Cellular Hearing Aid Compatibility

Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) for Wireless Devices

Hearing aids do not always function well with wireless handsets. Hearing aids operate by using a microphone to pick up sound waves, converting the sound waves into electrical signals to be amplified. Distortion or amplification of unwanted sound (noise) often occurs.

The FCC’s hearing aid compatibility requirements address hearing aids that operate in either of two modes – acoustic coupling (“M” rating) or inductive coupling (“T” rating).

  • M-Ratings: Wireless devices rated M3 or M4 meet FCC requirements and are likely to generate less interference to hearing devices than wireless devices that are not labeled. M4 is the better/higher of the two ratings.
  • T-Ratings: Wireless devices rated T3 or T4 meet FCC requirements and are likely to be more usable with a hearing device’s telecoil (“T Switch” or “Telephone Switch”) than unrated wireless devices. T4 is the better/higher of the two ratings. (Note that not all hearing devices have telecoils in them).

Hearing aids operating on acoustic coupling mode receive through a microphone and then amplify all sounds surrounding the user, including both desired sounds, such as a telephone’s audio signal, and unwanted ambient noise. Hearing aids operating in inductive coupling mode turn off the microphone to avoid amplifying unwanted ambient noise, instead using a telecoil to receive only audio signal-based magnetic fields generated by inductive coupling-capable telephones. The FCC’s “M” and “T” ratings indicate whether a handset can be expected to function well with a hearing aid and are generally marked clearly on the handset packaging. The “M” or “T” rating does not guarantee that the handset will function without distortion or noise, so Garden Valley Telephone Company recommends that you test the handset before purchasing to make sure you are able to hear with little interference from your hearing aid or if you have severe hearing loss. Garden Valley has a 30-day return or exchange policy, please call for details.

HAC Rating

Hearing Aid Compliant (HAC) Device Rating
As of May 29, 2018

Apple iPhone X (256GB)M3/T4
Apple iPhone 8 (64GB)M3/T4
Apple iPhone 8 (256GB)M3/T4
Apple iPhone 8 Plus (256GB)M3/T4
Apple iPhone 7 Plus (128GB)M3/T4
Apple iPhone 7 (128GB)M3/T4
Apple iPhone SE (64GB)M3/T4
Apple iPhone 6S (128GB)M3/T4
Apple iPhone 6S (64GB)M3/T4
Apple iPhone 6 (64GB)M3/T4
Apple iPhone 6 (16GB)M3/T4
Moto e4 (32GB)M3/T3
Motorola Droid Turbo 2 (32GB)M4/T4
Motorola Razr MaxxM3/T3
Samsung Galaxy S9+ (64GB)M4/T3
Samsung Galaxy S9 (64GB)M4/T3
Samsung Galaxy S8+ (64GB)M4/T3
Samsung Galaxy S8 (64GB)M4/T3
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (32GB)M4/T3
Samsung Galaxy S7 (32GB)M4/T3
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (32GB)M4/T3
Samsung Galaxy S6 (64GB)M4/T3
LG EnactM4/T4
Samsung Convoy 3M4/T4
  • This list is subject to change. To check the availability of these and other devices, give us a call at 800-448-8260
  • The HAC rating for a phone can also be found on its box or within the user manual.

Levels of Functionality

GVTC offers HAC-compatible handsets and devices in all major price categories, including low-cost (“C” level) (<$100), moderate-cost (“B” level) ($100-$250), and high-end/feature-rich (“A” level) (>$250). Costs generally correlate with the number of features. GVTC’s sales staff is trained to assist all existing and prospective customers looking for a HAC-compliant device/handset. HAC-compatible handsets and devices vary in their inherent “levels of functionality,” but typically at least one (1) HAC-compliant handset/device with features and services typical of its price category can be found that meets each customer’s price range.