HEARING AID COMPATIBILITY
Hearing aids do not always function well with wireless handsets. Hearing aids operating by using a microphone to pick up sounds 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). Hearing aids operated in 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 Kennebec Telephone Co., Inc. recommends that you test the handset before purchasing.
These handsets have been tested and rated for use with hearing aids for some of the wireless technologies that they use. However, there may be some newer wireless technologies used in these phones that have not been tested yet for use with hearing aids. It is important to try the different features of these phones 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 the handset for information on hearing compatibility. If you have questions about return or exchange policies, consult your service provider or phone retailer.
Levels of Functionality
Kennebec Telephone Company 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, but, if through experience, Kennebec Telephone Company finds that a certain handset contains features that work well with hearing aids, such as volume control, it will be labeled accordingly with an “A” level for functionality.
Kennebec Telephone Company 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.
For additional information regarding HAC or non HAC devices, please visit http://gari.info.
To reach the FCC HAC web page, visit https://www.fcc.gov/hearing-aid-compatibility-wireless-telephones
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Current Wireless Handsets and Hearing-Aid Compatibility