Cell Phone Accessories
Cell phone accessories can help hearing aid users improve their cell phone experience. Although the FCC now requires that hearing-aid-compatible (HAC) cell phones meet strict guidelines for quality, some hearing aid users wish to improve their cell phone experience further by using cell phone accessories. Add-on devices and cell phone accessories can make cell phones even more compatible with hearing aids.
Many cell phones can be used with hearing aid telecoils. Hearing aid accessories that provide a hands-free option may also be helpful.
What is telecoil?
Telecoil (also known as a t-switch or t-coil) is a telephone switch feature that is now built in to about 45 percent of all hearing aids. If you are unsure if your hearing aid has this feature, contact your hearing specialist or the hearing aid manufacturer.
HAC devices and accessories support hearing aids that have a telecoil feature.
You can use a Bluetooth accessory and have a Bluetooth signal sent to your telecoil through a neckloop or earhook silhouette from phones that support Bluetooth technology. All manufacturers offer streamer accessories that convert a Bluetooth signal from an electronic device into FM signals. Then the streamer sends the FM signal to your hearing aids without signal disruptions. Both the streamer and direct connection options offer optimal clarity and ease of use.
What is a neckloop?
A neckloop is a necklace-sized wire that connects to many devices, including HAC phones and accessories. It can be worn around the neck and adapted to telecoil hearing aids. Neckloops generate a weak magnetic signal that is recognized by the telecoil and amplified by the hearing aid. They are popular with many hearing aid users because they can drive both hearing aids and do not require wires running to the hearing aids.
What is an earhook silhouette?
Like the neckloop, the earhook silhouette creates a magnetic signal that can be recognized by the telecoil in your hearing aid. It can be hooked over your ear, and it nestles behind-the-ear hearing aids. It is attached to a thin loop of wire that can be plugged into many devices, including HAC phones and HAC cell phone accessories.
What are the benefits of HAC cell phone accessories?
HAC cell phone accessories are beneficial for hearing aid users for several reasons. First, they put distance between the hearing aid and the cell phone, which can cut down on any buzzing or feedback and decrease interference between the two devices. Next, some HAC accessories can give you hands-free cell phone usage, which is especially important if you plan on using your cell phone while driving. In addition, you may be able to use the speakerphone function on some devices if you use the microphone mode on your hearing aid.
Where can you inquire about HAC phones and accessories?
Visit your cell phone carrier’s local store to inquire about HAC phones and accessories. We encourage you to try them out in the store with your hearing aid before making a purchase. Trying the phone with the device will give you a good idea of how well the accessory will work for you.
Keep in mind that some phones and devices will work differently once you leave the store, so it is also a good idea to find out about any money-back or satisfaction guarantees.