Published on 13/07/2020
This term is acknowledged as both MFI hearing aids and Made for iPhone hearing aids - which basically means a technology to be paired with iPhones, iPad and iPods. It is a licensed product that is Apple-specific and includes a variety of devices to connect and integrate.
There is a huge difference between Made for iPhone hearing aids (MFI) and Made for Android hearing aids, as Made for iPhone hearing aids are created and developed to work seamlessly alongside Apple's unique operating system. They directly connect to Apple phones and other devices without a streamer or intermediary device. Giving you quality audio from electrical devices straight into your hearing aids and both ears.
Not got an iPhone? Here are some links to other Bluetooth hearing aids:
The three benefits to this type of product is a direct connection to the following:
The Made for iPhone devices are a favourite to the tech-savvy consumer and are ever-evolving hearing solutions. Here are the brands that currently offer this connectivity system: Oticon, Bernafon, Phonak, Widex, Resound, Starkey, Signia and Unitron.
Up until recently, Resound was the only hearing aid manufacturer that offered Made for iPhone ITE devices. Now Oticon, Bernafon, Signia, Phonak and Starkey have brought this style of hearing aid onto the market. It is worth noting that this type of aid might not be suitable for everyone - it all depends on the size of your ear canal.
All Bluetooth hearing aids are increasing in popularity and becoming more widespread because of this. The good news is that due to the rise of demand - Bluetooth hearing aids prices have dropped and now only a fraction more expensive than traditional devices. Therefore, this type of hearing aid roughly starts from £795 - £1895 per aid.
As we know already these hearing aids are specifically designed to provide the best sound quality when used alongside Apple's phones and tablets. When these electronic devices are paired with certain brands of hearing aids, they transmit an audio feed to the devices directly - for clear conversation and ultimately making it easier to use the phone.
Made for iPhone hearing aids can also be controlled from your iPhone or iPad and there are iOS apps that track data from your hearing aids - like battery life, volume and balance. There is a feature in the app called Live Listen, which acts as an additional microphone. You can use this by placing your phone between you and the person you are speaking with. It amplifies their voice back to you and assists to reduce background noise.
Whilst the NHS provides a credible hearing health service and some good hearing solutions - they are currently unable to offer Bluetooth hearing aids. Hearing aids with Bluetooth capability is only available with private hearing care.
There are many benefits to pairing your Apple electronic devices with hearing aids and can be useful tools for both your hearing and lifestyle. For instance, using your iPhone or iPad as a microphone to assist in conversations in social environments and work conferences means you'll never miss a beat. But, overall it's the direct streaming that attracts consumers worldwide as a most convenient solution. However, it is worth remembering that choosing a Made for iPhone hearing aid should not sacrifice on a hearing solution that is best for your own unique hearing loss. You can find some Hearing Aid UK customer hearing aid reviews here
Below is a current list of what is available to you. Please see a breakdown of technology requirements further down the article.
Opn S 1 gives you access to connect to the world without the need for a streamer -whether that be streaming sound from your TV, listening to music or chatting on the phone. With their ON App you can adjust volume, change programs and check your battery life, all at a touch of a button, as well as playing the soothing sounds to manage tinnitus symptoms.
Using the Connectclip, communication with any smartphone, Android included and any other Bluetooth device is possible, and with the Oticon TV Adapter, sound can be streamed directly to the hearing aids from your television.
System and software: For Apple devices - iOS 11 or later. For Android devices - Android OS 8.0 or later.
Compatability for the Oticon Opn S hearing aids: Firmware 7.0 or later.
Apple Watch users: Apple Watch supports volume and program changes.
If you don't have an iPhone and you wanted to benefit from the advanced technology of the Oticon Opn S hearing aid you can use the Oticon ConnectClip, ON APP and TV Adapter with the following devices:
Oticon's Xceed, Xceed Play, Opn, Opn Play, Ruby and Siya are compatible with Apple devices running iOS 11 or later. Alternatively, they are comparable with Android devices running OS 8.0 or later.
The Phonak Virto Black includes their famous Marvel Technology, advanced Bluetooth connectivity and easy hands-free streaming. The main pull here is the stylish black design of this model, which replicates the modern and popular hearables in today's market. They also Made for iPhone and Made for Android hearing aids.
Phonak Virto Black enables seamless connectivity to the world - compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones as well as other audio devices. Your hearing is enhanced by the 16 hearing performance features that improve your listening experience and a microprocessor chip with 5 wireless protocols.
General Compatability: Phonak Virto Black incorporates Marvel technology which is 4.2 certified. Any mobile phone that supports Bluetooth, Hands-Free Profile (HFP) and Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) should be compatible with these hearing aids.
Calls: When making phone calls, phones supporting Bluetooth 2.1 and newer should work with ease. Phones with Bluetooth versions earlier than 2.1 might still be able to work.
When using the Phonak Remote App, your phone must fulfil the following:
Don't worry if your hearing aids don't include a feature for direct Bluetooth streaming from your smartphone to your devices - all manufacturers have got solutions for this, even on a basic level. Bluetooth hearing aids can be compatible with a streamer or an assisted listening device, which will offer a 'pairing' between your smartphone and hearing aids.
The streamer will pick up the Bluetooth signal from your phone and transmit it to your hearing aid via audio signal or an 'electromagnetic field' - all changeable on the manufacturer's design.
The list below provides you with the technical requirements needed for the Leox, Viron and Zerena, as well as what Android devices will give you access to Bernafon's EasyControl-A app.
Below is a list of compatible mobile phones for both the hearing aid and the Resound Smart 3D App. Please note that the apps can also be used on Apple Watch, but they must be installed on your iPhone to work. The requirement for running the apps: iOS 12 or later and Watch support requires watch OS 5 and iOS 12.
The Thrive Hearing Control app runs on iOS 13 or higher. For best performance, we recommend using the most current iOS version. For Android phones, the Thrive Hearing Control app runs on Android 7.0 or higher and if your phone doesn't feature in the list underneath - you will need a Remote Microphone + accessory for app streaming.
To use all Signia Made for iPhone hearing devices, you need one of these devices:
Below are some examples of the MFI hearing aids on the current market. If you need any support and advice about Made for iPhone hearing aids - please call our audiologists free on 0800 567 7621
Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC
5 year warranty included. Rechargeable version is an additional £150 per aid.Oticon OpnS Full Range
Behind the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITE
5 Year Warranty Included. Rechargeable at no extra charge.Phonak Marvel Full Range
Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: BTE, RIC, ITE, ITC
All models are rechargeable, this is included in the costStarkey Livio Full Range
Behind the Ear and In the Ear
Fitting Styles: RIC, BTE, ITC, ITE, CIC, MC
5 Year Warranty Included. Rechargeable £50 extra per aid.Widex Evoke Full Range
Do not spend hundreds of pounds without getting a second opinion from us.
When we refer to a product as 'New', we mean that the product is new to the market.
When we refer to a product as 'Superseded', we mean that there is a newer range available which replaces and improves on this product.
When we refer to a product as an 'Older Model', we mean that it is has been superseded by at least two more recent hearing aid ranges.