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Made for iPhone Hearing Aids

The “Made for iPhone” (MFi) trend is growing!  Hearing aid companies are making hearing aids that connect to the iPhone via an app.  With these hearing aids, you can stream phone calls, music, videos, FaceTime, and Skype directly into your hearing aids without needing a neckloop, phone clip or other intermediary device.  They connect easily to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.  The app allows you to use the phone to change programs and volume.  It can also save a setting you like in a certain environment so when you return, you can go directly to that setting.  In fact, your GPS will know when you return and automatically adjust the sound to your preferred settings!  It even includes a program to help you find your hearing aids. 
TruLink 1
However, I think the best feature is that they can turn your iPhone into an assisted listening device by using the microphone to pick up someone’s voice and stream it directly into your hearing aids!  The “Live Microphone” (Starkey) or “Live Listen” (ReSound) turns the iPhone mic into a wireless, remote microphone.  The big question, though, is how well does it work?  As with similar devices, I imagine you must hold the phone very close to the speaker’s mouth to get good sound quality.
The LiNX hearing aid by GN ReSound was the first MFi hearing aid, released in February.  This was followed quickly in March by the Halo hearing aid by Starkey.  The Apple website lists 7 hearing aids that are MFi, but on closer examination, they are all owned by either GN ReSound or Starkey.
Audibel with TruLink App (Starkey)
888 771-8606
Audigy AGX with TruLink App (Starkey)
800 432-7464
Beltone First with HearPlus App (GN ReSound)
800 235-8663
MicroTech Kinnect  with TruLink App  (Starkey)
800 745-4327
NuEar iSDS with TruLink App (Starkey)
800 626-8327
ReSound LiNX with ReSound Smart App (GN ReSound)
952 769-8000
Starkey Halo with TruLink App (Starkey)
888 481-5512
joined Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) program
joined Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) programjoin
joined Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) program

Oticon claims to have joined Apple’s Made for iPhone program……but not really.  It does not stream directly into the hearing aids, but has just come out with an updated Streamer,  the Streamer Pro 1.2, that can be paired with the iPhone via the ConnectLine App.  It seems to me that the ConnectLine App is nothing more than a remote control, as it lacks the features of the truly Made for iPhone hearing aids.  It does allow you to save settings for different environments, but the real advantage of the MFi hearing aids is that you no longer need a neckloop/streamer!

If you have tried any of these MFi hearing aids, please leave a comment.  I would love to hear how you like them!