The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) for wireless devices in terms of radio-frequency (RF) emissions and telecoil coupling. Cell phones are tested to see if they comply with the FCC's definition of hearing aid compatibility.
M refers to the RF emissions level of the handset device and means the device is intended for use with hearing aids in microphone mode. The higher the "M" rating number on the device, the more likely the device can be used with a hearing aid on the microphone setting.
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 device, the more likely the device can be used with a hearing aid on the 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. To use the telecoil, generally either the hearing aid is switched to the "T" position or a button on the hearing aid is pushed to select the telecoil program. Some newer hearing aids will automatically switch to telecoil mode when using a phone. The telecoil picks up magnetic fields generated by telephones and converts these fields into sound. Telecoils are particularly useful for telephone communication because they permit the volume control of a hearing aid to be turned up without creating feedback or "whistling," and background noise can be reduced especially when using cell phones in noisy places. A hearing health professional can determine whether a hearing aid contains a telecoil and how it is activated.
Explanation of methodology for determining levels of functionality (e.g. operating capabilities, features, prices) for compliant handsets:
Bluegrass Cellular offers a variety of HAC phone models to meet the needs of wireless users with hearing disabilities. The mobile units are presented here by category of price.
PDAs (smartphones) generally have advanced features such as expandable memory, enhanced camera, Bluetooth, video, Internet access, touch screen UI, faster processing, email, full QWERTY keypads and, in many cases, Windows Office Mobile to meet the demands of mobile business professionals and consumers.
High-Tier Phones have features for demanding users, including Bluetooth, Internet access capability, increased RAM storage or expandable memory, high-resolution color display, enhanced camera/video capability and music/MP3 player functionality. They typically feature a modern, sleek design – often with slider construction.
Mid-Tier Phones may have a camera, Bluetooth or Internet access capability, but they are less likely to offer video/music/media player capability. Design is typically less stylish and tends to be clamshell or flip-form construction.
Low-Tier Phones offer basic wireless telephone features. They may not have a camera, Bluetooth or Internet access capability and generally lack such features as MP3 players and expandable memory. These types of phones usually feature utilitarian designs suitable for customers using voice/text only, and they tend to be flip- or bar-form factor.
A listing of Bluegrass Cellular's HAC handsets by current and recently offered models can be found in the table below.
|Apple iPhone 5s||M3/T4||Yes||PDA|
|Apple iPhone 6s||M3/T4||Yes||PDA|
|Apple iPhone 6s Plus||M3/T4||Yes||PDA|
|Apple iPhone SE||M3/T4||Yes||PDA|
|Apple iPhone 7||M3/T3||Yes||PDA|
|Apple iPhone 7 Plus||M3/T3||Yes||PDA|
|Apple iPhone 8||M3/T4||Yes||PDA|
|Apple iPhone 8 Plus||M3/T4||Yes||PDA|
|Apple iPhone X||M3/T4||Yes||PDA|
|Samsung Galaxy S3||M4||Yes||Mid|
|Samsung R480 Freeform 5||M4/T3||No||Basic|
|Samsung Galaxy S6||M4/T3||Yes||PDA|
|Samsung Galaxy S7||M4/T3||Yes||PDA|
|Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge||M4/T3||Yes||PDA|
|Samsung Galaxy S8||M4/T3||Yes||PDA|
|Samsung Galaxy S8+||M3/T3||Yes||PDA|
|Samsung Galaxy J3||M3/T3||Yes||PDA|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 8||M4/T3||Yes||PDA|
|LG170 Fluid II||M4/T4||No||Basic|
|Moto Z2 Force||M3/T4||Yes||PDA|
|Moto Z2 Play||M3/T4||Yes||PDA|
|Moto XT1564 Play||M3/T3||Yes||PDA|
|Unimax 670 Bravo*||M3/T3||Yes||Basic|
* This phone has 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 this phone thoroughly and in different locations, using your hearing aid or cochlear implant, to determine if you hear any interfering noise. Consult your service provider or the manufacturer of this phone for information on hearing aid compatibility. If you have questions about return or exchange policies, consult your service provider or phone retailer.