Hearing Aid Compatibility
Levels of Functionality
Pioneer 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 as follows:
Advanced handsets incorporate new technologies and advanced data speeds, voice, web browsing, and e-mail capability, as well as increased storage, high-resolution display, enhanced camera and video capability, and social media and download functionality. Feature phones can operate on 3G and 4G networks;
Average handsets offer upgraded voice, web browsing, e-mail, camera, and video capability, social media, and download functionality at an intermediate price; and,
Basic handsets provide lower-cost voice service with basic texting, web browsing, and e-mail capability.
These phones have 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.
(List updated December 13, 2022)
Explanation of ANSI C63.19 Rating System for
Hearing Aid Compatible Wireless Handsets
- The American National Standard Institute (ANSI) standard C63.19 sets two standardized ratings for digital handsets.
- An ‘M’ and ‘T’ rating are used to determine the value of likely interference or immunity of a wireless device in compatibility to a hearing device based on a level of numerical value from 1 to 4.
- To be considered hearing aid-compatible, a digital wireless handset for acoustic coupling must meet a requirement of ‘M3’ under the ANSI standard and ‘T3’ for inductive coupling.
- "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.
- Additional information is available at: https://www.accesswireless.org/resources-for-consumers/hearing-resources
Can I return the phone if it does not work for me after purchase?
Be sure to understand the return policy (listed under terms and conditions) and any applicable early termination fees or balances due on Device Installment Plans before signing up for any cell phone or service. Since a cell phone's performance with your hearing aid can change depending on your location, your listening experience outside the store may be different.
Do the FCC HAC regulations guarantee that I will be able to use a cell phone with my hearing aid?
While there is no guarantee, phones that comply with Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) regulations should improve usability for hearing aid users. Hearing loss and hearing aids are highly individualized so it is still advisable to try a cell phone with your hearing aid in the store before making your cell phone purchase.
How do I know if my hearing aids will work with my cell phone?
Most new hearing aids contain RF immune circuitry and about half contain a telecoil. These digital hearing aids are designed to be usable with wireless devices with lower RF emissions and magnetic coupling ability. Your hearing healthcare professional will be able to tell you if your hearing aid is immune to RF interference and may need to contact the manufacturer of your hearing aid to determine its immunity rating. Your hearing healthcare professional will also be able to tell you if your hearing aid contains a telecoil.
What if I cannot find a cell phone that works with my hearing aid?
You can check with your hearing healthcare professional to determine if there is a hearing aid option for you that may work better with cell phones. Some users may find that accessories such as neckloops may further assist with their use of HAC rated wireless devices and for using non-rated cell phones.