Hard of hearing phones come in a wide variety of models. They have different features and varying sound amplifying levels. The best hard of hearing phone will be the one that best suits your particular hearing aids, your hearing loss and its severity. The basic functions you should look for, however, include hearing aid compatibility, clarity of sound, blocking off background noise and an option for adjusting the volume.
Depending on the additional functionalities and features you want, there are many types to choose from. Before you choose a specific model, it is good to be aware of the benefits of both corded and cordless hard of hearing phones.
Benefits of hard of hearing corded phones:
- low price range
- constant power supply
- possibility for larger buttons
- can have functions for visually impaired as well, thus very suitable for the elderly
Corded phones that offer a full set of functions, some of which include increased ringer volume, telecoil compatibility, backlit and vocalised keypad and built-in answer phone are the models Amplicom PowerTel 68 (up to 5 times louder than the standard phone), Geemarc PhotoPhone 155 (with 8 large customizable photo buttons) and Geemarc CL455 (with talking phonebook).
In case you need a simpler phone with fewer functions, you can consider the Geemarc CL100 or Geemarc PhotoPhone 100. Both offer a volume gain of up to 30dB and have a visual ring indicator. For those with a severe hearing loss, the Geemarc AmpliPower 50 is recommended. It provides an extra loud volume of up to 60dB.
If you are thinking about buying a cordless phone, there are also some advantages to consider.
Benefits of hard of hearing cordless phones:
- mostly a more contemporary design
Some of the cordless phones offer as many functions as the corded ones. The brand new Amplicom PowerTel 700 is the perfect example of a phone with a bundle of extra features and up to 100 hours of standby time. A built-in answer phone is offered in the Amplicom PowerTel 580 and Geemarc Amplidect 285 models. The whole Geemarc Amplidect series offered on hearingdirect.com, have up to 30dB volume increase capability, a handsfree speaker option, a visual ring indicator, a backlit keypad and a caller ID.
We have compiled a ringer comparison chart between some of the most prominent phones on the market. In the second table, you can see what their ringer levels mean compared to common daily sounds:
|Phone model||Phone type||Maximum ringing level|
|Doro PhoneEasy 332||mobile||83dB|
|Doro PhoneEasy 338||mobile||83dB|
|Doro PhoneEasy 409||mobile||83dB|
|Doro PhoneEasy 345||mobile||83dB|
|Doro PhoneEasy 410||mobile||83dB|
|Doro PhoneEasy 610||mobile||85dB|
|Doro PhoneEasy 615||mobile||85dB|
|Amplicom PowerTel 49||corded||90dB|
|Amplicom PowerTel 68||corded||90dB|
|Amplicom PowerTel 580||cordless||90dB|
|Amplicom PowerTel 700||cordless||90dB|
|Amplicom PowerTel 702||cordless||90dB|
|Amplicom PowerTel M4000||mobile||100dB|
|Geemarc Clearsound CL8300||mobile||100dB|
|Amplicom PowerTel M6000||mobile||100dB|
|Environmental sounds||Sound level||Decibel level|
|Threshold of hearing||Faint||0dB|
The charts show that the ringer volumes available are high enough to be used by people with severe hearing loss. It should be considered that an increase of 10dB is perceived as approximately double the sound for people without a hearing problem. That means that +30dB additional ringer volume is about 5-6 times louder than the standard conversation volume.