Research suggests that by 2035, there could be around 14.2 million adults with hearing loss greater than 25 dBHL in the UK. Phones for the hard of hearing can help ease communication for both the hard of hearing and the elderly. Their easy to use features and enhanced audio make it simple to stay in touch. In this guide, we advise on the best phones for hard of hearing people and highlight the sound quality of some essential models that we supply.
Which Is The Best Phone For The Hard Of Hearing?
From our current stock, we recommend:
Doro Magna 4000 - one of THE loudest phones in production today, boasting a powerful 60dB voice volume with a 90dB ringer volume. At the 60 DB voice it will be perfect for anyone struggling with moderate hearing loss to severe hearing loss.
Geemarc AmpliDect 295 Combi Photo Amplified Cordless Telephone - a cordless phone and accompanying corded phone with big buttons and loud ringer +30dB and receiving volume +10dB. This hearing aid compatible phone comes with adjustable volume up to 30 DB and an SOS button on the additional handset.
Emporia GD61AB Cordless Phone with Answering Machine - Lightweight cordless phone with ringer volume of 81db and adjustable receiver volume of +30db.
The Doro 8080 Smartphone was designed with safety in mind, making it an ideal phone for seniors. The simplicity of this device makes you able to seamlessly use essential features like calls and texts while staying connected through many Apps already available on your phone. The phone’s built-in GPS localisation and the alert button lets the hard of hearing instantly contact responders who can help out in case of emergency. The user's location will be immediately made known to the responders, which will offer the hard of hearing much-needed peace of mind about getting help when it is needed most.
Doro 1360 mobile phone - much louder than generic mobile phones with 35dB voice volume and 83dB ringer volume. The device also comes with adjustable volume control that will amplify phone conversations for people with hearing loss.
However, the answer is rarely straightforward because at Hearing Direct we are able to offer you so many high-quality hearing aid compatible phones that can amplify incoming sounds and let you adjust devices' tones to the desired range.
Hard of hearing phones cater for varying levels of hearing loss. A more severe impairment may need a phone that produces greater dB volumes to effectively communicate. Whether or not you wear hearing aids, conversations with loved ones on the phone should be easily accessible for all.
For those with visual impairments, big button phones offer an alternative and simple solution for communicating with loved ones. If you are out and about a lot then a smartphone specially designed for the hard of hearing and for ease of use may be an excellent solution. The bigger and more interactive dial pad will surely help seniors with poor eyesight.
Have a look at our selection of Amplified Mobile Phones and Smartphones.
You may also wish to check out our blog post: Phones for Seniors.
Why use amplified phones to aid hearing loss?
Even if you’re not experiencing hearing loss, the sound quality in phone conversations is often less than ideal – for example when someone has a mobile device with weak signal and noises in the background. Now couple that with hearing loss, and you have a really hard time having decent phone conversations.
There's no one size fits all solution for the situation, especially given there are many types of impairments that affect your hearing ability at different levels. Each person has their own hearing challenges that need individualised solutions. Thankfully, hearing impaired phones are developed based on the varying requirements of individuals.
Amplified phones help people with hearing loss hear more clearly. People who are unable to hear high frequency sounds due to the loss of hearing often struggle with listening and understanding speech. When this happens it becomes difficult for them to differentiate words. Amplified phones help them overcome this by boosting the hard-to-hear parts of the words like 'T and S' so they sound distinct.
What factors should you consider while buying an amplified phone?
When a phone is hearing aid compatible it means that it can link into the telecoil or loop setting of any hearing aid. It's worth noting that not all hearing aids come with a telecoil setting. For instance, while using a hearing aid compatible phone like the Geemarc Photophone 100, a hearing aid wearer can listen to the person speaking through the hearing aid’s in-built telecoil setting. In addition to the phone's compatibility with hearing aids, you must also make sure it's working well with any other devices the elderly use including headphones and earphones. You can learn more about hearing aid compatibility and making the most of your hearing aid’s telecoil setting here.
The ability to adjust the volume on loud phones is an important factor when buying one, so make sure yours can do this. It's also wise to check if it has additional amplification for louder sounds just in case. The design of amplified phones is of great importance for many reasons. You might prefer an aesthetically pleasing sleek, portable phone whereas another may prefer bigger heavy duty cases for protection against drops or spills on the go. Cost is always determined by the specific model you choose, however there are plenty of great options out there that won't break your bank account.
4 Top Tips To Find The Best Phone For The Hard Of Hearing
With all the different styles of phones on offer, it can be hard to know what your options are. The type and severity of hearing loss you have determines which one will work best for you: from basic devices with limited features or more premium models costing more but offering additional assistance.
For example, cordless phones are great for people with hearing loss, as they allow more freedom and convenience. More importantly, a cordless phone which has a vibrate function will vibrate in your pocket when there's an incoming call.
Your phone is a lifeline to your daily life. If you're hard of hearing, it can be the difference between communicating and staying completely isolated from those around us. Modern-day phones are made with this in mind: They essentially amplify voice coming out of the receiver so words come through crystal clear; plus, they cater differently according to whether a person has mild or severe hearing loss which will help them communicate better.
Our range of devices offers a solution for everyone, and you may find the following suggestions and advice helpful. Our top tips on phones for hard of hearing people will help you find the right make and model to match your needs.
1. Choose a dedicated phone:
You will need to identify the required amplification needed to maximise the benefit of the phone. Standard telephones generally do not have extra-loud functions or hearing aid compatibility so they can be challenging to use with hearing loss. It will be essential to choose a model that asserts voice and ringer volume at a high enough level for you to hear clearly. Additionally, many of these phones are compatible with hearing aids using the 'T' setting.
2. Consider whether you need a desk or a cordless phone or a phone that combines both:
Phones for the hearing impaired are available in two main options: corded or cordless. Often manufacturers will offer a combo pack to take advantage of the separate benefits of both. The main difference is that desk phones, due to their size, often include other sensory cues that are useful for the hard of hearing and the visually impaired such as flashing lights to indicate an incoming call, large buttons, a larger visual display and a backlit keypad. Some cordless amplified phones may share these features, however, due to the physical limitations of the device, these features are more subtle.
Benefits of desk phones:
- Often include other sensory cues in a prominent manner
- Models that are wall mounted are less likely to get misplaced
- More desk phones include a built-in answering machine than cordless phones
- Greater maximum volume output
Benefits of cordless phones:
- Can be taken from room to room and even to the garden
- Some models can be extended with extra handsets
- Ideal for answering calls without having to move quickly to the phone location
3. Plan your budget in advance:
As with most new phones, prices will vary from one model to the next and from one manufacturer to the other. The easiest way to find the best hearing impaired phone for your budget is to consider the necessary features you require to help manage your hearing loss. Phones will vary in prices based on:
- Type of phone (cordless vs. desk phone)
- Maximum amplification level
- Built-in answering phone
- Whether you need advanced features such as outgoing speech amplification, headset and shaker outputs, ringtones and so on
- Level of user experience required:
Depending on the age and background of the user, it is common for the hard of hearing to look for simple models. For this reason, extra-loud, amplified phones are often bought for the elderly because they are simpler to use. Therefore, when deciding on the best phone, the level of the device's complexity and the intended user must be taken into account.
When considering all of these recommendations and shaping your basic requirements, you may also consider the following list of the most important features and characteristics that a phone designed for the hard of hearing should have:
- Increased volume for incoming voice
- Visual ring indicator
- Increased ringer volume
- Handsfree speaker option
- Vocalised keypad
- Backlit keypad
- Large display and buttons to dial
- Telecoil compatibility
- Caller ID
- Built-in answer phone
Top Phones for the Hard Of Hearing
Doro Magna 4000 is one of THE loudest phones in production today, boasting a powerful 60dB voice volume and a 90dB ringer volume. That's about 6 times louder than a standard phone!
We dispense a great selection of corded desk phones, cordless phones for the home, and easy-to-use extra loud mobile phones.
If you prefer combo or cordless phones, you may be interested in models such as the Geemarc AmpliDect 295 Combi Photo Amplified Cordless Telephone. Some of its top features include:
- Receiving tone can be increased to up to 10dB
- Volume control can be adjusted to +30dB
- A backlit display with large characters
- Backlit keypad with easy to use big buttons
- Outdoor range of 300 metres
- Indoor range of 50 metres
The Emporia GD61AB Cordless Phone with Answering Machine is a handy, lightweight cordless phone with an illuminated display screen and Caller ID. The phone is hearing aid compatible, and has a ringer volume of 81db and adjustable receiver volume of +30db. A flexible telephone option that provides not only a cordless handset but an all digital answering machine with up to 30 minutes of capacity.
Smartphones and Mobile Phones:
The Emporia SMART.3 SmartPhone is a hearing aid compatible smartphone that provides all of the functionality you need to stay in touch with friends and family without any complicated features. With its intuitive design, integral camera and 4G connectivity, the Emporia Smart.3 is ideal for today’s fast-paced communication that requires people to stay connected seamlessly while meeting all their everyday needs.
One of our most popular mobile phones, the Doro 1360 mobile phone is designed with hearing loss in mind. The phone is extra loud, having a 35dB voice volume and 83dB ringer volume. There's a built-in camera facility, FM-radio, torch and assistance button. The tactile, high contrast keys are widely spaced for fingers that are less dexterous than they used to be.
Depending on your country, a different selection of phones for the hard of hearing may be available. We recommend selecting the relevant store based on the location the item will be shipped to.
Check Your Hearing For Free
At Hearing Direct, we have created our very own online hearing test so you can test your hearing for free and in the comfort of your own home.
All you will need is a few spare minutes and some ear or headphones. Once the test is complete, you will get your results instantly. Depending on the outcome of the hearing test, you may be encouraged to take further action.
About Hearing Direct
We are one of the world's leading hearing aid specialists. Hearing Direct offers a wide range of affordable products, as well as informational resources to help improve the quality of life for the hard of hearing. We sell:
- Hearing aids
- Accessories for cleaning and hygiene
- Amplified devices such as super loud alarm clocks and amplified phones