Combining Two Technologies: Are Phones Compatible with Hearing Aids?


Over the past few decades alone, the number of Americans with hearing loss is currently over 31 million. And what raises more concern is the fact that at least 6 out of 10 of these people are below 65 years of age. Isn’t this alarming? Certainly. These people find it very difficult to converse with friends and family through cell phones due to constant sound distortions and lack of visual cues to follow. But the health sector has taken advantage of the ever-advancing technology to obtain a more convenient solution. Cell phones are now compatible with hearing aids and this has helped a multitude of such people.

How It Works

Transmission of the conversation is over a wireless network of radio waves when using a digital cell phone. These radio waves create a pulsing electromagnetic field around the antenna of your phone. This energy will then be picked up by the telecoil or microphone circuit of your hearing aid and you’ll be able to perceive it as a buzzing sound. You will also be able to pick up the magnetic interference that originates from your phone’s display, keypad, backlight, or battery. This increases the level of interference. Some hearing aids have specially designed features like directional microphones, speech isolation, and digital noise reduction for more convenience. You can visit for more information.

What Does It Mean to be Compatible?

The Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) for phones have been defined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) off two parameters, telecoil coupling and radio-frequency (RF) emissions. The cell phones that are HAC-compliant are marked with “T” or “M” ratings. T-rating refers to the standard telecoil mode and M-rating is the standard microphone mode. This labeling is only done on the cell phones that meet the HAC regulations.

Hearing Aid and Cell Phone Rating

Phones that are compatible with hearing aids are rated with an M or a T rating, where a higher number denotes more quality of sound. M3 or M4 means that the phone will work very well with the hearing aid in the microphone position. T3 or T4 rating means the phone works very well with the hearing aid with a telecoil. The same applies to the hearing aids. Hearing aids with an M4 or T4 rating means better connection and less noise in the microphone and telecoil respectively.

How to Know If Your Phone and Hearing Aids Are Compatible

Cell phones that are HAC have some label that suggests this feature. You can find this either on the cell phone’s user manual or on the package. In cell phone stores, you’ll also see a card on display next to the specific phone. Therefore, if you won’t see this label in any of these, then they will not be compatible. You can also check the specific ratings of the cell phone that you’re interested in.


What couldn’t have been accomplished a few years ago have now been made possible? Thanks to the power of technology. Improved communication has been promoted in the hearing world with the use of hearing aid through cell phones. Before you purchase one of the product, depending on your lifestyle, ensure that you try different phones to help you make a better decision. Inquire also to know of the available policies if you can return the product if it doesn’t work well for you.