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Amplified Telephones

Often, a hearing impaired person has great difficulty using a telephone because they cannot hear the sound generated by the small speaker in the receiver. Furthermore, if the volume is loud enough, hearing aid users frequently find it more comfortable to use a telephone without using a hearing aid. To help them, there are a number of specially designed amplified telephones.

When comparing amplified telephones, here are some features to consider:

  • Amplification - look for a phone with variable amplification, especially if the phone is used by two or more people. Amplified phones generally boost the incoming voice from 25 to 55 dB, which is useful for mild to moderate hearing loss (the higher the dB, the more the amplification). If the phone is used by someone with normal hearing, you'll want to look for the ability to shut off the amplification; similarly, if the phone is always used by someone who is hard of hearing, then an "always amplified" phone is preferable. If the user has trouble speaking, you may also want a phone that amplifies the user's voice.
  • Tone - Many times, loss of hearing is really a loss of hearing in particular frequency ranges. A telephone that can shift the frequency (making the voice higher or lower) can result in better clarity and thus more easily heard conversations than simply boosted volume.

In addition to the above and the usual features to consider when buying a telephone, you may also want to consider these special features:

  • Loud ringer setting, flashing light, or vibrating

    ringer, including the handset if it is portable, to make it easier for the user to know when a call is coming in.
  • Large buttons to make dialing easier
  • Emergency buttons for one button dialing in case of an emergency

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