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Bluetooth with hearing aids.

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Foolez, Aug 2, 2021.

  1. Foolez

    Foolez Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I have an S8 phone and use hearing aids. The connection to the hearing aids is via Bluetooth and I have a question that I cannot find an answer to.

    When using the phone connected to the hearing aids, the microphone on the hearing aids are use for the phone audio. because the microphone is by my ear, the other party had difficulty hearing/understanding me.

    I would like to use the Bluetooth for listening and the phones microphone for talking. I can't find anything anywhere that states this as being possible.

    Anybody?

    TIA
     



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  2. olbriar

    olbriar  
    Moderator

    Hello and welcome to Android Forums. I have used my aids with a Note 10 and now a S21. The connection is actually via BLE which is a low energy Bluetooth connection. I believe your connection is the same in the S8. Both phones worked as you desire with the sound in aids and the phone's microphone for talking. I do have hearing enhancements ticked under accessibility in my phone's settings. I know of no other settings that might accomplish what you are after. The problem could be in the design of your aids or it might be due to the version of BLE the S8 is using.
    I wish I had more to offer. Hearing aids are a wonderful tool but they aren't that accommodated on cell phones. Considering the number of people with hearing disabilities, I'd hope for more.

    I do have a friend with a different brand of aids and I believe he used them with a S8. I will ask how his connection worked. My aids are ReSound. I think his are Phonak. Give me a day and I'll have a bit more to offer.

    One thing you might try... Try a conversation with speakerphone enabled.
     
    Dannydet and mikedt like this.
  3. olbriar

    olbriar  
    Moderator

    I heard back from my buddy. He has Phonak aids and he used them with a S8 for a year before changing phones. He is now using a Pixel 4a. Both phones utilize the aid's microphone for calling and not the phone. My ReSound are the opposite and use the phones microphone. I'm left to assume it's not a setting but the brand of aid. My ReSound are the type that you charge and my friend's Phonak is the replaceable battery design.
     
    mikedt likes this.
  4. Foolez

    Foolez Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for replying. I have Phonaks and most times the person that I called tells me that I sound like I'm a million miles away. I did a test using the phones headphone jack and connecting it to a Bluetooth converter. This way, I was streaming the phone call but forced the phone to use its microphone.

    I called my wife and she said that I sounded good.

    So now that I proved the sound is better with the phone's microphone, I was hoping for a way to set up the phone to force it to use the phone's microphone while using Bluetooth for listening.

    Using the speaker is harder for me to understand than using Bluetooth.

    My choices are either understanding the caller, or being understood by the caller.
     
  5. olbriar

    olbriar  
    Moderator

    My friend's Phonaks sound good when we talk on the phone. Perhaps your fitter can do something to enhance or at least help the quality when using them for a phone call. I have a terrible time trying to understand someone on the phone without my aids. I'm like you... that is not really an option. Cleaning up your audio is the answer if it can be achieved. I know it is a pain to get back in to your specialist for assistance but it might be worth the effort. Like I said.. my friend's Phonaks sound good during a phone call. I had no idea until today that he was not using his phone microphone.

    I was looking at my hearing aids' associated app on my phone. Once streaming is turned on it boasts how the aids will behave as most all headsets. Then there is a reminder... Just remember to use the microphones on your phone when speaking during phone calls. So, my aids are definitely set up that way without option.

    I have a love / hate relationship with my aids and my phone. Even if I turn my aids off prior to placing them in their charger they turn back on to charge. I've contacted ReSound and they are aware of the problem but have no plans to address it. The problem for the end ReSound user is if they are charging their aids they might as well turn their phone off. All calls and notifications go to the aids in the charger and are missed because they aren't being worn. It's another terrible hearing aid design as frustrating as your problem.

    There is a hearing aid forum you might check out. With a quick search there I found someone wanting to use the iPhone microphone instead of the Phonaks. The replies were that it can't be done. I assume it is the same with an Android phone but you might check for a thread of start one. Here is a link to the forum https://forum.hearingtracker.com/

    Good luck in your quest. I hope that you find a solution.
     
  6. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    So apparently hearing aid support in your S8 is at a slightly lower level than the optimum that's in even an also 'not new' model like a S10 (S8 - M3, T4 vs S10 - M4, T4)
    https://www.phonearena.com/phones/compare/Samsung-Galaxy-S10,OnePlus-8T/phones/10959,11419
    That could possibly be a factor, or maybe not all all. I'm just speculating on this.
    But perhaps this suggestion on disabling the telecoil might make a difference regarding your phone's microphone:
    https://www.hearingloss.org/wp-content/uploads/HearingAidCompatibility_with_CellPhones.pdf
    Q. Is there anything special I need to do in order for my cell phone to be hearing aid compatible? A. In order for some
    hearing aid compatible phones to work best with a hearing aid user’s telecoil, the consumer must use the phone’s menu
    system to select and turn on the hearing aid compatibility feature for telecoil use. Check with the service provider and
    product literature to determine if the phone you’re interested in has this menu selectable feature. If hearing aid
    wearers use microphone mode for cell phone listening, then they should not turn on this feature.
     
  7. Foolez

    Foolez Lurker
    Thread Starter

    So finally this might go somewhere. I had my 2 month visit with my audiologist today. I told her that these hearing aids are not working for me (I have a 6 month no questions asked 100% return warranty). When I originally got them, I had the choice between a hearing aid with Bluetooth and one with t-coil. I opted with the Bluetooth because I thought it would be more convenient, but ran into the problem described in the original post.

    I now decided that Bluetooth is a nice feature, but t-coils would be a more practical solution, so I was going to swap to t-coil hearing aids which I could use my Artone 3 Max as my interface between my phone and hearing aids. An argument pursued, as she said that she had no no experience with neckloops, and no matter how much I tried to convince her (and even explain how neckloops work with hearing aids) she was not convinced, and said she needed to call tech support to see if they are compatible, before trading up to t-coil equipped hearing aids. She said she would call me back, and she did.

    Tech support told her that the specs listed on the neckloop said it "should work", but the audiologist still wouldn't admit that maybe my 58 years of wearing hearing aids had any real use in the hearing aid world. She told me "we will have to try them to be sure".

    Now get this:

    My hearing aids have t-coils built in. She just has to turn them on in programming :mad:

    So Monday I need to go back. because of HER ignorance. I'm seriously pissed that it had to get to this before being able to move forward. I'm really pissed that the audiologist needs to argue with everything I say and not listen to my problem and work with me on a solution.

    Off the soapbox. Thanks to all who added their input.
     
    olbriar likes this.
  8. olbriar

    olbriar  
    Moderator

    I well understand your frustration. It's not like aids are a small investment. And it's not like the world isn't connected through cell phones. They should be made to enhance that communication avenue. Perhaps it's your prescription that is limiting your audiologists ability to allow your Phonak
    aids to work well. My friend's work great. Perhaps it is your audiologists lack of working knowledge. I do hope you win the battle and find a solution.
     
  9. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    I wouldn't get too pissed off at any of these people who are just trying to help you out. It's not like they're intentionally going out of their way to frustrate you.
    Keep in mind that with hearing aids and Android phones there are a lot of unknown variables that your audiologist has no control over. It's not just different phone models will have very different hardware configurations, even with your S8 there are 11 variations:
    https://www.phonemore.com/models/samsung/galaxy-s8/
    So depending your particular S8 model, there may be a clear documented compatibility, or perhaps not. The chipsets in those different phone variations will vary and it's a matter of not just software/firmware but there's a hardware issue that has to be taken into consideration too -- software/firmware is required to interact between a hearing aid and a phone, but any connectivity has to involve the wireless interface between the t-coil or Bluetooth chips in both devices.
    Apple iPhones tend to have more consistent and pervasive t-coil support, that might be a better option to look into.
     
  10. Foolez

    Foolez Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I finally solved my problem with people not hearing me when on the phone.

    I did 2 things and I'm not sure which one of the two actually solved my problem. I will experiment and update in a couple of days.
    The easiest thing I did which might actually be the entire "fix" was to download the app "Microphone Amplifier" from the play store. I boosted the audio gain by 4 (it goes all the way up to 50).

    Next I used my neckloop with my t-coil.

    Now the other end of my telephone conversations tell me that the sound is perfect!

    And Svim - The person fitting my hearing aid has an inferiority complex. She cannot be wrong. I told her with the new aids I cannot hear 2KHz tones real well. She tells me "according to your chart that is above your hearing range". I told her that I can hear it with the old aids, and she repeats herself that I can't hear sounds in that range. She won't acknowledge me. And that's just one of the issues, I can (but won't) list several more.

    I have an appointment with another audiologist at a different location to work out the other issues.

    Thanks everybody for their comments. :cool:
     
    olbriar likes this.

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The Galaxy S8 release date was April 2017. Features and Specs include a 5.8" inch screen, 12MP camera, 4GB RAM, Exynos 8895 processor, and 3000mAh battery.

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