Hearing Aid Compatibility
The Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988 (HAC Act) required the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ensure that telephones made in or imported for use in the United States are hearing aid compatible. However, wireless phones were exempted. As demand in the market shifted, the FCC determined that the exemption was creating adverse effects for individuals with hearing disabilities, and on August 14, 2003, the FCC established rules for hearing aid compatibility of wireless (or mobile) phones.
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.
Device Functionality Level
- Basic level is a handset with talk and text capabilities.
- Better level is a handset with talk, text and camera capabilities.
- Advanced/3G level is a Smartphone handset with talk, text, camera and data capabilities that operates on 3G network.
- Advanced/4G level is a Smartphone handset with talk, text, camera and data capabilities that can operate on 3G or 4G network.
Why do I get interference on my hearing aid from mobile phone?
Digital cell phone signals and hearing aids may unintentionally create interference (often in form of a buzzing sound) when used together. Advances in technology have allowed mobile phone manufacturers to create Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) mobile phones that reduce or eliminate the interference.
What are Hearing Aid Compatible mobile phones?
The wireless industry uses an “M” and “T” rating to show how the mobile phone will work with a hearing aid in microphone mode (“M”) and in telecoil mode (“T”). i-wireless mobile phones rated with M3, M4, T3, or T4 meet the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requirements and are likely to generate less interference with hearing aids than those that do not have a rating. The higher the number, the higher the rating.
For more information about HAC for mobile phones, please click here.
How do I know what the M Rating and T Rating is for my i-wireless device?
You can refer to the i-wireless Hearing Aid Compatibility Chart listed below.
i-wireless Hearing Aid Compatibility Chart
|Manufacturer||Model||Model #||FCC ID||M-Rating||T-Rating||Functionality Level|
|LG||LG X POWER||LS755||ZNFLS755||M3||T4||Advanced/4G|
|SAMSUNG||GALAXY J3 ACHIEVE||J337P||A3LSMJ337A||M3||T3||Advanced/4G|