This post contains affiliate links. Please read the disclosure for more details.
Our Selection for the Best List (Quick link to the content on this page)
Fashion from the past always has a way of showing up again.
Corsets from the 1900s are now our shapewear to tuck in body fat where we want to. The bell-bottoms of the 70s are the wide-leg pants we live to wear today. Timeless pieces like watches and sunglasses never go out of style.
Much like fashion, old becomes new. And so can our cordless phones.
Over the last 20 years, mobile phones have gradually become a must-have item everyone owns. It left the cordless or landline phones to the side for a while, but not everyone sees the value of using a small screen for making phone calls at home.
We sense that cordless phones are here to stay. But, we can’t forget why these phones were purposeful to us in the first place.
Is there any reason to keep a landline phone?
Anyone who says cordless phones have replaced the smartphone is wrong. There are many good reasons why having a landline is applicable, even though we all own smartphones.
For those of us who have a landline phone, better 911 service is available through the landline. The operators can locate the exact address where the call is coming from. With the smartphone and GPS, it can be challenging to pinpoint exactly where the call is coming from. Landline will give you the quick response you need in emergency times.
You’re not attached to your smartphone
Some people are just by their cell phones at all times of the day. However, some of us are just unsure where we placed our mobile phones or leave our phones charging in another room. With a cordless phone, we have the option of multiple phones for one number. Multiple phones can be placed anywhere. As a result, we can pick up the phone closest or near us.
Even though we can send a rocket out of the planet, some of us still live with poor internet connectivity or reception. It can happen even in the busiest and most congested cities. Too much cell phone usage in a small area can block transmission and prevent anyone from making a call or hearing clearly on the phone.
How we evaluate
We sourced the internet for reviews and comments from people with hearing loss who tried cordless phones and how well they worked for them. Whether they have moderate or severe hearing loss, our evaluation is a curated form of opinions from people who understand what is important to have an easy and accessible way to make a call with hearing loss.
Hearing aid compatible
Phones in North America are regulated to be hearing aid compatible (HAC). Therefore, all phone manufacturers in the US should have, as of April 2022, 85% of all the phones they made have a HAC marker. This law will make many telephones compatible with hearing aids—a considerable increase from when more than half of the phones were regulated to have a HAC rating. Having a HAC rating assumes that your hearing aids or cochlear implant have a t-switch that you can use to make a call. If the phone isn’t HAC, we’ll mention it.
Audio quality is essential. Now we know that turning up things louder can do nothing for us if the audio sound quality is poor. Loud doesn’t necessarily mean clear. Our evaluation will look for comments that talk about the quality of the audio as well as the volume capabilities the cordless phone has.
Cellphones that are too complex to use are annoying. I think a good phone should be intuitive and straightforward. If you have to constantly ask for help or read the instruction manual to remember how to get or delete your voice messages, it’s going to take years, not days, to master the usage of the phone.
It seems as if the devices we often see for people with hearing loss look like they belong in a hospital, rather fitting nicely with our home decor. There are too many products for people with hearing loss that need an upgrade in design. We certainly do not want you to have an ugly item living with you.
Best phone for hard of hearing
Clarity is a well-known brand in the assistive technology space for people with hearing loss.
- Connect your listening devices or favourite headset using a 3mm jack
- Phone ringing amplification
- Amplify up to 50 dB to listen to callers with the boost mode button
- Amplify calls for others on the other end by 15 dB higher
- Speakerphone feature
- Visual light when the phone rings
- No answering machine
- Can purchase up to 2 handset bundles
- The tone adjustment makes the sound clear and more defined
- The boost button nicely turns up the volume
- Equally suitable for those with visual impairment as well
- Works well with hearing aids
- The volume makes the sound loud but not clear
- Hands-free speakers don’t have the same volume amplification as the phone in hand.
- Buttons are too small to press for some
- An additional step to get the volume right for each call
People describe it as a “new day” when you own the Pocketalker for the first time. Being able to converse with others with ease is the key. Placing your microphone at the center of the dinner table and having one-on-one conversations can be a breeze for you and everyone.
- Volume boost button to amplify callers voice up to 40 dB
- Slow talk button to slow the speech of the caller on the other line
- Noise reduction feature for listening in a noisy environment
- Speakerphone feature
- A visual ringer and ringer tone goes up to 100 dB
- Answering machine feature
- Adding another handset comes at an additional cost
- Ideally, for mild and moderate hearing loss (without any aids)
- Can clarify voice using six different tone adjustment
- You can remove hearing aids to use the phone
- Ability to hear the higher pitches/tones
- Can instantly talk when removing a call from the base
- Large numbers on the handset for large fingers
- Some calls cut off after time and distance from the base
- Phones are heavy to hold
- Priced higher than other phones
- Some non-technical savvy people will find it challenging to set up
- Difficult to hear using headsets
- Severe to profound hearing loss without any aids will find it difficult to hear
VTech has built a suite of products that works together with the purpose of assistive care in mind.
- Add photos of your favourite contacts
- Can alert authorities or listed contacts in the case of an emergency.
- Increase volume up to 50 dB
- 90 dB phone ringer
- Pair phone with other VTech devices like doorbell or emergency necklace pendant
- Can purchase one handset at a timed
- Suitable for someone with mild hearing loss
- Well design display screen
- Large number and keypad
- Ability to combine with other devices to create an alerting system
- The sound quality from the speaker setting is not good and can sound distorted
- The phone doesn’t get as loud as one would expect
- The phone doesn’t automatically turn on unless you press the talk button
- Some features, like menu navigation, may be too complicated for the non-technically savvy
- May press the emergency button accidentally because of the location
- It seems to limit the number of rings before going to the answering machine
4. AT & T
AT & T has been in the phone and landline business for decades. Their specialty comes with making their cordless phones easy to use.
- Quiet function to silence the phone ringer
- Keypads light up when off the base
- Voice messages can be picked up from the phone and not the base only
- Comes with 2 or 3 handsets
- No visual light indicator of voice messages
- No voice announcement of caller ID
- Very crisp and easy to hear
- The right amount of buttons to intuitively use
- Settings easy to set up or adjust
- Large keypads for pressing
- Easy to change volume which is loud enough
- Easy to use for anyone
- The size of the phone is small and light
- Ringer might not be loud enough
- Visibility is poor with a lighted keypad
- The second handset tends not to be as clear to hear
- Volume may not be loud enough for some
- Unable to attach a headset
Motorola is a brand that has been around in the consumer electronic space for years and prioritizes quality listening on its devices.
- Intercom to talk to others through other handset placed in different locations in the house, condo or apartment
- The handset can be labelled to locate which phone is where
- No automated voice announcement of the caller
- Beeping noise to indicate voice messages
- Visual ring indicator to see when a call is coming
- Answering machine included
- Ability to increase the volume of the ringer
- One to four handsets available with this model
- The voice quality is excellent
- Handsets prioritize buttons allowing for larger text buttons
- Volume is good
- It can be used by others not wearing hearing aids
- Callers may have difficulty hearing you
- Picking up messages is difficult to hear
- The beeping noise indicator for voice messages can only stop after listening to new messages.