Hearing Aid Compatible Phones: What to Know Before You Buy

a hearing aid held by a hand

Hearing loss affects many different people of all ages and backgrounds. But experiencing hearing loss need not be a significant concern within your life. If ignored, you may find that you have to repeatedly ask people to say something twice or even three times. There may be times when you lose the thread of entire conversations when you are out in busy places. Calls on your mobile phone may become difficult as you miss words, sounds get muffled, and you don't get the benefits provided through face-to-face conversions, such as being able to see the other person's mouth move or even read their body language. 

But hearing aids can change all that. By getting a hearing test with an experienced audiologist, you'll get an assessment on whether or not you need a hearing aid. And, if you need one, the audiologist can help you find the right one for you. 

Hearing loss and mobile phones

Mobile phones have become an essential part of our lives. Whether we are using them to make phone calls, video chat, visit websites, or even watch videos, it is hard to be without them. And when they have the potential to improve important aspects of our lives, why would we want to be without them? 

But if you experience hearing loss, having a phone conversation can be tricky. Without additional information such as the body language and ability to see mouth movements that come with face-to-face interactions, you may find that you will miss quite a lot of the conversation. 

In addition to this, you may find that there are loud noises in the background in both your location and that the person who you are on a call with. This can mean that you will have trouble picking things out in the conversation. You may also find that any drops in the call quality will mean that you may miss words. 

Using a hearing aid with your mobile phone

Your audiologist may recommend that you get a hearing aid when you have your hearing test. When you first come to use your hearing aid with your mobile phone, you might find that you make some adjustments to the way that you use your phone. You may not need your volume set as loud as previously. And, there is a chance that your phone may cause interference with your hearing aid. If you find that this is the case, be sure that you move the phone further away from your ear to stop any feedback. 

Smartphone compatible hearing aids

Many modern hearing aids are designed to work with mobile phones. Some will have Bluetooth or wireless connectivity, which will allow your hearing aid and phone to sink up with each other. A number of different hearing aids also have their own apps on which you will be able to change the settings, and some will also allow you to find your hearing aid if you ever lose it. 

Buying a phone that is suitable for your hearing aid

When it comes to buying a new phone, then you should think about compatibility. Look at the information from the phone maker to see where on the hearing aid compatibility scale the phone sits. This scale is also known as the 'M' and 'T' rating. The 'M' rating indicates the quality of the audio on the call when the hearing aid is set to the standard-setting. The 'T' reflects how well the phone performs in terms of clarity and volume when the hearing aid is switched to the loop setting. Both of these scales have ratings that go from one to four, with four being the best phone on the market in terms of hearing aid compatibility. 

While major smartphone manufacturers share information about how well their handsets match up with hearing aids, some may not. In this instance, seek advice from your audiologist or seek out reviews online that mention hearing loss. 

Other apps for hearing loss

There are, of course, other ways that your phone can help you when you are experiencing hearing loss. You could use voice to text apps to provide you with a text version of anything that anyone around you is saying. There are also transcription apps available that will be able to help you by transcribing anything that is being said during a phone call. 

If you would like any further information about using smartphones with your hearing aid, get in touch with The Hearing Clinic at Woodlake. Call our office at 206-367-1345.