Posts Tagged ‘bluetooth’

A friend with a hearing aid was having issues after upgrading to a new Android phone. He could pair the device with his phone, but couldn’t make or receive phone calls. What the heck – he used the app, and nothing worked like before! I worked on it for about an hour, and finally figured it out… What a terrible experience for him, so I hope this helps others. It boils down to the hearing aid requiring two different Bluetooth connections to make things work. This is very common with headphones, actually.

For those interested in the root of the issue: You have to set up the Bluetooth Classic connection before the Bluetooth Low Energy – a.k.a. BLE – connection. If you set them up in the opposite order, the hearing aids stop advertising Bluetooth Classic and you’re stuck with being frustrated. It’s probably a firmware issue Phonak needs to address. Unfortunately, that requires taking the device to a service center – not an optimal solution for those needing hearing aids.

This article assumes you already have the Phonak app installed on the new phone.

Step 1 – Unpair the Hearing Aids From The Previous Device

Make sure your hearing aids are no longer paired to the old device. In the Phonak app, choose Forget Device. I’m not sure of the actual verbiage, as I’m writing this without having the app handy. Then, under Bluetooth Settings in Android, tap the widget wheel next to all the Phonak entries, and choose Forget Device or Unpair Device.

Step 2 – Factory Reset the Hearing Aids

Make sure the hearing aids are off. You can do this by holding the power button on each bud until the light turns red and letting go. Once they’re off, count 5 seconds. Now, on each bud, hold the power button until the orange light turns on and then off – don’t let go until it turns OFF. Then, power down the ear bud again.

Step 3 – Power On the Hearing Aids

Now that they’re reset, power them on again. You can do this by holding the power button until the green light flashes, then letting go.

Step 4 – Pair Bluetooth Classic

Do *not* launch the app first. Go to Bluetooth settings on your phone, then Scan for devices, and choose the Phonak device that has a headphone icon next to it. You’ll see a couple icon types – but you need the one entry that has the headphone icon. This indicates the “Bluetooth Classic” connection, if you’re interested in such technical details. Accept the pairing request prompts that will show up after you tap to pair. If prompted to make/receive phone calls with the device, confirm you want to do so.

Step 5 – Pair Bluetooth LE

Now that you’ve paired Bluetooth Classic, launch the Phonak app and run through its setup process.

Step 6 – Done!

You should be good to go. I hope this helps those of you frustrated by such a crazy experience.