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Why does everyone whisper and mumble on phones nowadays?
August 29, 2012 8:57 AM   Subscribe

Please help me with recommendations for a mobile/cell phone for my hard of hearing Father in Law.

My Father in Law is at the bitching about why the whole world is mumbling and whispering stage of hearing loss and is having a very hard time using his cell/mobile phone.

He won't look at phones aimed specifically at people with reduced hearing, not that there are that many of them, and insists that his phones just won't go loud enough and must have bad quality speakers and his hearing is fine.

We need to find him a more main stream phone that has very clear reception and that we can crank up to a nice loud volume for him. We can also go in and tweak any settings to help as needed.

Preferences in that it is really easy to use and without too many features, this is a man who still gets excited and amazed when people text each other around him, so all the phone needs to do is make calls simply and be loud.

Bonus points if it can use T-Mobile prepaid and he can just slip his SIM card in or be easy to hack, or what ever the young people today call it, so that it can use T-Mobile prepaid.
posted by wwax to Technology (4 answers total)
 
Your best bet is probably to go to a TMobile store and have him try out the phones. Depending on his hearing loss, it may be that one frequency is more reduced than others, so simply getting a "louder" phone may exacerbate rather than fix the problem. (I am hard of hearing and have had this manifest with a number of handsets.) The demo phones can generally make and receive calls, and if they're not currently set up that way the TMobile people will be happy to help. Make the test calls to the landline in the store, so you can gauge how the phone performs. (Otherwise, it can be unclear whether it's an issue with reception. This way, you really really know.)
posted by stoneweaver at 9:05 AM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm hard of hearing, wear hearing aids, and yeah, he just has to try some. For example, if I wasn't wearing hearing aids, I could probably still make out a high-pitched 5 year old on my iPhone, but I'd never be able to understand someone with a gruff voice no matter how loud you turned it up.

I think all phones are required to be hearing-aid compatible these days, but in case he does get aids in the future, get a phone with an M4 Compatibility rating.
posted by desjardins at 12:46 PM on August 29, 2012


Would he use a cellphone with an earpiece or earbud? Or even headphones? I have bad hearing, and can hear much better through anything that's in or even against my ear than going through the air. It doesn't even have to be about his bad hearing - most cellphones do have bad quality speakers, and are used in noisy areas.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:40 PM on August 29, 2012


My mom has a Jitterbug phone, which is marketed toward elderly folks but looks like a plain old flip phone. You can get texting and voicemail, but we had both of those features turned off as my mom isn't able to manage either of those. They can enter their contacts the traditional way, you can do it via a website, or you can call the system's Operators, who will do it for you (or him). They will also manually dial a number for him if for some reason he gets stuck and can't manage. They also have various health management options (medication reminders, etc), if you might be interested in that. As far as the volume/hearing thing goes, my Mom's goes very VERY loud and it also has a inconspicuous gasket thingy that helps filter background noise. It's probably more expensive than a plan through Sprint or Verizon but it's been a real lifesaver for us and saved Mom the constant frustration she was having with her old cell phone.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 8:10 PM on August 29, 2012


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