Information For Customers That Are Deaf Or Hard Of Hearing
Hearing Aid Compatible Phones
Some people that use hearing aid devices may experience difficulties when using a wireless phone. The wireless industry and consumer groups representing the hard of hearing have been working for years to study this matter and develop standards and solutions to reduce the likelihood of such difficulties. In addition the Federal Communications Commission has set forth requirements for wireless carriers and the wireless device manufacturers. Much progress has been made and there are now a large number of hearing aid compatible (HAC) devices available to customers.
There are two different ratings to consider when picking a hearing aid compatible device:
M-Ratings – Reduced Hearing Aid Device Interference
Some people with a hearing aid device experience a buzzing or whining noise when using a wireless phone. This noise is caused when the electronics within the hearing aid device pick up and demodulate radio frequency (RF) and/or electromagnetic interference (EMI) emitted by the phone.
Phones with an M-Rating of M3 or M4 meet FCC requirements and are less likely to generate interference to hearing devices than phones that are not labeled. M4 is the better/higher of the two ratings.
Hearing devices may also be measured for immunity to this type of interference. Your hearing device manufacturer or hearing health professional can help you find results for your hearing device. The more immune your hearing aid is, the less likely you are to experience interference noise from mobile phones and other sources of RF/EMI such as computer monitors and florescent lighting.
T-Ratings – Compatible with Hearing Aids with Telecoils
A telecoil is a small device that is built into some hearing aids for use with the telephone as well as assistive listening devices. Not all hearing aids have telecoils.
Phones with a T-Rating of T3 or T4 meet FCC requirements and are more likely to work well for people who use hearing aids with telecoils. T4 is the better/higher of the two ratings.