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Mobile phones and hearing aid compatibility (HAC)

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Last updated by Isabel M

You can find Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) phones by checking the specifications for the device you're interested in. Our latest device round up can be found at https://ting.com/shop.

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 with 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 from mobile phones and other sources of RF/EMI such as computer monitors and fluorescent lighting.

T-Ratings and compatibility with hearing aids with telecoils

A telecoil is a small device 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.

 

What is a HAC?

HAC stands for Hearing Aid Compatibility.

How do I know if a device is HAC compliant?

HAC compliant devices carry a rating of M3, M4, T3 or T4. You can find Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) phones by checking the specifications for the device you're interested in. If you're having trouble finding HAC specification information for a device that you want to purchase, just get in touch so we can help you out.

What do each of the ratings mean?

The M rating refers to meeting FCC regulations for use with a hearing aid device and you would be more likely to use the phone with the hearing aid on the microphone setting.

The T rating refers to the usability of the phone to be used with a hearing aid's telecoil (T Switch or Telephone Switch) then unrated devices.

The higher the number, the more likely that the device will be usable with hearing aids. The higher the "T" rating, the more likely that the device will be usable with the hearing aid on the telecoil setting.

What is Telecoil?

Telecoil is a small device that is built into some hearing aids for use with telephones as well as assistive listening devices. Not all hearing aid devices have a telecoil built in and must be enabled by flipping a switch on the hearing aid to the "T" position or in some cases a button that toggles the telecoil setting.

The telecoil picks up magnetic fields generated by telephones and converts these fields into sound. This is especially important with telephones as they allow a hearing aid to be turned up without creating feedback or 'whistling' and this can also help with background noise such as in noisy places.

Will using a HAC compliant device guarantee that I will be able to use a wireless phone with a specific hearing aid?

No. Hearing loss and hearing aids are highly customized for each user.

Most new hearing aids contain RF (Radio Frequency) immune circuitry and about half contain a telecoil. Your health care provider will be able to provide additional details on this.

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    I don't see any HAC specifications listed on the Ting device pages.

  • Avatar
    Andrew Costen

    We haven't added these details to the specs on the Devices page yet, but they're coming.

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    Those of us with hearing aids will appreciate that.

    It is frustrating to try and find out accurate information on HAC, even though, I believe, carriers are required to carry some HAC compliant devices.

  • Avatar
    sean cleeland

    there are still no specifications....

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    Why has Ting chosen to discriminate against we who are hearing impaired? The vendors publish standardized Hearing Aid Compatibility numbers so we can make appropriate choices.

    Ting needs to add these numbers to the appropriate device pages to help insure our needs are met. With Sprint, a hearing impaired user can try a phone before purchasing. Ting does not have that option so publishing the numbers is of even greater importance.

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    According to the federal government, Ting must have at least a minimum number of HAC devices. It is contrary to the intent of the law to not provide that information.

    You can see the requiements at http://www.fcc.gov/guides/hearing-aid-compatibility-wireless-telephones

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    Here is an interesting quote from the above government link

    Since January 15, 2009, manufacturers and service providers have been required to post information about their hearing aid-compatible handset offerings on their websites.

  • Avatar
    Brennan V

    Thank you for sharing Bruce. We'll take that into consideration.

  • Avatar
    Andrew Costen

    We actually do have HAC specs on our Compare Devices page (at https://ting.com/devices/buy/compare?type=smartphone), but it only currently applies to new phones, not refurbs. I've brought up the lack of HAC info on the device pages themselves though, and have been told they'll get added as soon as possible.

  • Avatar
    Barbara Lace

    I have had to return 2 top brand phones because I couldn't hear well enough during calls. Meanwhile my ancient $10 Samsung flip phone is more than loud. I fear I'll never be able to get a smartphone because the manufacturers have evidently ignored a huge segment of the population. They don't even provide call volume control on them. Even if you look at seniors' phones, they don't have loud phones there, just very simplified phones. Duh...even seniors can't get loud smartphones

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