What's going on? (long long post)

In June 2023 I got a Nucleus 8 (N8#1) Cochlear implant for my right ear. I want to use my Google Pixel 6a phone, with Consumer Cellular provider (AT&T network) to stream my radio, audio books, and music directly into the N8. When I try to do this, the audio is clear for about 10 minutes then it becomes garbled, then static-y, then cuts out, then after a few seconds starts again. I have talked (for hours) to Cochlear device specialist, Consumer Cellular, and Google about this problem. Everyone says its not their problem. Finally Cochlear sent me a refurbished (?) N8 (N8#2). I tried that N8#2 and the results were the same (except the tv streamer didn’t work).
I have tested this in as many ways as I can think of:
using N8#1 with the phone = problem
using N8#2 with phone = problem
using Phonak hearing aid with the phone = no problem
using N8#1 with the iPad = no problem
using hearing aid with iPad = no problem

I strongly believe that the problem is with my phone and/or my cellular provider. Both of those folks have told me its not their problem. A diagnostic was run on the phone hardware - which checked out fine. I live in Kennebunkport Maine which is basically rural, with lots of trees and not many cell towers. The problem feels a lot like buffering that you sometimes see when streaming a movie but I don’t know how to translate that into a phone.
Has anyone had this experience? Any suggestions about where to look or what to do next? All help appreciated

I’m not sure what’s exactly going on with your devices.
What I do no is with your Phonak aid will not stream to give you bimodal streaming. This could be what’s causing the interference.

You won’t be able to stream the radio either, because it can’t be paired with any of the devices. If you want to stream music download “Spotify”. Spotify gives you access to music and podcasts free.

Join your local library they have audiobooks you can stream for free.

To get your devices streaming bilaterally (bimodal) you need to get a GN Resound hearing aid. Then get your audiologist to link it to the mapping computer then pair it to your N8.

@Raudrive has a pixel phone he might chip in here.
Good luck.

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With Phonak aids you were using Classic Bluetooth. Your iPad is using made for iPhone Bluetooth.
The Pixel 6A uses ASHA bluetooth. when it tries to communicate with the N8. It “should” work as even older Pixels are ASHA compatible, but that’s where the issue lies. Solution? I’d try a different phone.

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Something you might try is go into Systems.
Reset options.
Then reset the WiFi/Bluetooth and also the App preferences.

I have the 7a and this helped my connection.
Something else you might try is turn your Bluetooth off and then back on when you start having problems.


Deaf piper - streaming bimodal is a little out of reach for me right now. I’m just trying to get streaming to the N8

Thinking further and rereading, I have another guess. I’m guessing the Phonak hearing aid is connecting too and breaking the connection with the N8. You can’t do both. Go into the Pixel and unpair the Phonak hearing aids. I think that will do the trick. If you want to be able to stream to both your hearing aid and the N8, you’ll need to get a Resound (possibly Costco Jabra) hearing aid.


MDB, how do I choose a phone that will work? I purchased the pixel because it was on the cochlear list of approved phones. The pixel works – sort of. I’d rather have a phone that works well. What do I look for in a phone? What questions do I ask? what type of blue tooth do I ask for?

Raudrive, I’ve done the reset thing but I’ll try it again. I can also try turning the bluetooth off and then on again. But is that the best that a Cochlear implant can do? I certainly had the impression that things were more advanced than that. I believe a solution is out there I just don’t know how to find it. Thanks for your suggestions - I’ll give them a try

I’ve rethought as discussed in my most recent post. I don’t think it’s the phone. I think the phone is connects to the N8 and then the Phonak hearing aid grabs the connection. Unpair the the Pixel 6a from the Phonak hearing aid. If that doesn’t do it, then I’d consider a different phone. A late model iPhone, Pixel or Samsung all should work. Ideally I’d want to try it out in a store. Perhaps you have a BestBuy you could go to? Typically I’d suggest going to your cellphone carrier, but not an option with Consumer Cellular.

What do you prefer? iOS or Android phones? The N8 is made for iOS phones. As I said in my earlier post I think it’s your Phonak aid that’s interfering with your connection. Remove your hearing aid from all your devices. Then see if your phone works.

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Do you have the Phonak and Cochlear apps on your phone?

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I agree with all you said except the N8 is made for iOS. It’s made for Android and iOS as are the N7 and K2.

Totally agree with you about too many things paired to the phone. They sure could be fighting each other.

Compatible Resound aids would sure be a better fit with the N8.

I reread the OP post.
He is not having issues with iOS but does with Android.
The N8 is a LE Audio ready. This just might be his issue.
When I went from the Pixel 3 with the N7 and K2 processors to the Pixel 7a that is LE Audio ready I started having issues randomly that I did not have with the Pixel 3. If I talk on the phone a long time I start getting static. I can quickly turn Bluetooth off and back on and all is good again.

There might just be some bugs in the new LE Audio. Especially having non compatible devices.

If the OP can get his hands on an iPhone to try I also believe that might be a good idea.

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Seems unlikely to me. “LE Audio Ready” means it can be made to have LE Audio in the future. I don’t think it should affect anything now? I think @MDB might be on the right track. Forget the Phonaks in the phone’s Bluetooth settings and see what happens.

I agree with mdb as well. The aid and CI are competing for Bluetooth. Maybe some iOS devices too.

And I sure might be wrong but I think the N8 is LE Audio ready.

Is the pixel 7a LE Audio ready as well? I ask because I have random Bluetooth issues now that I did not have with the pixel 3 with my N7 processor that I understand are not LE Audio ready.

Thanks for any help…

I believe so. If I had one I’d be asking when they’re going to turn it on. Their partner hearing aid maker has had it for a while now.

Enabled (not “ready”) for LE Audio. Two different phones and two different CI processors. Lots of potential differences apart from LE Audio. You could probably disable LE Audio in your phone’ settings (under “developer options”- you’ll have to Google to find out how to switch on developer options) to see if that improves things.


Thanks for your help.

You were correct about the pixel 7a phone. It has all the switches for Bluetooth LE Audio. They were found off.

I have the non LE Audio Cochlear processors N7 and K2.

The N8 needs Android 10 or higher to be compatible.
I agree with those saying you can not have both the Phonak aid and Cochlear processor paired in your phone. It would be conflicting Bluetooth.

The correct thing to do is get the compatible Resound hearing aid to go with your N8. The phone is fine with that combo.

Thank you guys for all the suggestions. Lets see if I can better explain what I’ve done so far:

Right now when I stream I don’t use the hearing aid. I do wear the hearing aid when I’m out and about, but I just stream into the N8. I have “disconnected” the hearing aid and “forget” the device on the both the iPad and the phone. This was an important step because I could not get the N8 to pair with anything until the HA was removed.

Raudrive: you wrote: “When I went from the Pixel 3 with the N7 and K2 processors to the Pixel 7a that is LE Audio ready I started having issues randomly that I did not have with the Pixel 3. If I talk on the phone a long time I start getting static. I can quickly turn Bluetooth off and back on and all is good again.”

That sounds like my problem! For something (media stream or phone call) that lasts more than 10 minutes or so, things start breaking up. So maybe I do need a different phone that is not LE Audio ready. That doesn’t make a lot of sense but I don’t pretend to understand all this stuff. I will eventually get a resound hearing aid but I don’t want to spend $$$ for a new hearing aid and still have this problem.
I will see if I can find a phone that is not LE Audio ready and maybe another call to Cochlear.

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Thanks for the update.

I don’t think your pixel 6a is LE Audio. I believe that started with the 7 series.

I went into the 7a phones developer and verified all LE Audio stuff were turned off and they were so the random static is something else. Hopefully an update in the near future will fix that up. Otherwise the new pixel has a better Bluetooth connection than the older Pixel 3 which is nice.

The compatible Resound is the way to go when you can.