If you have a hearing impairment, finding a cell phone that’s right for you can be problematic. Background noise can make it difficult for you to hear the conversation, and some hearing aids can experience interference with cell phones. Having to listen through one ear and losing the valuable visual cues that come with speaking face to face further complicates things. In our blog today, we discuss cell phone features for the hearing impaired.
Cell Phone Features for Hearing Impaired
The beauty of cell phones today is the wide variety of smartphones that we have to choose from. Users can choose from a wide variety of applications and features for their smartphones, ranging from social media apps, to lifestyle apps, and even to apps and features that facilitate our day to day living.
If you have a hearing impairment, here are some features that you may want to consider for your next phone:
Bluetooth is a wireless communication platform that many useful apps and products use such as wireless headphones. To read more about Bluetooth click here. You will need to check that your hearing aid is compatible before being able to use this feature.
Volume controls for the ringer and during the call are useful for setting your phone to suit your needs. Remember to test the different ring tones available as some may suit your hearing loss more than others.
Incoming call alerts such as a flashing light or vibration can be useful to help you never miss a call again, especially if your attention is elsewhere.
Captions/Text. Captioning landline phones will convert speech into text for you to read along during the call. They are available with larger screen too. The cell phone equivalent is either texting or using an app such as google transcribe.
Video calling. Smartphones work with Skype, facetime or video calling. Video calls provide the visual cues that make communicating so much easier.
Hearing Aid Compatible Cell Phones
When a cell phone and hearing aid are in close proximity, this can sometimes result in interference. This could cause a buzzing sound in your hearing aid that can make it difficult to understand the phone call.
Thankfully, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires “wireless phones and wireline telephones to be compatible with (do not cause interference with) hearing aids, and requires wireline telephones to provide sufficient volume.”
- Per the FCC guidelines, a phone certified under the HAC rules must:
- wireless phones and wireline telephones should provide minimal interference;
- wireline telephones should offer sufficient volume control; and
- wireless phones and wireline telephones should be compatible when interacting with the magnetic coils of hearing aids.
If it’s time for you to look for a new phone, remember to find a HAC compatible phone. Consider the features that are most going to benefit you, and don’t be afraid to shop around. If you’d like further information, or if you’d like the Hearing Balance & Speech team to check on the fit of your hearing device, come in and see us today. Call us on 1-800-HEAR-IT-1 or book a consultation with us today.