iOS 13.1.1 and MFi Hearing Aids Caution

Hardware and Accessories

Hello everyone who cares about the MFi hearing aid topic:
I understand that iOS 13.1.1 which is a primarily security related software update has introduced significant issues for MFi hearing aids. In speaking with my audiologist she informs me that Starkey reports their Thrive app crashes on iOS 13.1.1, and connectivity to the aids for streaming is unstable. She also tells me some manufacturers, including Phonak, have lost connectivity altogether.
If you don't already, I'd suggest turning off automatic software updates and staying on iOS 13.1 until we get better news.



Submitted by Morgan Watkins on Sunday, September 29, 2019

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team


Thanks for sending this alert. I was about to upgrade to 13.1.1 and decided to look at AppleVis one more time, just in case. Phew! I have had Bluetooth problems with my hearing aids with both 13.0 and 13.1, but mostly when using a Bluetooth keyboard, and lately when trying to use AirPods and other non-hearing aid Bluetooth headphones. However, with 13.1, my Oticon hearing aids have worked pretty much as they did with iOS 12. However, if 13.1.1 might squash regular connectivity with my hearing aids, I will wait for better news and a new update. I hope others will contribute what they learn.

I happen to wear Oticon Opn S 1 miniRITE and they are working fine with 13.1 for standard iPhone use.

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Sunday, September 29, 2019

thanks for the alert, but not me. everything is working just fine on my front, even the AirPods. no problems here.

Submitted by Danny Norris on Sunday, September 29, 2019

Thank you very much Travis for this alert. I had initially upgraded to 13.0 and even though 13.0 was announced to be buggy I went ahead and upgraded and I was thrilled that my connection with my hearing aids was the most stable as far as Voice Over stayed centered. Before, if I paused for like 5 seconds or more the bluetooth connection would release then Voice Over would go over to the right or left and I would have to keep resetting bluetooth until I got it centered again. Well also with any other audio streaming it would go left or right until I got it centered again. Now with 13.0 it stays centered and even the sound effects are streamed to the hearing aids and not staying over on the iPhone. So I feel like I have real headphones on now. My only issues are the horrible bluetooth keyboard connection, and one minor issue that I can deal with.
The minor issue is that now when I pause and really want the bluetooth to release, it either takes a while or never release. This is so my hearing aids can go into normal mode for my surroundings or so I can switch to my TV Link streaming. I found that if I do the triple click thing to turn voice over off and back on, it releases bluetooth. I actually can deal with this much better than resetting my bluetooth several times until I get voice over centered again.
As for the bad bluetooth keyboard connection, If I need to do any serious keyboarding I go to my Mac if it is near.
I was thinking of upgrading to 13.1 but was afraid this stable connection would be broken in 13.1. Like Morgan, I checked Applevis one more time to see if any news in this area and would not have realized that Apple already moved on to 13.1.1. I would have missed that and thought it was still on 13.1. So that you very very much for posting this information!
I am so thrilled that voice over stays centered that I actually could deal with most of the bugs in 13.0. And actually I have not even had any real issues with the bugs. Other than Alex pausing a little longer with punctuations, I sort of like that. It gives my brain a little time to process what Alex is saying.
I would very much appreciate any new updates in this MFI area. It is pretty much vital that I stay connected to my iPhone with my hearing aids.


Submitted by Jonathan Mosen on Sunday, September 29, 2019

We’re so dependent on this technology playing nice that it’s appropriate to be super cautious about upgrading when there might be a problem.
But just to help us get a picture of the scope of the issue, I upgraded to 13.1.1 the moment it dropped. I’ve had no problems at all with my Oticon OPN S 1 aids beyond the compatibility issues with the Apple Magic Keyboard I’ve reported on in the blog.
For me wearing these aids, it seems no better or worse than previous builds.

Like previous people posting, with the exception of the keyboard issue I’m having better reliability. With these aids I am also not experiencing the OS holding on to a connection for too long. I suspect that it’s a little like working with Braille displays. Performance and bugs will vary a bit depending on manufacturer.

Submitted by Shawn T on Sunday, September 29, 2019

I've seen this work with fussy braille displays not connecting as well, and I was having serious issues with Airpods 2nd gen with 13.0. Bad thing is you'll have to reconnect to all your favorite wifi networks, but now my pods are rock solid again. Might be worth a try for the affected people on this post.

Submitted by Travis Roth on Sunday, September 29, 2019

Hi all, Yes I agree this is a finicky situation. I've heard from a couple with Oticon that they are fine with 13.1.1. I would suggest when you have good or bad info to report, also mention your device type such as iPhone XR. I have found before that the situation can depend even on the device model.
I am running 13.1 myself (not 13.1.1) and I have been happy with the MFi on 13.1. I have found for me using iPhone XR and Starkey Livio that the connection has been much better about connecting, and remaining connected. I was hoping that this would be a good year for MFi, so since I have something that is working I am proceeding with caution.

Submitted by Morgan Watkins on Sunday, September 29, 2019

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

After reading Jonathan Mosen's post, and knowing that he has Oticon S 1 hearing aids and that 13.1.1 seems to be working for him, I took the plunge. I have installed 13.1.1 and everything seems to be working fine, no better, no worse. Bluetooth keyboardss are still a minor pain, but that has been that way for quite some time.

Anyway, I am now running iOS 13.1.1 on my iPhone XR with my Oticon Opn S 1 miniRITE hearing aids. All good so far.

Submitted by Wayne Scott Jr on Sunday, September 29, 2019

I am running 13.a.a with my Starkey hearing aids and working just fine. Only thing is, I'm hearing all sounds like notifications, mail, etc. in my hearing aids. Also, when I connect to bluetooth speakers, the music comes out ofthe speaker, VoiceOver comes out ofthe phone speaker. My braille display has had no problems connecting. I had to delete my VPN to get my network connections to work. After I reset my network settings.

Submitted by Danny Norris on Sunday, September 29, 2019

I'm still with 13.0 at the moment. And I ahve the iPhone 10. Thank you all for sharing. I'm a total gadget freak, like probably most of us on this Board, and it will be hard for me not to upgrade to the latest. I thought I would order the iPhone 11 Pro and keep my iPhone 10 as backup and let that one be the experimental one. but then got to thinking once I got teh 11 Pro, I would have to load iOS 13.1.1 and what it it doesn't work! But seeing your responses gives me some reassurances.
I also got to thinking that Travis's original post mentioned Phonak's problems. I do know they are not really MFI. They pair their aids via the Bluetooth panel vs the Accessibility panels. and also know that when they upgraded their Marvel's to 2.0 a lot of their customers lost connections and had to unpair, delete the app, then restart device, reinstall app and re-pair
Their bluetooth connection is different from MFI.

Submitted by Danny Norris on Sunday, September 29, 2019

for your suggestion about resetting the network settings. A good tip to keep in mind when all else fails.


Submitted by Danny Norris on Sunday, September 29, 2019

Hi Wayne.
If you are saying that you don't care for the notification and other sound effects playing through your hearing aids, You can toggle the mute switch located at top left to off. I can see this being bothersome while in a conversation or meeting and sound effects going off in your ears!

Submitted by David Dobler on Friday, October 4, 2019

I updated yesterday with no problems.
No issues with hanging up after a call.

Submitted by Teresa on Monday, October 7, 2019

My Audibel Vias are working fine, but I have a more serious unrelated issue that I'll post elsewhere

Submitted by Danny Norris on Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Hi all. Just upgraded yesterday and all seems fine with Quattros connections. In fact I'm still tickled that the connection is much better than in iOS 12.
Has anybody else noticed in Accessibility/Voice Over/Audio their are a couple of new settings? One called Speech Channel and the other is Sound Channel. We can check and uncheck which side the speech and sounds are channeled to. Looks like we have to have at least one checked in each category.
Also, right above that is something about Send to H D M I. There is a small description under that which says to restart any connected media source. Anybody know what that is?

Submitted by Mani on Thursday, October 10, 2019

I have been having some issues with my aids:

1) I get an ringing noise every time I shut the phone on or off. This is annoying. It did not do that before.

2) After hanging up on a call and in some other situations which I have not been able to pinpoint, the phone goes silent. VO refuses to activate. I have resorted to all kinds of things to bring VO back.

Anybody experience these issues? Any suggestions?


Submitted by Danny Norris on Saturday, October 19, 2019

Hi all.
For those of you still having problems with Bluetooth keyboard issues...have you tried going into Bluetooth settings, unpairing the keyboard device and re-pairing?
I've gotten my iPhone 11 Pro last week and so far I am having really good success with both my hearing aids and Magic Keyboard connecting and working well together. Every once in a while my keyboard still decides to type out a long string of letters on it's own but not very often. In fact maybe even only about once or twice in the past week.
The reason I am suggesting to try unparing and pairing again is that I swapped back to my iPhone 10 to see how it is doing and in doing so I have to unpair and pair again. Now my iPhone 10 seems to be doing ok.And infact much better than it was doing before doing all of this.
I have iOS 13.1.2 on the iPhone 10 and 13.1.3 on the iPhone 11 Pro.

Submitted by Danny Norris on Sunday, October 20, 2019

For the keyboard issue... First turn off your hearing aids. Then turn off then back on your bluetooth keyboard. Wait a few seconds to make sure your keyboard is connected then turn your hearing aids back on. Does it help?
Yesterday, I was having some real good connection with keyboard. Today, when I came home and turned on the keyboard, it was awful. It wouldn't connect or just typed out a bunch of letters. So I was trying to figure out what was different from yesterday and today . So I turned off the hearing aids, turned on the bluetooth and restarted the hearing aids and it seems to have cleared up again.
I sure hope this works for somebody else. Seems like once the keyboard gets connected first, it seems to play nicely.


Submitted by Eric on Friday, November 1, 2019

ios 13.2 is not very compatible with Oticon opn. Constantly dropping bluetooth connection.

Submitted by j12 on Tuesday, November 12, 2019

iOs 13.2.2 would solve all my problems that I have since the update to iOs 13. But it gets worse and worse with every step my audicien, Apple care suggests and update.

In settings it keep saying No connection. When I do the steps to connect, it works for an hour or so, after that I get again the same result: No connection.

Very annoying.

Submitted by Danny Norris on Sunday, November 24, 2019

I recently discovered that if the keyboard is messing up, turning off one of the hearing aids will give the keyboard a stable connection. I know not really an ideal situation with hearing with just one aid but at least you will be able to use the keyboard. Plus if this works for you, would be a good idea to pass this information to Apple Accessibility to let them know we might have found a potential cause of why the keyboard doesn't work with Voice Over.