Hearing aids that are listed as MFi hearing devices are compatible with iPhones and other products in the iOS family. These may come with a specific app that’s available on the Apple App Store, making connections simpler. 

What Does iPhone Compatibility Mean?

Apple is big on certifications, whether for repairs, for apps or for devices intended to work with iOS devices. Hearing aids are no different. 

iPhone compatibility means that the device is certified as Made for iPhone, shortened to MFi. This certification is used for everything from phone chargers to hearing aids. There are currently well over 100 hearing aids with MFi approval, and Apple regularly updates the list.

Why Use an iPhone-Compatible Hearing Aid?

Smartphones are ubiquitous in today’s society, with the majority of people in the United States owning one. Apple’s share accounted for 55% of smartphone shipments in the first quarter of 2021, and this figure has fluctuated between 40% and 65% during the past five years. If you have an iPhone-compatible hearing aid, you can access audio content on your device, reducing the need for earbuds. You also get sound catered for your needs — the peaks and troughs in your specific form of hearing loss can be accounted for without having to turn up the volume of your headset. 

There are other advantages, as well. MFi devices work with iPads and Apple TV — this means you can wirelessly stream your Apple TV to your hearing aids without disturbing others. 

Those who have worn hearing aids for a while may also find that hearing aids are more comfortable than earbuds. After all, they are usually professionally fitted, and they can cater to a wider range of users than earbuds do. 

It also reduces the risk of loss. If you’re wearing a headset or earbuds, you may generally take your hearing aids out. This risks them falling out of your pocket or even you putting them down somewhere and forgetting where you’ve put them.

Settings Adjustment Through MFi

Some hearing aid manufacturers take advantage of the two-way nature of Bluetooth to let you update settings on your hearing aids. You may be able to configure how your hearing aid perceives sound or set up different profiles for different scenarios. 

If you’re talking face-to-face with people in a noisy bar, for example, you may be able to set a profile where noise from the front audio pickup of the hearing aid is prioritized rather than having even all-round sound. 

Alternatively, you may even be able to adjust frequency response to pick up voices more effectively and then adjust back when it’s time to leave. Apps and MFi make these options possible. 

However, not all hearing aids are the same, and you’ll have to check exactly what is offered from each manufacturer and device. The best hearing aid for your needs may well be one that works with your iPhone.