Some people who use hearing aid devices may have trouble when using a wireless phone. The wireless industry and consumer groups representing the hard of hearing have been working for years to study this matter and develop standards and solutions to reduce the likelihood of such difficulties. In addition, the Federal Communications Commission has set forth requirements for wireless carriers and wireless device manufacturers. Much progress has been made and there are now a large number of hearing aid compatible (HAC) devices available.
To see a list of hearing aid compatible devices from Sprint, click here.
Sprint customers can find HAC phones by looking on the "fact tag" displays at retail stores. The fact tag will contain a statement such as "Rated for Hearing Aids: M4/T4."
These HAC ratings are available on sprint.com. Go to Phones, click on the phone you are interested in and click on the tab entitled "Key features."
There are two different ratings to consider when picking a hearing aid compatible device:
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 with 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 from mobile phones and other sources of RF/EMI such as computer monitors and fluorescent lighting.
A telecoil is a small device 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.
Because individual experiences vary, Sprint recommends customers try several hearing aid compatible phones at Sprint owned and operated stores to determine which phones will work best for them.
Hearing aid compatibility FAQ from accesswireless.org
Videos from accesswireless.org: Choosing a cell phone that works for you
This five-part video series was put together by the Wireless Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (Wireless RERC) and CTIA - The Wireless Association® to help consumers choose a hearing aid compatible wireless device that meets their needs. Each video breaks down the information customers need into easy to understand segments.