Using a Bluetooth transmitter with Phonak Paradise hearing aids

I am a first time hearing aid user . I am using a pair of Phonak P50 . I am still getting used to all the sounds I am hearing , Myphonak app helped a lot to slightly lower the treble.

When watching TV with my wife she has the volume up for her comfort which was a bit soft for me before hearing aids. Now it too loud so I am constantly adjusting the volume down. I would like to add a Bluetooth TX so that I could set my own volume independently . Can I add a normal BT TX with optical in and out into the audio loop? Connection as follows : Opt out from TV to opt input of BTdevice ; Opt out from BT device to Soundbar . Use BT to the hearing aids? Will this work? How about delays ?

Thanks

That will work if you can find a BT transmitter that passes the optical signal through. If not, an optical splitter from the tv.

You will get latency. How much it bothers you is a highly individual thing. It bothers me a lot. I’m sure there’s a proprietary Phonak TV solution that costs a lot more but will give you a better experience.

Edit: That’s also assuming that your ‘BT device’ can convert directly from the digital signal that comes from your tv to Bluetooth audio (A2DP). If not, you’ll need a DAC in there somewhere. With me it’s TV-Optical-DAC-transmitter. It’s HDMI from the TV to an amp.

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I am thinking of using something like this : TaoTronics Bluetooth Transmitter Receiver for TV Audio Adapter
I believe it has low latency dac as well.

Phonak offers a TV connector - as is common in the world of hearing aids the specifications that a normal user can find on-line aren’t very complete. The Phonak device has “low latency transmission from the TV to the hearing aids” whatever that actually means. See:

TV connector Technical Data

The taotronics device you mention claims low latency for aptX - you would need to find out if your hearing aids work with that codec as it is not standard codec required by Bluetooth specifications. Again, a real specification of the latency would be useful as compared to “low”.

I have no experience with Phonak or their TV connector. I have a similar Oticon device for my Oticon OPN S 1 aids. The technical data sheet from Oticon specifies the latency from the input of the TV connector to the output of the hearing aid speaker and it depends on the input (analog or optical) and the encoding of the optical signal. For a normal optical input (PCM) the latency is 28 msec and for Dolby digital it is 45 msec. For analog it is 25 msec. The Oticon TV adapter has an optical output - it appears that the Phonak device does not so you would need an optical splitter. I expect a powered one would provide a more reliable connection as the non-powered ones split the optical signal and that may attenuate it enough to cause issues with one or both of the devices connected to the split outputs.

The User Guide for the Phonak TV connector does cover what optical input signals are allowed. It appears that the only optical format allowed is Stereo (PCM) - Dolby or DTS are specifically called out as “wrong”. So if your sound bar needs other than standard PCM, then the Phonak device may not be correct for you or you would need to use the analog (line level) output from your TV as input to the TV connector.

As d_Wooluf says, some users are bothered by latency. In my case, I mute my hearing aid microphones and listen only to the streamed sounds as that is better for me. If I don’t mute them and the sound bar is on, the small latency difference smears the sound and makes it harder for me to understand voices. Muting the microphones also cuts down on the room noise sources like the fan for AC/heater, again improving my understanding of voices.

Most transmitters in that class will transmit using the AptX LL codec IF the connected device supports that codec. Your hearing aids don’t so your connection will fall back to SBC which is not low latency.

I have just bought a Phonak TV connector and can confirm there is very little audio lag - I am very susceptible to any audio out of sync so I’m very pleased this was a solution for me. My experience of Bluetooth is that the latency was a real issue.

I also have the Phonak TV connector. It’s is optically connected straight out of the Tv. It works perfectly with no lag at all (as a musician I am also very sensitive to audio latency)

I also have a sound bar connected via HDMI which works completely independently so my wife has the volume she prefers.

So no complaints at all now, it all just works automagically … but the previous methods to connect HAs to the same system by other methods, I.e. different makes and models of hearing aids, ConnectClip, BT transmitters, headphones etc were miserable - so much so that I stopped watching tv almost completely for the last few years. Now I can hear every word clearly, at the volume I prefer without annoying the wife, and with lip-sync. It has been a game changer for sure!

Unfortunately, with the wide variety of TVs and audio equipment out there your mileage may vary. I have a great Audiologist who asked their Phonak rep for a loaner Tv adapter to try out. Maybe you can too?

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I have 2 Phonak TV connectors, one is connected to my iMac via the Jack plug, and the other to my smart TV via optical out, I have never noticed any lag or latency from either setup, I found video calls on my iMac a breeze, I have a new set of Phonak Naida Paradise 90 UP BTE 675, prior to that I had Phonak P 90 UP 13 RIC’s and before that the Marvel 90’s UP 13 RIC, all excellent aids, but I find the Naida’s sound crisper with plenty of ooomph, multiple Bluetooth connections are a big advantage, with much less flaffing about, disconnecting and reconnecting… Bluetooth connections seem to be rock solid. Although the Naida’s are much bigger aids with the 675 batteries, they are lighter and slimmer than previous versions of the Naida’s, and well worth a trial for those in the severe/profound threshold… Good luck with your Bluetooth connections. Cheers Kev :wink:

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It looks like any non Phonak BT device will default to SBC even though they are APTX capable because the hearing aids do not support that protocol. The Phonak TV device seems extraordinarily expensive for what it does. Thanks for all your inputs .

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The Costco TV Connector is $100 in the USA that works on the Phonak Marvel and Paradise aids too.

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Around 170 $ in the UK Raudrive, so a bit more expensive! But if you think about it, tis an awesome piece of kit for 100 $ stateside… And if you compare it with other Phonak assistive listening devices like Roger iN, it’s is relatively cheap by comparison, but if money is tight, a 100 $ is expensive… I got my first TV Connector 2 as a freebie with my Marvels, bought another as I could not be bothered swapping them back and forward and I just leave them permanently wired. Cheers Kev :wink:

The Phonak version TV Connector is about $200 in USA. The Costco version that is pretty much identical is $100 US.

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I recall now, someone on here saying it was cheaper at Costco, but you could not buy it unless you had bought your aids from Costco? Is that correct Raudrive? Cheers Kev

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Yes, that is correct at my Costco. I have read otherwise at different Costco locations. Just have to ask.
Another possibility is having a friend who wears the KS9 or Brio 4 aids pick the TV connector up for you.

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Thank you Rick… Will the Costco version work with Marvels and Paradise or only with rebranded versions of Costco Phonak aids, that would be handy info for those who have access to a Costco store… In my book, $100 saving is better in your pocket :grin:

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Hi Kev,
I purchased a COSTCO tv connector that works perfect with my Paradise 90Rs. The tv connector looks identical to the Phonak version I almost bought from my Audi, and the COSTCO tv connector was only $100. At the time I ordered the tv connector from COSTCO I was returning a pair of Resound Preza that I was trialing. So it didn’t seem to matter to the COSTCO in Clearwater, FL.

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Thank you for that info, tried & tested, and half the cost, excellent stuff… Cheers Kev :grin:

If you are new to hearing aids, you need around 4 weeks for your brain to adjust to all the new sounds it is receiving. It can be overwhelming at first, it was for me. While it may seem too loud at first, you will adjust and it will be the new normal. Just wear you aids as much a possible so you adjust faster.

From the picture of the Cosco TV connecter , it does not have an optical input. My TV’s only Audio output is thru optical cable.

Hi Mode1flyer, according to this Kirkland 9’s user guide, it does have optical out on their TV connector, and it looks exactly the same as my Phonak TV Connector 2? Cheers Kev :wink:

https://ks9userportal.com/how-do-i-connect-my-hearing-aids-to-a-tv/