As an experienced audiologist who has fitted over 6000 pairs of hearing aids in my career, I understand the importance of finding hearing aids that seamlessly integrate with everyday technology. Finding the right hearing ad takes research and I intend to help you understand which hearing aids work with an Apple iWatch.
|Manufacturer||Direct iWatch Pairing||Dedicated App for iWatch||Streaming Support|
|Sonova (Phonak and Unitron)||Yes||No||Phone calls only|
|Oticon||No||Yes (Oticon Companion)||No|
|GN Resound||No||Yes (Resound Smart 3D)||No|
|Widex||No||Yes (Widex Moment)||No|
Sonova (Phonak and Unitron): Direct Pairing for Streaming, but No Dedicated App for iWatch Control
Sonova, the parent company of Phonak and Unitron, offers hearing aids that can be directly paired with the Apple iWatch for streaming. This feature is particularly beneficial for individuals who rely on their iWatch for phone calls. Phonak and Unitron hearing aids use classic Bluetooth technology, allowing you to connect them directly to the watch or any other Bluetooth device. This means that if you receive a phone and answer it from your watch, the call can be streamed directly to your hearing aids, effectively functioning as a headset. It provides a convenient and hands-free way to communicate.
The aids are compatible to be paired both with your cell phone and the watch at the same time so it will not matter how you answer the phone.
However, Phonak and Unitron hearing aids do not have dedicated apps specifically designed for the Apple iWatch. Which means you can not adjust the hearing aid volume or settings from your wrist. The MyPhonak app works on your phone but not the iWatch. Nor do the aids have a find-my-hearing aid feature.
Oticon: App-Controlled Hearing Aids for Volume and Program Settings, No Streaming from iWatch
Oticon hearing aids including the recent released Oticon Real hearing aids, unfortunately, do not support streaming directly from the Apple iWatch. However, they offer an app called “Oticon Companion” that provides enhanced control and convenience. With the Oticon Companion app, you can adjust the volume of your hearing aids, change the program settings, and even monitor the battery life of your devices.
This app offers a user-friendly interface and enables you to personalize your hearing experience based on your preferences and listening environments. You can change the volume, change the program, turn on the soft speech booster or check the battery level of the hearing aids.
GN Resound: App-Based Control for Volume and Program Settings, No iWatch Streaming Support
Similar to Oticon, GN Resound hearing aids (the most recent aid is called OMNIA) do not support direct streaming from the Apple iWatch. However, GN Resound has developed the “Resound Smart 3D” app, which offers a wide range of features and functionality and is known as the best app of all the hearing aid manufacturers.. Through this app, you can adjust the volume of your hearing aids and change the program settings. It allows you to personalize your listening experience and optimize the settings based on your specific needs. To utilize the Resound Smart 3D app with your iWatch, make sure you have iOS 5 or later and iOS 12 or later installed on your Apple devices.
Starkey: No iWatch Streaming or App Support for Hearing Aid Control
Starkey hearing aids do not support streaming from the Apple iWatch, and they no longer offer an app specifically designed for watch compatibility. This means that Starkey users will not be able to utilize the iWatch for any direct control or streaming functions. However, it’s important to note that Starkey hearing aids still offer advanced features and technologies that can enhance the overall hearing experience. In my opinion, simplicity is best for many elderly patients. These features can be adjusted through other compatible remotes or using the controls available on the hearing aids themselves.
Widex: App-Controlled Volume, Program Settings, and Directional Microphone, No iWatch Streaming
Widex hearing aids, similar to the previous manufacturers mentioned, do not support streaming audio directly from the Apple iWatch. However, they provide the “Widex Moment” app, which offers a range of control options and features. Through the Widex Moment app, you can adjust the volume of your hearing aids, change the program settings, and even select the direction from which the directional microphone amplifies sounds. This app provides users with a high level of customization and control over their hearing experience, ensuring optimal performance in different listening situations.
Signia: No iWatch Streaming or Dedicated App for Hearing Aid Control
Signia hearing aids do not support streaming from the Apple iWatch, and they do not currently offer a dedicated app for watch compatibility.
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids and Apple iWatch Compatibility
With the introduction of Over-the-Counter (OTC) hearing aids, individuals now have more options to address their hearing needs. OTC hearing aids are designed to be more accessible and affordable, allowing users to take control of their hearing health. However, when it comes to compatibility with the Apple iWatch, there are limitations.
Currently, no OTC hearing aids on the market have direct compatibility with the Apple iWatch. This means that users cannot stream audio from the iWatch directly to their OTC hearing aids.
One notable OTC hearing aid, the Lexie B2, offers some connectivity features with the iPhone. While it allows streaming of phone calls from the iPhone directly to the hearing aids, it does not support streaming of other media, including music or videos.
Putting It All Together
When considering the compatibility of hearing aids with iPad or the Apple iWatch, it’s essential to understand the offerings of each manufacturer. Sonova (Phonak and Unitron) stands out as the only manufacturer that allows direct pairing with the Apple iWatch for streaming phone calls. Oticon, Widex and GN Resound offer dedicated apps that provide control over volume and program settings, though they do not support direct streaming from the iWatch. Starkey and Signia lack both streaming capabilities and apps for iWatch compatibility.
I recommend many hearing aids, but very rarely do I take into account if the hearing aid will work with an iWatch. But if the iWatch was important to me, I would likely choose Resound as they have the best app.
When selecting hearing aids, it’s important to consider your individual needs, preferences, and the level of integration you desire with your Apple iWatch. Consulting with a knowledgeable audiologist can help you find the best solution tailored to your specific requirements and lifestyle. It’s also worth noting that technology is continuously evolving, so staying informed about the latest updates and advancements in the field of audiology is crucial for making informed decisions about your hearing health and device compatibility.