USING YOUR PHONE WITH A HEARING AID COMPATIBLE DEVICE AND TTY. Wireless phones offered for sale or provided with Gen Mobile services have been tested for hearing aid device compatibility. When some wireless phones are used with certain hearing aid devices, including hearing aids and cochlear implants, users may detect a noise that may interfere with the effectiveness of the hearing aid device. Some hearing aid devices are more immune than others to this interference, and phones may also vary in the amount of interference noise that may be generated. ANSI standard C63.19 was created to provide a standardized method of measuring both wireless phones and hearing aid devices to determine usability ratings. Ratings have been created for wireless phones to assist hearing aid device users in finding phones that may be compatible with their hearing aid device. Not all phones have been rated for compatibility with hearing aid devices and these ratings are not guarantees. Results may vary depending on the user’s hearing aid device, individual model or type, and degree of hearing loss. If a hearing aid device is particularly vulnerable to interference noise, even a phone with a higher rating may still cause unacceptable noise levels in the hearing aid device. Trying out the phone with your hearing aid device is the best way to evaluate it for your personal needs and use.
Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) Rating. The FCC has developed a rating system for wireless phones regarding their HAC-related performance. This rating helps consumers who are hard of hearing or with hearing disabilities to find phones that will work well with their hearing aid devices. The HAC-rating and measurement procedure are described in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C63.19:2007. ANSI C63.19 contains two (2) rating standards: an “M” rating from 1 to 4 for hearing aid devices operating in microphone mode and a “T” rating from 1 to 4 for hearing aid devices operating in telecoil mode. M-Ratings: Phones rated M3 or M4 meet FCC requirements for hearing aid device compatibility and are likely to generate less interference noise to hearing aid devices than unrated phones. (M4 is the better/higher of the two ratings.) T-Ratings: Phones rated T3 or T4 meet FCC requirements and are likely to be more usable with a hearing aid device’s telecoil (“T Switch” or “Telephone Switch”) than unrated phones. (T4 is the better/higher of the two ratings. Note that not all hearing aid devices have telecoils in them.) A combination of M-rating and T-rating defines the final HAC-rating and is a deciding factor in selecting wireless phones for people with hearing problems. A HAC-compliant phone could be rated: M3/T3, M3/T4, M4/T3, or M4/T4. Hearing aid devices may also be measured for immunity to interference noise from wireless phones and should have ratings similar to phones. Ask your hearing healthcare professional for the rating of your hearing aid. Add the rating of your hearing aid device and your phone to determine probable usability: any combined rating equal to or greater than six offers excellent use, any combined rating equal to five is considered normal use, or any combined rating equal to four is considered usable. Thus, if you pair an M3 hearing aid with an M3 phone, you will have a combined rating of six for “excellent use.” T ratings can be combined in the same manner.
To find out more information regarding hearing aid compatibility for handset models, please visit: Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative (www.gari.info).
Device List. This table lists the hearing aid compatibility ratings for currently available Gen Mobile phones. Because user experiences are varied and highly individualized, Gen Mobile recommends customers try several hearing aid compatible phones to determine which phone will work best for them.
This list was last updated January 2021.