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Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC)

FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has mandated that cell phones be rated as to how much interference they are likely to cause to hearing aids.  The FCC defines Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) for cell phones in terms of radio-frequency (RF) emissions – the “M” (microphone) rating, and telecoil coupling – the “T” (t-coil) rating.

 

The rating scale ranges from 1 to 4.  The four possibilities are: M1 or T1 (poor), M2 or T2 (fair), M3 or T3 (good) and M4 or T4 (excellent).  Only phones rated 3 or 4 are allowed to be sold as hearing aid compatible (HAC).  Phones that would have only been rated 1 or 2 are deemed unacceptable.

 

“M” (Microphone) Rating
Since September 2005, cell phone companies have been required to provide several models of cell phones that are rated as being hearing aid compatible when used with hearing aids in the standard microphone setting (M3 or M4).  If you use your cell phone while wearing your hearing aids in the microphone (“M”) mode, look for one that is rated M3 or M4.  The higher the rating, the less likely you will experience interference.

 

“T” Telecoil Rating
Since September 18, 2006, cell phone companies have been required to provide several cell phone that are rated as being hearing aid compatible when used in t-coil mode (t3 or T4).  If you use your cell phone while wearing you hearing aids in t-coil (“T”) mode, look for a phone that is rated T3 or T4.  Again, this will not guarantee that these phones will be intereference-free when using your t-coils, but the higher the rating, the less likely you will experience interference.

For additional information regarding Hearing Aid Compatible phones, please visit the following:

https://www.fcc.gov/hearing-aid-compatibility-wireless-telephones

http://gari.info/

Levels Of Functionality

Bluesky offers a variety of HAC phone models to meet the needs of wireless users with hearing disabilities. If a phone is not HAC compatible, it will be listed as N/A in the HAC Rating column.

  1. The first category is basic phones. These phones may or may not have features such as a camera, internet access, multimedia player or expandable memory with key functions of calling and messaging.
  2. The second category is Smart Phones. These phones have advanced features such as a camera, Bluetooth, some desktop functions, e-mail and internet access.