MTN South Africa has announced the introduction of a new portable device, the HearIt Mobile Bluetooth accessory, which caters to the needs of hearing-impaired customers.

The device, which weighs only 71 grams, amplifies and transmits sound via Bluetooth from the mobile phone directly to the hearing aid telecoil or headphones and loops around the neck of the user, leaving their hands free.
Serame Taukobong, chief marketing officer for MTN SA, comments: “MTN prides itself on being a customer-centric organisation and is cognizant of the fact that our customer base is diverse, and includes hearing impaired persons who use hearing aids.
"Surveys have shown that many hearing aid users have problems speaking on their mobile phones as a result of the interaction between the microphone in their hearing aid and the mobile phone which causes feed-back. This product addresses this problem and provides the user with a convenient, wireless solution that’s free from interference and feedback, enhancing their quality of hearing.”
HearIt Mobile offers customers with hearing aids a secure, hands-free mobile telephone experience, with an excellent sound quality from their cell phones, even in situations with high levels of background noise. Added to this, the HearIt Mobile device offers a host of useful functions, including the ability to answer and end calls with a single button, simple volume adjustment, built-in microphone, Bluetooth connection indicator with personal code security, as well as a battery charge level indicator.
Estimated battery life is 14 hours of usage, with a six hour charge time. The device works with any hearing aid equipped with a built-in telecoil and will initially be offered with the Nokia 2700, Samsung C3053 and Sony Ericsson W205 handsets.
Mark de Clark, who has been using the HearIt mobile device  in a trial, says: “This little device has changed my life! I have substantial middle ear damage to both ears and wear a hearing aid in each ear. Aside from the fact that it is often difficult to hear the cell phone ring anyway, which makes using a cell phone quite frustrating, it is a mission to use a cell phone – I have to remove my hearing aid to be able to use a cell phone. Now, the device lets me know when there is a call coming in and as it connects directly to my hearing aid, I don’t have the inconvenience of having to first remove my hearing aid, and the sound quality is amazing."