Which hearing aids can stream music from an android phone?

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Steven Chargo, MA - Audiologist in Plymouth
01 November 2016 - 3794 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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Member Jeff Clark - 11 months ago
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This is concise and correct information.

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Mark bogner staff member
Mark Bogner, HIS - Hearing Healthcare Provider
01 November 2016 - 3773 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 - 8 months ago
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This exactly what my Android loving husband tells me!

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Ryan Himeda, BC-HIS - Hearing Healthcare Provider in Pearl City
01 November 2016 - 3782 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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Duane Smelser, HIS - Hearing Healthcare Provider in Portland
08 November 2016 - 3748 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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Lee Oreskovich - Hearing Healthcare Provider in Omaha
08 November 2016 - 3744 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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Philip  ellen small 15
Ellen Nathan, MA - Hearing Healthcare Provider in Glendale
02 November 2016 - 3759 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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Member Jeff Clark - 11 months ago
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This is incorrect information.

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Member Ellen Nathan - 11 months ago
Philip  ellen small 15

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.

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Teacher Ryan Himeda - 11 months ago
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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.

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Teacher Ryan Himeda - 3 months ago
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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.

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Hearing Oracle Abram Bailey - 3 months ago
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Ryan, where did you read this? The Play Store doesn't say anything about streaming audio for the Android app.

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Teacher Ryan Himeda - 3 months ago
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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.

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Teacher Ryan Himeda - 3 months ago
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To keep up to date on the connectivity with Widex they do have a site that addresses it. Here it is.

https://global.widex.com/support/beyond-support

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Hearing Oracle Abram Bailey - 3 months ago
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• 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?

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