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Thread: Music streaming experiences with Linx2

  1. #1

    Unhappy Music streaming experiences

    I had the HAs Resound Linx2 962 for two months to evaluate. The ability to stream music from my iPhone 6 has renewed my interest in music. I move around a lot, inside and out, so speakers have not worked so well for me, and besides my wife listens to podcasts and does not need the music. Changing back and forth between HA and earbuds is not appealing. I am a retired physics professor from Purdue.

    My first issue with the Linx2 and streaming music was bass response. I partly fixed this by having my audi increase bass amplification for the iPhone streaming mode, and by having him fit a higher power receiver (no extra cost). It still helps to turn bass all the way up and treble all the way down in the gntuner iPhone app. By using this tone generator streaming from the iPhone browser: http://www.szynalski.com/tone-generator/ the response for a sine wave still drops fast below 100 Hz. So I choose music that does not have deep bass such as solo piano and solo guitar. I never get tired of listening to Schiff play Bach English and French suites.

    My next issue with the Linx2 and streaming music was distortion Ė extra sounds related to the music but otherwise random. I finally figured out that it was interference from the iPhone WiFi. If I sat down far from the house or if I turned off the iPhone WiFi in the house, then the interference went away. I do not get interference when I sit near the router while other devices are using the WiFi. Without WiFi I canít stream Pandora, etc.

    The next issue is low frequency noise and distortion. It is not too obvious with music, but eventually really bothersome to me. It is very obvious with the tone generator (link above) when set below 300 Hz. The tone generator also reveals an extra low frequency when set above 3 kHz. This may be intentional for speech but there should be a music mode without it.

    My opinion of the apps for iPhone and apple watch are mixed. The watch never worked with the Linx2 after the upgrade to IOS 10. The app gntuner requires too many steps to go between bass/treble adjustment and volume. One good thing is that when I pause the music the HA mic comes back on and goes off again when I restart.

    I complained about all these issues to Resound and to my hearing center. Very little feedback from them indicating that mine was not a defective pair of HA and likely a problem with Resoundís whole production of the Linx2.

    To end my story, I returned the Linx2 and expect to get the new Signia model next week. My audiologist says this new Signia (rechargeable) is the only other HA available to them that will stream music directly from the iPhone without needing a third device. He may be misinformed, talking about the new Cellion that requires the easyTek for streaming. I will let you know how that one works.

    Comments are welcome.

    David
    Last edited by llamadave; 12-10-2016 at 02:17 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Music streaming experiences

    My story about music streaming continues: It turned out that Signia HAs all require the intermediate easyTek (only 6-hour battery per charge) to stream from the iPhone. So we passed over that one and I am now trying the Oticon Opn miniRITE AGXO G500. This HA streams directly from the iPhone using technology very similar to the Linx2. My first test with the tone generator (mentioned in previous post) showed much clearer sound especially at the low end around 100 Hz. I have been streaming music to them for a few days now and am very impressed, but they are not perfect and require a lot of equalization.

    First the bad points. 1) I still get distortion from WiFi interference, which I am now thinking is mostly an Apple problem with this low-energy Bluetooth. It is less bothersome than with the Linx2 and is mostly gone when I set my iPhone to connect to only the 5 GHz port on my dual-band router (I tell it to forget the 2.4 GHz port). 2) Every hour or so the HA seems to lose signal for a few moments in one ear or the other, similar to when I wander from my iPhone but when it is actually right there in my pocket. 3) There are only 4 programming modes and no bass/treble adjustments in the iPhone app RemoteLink.

    The tone generator and also the Oticon specs show a broad peak at 2-3 kHz. I think most HAs must have this peak since it is where we have the most hearing loss and we need this to hear /s/ sounds in speech. However to me this peak makes music tinny and unacceptable. So I got the Equalizer app which allows amplitude adjustments for streaming music over the whole range 20 -10,000 Hz and beyond. I found I need to drop the curve down by 15 db centered around 3 kHz with Q =0.5. I also increased the bass centered around 100 Hz. At my next visit to the audi I will ask him to make these changes to one of the programs so I donít have to use the Equalizer app. To test the frequency response I downloaded sweep sine tones from here: http://www.wavtones.com/functiongenerator.php. Three 5 second sweeps 100-1000, 300-3000, and 1000-10000 Hz worked well. I adjusted the EQ curve until the sweeps sounded flat to me.

    With the EQ set right, music sounds great, both rock with lots of bass and my favorite piano music. To help more with bass and to remove ambient noise I tried silicon earplugs (Mackís brand). This increases bass and overall volume tremendously. For this I made another EQ curve reducing bass and actually increasing around 3 kHz and reduced the volume setting. This will be great for long car and plane rides. I will ask my audi for an Oticon bass dome single or double vent. This should work similar to the earplugs. I will also ask for the next most powerful receiver, upgrading from the 60 to the 85. This should help with volume and bass for the open domes.

    I hope this info helps any music lovers out there. Comments are welcome.

    David

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi, I wanted to thank you for your comments on music streaming experience. I'm looking for a new set of hearing aids and informative posts like yours really help.

    A few comments on streaming quality/distortion:
    1) did your audi disable all the speech improvement (and thus music distortion) effects on the streaming program? I've seen this OPN program mentioned before, even if it's not for streaming:
    http://rjdhearingcare.blogspot.lt/20...listening.html

    2) There has to be a limit to sound quality over BLE (as opposed to full bluetooth). I hope I'm wrong, but here's my line of thinking. According to this writeup (last table)
    https://punchthrough.com/blog/posts/...os-and-android
    BLE throughput is 15KB/s at best (perhaps tweakable a little bit). Which is a 128kbps mp3 file - so of an acceptable quality - under ideal conditions. Since streaming doesn't skip no matter what, I assume there's further compression/loss of quality going on at the Apple's proprietary transmission protocol level. With that in mind, I would say you already made the best out of what's available. I wonder if a Bluetooth gadget would be an upgrade.

  4. #4

    Default

    Hi Karat,

    Thanks for the information.

    1) My audi knows I am looking for music quality and I think did all the right things. With the tone generator it sounds good from below 100 Hz to 7,500 Hz. I could not reach the link you posted.

    2) The limit in throughput probably mainly affects the high frequencies. With my HAs in I can hear my computer speakers up to about 10,000 Hz but the streaming stops at 7,500. This could be a limit of BLE. After I fiddle a fair bit with the equalization, the music sounds pretty good, as good as I can expect with pretty bad tinnitus. I had a great experience the other day listening to Beethoven 6th symphony, turned up pretty loud.

    David

  5. #5

    Default

    1) Sorry about that. The programme description was:
    Add a programme on NAL1; Untick Feedback Shield; Untick Noise Reduction;
    For directionality: Select Pinna OmniOn the fine tuning screen, click on the Compression Ratio box, then click on all on the main adjustment, increase all by 10 or so clicks, then turn down louds+moderates, then the moderate+lows - until the compression for moderate to louds is around 1.0
    2) I found this in an older writeup on hearing aids: "Traditionally, hearing aids have been unable to provide sufficient amplification for sounds beyond 4,000 to 6,000 Hz." The article says it's a limit of the receiver. I wonder if current receivers are still like that.

    Is there a big difference in how music sounds through earbuds versus streaming (or speakers), after all these changes? Do you think HAs can replace the earbuds completely?

  6. #6

    Default

    In response to Karat, the response to my Oticon HAs is great in the range 4k to 6k Hz. It drops above that and is gone at about 8k. I can hear my computer speakers up to 10k, so this limit is not my hearing.

    So above 6k and below 100 Hz, speakers with a subwoofer are better, but most music I am listening to (classical) sounds great to me. I have recently streamed several Beethoven symphonies and Handel's Messiah and enjoyed them very much. I mostly listen to piano music.

    To assess your HAs for music and to adjust them properly you need to read carefully my first two posts. You need to test them with a tone generator and spend a lot of time listening to music and test tones with the equalizer app. Once you get your equalization the way you like it, have the audi do the same thing to one of the programs then you do not need to play music through the app any more.

    Note that the frequency response of the HAs depends on the dome (closed vs open), how far the dome is into your ear canal, and the power of your receiver. I have the 85 receiver, one step above the lowest power one. I have the bass domes that are closed with a single hole, but I don't think they are completely blocking my canal. If I push them in further than where they want to stay, I get a lot more (too much) bass for the equalization settings I am using.

    David

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