Connecting Bluetooth hearing aids to Rasberry Pi 3B

I have a new pair of hearing aids that support Low energy Bluetooth. I am trying to connect to a Rasberry Pi 3B running version 18.9. I have bluetooth enabled and the hearing aids are discovered. When I try to pair them, I get a failed message. Please let me know how I can get more info on why the pairing failed.

Hi Tony,

I think that this version is too old. Our Bluetooth improvements were introduced later.


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Thanks for the prompt reply. What version do you recommend I upgrade to?

You could use the latest version of OSMC.

But you should also read Kodi v19 Matrix is here. Here's what you need to know - OSMC.


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Is there a version with the Bluetooth improvements I need that doesn’t have Kodi 19? If not then I will upgrade to the latest version. I assume that will need a fresh install rather than an upgrade?

Unfortunately not


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I installed the latest version listed [2022.10-1].
With this version, it did not even discover my hearing aids.
Update: I turned my hearing aids off and on and it did discover them. It still would not pair. It responded back with failed. I captured logs and uploaded (ligopewabi)

I suggest to try via command line bluetoothctl

agent on
scan on

Details regarding how to access the command line interface can be found here on our Wiki: Accessing the command line - General - OSMC

I don’t claim to know anything about OSMC’s Bluetooth capabilities, but I do know a little bit about Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids; and I’m not sure that what you’re trying to do is possible.

I assume that what you’re trying to do is to use your hearing aids as a stereo Bluetooth headset? But sending audio via Bluetooth LE is not something that most Bluetooth sources are capable of. There is a proprietary way to do this if the sound source is an iPhone. But typically, if you’re pairing Bluetooth hearing aids with an Android phone, the best you can hope to do is control the hearing aid’s functions (e.g. selecting a programme or setting the volume) from an app - to actually transmit audio requires an intermediate streaming device.

I believe some very recent phones and hearing aids can establish a direct connection, but it needs a recent version of Android, and I think possibly also requires Bluetooth 5 at the source end. One shouldn’t necessarily assume this is possible with a Linux device, or with hardware as old as a Pi 3B+.

How sure are you that this should be possible? Have you, for example, successfully managed to establish a direct Bluetooth audio connection to your hearing aids from something that is not an iPhone?

I tried the commands and got this:
[bluetooth]# pair 9C:9C:1D:B7:CF:4A
Attempting to pair with 9C:9C:1D:B7:CF:4A
[CHG] Device 9C:9C:1D:B7:CF:4A Connected: yes
Failed to pair: org.bluez.Error.ConnectionAttemptFailed

These hearing aids pair with my Android phone and I can stream from the phone to my hearing aids.

Sometimes it helps to start afresh:

agent off
scan off
remove 9C:9C:1D:B7:CF:4A
agent on
scan on
pair 9C:9C:1D:B7:CF:4A
trust 9C:9C:1D:B7:CF:4A
connect 9C:9C:1D:B7:CF:4A

If that doesn’t work I can only guess a Pi3 doesn’t support the BT flavour your hearing aids need.

Still having issues connecting.
[bluetooth]# connect 9C:9C:1D:B7:CF:4A
Attempting to connect to 9C:9C:1D:B7:CF:4A
[CHG] Device 9C:9C:1D:B7:CF:4A Connected: yes
Failed to connect: org.bluez.Error.Failed le-connection-abort-by-local
[CHG] Device 9C:9C:1D:B7:CF:4A Connected: no

I wonder if I would have better results with Bluetooth 5.0?

Probably. But RPi3 doesn’t support that.

Right. I was thinking Pi4 or Vero.

Pretty sure the Vero 4K+ doesn’t support Bluetooth 5 either.

Vero4k/+ should support BT4.2.