Frequently Asked Questions
Hearing Disability Resources
C Spire strives to offer a wide selection of phones meeting the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) standards for wireless device use with hearing aids. The hearing aid compatibility ratings for the devices we offer are listed in the chart below.
*These phones have been tested and rated for use with hearing aids for some of the wireless technologies that they use. However, there may be some newer wireless technologies used in these phones that have not been tested yet for use with hearing aids. It is important to try the different features of the phone thoroughly and in different locations, using your hearing aid or cochlear implant, to determine if you hear any interfering noise. Consult your service provider or the manufacturer of the phone for information on hearing aid compatibility. If you have questions about return or exchange policies, consult your service provider or phone retailer. Please review the C Spire return and exchange policy.
C Spire also offers certain devices that are teletypewriter (TTY) compatible for hearing and/or speech impaired customers. TTY compatible devices do not support Wi-Fi calling, which include 911 calls. Customers using a TTY device may only reach a 911 service by: (1) using a TTY over a wireless network or landline telephone, (2) using relay services to place a TTY or captioned telephone service (CTS) call from a wireless telephone over a wireless network or landline telephone, or to place an IP Relay or IP CTS call over a wireless data or other IP network. For more information regarding these services, call 1-855-CSPIRE5 (277-4735).
Level of Functionality Descriptions:
Advanced - (MSRP - at least $300) Phones classified as "advanced" generally offer enhanced features such as a higher-quality camera, multiple Bluetooth® profiles, Internet access, high-speed processing, a touch-screen interface, email or a Windows Mobile® operating system.
Average - (MSRP - $150 - $299.99) Phones classified as "average" generally offer lower-quality cameras (compared to advanced models), handsfree and headset Bluetooth® profiles, expandable memory, larger phone book capacity, an enhanced color display or increased talk time (over basic models). However, these phones offer fewer features than advanced models.
Basic - (MSRP - $149.99 or less) Phones classified as "basic" offer the necessary wireless features and may have a lower-quality camera and limited Bluetooth® or Internet capabilities. Typically, these phones offer smaller phone book capacity and average talk time. Most of these phones are generally larger in size compared to more advanced models and lack features such as MP3 players, expandable memory and download capabilities.
To learn more about the accessibility features of mobile devices, visit the Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative website. To learn more about federal hearing aid compatibility requirements, visit the FCC's Hearing Aid Compatibility for Wireless Telephones webpage.
Revised July 24, 2020
Frequently Asked Questions
The FCC defines HAC for wireless devices in terms of two parameters: radio frequency (RF) emissions and telecoil coupling. Wireless devices that comply with the FCC's hearing aid compatibility rule must receive a minimum rating of M3 for RF emissions and T3 for telecoil coupling.
"M" refers to the RF emission level of the device, and means that the device is intended for use with hearing aids in microphone mode. The higher the "M" rating for a device, the more likely it can be used with a hearing aid on the microphone setting.
"T" refers to the device's telecoil coupling ability, and means that the device is intended for use with hearing aids in telecoil mode. The higher the "T" rating for a device, the more likely the device can be used with a hearing aid on the telecoil setting.
A telecoil is a small device that is built into some hearing aids for use with the telephone as well as assistive listening devices. To use the telecoil, generally either the hearing aid is switched to the "T" position or a button on the hearing aid is pushed to select the telecoil program. Some newer hearing aids will automatically switch to telecoil mode when using a phone. The telecoil picks up magnetic fields generated by telephones and converts these fields into sound. Telecoils are particularly useful for telephone communication because they permit the volume control of a hearing aid to be turned up without creating feedback or "whistling," and background noise can be reduced especially when using wireless devices in noisy places. A hearing health professional can determine whether a hearing aid contains a telecoil and how it is activated.
HAC-compliant devices and their ratings are listed in the chart above. Also, HAC-compliant device packages are marked with "M3" or "M4" ratings. The "M" rating refers to the microphone mode. Only phones that meet HAC compliance will be labeled as such. Every individual's hearing loss in unique; therefore, these ratings do not guarantee performance.
While there is no guarantee, wireless devices that comply with HAC regulations should improve usability for hearing aid wearers. Hearing loss and hearing aids are highly individualized so it is advisable to consult with your audiologist or hearing healthcare professional before making your wireless device purchase.
Your hearing healthcare professional will be able to tell you if your hearing aid is immune to RF interference and may need to contact the manufacturer of your hearing aid to determine its immunity rating.