The future of direct streaming has never looked as bright! Direct streaming to Android devices has been a much anticipated innovation. With 86% of cellphone users using Android, and only 13% using Apple, MFi or Made for iPhone hearing aids can only benefit a small fraction of hearing aid users¹>. Nevertheless, the days of intermediary streaming devices may soon be over!
Earlier this week we posted a blog in regards to Starkey’s Livio platform offering direct streaming as of November 1st, 2019. An announcement from ReSound followed that direct streaming through Android devices was available immediately. Claiming the title of being the first hearing aids to offer direct streaming with Bluetooth Low Energy technology to both iOS and Android devices.
History in the Making
ReSound has been collaborating with Google since 2017 to release the world’s first hearing aids with direct streaming capabilities using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Similarly, ReSound worked with Apple to deliver direct streaming to iOS devices in 2014. Once again, winning the race to become the first hearing aid manufacturer to do so. Their partnership with Google allowed them to successfully develop a streaming protocol that is optimal for both iOS and Android devices.
What about Phonak?
Earlier this year Phonak was the industry leader in offering direct streaming to iOS and Android platforms (original blog post here). This was achieved through the use of 2.4 GHz Bluetooth Classic signal. Phonak remained an independent proprietor in developing their direct streaming protocol. Phonak created the first hearing aids able to use the standard 2.4 GHz Bluetooth signal. Significantly increasing sound quality and signal travel distance. By using a high-efficiency Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery combined with Phonak’s new computer chip, power consumption of the wireless connection was reduced.
How do I start Direct Streaming from my compatible Android Device?
In order to enable direct streaming to ReSound LiNX Quattro hearing aids, a Remote Hearing Aid Update is required for compatible Android devices*. Individuals with this functionality enabled will begin to receive notifications that an update is available. By following the app prompts, the update will commence from the comfort of your own home.
Users without Remote Hearing Aid Updates enabled through ReSound Assist will need to schedule an appointment to complete the consent prior to receiving the update through their ReSound Smart 3D app.
*ReSound LiNX Quattro custom hearing aids do not require an update for compatibility.
*With the release of the Android 10 platform, Google has made the following phone models compatible with direct streaming:
- Google Pixel 3
- Google Pixel 3 XL
- Google Pixel 3a
- Google Pixel 3a XL.
Over the next year, additional phone manufacturers and carriers will begin rolling out this technology to Android users.
1. Global Mobile Landscape 2016: A Country-by-Country Look at Mobile Phone and Smartphone Usage. eMarketer Report. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.emarketer.com/Report/Global-MobileLandscape-2016-Country-by-Country-Look-MobilePhone-Smartphone-Usage/2001859