Back when Apple introduced an accessibility feature that enabled hearing aid users to pair their hearing aids to their apple devices using Bluetooth, it was a game-changer for those who had difficulty hearing.

Not only were the days of difficulty hearing phone conversations long gone, but they could now listen to music and watch TV and videos at a comfortable volume that doesn’t disrupt others.

Many of our patients here at Fox Valley ENT use apple products for that very purpose – it solves so many of the obstacles they face with their phones!

All of this came to a grinding halt; however, the newest iPhone (iPhone 12) and operating system (iOS 14) was released.

iPhone 12 and Hearing Aid Sound Quality Issues

When the new iPhone and iOS14 software update were released, a slew of hearing aid users reported  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 times 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 initial post highlights most of the issues users are facing. The comments show that many people are experiencing the same types of problems: static, poor or non-existent connection, and sound only coming through one ear.

The comments come from people who use all different brands of hearing aids reporting the same problems, which means that the issue lies with Apple. Some encountered the problem when updating their phones to the new iOS (14).

Still, most reported that the issue occurred when updating their actual device to the newest model (the iPhone 12, released in October of 2020), indicating that most problems lie in the hardware and possibly the operating system.

What to Do if You Encounter These Problems

We know that these technical difficulties can be extremely frustrating; many of our patients have reported difficulties using their devices to call loved ones, thanks to this little oversight.

Luckily, if you are one of the people who encountered these problems after installing the new operating system, Apple has already rolled out a new update to fix that bug.

Visit this page for instructions on how to update your device and get your hearing aids working with your iPhone again.

If you encountered it after upgrading your phone itself, you might be in for a slightly longer haul before the issue is resolved.

This is also a great reminder that if you are in a demographic that relies on technology for things like accessibility, it is prudent to wait to update or upgrade your phone until you know that your accessibility features will not be compromised. It will save much time and frustration!

However, If you believe that your hearing aids are the problem, our team is here to help. We offer full hearing aid services, such as cleaning, maintenance, and repairs.

If you have any questions or need help with your Apple-compatible hearing aids, contact us! We are here to help.

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Joseph, T Pacer

Joe Pacer has been an Audiologist with Fox Valley Ear, Nose & Throat Associates since 1988. He received his Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders from Northern Illinois University in 1986 where he continued and received his Master of Arts in Audiology in 1988. He is a member of the American Academy of Audiology. Joe works closely with his patients and has extensive experience performing hearing evaluation as well as recommending, fitting and trouble shooting hearing aids.