Home » Articles » News » Bluetooth Hearing Aid Connectivity Problems and How To Fix Them

Bluetooth Hearing Aid Connectivity Problems and How To Fix Them

by | 15 Aug 2022 | News

Bluetooth connectivity for your hearing aids is an amazing feature – right up until it refuses to work. Oh, and it will refuse to work, for no apparent reason other than to irritate all the goodness out of you. Let’s look at the problems you may encounter with Bluetooth hearing aids and how to fix them.

The problem with Bluetooth connectivity

Bluetooth can sometimes be problematic for no apparent reason. One factor in this, when dealing with Made For iPhone hearing aids, is that the connection to the hearing aids is managed by the Apple system, which can be unstable at times.

Apple pushes out updates on a semi-regular basis to its phone operating system. Sometimes those updates cause real issues for the connection between the phone and the hearing aids. Hearing aid brands are then left to scramble to identify the issue and push out their own app upgrade, or even a hearing aid firmware update to fix it.

As time has passed and Apple’s IOS has been updated, the problems with Made For iPhone hearing aids have reduced somewhat, but they have not

gone away entirely. The issues here are inherent with devices of any kind using Bluetooth, so we will probably never get away from them entirely. As I said, sometimes, and for no apparent reason, your hearing aids will refuse to connect – the key is understanding the steps to fix it.

Common Issues

We will look at some of the general issues we have covered and discuss possible solutions.

  • Audio streaming to one ear only: This happens sometimes because your body gets in the way of streaming. Moving your phone from where it is, often fixes it. If however, that doesn’t do the job, turn your Bluetooth off, then on again, this often fixes the issue. If not, you can then try to turn your hearing aids off and on. If that fails, you need to begin considering the nuclear option, forget the devices on your phone and in your hearing aids’ app. Then restart your phone and re-pair them. In general, that solves all problems (see below for pairing instructions)
  • The app refuses to connect: Try turning your hearing aids on and off, then try again to connect. You can then turn the Bluetooth on the phone off and on. If it stubbornly refuses, you need to forget the devices on your phone in the Bluetooth devices list and in your hearing aids app. Restart your phone and then re-pair them. Let me go through those steps.

How To Fix Bluetooth Problems

The first step is to always make sure that you are running the most up-to-date app and the most up-to-date software on your phone.

How to update the software and app on your phone:

To check if you have the latest operating system – Android:

1. Open your device’s Settings app.

2. Tap “Security” or “Software Update”

3. You will be advised if any updates are available. Follow any steps on the screen to update.

To check if you have the latest operating system – iPhone:

1. Open your device’s Settings app.

2. Tap “General” then “Software Update”

3. You will be advised if any updates are available. Tap “Download and Install” if an update is available.

How to update an Android app:

1. Open the Google Play Store app.

2. At the top right, tap the profile icon.

3. Tap Manage apps & device. Apps with an update available are labelled “Update available.”

4. Tap Update

How to update an iPhone app:

1. Tap on the icon for App Store.

2. At the top right, tap the profile icon.

3. Scroll down to see your installed apps. Apps with an update available are labelled “Update available.”

4. Tap Update

How To turn Bluetooth on and off

No matter which type of phone you have, you will have a Bluetooth sub-menu in your settings. To turn your Bluetooth off and on, simply go to that part of the menu and turn it off. Give it a minute, then turn it back on.

How To unpair a device from your phone

You need to go into the Bluetooth settings and find the devices. To the right of the entry of your hearing aid will be a settings icon, clicking this will give you the option to forget the device. Once you have done it, you have unpaired the aid. Some of the hearing aid apps, such as the myPhonak or Unitron Remote plus app allow you to do this within the app. After you have forgotten the devices, restart your phone and simply pair them again.

How to Delete The App

Sometimes, just sometimes, you need to burn it all to the ground. That means forgetting the aids and then deleting the app. Then download the app again and then pair the aids. If this doesn’t sort the problem, nothing will, and you may need to contact your Audiologist. This tends to be the last resort. If you are troubleshooting, you have probably paired your hearing aids to your phone before, but let’s talk about pairing the devices.

How Do You Pair Sonova (Unitron & Phonak) Made For All Aids to Your Phone

The Made For All pairings are a little unusual. Normally, you just have to undertake a pairing to two aids. With the Made For Any Phone, you need to pair the two aids to the app, then pair the right aid for streaming. The pairings are handled in different ways.

For the app, if you are opening the app for the first time it will be ready to talk you through the pairing. Open and close the battery doors or restart your rechargeable aids by putting them in and out of the charger. Then go back to the app and follow the instructions. At the end, you will have paired to both aids for the communication with the app.

You will then need to go to your Bluetooth settings, you will see two entries in there for the aids which will be marked LE at the end. Open and close the battery door on the right aid or restart it, then start scanning for available devices. You will see the right Unitron or Phonak aid come up, pair the phone with the aid and you will be good to go for streaming audio.

How Do You Pair Bluetooth Hearing Aids to Your iPhone?

The process to pair an Apple device isn’t hard, you just need to know where to look to do it. Usually, the app that accompanies the hearing aids will have clear instructions in the first run. Pairing the hearing aids is beneficial because when you pair a Made for iPhone hearing aid to your iOS device, audio from your iOS device goes to your hearing aid. If you turn off your hearing aid, you need to reconnect it when you want to use it with your iOS device again.

To pair your hearing aid with an Apple iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:

1. Open your hearing aid’s battery doors or put them in the charger.

2. On your iOS device, tap Settings > Accessibility > Hearing Devices.

3. If Bluetooth is off, turn it on.

4. Close your hearing aid’s battery doors or take them out of the charger. Your iOS device will search for your hearing aid.

5. Under MFI Hearing Devices, tap the name of your hearing aid.

6. Tap Pair when you see the pairing request on the screen. If you have two hearing aids, you’ll get two requests. The pairing could take up to a minute.

You can start using your hearing aid when you see it under Devices with a checkmark.

How Do You Pair Bluetooth Hearing Aids to an Android Device?

The process to pair an Android device is also pretty simple. Usually, the app that accompanies the hearing aids will have clear instructions at the first run. Go to the Android phone’s home screen and tap on the “Settings” icon.

1. In the settings menu, tap on the Connections option.

2. Tap on the slider button to turn Bluetooth on.

3. Open both of your hearing aid battery doors for 5 seconds then close the battery doors (this puts it into pairing mode).

4. If you have rechargeable devices with no battery door, put them in the charger for five seconds and then take them out, this will put them in pairing mode

5. On the Android phone, you will now see a message, “Available Devices.” If you don’t, click on the Bluetooth option then scan for available devices.

6. The name of your hearing aids should appear on the screen. Tap on both of them to select and pair them.

7. A connection beep will be heard in the paired hearing aid.

8. Your Android phone should now be connected to your hearing aid.

Bluetooth can be somewhat of a pain – but it’s worth it

It isn’t the hearing aid manufacturer’s fault, it isn’t your Audiologist’s fault, it’s just Bluetooth. It is inherently unstable; it causes problems and the best way to get on with it is to just get on with it. Bluetooth connectivity provides us with so many benefits, and I believe that the problems are worth the benefits. If, however, you aren’t very tech-savvy, the difficulties might drive you mad. The easiest fix for most problems seems to be to forget the devices, restart your phone and then re-pair them. Generally, that fixes all issues, so simply learn how to do it – it’s worth it!

References:

https://www.hearingaidknow.com/bluetooth-hearing-aid-problems

Written by Geoffrey Cooling Edited by Deidré Breytenbach

Comprehensive Hearing Tests for DVA Patients

Comprehensive Hearing Tests for DVA Patients

At Noosa Hearing, we understand the profound impact that hearing health has on an individual's quality of life. We are dedicated to providing exceptional care and support, especially to those who have served our country. That's why we're proud to offer comprehensive...

read more

Get Started

Book a hearing test

Email Us

info@noosahearing.com.au

OFfice

1 Lanyana Way (inside Noosa Optical)

Noosa Heads QLD 4567

Weekdays

9 am - 4 pm

Saturday

Closed

Sunday & Public Holidays

Closed