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Bimodal Streaming with Android impressions


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This will be a long post.  Sorry!

 

Bit of personal info first.  I was implanted in right ear 5/27/21 and activated 6/18-6/21… one of those two.  I have an Oticon More 1.  I do currently more than qualify for a second ear to be implanted but that’s a whole separate issue. I’ve talked to both MedEl and Apple developers to try pushing for actual Bimodal support but neither party seem to be willing to work with each other or fully comprehend this issue.  Anyways onwards!
 

So, I finally did it.  One week ago, I received a Samsung s10e as it was listed (and dirt cheap) on MedEl’s list of supported Android devices since Apple does not support Bimodal users with MedEl.  As a professional musician, being able to stream and hear pieces in its entirety is the utmost importance.  
 

Not knowing better, I tried the Artone neckloop (two actually) but the lack of battery life, along with the poor sound quality alongside much interference due to outdated Telecoil technology made me begin to dislike listening to much suddenly.  The interference caused by Telecoil even in home was overwhelming at times.  And from a visual perspective, I loathe wearing anything besides a watch and definitely do not tolerate anything around my neck.  
 

So, I began exploring.  Tried headphones, tried a weird device that I still am unsure what it was which the Audiologist had me try for maybe 10 minutes.  But, nothing was satisfactory and always needed an intermediary device.  So, went to simply one sided streaming to HA or Audiostream at separate times.  
 

I’ve been curious about how things are with supported Android phones and its ASHA protocols.  Have read they don’t work well, sound quality is bad, etc… can’t be any worse than everything I’ve tried.  Finally, a friend helped secure a cheap deal for one of them.  $75… I could spare this and if it doesn’t work out, no harm.  Least it isn’t the hundreds of dollars (and a lot are on backorder due to the ongoing chip shortage stuff).  It’ll more or less be purely for streaming music, YouTube and podcasts.  Not for anything personal.  Like a Walkman!  >.<

 

I received the phone 6/20/22.  It took me about three nonstop hours and a couple phone calls to friends to help decipher things.  Honestly, coming from iPhone (I’m not giving it up), my biggest gripes is with the OS… so much unnecessary bloat with a Google app store that’s apparently a free for all and littered with absolute garbage.  Like Night and Day between the two phones.  Unless you can steer through it all or have somebody to help, then this isn’t for the faint of hearts.  After hour three, seemingly randomly suddenly it was all connected.  

Frankly, it’s a game changer personally and makes me even more irate at these companies that do not support actual Bimodal folks without needing to jump through hoops or wear intermediary devices.  I know Phonak/AB users have the support.  Resound/Cochlear as well to a degree.  But, MedEl is definitely lagging in this department alongside Apple whom, according to the last lost developer I conversed with for a month or so, figured MedEl was supported the same way as the other companies.  Maybe their next revision… who knows.  If you’re like me and have tried multiple avenues, then I’d strongly suggest finding a supported cheap Android phone for your listening needs.  
 

The good:

- It’s in stereo.  I’ve not had a full head of music in a year.  The very first thing that came on was Sondheim’s Sunday from Sunday in the Park with George.  It was glorious and full.  I dislike reading about how something makes somebody cry, but I did actually tear up a little because I haven’t heard like this in such a long time.

- It may be a sync issue but the Audiostream lags maybe behind the Hearing Aid.  It’s minor. Maybe a fraction of a second off?  I have this listed under bad as well.  But, I actually found it incredibly helpful personally after the initial annoyance because it more or less helped the brain with the implanted ear process and know wth it’s listening to.  Listening to say, Khachaturian Violin Concerto?  Here’s a reference to what those weird sounds are.  I never could get my music back in the implanted ear (assuming I ever had it), but after a week of continuous streaming, it’s made some huge steps forward I’ve found.

- Sound quality is surprisingly decent.  There might be a way of adjusting the equalizer somewhere… It also helps my Audi and I have custom music programs specifically tailored for what I want for both the HA and CI.  
- BT Connection.  I’ve streamed every single day.  I also stream on iPhone and iPad as well.  I’ve found the Android automatically connects to the hearing devices vs Apple products that tend to wage a war against each other so one always need to fidget around moreso connecting to Apple, ensuring one BT is off to use the other, etc…

- First time when streaming not being able to mute environmental sounds isn’t an issue.  Head too full of talking or music to care.

The Bad:

- It’s an Android phone.  Already listed some of my issues with it.  
- It is another phone to carry.  Awkward!  Think of it more as Walkman or the No-skip CD players and you’ll be fine.  

- There’s a delay in streaming.  Many folks will definitely be annoyed by this a lot.  I’ve learned to use it as part of my learning toolkit.  YMMV!

- Need an Equalizer to adjust Bass, Treble and Middle.  I’m sure there’s a way but haven’t looked too deep.  May require a visit to Audi to boost bass on CI music program.  We’ll see!

- Better upfront info from both Audi and company about this route and MedEl’s Bimodal support realities.  Especially for folks having to do their own research to figure out the best CI brand for them, it should be mucho clearer in brochures and such.  Being synced with a hearing aid isn’t exactly much in the way of what Bimodal folks actually want and the description is less than ideal.  
 

And that’s all after a week.  
 

j

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Wow, as an avid android user, i thank you for this. My s9 will handle left and right hearing devices, i dont have the ha yet. But i do stream with audio stream quite well. Just hoping it works well with whatever ha i get. Ive read that the two can be synchronized, one can be slowed or something, ive got to search where i saw that. Thank you for sharing!!

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@John F

Thank you for that detailed post.  I’m sure bimodal users will find it helpful.

Streaming bilaterally in true stereo is the absolute best for music.

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10 minutes ago, Dianna said:

Wow, as an avid android user, i thank you for this. My s9 will handle left and right hearing devices, i dont have the ha yet. But i do stream with audio stream quite well. Just hoping it works well with whatever ha i get. Ive read that the two can be synchronized, one can be slowed or something, ive got to search where i saw that. Thank you for sharing!!

I’ll list the supported device here.  The s9 isn’t supported or listed but who knows.  
 


 

Devices Suitable for Bimodal Streaming

Android

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy S21+,  Samsung Galaxy S21, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2, Samsung Galaxy S10e, Galaxy Tab S7+

Xiaomi Mi 11T Pro

OnePlus 9 Pro

Oppo Find X5, Oppo Find X3 Pro

Hearing Aids

Oticon More, Widex Moment, Signia Pure Charge&Go T 7AX, Starkey Livio AI, ReSound Key, ReSound One, ReSound LiNX Quattro, ReSound ENZO Q, Beltone Imagine, Beltone Amaze, Beltone Rely, Beltone Boost Ultra

 

 

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5 minutes ago, John F said:

I’ll list the supported device here.  The s9 isn’t supported or listed but who knows.  
 


 

Devices Suitable for Bimodal Streaming

Android

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy S21+,  Samsung Galaxy S21, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2, Samsung Galaxy S10e, Galaxy Tab S7+

Xiaomi Mi 11T Pro

OnePlus 9 Pro

Oppo Find X5, Oppo Find X3 Pro

Hearing Aids

Oticon More, Widex Moment, Signia Pure Charge&Go T 7AX, Starkey Livio AI, ReSound Key, ReSound One, ReSound LiNX Quattro, ReSound ENZO Q, Beltone Imagine, Beltone Amaze, Beltone Rely, Beltone Boost Ultra

 

 

Hi! S9 is on the lists i have found, moderator stated it was classic bt or asha. I see set up for left and right hearing aids. My sonnet 2 is my left hearing aid, will post after i get the ha. I am looking to upgrade free to s22 but they have removed ear plug socket! I love using audio link at times with wire. I have been on a list for hearing clinic for a couple weeks hope to get a call soon

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2 minutes ago, Dianna said:

Hi! S9 is on the lists i have found, moderator stated it was classic bt or asha. I see set up for left and right hearing aids. My sonnet 2 is my left hearing aid, will post after i get the ha. I am looking to upgrade free to s22 but they have removed ear plug socket! I love using audio link at times with wire. I have been on a list for hearing clinic for a couple weeks hope to get a call soon

Actually good to know any phone that supports ASHA protocols.  I dunno about the BT part, assuming you mean like in Android when it says supports dual audio feature?

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15 minutes ago, John F said:

Actually good to know any phone that supports ASHA protocols.  I dunno about the BT part, assuming you mean like in Android when it says supports dual audio feature?

Maybe, im neither techie nor do i always remember the tech names

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ASHA is the protocol that the Audiostream uses. The dual audio is currently a Samsung exclusive feature, it uses ASHA.

Default BTLE is used for the AudioKey app.

As for S9 not being on the list, perhaps it does support the dual audio, but wasn't tested by Med-El's staff, therefore not listed on the website. I know of a few other phones that are confirmed to work with ASHA (not dual audio) that aren't there. They are OnePlus 7T Pro (with software updates, not sure of non-pro 7T), OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8 Pro, OnePlus Nord (the first one, something went wrong with the Nord 2).

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  • 1 month later...

They’ve added more phones to the supported Bimodal streaming page.  Basically added Google phones.  I don’t see the Google 6s but maybe they’re supported regardless of the list?  🤷🏼‍♂️
 

Devices Suitable for Bimodal Streaming

Android

Google Pixel 5a, Google Pixel 5, Google Pixel 4a, Google Pixel 3a

Galaxy S22 Ultra Galaxy S22, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy S21+,  Samsung Galaxy S21, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2, Samsung Galaxy S10e, Galaxy Tab S7+

Xiaomi Mi 11T Pro

OnePlus 9 Pro

Oppo Find X5, Oppo Find X3 Pro

Hearing Aids

Oticon More, Widex Moment, Signia Pure Charge&Go T 7AX, Starkey Livio AI, ReSound Key, ReSound One, ReSound LiNX Quattro, ReSound ENZO Q, Beltone Imagine, Beltone Amaze, Beltone Rely, Beltone Boost Ultra

 

 

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Thank you john and enegra and marybeth. In one week i have 12 mo tune and three weeks ha appointment. Getting ready for bimodal, all this info is great!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Still un decided on ha brand. Im hoping the clinic has less choices ha ha have til the 22nd to research

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On 8/14/2022 at 11:45 AM, Dianna said:

Still un decided on ha brand. Im hoping the clinic has less choices ha ha have til the 22nd to research

Yeah, while the thought is nice to have many options, sometimes less is more.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you all, i have a more 3 ordered, cant wait to play!!!!!

The only bad thing is i have read the corporation that owns oticon is selling or closing hearing aid division!!!! Aaaarrrrggghhh!

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@Dianna

I read that they are selling their implant division to Cochlear.  

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17 minutes ago, Mary Beth said:

@Dianna

I read that they are selling their implant division to Cochlear.  

Oticon already sold their CI division already to Neuralink or whatever it was.  Guess Cochlear is buying them now?

36 minutes ago, Dianna said:

Thank you all, i have a more 3 ordered, cant wait to play!!!!!

The only bad thing is i have read the corporation that owns oticon is selling or closing hearing aid division!!!! Aaaarrrrggghhh!

Demant selling Oticon?  That’s weird.  Wonder why.

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19 minutes ago, Mary Beth said:

@Dianna

I read that they are selling their implant division to Cochlear.  

Yes, Fter plenty googling, looks like just the implant portion to cochlear, demant is still doing the hearing aids.

Its like the vhr and beta situation, apple vs others kinda fun to watch, i am a med el champion!

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Oticon is staying in the hearing aid business @John F

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  • 1 month later...

Update.  I’m still streaming.  May be going Bilateral in the new years but still indecisive.  Have found a couple ways of adjusting the equalizer so that’s good.  
 

I’ve been in touch with Apple about their lack of Bimodal streaming.  I can say upfront they know of the lack of option but have no plans to address it any time soon.  So, unless MedEl adopts a HA brand to work alongside it like the other two brands have, then Apple is not the way to go for their very important decision without an intermediary device.  So, for direct streaming for music, YouTube and such on your phones, grab a supported Android device if you’re looking to cut out the intermediary devices.  Not ideal but for the time being, folks’ only option, otherwise can use the neckloops and such.

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@John F

So you are considering going bilateral.  I love being bilateral but I have friends who love being bimodal.  Good luck on your decision.

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I am bimodal, currently very happy with medel sonnet2eas and oticon more 3 rechargeable.

Im tellin ya, the wind block on ha works great...with the last three days having crazy wind its a blessing.

My listening is gradually getting in the middle, i love it!

I recently received a wonderful map of omni mic nothing else and between wind and harvesting went to my ai map! Lol.

Ive been testing maps in the windy aspect but the air is full of particles setting off stuffyness so i cant tell which is best. The ha beats ci for now in wind and noise, but AI strong map isa comin next!

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Ps, when inside i can hear it all outside, tractors, harvesters, wind (crazy wind) tractors are half mile away, yee haw!!!!!!!!!

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