As an audiologist, I am thrilled to see the smile on a client’s face when they begin to hear with confidence. I also appreciate it when recognized brands include hearing solutions in their technology.

When Apple launched its hearing aid program, it was a leap ahead in convenience for patients with iPhones.

Unfortunately, during the fall of 2018, the iOS 13 update created Bluetooth connectivity issues specifically for anyone wearing a hearing aid.

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Bluetooth Connectivity Issues with Hearing Aids

I have recently received calls from iPhone owners who believed their hearing aids were broken, but testing the devices proved they were in full working order. It does not seem to be happening with iPhone 11 models or older models when the iOS 14 is installed.

This is an indication that the source of the problem is the iPhone 12 model itself.

A patient recently told me her sound quality dropped significantly, where she gets a lot of static noise or the sound cutting out entirely. If she leaves her phone on a counter and walks a few feet away, it worsens. At times, the static goes away, but the audio is garbled.

Others have reported a lot of interference during phone calls that were so bad; the hearing aid had to be disconnected from Bluetooth.

Or a loud, spontaneous crackling noise that jumps from one ear to the other for no apparent reason. One person said the static happens when he receives notifications. The static can be invasive and painful.

Hearing Aid Audio Interference for iPhone 12 Models

Any type of hearing aid problem is frustrating, but this is especially disappointing for those that specifically purchased iPhones to pair with their hearing devices. I want to assure you that if you recently updated your Apple software to iOS 14 or have upgraded to an iPhone 12, it is unlikely the issues are with your hearing aid.

Apple’s Potential Fix for Paired Hearing Devices

Apple announced that the Bluetooth connectivity issues should have been resolved with an update, but this is not always the case.

An Apple support article states that if your made for iPhone hearing device with the iPhone 12 model is experiencing sound quality issues, update your phone to iOS 14.2.1 or later. They advise this will fix loud static, interrupted or intermittent audio, or distorted audio.

Not all users have found this to work. Some have given up and returned their iPhone 12 models. In November 2020, Apple announced that the iOS 14.3 update was intended to fix any remaining bugs.

We can only keep our fingers crossed that it will be fixed once and for all.

We’re Here to Support You with Your Hearing Aids

I enthusiastically support the innovations in hearing aid technology that makes it better for anyone suffering hearing loss. I feel just as frustrated as you when it fails.

Once you are accustomed to having restored hearing, the letdown feels enormous. I agree that when a technology giant such as Apple releases a technology that is crucial to a person’s ability to function, they are responsible for its reliability, particularly when it involves something as fundamental as hearing!

While there is little to be done on Apple’s behalf, if you are experiencing issues with your Bluetooth hearing aid, please contact us immediately.

The team is here to help with any hearing aid troubleshooting queries and offer full service, cleaning, and repairs. We are more than happy to support you in any way possible to ensure your high quality of hearing.

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Kevin Liebe Au.D., FAAA, Audiologist

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