Almost all of today’s hearing aids are Bluetooth compatible and can connect to most types of newer smartphone devices such as Apple and Android. Users can stream phone calls and videos as well as video chat with their loved ones. Sound from the phone or tablet is sent directly to the hearing aids and then the hearing aids work like a wireless headset. It is a wonderful tool that helps improve the listening experience of hearing aid users in many ways. However, it is not without its issues from time to time. Bluetooth is known to be finicky. You can run into minor issues here and there.
Important things to consider:
One of the first things to determine is whether your smartphone is compatible with your hearing aids. Newer Apple and Android devices will connect to most hearing aids, but not all. For an Android device to connect and stream directly to a hearing aid, it must have the ASHA (Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids) protocol. For both Apple and Android devices, the operating system cannot be too old. Lists of compatible smart phones and tablets are accessible on the hearing aid manufacturer’s website.
Here are some things you can expect if you connect your hearing aids to your smart phone or tablet:
- You may have trouble connecting your hearing aids to your smartphone or tablet in the beginning. It might take a few tries for a successful connection. Sometimes one hearing aid will connect, while the other hearing aid may take multiple attempts. This is common and does not necessarily mean there is a problem with your hearing aid(s) or your smartphone or tablet.
- Be sure your phone or tablet has the most up-to-date software. If your operating system on your phone or tablet is not current, you will need to update it first before you try to connect your hearing aids. If you use a smartphone app created by the manufacturer of your hearing aids, you will need to update this app every once in a while, as well.
- You may need to re-connect your hearing aids to your phone or tablet from time to time. It is helpful to know how to do this yourself. It only takes a few minutes. See the following videos on how to connect your hearing aids to your smartphone:
Pairing the MFi hearing aids to iPhone: Click Here
Pairing hearing aids to Android smartphone: Click Here
It is likely you will experience more battery drain if you frequently stream to your devices as Bluetooth usage requires more battery drainage. This faster battery drainage is expected when streaming is done often.
If you have more than one device connected to your hearing aids, you may run into some glitches here and there. You may have to re-connect your hearing aids more often. This is not unusual and it is important to remember that most of the time, these connectivity issues have nothing to do with the hearing aids themselves.
Some helpful tips for connectivity:
- Familiarize yourself with your smartphone. It is helpful to know where to find the settings of the device, where Bluetooth pairings take place, how to update your smartphone, etc. Refer to your smart phone user manual as needed.
- Familiarize yourself with your hearing aids. All new hearing devices come with a user manual. If you lose the hard copy of the manual, you can find an electronic copy online on the manufacturer’s website as well. If you are having difficulty with that, our clinic would be happy to help point you in the right direction.
- Keep your phone as up to date as possible. Both Apple and Android release software updates every so often. The more up to date your operating software is, the less likely you are to experience issues.
- Be patient. Connection issues are frustrating but are bound to happen from time to time. Again, this does not always mean there is something wrong with your hearing aids. It could be a simple issue such as an out-of-date operating system. It could be an issue with your smartphone as well.
Some troubleshooting tips to try if your hearing aids will not connect:
- Restart your smartphone.
- Ensure your smartphone has the most recent operating system (is up to date).
- Ensure your hearing aids are fully charged or have fresh batteries.
- Ensure your hearing aids are functioning – if they need repair they may not connect. If they are “dead” then they will not connect.
- Ensure your hearing aids are up to date. If you have a smartphone app for your hearing aids, then you may be able to update your hearing aids on your own at home. If you do not have an app, call the clinic to ask when the most recent firmware update for the hearing aids took place.
- Erase previous connections and/or “Forget this device” and start over. This will often resolve the issue.
Tips for a smooth connectivity troubleshooting appointment with your audiologist:
Sometimes, even if you have tried all the tips above, you may need to call us to book an appointment with your audiologist if you are still having issues. Here are some tips to help your audiologist help you:
- Make sure to bring ALL your devices that you use for connectivity. If you have your hearing aids connected to both a smart phone and a tablet, please bring both.
- Make sure your hearing aids, smartphone or tablet are fully charged. If your hearing aids don’t have enough charge and therefore stop working during your appointment, then we won’t be able to do any troubleshooting with your hearing aids. If your smartphone or tablet has a low battery, please bring your charger(s) with you.
- Make sure your hearing aids, smartphone or tablet are up-to-date. This is very important. Sometimes, system updates can take a very long time. If your smartphone needs to be updated during your appointment time, it may take up too much time and we may not be able to solve the issue. You might need to re-book if this happens so we don’t run into the next appointment.
- Know your Apple ID password if you have an iPhone. Without this, we will not be able to help you to download the proper smartphone app created by your hearing aid manufacturer. If you have an Android phone, make sure you know your password to the Google Play store, if you have it set up with a password.
- Please be patient. We understand that it is very frustrating to experience connection problems. We want you to help you as best we can and sometimes, this may take time. We may need to make phone calls to the technical support specialists who specialize in these connectivity issues. We may have to send emails to them as well. We want you to be able to enjoy using these features to get the most out of your hearing aids.
We’re here to help! Call us at 902-465-4334 or 902-865-4455 if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment with your audiologist.