If you’re not a fan of having to use an app to control your hearing aid, keep reading! This may be the article for you! Made for iPhone (MFI) hearing aids can connect to your iPhone through the accessibility shortcuts. This allows you to stream audio, answer phone calls, adjust settings and more…all through a shortcut on your home screen!

To use this fantastic feature you do need an IPhone 5 or newer. To pair your hearing device, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that bluetooth is on. Go to Settings, then select Bluetooth.
  2. Turn your hearing aids off either by opening the battery door or by placing them into the charger.
  3. On your Apple device, go to Settings > Accessibility > Hearing and select Hearing Devices.
  4. Turn your hearing aids back on to put them into pairing mode by closing the battery door (with a battery in them of course) or taking them out of the charger. Your Apple device will search for your hearing device.
  5. Under MFi Hearing Devices, tap the name of your hearing device.
  6. Tap Pair when you see the pairing request on the screen. If you have two hearing devices, you'll get two requests. Pairing could take up to a minute.
  7. You can start using your hearing device when you see it under MFi Hearing Devices with a tick. Control on Lock Screen will be on. Leave it on to control your hearing device from the Lock screen (using the Accessibility Shortcut).

For instructions including pictures and more information about which devices contain these features please visit the Apple support Website: (Made for Iphone Hearing Devices Apple Instructions)

So why would you enjoy this feature?

The main benefit of controlling your hearing aids through your lock screen instead of an app is that the process is a lot faster. Instead of having to find and open the hearing aid app on your phone to find the correct controls, you can now do this by simply turning your phone on with the controls being right there. This also makes it so much easier to use as you’re not searching for an app.

Another benefit is that the made for Iphone hearing aid feature uses Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE). Apple uses Bluetooth LE for many of their devices such as the apple watch and there is a good reason why! It functions just like regular bluetooth but it conserves your battery life. Everyone wants their hearing aid to last as long as possible. No one wants their ‘ears’ to turn off while they're in the middle of an important meeting. With Bluetooth LE the hearing aids will last longer than if you use the app to control the aid via regular Bluetooth.

An honest review about this feature

Graham Bower recently wrote an honest review about the made for Iphone hearing aids and the accessibility feature. In his review, he documents his journey from 2014 until now to find a reliable MFI hearing aid. He talks about how slow the hearing aid apps are which is why he prefers the fast option of the accessibility feature. This was one of his main reasons for choosing a made for IPhone hearing aid. He was disappointed by several hearing aids he trialed because of the sound quality and/or unreliable bluetooth connectivity. Graham did enjoy the Phonak Paradise hearing aids and mentions their sound quality was fantastic. Furthermore, even though these technically weren’t MFI devices he liked that they can connect to two Bluetooth devices at the same time, whereas you have to keep switching with MFI. He chose to pursue a different hearing aid because he did not want to use the Phonak app which is a requirement for these aids. Graham ended up buying the Oticon More aids because they allowed him to use the MFI accessibility feature and rarely had bluetooth connectivity issues. The main sale point for him was the excellent speech clarity that these hearing aids provided for him. The main take home message from his review is to keep expectations realistic when it comes to bluetooth features on hearing aids, as these devices are built to assist with your speech understanding and the phone connectivity is just an added bonus.

To read his entire review click here: (Graham Bower's Review on MFI devices)

Overall, the made for IPhone hearing aids do provide fast accessibility and ease of use by allowing you to control your hearing aid through the lock screen instead of having to use a slow app. This feature makes life much easier for people who may struggle with using a smartphone. They also conserve your battery life by using Bluetooth LE instead of regular Bluetooth. The recommended aid, Oticon More is one that is easily accessible here at Hearing SA. For our review on this exciting hearing aid option please view our blog post: (Oticon More 1 Hearing SA Blog). We have many other hearing aid options available that are compatible with IPhone, just have a chat with our expert audiologists to find the right hearing solution for you.

Please give us a call on 0403 690 980 or 08 8271 5876. We’re always happy to help.