Which hearing aids can stream music from an android phone?

Steven Chargo

Professional Member

01 November 2016 - 22.7K Views

Nearly all hearing aids currently on the market from every manufacturer can stream music from an Android, or any other smart phone that has bluetooth capability.  You will need to have a bluetooth accessory item which will be paired with the phone as well as the hearing aids.  There are several manufacturers (Resound, Starkey, and Oticon) that have models which do not require an extra accessory, however this direct streaming functionality only works with iphones at the present time.

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Jeff C
Jeff C 02 November 2016
This is concise and correct information.
S I
S I 02 November 2017
Oticon's brochure does not indicate that the direct streaming is for iPhones only! Their website buries that fact Several pages into the site! If they are Bluetooth compatible they should be able to stream to all devices!!! They also claim to be able to help people who suffer from Tinnitus. Android owners CANNOT use their apps! The company is deceptive in the way they present, and advertise their hearing aids! I would never have wasted $5k If I knew that the hearing aid are limited in their abilities, especially for Android owners!!!!!
S I
S I 02 November 2017
In addition to my last comnent: Oticon refuses to do Anything, do me, due to their deceptive way of displaying their information! My audiologist has passed on my concerns, and my emails, to him. It has been over 2 months, and they just keep stalling! Someone at Oticon had the nerve to tell my audiologist this is all his fault - What a Load!!! After reviewing my complaints, I have noticed that Oticon has made at least 1 change to their website. However that does nothing for my wasted $5k!!! Oticon just compounds their negativity (being polite) with their procrastination, and deliberately being uncooperative!!!!!! SII
Member
Member 28 February 2018
Starkey's website clearly says they only work with Apple iPhones for streaming music. This is also what my audiologist told me. Phonak's newest model also only works with Apple iPhones and not Android devices (I just made an expensive mistake by trusting my audiologist on picking this one). Make sure you get it in money back writing before trusting something on thus subject. I am going to go looking for some of the others mentioned to see if I can find ones that do work.

Duane Smelser

Hearing Healthcare Provider in Portland

08 November 2016 - 22.6K Views

It's very, very important to understand how hearing aids work with the various phones via Bluetooth. It's easy to be mislead by some manufacturers claims of "Made for iPhone," "No need for Streaming Device," and the like.  The most important thing to get is "made for iPhone" or Bluetooth built into the hearing aid, has two BIG limitations. The first is radically reduced battery life, because Bluetooth is a power hog. You can expect 2-4 days per battery when the aid has Bluetooth in it. The second thing is talking on the phone.  Although these aids can stream music and books on tape, etc. to your aids beautifully without the need for a "Streamer/intermediary device" around your neck of clipped to your jacket, you will not be able to talk on a telephone call "Hands Free" without a Streaming/intermediary device.  You will literally have to hold the phone in your hand to your mouth to be heard by the other person, and especially if you have any noise around you, like in a car.  For people like me, the primary reason I want Bluetooth to my phone is "hands free" calling while driving, shopping, typing, etc.. Very few of my clients stream music or other recorded media from their phones. They want to talk on the phone "hands free".  So, Starkey and Resound require a "intermediary device" with microphones, clipped to the outside of your clothing, near your mouth, to pick up your voice when you're on a call.  I've found most of the streamers, and microphone clips, made for hearing aids have two shortcomings. First, omnidirectional microphones with poor or no directionality to reduce surrounding noises. Thus, when in a car, the person you're speaking with may complain they can't hear you over the background noise.  Second, these devices tend to have rather short battery lives, typically a couple hours of continuous streaming.  It is for these reasons, I prefer Signia/Siemens technology.  The EasyTek streamer has a 6 hour battery before recharging, and it has an exceptional directional microphone system that make the users voice amazingly clear in noise, and even when the device is worn, out of sight, under 2-3 layers of clothing.

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Member
Member 09 May 2018
I have been using Bernafon aides with Soundgate with excellent results. My insurance changed, so got Siemens with EasyTex. Although the Siemens aides are better, EasyTek is (in my opinion) so bad that I prefer to use the old Beenafon aides.

Abram Bailey

Professional Member

16 August 2018 - 8.12K Views

There are currently no hearing aids that can stream music DIRECTLY from an Android phone. However, news was announced today that indicates such technology is on the way very soon. 

"GN Hearing and Google have today announced a new technology partnership that will make GN Hearing the first manufacturer to enable a full spectrum of direct audio streaming from Android devices to hearing aids. The expectations are that direct streaming will become available to hearing aid users of the recently launched hearing aids ReSound LiNX Quattro™ and Beltone Amaze™ in a future Android release." - Source

If you can't wait for the Quattro, you can check out some of the INDIRECT streaming options available today. There are many hearing aids that allow streaming music from an Android phone, but currently all options require you to purchase an additional accessory to transmit the sound from your phone (via Bluetooth) to your hearing aids (via a proprietary wireless algorithm).

Update, see this related question: When will direct audio streaming from Android be available for the LiNX Quattro hearing aids?

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Jeff E
Jeff E 28 September 2018
I can't find any confirmation re: direct connect to Android on resound.com. Are they waiting for a new model of Pixel to be released or something?

Mark Bogner

Professional Member

01 November 2016 - 22.6K Views

As others have mentioned, many hearing aids can do this with a box in between. iPhones don't need the box anymore on many models, but virtually all Android-based phones do. The reason is purely hardware driven. iPhones are a closed architecture (which some would say is an advantage and some would say is a disadvantage), but Android is open architecture, which means every single model by every different manufacturer essentially runs a slightly different version of Android to work with their specific, ever-changing hardware. As a result, if a manufacturer were to put in a lot of R&D on making say a Samsung Galaxy 7 able to stream without a box, it wouldn't work on ANY other Android device, indcluding a Galaxy 6 or a Note 7. Chances are very high that until a manufacturer or manufacturers agree to a closed standard, we will not see direct streaming of an Android device without an intermediary box. It is a shame because many of my patients are loyal Android users, but I have had a handful that have switched to iPhone just because it works more completely with their hearing aids. Hope this helps!

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Member
Member 15 January 2017
This exactly what my Android loving husband tells me!
Member
Member 07 October 2017
My old android Note4 streams music and calls just fine to my bluetooth motorcycle helmet and my Mazda audio system just fine. I think the hearing aid manufacturers are just trying to milk sales of their external boxes or they are lazy.
Member
Member 25 August 2018

Bluetooth is different from phone to phone only on an interface between the transceiver and the phone hardware, not the device to device interface like hearing aids, headphones, keyboard, etc.. THAT standard is set by IEEE 802.15!

It must always meet a standard I.E.: Bluetooth V4.2 which is the device to device protocol. They are not different in how they attach to outside devices.


RYAN HIMEDA

Professional Member

01 November 2016 - 22.6K Views

In our practice we use different hearing instruments. that are paired with streamers.  In our experience Phonak has many options such as their ComPilot II, ComPilot Air II.  Widex has their Com-Dex, and Uni-Dex.  Siemens or Signia has their easytek.  Quite honestly, some of these stremers require more updates with firmware and also the app.  Phonak and Widex streamers tend to be more stable.  The Siemens Easytek has given many of our patient’s problems.  All of the above three have apps available at the google play store that are android and apple friendly.  I tend to stay away from Resound because of the fact when speaking to someone on the telephone I would need to put the phone to my mouth so the person can hear what I'm saying which defeats the purpose of wireless in my opinion.  For just streaming to the ears, Resound is a good solution, but for conversation on the phone, which people need to do, we stick with the above manufacturers.  Connectivity Phonak and Widex are our top choices in connectivity.

The best thing to do is to definitely explain that this is important to you and work with your hearing care professional to come up with the most appropriate solution for you.  Keep in mind battery drain, total duration of streaming time as well as talk time on the phone. In all cases, the more you know about what you can and can't do with these options will impact your satisfaction. 

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Professional Member

Professional Member

08 November 2016 - 22.6K Views

As others have mentioned most hearing aid manufacturers have an app or accessories to make it possible for you to stream music from your phone. It really just depends on the clients technology level and what they are comfortable with.

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Ellen Nathan

Hearing Healthcare Provider in Glendale

02 November 2016 - 22.6K Views

They all can, but you will need another device to act as an intermediary.  Starkey, Unitron, and Resound have a phone clip, Phonak, Oticon, Siemens, and most other manufacturers have a wearable to connect with the phone.

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Jeff C
Jeff C 02 November 2016
This is incorrect information.
Ellen N
Ellen N 02 November 2016
For Android the information is correct... Starkey has a BT remote SurflinkMobile, Resound has a BT Clip, Resound has a BT Clip, Oticon has a streamer, Phonak has a streamer, Siemens has their TEK Streamer, Widex also has the ComDex streamer... all wearable devices.

Discussion

RYAN H
RYAN H 01 November 2016
This just in....apparently Widex is coming out with a new platform that will work with Iphones called the Beyond platform. The platform has not been released just yet, but if it provides better performance than the Unique platform, we would highly recommend this as a solution for patient streaming from their IPhones or Ipads. However, this is only specific to Iphones or apple, but not android products. So for the android user, I would still stick with Phonak and Widex accessory solutions.
RYAN H
RYAN H 30 June 2017 Replied to RYAN H
Widex Beyond platform now also has the ability to stream directly from Android Phone to Hearing instruments directly on select Samsung phones indicated on the google play store app under description. It however is not available just yet for the new Samsung Galaxy 8.
Abram Bailey, AuD
Abram Bailey, AuD 30 June 2017 Replied to RYAN H
Ryan, where did you read this? The Play Store doesn't say anything about streaming audio for the Android app.
RYAN H
RYAN H 30 June 2017 Replied to RYAN H
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.widex.falcon&hl=en You will need to click on the read more section and it will list the Samsung models they support.
RYAN H
RYAN H 30 June 2017 Replied to RYAN H
To keep up to date on the connectivity with Widex they do have a site that addresses it. Here it is. link
Abram Bailey, AuD
Abram Bailey, AuD 30 June 2017 Replied to RYAN H
• Adjust hearing aid volume and mute hearing aids • Adjust directional focus to aid listening • Create personal programs with different names, your own pictures and sound adjustments • Choose favorite programs to appear on the front page • Add locations to programs for automatic selection when in specific locations • Adjust the sound equalization in up to three bands, or choose from sound pre-sets • Access help in using the app, connecting and troubleshooting • Locate your hearing aids if lost What am I missing?
Abe P
Abe P 18 May 2018 Replied to RYAN H
I'm afraid this is not the case. I have a LG Nexus 5X that is listed as supported, and the streaming feature does not work.
Abram Bailey, AuD
Abram Bailey, AuD 23 August 2018 Replied to Abe P
Yes, the support for Android phones is certainly patchy. Things should improve in the future, but for older model phones, I would always double check with your audiologist and/or the hearing aid manufacturer to ensure your older phone (with appropriate Android version) is supported. 
Member
Member 28 September 2017
So, the short answer is none? I can't believe it...No Android smartphone can stream music or voice to any hearing aids without an intermediate streaming device? I don't like iPhones very much, but my Oticon hearing aids work pretty well with just my simple and old iPhone 5c. I'm afraid I'll have to stick to Apple for some more years.
Member
Member 25 January 2018 Replied to Member
That is the feeling I get. I really wish it wasn't the answer, since I really don't want to have to move from Android to iOS.
Member
Member 14 May 2018
With all the technology today I can’t believe android hasn’t figured out how to stream music without an extra device. This would increase sales by 25 million. That’s how many people have hearing loss.
Member
Member 25 June 2018 Replied to Member
https://www.xda-developers.com/android-getting-support-for-bluetooth-hearing-aids/
Dewayne M
Dewayne M 11 November 2018

I'm not an audiologist (and I don't play one on TV) but I do use MFI hearing aids--I also used to have an iPhone 6s.  It streamed audio wonderfully when it was on a stable surface--the cup holder in my car for example.  Being able to continue hearing the environment around me while streaming was an added bonus.  Since it had two microphones, the only time I had trouble being heard was when I walked too far away from the phone.  (I could hear THEM fine, why wouldn't they hear ME?)  However, when I was out for a walk and had the phone in my hip pocket the signal was too unreliable, so I resorted to using earphones then.  I'm currently using an LG G6 and I love it overall, but I really miss that streaming--without a relay device.  The main reason I got a smartphone in the first place was so I wouldn't NEED a second device.

Anyway, just want to say that this site is much appreciated as I am contemplating a change in phones--in hearing aids--or possibly both.

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