against company rules and against the law. Distracted driving and all that. Plus I don’t get a lot of calls. I’ll keep my android phone.


What is MFI? I agree with you re iPhone. I also use Apple Watch…it is great and convenient. Been wearing HA for 52 years…have been through all the changes. I have the resound HA and all accessories. Extremely happy! One does not need iPhone near to retrieve phone calls with watch nor even need to on, if one has ATT’s Number sync.
Anyway, maybe got carried away. I do not know the “MFI” shortcut.


MFI, Made For Iphone, is a marketing term for devices that work with Apple Iphones. For hearing aids Apple and several of the manufacturers have a scheme to use a proprietary version of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to stream audio and provide some control functions. BLE does not have an official scheme for sending audio packets, yet, so the Apple scheme allows streaming audio from phone calls and music directly to the hearing aids, without an intermediate device. You still have to use the microphone on the iphone.


Are there any moves towards something similar from the Android world? Direct streaming without the intermediary controller would have to be an improvement. This is what prompted my original question, as the current process mostly makes bluetooth unusable with all the switching on/off for every little beep that a smartphone generates.