The FCC has established rules regarding Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC), which all wireless carriers must follow. HAC ratings were developed to assist hearing device users in finding handsets that may be compatible with their hearing devices. Handsets must meet or exceed the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) ratings to meet the FCC requirements for Hearing Aid Compatibility.
There are two different standards or ratings:
Wireless phones which have an M3 or M4 rating meet the FCC requirements to be compatible with hearing devices which operate in acoustic coupling mode, also referred to as microphone mode. These devices amplify all sounds surrounding the user, both desired and undesired. A phone with an M3 rating meets the HAC requirement set by the FCC. A phone with an M4 rating exceeds the HAC requirement.
Phones that are designated T3 or T4 meet FCC requirements to be compatible with hearing devices which operate in inductive coupling or telecoil coupling mode. These hearing devices avoid unwanted noise by turning off the microphone and using a telecoil, which picks up magnetic fields generated by the phone and converts them to sound. A phone with a T3 rating meets the HAC requirement set by the FCC. A phone with a T4 rating exceeds the HAC requirement.
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