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Accessible Cell Phones for the Hard of Hearing with T-coil Hearing Aids 

The purpose of this page is to provide a brief overview of the various solutions available for hard of hearing cell phone users.    In general this site will stick to providing a general rather than detailed overview without much opinion offered, leaving it up to the person who is interested to pursue further research on their own.   When opinions are given, they are just that, opinions.  

Table of Contents

Cell phones meeting ANSI Standard for hard of hearing users


Cell phones meeting ANSI Standard for hard of hearing users

Hearing aids work by employing an internal microphone to take sound, convert it to a digital signal that is filtered and amplified, then convert the digital signal back to sound for the user.  The hearing aid's microphone oftentimes does not work well with the cell phone.   To counter this problem, the cell phone industry from the direction of the FCC has implemented Microphone and Telecoil Standards.  The Microphone Standard addresses the audio coupling problem.  The Telecoil Standard ensures a strong magnetic coupling between the cell phone and those using a telecoil to resolve the audio issue.

Microphone Standard

Handsets that receive a hearing aid compatibility rating of M3 or M4 have met or surpassed the ANSI hearing aid compatibility standard as adopted by the Federal Communications Commission.

The higher the M-rating the handset has the lower the Radio Frequency emissions level and higher signal quality the handset will have. If there is no M-rating then the handset does not meet the ANSI standard. The handset's M-rating along with a hearing aid's M-rating will assist customers in finding a handset that will work best for them. The hearing aid must be in microphone mode in order to replicate the mode that was used with the handset when the rating was achieved.

Rating information can be found on the handset description card at your local Verizon Wireless store and on the Verizon Wireless online store. The M-rating, and a brief description of what the M-rating means, will be on the outside of the handset box and included with the information inside the box.


Telecoil Standard

Handsets that receive a telecoil rating of a T3 or T4 have met or surpassed the required standard as adopted by the Federal Communications Commission.

The telecoil rating is in reference to telecoils in some hearing aids, the telecoil is a small device that is built into some hearing aids for use with the telephone as well as assistive listening devices. Not all hearing aids have telecoils. 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 setting.

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.

Those handsets that are both compliant for the microphone rating and the telecoil ratings will have both ratings on the handset box and its owner manual. If compliant to both standards it will appear as M3/T3 or M4/T4.

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Make Model Rating
LG C2000 M3, T3
Motorola V3i/ M3, T3
Samsung A707 Gray
A707 Gray AT&T
A707 Red
A707 Red AT&T
A707 Blue
A707 Blue AT&T
Motorola V3xx Dark Gray
V3xx AT&T Dark Gray
V3xx Gold
V3xx Gold AT&T
V3xx Platinum
V3xx Bubble Gum Pink
V3xx Red
M3, T3
Samsung A717 M3
Nokia 6085 M3, T3
Nokia 6555 Black
6555 Red
6555 Gold
M3, T3
Sony Ericsson Z310a Black
Z310a Pink
LG CE110 M3, T3
RIM Curve 8310 Titanium
Curve 8310 Red
M3, T3
Motorola V3 Blue
V3 Black
V3 Pink
M3, T3
Sony Ericsson W580i White
W580i Gray
W580i Black
M3, T3
LG CU515 M3, T3
Samsung A737 Blue/Steel
A737 Red
A737 Orange
A737 Lime
M3, T3
Samsung A747 SLM Brown
A747 SLM Blue

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Phone    Rating  Tier
LG enV TOUCH M4/T4 High
LG enV3 M4 Mid
LG Glance M4 Mid
LG Versa M4/T4 High
LG VX5500 M4/T4 Low
LG VX 8360 M4/T4 Low
Motorola Entice W766 M4/T4 Mid
Motorola Krave ZN4 M4/T4 High
Motorola Moto VU204 M3/T3 Low
Motorola MOTO W755 M4/T4 Low
Motorola Rapture VU30 M4/T4 Mid
Motorola Rival M3/T3 High
Nokia Mirage 2605 M4/T4 Low
Nokia 6205 M4/T4 Mid
Nokia 7205 Intrigue M3/T4 High
Nokia Shade 2705 M4/T4 Low
Nokia Twist M4/T4 High
Samsung Alias 2 M4 Mid
Samsung Intensity M4 Low
Samsung Knack M4/T4 Low
Samsung Renown M3/T4 High
Samsung Rogue M4 High
Samsung Smooth M4/T4 Low
Samsung Sway M4 Mid
Samsung SCH-U410 M3/T3 Mid
Samsung SCH-U340 M4/T4 Low
Samsung Trance M4/T3 Low
Verizon Wireless Blitz M3 Low
Verizon Wireless Razzle M4/T4 Low

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Advanced PDA, Blackberry® and Smartphones
Device Rating Tier
BlackBerry 8703e M4/T4 Business
BlackBerry Curve 8330 M4/T4 Business
BlackBerry Curve 8830 World Edition M4/T4 Business
Blackberry Pearl Flip 8230 M4/T4 Business
BlackBerry Storm 9530 M3 Business
Blackberry Tour M3 Business
HTC DROID Eris M3/T3 Business
HTC Imagio M3/T4 Business
HTC Ozone M3/T3 Business
HTC Touch Diamond M4 Business
HTC Touch Pro2 M3 Business
Motorola DROID M3/T3 Business
Samsung Omnia M4 Business
Samsung Saga M4 Business

Tier Definitions

Low Tier:  Voice centric phone that supports messaging. Has small displays and works mostly on the 1XRTT network.

Mid Tier:  Improved camera features, greater then 1 Mega Pixel with better resolution with at least QCIF display. Works mostly on the 1XRTT and EVDO networks.

High Tier:  Improved camera features, greater then 2 Mega Pixel with better resolution (QVGA or better). A touch screen that works mostly on the EVDO and or EVDO-Rev A networks.

Business:  Devices that support operating systems like RIM, MS (Micro-Soft) or Palm. These devices support both data and voice functions.

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A neckloop is a "handsfree" accessory.  The most basic ones plug into the phone's audio port.  They are also widely available in Bluetooth wireless versions, i.e. no wire plugs into the phone.  They work on the same principle described above in the Telecoil Standard section, the main difference being that you don't have to hold the phone up to the hearing aid when wearing a neckloop as with a T-rated cell phone.  There are lots of models available now on the market. 

Artone bluetooth inductive neckloop / loopset for hearing aid wearersArtone inductive neckloop / loopset for hearing aid wearers



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