If you struggle with hearing loss, you’re not alone. Around 48 million Americans (20 percent) have reported at least some level of hearing loss that impacts their day-to-day life. Having hearing ailments can seriously affect someone’s life, even causing them to endure a loss of income; studies have shown that the greater the hearing loss, the more of a loss of income someone will endure.
A common difficulty that those with hearing loss encounter is using the phone to communicate.
Talking on the phone should be easy, right? However, if you have issues with your hearing, the phone can transform from a supposedly easy-to-use gadget into something far more complex and problematic.
If you suffer from being hearing impaired and want to use the phone, then this article will help you. In it, we will discuss the best phones for people with hard of hearing. We will answer questions about each of the products, drawing on customer reviews, manufacturer information, and other resources in order to give an accurate product description and rundown. We will tell you about the product, its features, who it is best for (versus who it’s not for), and our opinion on the quality of the phone overall. Let’s get started!
Panasonic KX-TG6592T Cordless Phone
This phone is useful for people who have hearing impairment because it allows them to control the way in which they hear the person on the other line. Through the Panasonic “Equalizer” feature, you can adjust the tones in someone’s voice in order to achieve the detail you want, bettering your conversations and making using the phone a great experience for you.
This phone line is new from Panasonic, and it is part of their Amplified Dect. 6.0 Phones. Because it is so new to the company, it is one of their most innovative products. Here are some of the key features:
- Tone Equalizer: this feature is what makes the Panasonic telephone so great for people with hearing impairments. The tone equalizer allows you to adjust the bass, treble, and/or mid-range tones in a caller’s voice. Everyone’s voice is slightly different, and, sometimes, just raising the volume isn’t going to be enough to ensure that you’re able to hear what’s being said. This way, you can adjust the voice tones, improving the volume and the quality at the same time.
- Hearing-Aid Compatibility: having a phone that is hearing-aid compatible is absolutely vital for consumers that don’t want to take out their amplifier every time they need to use the phone. Some phones are difficult to use while you wear a hearing aid, and that can be incredibly frustrating, especially considering that you need your hearing aid in order to even listen to the conversation in the first place. With the Panasonic telephone, you can wear your hearing aid while using it, while also adjusting the tones in someone’s voice for extra communicative capabilities.
- Expandable Handsets: do you have more than one room in your house that needs this set? If so, you’re in luck. This Panasonic phone can be expanded to include six different handsets that are all controlled by one base. We all need more than one phone at some point, and if you have several sets in other rooms, your family and friends can use them too without inconveniencing one another. The fact that these extra handsets are controlled by one base makes operation far easier for you, as you can adjust the volume and/or sound quality on the main set, incorporating your adjustments into the other phones.
- Integrated Messaging Machine: this feature allows you to record messages or phone calls that are up to forty minutes long. There is no need to rush your phone calls or messages anymore. The Panasonic allows you to toggle through your messages to find the one you’re looking for. The intuitive retrieval system makes sure that you’re able to locate what you’re looking for as easily as possible.
- Oversized Illuminated Keypad: if you are both hard of hearing and have a vision impairment, the Panasonic phone addresses both issues. The phone comes with an oversized, illuminated keypad that promotes peak visibility. You will be able to easily see what it is that you’re trying to locate on the phone with this keypad.
- Eco-Mode: this is the energy-saving feature on the Panasonic phone. Eco-mode reduces the phone’s power consumption by 77%. This boost in energy efficiency is something that is also unique to this particular phone.
This phone is for people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. It is also beneficial for those who have vision problems and issues maneuvering smaller cellular phones. If you are very hard of hearing, with severe issues, there are other phones that may work better for you. Keep reading to see other phones for severe hearing problems. All in all, however, this Panasonic is a quality phone that is dependable, easy-to-use, and easy to set up.
Clarity XLC3.4 Severe Hearing Loss Cordless Phone
The Clarity XLC3.4 phone works for people who have severe hearing problems that would otherwise prevent them from using the phone at all. If you are hard of hearing to the point where the mild-to-moderate hearing impairment phones would not help, this particular phone is the one for you. Here are some of the features that make the XLC3.4 phone so remarkable:
- Decibel Amplification: this phone uses intelligent amplification to pinpoint the tones in someone’s voice that may be muddled or unclear to you. The phone uses DCP and 50+ decibel amplification in order to not only boost the volume of your conversation but to also pick up on potential problems you may encounter with someone’s voice. It balances out the tone and the other nuances of someone’s speaking voice. If you’ve previously encountered issues with communication that aren’t solely volume-based, this phone will help address those.
- Dual Power Battery Backup: if the power’s out, the dual power battery backup in this phone will allow you to make phone calls anyway. This can also be viewed as an important safety feature, as power outages shouldn’t prevent you from being able to dial out if you’re experiencing an emergency. The dual power battery backup is an excellent failsafe and preserves the energy of the phone in almost all circumstances (short of a cut phone line).
- 4 Tone Settings: as stated above, this Clarity phone doesn’t just enhance the volume, it also adjusts the tone. It comes with four tone settings. These settings will help you find out what it is that you’re having trouble hearing in someone’s voice, and you will then be able to adjust the phone accordingly. It provides a custom listening experience that will ensure you’re capable of picking up on even the most subtle of tonal changes or deficits.
- Bright Visual Ringer: hearing problems are sometimes accompanied with vision problems, and the Clarity phone allows for those who are vision impaired to see clearly whether or not they are being phoned. Not only will the ringer sound with the fifty-decibel amplification when you are being called, it will also flash very brightly so that you are able to see that someone is calling you.
- Caller ID: being able to know the person on the other line before you pick up is valuable—otherwise, how will you know if it is a sales call or someone you actually want to talk to? The Clarity phone has a brightly-lit screen that will broadcast who is calling in a way that is easy to see.
- Speakerphone: every good phone needs a speaker feature that is high-quality. The Clarity’s speakerphone is full-duplex and in-handset, meaning you can turn it on without having to be near the base when you do so.
This Clarity phone is excellent for people with severe hearing loss, as it adjusts not only the volume but also the tones of someone’s voice. The screen is also easy-to-see, promoting visibility and easier communication for people who have sight issues. Be aware that some people cautioned that there were problems with the phone lines. A common concern with this phone was that it did not work with Verizon wireless landlines. So, if you have Verizon landlines and are not severely hard of hearing, you may want to check out the other phones on this list.
Clarity Amplified Photo Phone P300
This is another Clarity product that is very high-quality and will benefit anyone who has struggled with hearing loss or hearing impairment. It’s a unique product, owing its standalone quality to its photographic capabilities. Here are some of the best features on the Clarity P300.
- Nine Photo Feature: pictures are worth 1,000 words, as the saying goes. This phone proves it. It allows you to dial a number by depressing a button that contains a photo of your choosing. It is essentially caller ID, except with pictures of people you want to talk to. Simply choose a photo of a person who you call frequently, upload it into the P300, and click it in order to dial. There is no need to fuss with complicated address books and number memory. Just click and get ready to talk.
- Easy-to-Dial: in addition to the photo feature, the keypad is also large and brightly-lit. It is easy to dial for those who may have difficulty seeing the tiny spaces on the keypad (i.e. most of us). The keypad buttons are white-on-black, which is one of the most visible ways to see text. The screen itself is also very visible, with large icons for the photos. If you are elderly and need a little extra assistance maneuvering a phone keypad, this is for you. It’s one of Clarity’s easiest-to-read keypads.
- Extra-Loud Ringer: the loud ringer on this phone is one of its best features for the hearing-impaired. The phone itself is also hearing-aid-compatible. The ringer can amplify the ring up to eighteen decibels. The ringer is loud, making this an ideal choice for people who have experienced problems with being able to hear the phone when it rings.
- Incoming Volume Adjuster: much like the ringer amplification, you are also able to adjust the incoming volume up to twenty decibels. This adjustment will improve the sound quality of the tone of someone’s voice as well. The phone also minimizes background noise and enhances the clarity of someone’s speech. So often, hearing problems manifest themselves in an inability to make out what someone is saying, as opposed to not being able to hear the volume entirely. Clarity’s P300 phone seeks to address that.
- Bright Visuals: this is another phone that caters to those who have issues seeing the screen. When the phone rings, it lights up brightly, giving you an indication of both sound and sight that you have an incoming call.
The Clarity P300 Photo Phone works best for people with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss that also have vision problems. The photo phone is also beneficial for people who may not be able to remember the numbers of their family and friends, and for whom being able to see the photo of the person in question would be helpful.
If you have severe hearing loss, you may want to go with the Clarity phone that was listed at #2, as it is more intuitive and programmed for people with severe hearing issues. Also, check your landline and make sure that, if you have a Verizon landline, this phone will be compatible with it.
Emerson EM300WH Big Button Corded Phone
This phone is designed with elderly people in mind. Emerson, the company that makes this, also makes other home appliances and energy-saving around-the-house items. This phone is a best-seller for the company, and it has proven to be very popular among elderly people who need assistance dialing out. Here are some of the Emerson phone’s most notable features:
- Ringer Volume Adjust: the ringer is adjustable on this phone. With the Emerson phone, you’re able to change the volume of the ringer so that you are able to hear it. Although the phone itself may seem old-fashioned, it is anything but. The sound technology promotes hearing and tonal clarity, allowing you to hear the ringer no matter where you are in the house.
- Speed Dial: speed dial is not something you may have been aware could exist on a cordless phone, but in this case, it does. You are able to store ten different numbers on speed dial, making for a convenient dialing experience. It’s not always easy to remember a lot of different numbers, and having them on speed dial means that you’re able to far-more-easily recall them. It is also a good safety feature. In an emergency, being able to hit just one button and be connected with the emergency services is more convenient than having to fumble with more than one button.
- Large Buttons: one of the major features that Emerson touts when it comes to this product is the buttons. The buttons are large and the black-on-white print makes them easy to read. The large keypad is advantageous for elderly people who may have visibility impairment that can make maneuvering smaller keypads more difficult. There is also as clearly marked speakerphone, redial, and flash button that you can click to connect you with the service you’re attempting to reach.
- Power Outage Ready: like one of the phones previously listed on here, the Emerson phone works in the event of a power outage. It is corded, but that doesn’t mean that you are cut off from outside communication if something goes wrong with the power grid. In the event of an outage, it is very important for you to still be able to call out for emergencies or reach loved ones. With this phone, you’re able to do so. This is an important innovation for cordless phones, and one that is very valuable as well.
- Durability: the phone’s durability was a common advantage that a lot of satisfied customers discussed. It is made of strong material, and the cord itself is shielded in a way that prevents fraying.
The Emerson phone is dependable. If you have mild hearing loss and are in need of a phone with a large, visible keypad, this is one of the best phones that you can choose. Setup is simple. Overall, this is just an easy, no-frills phone that will work well in any home.
Hamilton CapTel 840i Real-Time Closed Captioned Telephone
This technologically-innovative phone is one of the most impressive hearing-impaired phones out there. The Hamilton phone is intuitive, and its features are very advanced. Here are more details:
- Adjustable Volume: In addition to the closed captioning, you are also able to adjust the volume on the phone so that you can hear the person on the other end better. This, combined with the captioning, provides for the best listening experience.
- Real-Time Closed-Captioning: the most notable feature on this Hamilton phone is the closed captioning. When you are talking, the phone is not only connected to the landline, it is also connected to the Internet. As your conversation progresses, the Hamilton CapTel phone captions what the other person is saying. The text display is an accurate voice-to-text translation of what the other person is saying.
- Adjustable Fonts: the closed captioning fonts are adjustable. You can change the font sizes and colors to find the one that is the easiest for you to read. These captions can also be turned on or off at any time during the call, depending on what you require.
- Easy-to-Read Screen: the screen is adjustable. The lighting in your home may require that you tilt the screen back or forth in order to see the captions best. This screen is movable, providing an easy-reading experience for you.
- Bilingual Services: the Hamilton CapTel phone serves both English and Spanish speakers. If you speak Spanish, you deserve to be able to read the captions in your native language, if that is the one that you are most comfortable with. The Hamilton phone allows you to adjust the language in which you read the captions (note: this is not a translation service, it is a voice-to-text caption only).
- Voice-Recognition Technology: the Hamilton CapTel is able to translate a variety of different voices. There won’t be a discrepancy between certain voices and others; it will translate each.
- Simple Keypad: the keypad is also easy-to-use and simple. It doesn’t require a lot of fiddling. It is intuitive and works in tandem with the screen to provide the function you need.
- Menu System: the CapTel phone also comes with a menu system that is easy to follow. So often, menus and screen displays are way too unnecessarily complex. This is not the case with the CapTel. The menu has clear instructions on how to operate the closed captions, making for a simple experience that won’t be confusing for you.
The Hamilton CapTel is a very technologically-innovative phone. It works best for people with a wide range of hearing loss. The CapTel is not best for people who have issues with their vision, as being able to see the captions is necessary in order to operate the phone. You also need to have internet services in order to use the CapTel system. If you’re able to meet these conditions, the CapTel is an excellent phone for those with hearing difficulties.
If you suffer from hearing impairment, that is no reason to disrupt your daily life and shut down your communication capabilities. There are phones out there that can help those who have issues both hearing and seeing. The brands we’ve featured are designed with different audiences in mind, yet all have the same goal: promoting quality telephone experiences for people who may not have had the chance to experience them before. These phones were well-reviewed on consumer sites, and they will help make your life easier. Talking on the phone when you have a hearing problem can feel extremely frustrating. But, as technology advances, your communication capabilities can too.