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FCC Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC)
Regulations for Wireless Devices
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has
established requirements for digital wireless mobile devices
to be compatible with hearing aids and other assistive
When individuals employing some assistive hearing devices
(hearing aids and cochlear implants) use wireless mobile
devices, they may detect a buzzing, humming, or whining
noise. Some hearing devices are more immune than others
to this interference noise, and mobile devices also vary in the
amount of interference they generate.
The wireless telephone industry has developed a rating
system for wireless mobile devices to assist hearing device
users find mobile devices that may be compatible with their
hearing devices. Not all mobile devices have been rated.
Mobile devices that are rated have the rating on their box or
a label located on the box.
The ratings are not guarantees. Results will vary depending
on the user's hearing device and hearing loss. If your hearing
device happens to be vulnerable to interference, you may not
be able to use a rated mobile device successfully. Trying out
the mobile device with your hearing device is the best way to
evaluate it for your personal needs.
: Wireless mobile devices rated M3 or M4 meet
FCC requirements and are likely to generate less interference
to hearing devices than mobile devices that are not labeled.
M4 is the better/higher of the two ratings. M-ratings refer to
enabling acoustic coupling with hearing aids that do not
operate in telecoil mode.
: Mobile devices rated T3 or T4 meet FCC
requirements and are likely to generate less interference to
hearing devices than mobile devices that are not labeled. T4
is the better/higher of the two ratings. T-ratings refer to
enabling inductive coupling with hearing aids operating in
Hearing devices may also be rated. Your hearing aid
manufacturer or hearing health professional may help you
find this rating. Higher ratings mean that the hearing device
is relatively immune to interference noise.
Under the current industry standard, American National
Standards Institute (ANSI) C63.19, the hearing aid and
wireless mobile device rating values are added together to
indicate how usable they are together. For example, if a
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