How to connect hearing aids and use audio accessibility on iPhone and iPad

You can pair your hearing aid to your iPhone and iPad to make sure you don't miss any of the sounds or audio. You can also enable subtitles, switch music to mono, and more. All because accessibility remains incredibly important to Apple—and its customers.

How to pair a supported hearing aid to your iPhone or iPad

Hearing aid support is an accessibility feature that allows the iPhone and iPad to connect with and manage compatible hearing aids. You can connect to most Bluetooth enabled hearing aids as well as special MFi—made-for-iPhone and iPad—hearing aids. Made-for-iPhone (and iPad) hearing aids can also be placed into "live listen" mode where anyone with a hearing impairment can use the iPhone's mic to help pick up conversation and sound.

Apple maintains a list of iOS devices and their hearing aid compatibility (HAC) ratings.

  1. Launch the Settings app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap on Hearing Devices under the Hearing section.
  5. Tap the switch to enable Hearing Aid Mode, which can produce better audio quality for hearing aids.

    Tap Hearing Devices, tap the switch to enable Hearing Aid Mode

  6. Your iPhone or iPad should automatically search for any compatible hearing aids nearby, so make sure they're in discovery mode.
  7. Once your iPhone or iPad finds your hearing aids, tap on the name in order to start the pairing process.
  8. Once the pairing is complete, turn On the option for Hearing Aid Mode.

Depending on the kind of hearing aid you have, you are typically able to increase and decrease volume independently in both ears, monitor battery usage for your hearing aids, and much more.

How to enable visual notifications on your iPhone using the LED flash

iPhone doesn't include a dedicated notification light. It does, however, let you use the LED flash to provide a visible cue for incoming notifications.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap LED Flash for Alerts.
  5. Tap the switch next to LED Flash for Alerts to enable the feature.
  6. Tap the switch next to Flash on Silent to use LED flash alerts when the ringer switch is set to silent.

    tap LED Flash for Alerts, tap the switch next to LED FL]lash for Alerts, tap the switch next to Flash on Silent

To disable the notification light, repeat the same process and toggle the setting to OFF.

How to enable mono audio on iPhone and iPad

Typical stereo audio includes distinct left and right channels, so each ear gets different sounds. Mono audio makes sure both ears get all the sound. You can also adjust the volume independently for either ear, so you everything from audio books to podcasts to songs to videos come in loud and clear.

  1. Launch the Settings app from you Home screen.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Accessibility.
  4. Tap the switch next to Mono Audio to turn it on. It's down a ways under the Hearing section.

    Tap General, tap Accessibility, tap the switch to enable Mono audio

Note: You can also use mono audio if a podcast or other audio file has screwed up the tracks and put all audio, or just one or two out of a group of speakers, on just one channel.

How to enable Phone Noise Cancellation on iPhone or iPad

Noise cancellation can help clear up phone calls by reducing the ambient noise you hear while holding the receiver to your ear.

  1. Launch the Settings app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.
  4. Tap the switch next to Phone Noise Cancellation. It's in the Hearing section a little ways down the page.

    Tap General, tap Accessibility, tap the switch to enable Phone Noise Cancellation

How to control Audio Balance on iPhone or iPad

If you don't hear as well in one ear, you can toggle the audio balance so that it's louder on one side. Here's how:

  1. Launch the Settings app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.
  4. Tap and drag the slider that appear at the end of the Hearing section. This will move audio between the right and left channels.

    Tap General, tap Accessibility, drag the slider

How to manage call audio routing on iPhone and iPad

Call audio routing determines from where audio will be heard during a phone or FaceTime call. If you always want it to work in the same, specific way, you can set it just so.

  1. Launch the Settings app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch the Settings app, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Call Audio Routing about halfway down.
  5. Tap how you want call audio to be routed.

    • Automatic
    • Bluetooth Headset
    • Speaker

      Tap Call Audio Routing, tap where you want audio to come from

How to turn on subtitles and closed captions on iPhone and iPad

Subtitles and closed captioning work by layering text over the video so you can read instead of listening. iOS even lets you create your own display styles so you can make them as easy to see and enjoyable to read as possible.

  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Accessibility.

    Launch the Settings app, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Subtitles & Captioning under the Media section. It's all the way at the bottom.
  5. Tap the switch to turn them on.
  6. Tap on Style in order to customize how closed captions work if you'd like.

    Tap Subtitles & Captioning, tap the switch to turn them on, tap Style to customize the closed captions if you'd like.

  7. Tap on Create New Style... to choose your own font type and size.

Just keep in mind that closed caption and subtitles will work where available, but third party apps may have their own individual settings you'll have to use. This should get you started with all the built-in apps that need them though.

iOS

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