Questions about using Bluetooth hearing aids with voiceover on iPhone and iPad

I have recently discovered that I have mild to moderate hearing loss in both ears and am currently exploring my options for hearing aids. I have some questions for anyone with experience using Bluetooth hearing aids with iOS devices running voice over. is the latency a problem when running VoiceOver? Are there advantages to the hearing aids that advertised as being made for iPhone? If so, what are they? If you stream audio content directly to the hearing aid, how is the sound quality for things like music? Finally, what else do I need to know? Is there anything about Bluetooth hearing aids that you wish you had known before you made your selection? Thanks for any feedback you can give me.

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#1 Resound Hearin Aids

Hello, I have Resound hearing aids since I'm near total deaf, and I can tell you the bluetooth is okay if you going to listen to audio such as a book or music for a long time, however, with useing voice over, the problem is your hearin aid will cut off and on if no streaming audio is present so it kind of cuts out the voice over a bit and gets really ignoring cause of the constent sound of the hearing aid going back and forth between bluetooth and normal mode.

Your best bet is to buy some audio hooks sterio version and have the hearing aid program to use T coil mode on top of normal audio so you can hear everything around you and then have another program to just be t coil only so you can cut out the outside sounds.

Matthew

#2 VoiceOver with made for iPhone hearing aids

I have moderate hearing loss and am also registered blind. I rely heavily on VoiceOver on my iPhone 6, but can sometimes use the device in conjunction with twelve times magnifying specs and Zoom. I had used hearing aids provided by the UK national health service for several years but was tempted to find out is made for iPhone hearing aids could work well with VoiceOver and hence make VoiceOver both more private and also more audible in noisy environments. I took the plunge and tried Resound Linx hearing aids at a high street audiologist. My initial impressions were good - both of the performance of the hearing aids and their working with VoiceOver so I paid up for two hearing aids, wondering how on earth they could be priced that high. This was a little over two years ago. Initially there were a few irritating bugs in iOS, but these have largely been fixed and software problems are rarely an issue now. Latency is a minor irritation. I lose the first syllable, perhaps, at the beginning of every session, but this hasn't been a major problem. I can use the phone for walking satnav with Navigon, for example, with the instructions going direct to my hearing aids. The made for iPhone hearing aids use low power bluetooth which gives them good battery life. I'm not sure if all bluetooth hearing aids do the same. The quality of music stremed from the iPhone to the hearing aids is best described as acceptable. I have tulip type domes on in-ear speakers connected to an over the ear hearing aid. The tulip dome doesn't seal the ear so bass tends to leak out, leaving the music with very little bass. Worse than this, though, there is a warbling distortion which, for some kinds of music, e.g. classical woodwind, renders the music unlistenable. Most of the time, it's just a bit disappointing, but s OK. Interestingly, GN also sell a bluetooth unit that can be plugged into something like your TV. If I plug this unit in to the headphone socket of my iPhone and play through it, then the sound quality is much improved, so I conclude that the quality issue is mainly due to the iPhone end of the bluetooth connection. This may be better with later models. I'll be able to let you know when my iPhone 8 arrives! The sound quality is certainly plenty good for spoken word and I often listen to Audible books when I'm on public transport or just walking in the street. I forgot to mention one feature that I really like; the voice on an incoming phone call is sent to both ears. This makes it much easier for me to hear phone calls. I believe that at least one other bluetooth hearing aid directs the call to just one ear because it uses the microphone on the other hearing aid as the phone call microphone; this lets you keep the phone in your pocket while making a call. I have to hold or rest my phone as in standard hands free mode, but I'm happy to do that if it lets me hear the call in both ears. On the whole, I'm very glad that I took the plunge and find that This is a really good way to experience VoiceOver. It's certainly not perfect, but it's definitely good enough. Hope that helps. Brian

#3 Thank you. This is very

Thank you. This is very helpful. Do you use a PC with a screen reader as well? If so, do you use another device to get the speech from your computer to go directly to your hearing aids?

#4 Resound hearing aids

You bring up an interesting problem that I had not heard or thought about. Thank you.

#5 Starky Halos

Hello,

I have a pair of Starky Halos. I got them a couple of years ago and I am really happy with them. At the time, the Resound linx had smaller battery and a flimsy battery door, thus I got the Starky Halos. But since then, the resounds have improved that I would consider them now if I were shopping for a piar of Has. With the resound, you can use media streamers that you can connect to your TVor PC. The Starky Halos does not have this option. Is this a downside? It would depend on you. For me, it’s not. When I use my Mac, I use a wired headset. I do not get any whistling or feedback and the sound is much better. With a media streamer, it was mono when I tried out the resound.

The sound quality, when I tried them both, were nearly identical. If you listen to music with plenty of higher frequency, you might like the Halos better. I don’t get the VO cut off the previous posters reported. As far as sound quality when listening to books or music, I would say it’s very good. On the iPhone, select music so all your channels will be turned on and unfiltered. Be aware, there will be times when you are listening to books, music or VO and you will get noise artifacts.It may go away in a second or a few seconds.

Also, at first, I couldn’t really justify the price difference between Halo 70, 90 and 110. The number of channels each unit has. But after a month with each, the price is worth it. If you rarely go out to noisy places, get the least amount of channels. But if you like to go out where there are plenty of people talking or sporting events, get the most channel you can afford. The Has does a very good job of blocking out noise. The more channels, the more refined the noise blocking will be. It’s amazing how I can hear my wife and son in a noisy environment while they keep saying what? I can’t hear you.

When shopping for your hearing aids, go to a place that will allow you to try out the hearing aids for at least 30 days to make sure they work for you. Try out at least two different brands to see which works best for you. And more importantly, purchase it locally. After the initial setup, you might have to make a few follow up visits to fine tune them to your needs. You may also need to make occasional visit to update the firmware.

HTH and good luck.

#6 Halos

This is great info. Do you by any chance know the approximate prices for these brands in US. dollars? I cannot find pricing info online.

#7 Shop.

Hello,

If you are in the Los Angeles area, you can check out where I purchased mine from.
http://thehearingstation.com/index.html

The prices varies from location to location so you should shop around. Costco also sells Has from Resound.

BTW, The hearing aids mentioned by me and the previous posters are the made for iphone hearing aids. You could also purchase Bluetooth Has that are not specifically made for iPhones. These type of Has requires an intermediary device or remote. In these models, the Has pairs with the remote and the remote pairs with the iPhone. The remote was not accessable and it was a touch screen. So adding Braille dots wouldn’t work. I can’t tell you if there is latency or how it works since I didn’t bother trying them out.

HTH and good luck.

#8 Bt hearing aids

Yes, my audiologist told me about the bt ones that let you stream via another device. That brings to mind another question. For Resound and Starkey has especially, but others too if you know, how easy is pairing? Also, Switching between listening to the phone and another device, such as a computer, through the intermediary streaming device? Finally, can you, or anyone else, comment on using these Bluetooth has with an Apple Watch? Thanks again for your help.
Melanie

#9 Pairing

Hello,

With the made for iPhone hearing aids, pairing is done through accessability> hearing aids, not the standard BT setup. Your audiologist will help you pair it the first stime. But it’s simple. In the hearing aids heading, you will find your hearing aids there. If not, open the battery doors on your Has and close them after 10 seconds. Your device will then ask if you want to pair/add the device.

The Resound and Starky apps are accessable but personally, I use the controls that are built into IOS. I triple click the home button, or on the iPhone X,triple click the side button. A menu will appear where you can select Voice over or hearing device. Select hearing device and from there, you can select your presets as well as increase/decrease the microphone volume.

As far as multiple devices, iphone and/or ipad, one or more of each, you will need to turn off the BT on the device you are not currently using. Otherwise, you might get poor sound or in some cases, your left hearing aid pairs with your ipad and the right pairs with the iPhone. As far as the apple watch, there is no way to have the hearing aids paired to both the iphone and watch at the same time.In my case, the iphone audio streams to my Halos and the watch audio is heard from the watch speakers.

HTH and good luck.

#10 Made for iPhone Hearing Aids and Routing VOiceOVer Audio

Hi, Is there any way to tell the iPhone when I do not want VoiceOver to stream to the aids, short of turning off Bluetooth? I found under VoiceOver settings an Audio routing option that allows me to choose the left or right aid or both, but not neither which is a curious oversight. Also under the MFI settings under Hearing in the Accessibility options there is a setting to never stream media to the hearing device, however, in my test this did not stop VoiceOver from streaming. Wondering if anyone has found a solution or workaround? In short, I want to be able to stream, or not stream as the environment calls for.
Thanks.

#11 Resound Quattros

Hi all.
I have been wearing Resounds ever since they came out with MFI hearing aids. Previously the Resounds have that latency and dropping issue but they were good for when I was out and about without headphones. But, Resound came out with Quattros recently and I have been wearing them for about a month and a half. The Quattros are much, much better than the previous Resounds There is no latency problems like before and although every once in a while my right will frop, and I’m only talking about 2 or 3 times a day, it is quickly connected by pausing audio and starting again and it reconnects right up.
I found out that when I try to use my Apple Bluetooth keyboard while trying to stream, that couses the interferences and that is what causes the audio to drop. So just remember to turn off your other bluetooth devices and I think you will have better luck. Resound has made the Quattros like 100 percent faster, larger chipset etc. I can’t remember the complete details but I suggest you go find details on Resound website. Previously with my Linx, I Preferred to hear music and audiobooks with my Bose QC-35 headphones. But now I hardly touched my Bose while wearing the Quattro hearing aids. Resound drastically improved the Bluetooth radio in the aids giving a fuller sound. The Quattros has an option of rechargeable batteries which has outstanding battery life. I can stream constantly all day and end up with something like 40 percent of battery life left for use by the end of the night. Quattros comes with a nice recharging case with 3 extra charges so you can take the case with you on a trip and not worry about charging issue.
It is a pleasure talking on the iPhone now. Before, there would be like 5 seconds or more delay while the aids and phone are trying to make a connection. Now, they connect right away with no delay. I can put the iPhone on the armrest of the couch and friends on the other end say they can hear me just fine so that is sort of hands free.
I am totally disappointed with the Resound Smart 3D app. It is not all that friendly with Voice Over. I have been complaining to Resound helpdesk and they are sympathetic and passes along my complaints but not really sure they are going to make it a priority. But I have found some work arounds. When you need your Audiologist to send you new settings, I just email her directly and ask her to make certain adjustments to my settings. Her settings gets transmitted to my app and from there I can download the new settings. Using it this way works fine. Get with your Audiologist to figure all of this out. This beats having to take sick leave, call an Uber, find the elevator and make it to the office just to make a simple setting change.
Hope some of this helps.
Danny

#12 Streaming Voice Over or Not

Travis, if I understand what you are wanting... The quickest way I know of to switch the steaming for Voice Over is on the lock screen, and if the media player is showing, navigate down to the top of the media player where it displays where the audio is streaming to. Tap on that and a list will come up giving you a choice to switch to another device. you can switch the Voice Over to your iPhone speakers and back again.
If the media player is not visible on lock screen to a 2 finger double tap to get some audio playing and the player will show up. Otherwise drag your Control screen down and you will find the media player there too. with the same options.
Danny