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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, AT-T
Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, AT-T
Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, AT-T

It takes the best bits from the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S6, and blends them together into a quite brilliant smartphone.

  • Rating Unavailable

It's pricier than other good phones.

  • Rating Unavailable

excellent smartphone

The Microsoft Lumia 950 isn’t a bad phone, just a very average one.

  • Rating Unavailable
  • Rating Unavailable

The OnePlus 2 is a better value than high-end.


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.