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Phones for Hard of Hearing

According to the NHS, over 9 million people people in the UK suffer from hearing loss. It’s easy to think of hearing loss as an inevitable part of old age – however around 50% of those who suffer with hearing loss are of working age.

Under the Equality Act 2010, employers have a legal duty to make adjustments in the workplace to help those suffering hearing loss. One such adjustment is:

“Installing equipment for employees with hearing loss, such as amplified telephones and flashing-light fire alarms.”

Fortunately, many big telephone suppliers produce excellent models to assist those with varying degrees of hearing problems. That said, some are deliberately basic, as they’re designed for older people who may also be suffering sight and mobility issues.

We’ve cross-referenced features and customer reviews to find the amplified cordless telephone models which will benefit the hard of hearing, while still having many of the key features of a regular telephone. They’re all suitable for home and office use.

Here’s our top three:


What’s on this page?


Best cordless amplified phones for the hard of hearing

The best amplified phones for the hard of hearing are: the Doro Magna 2005, the Panasonic KX-TGE233B and the Amplicom Big Tel 1200.

1
Doro Magna 2005Best amplified phone for officesRead Review
2
Panasonic KX-TGE233BBest multiple handset amplified phoneRead Review
3
Amplicom Big Tel 1200Best multiple handset amplified phoneRead Review

1. Doro Magna 2005

Best cordless amplified phone for offices

Dora Magna 2005

The Doro Magna 2005 is perfect for most people who are hard of hearing. Why? Because it offers unbeatably high voice volume with the ‘booster’ setting, and a model that’s sleek rather than clunky. It’s hearing aid-compatible and very reasonably priced. Prices start at £60.

Pros:

  • Very high voice volume of 40 decibels (dB)
  • Sleek design
  • Five polyphonic and five monophonic ringtones
  • Remote access to answerphone messages
  • Reasonably priced

X Cons:

  • The display is a bit basic
  • Buttons are quite small, making it unsuitable for anyone who is also visually impaired

2. Panasonic KX-TGE233B

Best multiple handset amplified phone

Panasonic KX-TGE233B

At just £57 for four handsets, this phone is certainly a bargain. It has plenty of useful features that make it suitable for both home and office, and it looks modern and compact. The downside, however, is that it’s not actually as loud as other models. It’s suitable for those with partial hearing loss, but those with more serious hearing issues will most likely find it inadequate. Prices start at £57.

Pros:

  • Having four handsets means you can benefit from amplified volume, no matter where in the building you are
  • Modern design and easy setup
  • Nuisance call block and caller ID
  • Built-in answerphone
  • With four handsets for £57, it’s a bargain

X Cons:

  • Not as loud as other models
  • Some reviews suggest the sleek design means the handset is prone to slipping out of the holder if replaced in a rush

3. Amplicom Big Tel 1200

Best amplified phone with visual alerts

Amplicom Big Tel 1200

This very affordable phone is hearing aid compatible and suitable for people with severe hearing loss. It has a very loud ringer (80dB on the loudest setting - around the sound of a vacuum cleaner), and also gives a visual alert (flashing light) for incoming calls. Prices start at £50.

Pros:

  • Very loud, with a ring volume of up to 80dB and a voice volume of up to 30dB
  • Visual alert for both calls and alarms
  • Large buttons and amber backlight makes it suitable for those with impaired vision, too
  • Very affordable

X Cons:

  • Basic functionality and interface, but gets the job done

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Expert verdict

All of these phones have a lot to offer those who have difficulty hearing, whether at home or in the office. The best one for you will depend on the severity of the hearing loss being catered to, and what other features you’re looking for.

If you have one or several employees who suffer from hearing loss, let us help you find the solution that’s right for all of you. Fill in this short form with your requirements, and we’ll put you in touch with the best suppliers to meet your individual needs.


FAQs

1. What are textphones and who are they designed for?

Textphones are for people with profound hearing loss, who are unable to hear amplified telephones. They allow you to send and receive calls by typing and receiving text. They usually need an analogue line. Expect to pay between £250 and £300 for the models described below.

Cleartext

This phone has a full-size keyboard and a large, clear screen displaying multiple lines of text. With a simple on-screen menu, it is one of the easiest textphones to use.

Screenphone

The Screenphone is a flexible phone suitable for all hearing levels. It is hearing aid compatible and can be used as an amplified phone, standard phone, or textphone with an optional keyboard. Easy to use, it has a large screen which can also display answerphone messages.

Textlink

This textphone sends and receives messages on a two line, 80 character display. It can be connected to a voice telephone so that you can speak your call and receive text back, or type the call and listen to the response. An additional software package is available for connecting the phone to the computer.

Talk by Text

For under £50, this software is a cheaper alternative to a textphone. It allows you to make and receive real time text calls over the internet from your computer. There is an optional pre-pay account for calling ordinary phones and textphones.


2. What are the best amplified mobile phones?

There are several amplified mobile phones on the market, which are hearing aid compatible and mostly suitable for people with moderate hearing loss. Some also have Bluetooth to give connectivity to neck loops and ear hooks. Prices range from £60 to £170.

Powertel M6000

This phone has a loud adjustable ringer, plus a vibration alert. It has strong amplification for people with moderate hearing loss and does not create much hearing aid interference. There is a large screen and the text is clear. It is Bluetooth compatible, with 230 hours standby time.

PhoneEasy 610

This model has all the features of the PhoneEasy 510, plus Bluetooth, and is suitable for people with severe hearing loss.


3. How else can employers support employees who are hard of hearing?

The NHS recommends several ways employers can help those with hearing difficulties be happy and productive in the workplace.

These include:

  1. Ensuring there is good lighting in the building, particularly around the employee and in any meeting rooms, to aid lip-reading
  2. Moving the person with hearing loss to an office with good acoustics
  3. In cases of severe hearing loss, providing a speech-to-text reporter or interpreter
  4. Providing employees with portable hearing loops for off-site training and away days