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Using Your Hearing Aids with a Smartphone

smart phone compatible hearing aids

Hearing aid technology has rapidly and greatly improved over the past ten years, in large part due to the fact that they're more interconnected with digital technology than ever before. This includes increased connectivity with smartphones, which can allow for a lot more customization of your experience, as well as controls that you simply wouldn't be able to fit on a device manually.

Here, we're going to look at some of the excellent features that you can enjoy when you use your hearing aids with a smartphone, and how to get started.

Why use your hearing aids with a smartphone?

Many modern hearing aids have Bluetooth connectivity features that allow them to interface with a range of devices, including smartphones. Here are just some of the features that you can benefit from if your hearing aid has this technology:

  • Streaming phone calls and audio, such as videos, music and GPS from the smartphone directly to your hearing aids
  • Changing the volume on the left or right device together or separately
  • Switching between and adjusting the different amplification programs and memories set by your provider or audiologist
  • Finding your lost hearing aid
  • Checking battery life and troubleshooting malfunctioning hearing aids
  • Connecting with and controlling accessories such as remote mics or TV streamers
  • How you connect your hearing with different smartphones will depend on the type of smartphone you have, as well as the specific hearing aid you're using. But we'll break it down below for the most common device types.

For iPhone users

If your hearing aid is compatible with your iPhone, you first need to check the Apple App Store. If you search for the name of your hearing aid's manufacturer within the Apple Store, you should be able to find the app that you need to download before you connect. Once you have downloaded and installed it, follow the steps below:

  • Make sure there is a fresh battery installed in the hearing aid but keep the battery door open for now so that the hearing aid isn't turned on.
  • Find the "Settings" feature on your iPhone and look for the "Bluetooth" feature. Turn it on before closing the battery door on your hearing aid so the two devices can connect.
  • On your iPhone, use the "Settings" menu to find "General," then "Accessibility." Here, you should find a feature called "MFI Hearing Devices" that you can tap on.
  • You should be able to see the name and model number of your hearing aid within that menu. When the hearing aid is connected, you should see a checkmark next to that option.
  • Tap the "Pair" option to finalize the connection. The device will ask you to finalize two pairing requests if you're using two separate hearing aids.
  • If you need any further help on how to use the app on your iPhone specific to your hearing aid, check the hearing aid manufacturer's website.

For Android users

If you own and use and Android phone, the process works much in the same way with some minor differences. First, you have to make sure that you have the hearing aid app installed on your phone. Find the Google Play app on your phone and use the search bar to type in the name of your hearing aid manufacturer. They should have an app that you can download. If you can't find, look at the manufacturer's website to make sure it doesn't have another name. Otherwise, follow the steps below:

  • Make sure there is a fresh battery installed in the hearing aid but keep the battery door open for now so that the hearing aid isn't turned on.
  • On the smartphone, choose the "Settings" feature and click on the "Bluetooth" option so that it can connect with the device.
  • Close the battery door, powering up your hearing aid so that it can connect with the smartphone.
  • Launch the hearing aid app installed on the phone; it should connect with the device automatically.

Ask your audiologist if you're having trouble

If you want to use your hearing aids with a smartphone, but you aren't sure how it works and the tips above don't help, don't hesitate to get in touch with your audiologist. Besides being licensed practitioners in all aspects of hearing and ear health, they're also equipped to help ensure you can use your device comfortably and effectively.

To learn more, get in touch with Hearing Health Care by calling us at 843-497-6156 for our Myrtle Beach office or at 843-488-2717 for our Conway office.