Connecting Apple Watch Cellular to KS10

I have the Kirkland 10 hearing aids. Love them except for one thing: I can’t get my Apple Watch Cellular model to connect, like my phone connects, for total hands free telephone calls when my phone isn’t nearby.

I had the problem figured out, a while back. It is because the watch doesn’t have a version of Bluetooth that the phones have. I have contacted the Feedback function at Apple to ask them to include this version - hope springs eternal.

But I can’t remember the name of the Bluetooth version that the hearing aids need, so that I can check on new Watch models as they are announced. Apple just announced a new watch.

Can anybody tell me the name of the Bluetooth version that is needed in order for Phonak hearing aids to talk to a Bluetooth device?

Your aids have classic Bluetooth the watch has Bluetooth 5 but the lte version to help with Battery life. It should connect with your aids but more than likely without a connection to the hearing aids’ Mic. I have been hoping for MFI on the watch so I can finally justify the cellular watch

If you look at Apple’s technical specifications for the Apple Watch 6 (the model that I have - you don’t say your model), it says an iPhone is absolutely required to support the Apple Watch:

Apple Watch Series 6 require an iPhone 6s or later with iOS 14 or later.

Source: Apple Watch Series 6 - Technical Specifications

See bottom of the specs page. The Apple Watch 6 runs under BT 5.0 (and Wi-Fi) but has Chuck says, it’s not a MFi phone device - I can’t pair it with my ReSound Quattro’s, though I’ve tried!

I think the reason for the iPhone requirement is that it offloads much of its processing requirements to the iPhone, e.g., the watch collects health and fitness data but the iPhone does the heavy-lifting calculations for daily, weekly, monthly, etc., summaries and so on. All the apps that the watch can run are offloaded iOS iPhone versions running under WatchOS, etc.


Jim, I have the Watch 5 Cellular. You must have the non-cellular model. With the cellular model you need a nearby phone primarily to set up the watch and to make certain changes to watch settings. But you don’t need a nearby phone for normal operations. That’s the whole point of the cellular feature - fall detection, phone calls, etc. can all be done w/o the phone nearby.

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Even with the cellular watch the iPhone has to be within the same cell tower range and it has to be powered on. And there are certain apps that will not function unless the watch and iPhone are in Bluetooth range.

Since September or so last year with WatchOS 7 Apple has had Family Setup for Apple Watch Series 4 and later, so a watch can be set up but isn’t dependent on an iPhone.

Apple has published a support page on all the things you can do with a watch without a nearby iPhone.


I saw this and found it unusable for my usage. I depend on my hearing aids for phone call, and the aids will not connect to the watch. I have the connect clip it will connect to the watch and I can almost hear music but calls don’t work. At least I haven’t figured out how to make it work.

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That’s not true. I’ve had 3 Apple cellular watches and none of them have needed to be within the same cell tower as the the phone. The whole point of cellular is that it frees you from having to have the phone with you.

Yes, it is a new thing to be able to set up somebody else’s watch from one’s phone. But, you have always been able to set up your Apple Watch from your iPhone.

Guys, I hate to say it but you seem to be missing the point of the cellular version of the Apple Watch and taking the thread in a different direction. Why would Apple even bother to offer a cellular version if it had to be tethered to the phone or the same cell tower that the phone is in? And Apple has been offering cellular versions of the watch for a very long time.

You don’t have to have it with you but the watch has to be in contact with the iPhone for the calls to work. My son has done testing on it. I can’t use the cellular watch because I can’t hear calls and I haven’t been able to get my aids or the connect clip to work to help. If your phone isn’t on the watch can’t make calls. My son found that out too.

Maybe not the same cellular tower but in the say area. My soon left his iPhone in his appointment and forgot it. And his watch won’t take calls at our house 15 miles away the way the crow flies.

Cvkemp, I the cellular watch. I know how it works. What you are saying is false. I can make and take calls from the watch when the phone is a hundred miles away or a thousand miles away. I can make and take calls from the watch when the phone is hard powered down and not in communication with anything. Apple markets the Watch as being potentially life-saving, with important health features. Can you possibly imagine the lawsuits that Apple would undergo if somebody went into a-fib with the cellular watch and didn’t get help because their phone wasn’t turned on or in the same cell?

The problem you are having with the cellular watch not working with your hearing aids has exactly nothing to do with your phone. Your problem appears to be exactly the problem that I am trying to get some useful information about: The problem is that the particular HA Bluetooth protocol that is being used by Phonak is not compatible with the particular Bluetooth protocol that has been used with the Watch. What I am trying to understand is the name of the particular Bluetooth protocol that Phonak uses. This will allow me to determine if the Watch 7 now can operate with that protocol.


I’ve had the cellular version of the watch from day one, and my experience is vastly different.

I understand your issue with not being able to use the watch they way you need to with your aids, but the rest of what you describe is counter to the whole reason to have a cellular watch.

Sorry for continuing the thread drift.

I know what it says and I know what happened with my sons phone and watch. And he turned the phone off and it didn’t work. I saw it with my own eyes. I am wondering if you have completely tested what you are claiming.

Been there done that, completely tested the cellular features of my watch.

Do you or your son have a cellular watch that is activated on a carrier cellular plan, @cvkemp?

I think BT 5.0 includes BT Classic for backwards compatibility. So I would think that you should be able to pair the Apple Watch with your KS10’s. I’ve paired my Apple Watch 6 with my Phone Clip+ via classic BT and streamed a timer alert from the watch through the PC+ to my Quattro’s. You say you want to pair for phone calls so maybe that’s a different animal (my ignorance showing) than pairing for media streaming. I think that you can use an Apple Watch as a podcast player to classic BT earbuds and headphones, for example.

On the Family Setup, that only works with the GPS+Cellular variants of the Apple Watch. (2020 review):

Apple Watch Cellular vs GPS: What’s different and which should you buy? (

The following Apple web page delineates what you can do with and without connectivity to your iPhone by any means, including cellular. Apple coyly doesn’t say explicitly, “BTW. These features don’t work without connectivity to your iPhone actually in play…” but by the process of subtraction from what works with connectivity (top group of features) vs. what works with the iPhone not connected by cellular or any other means(bottom group of feattures), if you try to use an Apple Watch, even the GPS+Cellular variant, with no connection to your iPhone, you’ll just be using a comparatively dumbed down device - and if you want to use your Apple Watch in conjunction with your iPhone via cellular even if you’re 1,000 miles away, you’ll have to leave the iPhone at home turned on, running down its charge (or plugged in charging all the time - not good for long-term battery lifespan).

Use your Apple Watch without your iPhone nearby - Apple Support

Edit_Update: Seems that I’ve misinterpreted the top group a bit in the Use your Apple Watch without your iPhone nearby article. The top group of functions just requires Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity for your Apple Watch but unless there is a qualifying footnote such as the #1 item, they don’t require connectivity to an iPhone. But the list of features is basically for built-in Watch/iPhone functionality. Although I can load almost the entire ReSound Smart 3D app on my Apple Watch, I can only control my HA’s through my watch via my Quattro’s. So perhaps the best answer as to what you can do on an Apple Watch independently of an iPhone very much depends on the exact app and functionality that’s important to you. YMMV.

My son does and I am say what he has seen with the cellular watch. The iPhone has to be powered on the cellular enabled and the iPhone and watch had to be within a few miles of each other. He has the iPhone 12 and I believe the series 5 watch it could be a 6.

I found this on the internet, so of course its true :slight_smile:

Can I use my smartwatch with my Phonak hearing aids?

Yes, as long as your smartwatch supports Bluetooth classic (A2DP and HFP). With A2DP you can listen to music and with HFP you can make hand free phone calls. Please be aware that not all smart watches support this profiles.


LawyerFL, this is exactly the information that I’m looking for. Thank you!!

A2DP will allow you to stream audio one-way from the watch to the hearing aids (e.g. listen to music stored in the watch). HFP (hands-free profile) is the Bluetooth codec you need to stream 2-way audio, I.e. 2-way communication on a phone call.

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This is really good to know, thank you @Louie