Accessibility Education – Pairing Hearing Aids to Your iPhone or iPad


As many of you will know, I was very recently fitted with some totally fabulous high end digital hearing aids. I’m so excited about these devices! We have a Photo Education and Accessibility section within TheAppWhisperer and our editor Luis Perez covers this.  Luis is an Apple Distinguished Educator whose work focuses on accessibility and inclusive design. He received his doctorate in special education from the University of South Florida in 2013 and is the author of Mobile Learning for All from Corwin Press. His work has appeared in THE Journal, The Loop Magazine, and the New York Times Bits Blog.

I wanted to include a section about pairing hearing aids with your iOS device because it’s an important part of our lives.  It’s possible to connect Bluetooth enabled hearing aids as well as special Made of iPhone (and iPad) hearing aids can also be placed into “live listen” mode where anyone with a hearing impairment can use the iPhone’s mic helps pick up conversation and sound. Apple maintains a list of iOS devices and their hearing aid compatibility (HAC) ratings:

In my case, I do not have ‘Made for iPhone’ compatible hearing aids – my models are made by Phonak.  I have attached a chart of the Made for iPhone hearing aids available and the model numbers below.

It is still possible though to put your iOS device into ‘Hearing Aid Mode’ which improves audio quality whilst using your device. Here’s how to do this as well as how to pair your hearing aids if you do have Bluetooth within them:



1.  Open the Settings app on your iOS device.

2.  Tap on General.

3.  Tap on Accessibility.

4.  Under the Hearing Section, tap on Hearing Aids.

5. If you have a Bluetooth enabled hearing aid it will be picked up (as long as they’re in discovery mode) automatically.

6.  You can then pair your aids to your phone.

7.  If like me your hearing aids are not Bluetooth discoverable you can still select Hearing Aid Mode and enjoy greater audio quality with your hearing aids.

2 thoughts on “Accessibility Education – Pairing Hearing Aids to Your iPhone or iPad”

  1. Ah, advanced hearing aids — wonderful, eh? I’m on my third pair of high-end Phonaks after almost 20 years of wearing hearing aids. Absolutely wonderful improvement in almost all situations!

  2. I actually had no idea that you could pair a hearing aid to a mobile device like that! I personally don’t wear hearing aids, but one of my friends should be getting an upgrade to theirs in the next few weeks. It should be interesting to see if it ends up being a set that can be paired to her phone. That should make using her phone a little bit easier for her.


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