ReSound & Cochlear Wireless Accessory Compatibility

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:

Note (May 15, 2015): Use the column for LiNX & Enzo for the BAHA 5 (BP500) and LiNX² devices.

2.4 gHz wireless accessory compatibility matrix for GN ReSound, Beltone, and Interton hearing aids, and Cochlear BAHA and CI hearing devicesClick to enlarge in a new window

2.4 gHz wireless accessory compatibility matrix for GN ReSound, Beltone,
and Interton hearing aids, and Cochlear BAHA and CI hearing devices
Click to enlarge in a new window

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:

  1. 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;
  2. 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:

 

ReSound Unite Accessory Updater screen shot composite

 

Bootnotes:

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]
Wearing the ReSound Phone Clip+ the wrong way, circled in red; and the right way, circled in green

Wearing the ReSound Phone Clip+ the wrong way, circled in red; and the right way, circled in green.
Note the clothing clip rotates to assure the highly directional mic points towards the user’s mouth.

~

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About the author

Dan Schwartz

Electrical Engineer, via Georgia Tech

39 Comments

  1. Eric Marquardt
    November 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Can a consumer update the firmware of the accessories at home?


  2. Robert MacPherson
    December 3, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Dan, May I ask how N6 compatibility was confirmed, given the software required for activation of the N6 wireless has yet to be released? And, could you please explain “limited” compatibility of the Phone Clip + with the N6 processors?
    Finally, do the Unite wireless accessories being shipped today have the latest firmware, thus enabling compatibility with the N6 – so a N6 user could walk into Costco and walk out with compatible wireless accessories? Thanks!


    • Dan Schwartz
      December 3, 2014 at 11:14 am

      Unite system compatibility with the N6 was built in when it was introduced, as Cochlear licensed it from ReSound; and this was verified by users around the world and by clinical trial sites here in the US: The hangup was FDA approval for general distribution, which we documented in mid-September in FDA Finally Approves Use of ReSound Wireless Accessories With The Nucleus 6 CI Processor.

      The “limited” N6 compatibility with the Unite Phone Clip+ is that the volume control, program shift & mute buttons are disabled: It’s only used as a Bluetooth relay.

      The Unite accessories that you can buy at Costco have the latest firmware; and in fact at ALDAcon when I checked the firmware version of the Phone Clip+ and Mini Mic that ship with the BP400, they had earlier versions~


      • Robert MacPherson
        December 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm

        Thanks for the clarification, Dan. Much appreciated!


  3. Ian Wilson
    February 19, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    So far nobody in Cochlear has been able to answer the following: I have 2 work phones, a work desk phone, a laptop and a tablet ALL bluetooth enabled. Do I have to have a ‘phone clip’ for each one of these? I had read that the ‘phone clip’ was more correctly a Bluetooth hub and had multiple channels. But as the documentation of these devices is so poor and seem to believe that CI and HA users are technically challenged that it is impossible to find out the real capability of the equipment.

    Is it possible to link the ‘Phone’ clip to more than one device? If so how is that done as the design appears to put form before function.


    • Dan Schwartz
      February 21, 2015 at 9:36 pm

      Hi Ian!

      The ReSound Phone Clip+ that Cochlear private labels is supposed to pair with up to three Bluetooth devices, and when you pair to a fourth device the oldest pairing “rolls off.” That Being Said, there were undocumented improvements made in the version 1.4 firmware; and at this point we don’t know which version Cochlear is now shipping, as when we checked it in late September it was the older v1.3.

      Our suggestion is to download the updater which is part of the Aventa package and then using your PC update the firmware to v1.4. This will also reset the Bluetooth stack; and in fact you can re-run the updater any time to reset the Phone Clip+.

      Also, do you have a Mini Mic? If not, get one as it’s the most valuable accessory you can have.


  4. Peggy Chang
    March 2, 2015 at 1:37 am

    Hi Dan,
    My sister has a Cochlear Nucleus 6 on her right ear and planning to dispense a ReSound hearing aid on her left ear. The reason she choose Resound is because she thinks unite accessories can both control her Nucleus 6 and the Resound hearing aid, meaning she can use for example phone clip+, or mini mic to control both her Nucleus 6 and ReSound Alera or LiNX( she plans to buy either one) at the same time. Is it true? Or the phone clip+ and mini mic can only pair with either her Nucleus 6 or a ReSound hearing aid?

    Thanks!


    • Dan Schwartz
      March 2, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      Peggy, I would strongly recommend the ReSound Enzo 7, which is the 675-powered version of the LiNX 788 (it’s a “LiNX on steroids”). The Enzo 5 doesn’t have good features; while the more expensive Enzo 9 has little additional benefit over the Enzo 7. What’s more, the #13 battery used in the Alera (which I do not recommend), Verso, LiNX and LiNX² is not really equipped to withstand the rigors of constant streaming in super power aids, such as when she’s in school.

      Although it will use the Mini Mic and Phone Clip+ supplied by Cochlear, your sister’s audiologist will probably need to update the firmware as described in the article. Also, although the now-discontinued first generation TV Streamer will work with the Nucleus 6, it will .NOT. work with the Enzo, LiNX, and LiNX².

      If your sister insists on the smaller package, then the Verso 788-HP or new LiNX² 762 #13 RIC will work; but if her audiologist orders the 788-HP, she needs to specify the no-charge “-HP” option, which is the metal earhook designed to provide an additional 5dB of gain & output needed to reach her profound loss.

      Finally, if your sister has auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) instead of conventional sensorineural hearing loss (about a 15% chance), then the hearing aid will probably be distracting from the static; so she should arrange for a trial before purchasing~


      • Peggy Chang
        March 4, 2015 at 5:16 am

        Hi Dan,
        Thanks for your thorough advice!
        It’s very helpful.


        • Dan Schwartz
          March 4, 2015 at 12:28 pm

          Peggy, it’s my pleasure! I also e-mailed you privately with some additional information on the Enzo.


  5. Jill Paul
    March 11, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Hello,
    I have a hybrid cochlear N6 and am considering getting one of cochlear’s newly FDA approved phone clips. My hearing is getting worse and I’m considering getting a new hearing aid for my other ear (currently I wear nothing). I am not sure what to get as I would like a Resound Aid that will work with the cochlear phone clip. I am not sure if Cochlear new phone clip is in the chart above or what generation it is for that matter.
    If you could recommend an aid I would appreciate it. It was a toss up on to which ear to implant, so I have significant hearing loss in both. Thanks!


    • Dan Schwartz
      March 11, 2015 at 7:32 pm

      Hi Jill!

      I highly recommend the ReSound Enzo 7 (798) (or mid-line Beltone Boost) for bimodal use with the N6 processor, as the accessories except the first generation TV Streamer are compatible with it. Although the Enzo 7 & 9 will connect directly to your iPhone 5 or higher when working alone, you’ll still need the Phone Clip+ to connect to your N6. Because of this, you’ll need to use ReSound’s older Control app on any Android or iDevice, as you can’t simultaneously have direct streaming to an Enzo and to a Phone Clip+

      At present, you’ll still have to use the Remote Assistant and the Control app separately; however in the future Cochlear will probably integrate the Enzo/LiNX MFi capability into their processors.

      Although the LiNX and LiNX² 788-HP will probably work, in my own use I’ve found that even the #13 battery has trouble keeping upin heavy noise while streaming, while the 675-fueled Enzo (basically a LiNX on steroids) just keeps chugging along.

      Finally, I sent you a friend request on Facebook, which I hope you accept~


      • Jill Paul
        March 11, 2015 at 7:59 pm

        Thanks for timely reply. I have accepted your friend request.

        So is the phone clip+ you refer to Cochlear’s or Resound’s or are they basically the same thing?

        So if I just get the Enzo7 aid I can stream to my iPhone with just an app? Though I realize you need a microphone. Not sure if you could use the phone’s microphone while having the audio streamed to the hearing aid.
        I am not completely sold on the phone clip as, I really don’t like the idea of having another component to keep charged and track of, the remote assistant is bad enough.
        Jill


        • Dan Schwartz
          March 11, 2015 at 8:19 pm

          Jill, yes you can stream directly from your iPhone 5 or higher directly into the Enzo 7 only — To stream into both the Enzo and N6 you’ll need the Phone Clip+ which is what we recommend as it will give you full bimodal hearing.

          The ReSound, Cochlear and Beltone versions of the Phone Clip+ only differ in the text on the silver decorative cap; though as we spelt out in the article above, you or your audiologist may need to upgrade the firmware to v1.4 if you happen to receive an older device from Cochlear~


  6. Ron Hammonds
    March 21, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Dan Schwartz:

    Is there a way to contact you directly? You seem to have a ton of knowledge that someone who has recently received a cochlear implant and is also wearing a hearing aid really really needs to know. I am tired of not being able to listen to Willie or hear the sound on a TV. The info coming out of Cochlear and Resound is slow and doesn’t seem to understand the need of the users.


    • Dan Schwartz
      March 21, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      Hi Ron!

      Yes, you can reach me at Dan@Snip.Net; or you can reply to the Facebook friend request I sent you.

      Unfortunately, due to the limitations of the implant circuit in the CI512 & CI400, vocal tracks will never be clear — Sorry. For more, please see this article on Nucleus channel crossover.


  7. Rodney
    April 11, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Is there a place I can download the latest firmware update for the Resound Mini Mic? I have a Mini Mic model sm-1 I would like to make sure is compatible with the Cochlear N6.


  8. Marion Warn
    April 24, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    I am a new recipient of the Nucleus 6 CI and have been trying to pair my Panasonic Bluetooth landline phone with the Wireless Phone Clip with no result. During the pairing process I am supposed to select “hearing aid” from a list on the phone. My phone does not have this feature…it says Bluetooth…link to cell…add device……cell registering. I have clicked all this during the pairing but it has not paired.

    Cell phones do not work in the area I live in so I have to use the landline. I`m trying to find a landline phone which will work…I am in Canada. Of course I`m not into all this technology unfortunately and maybe I`m not following the instructions for pairing correctly. Hoping you can help.


    • Robert MacPherson
      April 24, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      Sounds like your phone lacks Bluetooth headset capability (Phone Clip acts as a headset) and only features link to cell capability. Here’s one model that should work in your application:
      http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-KX-TG6582T-Bluetooth-Cordless-Answering/dp/B0036D9YKA


      • Dan Schwartz
        April 24, 2015 at 7:33 pm

        The Phone Clip+ supports both Bluetooth headset profile HSP 1.5 and advanced audio distribution protocol A2DP 2.3. It seems your Panasonic phone may not properly support HSP 1.5


      • Marion Warn
        April 24, 2015 at 11:23 pm

        Thank you Robert and Dan for the information. Now I know what is required regarding a Bluetooth phone. Much appreciated.


        • Marion Warn
          April 25, 2015 at 8:13 pm

          I`m back!! Re Panasonic KX-TG6582T – I have visited all the stores locally and not one of them has this particular model or anything close to Bluetooth headset capability. They even tried to order it online to no avail.

          I went online to Amazon.com and found 4 used ones and when I tried to order one of them they would not deliver for some reason….maybe because I am in Canada, they did not say.

          Most of the phones in the stores are Link2Cell and none of them come close to what I require. Not sure where to go from here. Just have to keep searching.


  9. Marcus
    June 3, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    I was wondering if you can use the Beltone hearplus android app with the baha 5. I have noticed that all the apps for other hearing aids are identical with the exceptions of color and branding but these all work through the phoneclip. Beltone is the only one that has an app that will work directly with their products so I can not compare these.
    Thanks
    Marc


    • Dan Schwartz
      June 4, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      No: I tried the new Cochlear SMART app for the BAHA 5 on my Enzo HA’s; and it does not work.


  10. carlo carlino
    September 16, 2015 at 6:44 am

    Which of the Resound or Beltone models would work best in pairing with streaming functions for the cochlear Nucleus 6? I ham going to replace my hearing aid and was wondering which would be the best functionaly as well as economical.


    • Dan Schwartz
      September 16, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      I would recommend the mid-level ReSound Enzo 7 over the LiNX² 762 for two reasons: The Enzo has an option for linear response, which is good if all you have left is speech envelope detection abilities, and also because of the 675 battery for non-stop streaming. Beltone calls it the Boost.


  11. Dave
    October 2, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Will I notice any latency with connecting my digital piano headphone output into the min mic, which will feed two BAHA 5 processors?
    Thanks in advance.


    • Dan Schwartz
      October 2, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      No, you’ll not notice latency with the Mini Mic. However, I recommend the TV Streamer 2 instead, as it has a wider audio bandwidth and transmits in stereo for much better audio quality. I keep them in stock, as I do the Mini Mic.


  12. Paul Larkin
    November 9, 2015 at 9:37 am

    I have my Nucleus 6 paired with my phone clip and works fine, but can I pair it with my Phonak Hearing Aid?
    Many thanks in advance.


    • Dan Schwartz
      November 9, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      Paul, I recommend you trade in your Phonak hearing aid for a ReSound Enzo² 5 or 7, as they are designed to work in tandem with the Nucleus 6. I recommend the Enzo² over the LiNX² 62 series as it can be locked directly into linear mode (like the older Sparx) for speech envelope preservation, especially if you started out with linear analog aids — See here for the explanation. In addition, it’s fueled by a 675 cell for robust, nonstop streaming without dropouts when it gets very noisy (due to transient battery oxygen consumption).

      The problem you’ll have is trying to simultaneously pair the Bluetooth audio output in your mobile device to two different devices, the Phone Clip+ and ComPilot.1

      Also with the Enzo² you’ll have forward compatibility with the Nucleus 7 when it comes out, as apparently GN ReSound and Cochlear are working on coordinating these two devices.

      One very minor thing: Although the N6 processor can> use the older analog TV Streamer, the Enzo & LiNX (and newer -2) versions requite the TV Streamer 2, as pointed out in this article.

      1: Technically it could be done on an Android if you hack the Bluetooth stack source code; but it would be much more work than simply swapping out the Phonak aid for an Enzo².


  13. Scott
    March 8, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    I’m a bilateral Cochlear implantee (N22 + CI512, both with Nucleus 6 processors). I’m doing amazingly well, able to use the phone, etc.

    The Resound-licensed accessories are a Godsend. My only complaint-slash-wish: the Resound iPhone app doesn’t work with the Nucleus 6 processors! It gets halfway through connecting and then stops.

    If there’s any way of making this app work, I’d sure appreciate the guidance. It would be nice to not have to carry the CR230 or CR210 remote all the time.


  14. Mike Huspeni
    March 21, 2016 at 2:31 am

    Hi Dan.
    Thx 4 tons of technical advice given here.

    Could you comment on the following situation?

    Recent CI recipient; Cochlear Nucleus 6. Rcv’d Cochlear’s TV-streamer kit with my CI. This works fine, but quality is lower than my (other brand) hearing aid TV-streamer box… this is a function of my brain, and will fade with time. As an important side issue, running two TV-streamer boxes at once often leaves to them fighting for the signal, and one box losing out. Frustrating.

    Obviously I wish to move to CI (L) + Resound Aid (R), and use one (1) TV-streamer box.

    On to the question: Will I ultimately stick with my Cochlear-brand TV-streamer box, and gain the ability to run CI + Aid at same time? (might work)

    Or will I need to purchase new Resound-branded TV-streamer, in order to use both hearing devices? (I know will work)

    I’m sure a key components of the above are:
    (A) Cochlear-brand TV-streamer and Resound-brand TV-streamer both look identical, with the very same inputs and controls on the hardware. They simply have different company stamps in the lower right front corner.
    (B) Do Resound hearing aids need to be paired with a specific TV-streamer box? My (other brand) hearing aid certainly needed this. You know, the effect where I can listen to TV via the box, yet someone with same-brand hearing aid walks into the room, and they cannot hear my TV audio.

    Of course, I’ve tried, tried, and tried again contacting Cochlear Corp. and Resound on this topic. Both entities have totally ignored my attempts, which really frustrates me, considering I just paid $50K on surgery and $8K in hardware… and I’m pleading for the opportunity to buy Resound’s product.

    Thx, Mike Huspeni


    • Dan Schwartz
      March 21, 2016 at 10:52 am

      Mike, Cochlear’s wireless accessories are in fact made by ReSound, with the only difference the logo stamped on it! Also, we recommend the ReSound Enzo² 7 for Nucleus 6 bimodal users due to both the commonality of the wireless interfaces and also the Enzo² can be locked into linear mode for speech envelope preservation.


      • Mike Huspeni
        March 21, 2016 at 2:29 pm

        Thanx 4 your facts, Dan. I appreciate any help! Still in the first 6 months with a CI, so this is an annoying side issue.


  15. Robert MacPherson
    March 21, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    With the HA and CI turned off, enter pairing mode. Then, turn on the HA,then the CI, all within the 20 second pairing mode. That’s it !


  16. Mike Huspeni
    July 28, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Thanks for your thoughts and ideas, Robert Mac & Dan S.

    The concept turned out to be simpler than I expected:
    With *either* the Resound TV Streamer the Cochlear brand audio streamer receiving audio, I may now work with the Resound hearing aid, and the Cochlear brand implant. On the Resound aid I press the single button for 3 seconds; and on the Cochlear implant I need to find the more ‘forward’ of 2 button, and hold it for about 3 seconds.

    Wham! Audio in both ears. Awesome. No real need to enter pairing mode.

    Since I naively (sp?) obtained both Cochlear’s TV streamer *and* Resound’s TV streamer, I intend to make one of them work within my car. Wish me luck !


    • Dan Schwartz
      July 29, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      Use a USB charger plugged into your cig lighter to power the TV Streamer 2


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