Since the most recent operating system update, iPhone users who pair their phones to their hearing aids are reporting difficulties in what used to be a seamless process of pairing.

If you use that feature on your hearing aids, like many of my patients do, you know how easy it makes phone calls, listen to music, and watch videos on your phone – the audio pairs directly to your hearing aids at just the right volume, so you don’t have to strain to hear your important conversations.

But if you’ve encountered some troubles after updating to the most recent iOS or iPhone 12, you are not alone.

How is the Apple Update affecting Hearing Aid Wearers?

An iPhone user recently posted the issues he was experiencing in an apple forum thread:

“Ever since upgrading from my iPhone 11 Max to my iPhone 12 Max, my ReSound LiNX Quattro hearing aids are having connection and quality issues. I’m experiencing a lot of static and, in general, a touchy connection where one or both ears will cut sound. Often just turning my head sometimes cuts out sound from one ear. It seems the iPhone needs to be VERY close to work as well; the distance (like laying on my desk) causes increased static and stability issues.”

The responses on the thread echo the same problems at varying levels of severity, and many of my patients have experienced things along the same lines.

Things like reduced radius for picking up a signal, static or in and out connection, and sound only being delivered to one ear at a time are common complaints among my patients and, according to the apple forum, many other iPhone and hearing aid users – no matter what hearing aids they use.

The fact that the same issues are arising with many different brands of hearing aids is an indication that the issue lies with the Apple product, not the hearing aids.

So if you recently upgraded your phone to the next model or the next iOS, there is a good chance that your hearing aids are actually working just fine.

How can I fix it?

With all of this happening, it is leaving hearing aid wearers asking when Apple will fix this problem, or if they are going to have to downgrade their devices to keep utilizing the hearing aid connectivity feature.

It poses a severe issue for those who rely on that feature to use their phones.

Every time Apple comes out with a new device or operating system, there are always bugs that need to be worked out – this one just so happened to impact a particular demographic: people who wear hearing aids.

When they are made aware of an issue (they are aware of this particular one), they make a point to resolve it in the next update – which they have already rolled out and posted on their support page.

If you have encountered this problem, visit this page for instructions on how to update your device. If you need additional assistance, please contact us – we are here to help!

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Erika Shakespeare CCC-A

Erika Shakespeare, CCC-A, specializes in pediatric and adult diagnostics and amplification. Working with adults to help manage tinnitus and hearing loss since 2002, she is an expert in both of these areas. Additionally, she is a pediatric audiology mentor and educator for pediatric audiologists across the country and is one of the most respected experts on pediatric audiology.