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Good Phone for the Could You Speak Up A Little Crowd
November 20, 2009 8:22 AM   Subscribe

Loud, clear, land-line phone without feedback whine?

I don't know if we are hard of hearing, or getting old or what, but I and especially my wife have a hard time hearing what people say on our landline phone. We turned up the volume to the loudest it goes and it's still not loud enough. This is a corded phone, btw.

Worse, the sound from the mic is feed to the speaker (I guess because otherwise you can't hear what you are saying? huh?). With the volume set high, this causes terrible feedback whine.

We tried a second phone and had the same problem. Are there phones out there that don't feed the mic to the speaker? Or that otherwise filter the whine out? Or simply a clearer, louder phone without me having to know how they made that happen?

We'd rather not spend $300 on a Special Phone but I do realize that we'll probably have to spend more than the $15 cheapest-they-had model.
posted by DU to Technology (4 answers total)
 
I am assuming this isn't a hearing-aid/phone interaction, from your comment: I don't know if we are hard of hearing. I'd start by taking my phone to someone else's house, maybe both one nearby and one outside your own neighborhood. Compare the sound of your phone to their phone, both on their phone-line. Ask them to listen and compare them, too. Also ask a younger person to try your phone in your house. These should help you decide if it's your phone, your phone-line, or your ears.
posted by TruncatedTiller at 8:37 AM on November 20, 2009


I had not actually considered that the phone or phone line might be malfunctioning. That's worth a test.

And no, no hearing aids. We are both 36 with no other hearing problems otherwise.
posted by DU at 8:49 AM on November 20, 2009


Yes, it couldn't hurt to get your phone lines checked. It could be a problem either with the outside phone company wiring, your internal wiring, or the phone itself.

You shouldn't be able to increase the volume to a level that would cause feedback on a properly functioning handset, although a hearing aid could cause feedback. You can increase the volume on any telephone with an add-on amplifier (search for phone amplifiers), but that won't solve your feedback issue.

If you can't figure out what's causing the feedback, you could look at a high-quality speaker phone like the Polycom Voicestation 300. It's stupidly expensive, but it would solve your problem.
posted by paulg at 9:31 AM on November 20, 2009


You shouldn't be able to increase the volume to a level that would cause feedback on a properly functioning handset...

Do you say that because the volume-increasing is supposed to be crappy or because the feedback-prevention is supposed to be awesome?

The feedback didn't start on our current phone until we dropped the handset, so I thought it must just be broken. But the new phone did the same thing. Perhaps it is coincidentally broken also or perhaps it is cheap enough to not be considered "properly functioning".
posted by DU at 9:43 AM on November 20, 2009


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