Hearing Aid Compatibility: Choosing A Cell Phone That Works For You

Part 3

Helpful Tips Before Beginning Your Search

In This Video:

Learning About The Design Of A Wireless Device: Clamshell Vs Candybar Styles

Identifying Features Of Cell Phones: Ringtones, Vibration, Texting, Email

Identifying Helpful Hearing Assistive Technology And Wireless Accessories: Neck Loop, Bluetooth Options

[CONRAD ASHERTON] Any other good tips you can give me?

[DR. LORI HALTER] Sure. Another important consideration is the design of the phone that you buy. I don't know if we actually had the opportunity to discuss the different designs of cell phones.  There are two main types of phones.  One is the "clamshell", sometimes called the flip phone.  And the "candy bar". Of these two styles, the "clamshell" may offer you reduced interference due to the separation of the phone's main electronics from the speaker. Like this again though, you should try before you buy.

Have we had the opportunity to discuss the phone's features that you may want when selecting your phone?

These include checking the volume levels while on a call, as well as through the voicemail service. You may also find that certain ring tones are louder, or that their frequencies are more preferable to you than others. Or, you can create your own. Download your own ringtones. Many phones allow you to set them to vibrate. This may be helpful if you can't hear ringtones, or in a meeting with a client. 

[CONRAD ASHERTON] That's a good point. Is there anything else I need to look for?

[DR. LORI HALTER] Although all phones are capable of sending SMS messages, or texting, not all can send and receive actual email. You might want to consider looking at the devices that offer those features as an alternative means of communication. 

[CONRAD ASHERTON] My kids and the younger partners at my law firm they use that texting all the time.

[DR. LORI HALTER] And you know what, that's true, my kids do the same thing.  But, on an earlier visit, I was reflecting back, we had discussed, umm, the use of hearing assisted technologies and how they may be used in conjunction with hearing aids.  Some of these are very very compatible with cell phones...such as the use of an induction coil neck loop.  Just like it says, it's a loop that is worn around the neck and connects directly into the cell phone.  The beauty is that this has great clarity and you're hands free.  The downside, though, is that it is an additional accessory that you have to wear and it's a bit difficult and cumbersome when you receive an unexpected call when you're not wearing it.

And lastly, there are FM systems that incorporate and integrate Bluetooth technology. Again, a great advantage of using Bluetooth is that the clarity is absolutely amazing, you're hands free, and more often than not you're receiving the sound in both ears as opposed to one, as most people do when they use a telephone.

Wow, I certainly have given you a lot of information today.   Are you sure you're okay with all of this?

[CONRAD ASHERTON] You have definitely opened my eyes and my ears to all the different things I need to consider when selecting a cell phone.

[DR. LORI HALTER] Remember your main objective is to find a phone that works best for you and your hearing needs. And to do that try as many as you want.  Remember to be patient and have realistic expectations.

Good luck.