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Thread: General questions on Bluetooth connection to iPhone

  1. #1

    Question General questions on Bluetooth connection to iPhone

    My iPhone 6 is running OS 10.3.2. The Oticon Opn 2 miniRite app version is 1.1.3.

    Bluetooth connectivity is a mixed bag of good and bad for this user. Thanks in advance for taking the time to respond to my questions.

    For the Bluetooth connected HAs, I'm having to adjust each time I get in or out of my Bluetooth-connected minivan. Also having to keep the phone in the same room at all times or the signal drifts. If I am in a "No Cell Phone Zone," what is the best way to disable the HA-Bluetooth connection? The "Do Not Disturb" mode, "Airplane" mode or switch off Bluetooth (or the iPhone) altogether? What is your workaround?

    Often I am hearing callers voices drift from one ear to the other, then back to binaural. Why? How can this be corrected?

    Often I hear pops or crack sounds during phone conversation or podcast playback. What causes this and can it be corrected?

    When I am receiving an incoming call, I hear a shift from the steady radio-static white noise to a flat disruption before the ringtone begins playing. It is cringeworthy jarring! Can my audiologist adjust this or is this unavoidable? Do you know that sharp "electricity's on" scratchy sound headphones make if they're on your ears and then you plug your headset into the stereo? I feel like that effect is happening when a call is coming in.

    The minivan Bluetooth wants to dominate the connectivity over the HAs when I get in and out of the vehicle. Sometimes. Other times the HAs seem to get the preferential treatment. Why does this happen? Is there some other geeky doohickey that is a Master Control for Bluetooth where I can swap out user scenarios?

    For a more hands-free experience when I am speaking to a caller on the iPhone while wearing the connected HAs, wouldn't a separate microphone be better than fumbling the phone out of a pocket or bag? The iPhone has 3 microphones built in, are all 3 trying to find my voice when I'm talking? Or is simply wearing the iPhone as a pendant around my neck a better phone placement to pick up my voice?
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    WRS 100 / 96

    with constant non-pulsatile tinnitus

  2. #2
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    What may be part of your problem is having sound notifications enabled. Set most apps to vibrate or no sound. If you don't do that, things can get busily annoying.

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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odyssey View Post
    My iPhone 6 is running OS 10.3.2. The Oticon Opn 2 miniRite app version is 1.1.3.

    Bluetooth connectivity is a mixed bag of good and bad for this user. Thanks in advance for taking the time to respond to my questions.

    For the Bluetooth connected HAs, I'm having to adjust each time I get in or out of my Bluetooth-connected minivan. Also having to keep the phone in the same room at all times or the signal drifts. If I am in a "No Cell Phone Zone," what is the best way to disable the HA-Bluetooth connection? The "Do Not Disturb" mode, "Airplane" mode or switch off Bluetooth (or the iPhone) altogether? What is your workaround?
    It depends on what "No Cell Phone Zone" implies. If they don't want the cell phone to be turned on at all then you should turn it off. Airplane mode seems to very depending on the phone. Some phone turns off wifi, cell signal and Bluetooth altogether in airplane mode. Other phone may let you re-enable wifi and/or Bluetooth after airplane mode. If you don't want the connection between your OPN and the iPhone temporarily, turn off your iPhone Bluetooth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Odyssey View Post
    Often I am hearing callers voices drift from one ear to the other, then back to binaural. Why? How can this be corrected?

    Often I hear pops or crack sounds during phone conversation or podcast playback. What causes this and can it be corrected?
    I have the same issues. I've read that it's because the proprietary Bluetooth Low Energy protocol employed by Apple is low quality/finicky, causing artifacts like this to be introduced into the sound quality from time to time. The only workaround I can see is to temporarily turn off Bluetooth on your iPhone and turn it back on and hope that you get a cleaner signal next time around (not always guaranteed to work the first time around, though). This is the workaround I use myself. There's a short cut that involves a bottom up swipe to bring up a window where Bluetooth can be turned off via a button and a top down swipe puts away that window. This is faster than trying to turn off Bluetooth via the normal Settings app.

    Quote Originally Posted by Odyssey View Post
    When I am receiving an incoming call, I hear a shift from the steady radio-static white noise to a flat disruption before the ringtone begins playing. It is cringeworthy jarring! Can my audiologist adjust this or is this unavoidable? Do you know that sharp "electricity's on" scratchy sound headphones make if they're on your ears and then you plug your headset into the stereo? I feel like that effect is happening when a call is coming in.
    I don't hear that when there's an incoming call. I just hear the ringtone playing in my HAs. But when I make an outgoing call or start listening to anything (music, video, GPS announcement), there's a short momentary attenuation of outside sounds before the iPhone sound comes on in the HAs. I guess that's because my OPNs are programmed to attenuate outside sounds when internal iPhone sound is being played. I hear you can have your audi reprogram to remove the attenuation from your setting if you want. But my attenuation is a momentary silence free of steady radio-static white noise like you described.

    Quote Originally Posted by Odyssey View Post
    The minivan Bluetooth wants to dominate the connectivity over the HAs when I get in and out of the vehicle. Sometimes. Other times the HAs seem to get the preferential treatment. Why does this happen? Is there some other geeky doohickey that is a Master Control for Bluetooth where I can swap out user scenarios?
    In my car that has Bluetooth, the car's Bluetooth takes over only if I turn the radio source to Bluetooth to listen to music. For phone calls, I haven't had an incoming call when I drive that car yet (I rarely drive that car) so I don't really know which way it'd be routed, to my car or to my OPN.

    Quote Originally Posted by Odyssey View Post
    For a more hands-free experience when I am speaking to a caller on the iPhone while wearing the connected HAs, wouldn't a separate microphone be better than fumbling the phone out of a pocket or bag? The iPhone has 3 microphones built in, are all 3 trying to find my voice when I'm talking? Or is simply wearing the iPhone as a pendant around my neck a better phone placement to pick up my voice?
    Oticon was supposed to come out with a ConnectClip 3.0 in Q1'17, which is basically a neck or clip-on streamer that works off of regular Bluetooth and not the Apple proprietary Bluetooth Low Energy that's connecting your OPNs to the iPhone directly right now. This ConnectClip 3.0 will allow you to stream to Android phones or other regular Bluetooth enabled devices like computers and tablets. This ConnectClip 3.0 is supposed to have a built-in mic so you can now leave your phone (Android or iOS) in your pocket and still carry out a phone call if you wear the ConnectClip near your mouth. Unfortunately its release schedule has since slipped to end of 2017 with no firm date.
    HA wearer since the 1990's > Rexton Insite+ CIC (2011-2016) > Oticon OPN RITE (2016)

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  4. #4

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    Leave it to Apple to make me jump through their Bluetooth Low Energy ring of fire. I was not aware that they had their own special protocol for that, too.

    The idea of the Internet of Thing$ and IFTTT doodad$ sounds intimidating yet intriguing. If it was only that simple. And it also sounds like another series of night classes. Wouldn't it be cool to walk in a room while wearing hearing aids and have the room simply "know" to turn on a light, then turn it off when I exit? Wouldn't it be awesome (or terrifying) to have an internet-connected camera doorbell that puts a disembodied voice in my ear that someone is at the front door? The things we do to keep up with the Joneses...

    I do have sound notifications enabled for incoming texts, calendar/appointment alerts and emails. None of those get picked up directly through the Oticon. They just play the note/ding/ping through the phone. I am not necessarily hearing any fluctuation through my HAs. Which means I tend to miss those in real time. It's the prewarning static scratch to ringtone shifts from phone calls that's getting on my nerves. I will discuss this with my audiologist.

    Perhaps a new car habit to practice will be adjusting the iPhone Bluetooth settings after fastening the seatbelt and returning the tray in front of me to its upright and locked position.

    I can work out a trade for a used lav mic from some tv or video recording geeks I know that will better suit my wallet. Oticon or who ever else winds up getting my HA business can keep all the add-on device accessories.
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    WRS 100 / 96

    with constant non-pulsatile tinnitus

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odyssey View Post
    Leave it to Apple to make me jump through their Bluetooth Low Energy ring of fire. I was not aware that they had their own special protocol for that, too.
    Well, there had been no BLE standard available on Android phones so that's why Made for iPhone support is only available on select current HA mfgs for DIRECT streaming. For non-iOS regular Bluetooth devices, non-direct streaming is possible to the HAs but only through an intermediary device that you have to wear around your neck or clip on your shirt or pocket (which has a built-in mic). That's what the ConnectClip 3.0 for OPN is. So Apple is actually ahead of the pack because they didn't wait for a standard BLE protocol and decided to adopt their own proprietary one for HA mfgs to make use of. Fortunately their share of the phone market is big enough that HA mfgs decide to go ahead and support direct streaming for the iPhones (and other iOS based devices) instead of waiting for a standard BLE to become available for all phones and support that only. I heard that a standard BLE (version 5?) has recently become available but now we need to wait for major Android phone mfgs to start adopting them first.

    Quote Originally Posted by Odyssey View Post
    The idea of the Internet of Thing$ and IFTTT doodad$ sounds intimidating yet intriguing. If it was only that simple. And it also sounds like another series of night classes. Wouldn't it be cool to walk in a room while wearing hearing aids and have the room simply "know" to turn on a light, then turn it off when I exit? Wouldn't it be awesome (or terrifying) to have an internet-connected camera doorbell that puts a disembodied voice in my ear that someone is at the front door? The things we do to keep up with the Joneses...
    What you're thinking about is actually some of the example the IoT through IFTTT thing on the OPN can already do. You can program an IoT enabled doorbell to send a voice alert directly to your OPN to let you know somebody rang your doorbell. You can program your OPN to change to a different program once you arrive to work (or somewhere else in particular like maybe when you return home). I think this is probably based on your connection to your local router that has a special IP address maybe? You can use the OPN to listen to your voice command to do things like turn on/off your IoT enabled TV/lights, etc. Walking into a room and have the room light turned on would be cool but I don't know how your OPN connectivity through the internet would be unique enough to know the difference between different rooms. Also, I don't think the OPN connects directly via the internet. It connects to the ON app on your phone which is connected to the internet so your phone acts as a proxy to enable the OPN to be connected to the internet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Odyssey View Post
    I do have sound notifications enabled for incoming texts, calendar/appointment alerts and emails. None of those get picked up directly through the Oticon. They just play the note/ding/ping through the phone. I am not necessarily hearing any fluctuation through my HAs. Which means I tend to miss those in real time. It's the prewarning static scratch to ringtone shifts from phone calls that's getting on my nerves. I will discuss this with my audiologist.
    I would like to have text alerts and calendar alerts played directly in my OPN but I can't get that to work either. Only the incoming phone ring plays in my OPN. The rest of the alerts play on the iPhone only like in your case. I think that this maybe an iPhone SW limitation because we already know that the iPhone can send incoming phone rings to the OPN just fine. And yes, you should really speak to your audi about why you get static scratch on your ringtone and other quality issue with iPhone streaming. Although I experience pops and crackles on my OPN when directly streaming with the iPhone, it's only about maybe once in a while but often enough to bug me, although not often enough for me to consider it unacceptable. Others have reported much less quality issues with the direct streaming with the iPhone. Some suggests that maybe using a higher quality battery brand (PowerOne?) may help eliminate these issues. I use Costco brand batteries myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Odyssey View Post
    I can work out a trade for a used lav mic from some tv or video recording geeks I know that will better suit my wallet. Oticon or who ever else winds up getting my HA business can keep all the add-on device accessories.
    Wish it were that simple but I suspect you probably can't use third party independent gears with HAs in general. Really the only accessory available for the OPN at this time is the TV Adapter 3.0 (TV streamer). It hooks up to the TV and streams TV sounds directly to your OPN. The TV streaming works MUCH better than the iPhone streaming, both in terms of sound quality and reliability (no pops, cracks, static noise, connectivity issues whatsoever). It uses a different third party BLE protocol that Oticon licenses from CEVA (the RivieraWaves BLE). So that's why I'm not ready to put the blame on Oticon for the OPN streaming issues with the iPhone because the RivieraWaves BLE for some reason seems to work much better than the Apple proprietary BLE protocol.
    HA wearer since the 1990's > Rexton Insite+ CIC (2011-2016) > Oticon OPN RITE (2016)

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  6. #6

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    After a visit to my audiologist today, I have solutions, a promise and a dream.


    Solutions: Some tweaks of bass and treble levels help, switching from solid to vented domes helps. Also she tweaked my settings on my phone and did some keyboard magic from her desktop. That incoming call freak out is not so severe.

    We we went through some in office tests, and after much fiddling, she called Oticon. She got passed from audiology to tech. Audiology at Oticon gave us some tips on settings and tech offered the other information. Actually felt good to learn I am not the only HA wearer who's had these issues, and they had workaround protocols, answers and ideas.

    Promise: The L-R drift and sound drops during phone calls I experienced with the Opns are a known problem, and the tech assured us a firmware update will be available in a couple of weeks.

    Dream: Although notifications are are enabled on my iPhone, the chimes cannot play into the HAs. This is a problem that is on Apple's end. Who knows when they'll adjust that? Like it's been mentioned before, there aren't enough HA wearers at Apple or this would be fixed by now. I have had some success in the past writing to Apple so I'll do that again. Might as well write a letter to Oticon, too.
    250...500....1k....2k....3k....4K....6k....8k
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    WRS 100 / 96

    with constant non-pulsatile tinnitus

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odyssey View Post
    Promise: The L-R drift and sound drops during phone calls I experienced with the Opns are a known problem, and the tech assured us a firmware update will be available in a couple of weeks.
    They already had a firmware update in December 2016 that was supposed to fix a lot of the direct streaming issues between the OPN and the iPhone. Apparently it didn't fix everything (or anything at all???).

    The firmware update in June that the tech assured you is supposed to be more for new features updates, notably the addition of Speech Rescue to the regular OPN 1, 2, 3 models. Sure, maybe it'll also help fix some of the remaining direct streaming issues. I'll believe it when I see it, simply because the December 2016 firmware update didn't seem to do squat to help in my opinion. But at least a firmware update is better than no firmware update, I guess...
    HA wearer since the 1990's > Rexton Insite+ CIC (2011-2016) > Oticon OPN RITE (2016)

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  8. #8

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    Oticon appreciate all you folks who paid to test subjects 😂

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odyssey View Post
    The minivan Bluetooth wants to dominate the connectivity over the HAs when I get in and out of the vehicle. Sometimes. Other times the HAs seem to get the preferential treatment. Why does this happen? Is there some other geeky doohickey that is a Master Control for Bluetooth where I can swap out user scenarios?
    I got a chance to use the GPS navigation from my iPhone today in my car and connect it into the Bluetooth system in my car.

    1. Using Google Maps app on my iPhone:
    a. the navigation voice connects to my car's (Chevy Volt) BT phone connection automatically if the radio is off. Before the navigation announcement goes on, the fan is actually temporarily turned down (or off?) while the voice is on, then resumes when the voice is off.
    b. If my radio is on and connected to my iPhone via BT and playing songs from my iPhone, then the navigation voice from Google map connects to the radio and not the phone, and the music volume is lowered when the navigational voice comes on.

    2. Using the native Apple Maps app on my iPhone:
    a. unlike the Google Maps app, the native Apple Maps app does NOT connect to the car's BT phone connection. But the iPhone does connect to the car's BT phone connection just fine.
    b. The native Apple Maps only connects to the car's radio BT connection. The music volume is lowered when the Apple Maps navigation voice comes on.

    3. If I make a phone call in the car, and the iPhone attempts to connect to the car's BT, the car gives me an option to transfer the call back to my phone (and eventually back to my HAs) for privacy. I bet the same if I receive a phone call while in the car and connected to its BT, it'll allow me to pick up the call through the car's BT (and then to its speakers and mic), or give me an option to transfer it to the iPhone (and eventually my HAs) for a more private phone conversation.

    The moral of this story is that there seems to be many variables at play here. Even between the 2 navigation apps, the routing of its navigational voice is done differently. And cars with BT probably has different ways and options of routing and managing phone calls depending on how the car mfg designs their BT system to work. We just have figure out how it works specifically for our own cars/systems and there's no guarantee it'll work the same across different cars' BT systems.

    If you want to route the signals to either the car's BT or to your OPNs, it's best to disable BT in the one you don't want to route it to.

  10. Default

    I also have a Volt. An annoying feature is that the Volt hijacks the audio stream from the HA the moment the car is powered up (even with the radio off). Oddly phone calls go to both the car speakers and my HA, but any other iPhone audio (confirmed with others) always jumps to the last connected device. I may just end up unpairing the iPhone from the car.
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