These days, we all use our cell phones nearly every day. But wearing hearing aids can present unique challenges for cell phone users. Used together, the two can create a buzzing noise that makes hearing calls difficult.
Luckily, Federal Communications Commission regulations now require cell phone manufacturers to make more hearing aid-friendly devices with features that reduce static and interference. There are also hearing aids designed specifically for cell phones as well as accessories to help improve your cell phone experience. If you wear hearing aids, here are some of your options.
Cell phones that are designed to be compatible with hearing aids should be clearly marked on the packaging, owner’s manual, or store display. Look for an “M,” for microphone. You’ll usually see a 3 or 4 next to it. The higher the number, the clearer the cell phone will sound with your hearing aid.
If your hearing aid or cochlear implant has a telecoil (a small copper wire that improves the way dialogue sounds) look for cell phones with a T rating of 3 or 4. This rating also shows how clear your calls will sound.
Ratings are also available for hearing aids themselves. The same M and T ratings will be listed on the hearing aid packaging, though the ratings start at 1 and go to 4. A higher ranking will still give users a clearer call in Microphone or Telecoil modes.
If you’re hearing impaired, you can also look for features built into the cell phone that will help make using the device easier. Here are some examples.
Some hearing aids are designed specifically for use with cell phones. In fact, Apple and ReSound recently collaborated to create the LiNX, a hearing aid that is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It connects wirelessly to Apple products, and works as headphones, so you can easily hear phone calls, FaceTime chats, music, movies, and more. If you’re interested in the LiNX, make an appointment with Clifton Springs Hearing Center in Rochester, New York.
Several add-on devices are also available to make cell phone and hearing aid connections better. These devices put distance between the hearing aid and the cell phone to decrease interference. If your hearing aid or cochlear implant has a telecoil, you can purchase a neck or ear loop with a microphone to plug directly into the cell phone, making it easier to hear cell phone calls. Bluetooth and earbud devices that connect to microphones and the cell phone or the hearing aid itself are also available.
There are now many different ways to make cell phone use easier with hearing aids. If you’re in the Rochester, NY area and are looking for clearer conversations, check in with the experts at Clifton Springs Hearing Center. We’ll help you find the solutions that work best for you.