When some mobile phones are used near some hearing devices (hearing aids and cochlear implants), users may detect a buzzing, humming, or whining noise. Some hearing devices are more immune than others to this interference noise, and phones also vary in the amount of interference they generate.
Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) Ratings
The wireless telephone industry has developed ratings for some of their mobile phones, to assist hearing device users in finding phones that may be compatible with their hearing devices. Not all phones have been rated. Phones that are rated have the rating stated on the box or will display the following icon:
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 phone successfully. Trying out the phone with your hearing device is the best way to evaluate it for your personal needs.
M-Ratings: Phones rated M3 or M4 meet FCC requirements and are likely to generate less interference to hearing devices than phones that are not labeled. M4 is the better/higher of the two ratings.
Compatible Phones Offered by i wireless
Each handset model varies by its capabilities regarding features and functionalities. The phones are as follows:
BlackBerry 8220 - Pearl Flip (rated M3/T3)
BlackBerry 8310 - Curve (rated M3/T3)
Motorola W510 (rated M3/T3)
Motorola A45ECO (rated M3/T3)
Nokia 2720 (rated M3/T3)
Nokia 3610 (rated M3)
Samsung t219 (rated M3/T3)
Samsung t439 (rated M3/T3)
Finding the Right Match for Your Hearing Aid
We recommend trying different phones before buying, to find the one that works best with your hearing aid. You may wish to visit one of our company stores to do this. If, after purchasing a handset, you discover that it does not work well with your hearing device, return it to the store where you purchased it within 14 days of activation.
Other Accessibility Options for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Relay Iowa is a telecommunications relay service administrated by the Iowa Utilities Board. It provides full telephone accessibility to people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech impaired. Specifically trained Communication Assistants (CAs) process relay calls and stay on the line to relay conversations electronically, over a Text Telephone (TTY) or verbally to hearing parties. Relay Iowa is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no restrictions on the number of calls placed or on their length. This valuable communications tool gives all individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech impaired the opportunity to make personal and business calls just like any other telephone user. Both TTY and voice users may initiate calls through Relay Iowa.
Relay Iowa can be reached on your i wireless phone by dialing 7-1-1. All general use handsets currently offered by i wireless are TTY-compatible.
Communicate Via Text
Text messaging (short message service, or SMS), multimedia messaging (MMS) and e-mail are included with, or can be added to, all i wireless plans as POWERsupplize. Please see our website for more details. All general use handsets currently offered by i wireless are SMS and MMS compatible.
Digital Hearing Aids
Most new digital hearing aids use radiofrequency (RF) immune components and are thus more immune to interference. For more information on hearing aids with better immunity, contact your hearing health professional or hearing aid manufacturer.