Made for iPhone Hearing Aids update

Has anyone found more information on the Apple Made for iPhone Hearing Aids feature?

I am still seeing very little about this.  From the information that is there, the only hearing aid company that appears to be on board so far is Starkey.

From what I can understand, Made for iPhone Hearing aids are hearing aids that include features designed specifically to work for the iPhone.  I’m not sure how successful this will be considering there is already a  hearing aid compatibility (HAC) rating system.

The HAC rating is a measurement to determine how well a hearing aid works with a phone in “M” normal, or “T”, telecoil mode.  I don’t find it particularly accurate because compatibility depends on the hearing aid model, how old it is, and the cell phone service (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc) you’re on.

For example, my hearing aid works somewhat well in”M” mode on the iPhone 4, which has a M4/T4 rating, but quality of sound decreases rapidly when I’m in any other place other than quiet indoor settings.  In “T” mode, it gives off an obnoxious buzzing sound.  I think that has more to do with the Verizon radio frequency than the HAC rating of the phone itself.  My hearing aid is also nearly 5 years old so it probably isn’t equipped for newer smartphone technology.

For the official HAC rating explanation and breakdown by iPhone model, visit the Hearing aid compatible (HAC) iPhone ratings page on Apple’s website.

I noticed that the iPhone 4s doesn’t have a rating at all, but the 4 and 5 do.  That seems odd.

My phone works very well with the CI.  There’s no buzzing or sound quality issues with it.  I don’t have a telecoil setting in my CI so I can’t really make a comparison there.  I will probably be getting both a new phone and new hearing aid at some point next year, so it will be interesting to see how the newer technology does together.

 

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