The question of what hearing aids work with what phones- mainly iPhone and Android is very important when deciding on the right model for you. In actual fact, whilst nearly every hearing aid on the market comes with an iPhone compatible app and promotes that it 'works with iPhones!' they are not all a match made in hearing aid heaven.
Just because there is an app to connect the phone to the hearing aid, the limits of the technology available on the app often slip through the surface. At Hearing Delivered we have spent years testing each device and each app, and we think we may have cracked the age old question.
Hearing Aids That Work Directly With Your iPhone
The current models that pair directly with your iPhone using a mobile app are:
- the Oticon Opn range
- the Oticon Siya range
- the Zerena range from Bernafon
- the LiNX Quattro from Resound
- the LiNX 3D range from Resound
- the Enzo 3D range from Resound
- The Evoke Fusion 2 range from Widex
- the Beyond range from Widex
- the Pure 13 BT from Signia
- the Nx range from Signia
- the Phonak Audeo Marvel range
- The Phonak Audeo B-Direct (won't stream audio)
- the Unitron Moxi All (won't stream audio)
Your hearing aids pair with your mobile phone using Bluetooth Technology. This uses radio waves to create a remote connection. All the big hearing aid manufacturers- WS Audiology (formerly Widex & Sivantos), Phonak, Sonova, you get it- the big dogs- have created Bluetooth streamers to connect the devices toy our phone. This usually includes fantastic audio quality, remote fitting and other key tweaks and performance metrics.
How Do You Pair Bluetooth Hearing Aids to Your iPhone?
The process to pair an Apple device isn't hard, you need to know where to look to do it. Usually, the app that accompanies the hearing aids will have clear instructions at first run. Pairing the hearing aids is beneficial because when you pair a Made for iPhone hearing aid to your iOS device, audio from your iOS device goes to your hearing aid. If you turn off your hearing aid, you need to reconnect it when you want to use it with your iOS device again.
To pair your hearing aid with an Apple iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:
- Open your hearing aid's battery doors.
- On your iOS device, tap Settings > General > Accessibility > Hearing > MFi Hearing Devices.
- If Bluetooth is off, turn it on under Devices.
- Close your hearing aid's battery doors. Your iOS device will search for your hearing aid.
- Under Devices, tap the name of your hearing aid.
- Tap Pair when you see the pairing request on the screen. If you have two hearing aids, you'll get two requests. The pairing could take up to a minute.
You can start using your hearing aid when you see it under Devices with a check mark. Control on Lock Screen will be on. Leave it on to control your hearing aid from the Lock screen (using the Accessibility Shortcut) and from Control Center.
How Do You Pair Bluetooth Hearing Aids to an Android Device?
The process to pair an Android device is pretty simple, you need to know where to look to do it. Usually, the app that accompanies the hearing aids will have clear instructions at first run. While you won't be able to stream audio from your Android device yet, pairing the hearing aids is still beneficial. It will allow you to use the accompanying app and will give you better control over your hearing aids.
- Go to the Android phone’s home screen and tap on the “Settings” icon.
- In the settings menu, tap on the Bluetooth icon.
- Tap on the slider button to turn Bluetooth on.
- Open both of your hearing aid battery doors for 5 seconds then close the battery doors (this puts it into pairing mode).
- If you have rechargeable devices with no battery door, put them in the charger for five or ten seconds and then take them out, this will put them in pairing mode
- On the Android phone, you will now see a message, “Available Devices.” If you don't, click scan for available devices.
- The name of your hearing aids should appear on the screen. Tap on both of them to select and pair them.
- A connection beep will be heard in the paired hearing aid.
- Your Android phone should now be connected to your hearing aid.
Do Bluetooth Hearing Aids Cost More?
In essence, the majority of the latest hearing aids from the big manufacturers are Bluetooth enabled. While it is true that not all of them are, many of the devices are. That basically means that Bluetooth enabled hearing aids are no more expensive than non-Bluetooth enabled devices. It is not seen as a premium type of device anymore, they have become pretty much mainstream. In many cases, we have put aggregate pricing on the hearing aid details on Know. They are based on what we can find out in each marketplace.
All-in, it is definitely better to buy hearing aids that are bluetooth compatible. As the hearing industry is changing, we are expecting the rise of remote servicing and less need to go into audiologists offices to suffer those pesky waiting times. Whilst it is important to do your research before, nearly all the Hearing Delivered devices offer bluetooth capability. It might make more sense to buy an old iPhone for a couple of hundred dollars if you are hell-bent on using your mobile to program your hearing aids. That is of course unless you are willing to wait for the new GN ReSound hearing aids.