Are there any phones that are compatible with hearing aids?

Hearing aids operate in either acoustic coupling or telecoil coupling mode.

In acoustic mode, hearing aids receive and amplify all sounds, both wanted (e.g. speech) and unwanted (e.g. background noise).

Hearing aids on the ‘T’ setting avoid unwanted noise by turning off the microphone and receiving only signals from magnetic fields, for example an induction loop in a meeting room or theatre.

Mobile handsets can interfere with hearing aids, causing buzzing or other noises. However, some handsets have an integral telecoil, meaning that they can be used by hearing aid users on the ‘T’ setting.

There is an American standard used to rate how well a particular handset works with a hearing aid on ‘T’ (telecoil) and also on ‘M’ (microphone mode). The scale is from 1-4, with 4 being the best. A phone rated T3/M3 or T4/M4 will generally work best for people using hearing aids.

You may find it easier to hold the telephone slightly behind, rather than directly over, the ear to obtain the clearest signal.

If you still find an unsatisfactory level of noise when using a handset directly, you may like to try an inductive earhook plugged into the headset socket, or a neck loop.