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The Samsung Galaxy S7 and its flashier cousin the S7 edge come with the HAC rating of M4/T3 and very high speaker loudness levels of around 69 dB making them the ReviewGist pick for the best cellphone for the hearing impaired. The S7's are the Samsung flagship models and come with industry leading specifications, have been acclaimed by over 18 expert reviewers including TechRadar.com, TrustedReviews.com and PCAdvisor and sport one of the highest HAC ratings to provide the least interferance with hearing aid devices.


Choosing the best smartphone for the Hearing Impaired

Most of the cellphones operate in frequencies which interfere with hearing-aid devices. Consequently, FCC has defined a Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) standard for cellphones, which helps in figuring out the best cellphones for least interference with hearing aids.

The HAC standard defines two radio-frequency emission rating: The "M" rating and the "T" rating. The "M" rating corresponds to interference with the hearing aid in the microphone mode, and the "T" rating corresponds to interference with the hearing aid in t-coil (telecoil) mode.

Both M and T values range from 1 to 4, with 1 being the highest emission/interference and 4 being the least emission/interference. Consequently, the phones with the highest M and T values (M4/T4) provide the least interference with hearing aids. Hearing aid devices operating in the microphone mode will have least interference with cellphones labelled M4 and those operating in the telecoil mode with have the least interference with cellphones labelled as T4. For the absolute best cellphones for the hearing impaired, you might want to go with those labelled M4/T4, however some of the top smartphones in the market right now only support M3/T4 or M4/T3.

The other criteria we looked at while picking out the best phones for the hearing impaired is the speaker loudness levels. We relied on this metric as measured by GSMArena and restricted our selections to only those having a speaker loudness levels of atleast 69 dB. The loudness levels measured by GSMArena varies from 0 to 100 dB with 100 being the highest loudness value.

Note that just looking at our recommendations might not be good enough to choose the right cellphone. The HAC guideline is only indicative of interference and the actual call quality with a specific cellphone might not only depend on the specific interference of your hearing aid with the cellphone but also on the individual hearing loss condition. Consequently, it is advised that you go to a store and test out the cellphone with your hearing aid before choosing the best one.

This ReviewGist picks for the best cellphones for 2016 for the hearing impaired below takes into account the M and T ratings and we list only cellphones which have ratings from either of M3, M4, T3, T4 and also have a relatively high speaker loudness levels.

Full list of the best phones for the deaf and hard of hearing:

Loud Phones with HAC M4 Loud Phones with HAC T4

Loud Phones with HAC M3 Loud Phones with HAC T3


Top Cellphones for the Hearing Impaired Compared:

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7


#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
LG G5
Microsoft Lumia 950
OnePlus 2
Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
LG G5
Microsoft Lumia 950
OnePlus 2
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Release Date
Mar 2016
Mar 2016
Mar 2016
Dec 2015
Aug 2015
Hearing Aid Compatibility Rating
M4, T3
M4, T3
M3, T3
M4, T4
Speaker Loudness
69.0 dB
69.0 dB
70.0 dB
73.0 dB
73.0 dB
Digital Camera Resolution
12.0 MP
12.0 MP
16.0 MP
20.0 MP
13.0 MP
Installed RAM (GB)
4.0 GB
4.0 GB
4.0 GB
3.0 GB
3.0 GB
Screen Size(Diagonal)
5.1 inch
5.5 inch
5.3 inch
5.7 inch
5.5 inch
Front Webcam Resolution
5.0 MP
5.0 MP
8.0 MP
5.0 MP
5.0 MP
Processor Type
Dual-core 2.15 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo, Quad-core 2.3 GHz Mongoose + quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53, 1.6GHz octa-core, 1.6GHz  octa-core
Dual-core 2.15 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo, Quad-core 2.3 GHz Mongoose + quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53, 1.6GHz  octa-core
Dual-core 2.15 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo, 2.15GHz  quad-core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Dual-core 1.82 GHz Cortex-A57 & quad-core 1.44 GHz Cortex-A53, Qualcomm Snapdragon 810
Quad-core 1.56 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 1.82 GHz Cortex-A57
Battery Capacity
3000.0 mAh
3600.0 mAh
2800.0 mAh
3340.0 mAh
3300.0 mAh
Operating System
Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow), Android 6.0, Android 6.0
Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow), Android 6.0
Android OS, v6.0.1 (Marshmallow), Android 6.0.1
Microsoft Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile 
Android OS, v5.1 (Lollipop)
Carrier
Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile
Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile
Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile

  • Samsung has tweaked the winning design from the S6, righted the wrongs of its previous flagships, and made a phone you don't want to put down. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is iterative perfection.


  • Stunning. Samsung has just raised the bar for every other Android device. Simply put, if you want to buy a new phone right now, this is the one to pick.


  • The Samsung Galaxy S6 was the best phone of 2015 and, although it’s still early days, the Galaxy S7 is a serious contender for best phone of 2016. Samsung has taken into account what its fans want, addressing the three main areas of concern: removable storage, waterproofing and battery life. It’s also upgraded the core hardware and photography gear, added an always-on display and some useful software. Right now the Galaxy S7 is simply unbeatable.


  • The gorgeous Galaxy S7 Edge makes the best Android phone that much better.


  • Pricing wasn’t particularly on the side of the Galaxy S6 edge last year, mainly because for a phone that matched the S6 on paper, its added $100 premium cost on top of the S6 didn’t seem justifiable. Not surprisingly, though, the S7 edge’s pricing follows the same strategy by being accompanied with an additional $100 cost over what most of the domestic carriers will be selling the S7 for.


  • Five stars to Samsung, as the brand iterates perfectly on an already award-winning smartphone, adding a brilliant camera and gorgeous design.


  • Question marks hang over this phone’s modular capabilities, but that aside this is still a high quality smartphone with plenty to recommend it


  • With an improved battery swapping system, the LG G5 isn't a bad phone, per se. But various other features probably looked better in the R&D lab than they do in real life.


  • At the end of the review process, we're feeling kind of empty in that we can't quite place our finger on what it is that isn't feeling exactly right with the G5. Objectively, it's a competent flagship and even a decent improvement over its predecessor in some ways, but it feels like it's just way too round in character.


  • Getting straight to the point, the Microsoft Lumia 950 isn’t a device that will convert hardened iOS or Android users to Windows 10 – more so considering the top-quality performances we see in other high-end smartphones. Rather, it’s a phone ideal for the Windows fan – you know, for those who are increasingly becoming weary of using older devices like the Lumia 930, 1520, or Icon. Essentially, it’s a bridge smartphone to help tide them over in the meantime, until something bigger, more ambitious comes to fruition.


  • The Lumia 950 proves that there's a lot going for Windows 10 Mobile, though also a lot of work to be done. Its best trick is that it blows up to desktop-like proportions with Continuum, but it sorely needs apps. Dedicated Microsoft fans and willing beta testers need apply.

  • Rating Unavailable

    The Microsoft Lumia 950 offers great build-quality and clean simplistic design, but it isn't flagship or premium, as the phone's price tag.
    The flagship AMOLED display with Quad HD resolution and ClearBlack technology delivers very high pixel density at 564ppi. Colors and contrast are gorgeous, sunlight legibility is top-notch.
    Windows Hello works as advertised and while it's slower in unlocking the phone than the current crop of fingerprint sensors, it is still really cool to use.


  • We can't help but feel disappointed with OnePlus over their new flagship, which honestly feels like an inferior product when compared with its predecessor. Sure, the OnePlus One also had its problems, but at the time of its release it proved a respectable choice, if only because of its dirt cheap asking price.With the 2, however, OnePlus raised the price, and though we're treated to supposedly better specs, the user experience overall is just not up to snuff.


  • The OnePlus 2 offers unbeatable unlocked smartphone value, delivering top-end performance and features at a fraction of the cost of competitors—as long as you can get an invite to buy one.


  • . It's managed to conquer the tricky second album with a smartphone which builds on its predecessor in a number of ways without losing its core appeal.


User Recommendations

Patricia O'Kelley

I am profoundly deaf. I need 100 plus dB to hear on phone. I recently bought the new Motorola Moto generation 4. It is extremely loud on the highest setting. Probably 120 decibels amplification at the highest volume setting. I can hear the phone without plugging in a headset. This is a permanently unlocked phone. Switch carriers with ease and phones about $200 on average. I am so glad that I found this phone. This is the phone for the hearing impaired.