Hands-Free Calling with the Latest Hearing Aid Technology

Jim Rau

Interesting Ron.  

Phonak has had the same system out for a while now in their Paradise hearing aids. I tried them 6 months ago. There were two problems. 

First they could be very noisy on the other end. Since the hearing aid microphones are used to pick up the users voice they also pick up other ambient noise so the person on the other end hears all the ambient noise from the users end of the call. 

Second the system was unstable. It would randomly drop connections and change programs with no input from me. The phone app that Phonak had then was awful. I think they have improved it now. 

Even though my phone and hearing aids are new enough to support this system I'm not really interested in getting it. I think that the problems are indicative of the problems that will come with the new Bluetooth LE that they say will replace hearing loops. They have a lot of problems to work out before we see reliable Bluetooth LE audio. 

Ronald Drach




Begin forwarded message:

From: "Hearing Associates of Northern Virginia, LLC" <admin@...>
Date: March 15, 2022 at 9:53:26 AM EDT
To: consultrwd@...
Subject: Hands-Free Calling with the Latest Hearing Aid Technology
Reply-To: admin@...

Hands-Free Calling with the Latest Hearing Aid Technology
Good morning!

We are pleased to share an update that might be helpful to Apple users.  Apple has released a new protocol (Low Energy Audio, or LEA, 2.0) that allows the newest generations of hearing aids to be used as compatible headsets for convenient, hands-free, calling.  Whereas previously users had to have their phones in their hands to be heard by their caller, now your phone can reside in your purse, your bag, or your pocket, and you can enjoy effortless, two-way streaming of phone calls.  Right now, this update is coming from Apple only.  We have not heard yet from Android when we can expect similar updates, but we will let you know when we do.  

What is required to achieve this?

* Hands-free communication is available with iPhone 11 or later running iOS software 15.2 or later, and iPad running iPadOS 15.2 or later.
* Newer generation (e.g., Oticon More, Widex Moment, Starkey Evolv, or Resound One) hearing aids that utilize Bluetooth connectivity.
* Most likely, a firmware upgrade that can be easily performed in our office in five or ten minutes.

We would like to invite anyone who wishes to obtain a firmware upgrade to take advantage of this Hands-Free Calling to stop by our office on Wednesday or Thursday of this week.  We will update your firmware on your devices as a courtesy while you wait in our waiting area or your car for a curbside option, and we will offer you a sweet treat!  If you need adjustments to your hearing devices or wish to talk about upgrading your technology, please call us at (703) 748-3300 to schedule a visit.  

When you stop in to visit us for your firmware upgrade, make sure to introduce yourself to our new administrative genius, Kate Kelly!  Kate joined our team in January.  She is a super fast learner and is already finding ways to help us improve our efficiency around the office.  Welcome, Kate!

Thanks for reading, and hope to see you soon!

Dr. Crovato, Dr. Yunes, and Dr. Trinka
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