AudiologyOnline Phone: 800-753-2160


ReSound ONE - Explore - September 2020

How is it Possible to Stream Audio Directly from the iPhone® to Hearing Aids?

Jennifer Groth

February 24, 2014

Share:

Question

How is it possible to stream audio directly from the iPhone® to hearing aids? When will this be available for other cell phone platforms?

Answer

Most cell phones on the market today incorporate Bluetooth, an open standard for digital wireless communication that operates in the 2.4 GHz band. The standard describes protocols, or rules, for the wireless communication. Devices which follow the standard can thus exchange information wirelessly. Cell phones can wirelessly transmit sound (and/or data) to other devices, like headsets, that also use Bluetooth technology. Until recently, it has not been possible to embed a Bluetooth chip into a hearing aid mainly due to power constraints. So for hearing instrument users to connect to cell phones, they have had to wear a gateway device to translate the Bluetooth signal from the phone to a digital wireless signal that was compatible with the specific hearing instrument’s wireless technology.

Apple, the manufacturer of the iPhone, prioritizes accessibility features in their devices. Thus, they developed a proprietary high quality audio streaming protocol for the iPhone, iPad® and iPod touch® that also operates in the 2.4 GHz band, but which requires much less power than traditional Bluetooth. This made it feasible to work directly with hearing aids, but obviously requires that the hearing aids themselves have digital wireless capacity in the 2.4 GHz band. The ReSound digital wireless system is based on 2.4 GHz. Therefore, it was possible to tap into the iPhone audio streaming capability by implementing the Apple proprietary communication protocol in addition to the existing ReSound one in the ReSound LiNX hearing instruments.

In this way, a power-efficient, high quality digital stereo audio experience is accessible directly from iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices to the ReSound LiNX. In addition, users can take advantage of a direct wireless signal to both hearing instruments for phone calls, which is the proven best way to optimize hearing on the phone.1 Another helpful accessibility feature from Apple, “Live Listen”, lets the iPhone function as a remote microphone, picking up the voice or sound of interest near its source and streaming it in crystal clear quality directly to the ReSound LiNX instruments.

Since the audio streaming protocol for the iPhone is proprietary to Apple, wider availability of this type of feature relies to a large extent on other cell phone manufacturers to either develop their own protocols, or perhaps we may see an industry standard for digital wireless communication with hearing instruments. This may not be as far off as it may seem. Already today, the ReSound LiNX is a Bluetooth Smart device. This means that it can exchange data with Bluetooth Smart Ready devices via a ReSound app.

Bluetooth Smart is a “power-friendly” version of the open Bluetooth standard that has become popular particularly for monitoring devices like heart rate monitors and fitness trackers. Many cell phones on various platforms are Bluetooth Smart Ready today. In the case of the ReSound LiNX, Bluetooth Smart is what enables the ReSound Smart™ app. This app functions not only as a remote control for the hearing instruments, but also allows treble/bass adjustments. Additionally, it offers the capability to associate specific hearing instrument settings with a geographical location - called “geo-tagging” – as well as a “find my hearing aid” feature that can help locate a misplaced device. While the first ReSound Smart app is written for the iOS platform, it will also be released for the Android platform.

Learn more about ReSound at http://www.gnresound.com or on the ReSound Expo Page on AudiologyOnline.

References

1.       Picou EM, Ricketts TA. Comparison of wireless and acoustic hearing aid-based telephone listening strategies. Ear & Hearing. 2011; 32(2): 209-220.

© 2014 The GN ReSound Group, all rights reserved. Apple, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc, registered in the U.S. and other countries. Bluetooth is a trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc.

 


jennifer groth

Jennifer Groth

Director of Audiology Communication

Jennifer Groth, M.A., serves as Director of Audiology Communication for GN ReSound. Her responsibilities include ensuring a sound audiological base for product definition as well as creation of materials to provide audiology-driven support for products in the market. Open fittings are a particular area of expertise for her. Prior to joining the company in 1996, Groth worked as a clinical audiologist at the Gentofte University Hospital Department of Audiology in Denmark, and served as coordinator of an OAE-based neonatal hearing screening project for Copenhagen County. She holds a Master of Arts degree in speech pathology & audiology from the University of Iowa.  


Related Courses

Hearing Aid Directionality with Binaural Processing
Presented by Jennifer Groth, MA
Text/Transcript
ReSound

Presenter

Jennifer Groth, MA
Course: #27822Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'great course'   Read Reviews
Directionality in hearing aids is typically designed to maximize signal-to-noise ratio for speech coming from a particular direction without respect for the intent of the listener. This article describes an alternative strategy for applying directionality that includes binaural auditory processing in its design, and supports different listening strategies.

View this Course for FREE.
Need CEUs? Become a AudiologyOnline member to get unlimited CEUs.

Only $99/yr

Learn More

Hearing Ecosystems: How Hearing Professionals Can Meet the Needs of Today's Hearing Aid Users
Presented by Laurel A. Christensen, PhD, Tammy Stender, AuD
Text/Transcript
ReSound

Presenters

Laurel A. Christensen, PhDTammy Stender, AuD
Course: #30261Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'Great statistics reporting how much a patient's experience with hearing devices can be with the right accessories items to enhance the clarity of the signal'   Read Reviews
Hearing aids have limitations that mean they do not always offer optimum benefit. This course reviews evidence of how hearing aid accessories supplement hearing aid performance, and offers guidance on how to implement them in everyday fittings.

View this Course for FREE.
Need CEUs? Become a AudiologyOnline member to get unlimited CEUs.

Only $99/yr

Learn More

Grand Rounds with ReSound (Smart Fit Update): Wireless Accessories
Presented by Lara Archer, AuD, CCC-A
Recorded Webinar
ReSound

Presenter

Lara Archer, AuD, CCC-A
Course: #30098Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'Much needed information!'   Read Reviews
This course is designed to introduce the features and benefits of the ReSound Wireless Accessories, as well as how to program for them in the Smart Fit software.

View this Course for FREE.
Need CEUs? Become a AudiologyOnline member to get unlimited CEUs.

Only $99/yr

Learn More

Evaluation of Modern Remote Microphone Technologies
Presented by Jace Wolfe, PhD, CCC-A
Text/Transcript
ReSound

Presenter

Jace Wolfe, PhD, CCC-A
Course: #31943Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'The content was clear and easy to read'   Read Reviews
Using remote microphone technology is the most effective method to improve speech recognition in noise for hearing aid users, with a variety of different remote microphone solutions available today. In this investigation, adult hearing aid users were tested with their hearing aids alone and in combination with three remote microphones differing in the type of microphone and gain behavior.

View this Course for FREE.
Need CEUs? Become a AudiologyOnline member to get unlimited CEUs.

Only $99/yr

Learn More

ReSound Government Services: Outsmarting the Smartphone
Presented by Kara Sinner, MS, CCC-A, FAAA
Recorded Webinar
ReSound

Presenter

Kara Sinner, MS, CCC-A, FAAA
Course: #34506Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'Excellent refresher in SmartPhone connectivity after being away from it for a while'   Read Reviews
With the proliferation of hearing aids that can directly connect with smartphones it is important for professionals working with hearing aids to stay up to date on smartphone technology and understand how smartphones can be effectively utilized in the office. This talk will cover differences between different smartphone platforms (iOS, Android) as well as real-world examples of how smartphone settings can be changed to benefit hearing aid users will be provided throughout the presentation.

View this Course for FREE.
Need CEUs? Become a AudiologyOnline member to get unlimited CEUs.

Only $99/yr

Learn More