Many people are now in possession of a Made for iPhone hearing aid. They have revolutionised hearing care and provided freedom beyond what we ever thought would be possible 10 years ago. However, many people who use them do not fully utilise all the features. Either that or they are troubled by some of the annoying settings. As such, we here at HearablesOnline thought we’d share some of our secrets to getting the most from your hearing aid:
Tips and Tricks for the Made for iPhone hearing aids
Triple Home Button Click
From the lock screen you can press the home button on your iPhone quickly 3 times. This will bring up the details of your connected hearing aid. You can independently adjust the volume, the program, and even activate the iPhone as a remote microphone (Live Listen) without having to unlock your phone and opening up the app. An excellent feature for when time is of the essence.
Remote Mic or Live Listen
Your iPhone can double up as a remote microphone with a feature called Live Listen. The iPhone uses its microphone to pick up on people’s voices and send it wirelessly through to the hearing aids. It is great for noisy situations.
Other uses could be if you are in a theatre. Rather than a friend, or relative having to speak loudly to make their voice audible to you they could whisper in to the phone which would be transmitted through to your ears.
For children it is a great feature for playing auditory games as part of the rehabilitation and ‘bridging the gap’ so that when parents are reading to their child they can hear every word clearly even if noise levels are high.
Activating the Live Listen can sometimes be done from within the hearing aid app itself. If not, you can use the triple home click feature I mentioned above.
Switching Off AutoPlay and Sound Notifications
You may notice that when your hearing aid is connected to your phone notifications are sent through to your ears, such as receiving a text message or Facebook notification. This intermittently makes the environment around you quiet because by default the microphones are attenuated whilst streaming from the phone. For some this is extremely annoying and, so you can switch them off. I will detail below how to do this but be aware that once you do it, even if the phone is not connected, you will not receive an audible notification for the app.
Facebook Messenger – Open the app. Click on your profile photo in the top left corner of the screen. That will bring up the screen called ‘Me’. You then go in to Notifications > Notifications in Messenger > and then Sound. You can then switch sound to off.
WhatsApp – For this you must go in to the phones settings. Follow the following steps: Settings>WhatsApp (will need to scroll down)>Notifications>Sounds and then switch sounds to off.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other apps now use a feature called video autoplay. This means as you are scrolling down your news feed it will automatically play the video on the screen. This is because data is much cheaper and accessible now. However, once again this can be frustrating for hearing aid users if they just wish to browse in quiet. To turn it off follow these instructions:
Facebook Video Autoplay – Go to the phones settings. Once in go to settings>Facebook app>settings and you can switch Autoplay to either wi-fi only or off.
Twitter video Autoplay – Open the twitter app. Click profile picture>Settings and Privacy>Data Usage>Video Autoplay. You can then switch this to Wi-Fi only or off.
There are many other apps which will have a similar process. If you have any difficulties contact your audiologist and I’m sure they could help.
Pass a phone call to another user
When you are on the phone with the Made for iPhone hearing aids the sound quality is great. The conversation is streamed to your hearing aids and routed directly in to your ears. However, if you want to pass the phone over to a family member or friend you must switch the audio mode. If you were to just give the phone to them, they wouldn’t hear anything because it is still streaming to your hearing aids.
When on a call there is a number of options on the screen. This is where you would normally end a call. However, there is also a button called ‘audio’. By clicking this it will usually give three options: Hearing aids, iPhone, Speaker.
- ‘Hearing aids’ means it will stream to your hearing aids.
- ‘iPhone’ means that the small speaker is active, and they will need to put it to their ear to hear the conversation.
- ‘Speaker’ means the loud speaker is active and you can hold it away from you more than normal (great for group conversations).
Click either iPhone or Speaker to divert the call away from the hearing aids to the phone. When you hang up it will automatically connect to your hearing aids again on the next call.
When flying, wireless communications need to be switched off during take-off and landing. This can be achieved very simply by swiping up from the bottom of the screen on the iPhone. This will open the ‘Control Centre’ on the iPhone. From here you can press the button with the aeroplane symbol and this will deactivate all wireless connectivity to your phone and your hearing aid.
Your hearing aid will also have an airplane mode. Check your user manual on how to activate this. It may just be a case of opening and closing the battery drawer several times in a row.
Reorganise the iPhone’s Dock
The iPhone dock contains the apps at the bottom of the screen that are fixed in place; even when you scroll from left to right. It is designed for your most used applications such as phone calls, messaging, internet and email. However, some of my clients don’t use text messaging much and so I rearrange their dock so that their hearing aid app is always in the most convenient location. To do this simply press and hold any of the app icons on your screen. This will make all the apps jiggle and an ‘x’ will appear on the top left of each app.
Now all you need to do is press and hold the app you want to move, in this instance we are removing the messaging app from the dock. Simply slide your finger in to the empty space above the dock and let go. This will free up the space in the dock needed to place your hearing aid app. Follow the same procedure again with the hearing aid app but this time sliding the app on to the dock instead of away. Let go with your finger and then press the ‘home button’ this will lock the app in place and you’re good to go.