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Do my hearing aids have to be connected to my phone?

The short answer to this question is no for the 6 major brands of hearing aids. Bluetooth connectivity is a function available in many hearing aids in today’s market.  However, just because the feature is available does not mean that it has to be used!  Some patients find Bluetooth capabilities to be beneficial while others are not interested in using this option.  Good hearing aids are fully functional, whether or not Bluetooth is enabled.  

When the hearing aids are connected to a smartphone, the patient then has the ability to stream and use the app, depending on the phone model and software version.  Depending on the brand you buy, it is also possible to use Bluetooth at a limited capacity.  If the phone is compatible to stream, all phone calls and audio will come through the hearing aids, which some patients find advantageous.  For those who do not like this feature, streaming can be disabled while the app can still be used to control the hearing aids.  In order for Bluetooth to be enabled, the hearing aids have to be paired to the phone.  If this pairing is not completed, the Bluetooth feature is not in use which has no effect on the hearing aid performance.  

Many hearing aids sold online are totally dependent on using a phone app. Most of the major brand hearing aids allow users to have full access to special features both through the app or with buttons on the aid itself. 

Hearing aids can connect to both iPhone and Android phones; however, it is important to keep in mind that connectivity is dependent on the model of the device as well as the software.  For questions about Bluetooth connectivity or for more information about new hearing aids, contact Gardner Audiology at 800-277-1182 or visit gardneraudiology.com.  Gardner Audiology has 9 offices across the Tampa Bay area and our team is ready to assist you! 

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Caroline Wagner, B.S., Gardner Audiology Doctoral Extern

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