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Thread: Any aids with (battery friendly) BLE?

  1. #1

    Default Any aids with (battery friendly) BLE?

    Bluetooth Low Energy seems to really have taken off. I'm not sure which phones support it, but I think it might be a better platform for audio control and low bandwidth audio itself than "classic" bluetooth. Anyone know if there has been any uptake in the industry? Is Made for iPhone or whatever it's called strictly Bluetooth Classic or is there more to it?

    I'm not an iPhone person myself and any streaming I've done has been underwhelming either for audio quality (Siemens) or battery life (Starkey). I have to say that the Starkey audio quality over 900MHz was not bad and the range was excellent. Unfortunately it seems everyone has gone 2.4GHz. Busiest band on the planet. Hopefully some day BLE will usher in a standard that works as well as MIDI did for the music and cell phone industries.

    I ask this question after seeing/posting this in the "articles" area of the forum:

    NXP and Widex Team for Wireless Audio Streaming Hearing Aids

    NXP Semiconductors and Widex announced that they have collaborated to develop, test and integrate NXPs NxH2003 Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) audio streaming SoC into Widex BEYOND hearing aids. The two companies worked closely together throughout the product development cycle, merging the best of hearing aid engineering and wireless audio streaming semiconductor technology, to deliver hearing aid devices that can stream wireless audio from an iOS device, consuming only 2.8 mA current at 1.2 Volts, which is best in industry. This allows end users to enjoy music directly from their personal devices for prolonged periods of time.
    My Aids:
    2003 - Unitron Conversa - lots of features, poor audio quality. REJECTED
    2003 - Sonic Natura 2se - Good, KEPT
    2012 - Unitron Moxi 6 - had basically same reaction as Conversa. REJECTED
    2012 - Sonic Velocity 12 - Good sound quality, good basic no-frills aid. These are my backups. KEPT
    2012 - Siemens Motion 701 CIC. Sounded just "OK". REJECTED
    2012 - Starkey Wi i110 - Good, KEPT (ReSound maybe better?)
    2015 - Siemens Pure Micon RIC (trial device circa 2014/2015) - These are "ok".

  2. #2

    Default

    I have the Beyond. I am getting about 96 hours out of a 312 battery with a bit of daily streaming of phone calls. Not too bad, I don't think. The quality of the call far surpasses that which I get by putting the phone to my aid.


    Quote Originally Posted by grantb5 View Post
    Bluetooth Low Energy seems to really have taken off. I'm not sure which phones support it, but I think it might be a better platform for audio control and low bandwidth audio itself than "classic" bluetooth. Anyone know if there has been any uptake in the industry? Is Made for iPhone or whatever it's called strictly Bluetooth Classic or is there more to it?

    I'm not an iPhone person myself and any streaming I've done has been underwhelming either for audio quality (Siemens) or battery life (Starkey). I have to say that the Starkey audio quality over 900MHz was not bad and the range was excellent. Unfortunately it seems everyone has gone 2.4GHz. Busiest band on the planet. Hopefully some day BLE will usher in a standard that works as well as MIDI did for the music and cell phone industries.

    I ask this question after seeing/posting this in the "articles" area of the forum:

    NXP and Widex Team for Wireless Audio Streaming Hearing Aids

    NXP Semiconductors and Widex announced that they have collaborated to develop, test and integrate NXPs NxH2003 Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) audio streaming SoC into Widex BEYOND hearing aids. The two companies worked closely together throughout the product development cycle, merging the best of hearing aid engineering and wireless audio streaming semiconductor technology, to deliver hearing aid devices that can stream wireless audio from an iOS device, consuming only 2.8 mA current at 1.2 Volts, which is best in industry. This allows end users to enjoy music directly from their personal devices for prolonged periods of time.
    ..250..500..1000..2000..4000..8000
    L:75....75....70.....75.....65......60
    R: no hearing

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the info. I wonder what technology the current Beyond devices use is? Meaning is the press release referring to aids already on the market or just about to arrive on the market. Hmmm.

    I should clarify though ... I had good success placing my phone to my ear using in-the-ear aids. Poor success placing my phone next to the mic above my ear in my RIC's. And for me poor phone over Bluetooth, but I think the Siemens wireless technology that I have is old and lousy.
    My Aids:
    2003 - Unitron Conversa - lots of features, poor audio quality. REJECTED
    2003 - Sonic Natura 2se - Good, KEPT
    2012 - Unitron Moxi 6 - had basically same reaction as Conversa. REJECTED
    2012 - Sonic Velocity 12 - Good sound quality, good basic no-frills aid. These are my backups. KEPT
    2012 - Siemens Motion 701 CIC. Sounded just "OK". REJECTED
    2012 - Starkey Wi i110 - Good, KEPT (ReSound maybe better?)
    2015 - Siemens Pure Micon RIC (trial device circa 2014/2015) - These are "ok".

  4. #4

    Default

    Widex is using a form of BLE, Apple proprietary format. It's crystal clear and has completely changed my attitude about taking phone calls.

    Quote Originally Posted by grantb5 View Post
    Thanks for the info. I wonder what technology the current Beyond devices use is? Meaning is the press release referring to aids already on the market or just about to arrive on the market. Hmmm.

    I should clarify though ... I had good success placing my phone to my ear using in-the-ear aids. Poor success placing my phone next to the mic above my ear in my RIC's. And for me poor phone over Bluetooth, but I think the Siemens wireless technology that I have is old and lousy.
    ..250..500..1000..2000..4000..8000
    L:75....75....70.....75.....65......60
    R: no hearing

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks. Good info.
    My Aids:
    2003 - Unitron Conversa - lots of features, poor audio quality. REJECTED
    2003 - Sonic Natura 2se - Good, KEPT
    2012 - Unitron Moxi 6 - had basically same reaction as Conversa. REJECTED
    2012 - Sonic Velocity 12 - Good sound quality, good basic no-frills aid. These are my backups. KEPT
    2012 - Siemens Motion 701 CIC. Sounded just "OK". REJECTED
    2012 - Starkey Wi i110 - Good, KEPT (ReSound maybe better?)
    2015 - Siemens Pure Micon RIC (trial device circa 2014/2015) - These are "ok".

  6. #6

    Default

    Go to BuyHear.com and click on "iPhone Direct" and you'll find all the brands they sell that have Apple proprietary BLE support (namely iPhone Direct or Made For iPhone). Notably missing is Phonak, Unitron, Rexton. They don't sell Starkey but I think Starkey is probably the first brand that has iPhone Direct option.

    I'm not sure what the big deal is on the NXP/Widex announcement, especially since it's still talking about supporting BLE for iOS only here. Almost everybody already is on this bandwagon and have iPhone Direct support.

    The big deal is to see now that there's a new BLE 5.0 standard, which Android phone mfg will be the first to start providing support for that so that the HA mfgs will start providing BLE support directly for Android phones. So far the Samsung S8 and S8+, the Xiami MI 6 and the OnePlus 5 are listed as having BLE 5.0 support in them. So now let's see which HA mfg will be the first to start providing BLE support for those Android models.
    HA wearer since the 1990's > Rexton Insite+ CIC (2011-2016) > Oticon OPN RITE (2016)

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  7. #7

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    And I just bought a Samsung S7 last year. :-(

    Thanks for all the useful and detailed info. You've probably saved me hours of web scouring.

    I assume you've switched from Costco to an Audiologist judging by your signature. How was that experience?
    My Aids:
    2003 - Unitron Conversa - lots of features, poor audio quality. REJECTED
    2003 - Sonic Natura 2se - Good, KEPT
    2012 - Unitron Moxi 6 - had basically same reaction as Conversa. REJECTED
    2012 - Sonic Velocity 12 - Good sound quality, good basic no-frills aid. These are my backups. KEPT
    2012 - Siemens Motion 701 CIC. Sounded just "OK". REJECTED
    2012 - Starkey Wi i110 - Good, KEPT (ReSound maybe better?)
    2015 - Siemens Pure Micon RIC (trial device circa 2014/2015) - These are "ok".

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by grantb5 View Post
    And I just bought a Samsung S7 last year. :-(

    Thanks for all the useful and detailed info. You've probably saved me hours of web scouring.

    I assume you've switched from Costco to an Audiologist judging by your signature. How was that experience?
    Yeah, I used to buy HAs exclusively from Costco because I never had insurance that covers HAs or if I had it, I never could satisfy my high deductible to qualify. But last year I was in a unique position of having insurance that covers 95% of the HA cost after deductible and happened to exhaust my deductible on other things. So I was able to afford to go through an audi channel to get a more premium/new model and only pay for 5% of it.

    As far as experience going through Costco or an independent audi channel, the experience was not very different to me. I'd say that Costco offer just as good service and they offer a longer trial period than the audi channel.
    HA wearer since the 1990's > Rexton Insite+ CIC (2011-2016) > Oticon OPN RITE (2016)

    KHz 0.25...0.5...0.75...1.0...1.5...2.0...3.0...4.0... 6.0...8.0

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  9. Default

    My Resound Linx3D are BLE. They use the BLE both to program and to pair with the application on either the iPhone (which I use extensively) or Android, which I've not tried yet.

    The Resound (and the Widex mention above) support the "Made for the iPhone" hearing aid protocol. It's a proprietary set of features over the BLE GATT protocol to provide some basic control (you can adjust the volume, change the program, and stream sound to the HA). It all comes up on a triple-click of your HOME button and obviates the need to carry a remote for your hearing aid. Resoound adds further BLE controls to tweak various parameters on the hearing aid (base/treble, noise and wind suppression in certain modes, speech focus in certain modes, etc...). You can also geo enable it and load up a favorite mode when you go into a certain location.

    Nice watch version of the app as well.
    Last edited by rnatalie; 07-11-2017 at 02:54 PM.
    250 500 1K 2K 3K 4K 6K 8K
    R 15 25 30 40 50 55 60 65
    L 10 25 15 20 30 40 45 35





    Resound Linx 3D 9 (June 2017)
    Airllink2 Programmer/Smart Fit Software
    Multimic
    Phoneclip+
    TV Streamer 2
    iPhone 6

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rnatalie View Post
    My Resound Linx3D are BLE. They use the BLE both to program and to pair with the application on either the iPhone (which I use extensively) or Android, which I've not tried yet.
    As far as I know, there's no direct streaming available between HAs and Android phones yet (only for iPhones and iOS so far). There's INDIRECT streaming via a neck streamer for Android phones where the neck streamer interfaces via BT with the Android phone and via BLE with the HA. But no direct streaming with Android because most current Android phones don't support the new BLE 5.0 yet. For the new Androids that support the BLE 5.0 like S8, the HA mfgs now in turn has to tweak their HAs to support BLE 5.0 as well. But I haven't seen any HA mfg done this tweak yet.
    HA wearer since the 1990's > Rexton Insite+ CIC (2011-2016) > Oticon OPN RITE (2016)

    KHz 0.25...0.5...0.75...1.0...1.5...2.0...3.0...4.0... 6.0...8.0

    Left ...10...10....10.....30.....70....75....80....95.. ..90....80
    Right .25...30....40.....55.....75....85....90....90...1 00...100

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