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Hearing Aids and Phone Connectivity

Hearing Aids and Phone Connectivity

By: Audiologist, Angie Lederman, MS, CCC-A

Today’s hearing technology has made it possible to pair your hearing aids with a range of devices, providing the ultimate in both convenience and sound quality. Bluetooth technology has been a feature in hearing aids for some time, but you always needed a separate device to connect your hearing aids to your smartphone. Newer hearing aids featuring direct Bluetooth communication have revolutionized the industry in recent years by allowing you to connect your smartphones directly to your hearing aids.

You can use your hearing aids as your own personal earphones - allowing you to talk with loved ones on the phone and stream your favorite shows without ever having to remove your hearing aids. This level of connectivity in hearing aids keeps up with your modern lifestyle.

The FCC requires that all mobile phones be compatible with hearing aids. Each model is assigned a rating so that consumers can determine how well each one will work with hearing aids. For individuals with a mild or moderate hearing loss, acoustic coupling mode (where your hearing aids automatically pick up the sound from your device) provides ample amplification for phone calls. However, feedback and background noise may be noticed.

Many people with severe hearing loss find that a phone’s telecoils, which directs the sound to your hearing aids’ processors, improves the signal-to-noise ratio. Sometimes this option needs to be manually turned on. Nowadays, there are additional features such as smartphone apps that allow you to control the volume and other features on your hearing aids.

If you are looking for a landline option, the FCC puts in place compatibility requirements. For your home phone, look for a model that is labeled as “HAC” (hearing aid compatible). Sound quality and reliability are usually good with landline phones and there are a variety of options to choose from.

Plus, some phones have extra features such as extra-loud ringers or lights that flash when there is an incoming call. Consider captioned telephones which display captions of audio from the caller on a screen. Hear Now is proud to work with CapTel to provide these phones at no cost to those in need. 

No longer do people with hearing loss have to struggle to hear phone conversations because there are a growing variety of options when it comes to hearing aid compatible cell phones and landline phones. This allows you to choose a phone that suits your specific needs. Here are a few tips if you are ready to upgrade to a cell phone that is compatible with hearing aids:

  • If you have a preferred service provider, contact them directly to find out which phone options they offer.
  • Be open to trying a few different phones so that you can get a hands-on experience with each one. You may find that the model you thought would be best doesn’t measure up to your needs, while another may end up being a better fit.
  • Ask your hearing healthcare professional. At Hear Now, we can offer guidance for certain phones and we have appointments for hearing aid and phone connectivity support.

If you are overwhelmed by the number of choices on the market today, let us help by offering our expert guidance. Contact us now to schedule your comprehensive hearing evaluation.

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