Help available on picking a hearing aid-compatible cell phone

David Kirkwood
August 26, 2011

Apple's iPhone4 is hearing aid-compatible.

WASHINGTON, DC—Having trouble finding a cell phone that you—or your hearing aid patients–can use with hearing aids? If so, the Better Hearing Institute may be able to help you out.

As a service to hearing aid owners and hearing healthcare professionals, the Washington-based non-profit organization has created a permanent page ( on its web site listing all compatible cell phones that have an M4/T4 rating, the highest rating given for hearing aid compatibility.

The BHI site includes hyperlinks to, which enable consumers to further research the features of each cell phone as well as identify service providers for each cell phone model.

As of August 26, BHI reported that there were nearly 125 cell phones on the market with the M4/T4 hearing aid compatibility rating. Among these is Apple’s popular iPhone 4, pictured.

The institute encourages hearing healthcare providers to print out the M4/T4 cell phone page as a handout for their patients. While there is no guarantee that every one of these cell phones will work optimally with all hearing aid models, the list at least gives consumers a good starting point in shopping for a cell phone.

  1. Well done David. Information for best communication with cell phones can remain at the top of the “needs list” for those with hearing loss. It’s a goal of ours, as an audiologist, to offer this information to those we serve to help them achieve success with phone communication.
    Appreciate your input!
    Rich Reikowski, Au.D

  2. Thanks David. I am, on occasion, overwhelmed when it comes to hearing aid technology and compatibility. If a cellphone has a M4/T4 rating, does that mean I can activate my t-switch, hold the phone to my ear, and have a feedback-free conversation?


    1. David Kirkwood Author

      Hi, Gael

      Thanks for your response. In answer to your question, the answer is “Yes, in theory.” However, as with so much related to hearing loss and hearing aids, there are individual differences. It’s best if you can test the combination of hearing aid and cell phone in the store before buying the phone. The BHI site suggests a way to do that.


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