The Perfect Smartphone for Hearing Aid Users
Someone living with hearing impairment needs a reliable phone to get them through. No matter who you are, you deserve to have a port of contact you can rely on. You deserve to have a smartphone that’ll take your hearing aid needs into account.
If you’re worried about the lack of hearing-impaired options on the market, a bit of research will certainly lay your mind at rest. Common disabled needs are at the forefront of technology.
Now, an audiologist will be able to advise you on the right equipment and tech for making sure your life is as convenient as anyone else’s. If you’re looking for a good place to start, here are a few recommendations to look into.
Before you buy
Smartphones are incredibly common types of phone, and very few people around the world do not have one. They’re probably your first port of call when going phone shopping, considering the variety available on the market. But of course, not all smartphones are made the same, especially when you’re a disabled shopper looking for the right solution for you.
You’re looking for a phone with a high HAC rating. Most of the bigger smartphone companies have taken these considerations on board, meaning you can shop for big names if you wish. And we’ve got a couple of suggestions below that might be the most beneficial for your time and money.
Of course, if you have one, make sure the telecoil in your hearing aid is switched on. This ensures any phone call you make or take will give you the clearest signal possible. If your hearing aid is capable of it, you could also route a call via the Bluetooth option.
And always test the compatibility of the phone you want to buy and your current hearing aid before you settle in for a purchase. You should be given the option to buy any retailer, to ensure they’re catering to you and your experience properly.
You can also talk with your audiologist about which models they recommend – for both hearing aid and cellphone options. They have experience helping patients match their hearing technology to a compatible phone, making them the ideal expert to consult.
The Apple iPhone and compatibility
The Apple line of products are known to often be high quality. When shopping for a new smartphone, they’ll be one of your main considerations. And thankfully, they have a high and consistent HAC rating. iPhones are also capable of being used via Bluetooth, if you’re planning to connect that way.
From the iPhone 4S onwards, you can be assured your hearing aid will work just fine with whatever model you hold in your hand. And from the 5S model onwards, all iPhone models have rated an M3, T4 on the HAC scale. Apple iPhones also come with inbuilt noise cancelling technology, to ensure voice and call quality is always the focus of everything that goes on through your speakers.
Android phones also offer a lot of versatility in terms of ratings, features and compatibility.
Look for a device that has front speakers that can be used to boost the volume of all calls, whether you’re taking one from a soft-spoken friend or require an extra boost to your own voice. You’ll also want a smartphone that makes it incredibly easy to set up hearing aid functions through the general settings option or a downloadable hearing aids application, which means you won’t have to tap back and forth to make sure your phone is set up properly.
You can also look for a device that has a sidetone option to control the volume of your own voice, just in case you’re worried it’s going to be too loud or soft, even with the use of the boosted speakers. After all, it can be hard to know how effective your communication is when living with hearing loss, and so finding a model that takes this into consideration will give you greater control.
Finding the right phone for you and your needs can be done through a bit of shopping around and regular research into the key accessibility features. If you’re currently looking for a phone that supports your hearing aid device, or if you’re worried about your issues with being able to hear the person on the other end of the phone, feel free to get in touch with Hear for You Hearing & Balance Center. Our audiologists are always available. You can get in touch via our website, or call us at 401-475-6116.