Hearing Aid Compatibility

Southern Linc and the wireless community are committed to providing a selection of compatible phones for those customers with hearing impairment. Southern Linc offers multiple phones that are rated based on industry standards to operate with hearing aids.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed a set of rules designed to make mobile phones more accessible to persons with disabilities. The FCC created a rating system to help consumers with hearing disabilities find a phone that will work with their hearing aids.

These requirements are based on a mobile phone’s ability to work with hearing aids that work in one of two modes: acoustic coupling (“M” rating) or inductive coupling (“T” rating).

M Ratings and Acoustic Coupling

Wireless phones rated "M3" or "M4" meet the FCC requirements for hearing aid compatibility and are likely to generate less interference with hearing aid devices. "M" refers to using the phone with a hearing aid in the microphone or acoustic coupling setting and amplifies the sounds surrounding the user. The higher the "M" rating, the more likely it is you will be able to use the phone with your hearing aid on this setting. Thus, M4 is the "better" or higher of the two ratings.

T Ratings and Inductive Coupling

"T" refers to using the hearing aid set on telecoil. The higher the "T" number, the more likely you will receive better interoperability performance between your phone and hearing aid on the telecoil setting. Thus, the T4 is the "better" or higher of the two ratings. Reduced feedback and reduced background noise are additional benefits of using a hearing aid set on telecoil during phone use. To determine the likelihood of successful cell phone use with your hearing aid, add the "T" rating number of the cell phone to the "T" rating number of your hearing aid.

For more information on Hearing Aid Compatibility please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or call our Customer Solutions Center 1-800-818-LINC (5462).

To see which Southern Linc handsets are Hearing Aid Compatible and available for purchase, please visit our HAC Ratings page.

Additional Information

Because hearing loss is so individual, no hearing aid and wireless phone combination can be guaranteed to work for everyone; however, this information can be used to point hearing aid users in the right direction. Consumers should always try a phone to see if it works for them.

To help customers with disabilities find a phone and service plan what works best for them, the wireless industry, through CTIA-The Wireless Association, has also worked to create a website designed to help customers with disabilities find a phone and service plan that works best for them. For more information visit CTIA’s Access Wireless website.