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Coming Through Loud And Clear: The 9 Best Phones For The Hard of Hearing.


Coming Through Loud And Clear: The 9 Best Phones For The Hard of Hearing Nobody likes to repeat themselves when talking on the phone. It can be embarrassing and frustrating not to be able to communicate clearly with co-workers or family.

Most people experience hearing loss as they age, but do not know that there are tools available to help. If this is the case for you, a family or team member, then read on.

In a rush? Jump to the top 9 amplified phones now.

You don’t need all the technical detail about signal strength and sound waves, to find a phone that will work for you. We will focus on your hearing, and whether it is amplification, tone changes or visual cues that will help you communicate more efficiently.

If you’re uncertain whether or not you would benefit from purchasing an amplified phone, then this guide will help you make an informed decision.

So, what is there to know about amplified phones?

Amplified phones are phones that aid you in hearing and sometimes even seeing while communicating. These phones come with amplification options and tone control features, which provide you with more options than a traditional phone.  There are three types of phones you can choose from:

  • Cordless amplified phones
  • Corded amplified phones
  • Captioned amplified phones

In this guide you will find

Do I need an amplified phone?

 

  • Do you often need to repeat yourself on the phone?
  • Are you tired of repeating the phrase What? I cant hear you.”  on phone calls?
  • Do you have to escape to the silence of the bathroom so you can have a decent call?

Does this sound familiar? Good news: an amplified phone is the right solution for you! Perhaps you’ve noticed a loved one or coworker is in need of an amplified phone.

According to UK based charity Action on Hearing Loss, it is estimated that by the year 2035 more than 15.5 million people in the UK will have partial or severe hearing loss. Thats more than 1 of every five people!  

However, this is not the only reason you would purchase an amplified phone. Even if you don’t have a hearing problem, you could benefit from a speciality phone if your work environment is noisy. If you work in a noisy place like a nightclub or factory, then a phone with extra volume or visual cues could make communication easier.

 

What makes a good amplified phone?

 

There are some key features that are important to focus on when purchasing an amplified phone. Some phones have extra features that might be useful to your situation as well. The key ones to focus on when choosing a phone are:

  • Amplification
  • Visual Ringers
  • Hearing Aid Compatibility
  • Tone Control
  • Handsets

 

Amplification

The most important feature of an amplified phone is its decibel (dB) level or volume.  Some brands claim 30 dB is enough for both people with normal hearing and people with minor loss of hearing. However, other phones come with an adjustable volume of up to 60 dB to aid with more severe hearing loss.

Amplification also extends to the ringer volume—so you don’t have to worry about hearing the phone ring while in another room, or away from your desk.   Some amplified phones can even reach up to 100 dB.

Amplification can be beneficial if you have a hard time hearing, but also if you’re not a confident speaker or even if your environment is noisy. Many phone models have a feature to intensify your voice, so the other end of the line doesn’t have to request for you to speak louder awkwardly.

 

Visual Ringers

A flashing flight can alert you to an incoming phone call, perfect for situations where you might not hear the phone ring. This feature is especially useful on a busy factory floor or environment with loud music playing.

This could be the best solution for those with hearing loss, primarily if you work in a busy office and do not want to have an amplified ringer on your phone disturbing others. The flashing light is either on the base of your phone or your handset, look out for this feature if it suits your needs.

 

Hearing Aid Compatible

Most telephones that utilise magnets to drive sound are Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC). Inside of most hearing aids, there is a device called a telecoil which allows the hearing aid to hear magnetic representations of sound along with sound waves themselves. Being compatible means the telephone will transmit a magnetic current together with the sound wave. This will improve your ability to hear when using a hearing aid. HAC also means there will be no interference or whistling noises when you use the phone.

 

Tone Control

Sound doesn’t just come in one variety; there are low middle and high-frequency sounds.

  • dBA —decibel level with a low frequency.
  • dBB —decibel level with a middle frequency.
  • dBC —decibel level with a high frequency.

It is common that we lose the ability to hear high frequency sounds first as we age. If this is the case for you, you might want to amplify just the high-frequency sounds of your phone conversations.

By being able to adjust these tonal and pitch settings, you will be able to hear the conversation better. Many models also come with enhanced equaliser settings to get the perfect adjustment for comfort rather than increasing the overall volume.

 

Handsets

Having multiple handsets connected to your phone line means that you can pick up a call in different parts of your house or office. This feature won’t be useful to everyone, but it is good to know if the phone model you choose supports this option. Many of the amplified phones have 23 handsets included in their packages; Some can interconnect up to 12 handsets from a single base. With handsets, there are a few things to check before purchasing:

  • Signal Range
  • Battery life
  • Hands-free
  • Belt clips

 

Signal Range

The benefit of a cordless phone is obviously that you can take calls from any part of your house. Gone are the days where we sat in a hallway to talk on the phone. Selecting a handset with good signal range means you can enjoy your conversation in the privacy of your room or even garden.

 

Battery Life

If the battery on your cordless phone dies they you be feeling pretty lonely until you remember to recharge it! You want to select a phone with a strong battery.

Battery power is measured in mAhs (milliamperehour). An AAA battery (commonly used in phones) have 1000mAh per battery. Whereas, other phones have their specific types of batteries which hold from 400 to 700 mAH. With 700 mAh you will get 420 mins to call time or 120 hours of standby time.

Most phones also have a backup battery pack for their bases as well as their handsets, just in case the power is out, so you can still make calls.

 

Hands-Free

You may want a phone that allows you to make hands-free calls, using either a speakerphone or by plugging in headphones with a microphone. Both options make it easier to multitask while speaking on the phone – and without the pain of holding the phone to your shoulder.

If you want to keep hands-free calls private by using headphones, then you need a phone with a headset jack. Not all models have this feature, so keep an eye out for it.

 

Clips and Compatibility

But where will your phone go? If you want to use your cordless phone hands-free, then picking a model with a belt clip could be your best bet.

As for corded phones, phone models are made for the desk and some for wall mounting, but rarely both. So take a look at this when you are making your final decision.

 

The Top Amplified 9 Phones

 

The market for amplified phones isn’t a big one, but it’s still oversaturated enough to be confusing.

Here you will be introduced to the three types of available amplified phones.

  • Cordless amplified phones
  • Corded amplified phones
  • Captioned amplified phones

Here is a chart of the top picks if you are looking for a cordless amplified phone. You can compare the key features of each option:

 

Cordless Amplified Phones

Features

Clarity BT914

Panasonic KX- TG6592T

Clarity XLC3.4

Decibels40 dB40 dB50 dB
Visual RingerYESYESYES
HACYESYESYES
Tone ControlYESYESNO
Maximum handsets553
Warranty1-year1- year1-year
SpeakerphoneYESYESYES
BatteryAAA batteriesRechargeable AAA batteries included600 mAH battery included
Price£33.22- £59.06£35.44- £95.97£54.63- £128.46

Let’s dig into some more detail for these three models so you can pick the right one for your home or business. Pros and cons from existing users are listed, keep in mind that these views are of course subjective and someone else’s negatives could be positives for your situation.

 

Clarity BT914

 

Clarity BT914

Price: £33.22-£59.06
Pros:
  • 40dB
  • Tone control
  • loud speakerphone
  • Visual Ringer
  • Pair up to 2 Bluetooth devices
  • up to 1000 contacts recorded
  • DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications)
  • Call ID display
  • Up to 10 programmable ringtones
  • XL keypads
  • Up to 5 handsets
  • 1-year warranty
  • AAA batteries
Cons:
  • not considered to have the best sound quality
  • may not be loud enough for those with significant hearing loss

 

Panasonic KX-TG6592T

 

Panasonic KX-TG6592T

Price: £35.44-£95.97
Pros:
  • 40dB
  • volume control on handset
  • big buttons
  • speakerphone on both handset and base
  • eco mode
  • number blocking
  • noise reduction
  • up to 5 handsets
  • AAA rechargeable batteries included
  • call block feature
  • caller ID
Cons:
  • not considered the most user-friendly
  • no voicemail indicator light

 

Clarity XLC3.4

 

Clarity XLC3.4

Price: £54.64-£128.46
Pros:
  • 50dB Amp
  • 95dB ringer
  • visual ringer
  • large buttons
  • patented Clarity Power technology
  • dual battery pack
  • 15dB outgoing volume
  • speakerphone
  • backlit keypad
  • 40 name and number memory
  • 600mHA
Cons:
  • A voicemail
  • talking caller ID reads only numbers
  • set up considered difficult
  • heavier handset

Corded Amplified Phones

If you need an amplified phone for your business, then you are probably looking for a corded phone that can be easily used on a desk. This means that battery life and signal range no longer need to be considered, and you are instead comparing the vast array of features available. You can see how the best corded amplified phones compare against each other in the table below:

Features

Geemarc Ultra

Clarity Alto 5400.001

RCA 1123-1WTGA

Future-Call FC-1507

Call Volume40205360 dB
Visual RingerYESYESYESYES
HACYESYESYESYES
Tone ControlYESYESNONO
Wall mountableYESYESNONO
Warranty90 days1-year1-year
SpeakerphoneYESYESYESYES
BatteryNONOYESNO
Price£23.77- 43.54£ 36.91 – 44.26£ 54.51-77.39£ 49.59-95.89

Full details for these model are listed below, along with some disadvantages offered by current users. Keep in mind that user views are subjective and may not be an issue for your purposes.

 

Geemarc Ultra

 

Geemarc Ultra

Price: £23.77-£43.54
Pros:
  • 60dB Amp – the loudest phone available
  • loud speakerphone
  • visual ringer
  • large button
  • memory for three emergency numbers
  • memory for nine direct dial numbers
Cons:
  • not considered very durable and some users complained of faults
  • does not have a caller block function

 

Clarity Alto 5400.001

 

Clarity Alto 5400.001

Price: £26.91-£44.26
Pros:
  • 53dB Amp
  • 15dB out-going volume
  • 100dBA ringer
  • speakerphone
  • visual ringer
  • backup battery
  • talking keypad
  • One-year warranty
  • backlit soft touch keypad
Cons:
  • speakerphone button is apparently in a bad location
  • some users complained that voices were distorted

 

RCA 1123-1WTGA

 

RCA 1123-1WTGA

Price: £54.51-£77.39
Pros:
  • 20dB amp speakerphone
  • tone adjustment
  • Four direct dial buttons with photos
  • visual ringer
  • One-year warranty
  • wall mountable
Cons:
  • some users complained about operational usability

 

Future-Call FC-1507

 

Future-Call FC-1507

Price: £49.59-£95.89
Pros:
  • 40dB amp
  • extra-large buttons
  • visual ringer
  • Ten two-touch memory direct dial
  • wall mountable option
  • mute key
  • flashing indicators
  • FCC approved
  • 1-year warranty
Cons:
  • no letters on the number pad
  • poor placement of the mute button
  • wall mount doesn’t leave room for the wire

 

Captioned Amplified Phones

Captioned telephones are an incredible invention; they combine amplified phones and computer speechtotext technology. Even at 60 dB, it can be hard to hear the conversation if you suffer from hearing loss and to help solve this problem captioned telephones can give you an almost instant word for word script of your conversation.

Functions

Hamilton CapTel 2400i

Clarity Ensemble 58013.201

Volume40 dB50 dB
Visual RingerNOYES
TouchscreenYESYES
ColourYESYES
Key PadYESTouchscreen
SpeakerphoneYESYES
HACYESNO
warrantyFive years1- year
Price range£ 50.14 -£ 92.11£ 55.37- £ 91.54

 

Hamilton CapTel 2400i

 

Hamilton CapTel 2400i

Price: £50.14-£92.11
Pros:
  • 40dB amp
  • visual ringer
  • LCD
  • tone adjustment
  • 100 name and number memory
  • 4-speed dial memory
  • 100 recordable memories
Cons:
  • regularly sized keypad
  • not specifically designed for elderly operation

 

Clarity Ensemble 58013.201

 

Clarity Ensemble 58013.201

Price: £55.37-£91.54
Pros:
  • 50dB amp
  • visual ringer
  • 7-inch LCD
  • Four tone adjustment options
  • one-touch sizing
  • answering machine
  • number memory
  • conversation history recorded
Cons:
  • not specifically designed for elderly operation
  • may be difficult to locate supplier

 

Which phone is best for you?

So, you have seen the best of the best in the amplified phone market. Most of the phones have similar core features. Your choice will come down to what you need the phone for and the level of hearing impairment.  Here are some rankings to help you make your final choice:

Do you need extreme amplification?

This chart summarizes all models based on their decibel level:

ModelRCA 11231WTGAFutureCall FC1507Panasonic KX TG6592THamilton CapTel 2400iClarity BT914Clarity Ensemble 58013.201Clarity XLC3.4Clarity Alto 5400.001Geemarc Ultra
TypeCordedCordedCordlessCaptionedCordedCaptionedCordlessCordedCorded
Decibel204040404050505360

Is price a deciding factor?

If the budget is the deciding factor, reviewing the following table will save you a lot of time:

ModelGeemarc UltraClarity BT914Clarity Alto 5400.001Panasonic KX- TG6592TFuture-Call FC-1507Hamilton CapTel 2400iRCA 1123-1WTGAClarity XLC3.4Clarity Ensemble 58013.201
TypeCordedCordedCordedCordlessCordedCaptionedCordedCordlessCaptioned
Price Range£23.7743.54£33.2259.06£36.9144.26£35.4495.97£49.5995.89£ 50.1492.11£54.5177.3954.63128.46£ 55.3791.54

 

To sum up…

 

Amplified Phones are much more than just loud phones. They give everyone the ability to communicate clearly, regardless of personal condition or environment. The main issue you need to consider when looking for a suitable amplified phone is its functions and features. Here is a checklist for when you are ready to make a purchase, you can select those features that are relevant to you:

Check List

  1. Is it loud enough?
  2. Does it have a visual ringer?
  3. Can you adjust the tone settings?
  4. Do you prefer corded or cordless?
  5. Is reading the captions important?
  6. Does it have a speakerphone?
  7. Is it compatible with hearing aids?
  8. Do you need extra battery life?
  9. Are you paying for more than you need?

If you have hearing loss or work in a loud environment, then one of these phones could be a game changer for your ability to communicate.

 

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