Hearing Aid Compatibility


In general, a hearing aid operates by using a microphone to pick up sound waves in the air and converts the sound waves to electrical signals. The signals are then amplified as needed and converted back to audible sounds for the user to hear. The hearing aid's microphone, however, does not always work well in conjunction with audio devices like headsets and telephone handsets. The acoustic connection made between the audio device and the hearing aid is poor and creates distortions in the sound. In addition, the surrounding noise in the area of the user and radio frequency emissions from the handset, are often picked up by the hearing aid and interfere with the desired audio.

 

Microphone Standard: M-Ratings
Handsets that receive a hearing aid compatibility rating of M3 have met the ANSI hearing aid compatibility standard as adopted by the Federal Communications Commission.

  • An M3 or higher rating indicates the handset has satisfied the ANSI standard

The M-rated handsets have lower radio frequency emissions level and are less likely to produce interference with a hearing aid. If there is no M-rating then the handset does not meet the ANSI standard. The handset's M-rating along with a hearing aid's M-rating will assist customers in finding a handset that will work best for them. The hearing aid must be in microphone mode in order to replicate the mode that was used with the handset when the rating was achieved.

 

Telecoil Standard: T-Ratings
Handsets that receive a telecoil rating of a T3 have met the required standard as adopted by the Federal Communications Commission.

  • A T3 or higher rating indicates the handset has satisfied the ANSI standard

The telecoil rating is in reference to telecoils in some hearing aids. The telecoil is a small device that is built into some hearing aids for use with the telephone as well as assistive listening devices. The telecoil receives sound from a handset without picking up the surrounding acoustic noise. Not all hearing aids have telecoils. To use the telecoil, generally, either the hearing aid is switched to the "T" position or a button on the hearing aid is pressed to select the telecoil setting.

 

Knowing a wireless device is rated for HAC
Only devices that are tested and meet the minimum rating for hearing aid compatibility, M3 or T3 and higher, will be labeled. Information about whether a wireless device is rated for hearing aid compatibility can be found in three places: (1) on the display cards next to devices in stores operated by Innovative, (2) on the packages containing a wireless handset, and (3) in the product's manual or packaging insert. The higher the "M" rating on the phone, the more likely it is you will be able to use the phone with your hearing aid on the microphone setting. Similarly, the higher the "T" rating, the more likely you will be able to use the phone with your hearing aid in the telecoil setting.

 

Try Before You Buy
Because hearing loss is highly individualized, customers who use hearing aids are encouraged to try hearing aid compatible phones in the store before making a purchase. It is best to try several devices before buying to find the best match with your hearing aids. While devices that are rated for hearing aid compatibility should improve usability for hearing aid users, there is no guarantee.

 

New Technologies
Devices with new technologies may not yet be tested for hearing aid compatibility. For such handsets, look for a notice on the package with the following information:
This phone has been tested and rated for use with hearing aids for some of the wireless technologies that it uses. However, there may be some newer wireless technologies used in this phone that have not been tested yet for use with hearing aids. It is important to try the different features of this phone thoroughly and in different locations, using your hearing aid or cochlear implant, to determine if you hear any interfering noise. Consult your service provider about its return and exchange policies and for information on hearing aid compatibility.

 

Functionality
The handsets listed below are categorized by functionality. The categories consist of the following:

  • Smart Phones: Phones that operate on the Internet with high speeds. Also includes higher features that may include: Blue-tooth, Wi-Fi, Calendar, memory card slot, Touch Screen and High Res camera. May also operate on the following platforms: Windows, BlackBerry, and Android.
  • High End WAP Phones: Phones that operate through a WAP browser but may utilize Touch Screen, High Res Camera, and Memory card slot.
  • Low End WAP Phones: Phones that operate through a WAP browser and are primarily used for talk and text.

Innovative offers a wide variety of HAC compatible handsets:

 

MakeModelHAC RatingsFunctionality

Black Berry

Passport

Smart Phone

M4

Alcatel

6016A

Smart Phone

M4

Samsung

G920

Smart Phone

M4T3

Nokia

E5-00

High End WAP

M3T4

LG

C441

Low End WAP

M3T4

Huawei

U3900

Low End WAP

M3T4

Apple

iPhone 5s

Smart Phone

M3T4

Apple

iPhone 6

Smart Phone

M3T4

Apple

iPhone 6 plus

Smart Phone

M3T4

Apple

iPhone 6s

Smart Phone

M3T4

Apple

iPhone 6s plus

Smart Phone

M3T4

Alcatel

385JA

Low End WAP

M3T3

Black Berry

9300

Smart Phone

M3T3

Black Berry

9700

Smart Phone

M3T3

Black Berry

9780

Smart Phone

M3T3

Black Berry

9800

Smart Phone

M3T3

Black Berry

9360

Smart Phone

M3T3

Black Berry

9860

Smart Phone

M3T3

Black Berry

9810

Smart Phone

M3T3

Samsung

N900

Smart Phone

M3T3

Black Berry

9900

Smart Phone

M3T3

Motorola

RAZR

Smart Phone

M3T3

Black Berry

9380

Smart Phone

M3

Black Berry

Z10

Smart Phone

M3

Black Berry

9100

Smart Phone

M3

Alcatel

7047A

Smart Phone

M3

Samsung

I637

High End WAP

M3

Motorola

QA1

Low End WAP

M3

Black Berry

Passport

Smart Phone

M4

Alcatel

6016A

Smart Phone

M4

Samsung

G920

Smart Phone

M4T3

Nokia

E5-00

High End WAP

M3T4

LG

C441

Low End WAP

M3T4

Huawei

U3900

Low End WAP

M3T4

Apple

iPhone 5s

Smart Phone

M3T4

Apple

iPhone 6

Smart Phone

M3T4

Apple

iPhone 6 plus

Smart Phone

M3T4

Apple

iPhone 6s

Smart Phone

M3T4

Apple

iPhone 6s plus

Smart Phone

M3T4

Alcatel

385JA

Low End WAP

M3T3

Black Berry

9300

Smart Phone

M3T3

Black Berry

9700

Smart Phone

M3T3

Black Berry

9780

Smart Phone

M3T3

Black Berry

9800

Smart Phone

M3T3

Black Berry

9360

Smart Phone

M3T3

Black Berry

9860

Smart Phone

M3T3

Black Berry

9810

Smart Phone

M3T3

Samsung

N900

Smart Phone

M3T3

Black Berry

9900

Smart Phone

M3T3

Motorola

RAZR

Smart Phone

M3T3

Black Berry

9380

Smart Phone

M3

Black Berry

Z10

Smart Phone

M3

Black Berry

9100

Smart Phone

M3

Alcatel

7047A

Smart Phone

M3

Samsung

I637

High End WAP

M3

Motorola

QA1

Low End WAP

M3