Are smartphone apps worth the effort?

I’m told I should upgrade my hearing aid because Bluetooth/smartphone apps are the greatest thing. Really? My research suggests that streaming from a phone to the hearing aid, adjusting volume and changing programs is what the apps do. I’m torn. Do I need that? I hear just fine on the phone and rarely adjust volume or switch programs, plus I gather that many users have connectivity issues. Can anyone comment on their overall experience with the apps? Like them, love them or don’t care? TIA

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I trialed both the Oticon Xceed and Phonak Marvel and never once downloaded the Apps associated with them.

I never adjust my volume and I can change programs via the Aids.

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It depends on you and the hearing aids. I am back using the Oticon ON app after the firmware was updated in my More1 aids. Mostly so I can use the watch app and not so much the iPhone app

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I have Widex Moments and their associated app on my iPhone. The functionality of the physical buttons on the HAs is limited to switching the HAs on/off and changing the sound volume.
The app provides me with the above functionality, plus: changing the standard programs, creating my own programs, control of streaming calls & media to my HAs.
Having said that, I have turned the streaming off as I personally prefer calls the old-fashioned way and my BOSE headphones for media, and I am just using the standard programs after experimenting with creating programs.
So basically the reason I use the app is that it saved me $ as I did not have to buy the Widex accessories.


One size does not fit all here. Some Bluetooth aid users are very happy with their smartphone app, others not, and others who could use a smartphone Bluetooth app never do. I use the ReSound Smart 3D app with my ReSound Quattro aids and iPhone and couldn’t be happier with that arrangement. It’s very reliable for me and makes the aids much more useful.

However I’m not particularly reliant on sending phone calls directly to my hearing aids. Personally I often get better results with the sound coming direct through my phone against my ear while wearing aids than using Bluetooth, particularly in a noisy environment. But I love being able to use a Bluetooth TV Streamer or Bluetooth microphone with the app to send device sound direct to my aids, and my ability to understand dialogue is much improved with either accessory. I use the Smart 3D app to change programs daily and volume as needed.

A couple of times I’ve used the Bluetooth Find My Hearing Aids feature to locate a missing hearing aid. Note–you have to have a smartphone with the app not just installed but actively running on the phone with location service enabled, with aid and phone powered up and the phone in range of a cellphone tower at the time the aids are separated from the phone for this feature to work. If all the above is true, the location of the missing aid(s) at the time of separation from the phone lights up on a phone map.

However if the question is about upgrading aids primarily to get Bluetooth, eh, that question is more complicated. It depends, for me, on whether your aids are older than about five years, how well you hear with the aids, and your financial situation. Keep in mind that more than a few people get Bluetooth aids and either don’t use Bluetooth after trying it out or say it doesn’t work reliably for them with their phone. This includes ReSound wearers. Some say performance with Android is not as good as iOS. A free trial from an audiologist can clarify whether it works and is worth it to you.


My Resound Smart 3d app is good, streaming reliability is poor. I like having the app to quickly adjust for any situations even though I stay mostly in one program these days. I like being able to adjust, say, the Noise Suppression without changing programs. It’s also easy for changing to a TV Streamer/Phone Clip/Mic setting.
Have to admit, I never touch the buttons on my One aids.
If getting just for BT calls, I would not recommend.
And I don’t know about ios, but Andriod streaming from my phone sucks without my Phone Clip+ which greatly improves streaming and sounds always go to both aids, unlike with the app only which rarely connects to both aids. Also, to take advantage of streaming anything, custom molds are like turbo charging your streaming. With molds and a good adjustment, my streaming quality sounds really good, with decent low freqs that were always missing with domes

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I love the blue tooth streaming on my Phonak Audeo P90R HAs. I also stream through a Roger On a ton. I use a TV Connector on my macbook to zoom and google meet. The MyPhonak app helps me sort things out. For streaming it allows you to both change the volume and the mix between the stream source and your HA mic source. For other programs it allows a lot of changes to the characteristics. You can change the mix of high, medium, and lower frequencies. You can change directionality, noise control, and louder/softer sound controls too.

I think there is a bug where you see way too many programs listed when you list all the programs. The app takes too long to connect to the HAs when you open the app. This is different than using them to stream. Phone calls, notifications from the devices and etc all work pretty well.

I use an iPhone 12 pro max.



If you feel you are hearing fine in all of your important situations with your current hearing aids, there’s really no need to upgrade. Although, sometimes it’s nice to have a functional back-up pair.


I just got my first HA this past Friday, a single Phillips 9030 for my left ear. While I speak from very limited HA experience, I regularly use my iPhone as an audio source for music, podcasts, and audio books. I normally stream to earbuds, Sonos speakers, Amazon Echo products, other powered speaker systems, and several PCs, both Windows and Apple. So I was looking forward to app and streaming
I fiddled with the Hearlink app quite a bit the first day, but over time I’ve used it less and less. The volume control is pretty limited (± 2dB maybe), and to my inexperienced ear, the General program does a pretty good job and the only program that stands out as very different is the Noise program. The four programs I am trying out are General, Speech in Noise, HiFi Music, and Noise. Also, volume and program are easily controlled on HA itself, and the audio feedback works quite well, so it really isn’t confusing as to where you are in either program or volume.

Streamed music is quite low fidelity compared to decent headphones, in ear monitors, or earbuds. And of course in my case it is also mono. The sound is fine for podcasts and audio books. It is also fine for situations where I want background music in a somewhat noisy situation like taking a walk. Listening to stereo through speakers is a much more pleasant and satisfying experience while wearing my HA.

I have not had very good experience with cell phone calls, and I’m pretty sure my HA does not use its microphones for calls. I do better with phone on speaker, using my good ear, or using a single earbud in my good ear. The streaming volume on my HA is set too low, so I need to get that adjusted. Perhaps that is part of the problem.

So far, my initial HA experience is better than expected, and I find the app/streaming capabilities less functional and less important than I would have thought. Perhaps my opinion will change with time.


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Why not just try it and decide for yourself

“Why not just try it and decide for yourself”

Because this person would need to buy new hearing aids in order to try it. Seems like a big step for someone that is basically happy with their aids.


I have never bought an aid prior to trying but every place is different

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I believe you can’t change the volume through myPhonak app while on a phone call, can someone confirm or is there a way of adjusting the volume/tweaking the sound while on a phone call?

Edit: On Phonak Naida Paradise HA


There was talk about this last night on the deaf FB group that I help admin and apparently you can’t access the Phonak App whiles on a call but I’ve never tried it myself.

@Baltazard Just thought I’d mention that this is on the Phonak Marvel (M70) so it maybe different for the Phonak Paradise. NHS don’t offer the Phonak Paradise.

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@Zebras Sorry I was referring to Phonak Naida Paradise


I realise that, that’s why I said it may be different altho I don’t think it is.

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For me, having bluetooth streaming to my hearing aids for phone calls is indispensable. I would not hear calls adequately without it, so much so, that I don’t use my office phone at all for work calls. I make them all from my cell. I have Oticon OPN that are 4 years old. I have also found that with work zoom calls I do better when I use my computer for the video and also join using my phone for the audio and turn computer sound off. I have the app, but use it just to adjust volume really. I don’t use a lot of programs. Others have indicated that the the sound quality for streaming music isn’t as good as better buds, however I am told that using foam ear plugs along with the aids while streaming vastly improves the sound. I also do a lot of podcast and book streaming while I walk, so for that it is wonderful. So - do you ‘need new HAs’ to add blue tooth, likely not, but if you are due for a new set, then may as well explore the option.

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I can adjust call volume while on a call, P90R, just like anything else. Using the volume up/down on the phone. I can adjust the HA volume and mic/stream ratio thru the MyPhonak app.

  1. My audiologist is 2 hours away. 2) My single 1 year-old aid connects to Android.
    I have an iPhone 13. There was a mix up at purchase.

It is suggested that I trade in my one Android aid for two made for iPhone aids for the cost of an additional aid. Fair enough… but then the free trial gets murky. Would I get my original aid back and a refund if the two iPhone aids are not worth the time and expense? ( I could keep it as a backup aid, but I already have a backup aid.) I’ve been wearing hearing aids since I was 6 years old. I’m 60 now, so this isn’t my first rodeo.

The comments here have been most enlightening, and I appreciate each and every one.

My current thinking is, when I return home from my current contract assignment, I’ll buy a cheap, refurbished android phone, download the app and see if this hearing/aid smartphone thingy works for me. It may not be exactly like the iPhone, but it should give me an idea if the made for iPhone Bluetooth thingy is of real benefit to my situations.

Again the insights expressed here are invaluable.

I’m unaware of any hearing aids that connect to Android phones but do not connect to iPhones. Are you sure you’re understanding this correctly?