The new AudioStream was first introduced via social media on 14th September. AudioStream is the new streaming accessory for SONNET and SONNET 2. Only a mere six millimetres longer than the standard battery cover case, it is pushed over the battery case instead of that. After initialisation with the audio processor, it enables AudioStream SONNET or SONNET 2 users to stream wirelessly to the audio processor via Bluetooth LE from their compatible smartphone or tablet – without other accessories or special applications.
AudioStream is compatible with all devices with operating system from iOS 11 or Android 10- this includes the current iPhones, Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy phones, and various tablets and the current generation of the iPod touch. MED-EL provides an overview of all compatible devices on medel.com and new types are constantly being added.
Wireless Freedom Without Additional Devices
Evelyn Jaksch is among the first to have tried the AudioStream. “Since corona, I have had to call on my mobile before taking my daughter to nursery or pick her up.“ The noise of the cars and the children playing in front of the nursery made that difficult for her up to then. “With the AudioStream I can even phone here without any problems. That makes things much easier at home as well when telephoning or listening to podcasts. That gives me freedom!” Other users are also enthusiastic: “Very easy to use, the connection works perfectly”, “AudioStream is small and fits behind the ear. That makes it ideal for people who value, aesthetics”, and “Listening to music is a pleasure with it!”
Telephoning wirelessly; listening to music on the iPod, from Spotify or iTunes; enjoying podcasts or audiobooks; relaxing with a film on Netflix or Amazon Prime on the tablet – all that can be streamed on one or both audio processors, as desired.
AudioStream is also helpful on the road if the driver has to keep eyes and concentration on the traffic but still wants to clearly understand the sat nav’s instructions clearly- relaxed and wirelessly.
What the Protocol Allows- and What it Does not
Bluetooth Low Energy opens up completely new possibilities to users but is not integrated into all the devices in our daily lives. AudioStream is suitable for everything you want to listen with using compatible telephones and tablets, but doesn’t for example, support a conventional smart TV, which only has Bluetooth Classic. “Bluetooth Low Energy and Bluetooth Classic are like two languages, like German and English”, explains Daniela Platzer as the responsible Product Manager of AudioStream. “If they haven’t learned each other’s language, then unfortunately they can’t understand each other.” this is a restriction which naturally applies to all audio processors and hearing aids that support direct streaming – regardless of brans or manufacturer.
Despite that, users of an iOS-smartphones with AudioStream can realise another function: In the “Listen live“ mode, the telephone quite simply becomes a hand microphone and so is always ready if an acoustically difficult conversation situation arises unexpectedly.
That’s Christmas Sorted!
Wireless transmission via an induction loop as a proven and important option will remain available for future MED-EL audio processors, as will Roger 21 for FM applications with SONNET or SONNET 2. Both possibilities are also a good solution for bimodal users - with CI on one side and a hearing aid on the other. And AudioLink remains the accessory of choice for having all functions available in one device including the connection of a TV or stereo device to SONNET and SONNET 2.
For applications with smartphone, tablets or iPods, the tiny AudioStream is now the ideal accessory, and also saves energy and money. Users of SONNET or SONNET 2 can purchase and use AudioStream at any time. The ideal Christmas gift for MED-EL CI users who have received their behind the ear processors in the last six years!