Apple Accessibility – Hearing

Note: The following examples assume version iOS10 or above. Screenshots may vary slightly to your screen display.


MFi Hearing Devices

Leading hearing aid manufactures have teamed up with Apple to create hearing aids that can connect directly to an Apple device such as an iPad or iPhone using a specific Bluetooth connectivity patented by Apple. Audio such as phone calls, audiobooks and music can be streamed directly to the hearing aids and manufacturer specific MFi apps can be used to control the hearing aids – for example – volume adjustment.

If you have MFi hearing devices, use the Accessibility settings to pair with your Apple device.

  • Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > MFi Hearing devices

Note: Bluetooth needs to be enabled

A screenshot showing the hearing devices settings on an Apple device
Fig.1 MFI Hearing devices settings within Accessibility settings.







Apple offer a comprehensive listing of compatible MFi devices and Apple products that support them as well as advice on how to get started using them.

Mono Audio

If you suffer from a hearing impairment in one of your ears and you are using headphones, you may struggle to hear the full sound in stereo as it can split sound channels between both ears. Mono allows the same single channel of sound to be heard in both ears.

  • Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Mono Audio
  • You can adjust the balance for greater volume between your left and right headphone (speaker and hearing aid) depending on your level of hearing loss.
A screenshot showing an enabled Mono Audio button on an Apple device
Fig.2 Enabled Mono Audio button within Accessibility Settings.







Phone noise cancellation

When making phone calls on your iPhone, reducing the background noise can make it easier for you to hear your conversation.

  • Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Mono Audio
  • Toggle ‘Phone Noise Cancellation’ on.
A screenshot showing the phone noise cancellation button is enabled on an Apple device
Fig.3 Phone noise Cancellation button enabled.










LED Flash for Alerts

This can be useful for the hearing impaired to see notifications coming in to the iPhone.

Whenever you receive a notification the LED light (camera flash and flashlight) on your iPhone will flash 3 times. The iPhone needs to be screen down and visible for the user to catch it.

This is useful when used in combination with vibration alerts.

  • Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > LED Flash for Alerts
  • Toggle ‘LED Flash for Alerts’ on
A screenshot showing the LED flash alerts are enabled on an Apple device
Fig.4  LED Flash for Alerts button enabled.










To also receive the visual alerts when the phone is set to silent, toggle ‘Flash on Silent’ to on

A screenshot showing the Flash on Silent button is enabled on an Apple device
Fig.5 Flash on Silent button enabled.










Subtitles and Captioning

Subtitles and captioning can provide additional support for those with hearing impairments when watching their favourite TV shows or films by showing the text of the spoken dialogue overlayed on the screen.

Captions and subtitles can be configured to be used by default when TV shows and films that support the features are viewed in a built-in app such as the Videos app.

Look out for the ‘CC’ and ‘SDH’ labels on the video descriptions when purchasing from the iTunes store.

  • Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Subtitles and Captioning > Closed Captions and SDH
  • Toggle Closed Captions and SDH to on.
A screenshot showing that closed captions and SDH have been enabled on an Apple device
Fig.6 Closed Captions and SDH button enabled.







Pre-created captioning styles can be chosen.

You can also customize your own style of text font, size and colour as well as Background Colour and Opacity.

A screenshot showing the pre-created captioning styles on an Apple device
Fig.7 Pre-Created Captioning styles within Subtitles and Captioning Accessibility settings.



Please click here to read an Overview to Apple Voiceover.

Please click here to read about Apple VoiceOver Screenreader.

Please click here to read about Vision options with Apple Accessibility.

Please click here to read about Zoom Magnification with Apple Accessibility.