Telephones are the main medium of communication in the current society. On average, there are about 1.263 billion landlines and 4.77 billion cell phone users. It’s remarkable just how connected the world has become thanks to this marvel of technology.
Unfortunately, not everybody has perfect hearing capability. There are those who experience difficulty engaging in telephone conversations because they have some degree of hearing loss. The worst bit is that using a telephone does not allow users the benefit of body language, lip-reading or facial expressions. This is where amplified phones come to the rescue. With this gadget, you can increase the volume as much as you want; hence, have a clear conversation with the person on the other end of your call. Moreover, the best amplified phones offer this feature and so much more.
What are the Best Amplified Phones?
Increasing volume is not the technology that comes with an amplified phone. This is beneficial since hearing loss does not only involve volume. Another aspect involved is the quality of sound or frequency. The best amplified phone for hearing impaired can also optimize the frequency levels; hence, enable a user hear the caller’s voice clearly.
Do you have friends or relatives who talk so fast that by the time they complete a sentence, you will only have heard the first and last words? If you have such people in your life, the Panasonic KX-TGM450S is customized for you. This phone boasts a one-touch slow talk control button, which helps you to automatically slow the speech of the caller when conversing in real-time. The slow talk buttons are strategically positioned on the base and handsets.
If you have some degree of hearing loss, the Panasonic KX-TGM450S can amplify the incoming volume up to 50dB and the ringer volume to 112dB. Beyond the increased volume, this phone also has enlarged buttons, making every day call management easier. And in case of a power outage, the two built-in batteries will keep you connected until power gets back.
This amplified phone allows you to save 100 contacts, block 250 of them and save 9 of your closest family member contacts on speed dial. Plus, a caller can leave a 17-minute voice message.
If you want the best that amplified phone technology has to offer, then the CSC 600 is your best bet. This phone comes with caller ID, which has a capacity to store 99 numbers, a big LCD display and connection to a bed vibrator. You can tilt the LCD display to any angle in case you want better viewing.
And for those with hearing impairment, ClearSounds offers adequate amplification as well as full range controls, which are the most important features that help one hear clearly. The base system provides about 50dB amplification and the ringer can be set to 95dB so that you never miss a call. If you still can’t hear the caller ringtone, the strobe light always flashes to notify you of incoming calls.
Other features you’ll like in this amplified phone include the 6 programmable keys, a visual message indicator and the override reset tone.
Clarity Alto amplified phone is designed for those who want an all-in-one package solution. To put it simply; this phone not only increases volume but it also reduces unwanted background sounds, so that you can hear your caller clearly. To achieve this, the phone employs digital clarity power technology.
In fact, it offers one of the highest amplification levels of up to 53dB, making it suitable for severe hearing loss. The incoming volume control is adjustable, so that you can choose the loudness level that suits your hearing.
Recommended for persons with hearing loss and low vision, the Clarity Alto is fitted with 10 one-touch memory buttons. Plus, you can set the ringer to pretty high volume levels of about 100dB. If you encounter any challenges navigating Clarity Alto, you can refer to the user guide. Other extras provided by the manufacturer include a handset, a base unit, telephone line cords, a mounting bracket and a DC adapter.
If you suffer from both hearing and memory loss, the Serene HD Photo phone is perfect for you. It comes with 9 big and easy-to-set up photo memory buttons. This way, you don’t have to struggle memorizing a ton of numbers. All you need to do is press the button containing your caller’s picture and it will start dialing.
Another benefit of this amplified phone is the 90+ dB ringer, which is super loud and hence, ideal for individuals with severe hearing loss. With such a ringer, you will never miss any call. Plus, you can always this volume using the controls.
Serene amplified phone also boasts Digital Sound Processing technology, which serves to eliminate distortions and echo effects. This feature ensures that the conversations you have with callers are crystal clear. What’s more, the phone is compatible with hearing aids.
One of the benefits you get from using a corded amplified phone is clarity of conversation. Unlike cordless phones, the corded models are not prone to cutting out and picking up interferences. The RCA amplified phone offers clear conversations and a lot more.
For instance, the phone has a ringer, which increases the ringing volume whenever a call comes in. It also provides amplification, allowing you to hear your callers. And, it has large-sized buttons to make dialing much easier. However, RCA amplified phone is ideal for those with mild hearing loss.
What Is An Amplified Telephone?
Amplified phones are uniquely designed for seniors and those with hearing impairment. The distinct feature of an amplified phone is the fact that you can turn up the volume pretty high to help you hear your callers clearly. This way, your callers won’t feel embarrassed every time they see you calling because they’re forced to speak too loud. Also, these amplified phones are equipped with unique features to help people hear high-pitched voices clearly- a problem that the hearing impaired often encounter.
Amplified phones come in many designs; some are landline telephones while others are mobile phones. You’re also get to choose between corded and cordless phones. Other unique features you’re likely to find in an amplified phone are caller ID, large number buttons and a speakerphone. Other amplified phones are designed to work with answering machine, a headset, photo dialing and wall mounts. Some even have alert capabilities to notify you when you don’t hung up the right way.
Do I Need An Amplified Phone?
A majority of amplified phones are designed for elderly. Nonetheless, any one person who has difficulty hearing can benefit immensely from these gadgets. To determine if you really need an amplified phone, consider these:
- How often do you ask your callers to repeat what they’re saying when you’re conversing on the phone?
- Do you always increase the volume of the radio or television?
- Do you have difficulty engaging in conversations when you are at loud restaurants or crowded hallways?
- Do you avoid taking calls because you’re too embarrassed about not being capable of hearing your callers clearly?
- Do you find hearing in an open space more difficult than in an enclosed area?
If your answer to any of these questions is a solid yes, you should have a hearing specialist examine you as well as invest in an amplified phone.
Problems Elderly People Have Using Phones
Sadly, seniors encounter a myriad of challenges when it comes to using tech gadgets. One of the most essential devices that the elderly have problems using is a phone. Some experience dementia, which is characterized by a severe loss of memory. Overall, the biggest challenges that seniors encounter with regards to telephone use are the loss of vision, memory and hearing.
Overcoming Memory Issues
If you’re an elderly person who has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it’s likely that you’re having trouble remembering events. Usually, the biggest problem is being incapable of recalling phone numbers, which can be devastating if you need help urgently. If the disease is severe, you might not even remember who you need to call.
This is where an amplified phone with picture dial capability comes in handy. They say that images are worth a thousand words, and this is true even when you age. A simple picture can help to jog your mind. All you need to do is touch the button that has your caller’s picture and it will start dialing. With such a feature, you’ll never have to grapple with memorizing phone numbers.
If the pictures don’t seem to be helping, you should go for an amplified phone with programmable keys. Find a phone that has an easily noticeable button. Most phones will usually have red colors or Red Cross symbols. This way, you can automatically set this button to dial a family member or a friend. You can also program it to dial 911 directly.
Overcoming Vision Problems
Another challenge that seniors encounter when using phones is poor or failing eyesight. Medical conditions such as retina or cataracts can make it pretty difficult to read small keys and numbers. Many are the times when the elderly find themselves dialing the wrong numbers, which only adds to their embarrassment and disappointment. Even if most phones feature a standard layout, an elderly may not be able to see all the buttons well.
It explains why a majority of amplified phones are now equipped with large-sized buttons. Another feature that helps is using contrasting colors on the different buttons. The numbers are usually in a dark color, and then printed on a white background.
Overcoming Hearing Problems
The biggest disappointment that a senior goes through is losing his or her ability to hear. Since you cannot hear that well, you have to keep asking your callers to repeat what they’re saying or ignore their calls entirely. Sure, you can buy a hearing aid. Unfortunately, not all phones are compatible with hearing aids, which is where amplified mobile phones come to the rescue. These phones allow you to increase volume to suit your hearing level.
Types of Amplifiers
If you are a frequent traveler or have issues comprehending telephone conversations whether you’re at home or work, a telephone amplifier can be of great help. The sole purpose of this device is to increase your phone’s volume. There are different kinds of amplifiers to choose from:
This can be used in an amplified analog phone or a digital one. In-line amplifiers are mostly recommended for persons with moderate to severe hearing loss. They are capable of increasing the volume by 40 decibels and they allow users to adjust the tone of speech.
If you have between mild and moderate hearing loss, the portable amplifier is an excellent option. This one increases sound or volume by 30 decibels. Portable amplifiers are pretty small, making it easy to attach them to telephone headsets. And, they come with inbuilt controls for volume adjustment. Portable amplifiers are also recommended for persons who use telephones frequently.
Do you always find missed calls on your mobile phone because you can’t hear it ring regardless of how loud the ringtone is? If you do, you should this type of amplifier. Most amplified phones have unique settings such as allowing you to set ringer volume that suits your hearing level. With some phones, you can turn up the volume up to 5 times louder than a conventional phone.
Some amplified phones will also have visual indicators. A perfect example is ClearSounds CSC 600 which has a ringer with strobe light. This way, anytime you receive a call, this light flashes to alert you.
If you are one who wears hearing aids, you should consider adding a telecoil to your hearing aid. With the simple touch of a button, this device ensures that your hearing aid only picks the sound coming through your telephone; hence, eliminating background noise.
Essential Information about Amplified Telephones
Amplified phones really help to improve the lives of individuals experiencing hearing loss or impaired speech. They do this by increasing the volume for ringtone, speaker and microphone; thus, enabling an individual to converse in a natural way. If you hearing loss, there are a couple of features to look for when purchasing an amplified phone. They include:
- Type of hearing loss- for an individual with severe hearing, a phone that offers the highest amplification is a great option. It means that you should first determine the degree of hearing loss that you have.
- Corded or cordless- another choice you’ll have to make it selecting between a corded and cordless amplified phone. Each has its fair share of merits and drawbacks. For instance, cordless amplified phones give you freedom to hold your conversations from anywhere. But even though a corded phone limits you in terms of movement, it does not rely on electricity or require any recharging.
- Additional features- Like many phones, amplified telephones have extra features. These are call displays, speakerphones and different ringtones.
Amplified phones are not always pricier than regular ones. For the best outcome, you should ask a local hearing specialist to help you choose a phone that addresses your specific needs.
Audiometric testing- this is one of the hearing tests that you are likely to undergo. It determines your level of hearing using an audiometer.
Expert evaluation to help choose the perfect amplified phone
You can also invest in other assistive listening gadgets such as personal FM systems, voice carry over telephones and Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf/TeleTYpewriter (TTY/TDD).
Degree of hearing loss
Different amplified telephones are tailored to different levels of hearing loss. So before purchasing one of these phones, you should first visit a hearing specialist who can perform a comprehensive hearing evaluation to determine your level of hearing loss.
Mild hearing loss
If you’ve been diagnosed with mild hearing loss, chances are that you have a problem understanding 100% of a conversation. Also, if you’re having a chat with someone, you might not be able to pick up certain sounds such as “f” and “th”. With mild hearing loss, you can only hear sounds of about 26 to 40 decibels
Moderate hearing loss
Are you always asking your callers to repeat themselves? If you do, odds are that you have moderate hearing loss. Individuals experiencing moderate hearing loss are able to hear sounds of about 40 to 70 decibels.
Severe hearing loss
People with severe hearing loss often need additional equipment such as hearing aids, to help them pick up sounds. This group of individuals is only able to hear sounds of about 70 to 90 decibels.
If you or one of your family members suffers from hearing impairment, an amplified phone can help to improve your communication experience. Amplified phones are designed to increase callers’ voices and they have very loud ring tones. They have other handy features such as one-touch emergency calling keys, large caller ID displays and photo memory buttons.
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