Built with elderly and disabled users in mind, the Gigaset E560A offers a range of useful features. From an extra loud mode to SOS speed dialing, there’s a lot on offer here- but how does the phone itself perform? We put this to the test with our rigorous review process. Read on to discover whether this model is the right option for you.
Design & build
It’s obvious from the first glance that the Gigaset E560A is different from other cordless phones. That’s because of its sizeable buttons. These are almost twice the size of those on other handsets like the C530A. They make the handset incredibly easy to use, as does the bright, full-colour 1.8” LED screen. There’s even an option for jumbo font, which is perfect for those with poor vision.
All of these features come included for a purpose: to make it easier for elderly and disabled users to operate the handset. You might expect that this would mean the E560A has to compromise on style, but we still think it looks pretty good. What’s more, we found the handset very comfortable to hold, even over long periods of use. Sure, it’s not quite as flashy as some of Gigaset’s higher end models, but it still boasts some of that German design magic.
As with most Gigaset models, setting up the E560A is incredibly simple. Just plug it into the phone line and charge up the handset in the included charging cradle, and it’s ready to go. This is a welcome feature for those who may have difficulty operating other handsets. Registering additional handsets is also very easy. All you need to do is turn on the handset, and then follow the instructions on the screen. If you need any help setting it up, our customer service team are always happy to help!
As with all Gigaset models, the sound quality on the E560A is excellent. In our tests it performed well both on and off speaker mode, without any noticeable dip in quality. But what about those who have trouble hearing? Well, luckily the E560A has been designed specifically with these users in mind. There’s an “extra loud” option which doubles the volume, and works both on and off speaker mode. We’re pleased to say that even this feature doesn’t have any impact on sound quality. Everyone can experience the crystal-clear audio that comes with a Gigaset phone!
We mention this in every review, but you should be wary of the “maximum range” stated by phone manufacturers. Most DECT phones have a maximum range of 50 metres inside and 300 metres outside. However, there are all sorts of factors that can reduce this. It could be due to thick walls, or even the low build quality of the handset itself. So, how does the E560A stack up?
We tested that out for ourselves, and managed to get close to maximum range before any dip in the sound quality. It worked just as well outside as it did inside. What's more, Gigaset phones are repeater compatible. That means you can extend the range if you need to, and dot up to four handsets across your home. This is ideal if you have difficulty reaching the phone before it rings out.
As well as the extra loud option, there are more features that make it perfect for the hard-of-hearing. For instance, it’s fully hearing aid compatible. There’s also an LED light that will flash when the handset rings- so that you never miss a call.
The E560A also comes with a unique SOS emergency call function. This makes it particularly suited to elderly or disabled users. Just press the “A” button on the handset, and the base will automatically begin calling . It will then scroll through up to four emergency contacts. If it can’t get through to one of those, then the phone will move on to the next number. When it gets through, it will then play a prerecorded message to let the person on the other end know you need help.
Not all the extra features of the E560A are so specifically aimed at elderly users, though. For convenience, there’s a speed dial for up to 4 contacts. There's also a call history feature that lets you quickly call back any of the last 10 numbers you spoke with. Lastly, it includes an integrated digital answering machine with up to 25 minutes of recording time.
Gigaset E560A: The Verdict
We really can’t recommend the Gigaset E560A enough to those looking for a phone that anyone can use. It's ideal for those who have difficulty hearing, or struggle with smaller buttons. It performed brilliantly during our tests with every setup imaginable, both on speaker and in the earpiece. Whatever way you plan on using it, older users should find the E560A ideal.