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Devices for Telephones and Cell Phones

In this section, you will read about:

  • Telephone Amplifiers
  • Amplified Telephones
  • Voice Carry Over Telephones
  • Telephone Inductive Earhooks
  • Bluetooth Neckloops

Telephone devices can help to improve the volume of the speech signal or the clarity of the speech signal. If you have trouble hearing and understanding speech because your phone is just not loud enough, then an amplifier or an amplified telephone might work for you. If you have trouble understanding speech no matter how loud the telephone signal is, then a Voice Carry Over telephone might be a better choice.

A telephone amplifier is one way to increase the volume range of your telephone. If you have trouble hearing the person you are talking to, you can use the telephone amplifier to turn your phone up even louder. Telephone amplifiers attach directly to your telephone at home, and they work with both corded and cordless phones.

Amplified telephones are for people that need more volume than a simple telephone amplifier can provide. While telephone amplifiers increase the volume of the speech signal by 20 to 40 decibels (dB), amplified telephones provide as much as 50 dB of amplification. Depending on your needs, models that include caller ID, call waiting, and a built-in alarm clock are available. Attachable bed shakers and remote lamp flashers are also available if you want to make sure you notice the phone when it rings. For more information on phone alerting devices, read the following section on alerting devices.

Voice Carry Over telephones are for people who have trouble understanding speech even when the telephone is loud enough. When you use a Voice Carry Over telephone, a communication assistant types what the caller says so you can read it.

If you have hearing aids, you can listen to the phone signal through your hearing aid’s telecoil instead of your phone. Another benefit to using your hearing aid’s telecoil is that you will not hear feedback or a continuous squealing sound when you put the phone up to your ear. When using the telecoil program, you want to use a cell phone that is compatible with your hearing aid. If you use a cell phone that is not compatible with your hearing aid, you will hear a continuous buzzing or humming sound when you use the telecoil program.

A telephone inductive earhook is a device that you can use to improve your hearing and understanding when using a cell phone that is not compatible with hearing aids. The earhook sends the signal to the telecoil without the buzzing or humming sound produced by an incompatible phone.

If you are interested in learning more about hearing aid telecoils, read more about them in the Features of Hearing Aid Technology section.

Finally, if you have hearing aids, there are also Bluetooth neckloops available to stream a Bluetooth signal from a cell phone to a wireless antenna or telecoil in the hearing aids. These devices can require a streaming device to be worn around the neck in order to convert the Bluetooth signal from the cell phone to the wireless signal compatible with the hearing aids.

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