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What Does 'Hearing Aid Compatible Mean?'

There is a range of products on the website referred to as Assistive Listening Devices or ‘ALD’ if you fancy abbreviations. This is the industry term used to describe any product which provides extra amplification for specific environments – such as hearing better on the phone or making sure someone is alerted to their doorbell ringing.

Some of the ALDs are listed as being ‘hearing aid compatible,’ and I have found that there is some confusion as to what this actually means...

The feature of hearing aid compatibility on a particular ALD refers to the fact that it is set up to link into the telecoil or loop setting of any hearing aid. For example, on a phone such as the Photophone100, it would mean that a hearing aid wearer can listen to the person speaking via their telecoil or ‘T’ setting. The hearing aid will need to be switched to the T position, but the phone is usually automatically set to transmit to the loop within the hearing aid.

The important thing to note is that ‘hearing aid compatible’ in the context of ALDs doesn’t imply will be ok to use with all hearing aids – it specifically refers to the use of a telecoil setting.

Is there any advantage to using a ‘T’ setting? Although amplified products will obviously have extra volume available, some people find it difficult to use a phone with a hearing aid if it whistles when the phone is near to the hearing aid. By switching the hearing aid to the ‘T’ position, the hearing aid’s microphone is disabled; and any chance of feedback or whistling is therefore prevented.

Bear in mind that a telecoil option is not supplied as standard on every hearing aid, so please do check this if the ‘hearing aid compatible’ feature is of interest.

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