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Hearing loss doesn’t just affect those over 70. Around 27.7 million Americans aged 20 to 69 stand to benefit from hearing aids. One of the most common reasons for not wearing these assistive devices is the impracticality and inconvenience of it, but hearing aids today come with a huge range of practical uses besides just hearing assistance. Nearly 60 million AirPods were sold in 2019. These in-ear wireless headphones account for more than half of all wireless earphone sales. But those who have hearing impairments may be wearing wireless earphones already even if they don’t know it. Many hearing aids are equipped with Bluetooth, and most of these can be set up to work with your iPhone. This means no more messing around with additional headsets or risk of losing or misplacing your hearing aids.

Before You Begin

First, it’s important to check whether the hearing aid has Bluetooth and is compatible with Apple devices. A full list of Apple-compatible hearing devices is available here. Additionally, Made for iPhone (MFi) hearing aids must be paired with one of the following devices:

  • Apple iPhone 5 or later
  • iPad (4th generation or higher)
  • iPad Pro, mini or Air (all models)
  • iPod touch (5th generation or higher)

Assuming the hearing device has Bluetooth and is compatible and that the device is one of those listed above, it’s simple to connect the two together.  

Step-by-Step Process for Pairing Your Hearing Aid and iPhone

Step 1

Go to Settings on the Apple device to ensure that Bluetooth is turned on. If it isn’t, switch it on by tapping the button.

Step 2

Open the battery compartment on the hearing device. This switches it off.

Step 3

On the iPhone, open Settings > Accessibility > Hearing, and then select Hearing Devices.

Step 4

Shut the battery compartment on the hearing device to restart it.

Step 5

On the screen of the Apple device, the name of the hearing aid should appear under MFi Hearing Devices. Tap the name.

Step 6

Tap the word “Pair” when it shows on the screen. Two devices will appear if there are two hearing aids, and both need to be accepted. This can take up to a minute.

Step 7

Enjoy the music, podcast, game or performance at a convenient volume.

Switching Off Bluetooth

Switching off Bluetooth is as simple as closing down the hearing aid by opening the battery compartment. Reconnection is easy too. Just open and close the battery compartment of the hearing aid again to reconnect the device. It’s worth noting that using Bluetooth can drastically shorten the life of the battery due to the extra demands. Batteries may last for as little as a few hours as opposed to a couple of days.