Hearing aids are an incredible device enabling millions of sufferers of hearing loss to regain some previous faculties. However, some hearing aid users can find that using a traditional telephone can be somewhat complicated. To help alleviate this issue, hearing aid compatible phones have been manufactured which incorporate a few design features aimed at improving the user experience of those with hearing aids.
How Do Hearing Aid Compatible Phones Work?
Hearing aid compatible phones come in two main forms. On the one hand are handsets like the Gigaset E370A. and indeed most models. These have been specially adapted so that they don't cause any interference with the hearing aid. While they don't interface with the hearing aid directly, they are more suited to be used on loudspeaker.
On the other hand are handsets fitted with a coupler. Inside a hearing aid, there is a device called a telecoil. This is what allows them to interface with some hearing aid compatible phones. When in use, the telecoil inside the hearing aid picks up sounds from magnetic signals transmitted by the phone. The sounds are then amplified and produced by the hearing aid for the listener. Instead of simply amplifying all incoming sounds, like a standard hearing aid would, the telecoil only picks up the signal from the phone. That means it provides a much more crisp and audible listening experience.
1. Siemens Gigaset Premium E370A Big Button Cordless Phone
- Best-in-class full duplex loudspeaker with HD sound
- Extra loud volume boost
- Large 2.2" TFT colour display with jumbo font
- SOS emergency call function
Our first pick for hearing aid compatible phones is the Gigaset E370A. This big button cordless phone is actually an adapted version of our top cordless phone of 2019, the Gigaset C570A. It still includes many of the features which make that model so popular, as well as boasting a very stylish design. But it has also been modified with elderly users and the hard of hearing in mind. The handset is fully hearing aid compatible, so won't cause any interference with your hearing aid while in use.
Related: Gigaset E370A Cordless Phone Review
In addition to its hearing aid compatibility, the E370A includes an extra-loud volume setting. This doubles the volume of the handset, to make it easier for users to hear. It also features a loudspeaker, which can be used to talk comfortably hands-free. It is available with up to six handsets.
2. Gigaset E560A Cordless Phone with Big Buttons
- "Extra loud" key for doubling handset volume
- Emergency call key for 4 SOS numbers
- Additional visual call alert by LED flashes
- Handsfree mode on the base station
Our next choice is another stylish premium offering from Gigaset. The Gigaset E560A is jam packed with all the bells and whistles while still remaining hearing aid compatible. The sleek handset is equipped with a brilliant large display, which can be used to navigate the phones many features. These include using the digital answering machine, updating your phone book and utilise the phones range of call handling features.
Related: Gigaset E560A Review
Like all Gigaset cordless phones, the E560A has superb sound quality, even on loudspeaker. Further benefits include an “Extra Loud” key for an instant boost in volume, and unique SOS emergency functions designed for more vulnerable disabled or elderly users.
3. BT 4000 Big Button Cordless Phone
- Large display and buttons
- Extra loud volume & full hearing aid compatibility
- Nuisance call blocking
- Do Not Disturb mode
The final entry on our list is the BT 4000. It is admittedly more basic than the Gigaset option above, since it doesn't have an answering machine or colour display. However, it does come with a range of features that make it an excellent choice for elderly users. For one thing, it has extra-large buttons and jumbo text to make it easier to use. What's more, it is the only cordless phone that we stock which includes an inductive coupler, allowing it to transmit directly to a telecoil hearing aid.
It also includes an extra-loud volume setting and a built-in loudspeaker. But what really makes the BT 4000 stand out is its call-blocking feature. BT always excel in this area, and the BT 4000 is no exception, filtering out up to 100% of nuisance calls. With cold calls to elderly users on the rise, this is definitely something to consider.
Best Hearing Aid Compatible Phones: The Verdict
With big buttons and a selection of useful features for older users, these hearing aid compatible phones are all great choices. The BT 4000 is a very cost-effective choice, and also includes an inductive coupler. However, the sound quality is not quite as good as other models (which will be more noticeable with a hearing aid), and it also lacks any more advanced features. Instead, we would recommend one of the Gigaset models on our list. The E560A is the more user-friendly option, whereas the E370A proves that big-button phones can still be stylish objects in their own right. Whichever phone you might choose, it’s good to know that hearing loss can be reverted at least partially.