MFI vs Bluetooth

I was wondering if someone could explain to me the pros and cons of MFI hearing aids vs Bluetooth classic. Reading through other posts on here it sounds like the main advantages of MFI are better battery life for streaming, and perhaps some more customization options within the OS?

And the main advantages of Bluetooth classic is the ability to connect to laptops, tablets, more Android devices, but at the cost of battery life?

What else am I missing in terms of the pros/cons?

I’m an iPhone user but my audiologist has always pushed me toward Phonak, largely because he thinks it’s a better match for my hearing loss (which is more important than anything else). But I’ve always wondered what I’m missing by not having HAs with MFI for support?

And apologies to those who are going to reply with annoyance that this is inevitably already discussed in 100s of other posts. I tried to look, but didn’t see anything directly on point, but I’m sure I missed things.

I have Oticon More1 aids that are MFi, I like the IOS hearing devices control panel and don’t use the Oticon app. I also, have a remote for my aids that helps simplify my life. I haven’t tried the Phonak Classic Bluetooth, but I have tried the Phonak Marvels for my hearing loss. I say choice the aids that are best for your hearing loss, then worry about the connectivity side, unless you have to depend on streaming to survive as for as every day life. I am retired, I was an IT Professional that made the decision to truly retire. I don’t have to worry about computers or landline phones. I do stream call to my iPhone and use an iPad for computing. I also, stream TV by way of a TV adapter.
Again get what helps you to hear the best.

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The biggest advantage of using an iPhone with MFI hearing aids is that Apple built the integration protocol and like all things Apple…it just works and it works extremely well.

IMHO, when the integration is slightly flakey, it becomes incredibly annoying to use and it doesn’t take much for the connection to be annoying. Good example is the amount of time the hearing aids take to connect to the phone when there is an incoming or outgoing call. If there is a half second delay or longer, it becomes really annoying. If one aid connects and the other doesn’t…it’s annoying. If there is distortion or excessive battery drain…it’s annoying.

The majority of MFI hearing aids are rock solid when paired with a newer generation iPhone. Compare this to android users who typically use Bluetooth classic and tend to have more connection issues. And BTW…I’m not bashing Android. I’m simply saying the MFI integration is better at this point. This may change when the newer version of Bluetooth is adopted and supported by the hearing aid companies.

Jordan

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I haven’t had the delayed connection for a call, I had disconnects due to the Oticon app, so I no longer use the app. I I do notice disconnects when using the TV Adapter with my iPhone once my rechargeable batteries of my aids got to about 50% battery charge or less. Which is the reason I have and use the Oticon hearing aid remote.

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Since Phonak only has BT 4.2 in the Lumity, it’s apparently not going the BT LE Audio route any time soon.

IIRC, Apple, ReSound, Oticon, etc., the MFi gang, were part of the BT LE Audio SIG working out the specification (although I think Phonak participated, too, - just about everybody who was anybody did…), one can expect to get better two-way sound quality as well as better battery life if BT LE Audeo becomes part of MFI connectivity. BT 5.3 is already starting to appear in HA’s (the Omnia) and headphones/earbuds (Sennheiser) and both Android 13 and likely iOS 16 are BT LE Audio-capable.

The BT LE Audeo SIG folks expect BT Classic to eventually fade away. So, the main thing might be if any of this is going to happen on a time scale that makes a big difference to near-term HA purchases. And based on the pace of things so far, the answer is probably not.

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Jim,
What is your thought on Auracast Bluetooth coming to iPhone and hearing aids?

PS - I know this is an older thread.

@rgilbert. I probably have no better idea than you. Since Apple, ReSound, Oticon, were especially listed as members of the BT LE Audio SIG, I would think that sooner or later BT LE Audio is coming to the iPhone (same as classic BT is available there now). And in Nick Hunn’s e-book explaining BT LE Audio, I think Hunn begins by mentioning that BT LE Audio was created to meet the demand of EHIMA, European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association, if I got the name right. And in the Bluetooth LE Audio and the Future of Hearing thread, I think the end of 2022 (after pandemic adjustments) has been tossed about as the date when things are going to start happening.

Well, we have front row seats now for the End of 2022! :joy:

I don’t think you’re really missing anything. I greatly appreciate BT Classic’s ability to connect directly to my laptop and desktop. It’s sometime a little “glitchy,” but I’m convinced that at least for the time being, anything wireless will have occasional issues. Some users on the forum seem to have glitch free iPhone connections, but I’ve read enough posts about issues caused by OS updates to make me think anybody who ventures into using wireless tech should be prepared for an occasional glitch and have basic troubleshooting skills.

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