Over the last four years GN ReSound has released nine separate Unite wireless accessories for use with the Alera, Verso, LiNX and Enzo hearing aids, along with parallel models sold under GN’s Beltone & Interton brands, and also for ReSound licensee Cochlear’s Nucleus 6 CI speech processor and BAHA 4 hearing aid: This article will demystify exactly what hardware & software is needed to connect to each hearing device.
Correction: The Mini Mic has an omnidirectional mic, not a directional one (like in the Phone Clip+) as we originally reported in the Bootnotes.
First off, we need to list what these ten wireless accessories are, and their functions:
- 1st and 2nd generation Phone Clip Bluetooth streamer;
- 1st and 2nd generation TV Streamer;
- 1st and 2nd generation Remote Control;
- 1st and 2nd generation Airlink wireless programmer;
- Mini Mic with various firmware versions;
- Cochlear Nucleus CR230 Remote Assistant, which is used for both remote control and MAPping the Nucleus 6.
Note (May 15, 2015): Use the column for LiNX & Enzo for the BAHA 5 (BP500) and LiNX² devices.
Details and Explanation:
• The 1st and 2nd generation Phone Clip Bluetooth streamers, which translate Bluetooth 1.5 HSP & 2.2 A2DP to ReSound’s proprietary 2.4 gHz low-latency digital format for transmission to the hearing devices, translate Bluetooth 2.3 HIBAN control signals from the Control iOS and Android apps, and receive status updates from the hearing devices. The 1st generation Phone Clip was a piece of crap nobody should be using; while the 2nd generation Phone Clip+ nicely fixed all of the bugs as we documented in January 2013 in ReSound fires the first shot in the “Made for iPhone” War, Part 1. The Phone Clip+ is still needed with the LiNX and Enzo whenever streaming Bluetooth from all non-Apple iOS devices such as laptops or mobiles, or from Apple iOS devices that do not support Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (“BLE”), i.e. ones that cannot run iOS 7.1.
▬► Worth noting is that both the older Control and newer Smart apps work with the LiNX and Enzo hearing aids; and the Control app is used to provide backwards compatibility with the older iDevices that cannot communicate directly to those hearing aids via BLE.
• The 1st and 2nd generation TV Streamers both provide low latency stereo transmission from TV’s and other stereo audio sources, including from a sound mixing board for performers who use their hearing aids as in-ear monitors. The 1st generation TV Streamer has analog RCA stereo input jacks; however it is Not Compatible with the LiNX & Enzo, and the firmware is Not Upgradeable;
• The 2nd generation TV Streamer 2 has a ⅛ inch stereo input jack, and also dual digital inputs via RCA jack for coax and TOSlink for optical. The TV Streamer 2 has two nice features: Dolby digital audio decoding, and variable delay to sync with TV audio:
- The Dolby 5.1 decoder (and added licensing cost) is needed because if the digital audio is indeed 5.1, there is no backwards compatibility for unlicensed stereo digital-to-analog converters — Unlike with Dolby for FM and Dolby for tape decks, Dolby 5.1 digital audio will be silent without their codec in the D/A converter;
- The programmable delay is needed because unlike the old analog days, each device in the audio signal chain (such as the TV, sound bar, home theater amp, equalizer, etc…) adds latency from each DSP in the tens of milliseconds each; and if either an open eartip fitting is used &/or the hearing aid microphones are enabled, then feedforward comb filter distortion and even an annoying echo will be heard. To adjust the delay, press and hold for 3 seconds the Program button on the bottom to change the function of the volume control rocker switch on top, then press the + & – to increment and decrement, respectively, the delay in 10 mSec amounts. Press & hold for 3 seconds the Program button again or cycle the power to restore the rocker switch function to volume control function, or just wait 3 minutes and it will switch back automatically.
• The 1 st and 2nd generation Remote Control are similar in function, however the 2nd generation remote can also independently adjust the hearing aid mic and streamed audio volumes. This is extremely valuable with the Mini Mic — Especially in a classroom — as it allows the user to self-adjust the HA-Mini Mic mix ratio, which any educational audiologist will tell you is a constant source of trouble with hearing aid-FM assistive system use, as some hearing aid mic (ambient environmental) audio is needed to monitor speech production and also hear classroom discussion… But if too much ambient audio is mixed in, then the benefit of the Mini Mic is lost. Note that this valuable flexibility is also available in both the newer Smart and older Control apps; however it can be a bit awkward to do this more than occasionally;
• The 1st and 2nd generation Airlink wireless programmer, either of which can be used to access the Alera, Verso, LiNX, Enzo, and BP400 — But not the Nucleus 6;
• The Mini Mic, with various firmware versions — Use the ReSound Accessory Updater (see below) to flash it to the latest version, as firmware v1.3 used shipped with the Verso and Cochlear devices is not forward compatible with the LiNX & Enzo;
• The Cochlear Nucleus CR230 Remote Assistant is used as both the user remote control and audiologist interface for MAPping the Nucleus 6 using Custom Sound 4.2 & higher.
ReSound Accessory Update application:
As we mentioned above, the Mini Mic, TV Streamer 2, Mini Mic, and Phone Clip+ all have upgradeable firmware that is flashed with the ReSound Accessory Upgrader to make them work with the LiNX, Enzo and Nucleus 6. The Update app is found in the ReSound folder in the All Programs part of the Windows Start menu. For your convenience, you can download the latest Aventa bits at this link, which will have the latest Updater. To update your accessory, make sure you use a full USB cable: Some cables are only for charging and lack the data lines. Then, simply plug the Unite accessory into your PC and start the update:
It was with some mirth we saw these pictures on three separate pages of the Cochlear website showing both the Mini Mic and the Phone Clip+ clipped on sideways: Both accessories have The accessory has a directional mic that should be pointing up, towards the mouth, to enhance performance in noise; and in fact it has a pivoting clothing clip to assure proper use. Click the photos to go to the source pages.[Mini Mic photos deleted]