The Complete Guide to Using Hearing Aids with Apple Watch

Updated: April 14, 2017

Using Hearing Aids with Apple Watch

Since the Apple Watch release, many wearers are searching for the best apps to use with the new gadget.

But for hearing aid wearers, there is only one app of the over 3,000 supported Apple Watch apps that they care about.

Upgrading your hearing aids is easier than you may think. Our online tool can match you with trusted hearing centers in your area offering the latest in hearing aid tech.

It’s the Apple Watch app that will allow them to seamlessly control their hearing aids, and there are currently two hearing aid manufacturers that support this kind of app: ReSound and Starkey (See update below for additional options from Oticon and Widex)

ReSound

The ReSound Apple Watch hearing aid app is called the Smart App and it’s free to download in the iTunes Store.

The Smart App works with the Apple Watch as well as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It can be used to adjust volume, balance sound bass and treble, choose programs, set personalized settings for individual listening environments, find misplaced hearing aid, stream phone and audio, and make adjustments for comfort in difficult environments such as wind or noise.

The ReSound Smart App is currently compatible with the ReSound LiNX, LiNX2, LiNX TS, and ENZO hearing aids. ReSound offers the largest range of “Smart Hearing aid” styles, from custom style hearing aids  to BTE style hearing aids.

Starkey

The Starkey Apple Watch hearing aid app is called TruLink and it’s free to download in the iTunes Store.

The TruLink App works with the Apple Watch as well as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It can be used to stream phone calls, music, and other media directly to your hearing aids, adjust sound settings in different environments, change programs, set personalized programs based off “geotagging”, adjust volume, and find misplaced hearing aids.

Starkey’s Made for iPhone hearing aid is called the Halo and Halo 2 and is currently available in a RIC and BTE style.

Oticon


The Oticon Opn hearing aid works with Oticon’s brand new app called Oticon ON. It’s free to download in the iTunes Store.

The Oticon ON app can work with the Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. It can be used to stream phone calls, media, and all audio media directly to the hearing aids. Using the app, you can also adjust volume and program settings of the hearing aids, find lost hearing aids, check battery life, access the digital users guide, and connect to the IFTTT network to connect your hearing aids to over 300 other wireless devices, making the Opn the first internet-connected hearing aid.

Oticon’s Made for iPhone hearing aid, the Opn, is currently available in a RIC style with 4 speaker strengths for different degrees of hearing loss, and 3 technology levels (Opn 1, Opn 2, and Opn 3) for different budget options.

Widex


The Widex Beyond hearing aid works with Widex’s brand new app called Widex BEYOND. It’s free to download in the iTunes Store.

The Widex BEYOND app can work with the Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. It can be used to stream phone calls, media, and all audio media directly to the hearing aids. Using the app, you can also adjust volume and program settings of the hearing aids, find lost hearing aids, check battery life, select directionality of microphones, and adjust sound clarity.

The Widex BEYOND Made for iPhone hearing aid comes in a RIC style with 4 speaker strengths for different degrees of hearing loss, as well as 3 different technology levels (440, 330, and 220), for different budget options.

Take more control of your hearing aid

These Apple Watch hearing aid apps can empower hearing aid wearers to take more control of their listening experience. They get seamless and discreet control of their hearing aids right from their wrist…no need for any additional accessories or remotes.

But, you can’t just put on any pair of hearing aids and control them with the Apple Watch app. They must be the Made for iPhone hearing aids specific to each company.

The cost of the hearing aids does not include the Apple Watch, which can be purchased separately here.

These hearing aids can be prescribed by a hearing healthcare provider that uses these specific brands. To find a hearing healthcare provider near you, visit the ReSoundStarkey, Oticon, or Widex websites.

For some more information check out the slide share below:

Note: We’ve received lots of emails about non-hearing aid related issues with the Apple Watch. If you happen to be one of those people check out this post that talks about the common complications and solutions to them.

Lindsey Banks

Audiologist

Lindsey Banks is a graduate of the Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) program at the University of Florida. She uses her diverse experience in hearing healthcare and her passion for helping people to provide credible information to those with hearing loss who visit Everyday Hearing.<br />

Comments

  1. Mark says:

    Too bad the hearing aids don’t work with the Apple Watch. One would assume you could connect to the Apple Watch via Bluetooth and use the watch mic to talk on the phone ” hands free”, but nope you have to have the cell phone in hand…So sad for such expensive hearing aids.

    1. Everyday Hearing says:

      Mark, this is (unfortunately) one of the downfalls of the Apple Watch.

      1. Jmax says:

        The only reason I have not purchased one

  2. Tony Gosling says:

    Mark you are quite right. It is astonishingly poor design on Apple’s part not to route the sound for calls on the Apple Watch to hearing aids (or Bluetooth headsets which have the same problem). Is worth registering with Apple in the hope they add it to a future release.

    1. Bill West says:

      I have done this with Apple it would be great if more people did too! Here is the appropriate Apple email address : Apple Accessibility

  3. Sherman C. Ackley says:

    Maybe too many people rely on gadget technology to make their life easier… hearing aids and the iPhone work well together… just because the apple watch is an extension of the iPhone does not mean that it is a flaw in the design that hearing aids also work with them.

    Next people will want the hearing aids to turn the coffee pot on and make them breakfast and but upset when it doesn’t work.

    Technology is ever changing; give it time.

    1. That’s illogical response. The hearing aids / Apple Watch combo is significantly less useful to people with hearing impairment when then watch does not pair with the HA.

    2. Asher Ertel says:

      Comment on this statement ” just because the apple watch is an extension of the iPhone does not mean that it is a flaw in the design that hearing aids also work with them.”

      That’s just it, the Hearing aids don’t work with the iPhone Apple Watch 3 combo.

      It does work with the iPhone alone.

      1. Aline says:

        It is important because if your not at home you have to drag your phone from your purse. And if your vehicle isn’t Bluetooth ready & you state says it’s against the law to touch your phone while driving you need your wrist to work.

    3. Dale Robinson says:

      You’ll note that in the literature, the Oticon hearing aids are already supposed to turn on and off heating systems, lights, etc. It just doesn’t apparently pair with the Apple Watch, despite the watch’s ability to pair Bluetooth headsets. Oticon hearing aids are Bluetooth devices. So, where lies the fault? Apple or Oticon?

      1. Everyday Hearing says:

        Oticon Opn hearing aids use a different bluetooth protocol called bluetooth low energy (BLE) so you can’t pair them with any bluetooth device, it was to be using the same protocol.

  4. David says:

    Apple has an opportunity with a resident watch app for hearing aid control. There are a lot of people the right age (and with the means) with hearing loss. Who knew head-banging rock & roll would be a cash infusion? Bluetooth control from the apple watch – why not?

  5. Tom Grant says:

    So….Can I connect an incoming call to my Halo 2 hearing aids with my iWatch? Can I make a call from my iWatch and hear it from my Halo 2 hearing aids. I don’t want to have to answer calls from my iphone to hear through my Halo 2 hearing aids – it’s too cumbersome as I don’t always have my phone that handy.

    1. Hi Tom,
      Yes, you should be able to use your iWatch to make and answer calls and will hear them in your hearing aids.

      1. Donna Moore says:

        Not yet. I spoke with the Apple Accessibility team and you cannot hear thru your hearing aids in the iWatch without your switching over to your phone. I am currently talking to them about the new iWatch 3 and awaiting a reply.

        1. Well here we are at Apple Watch Series 3 with Watch OS 4 and the pairing function has not been added.

        2. Norm says:

          Donna
          Did Apple indicate if the ability to pair the Halo2 with the watch is on their “to do list”? Surely they must be aware that this is a huge need for Halo2 wears with Apple watches.

  6. Ruth says:

    Is it correct that I cannot pair my oticon opn hearing system with my Watch Series 3. I can only phone and use my oticon App on my Apple watch together with my IPhone over Bluetooth

    1. Everyday Hearing says:

      Yes, that is true.

  7. Tom says:

    The Resound hearing aids will not pair for a call. You can use the apple watch 3 to set the volume and environments of the hearing aids, but you still need the Iphone to actually speak on the phone.

    1. Rita Brown says:

      Actually I can answer a call
      And speak to the caller from my watch. I have a ReSound LiNX 3D

  8. R prowse says:

    Shouldnt this just be a software tweak?

  9. Tara says:

    Can the Oticon and Apple Watch 1 have the ability to play music through the hearing aids

    1. Everyday Hearing says:

      Hi Tara –
      No, with the first Apple Watch you will need to still have your phone nearby to play music directly to your hearing aids.

  10. Rich Isaacson says:

    I am unable to pair my resound hearing aids to my Apple Watch Series 1. Can you help me?

  11. David says:

    I’m disappointed. I paid ATT an extra $10/mo to add my 3 series watch to my phone plan, expecting to have phone connectivity with my Resound devices… now I see that that isn’t possible. So, advice? Is this an Apple issue or a Resound issue?

    1. Everyday Hearing says:

      I believe it is an Apple issue as the watch does not support direct streaming to any bluetooth device.

  12. Chris Powdrill says:

    Can the Oticon streamer pair to any of the Apple watches? It connects with my TV, iphone and Yamaha mini HIFI ok!

    1. Everyday Hearing says:

      Yes, the apple watch should pair to the streamer.

  13. Jeff says:

    I have the AccuQuest AQ CO7 mini Rite hearing aids that are Bluetooth compatible with my iPhone sex. My wife bought me an Apple Watch hoping I could use that as the microphone while driving instead of having to hold up my phone which defeats the purpose of being hands-free. These hearing aids looks similar to those that might be supported by Re-sound. Should I try the app to see it works?

    1. Everyday Hearing says:

      You can try the ReSound or Oticon app

  14. Gail Capshaw says:

    My Apple Watch Series 3 popped up a window to pair with blue tooth devices. Why don’t my Widex hearing aids show as an option to pair when other blue tooth devices are options? I was advised by Apple Store Rep that the Apple Watch Series 3 was compatible with Widex hearing aids before I purchased the Apple Watch a month ago. If I need to carry around my iphone to use my hearing aids, what benefit do I get from using an Apple Watch? Please advise what benefits I get from Apple Watch above simply using iphone 6s? If any benefits, please provide instructions or app that will make it work. After nearly 2 hours on chat and 3 in store visits, I have not found anyone to who can provide assistance. Thanks very much!

    1. Everyday Hearing says:

      You can not stream the Apple Watch through any of the bluetooth hearing aids at this time. The only thing you can do with the Apple Watch paired to the hearing aids is use the specified app for making volume/program changes to your hearing aids.

      1. WillyJP says:

        Well, as of 6/12/18, when I purchased a new Apple Watch (GPS/wi-fi only; no cellular in watch; so no extra $10/mo), that would seem to be NO LONGER CORRECT. My iPhone 7s, running the latest iOS (11.4) is paired with my brand new Apple Watch. And I have the ReSound 3D App running on both. I’m wearing a pair of ReSound Linx 3D 61 hearing aids.

        I can adjust the hearing aids from the watch. I can also initiate or answer a call coming to my phone with my phone asleep and 8′ away on another table. The audio comes through my hearing aids and the watch microphone picks up my outgoing speech.

        So it works with the telephone part of my phone, which was the biggest thing I wanted to accomplish. Audio streaming from my watch, however (if I try to play some music ON my watch) reveals that the watch CANNOT pair with or stream audio to the hearing aids. As described by others, when I hit the “Play” button on a song, the watch goes to “Settings”, “Bluetooth” and shows 2 simultaneous searching dialogs with spinning circles. The top one says “Devices” and the lower one says “Health Devices”. Both circles spin indefinitely and the watch is unable to find the hearing aids under either category.

        So it seems like maybe we’re getting closer. The fact that they have a “Searching for Health Device” section in the Bluetooth pairing department would suggest that they’re aiming to connect to hearing aid devices, but apparently don’t have the ReSound zeroed in yet!

        1. Cheri Black says:

          Does it work when you are not on WiFi? Just curious trying to decided if my husband needs to update his Series 2 watch so his ReSound Linx 3D can be used in phone calls. right now the caller gets no sound when he answers from his watch.
          Thanks

    2. Kristi Davis says:

      I’m so disappointed. I thought I would be able to hear the sound from phone calls through my hearing aids using my Apple Watch 3 with cellular.

  15. Meg Yakulis says:

    This is highly disappointing. I purchased my Apple Watch yesterday and was told they should connect. Now seeing all the disappointing comments I feel Apple should reemburse the $10 per month until they have this working.

  16. Mike Boreham says:

    As Everyday Hearing said earlier the problem is that HAs use low energy bluetooth protocol (BLE) so will not connect directly with the watch. I guess this makes sense since HAs are typically in use for much longer periods than AirPods, which do connect directly. If HAs did not use BLE we would be changing or charging the batteries every few hours like the Airpods need.

    This is a more fundamental problem than a software tweak.

    1. Everyday Hearing says:

      You’re exactly right. Battery consumption is the main problem for why these two devices don’t work together.

  17. Sherri McCrea says:

    I am also extremely disappointed about the inability to connect the Bluetooth. I am also extremely frustrated that I cannot even seem to get the Oticon Apple Watch app to work to even adjust my hearing aids. I can find nothing on line either as to what I can do. I have so far figured out that the app will only work on one device at a time so I have to ‘forget’ them every time. Any tips?

    1. Everyday Hearing says:

      You may want to ask your Audiologist if your hearing aids have the latest firmware installed, as the latest firmware update seemed to solve the problem of only one connecting at a time.

  18. WillyJP says:

    As of June 12, 2018 and/or as of iOS 11.4, the situation seems to have changed, at least for my ReSound Linx 3D 61 aids.

    I AM able to make and receive calls with my watch as long as my phone is “in the room.” My phone can be asleep and locked and it doesn’t wake up for an outgoing call. I hear the audio on my aids and the watch mike picks up my outgoing speech. Ditto when answering an incoming call, although the phone wakes up and rings along with the watch and my in-ear aids!. But I don’t have to touch the phone, just the watch, and it works fine with the phone 20′ away across the room or on charge. My iPhone, by the way, is a 7S and my watch is the “GPS only” version….ie: no cellular in the watch (so no extra charge on my phone acct.).

    That was the main thing I wanted out of an Apple Watch….the ability to make and receive calls without my phone in hand. Having to have it within +/- 30′ was no problem. So it appears that IS now achievable….at least with ReSound 3D aids.

    I am NOT able to stream audio from the watch to my aids however. If I press “play” on a song that is ON my watch, the device TRIES to find a Bluetooth “Device” or Bluetooth “Health Device” without success. So to listen to music or podcasts I still have to use my phone, which streams them to the aids just fine.

  19. WillyJP says:

    The situation seems to have changed, at least for my ReSound Linx 3D 61 aids. It may be as of the iOS 11.4 update as my hearing aid firmware has not updated.

    See my at length comment above in reply to an earlier post. I AM able to use Phone with my watch and aids.

  20. Gene says:

    Will the Oticon OPN work with the watch only after this new iOS 5 update for Iwatch series 4?

  21. Andy H says:

    I have the same problem with my resound hearing aids. I guess the problem is that the sales people at the Apple stores don’t really know their product. Anything for a sale.

  22. Helma Oonk says:

    I got myself an Apple watch 4 for Christmas because I wanted to be able to go running outsite without carrying my phone, be able to hear music through my Oticon hearing aids.
    I upgraded my Iphone 5 to Iphone X, switched provider (Virgin Mobile doesn’t work with the cellular data) but now I discover that it still doesn’t work.
    So disappointed! Why does the Apple watch not recognize my hearing aids? They are Bluetooth……..but don’t work.
    Now I still need to run with a headset and can not have my hearing aids.

  23. Ken says:

    Will the new Opn S series be able to stream from the Apple Watch to the hearing aids withOUT the phone being present?
    I was told by Apple that the Watch series 4 will pair if it has the mobile coverage.
    Surely if the Watch can be used as a remote control for the iPhone, it should be able to stream music without the phone being present or the extra cost of mobile coverage?

    1. The OPN hearing aids cannot pair directly to the Apple Watch as it does not have the same operating system as the iphone.
      However, the ConnectClip can be paired to the Apple watch and you can leave home with the watch, connectclip, and aids and still take phone calls.

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