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MED-EL 2.4 GHz digital wireless technology alternatives

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@Cara Mia....but for Sonnets we can easily swap rechargeable batteries or opt for disposable batteries.  In Rondo 2 we must recharge the entire Rondo 2 unit if the battery dies. (No disposable battery option for Rondo 2 and no way to swap the rechargeable battery as it is a sealed unit.  Only Med-El can change out the rechargeable battery if needed.)

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I understand all of that about Rondo 2. My point was that if it is challenging for some of us to change the Sonnet rechargeables now, it can be even more disappointing to change them extra time(s) per day with wireless connectivity activated. Would be good if by the time this feature is available we get the new option with powering our CIs.

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Short battery life is no fun.  Hopefully a much longer battery life is in our future.

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On 1/12/2018 at 0:43 AM, Mary Beth said:

@Cara Mia....but for Sonnets we can easily swap rechargeable batteries or opt for disposable batteries.  In Rondo 2 we must recharge the entire Rondo 2 unit if the battery dies. (No disposable battery option for Rondo 2 and no way to swap the rechargeable battery as it is a sealed unit.  Only Med-El can change out the rechargeable battery if needed.)

This makes me think that they spent so much time to come out with Rondo2 and not much in it.

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It definitely seems that the Rondo 2 is designed for ease of use.  CI users with visual impairments or difficulty manipulating small parts will be very happy to just have an on/off button and no batteries to deal with.  It removes the need for dry kits too.  There is better water resistance too.

Users who want to use a one piece unit but have difficulty due to magnet strength and weight of Rondo, will be happy too.  4 grams may seem like a small difference but when something is magnetically attached to your head 4 grams will be a noticeable decrease in weight.  The position of the magnet being located underneath the Rondo 2 instead of inside the Rondo may allow us to use a weaker magnet strength which is always good for our skin flap.

 

Definitely people who were hoping for dual mics and internal 2.4 wireless connectivity will be disappointed.

 

Most of the discussions I have heard about the Rondo 2 center on the built in rechargeable battery and how long it will last in real life use over 5 years.  People are anxious about not being able to switch to disposable batteries.

 

I am eager to read people’s reviews of Rondo 2.  I like its design and weight.  So far for me, Rondos have been reliable, great sounding, easy processors to use.  Mine have never needed service nor any parts replaced.  Going strong for almost 3 years.

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Really, the new processors need better battery life to actual technology. This is a current challenge that MED EL and others will have to achieve in the near future. Imagine Rondo 2 connected to any 2.4 device; Mary Beth comment about wifi technology don't available in Rondo 2 but I'm sure the battery life go down really fast. The featured say "up to 18 hours" but...

The post have two years, but really awesome explained. With it, we can see how tech advance in this world (cochlear implant)

Thank you hadron.

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@Valentin, I agree that we need longer rechargeable battery life in our processors.  It is even possible with today’s technology to have longer rechargeable battery life since other brands already offer rechargeable battery options that exceed ours by many hours.

There seem to always be tradeoffs.  Do we want the smallest processor? lightest processor? easiest to use processor?  Or are we more interested in longer rechargeable battery life? 2.4 wireless streaming?

Since we are married to Med-El in a way, smile, I wish Med-El would create a survey asking what is most important to us and then use that information to guide future development.

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Interesting that you say that @Mary Beth. When I met the Med El rep in January and asked her how come Med-El doesn't have some features being offered by its competitors she said that based on the company's survey things like the MRI factor are more important than say aesthetics, etc. So Med-El gives priority to the things that CI candidates and recipients feel are most important. So we should air our opinions and hopefully the powers that be at Med-El will act on them. 

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This is taking ages. Almost three years and still not available. 

Other companies are ahead of Medel in this. 

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On 2/7/2016 at 4:46 PM, hadron said:

The 2.4 GHz platform communicates directly, device to device. The induction/T-coil-based wireless technology does not use the 2.4 GHz platform and thus still requires the user to wear a neck loop to transmit the signal to the cochlear implant. This reduces the sound quality and requires the user to stay within 8-10 feet of the signal transmitter.  True wireless uses the 2.4 GHz technology platform, making the sound quality and the signal range much greater and much more stable.

I find this statement questionable.

The user is not required to use a neck loop, room loops work quite well with outstanding sound quality. 

Some neck loops may be weaker quality - I remember the Artone 1 was weak and unsatisfactory (for me). Maybe thats why they now have V3.

also strength of BT was limited to 30 ft give or take, I believe the newer releases of BT allow for further distances.

 

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Tech options change so rapidly.  It’s great for us.  Lots of advancements and a lot more choices so we can find what works best for us in our life.  Hands On Hearing workshops are awesome places to get to test out some tech options.  Check out their website.  

 

Cochlear N7 has direct streaming of telephone calls and all audio (music and audiobooks....) via an app ONLY for iPhones and iDevices. They offer remote mic options like the mini mic and TV streamer made by ReSound I believe.  Roger System works too.

 

AB has the ComPilot and an integrated Roger receiver for their Naida.  They recently announced direct to processor phone calls ONLY but for Apple and android phones.  No music nor audiobooks via the direct streaming option for them.

 

Med El has had the AudioLink in development for quite some time.  Some users in Europe have vouchers for it.  Med-El has not released it anywhere yet to my knowledge.  It is supposedly the wireless intermediary device for the Sonnet.  Meanwhile Med-El now has an integrated Roger receiver for the Sonnet.

 

I have been in venues with awesome room loops and venues with terrible room loops.  The quality varies greatly.  

I have used BT neckloops which have worked great for me (Artone 3 MAX) and BlueTooth neckloops which have not worked great for me.

I LOVE BOSE QC35 BT noise canceling headphones with my Sonnets!  And I LOVE CozyPhone wired headphones with my Rondos.

 

But what love the most about my Med-El processors is how I can just stay in one program all day long and hear wonderfully in varied listening environments.  I can use any phone by holding it up to the processor mics.  I really live a rather tech easy life.  I use BOSE QC35 BT headphones or the Artone 3 MAX BT neckloop at home when streaming from my iPad.  I use regular headphones when playing the digital piano.  

 

I am thankful for the hearing that Med-El has made possible.  I am extremely thankful for my CI audiologist.  She has helped me so much on my journey.

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Med-El users in Europe who have vouchers for the AudioLink from a Med-El promotion there in 2016 are saying that Med-El has told them the AudioLink will be released in 2018.

 

I do not know what that means for other countries.

 

Sonnets have built in 2.4 wireless connectivity that will use the intermediary device called AudioLink to stream from BT sound sources. (Only Sonnets)

 

Many of us are eagerly waiting for the AudioLink.  Fingers crossed.

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The Sonnet has been around for more than 4 years now, and there is still no news about the 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity option. 
I wonder why it is taking so long, and why Medel is completely quiet about it?

Perhaps we will have to wait for the next generation of processors, whenever that might be.

I'm guessing that one issue with the 2.4 GHz technology is that it will make the processor consume more power. Currently I get about 8 hours use from a rechargeable battery, guess it would be significantly shorter with a 2.4 GHz receiver enabled. But I could live with that to be able to stream music or phone calls directly. 

I find it strange that Medel has not redesigned their rechargeable batteries. One reason for the short battery life must be that batteries themselves are very small. There is a lot of space wasted by having to use an adapter and the original battery cover. As far as I know, Cochlear processors get more than twice as long use from a rechargeable battery compared to what we get. Their rechargeable batteries have integrated covers and no need for adapter so they can use almost all the available space for the actual lithium ion battery cell(s). 

The upcoming wireless connectivity option was one of the reasons why I chose Medel over Cochlear when I got my first implant 3 years ago. Now I'm getting my second implant in less than two weeks and of course I have to stay with the same brand. This is a bit frustrating, but there is really nothing to do but wait. However the wait would be easier to accept if there was some specific timeline or information on what is coming.

Hopefully they will make a solution that can provide sound directly from a smart phone without having to use an intermediary device.

 

 

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@Helgeo

I am anxious too for direct 2.4 connectivity with the Sonnet’s built in receiver.

There has been almost no news on the AudioLink intermediary device that Med-El gave vouchers for in Europe years ago.  However Med-El is still extending their trademark in the US on that device so maybe it is still being developed.

Now that Cochlear has direct from iOS devices for all audio to their N7 processor and AB announced the plan to expand SWORD for direct from all BT phones for phone audio only to their Naida processor, I am hoping Med-El will skip the need for an intermediary device (AudioLink) and develop WORLD’S FIRST direct to ALL cellphones for ALL audio.  This is on my Med-El wishlist.  ( @MED-EL Moderator ).

 

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@Helgeo

Maybe the effect on battery consumption using the built in 2.4 wireless receiver in the Sonnet will be similar to the battery consumption of using the Roger 21 receiver in the battery cover.

Parents are having trouble because their children can not last a full school day with one standard rechargeable battery.  It is requiring either a battery change at school or a return to disposable batteries.  Parents are posting about the need for a Sonnet rechargeable battery that would last while using Roger 21 receiver from wake up until return home from school.

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@Mary Beth
I gave up on the rechargeables almost immediately when I realized they would not last all day. All it took was forgetting to pack the charged battery and being deaf at work. With disposables, I can keep spare batteries everywhere.

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@KittKatz

Great to see you here again Kitty!

 

Me too.  Disposable batteries are so much more convenient!  Hope you are doing well!

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@Mary Beth

Can't complain. Just moved from the Ft Lauderdale area to Sebring in Central Florida.

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20 hours ago, Mary Beth said:

@Helgeo

Maybe the effect on battery consumption using the built in 2.4 wireless receiver in the Sonnet will be similar to the battery consumption of using the Roger 21 receiver in the battery cover.

It will probably be similar, I'm guessing that Roger 21 is also using 2.4 GHz signals.

In order for the Sonnets to connect directly to a smart phone without the need for an intermediary device they probably would need to support Bluetooth connection. However that would make it difficult to get a true stereo signal for bilateral user since BT usually connects to only one device at a time. Perhaps this is why an intermediary device is needed? Newer iPhone versions has a proprietary stereo wireless  system that they use with their AirPod wireless earphones. I guess this is what Cochlear has licensed and used in their Nucleus 7 processor, so this is why only newer iPhones are supported for direct wireless communication with the N7. The Sonnets were made before Apple implemented this system, so we will not be able to get this until a new generation of Medel processors are available.

Edit: Did some more research and fond that newer Bluetooth versions have support for "TrueWireless Stereo" and this is already used by many manufactures of wireless earbuds. The current design consumes quite a bit of power, but a new design was launched last year and would probably be perfect for a next generation CI processor: https://www.qualcomm.com/solutions/voice-and-music/features/truewireless

 

Edited by Helgeo
More info on

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@Helgeo

Yes Roger is a proprietary 2.4 connection.

 

That’s very interesting about true stereo.  I do want true stereo for music!

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@Mary Beth

Yes, true stereo is a must for music! 

While waiting for Medel to come up with great new technology I will probably go for a noise cancelling headset like Bose QC35 or the Sony WH-1000XM3.

Just have to wait a few more weeks now for my second implant to be inserted and connected :) 

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@Helgeo

I have the BOSE QC35 headphones and they are amazing for music!  I love them.  True stereo with such awesome bass.

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@Helgeo

Wishing you the best on your second CI!

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