[Submitted] Audio Streaming to Hearing Aids (ASHA) and Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor

  1. Francispaul92
    Cupcake Feb 4, 2020

    Francispaul92 , Feb 4, 2020 :
    Are there any news regarding updates that have enabled ASHA features on OnePlus 7T? And what about the future OnePlus 8?

  2. MadraMor
    Froyo Feb 12, 2020

    MadraMor , Feb 12, 2020 :
    I was told that Bluetooth 5.0 and above is required.

  3. MadraMor
    Froyo Feb 12, 2020

    MadraMor , Feb 12, 2020 :
    I was told that Android 10 and Bluetooth 5.0 and above are required. There are hardware and software aspects to compatibility so not all hardware is compatible.

  4. MadraMor
    Froyo Feb 12, 2020

    MadraMor , Feb 12, 2020 :
    I was told that Android 10 and Bluetooth 5.0 and above is required. There are hardware and software aspects to compatibility so not all hardware is compatible.
    Apple has its proprietary protocols for one reason - money. Keeping users locked into iOS (and open source developers locked out) makes them more money. Apple likely had a secret exclusive deal with Cochlear for the first year or two after this technology was developed. This also enables Apple to assert via its advertising and marketing machine that it has better handicap accessibility features than Android manufacturers and that Apple therefore is a great corporate citizen and manufacturer for all people.
    If Apple and Cochlear did ink a secret exclusive deal, that's pretty sad and would have left a whole lot of people without potential access to the assistive technology since Android currently has an 86% market share worldwide. Unfortunately we'll likely never know.

  5. G_Joseph_Tole_HDbb
    Cupcake Feb 13, 2020

    G_Joseph_Tole_HDbb , Feb 13, 2020 :
    The compatible phone list is available at https://www.cochlear.com/apps/en/sound-processor-and-app/compatibility. At the time of this writing, for Nucleus 7, the compatible Android phones only include models from Google and Samsung.

    This means that 2 things have to happen.
    1. The manufacturer (OnePlus) needs to enable Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids.
    2. The firmware in the sound processor needs to be updated.
    As per the manufacturer enabling Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA), ASHA is a new technology in Android 10. AFAIK it was not available at the Android 10 launch. It's possible and hopefully already been enabled and will be pushed out to us for the next OTA update from OnePlus.

    As per the firmware update, this would need to be done at your audiologists office or whomever is responsible for maintaining the sound mappings in your sound processor. I've asked my audiologist to apply this update already and she did but until I get the OTA update from OnePlus, I cannot use this feature.

    Please check the above link and keep an eye on this room as I'm sure someone will post once the update has been sent out to enable this feature. I probably will. If the above link doesn't list your phone and no one has posted in here that they have received the feature than there's no point in asking if there has been any news or updates yet.

    For reference, my OnePlus 7 Pro is running build number 10.3.0.GM21AA. Hopefully the next OTA update has the feature we want.

  6. steve9271
    Cupcake Feb 19, 2020

  7. onecube1
    Froyo Feb 23, 2020

    onecube1 , via OnePlus 7T Pro , Feb 23, 2020 :
    did email to OnePlus about it and respond.
    (thinking sell 4 month old OnePlus 7t pro to google pixel?)

    Thank you for contacting OnePlus Customer Support.

    I understand you would like to know about Audio Streaming to Hearing Aids (ASHA) and Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor. I will surely assist you on your query.

    I would like to inform you that device is compliant with the FCC Hearing Aid Compatibility requirements the FCC has adopted HAC rules for digital wireless phones the device meets the M3/T3 level rating.

    I like to inform you that currently there is no official confirmation on Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor when it will be released. However, I will surely take this as a feedback and pass it on to the team.


    Richard Thomas

    OnePlus Customer Support

  8. MadraMor
    Froyo Feb 25, 2020

    MadraMor , Feb 25, 2020 :
    The link for Cochlear compatibility has been updated to show that the Galaxy S10 series phones have been removed from the list: "Connectivity issues with Samsung S10 devices affecting streaming have been identified and are currently being assessed. Cochlear will provide further guidance once resolved."

    I had my firmware updated by my audiologist.

    I purchased both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL. Both phones paired with my Nucleus 7 but I experienced interruptions in the audio streams which I never experienced with iPhone. I bought the Pixel 4 and had the problem so I returned it and bought the Pixel 4XL and had the same problem.

    I bought the 7T and paired it. Upon opening the Cochlear app it said the operating system was not compatible.

    OnePlus hardware and software will need to be compatible so I don't see this coming until new OnePlus phones arrive. OxygenOS may have to also be made compatible since it's a fork of Android.

  9. MadraMor
    Froyo Feb 25, 2020

    MadraMor , Feb 25, 2020 :
    ASHA and compatibility with Cochlear seems to me to be two different things. Compatibility issues with hearing aids are completely different from compatibility with a Cochlear Nucleus 7.

    Also, ASHA has two meanings which may be getting confused: Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids and also The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) https://www.asha.org/

  10. MadraMor
    Froyo Feb 25, 2020

    MadraMor , Feb 25, 2020 :
    I'm sure OnePlus is compliant with FCC regulations for hearing aids compatibility (HAC). Compatibility with Cochlear is an entirely different matter requiring both hardware and software modifications which may not be currently required by FCC. Cochlear is not technically a hearing aid. It's a sound processor paired to an implant.

    I can hear the lawyers saying "Our client is compatible with FCC HAC rules. Cochlear is not a 'hearing aid'." This would be technically and legally correct.

    Also, ASHA has two meanings which may be getting confused: Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids and also The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) https://www.asha.org/

  11. Marvido
    Donut Feb 27, 2020

    Marvido , Feb 27, 2020 :
    I tried with The Beltone Amaze and Resound Linx Quatro neither of them works with streaming to them, apps works fine but yeah...

    I wish OnePlus would actually tell us why this aint working as it is supposed to do.

    MadraMor and TheHairyOne like this.
  12. MadraMor
    Froyo Feb 28, 2020

    MadraMor , Feb 28, 2020 :
    Here's the latest re: Samsung Galaxy S10 series:

    Cochlear tells me they're working on a firmware update so that the connectivity issue with the Galaxy S10 series will be resolved.

    Here's the deal with the new Galaxy S20 series:

    "Thank you for contacting Cochlear Support!
    The Samsung Galaxy S20 is not currently listed on our Compatibility Site for Direct Streaming nor [for] Nucleus Smart App use.
    It is up to Samsung as the manufacturer to release software for this specific phone that enables direct streaming capability.
    We are not aware if/when Samsung will release this capability for the new Samsung Galaxy S20."

  13. MadraMor
    Froyo Feb 28, 2020

    MadraMor , Feb 28, 2020 :
    The fact that OxygenOS is a fork of Android may be an additional hurdle that OnePlus will have to resolve for streaming to Beltone, ReSound, and Cochlear.

    I successfully paired the 7T to the Cochlear Nucleus 7 but the Cochlear app said the operating system was not supported.

  14. G_Joseph_Tole_HDbb
    Cupcake Mar 1, 2020

    G_Joseph_Tole_HDbb , Mar 1, 2020 :
    Several things...
    • I have received the latest update and no it's not compatible.
    • OsygenOS is not a fork of Android. It is an Android based launcher application. The OS is still Android. It says so in the About Phone section where it states "Android Version".
    • It doesn't matter that Cochlear is not a hearing aid. Cochlear is using the ASHA protocol. Android 10 supports streams via the ASHA protocol. Once ASHA is enabled and working on OnePlus phones, it will not matter if it's streaming to a toaster, as long as the toaster supports the ASHA protocol.
    • The phone hardware for OP7/OP7 Pro appears to be compatible according to ASHA system requirements (https://source.android.com/devices/bluetooth/asha#system-requirements) but I am not certain. If you believe the phone is not compatible, at the hardware level, please state which system requirement it does not meet and provide a reference / citation.
    • Bluetooth 4.2 or higher is required according to the ASHA system requirements.
    • This is a OnePlus forum regarding ASHA compatability. Anything to do with any Apple product is off-topic. They are not OnePlus, nor do they use Android and, they do not use ASHA. There are plenty of forums to praise their technology on other sites where it would not be off-topic.
    • The Google page (cited above in this post) for Hearing Aid Audio Support Using Bluetooth LE from Android/Google is from January 6th and engineering changes at this level do not happen over night so please be patient.

  15. G_Joseph_Tole_HDbb
    Cupcake Mar 1, 2020

    G_Joseph_Tole_HDbb , Mar 1, 2020 :
    For further clarification, any phone that can run the Google Play store, as well other Google proprietary apps, is an Android phone. Aside from the compatability required, there are also legal requirements that a phone cannot incorporate that software unless it's an actual Android® phone.

  16. MadraMor
    Froyo Mar 2, 2020

    MadraMor , Mar 2, 2020 :
    1. Updates will never make it compatible with the current phones because there are not only software requirements but also hardware requirements. So until OnePlus builds new phones with the proper specifications, it won't work. I was told by both Cochlear and Google Disability Support that there are hardware requirements with respect to Bluetooth 5.0, which is required for streaming to the Cochlear Nucleus 7.

    2. As far as I know, and I'm no expert, OxygenOS is a ROM and ROMs are forks. OxygenOS is certainly more than a launcher app and less than a full-blown separate operating system. OnePlus simply chose to name it as an OS rather than calling it OxygenROM.

    3. Your comments about "streaming to a toaster" are completely incorrect. Both Cochlear and Google told me more than ASHA is required.

    4. The 7T hardware appeared to be compatible to me but it didn't work.

    "It's Iza from the Google Disability Support team! Many many thanks for your email!
    I'm happy to say that last week we received the announcement that Pixel 4 is ASHA compliant! It was a long way till here but at least I'm glad we got a positive answer. Regarding the Bluetooth, Pixel 4 is Bluetooth 5.0 + LE (HD codecs: AptX, AptX HD, LDAC).
    As Pixel 4 and 4XL use the Android 10 OS and are ASHA compliant, they should be compatible with Nucleus 7 Sound Processor. The only thing you will need to do on your end is connect and update the [N7] device to the Custom Sound Suite 5.2."

    "At the moment, ASHA will not be easily implemented or supported in all Android devices because it indeed has some hardware constraints that must be available in the phones which are built within the phone (Bluetooth 5.0)."

    5. Per both Cochlear and Google, Bluetooth 5.0 or higher and Bluetooth LE are required to stream to the Cochlear Nucleus 7 and, as stated by Google above, there is a hardware component involved.


    6. I'm not praising Apple. Far from it. And I'm aware that it does not use ASHA. I stated facts about the operational ability of iPhone to stream to the Cochlear Nucleus 7. It's sad that Android is getting into the game well over two years later.
    I was forced to use an iPhone if I wanted direct streaming to my N7 and I'd love to go back to Android. I used early OnePlus, Nexus, and Pixel until I got my N7. Why would I be here if I didn't wish for OnePlus to build a N7 compatible phone ? In my opinion, OnePlus currently builds the best phones - period.

    7. I'm well aware that engineering changes take time. I'm also aware that Google, in spite of limitless resources both financial and otherwise, has been until very recently, woefully behind with respect to native accessibility features.

    8. Contact Google yourself: disability-support@google.com

  17. G_Joseph_Tole_HDbb
    Cupcake Mar 2, 2020

    G_Joseph_Tole_HDbb , Mar 2, 2020 :
    @MadraMor My comments were not directed at any person, specifically.

    As per OxygenOS, I am not sure what else it does other than being a launcher. You can install multiple launchers and replace them. When I had Samsung S* phones I would usually install the Google Launcher because I disliked the one that came with the Samsung. It was still an Android phone. Just about every Android phone manufacturer has some custom launcher and some UI tweaks that they call the OS but it's still Android. As per the ROM, in this case and context, what you are referring to as a ROM is a bundle of images that are flashed over certain partitions on the phone. Some are mounted as read only partitions to avoid tampering with the phone. The images contain the kernel, drivers, firmware updates, system configuration files, probably a partition table or at least a formula to layout the partition table for devices with multiple flash storage sizes. The "ROM" is needed in order to "flash" to the phone. Even if you are using the AOSP (Android Open Source Project), as some phones have been known to allow you to flash (I have coworkers with Sony's that supported flashing the AOSP over the factory OS), it still needs to be in this image bundle ("ROM") format in order to be installed. Android is released under the Apache 2.0 license with some sections / exeptions that are licensed under the GPLv2. This means that any manufacturer that would like to work and modify the OS would be required to contribute all changes back to the community in open source format. If OnePlus has a repo where they have made these changes, that you know of, please share the URL with me. If they have done these changes and have not published them than they would be in violation of the licensing terms and many people, including Google, would not tolerate such behaviour in the Android ecosystem. Please share a repo URL if you know one for the OxygenOS fork. Android licensing is details are available at t.ly/0EWG1.

    As per the toaster, the phone needs to know of a BLE device that communicate using the ASHA protocol. Whether the device is a hearing aid, a cochlear implant sound processor, or a toaster, is of no concern to the phone nor is it a concern on whether or not the device is properly presenting the audio to the end user. That is the responsability of the end device and if it doesn't work properly than that would be between the consumer and the manufacturer of the device streaming the audio. You can read about a toaster running the NetBSD operating system @ t.ly/j6BxV. I am sure that with a rasberry pi, some arduino, various components, a speaker, a soldering iron and a toaster, that I could create an ASHA compatible toaster that a Pixel 3/4 could stream to. I could probably create a ASHA compatible toaster that could stream to my sound processor too. All of this if I had the time. Bluetooth and ASHA and BL PHY's supporting BLE are all open and publically accessible and you would be surprised what a tinkerer could accomplish.

    I'll write an email to disability-support@google.com but I don't think they will be able to tell me why the OnePlus phone are or are not compatible and that they would probably direct me to contact OnePlus. I don't expect 1st or 2nd tier or any tier support at OnePlus to be very knowledgable about ASHA compatability. This is still a new spec. The system requirements are available at https://source.android.com/devices/bluetooth/asha#system-requirements and if there is a hardware requirement that the phone does not meet, I am curious to know what it is. The system requirements state that Bluetooth 4.2 are above is required but if it's Bluetooth 5.0, OK. My phone supports 5.0 and BLE so no problem. People are saying that there are hardware limitations. That's interesting but what are they? Just saying there are hardware limitations without fully understanding what they are will just add fuel to the fire of people complaining over something that hasn't been detailed or clarified or fully understood. If we get an update and our phones suddenly are compatible than won't those people feel silly for saying that the phones didn't have the hardware to support it? If the phones do not have the hardware to support than what hardware requirement is missing? What exactly would prevent my phone from being compatible at the hardware level?

    As per the 7T appearing to be compatible from the hardware level, the 7T has not received the software update to enable ASHA support yet. Only two manufactures have done that and now I am being told that one of those manufacturers was removed (and I just verified it has). To quote the cochlear compatability list, "With the release of Android 10, Nucleus 7 Sound Processors will be compatible with Android devices where the device manufacturer has enabled Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA) technology, and once the device is connected to Custom Sound® 5.2 and receives the latest firmware update". To me that says that the manufacturer needs to enable ASHA in the software and that the cochlear sound processor needs and update from our audiologists. Until OnePlus enables ASHA at the software level, I cannot claim that the hardware is incompatible just because the feature is not yet available.

    As per Google being behind, that's a matter of opinion. My opinion is that Google considered it best for society to create a open standard which could be used regardless of phone manufacturer and sound device manufacturer by using open standards and working with standards groups to incorporate new abilities into open standards that were sharable in these communities and in society without requiring licensing expenses, royalties, etc. This takes more time than creating a proprietary solution and paying sound device manufacturers to build your proprietary solution into their device. I am not bad mouthing Apple for having been inovative in their accessability solution as it was clearly a working solution but what is common for Apple, is that it was done out of greed as their solution has always and only ever been about them making more money. Otherwise they would have opened these standards up for the rest of the world to use if it had not been greed. Apple is all about vendor lock-in in a clearly greedy manner. Many people think they make the best watch and although I have never owned one, my understanding is that they probably do but, unlike Android watches, their watches only work in their ecosystem and if you're not willing to jump on the Apple bandwagon than you're S.O.L. In my opinion it's the same greed with the Made For iPhone (MFi) ordeal. I guess that's what they feel they need to do to increase value to their stock and keep their board of directors and investors happy but I am not surprised that iPhone market share is decreasing year over year and is currently far under Android.

    I don't have anything else to say and I have work to do. I am done ranting.

  18. G_Joseph_Tole_HDbb
    Cupcake Mar 2, 2020

    G_Joseph_Tole_HDbb , Mar 2, 2020 :
    AFAIK the 800Mhz spectrum, at low power, does not require licensing in North America (FCC & CRTC) as this was the spectrum used for the traditional analog cordless home phone. I can now hook up a radio transmitter to a raspberry pi which will broadcast a message on this radio spectrum. I decide to scramble the audo so it's only picked up as white noise to devices that shouldn't receive it and use a key, like an encryption key but simpler in this case. Now only devices that have this key would be able to descramble it. I wire my toaster to the pi so that when the toast pops out, it also triggers the pi to play the audio message "your toast is done" on this 800Mhz frequency. I provide the key and licensing rights to this to Cochlear and pay them to incorporate this technology into their next gen sound processors (hypothetically nexus 8). I call this project Made For iToaster or just MFiT. That's a lot easier to do than relying on the maturity of open standards to mature to the point that I can do this without requiring customized solutions but it also provides vendor lock in allowing my toaster to be the only toaster on the market to be compatible with these devices. I understand that MFi is more complex but essentially it has the same benefits and constraints. That is why is was quicker for Apple to come up with a solution and because they could implement vendor lock in with to raise the market value of their devices would explain why it was never released to any other party to use.

  19. G_Joseph_Tole_HDbb
    Cupcake Mar 2, 2020

    G_Joseph_Tole_HDbb , Mar 2, 2020 :
    "At the moment, ASHA will not be easily implemented or supported in all Android devices"

    That makes sense. For example, if I own the T-Mobile G1, the first Android phone, I do not expect that it can be made compatible at the hardware level. It supports Bluetooth 2.0 A2DP. It does not support BT 4.2 or 5.0 and it does not support BLE. Many many many phones do not but many do. The OnePlus 5 supported BT 5.0 and BLE. Does it meet all specs. Probably not but I honestly don't know that it doesn't or what specs it doesn't meet. The OnePlus 3 supported BT 4.2 and BLE. The OnePlus 2 only supported BT 4.1 w/o BLE.

  20. MadraMor
    Froyo Mar 2, 2020

    MadraMor , Mar 2, 2020 :
    Google told me the N7 would stream to the Galaxy S10 series so they may be able to answer the OnePlus question.

    Cochlear is very tight with information. I've never gotten an answer from Cochlear or Google as to which hardware specs are needed - although Google has been much more forthcoming with info. Cochlear just says it's up to the manufacturer to implement the functionality.

    Samsung has been way ahead of Nexus/Pixel on native accessibility features. LG was also better.

    I'd like to sue Cochlear and Apple under the ADA (American with Disabilities Act) and do some discovery. I believe that it's highly likely that they had an exclusive deal for two years thereby excluding many thousands of hearing impaired people from using the streaming technology on non-Apple devices. Cochlear to Apple: "You guys develop this direct streaming technology." Apple to Cochlear: "We'll develop it as long as it only works on our devices for two years so we can make more money and advertise that we're great corporate citizens and care deeply about hearing accessibility." (Kinda like the multi-year carrier exclusive Apple had with AT&T when iPhone was released.)
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020