Although the FCC now requires that hearing aid compatible (HAC) cell phones meet strict guidelines for quality, some hearing aid users wish to further improve their cell phone experience. Add-on devices and cell phone accessories can make cell phones even more compatible with hearing aids.
Many cell phones can be used with hearing aid telecoils. Hearing aid accessories that provide a hands-free option may also be helpful.
What is a Telecoil?
Telecoil (also known as t-switch or t-coil) is a telephone switch feature that is now built in to about 45% of all hearing aids. If you are unsure if your hearing aid has this feature, contact your hearing specialist or the hearing aid manufacturer.
HAC devices and accessories support hearing aids that have the telecoil feature.
Please contact one of our hearing healthcare professionals if you are unsure if your hearing device has this feature or is capable of being activated.
More About Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) Cell Phone Accessories
HAC cell phone accessories are beneficial to hearing aid users for several reasons. They put distance between the hearing aid and the cell phone, which can cut down on any buzzing or feedback, as well as decrease any interference between the two devices.
Some HAC accessories can give you hands-free cell phone usage, which is especially important if you plan on using your cell phone while driving. You may also be able to use the speakerphone function on some devices if you use the microphone mode on your hearing aid.
All major cell phone manufacturers are now required to make HAC cell phones available to hearing aid users, and many also have HAC cell phone accessories available as well.
It’s a good idea to visit your cell phone carrier’s local store and inquire about HAC phones and accessories, as well as try them out in the store with your hearing aid before making a purchase. Trying the phone with the device will give you a good idea of how well the accessory will work for you.
Keep in mind that some phones and devices may work differently once you leave the store, so it is also a good idea to find out about any money-back or satisfaction guarantees.
There are several companies that assist with amplified land-line options and phones as well as captioning phones that allow you to read what is being said. The state of Wisconsin further helps those who are hearing impaired by offering a free amplified telephone to all who qualify. Information about these and other free programs are available to you; just contact us for the details.