FCC Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC)
Regulations for Wireless Devices
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established
requirements for digital wireless mobile devices to be compatible
with hearing aids and other assistive hearing devices.
When individuals employing some assistive hearing devices (hearing
aids and cochlear implants) use wireless mobile devices, they may
detect a buzzing, humming, or whining noise. Some hearing devices
are more immune than others to this interference noise, and mobile
devices also vary in the amount of interference they generate.
The wireless telephone industry has developed a rating system for
wireless mobile devices to assist hearing device users find mobile
devices that may be compatible with their hearing devices. Not all
mobile devices have been rated. Mobile devices that are rated have
the rating on their box or a label located on the box.
The ratings are not guarantees. Results will vary depending on the
user's hearing device and hearing loss. If your hearing device
happens to be vulnerable to interference, you may not be able to use
a rated mobile device successfully. Trying out the mobile device with
your hearing device is the best way to evaluate it for your personal
M-Ratings: Wireless mobile devices rated M3 or M4 meet FCC
requirements and are likely to generate less interference to hearing
devices than mobile devices that are not labeled. M4 is the better/
higher of the two ratings. M-ratings refer to enabling acoustic
coupling with hearing aids that do not operate in telecoil mode.