Accessibility is a necessary part of technology nowadays, and it may be difficult for people who are hard of hearing and seniors to find the right phone for their needs.
If you are hard of hearing, it may feel like no cell phone will help you. After all, using a cell phone for calling may be difficult if you can’t hear as well as other people.
In this list, we will assist you in finding the best cell phone for hard-of-hearing people. Technology somehow makes the world go round, so you must have a trustworthy device that will fit your accessibility needs.
In this list, we have provided some new, innovative technology along with more basic options.
However, all of the products listed share similar features to help those hard of hearing.
Before we start, it’s essential to look into hearing aid compatibility within cell phones.
A phone designed to be hearing aid compatible can produce an output that the telecoil of hearing aids can pick up and an audio signal.
Hearing aid compatibility follows a code by using M-Ratings and T-Ratings. Cell phones that are compatible with hearing aids have M or T ratings.
M-Ratings are defined by the ability of the cell phone to deal with interference. The higher the M-Rating, the more the cell phone will cope with your hearing aid.
T-Ratings refer to the ability of the phone to communicate with a hearing aid’s telecoil.
Again, the higher the rating is, the better it will work with the hearing aid’s coil setting.
So, if you use a telecoil (or if your hearing aid has one), it is essential to consider the T-rating.
The same goes with the M-Rating. If you use your hearing aid on the microphone setting, the M-rating refers to the audio interference.
The higher the rating, the better performance.
Now the necessary things are out of the way, let’s get on with the list!
OUR TOP PICK
The Samsung Galaxy S10 is an excellent choice for our first cell phone on the list. The S10 has advanced features along with Samsung as a whole.
It is a touchscreen device, including power buttons, volume buttons, and a charging port. At startup, you can access your accessibility features to alter to your needs.
The phone is excellent for anybody who is deaf or hard of hearing. The S10 supports real-time text (RTT), where text is transcribed and displayed visually fast during a phone call.
The phone also has sound detectors that will send a notification via a vibration or LED flashing in response to certain loud noises such as a doorbell, a baby crying, or a loud noise.
Hearing aid support is available on this phone, ensuring better sound quality when your hearing aids are in use.
The phone supports hearing aids and has a HAC rating of M3/T3.
The sound balance with this phone can be adjusted to different levels of hearing impairment, including mono audio channels for single-ear transmission.
The phone also supports subtitles and audio and video playback.
- This android cell phone sports an immense amount of accessibility features for the hearing impaired compared to other androids on the market.
- The HAC rating is not the absolute best, even though it is second to best.
The Google Pixel 4 is another excellent choice as a cell phone for those hard of hearing. It has a rating of M3/T3, so it is not rated the best choice for hearing aid compatibility, but still very high.
The phone has the best modern features out in the cell phone world, and it is engaging in accessibility needs for all users.
The Google Pixel is excellent for offering accessibility features for the hearing impaired, including doorbell and crying detectors, just like the Samsung galaxy s10.
There are options within accessibility settings to turn on live transcription, amplify speech, use mono audio, and adjust the balance of volume in both ears.
Along with most phones, there is also the option for subtitles and closed captions. There is something special about the Google Pixel 4.
A few years ago, a 55-year-old deaf father was able to call his son for the first time using the Google Pixel.
He was severely deaf and mostly lip-read. He used the live caption feature on the Google Pixel to have real-time conversations with his son.
The Google Pixel is inclusive; it has made accessibility features that have made it easier for people with hearing difficulties to live a regular life and do things they wish they could do.
- Fast live captioning for phone calls.
- The Google Pixel is hearing aid compatible.
- The M3/T3 rating. This is not a game-changer but could be better for hearing aid compatibility.
This flexible and durable helmet is one of the best in today’s market.
Built for a range of water sports, this piece of headwear is equipped to keep you looking great and feeling safe.
Whether you’re a beginner tackling your first wave or a professional looking to play hard, this helmet will provide you with the reliable protection you need.
From a brand known for their recognizable and unique style, this model comes in four finishes, including a ‘satin orange’ which will not only ensure you stand out but can be extremely useful in terms of lifeguard visibility with there are ultra-crowded line-ups.
With its high-density injection-molded ABS shell and its soft, quick-absorbing EVA liner, the helmet provides not only effective protection but comfort around the top of the neck and the ears.
For further comfort, the straps of the helmet are made of a soft, nylon, webbed material rather than the harsh plastic that many manufactures tend to use.
This helmet with its durability, ventilation, and practical composition is one that is known for its mass appeal amongst surfers and water enthusiasts worldwide.
If you are looking for a high-standard, substantial value for money model, you will not regret choosing the Pro-Tec Ace Water helmet.
- Light and comfortable fit
- Closed-cell padding which prevents water build-up
- Safety Standard Certification verified
- Equipped with 15 open vent holes
- Universal and built for a range of water sports
- Non-adjustable straps
This unique, expansive smartphone is another excellent choice for those with hearing difficulties. This cell phone has the look and feel of a more basic flip phone, with the price and capability of a smartphone!
The Samsung Z Galaxy Flip can connect to hearing aids, and has a HAC rating of M3/T3, meaning it is terrific.
The phone features basic accessibility features such as a hearing aid connection, loudspeakers and a big screen. The phone also sports LED flash notifications for those who cannot hear buzzes and quieter noises.
There is the option to amplify ambient sound and customize your sound settings to your needs.
The phone has automatic captions, meaning you can use subtitles for most things on this phone.
The phone has real-time text options, so your phone conversations can be translated into text for your visual consumption.
The phone supports left/right balance, ensuring the volume settings are relevant to your hearing levels.
You can transcribe live audio and receive notifications through the sound detectors when there is a loud noise happening around you.
- This phone, along with other Samsung galaxy models, has exceptional and vast features for people hard of hearing.
- The live transcription, as well as sound detectors, are breakthrough-worthy technological features built into smartphones.
- This phone is rather expensive, which may be due to the flip feature. This is not a necessity for those hard of hearing.
The iPhone is probably the world’s most popular phone. Everyone wants one, and most have had one.
Apple has included accessibility features in their software since 2015, and a lot has progressed since then, with all new phones being designed for the best accessibility needs.
iOS (Apple’s operating system) has been equipped with accessibility features to ease people’s lives with hearing difficulties.
All iPhones from the iPhone 5 have been equipped with hearing aid compatibility and have the made for iPhone hearing aids option. There is also live listen, which turns your device into a microphone that sends sound from your surroundings to your hearing aids of AirPods.
The visual alerts using the LED light are accessible when your phone is locked or unlocked and can flash when you receive a notification or call, helping you keep on top of any notifications, even when your phone is locked.
Real-time text during phone calls provides seamless transmission of speech into subtitles for you.
You can also access the transcripts after the call to remember. Facetime is a standard apple feature, but something that is helpfully integrated within the phones.
Facetime is compatible with video subtitles, meaning you will be able to video chat, and you do not have to lip-read. Subtitles also work on most apps.
iPhone also provides headphone accommodations, which enables you to choose your audio settings.
If you have more significant hearing loss in one ear, you can amplify sounds. You can choose to soften sounds and basically make any adjustments that will help you hear better.
- The iPhone has significant accessibility features for those who are hard of hearing. The visual LED alerts are unique, as well as the subtitled facetime features.
- The ‘made for iPhone hearing aids require newer and Bluetooth compatible hearing aids, and they may not work with all hearing aids. However, the amount of freedom you have if your hearing aids are compatible is astounding.
The Motorola power is a more fundamental and inexpensive option for those who may be hard of hearing.
The device enables you to connect to hearing aids and cochlear implants, to which the HAC rating is present on the packaging of the phone. Of course, results in the specification depend on your hearing aid as well as your level of hearing loss.
The Motorola power is rated M3/T3 for hearing aid capability. The Motorola power ensures clear sounds for those hard of hearing by connecting to your hearing devices and reducing sound feedback.
When you put your phone to your est, you should find the best position for listening and speaking based on how the sound comes through your hearing device.
Motorola also offers video captions, to which you can alter the language, color, size, and style for your preferences.
Real-time text is another feature that Motorola have implemented. These allow you to use text to have an easy call or voice chat with those who are not hard of hearing. Another feature is the TTY mode.
This is not supported on all Motorola devices, so check that your device is eligible.
TTY mode enables the phone to act as a teletypewriter, allowing those who are hard of hearing to connect by telephone.
This means you can send and broadcast messages to anyone who has their TTY mode enabled without talking and hearing. This feature is excellent for those who are hard of hearing.
The jitterbug smart 3 is branded as the simplest smartphone ever. The phone has a large screen, making it accessible for those whose vision is not good, along with those hard of hearing to read.
The phone has video chat capabilities along with a powerful speaker. The phone has a hearing aid compatibility of M4/T4, which is top of the range for hearing aid capabilities.
This is rare and something which should be acknowledged.
The phone is inexpensive and reliable and is widely used for those with accessibility needs as well as senior adults due to the easy nature of using the phone.
There is also the option of a medical alert system for those who may struggle with disabilities.
The speaker is very loud, perfect for those who are hard of hearing. This phone may be an excellent choice for those will mild hearing loss who want something easy to use and inexpensive.
- This phone has an exceptional loudspeaker, meaning you will never miss a call!
- The phone is top-rated for hearing aid capabilities.
- This phone does not have modern smartphone accessibility features, so maybe more suited to someone who does not require too much assistance with hearing.
- The phone cannot subtitle. It relies a lot on the usage of hearing aids to which it is very capable.
Best Cell Phone For Hearing Impaired Buying Guide
Important Features To Consider When Buying A Cell Phone
When buying a cell phone as a hearing impaired individual, it is important to consider a few things. Firstly, it is important to determine whether you want a smartphone or a regular cell hones.
Regular cell phones are wonderful, but a smartphone cell phone may be better suited to someone with accessibility requirements due to technological advancements in these phones and regular updates.
It is important to look at your chosen phone’s HAC rating to ensure that your hearing aids will be supported and can be used to the best of their ability.
If the rating is anything lower than an M3/T3, the hearing aid compatibility of the phone may not be ideal. It is important to look at subtitle options on cell phones.
Although it is not essential, it is helpful to have subtitles on your phone. Real-time text is a normal feature on smart cell phones nowadays and is something important to consider when buying a cell phone.
This will transcribe live audio to text for people who are hard of hearing to read, which is really helpful.
It is also helpful for your chosen cell phone to have sound detectors for loud noises around you that you may not be able to hear.
This will ensure your phone is helping you in every way it can. After all, cell phones are not cheap!
Android or iPhone for accessibility features?
Androids and iPhones are pretty similar in their accessibility abilities nowadays. Android is becoming more advanced and has features such as real-time transcription in their phone calls.
iPhone has sound detection and flashing notifications and hearing customization. It also has subtitling as well as a good HAC rating.
Androids, especially Samsung, are just as advanced as Apple on these features. Samsung includes all of these accessibility features, but the only thing that may put them above apple is the slight freedom with connective hearing aids.
Overall, both are exceptional operating systems for people with hearing difficulties, and certain phones may work better for people with certain hearing impairments.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does hearing aid compatibility mean?
Hearing aid compatibility recognizes if a device is compatible with hearing aids.
It means it has the ability to link into the telecoil or loop setting of hearing aids and will heighten any sound from the phone or your environment.
How do I know if a cell phone is hearing aid compatible?
Cell phones should have a HAC rating on the packaging. The information on each rating for the phone will also be available to view online.
Most smartphones are HAC, as well as some regular cell phones.
What is a telecoil and how does it work?
A telecoil is a small copper wire inside a hearing aid that receives and transcribes electromagnetic signals from technological sources.
This isolates the sound and amplifies the noise into the hearing aid.
These are the top cell phones for those who are hearing impaired. On this list, there is a large range of smartphones as well as regular cell phones for you to look at.
It is positive and clear that technology has come a long way in terms of accessibility, and most cellphones are capable of ensuring this in their features.
It is important to purchase a cellphone which will help you if you are impaired in any way, hence why you may ‘get what you pay for here.
It is beneficial in the long run to invest in a smartphone that can help you by transcribing sound into text efficiently rather than a basic cell phone that does not suit your needs.
Now that technology has amazing capabilities, they need to be reflected in your everyday life as a person with hearing loss.