AT&T Wireless strives to provide persons who are deaf or hard of hearing with access to the most compatible wireless devices. Keep reading to learn more about AT&T's hearing aid compatible devices, and the options available for the deaf and hard of hearing.
About Hearing Aid Compatibility
Persons using hearing aids can experience interference when using a wireless device that is held to the ear. To address that issue, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), pursuant to the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act, adopted rules requiring wireless device manufacturers and wireless providers to offer a minimum number of devices (with speakers and ordinarily held to the ear) that are compatible with hearing aids. AT&T Wireless offers many wireless devices that meet the FCC’s hearing aid compatibility requirements.
Get info on what makes a wireless device hearing aid compatible and lists of current and recent hearing aid compatible devices offered by AT&T. For additional information about hearing aid compatibility with wireless devices, see the FCC Guide or the Wireless Association’s accessibility guide.
Wireless handsets demonstrate hearing aid compatibility by complying with technical standards from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which are periodically updated to account for new frequencies and technologies. The hearing aid compatible wireless devices offered by AT&T meet either the 2011 ANSI Standard or the 2019 ANSI Standard.
- 2011 ANSI Standard. The 2011 ANSI Standard uses an M/T rating system to categorize a device’s ability to operate near a hearing aid without causing interference. The “M” part of the rating indicates the device’s ability to reduce interference to hearing aids operating in acoustic coupling mode. The “T” rating indicates the device’s ability to reduce interference to hearing aids operating in inductive coupling mode, in other words, with a telecoil. (Not all hearing aids have telecoils.) A device’s M and T ratings can run from 1 through 4. The higher the number, the less likely the device will cause interference when used near a hearing aid. A device that is hearing aid compatible under the 2011 ANSI Standard is rated M3 and T3 or better.
- 2019 ANSI Standard. Devices that meet the 2019 ANSI Standard for hearing aid compatibility do not have M or T ratings. They are simply labelled as “Hearing Aid Compatible” or “HAC,” which now means that they will operate at the equivalent of the M3/T3 rating or better. Devices that meet the 2019 ANSI Standard also include volume control capabilities that allow for sound levels sufficient for operation with and without a hearing aid.
Hearing aids may also be measured for immunity to interference from wireless devices. Your hearing aid manufacturer or hearing health professional can help you find results for your hearing aid. The more immune your hearing aid, the less likely you are to experience interference noise from a wireless device.