After updating their iPhones to iOS 15.4, some users of Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids—including many or most of the global brands of hearing aids—may experience problems pairing the devices to their apps, according to several updates from manufacturers and online posts from hearing care professionals. Hearing Review has seen online comments from professionals and technical updates that involve (at least) ReSound, Starkey, and Oticon hearing aids, and it would appear the issue originates with Apple. As noted by ReSound, “Initial investigations indicate that the update breaks the established connection between the phone and the app, resulting in a black screen and prompts the user to pair the hearing aids again.”
The company goes on to recommend:
1) Un-pair the hearing aids in IOS settings with the app running in the background.
2) Re-pair your hearing aids with the app still running in the background.
3) Go back to the app and complete the pairing flow as prompted.
Oticon also released a similar service update which essentially recommends these same steps. “The connection between the [Oticon] ON app and the hearing instrument will not be available until the user un-pairs and re-pairs the hearing instruments with the iPhone. The user will be unable to control the hearing aids through the app until this is done.”
In early March, Keystone Audiology in Warwick, RI, posted this helpful YouTube 2.5 minute video titled, “Troubleshooting Hearing Aid & iPhone Connectivity” that might be useful for hearing aid users who encounter this problem.
About the author: Karl Strom is editor in chief of The Hearing Review and has been reporting on hearing healthcare issues for over 25 years.
Correction: A previous version of this report included Phonak hearing aids experiencing problems associated with the Apple iOS 15.4 update. Hearing Review apologizes for this error.