I’ve recently heard from several patients who have been having issues with their iPhone 12 and their hearing aids.

They’ve been reporting static, dropouts, and distorted sound. Needless to say, this isn’t making life easier!

The ability to pair their hearing aids with their phone is vital to many of my patients, and losing that ability can make it harder to communicate with friends and family or even deal with emergencies.

iOS14 and Hearing Aids

The issue appears to be poor Bluetooth connectivity.

Essentially, it means that your phone and hearing aids aren’t properly talking to each other.

My patients have been dropping by thinking there’s a problem with their hearing aids, but there isn’t. It’s an issue with their phones, causing the dropped calls and distorted sound.

This is happening primarily to people who have recently upgraded to an iPhone 12 and appears to be a particular problem with ReSound hearing aids. Still, it’s definitely an issue with other brands too.

Everyone is reporting the same thing: Static, dropouts, volume changing randomly, and distorted sound. It’s enough to give you a headache.

It is worth doing basic troubleshooting on your hearing aids to eliminate them as the cause of the problem, such as resetting to proper programming or checking your hearing aids for damage.

If the problem is only when you are using your phone, though, then it’s unlikely to be your hearing aids. (This does include when you are using your phone as a bridge with a smart TV or streaming device).

So, What is Causing the Problem?

As you might have worked out already, the problem is Apple’s fault, but thankfully, it’s not an issue with the iPhone 12’s hardware – you won’t need to downgrade to an older phone.

Instead, it’s a bug in the operating system that is causing issues with the Bluetooth unit in the iPhone 12, essentially an incompatibility between the OS and the phone.

This bug has now been patched by Apple, and eventually will not be an issue. However, because phones often sit on the shelves for a while, they may not have their operating system fully updated when you buy one.

In fact, when you buy a new phone, always check for OS updates before you start using it; it’s really common to need to do one or two, and this includes updates that help protect your data.

Apple’s solution is a simple one: update your iPhone to the latest version of the OS. The bug has been fixed, and once you’re updated, the problem should go away.

Make sure to back up your phone first and to update with your phone on Wi-fi (it can take a long time to do these updates over the cell system). Then keep your phone’s OS updated consistently to ensure that you aren’t impacted by any other bugs.

If doing this doesn’t work, then check your hearing aids and contact us.

We can help you work out the problem and get back to hearing clearly quickly. And don’t forget to keep looking after your auditory health.

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Tracy Volkman , Au.D.

Dr. Tracy Volkman believes investing in the lives of her patients is the key to meeting their communication needs. She is committed to helping them find the best solution to improve their hearing and improve their quality of life. Tracy graduated from CSU Sacramento with a Master’s Degree in 2003 and earned her Doctorate degree in Audiology from A.T. Still University, School of Health Sciences in 2011.