Don't have an account? Create one now!
Forgot your password?
To ensure deaf and hard of hearing individuals can use digital wireless devices,
the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) updated the Hearing Aid Compatibility
Act of 1988 ("HAC Act"), passing regulations to increase the number of hearing aid-compatible
wireless devices. The FCC has approved standards and passed regulations for digital
wireless devise use with hearing aids. The FCC defines Hearing Aid Compatibility
(HAC) for wireless devices in terms of two parameters: radio frequency (RF) emissions
and telecoil coupling.
Digital technology means more features and improved efficiency—but some digital
phones can cause interference for hearing aid users. When a wireless phone is in
communication with its network, an electromagnetic field is present around the phone's
antenna. During communication with a digital wireless phone, this field pulses.
It is this pulsing energy that may be picked up by the hearing aid's microphone
or telecoil circuitry and is heard as a buzzing sound through the hearing aid.
Information about a wireless phone's HAC rating can be found on the feature cards
next to the phones in Airfire operated stores, on the phone box and in the phone
Only phones that meet the minimum rating will be labeled HAC compliant. The package
and the display cards will be labeled with an "M" and/or a "T" and a rating number.
If you see an M3, M4, T3, or T4 label on the feature card or packaging, then the
device is HAC compliant.
"M" refers to the device’s RF emission level and means the device is intended for
use with hearing aids in microphone mode. The higher the M rating, the more likely
you will be able to use the phone with your hearing aid on the microphone setting.
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
"T" refers to the device's telecoil coupling ability and means the device is intended
for use with hearing aids in telecoil mode. The higher the "T" rating number on
the phone, the more likely you will be able to use the phone with your hearing aid
on telecoil setting.
A telecoil is a small device that is built into some hearing aids for use with the
telephone as well as assistive listening devices. Telecoils are very useful for
telephone communication because they allow the volume control of a hearing aid to
be turned up without creating feedback or whistling. Background noise can be reduced,
especially when using cell phones in noisy places.
Telecoil users will also want to control backlighting of the display and keypad
since these features may also cause interference. Interference from backlighting
is not considered when determining a cell phone’s HAC rating.
Phones and accessories that are Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) will work with hearing
aids that support the telephone switch feature. This is commonly known as the "T-switch"
or "T-coil" that is built into the hearing aids. HAC products will only work with
hearing aids that have a telephone switch.
Airfire wireless currently sells numerous phone models that meet the FCC M and T
rating standards. For more details on devices, please call our customer care or
ask any sales consultant.
Hearing loss and hearing aids are highly individualized; therefore, customers who
use hearing aids are encouraged to try hearing aid compatible phones at AirFire
Wireless-owned and operated stores to determine which phones will work best for
These phones have 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 a phone thoroughly and in different locations,
using your hearing aid or cochlear implant, to determine if you hear any interfering
noise. Consult AirFire Mobile or the manufacturer of a phone for information on
hearing aid compatibility. If you have questions about return or exchange policies,
consult AirFire Mobile or the phone retailer.