An Introduction to: Landline Phones for Seniors
We live in an age where the cell phone is now more commonly used in the home than the landline telephone (source: National Center for Health Statistics). That’s not to say there’s no place for the traditional landline anymore. In this article we review 5 of the best Landline Phones for Seniors.
In fact it remains a favorite for many, not surprising, as it still has a number of advantages over the cell phone and even the cordless home phone, including:
- Better sound quality and clarity
- Works during a power outage
- Best choice for emergency calls
- Calls won’t drop / no reception issues
- No batteries to recharge
MeemawTech also reviewed a selection of the best Cell Phones for Seniors & Cordless Phones for Seniors – the landline equivalent shares many common benefits, for example, all enable the elderly to keep connected with friends, colleagues and loved ones from the comfort of their home, and all have specific features to assist seniors or those with mild to moderate hearing loss, such as: –
- Improved amplification to increase the volume
- Loud ringtones
- Visual alerts when the phone rings
- Talking Caller ID
- Extra large buttons/keypad
- Hearing Aid Compatible
Age related hearing deterioration will occur to most of us as we get older (known as presbycusis) – about a third those aged between 65 and 74 have some sort of hearing loss, and this increases to about 50% for those aged 75 and over (source: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders).
Landline Phones for Seniors: MeemawTech Key Criteria
Landline phones designed for seniors can reduce the annoyance & anxiety that many individuals with a hearing condition will associate with talking on the phone. Having to constantly ask the caller to repeat themselves, which can also be irritating for the caller, reduces the flow and tone of a conversation. A handset that improves comprehension will make the conversation that much more enjoyable, improving the mood and lifting spirits.
In addition to the increased volume and sound quality these devices offer, there are a number of additional features that help with living a more independent lifestyle. For example, not having to rely on batteries used in both cordless phones and cell phones mean that in an emergency you will always have one phone that will be operational (even in a power cut) – the large buttons will be a benefit for those with poor hand dexterity and visual alerts and a loud ringer will ensure you never miss a call.
The Shortlist: Landline Phones for Seniors
Our selection of 5 Landline Phones for Seniors include a range of features with budgets to suit everyone. You may have specific needs or requirements – the comparison summary table will help you narrow down which is the right one for you.
AT&T CL2940 Corded Phone
AT&T CL2940 Corded Phone: Key Features
The AT&T CL2940 Corded Phone is an AT&T branded VTech manufactured product – two global trusted companies.
Included in the box is everything you’ll need to get up and running in minutes, in addition to placing the AT&T CL2940 on a table-top you have the option of wall mounting the device, but make sure to rotate the switch hook on the phone base so the handset doesn’t fall off.
The phone has all the usual features that many landlines have; such as redial, caller ID and call waiting. It’s the assistive details that we’re most interested in. The ones that stood out for us were: –
- A huge LCD screen that displays a range of useful information such as a clock, date, caller ID, phonebook, battery level, ringer status and Audio Assist. The screen can be tilted to achieve optimum visibility.
- Audio Assist – this successfully amplifies the volume and boosts sound frequencies to make the caller much louder and clearer – great quality.
- The keypad is clean, simple and has extra large clearly labeled buttons, it also includes dedicated keys for the most commonly used features such as Audio Assist, Phonebook, Volume, Speed Dial, Speakerphone and a Mute button.
- Effective volume adjustment for speakerphone, handset, ringer and compatible hearing aids.
- Bright red incoming call LED above the screen will flash when the phone rings.
Combining some great assistive features for the elderly with simplicity and excellent value, makes this a highly recommended landline phone for seniors.
AT&T CL2940 Corded Phone: What’s in the Box
- AT&T CL2940 telephone base
- Mounting bracket
- Coiled handset cord
- Telephone line cord
- Abridged user’s manual
AT&T CL2940 Corded Phone: Pros and Cons
- Fantastic value for money
- Caller ID
- Extra large adjustable display
- Extra large buttons
- Visual ringing indicator
- Audio Assist
- Extra loud ringer
- 10 Speed dial memories
- Hearing aid compatible
- Can be wall mounted
- Speakerphone powered by phone line
- Time and Date displayed
- Low battery indicator
- 4 x AA batteries (not included, required for Caller ID)
- No answering machine
- Phone book entries limited to 25 contacts
AT&T CL2940 Corded Phone: MeemawTech Key Criteria
Ease of use
The AT&T CL2940 Corded Phone can be used straight out of the box, plug-in and go. But you’ll probably want to add some frequently used contacts to the phone book and speed dial, set the date & time and install batteries if you intend to use the Caller ID feature – these are all easily accomplished following the enclosed instructions. Navigating your way around the common features is very simple using the huge dedicated buttons. It’s hard to find fault with the layout or simple operation.
The AT&T Telephone portal gives you access to frequently asked questions, manuals, troubleshooting tips – and a means of contact should you have specific difficulties.
- Caller ID/Call Waiting
- Speakerphone, Audio Assist
- Extra-Large Tilt Display, LCD Display
Hamilton CapTel 2400i Captioned Telephone
Hamilton CapTel 2400i Captioned Telephone: Key Features
The Hamilton CapTel 2400i Captioned Telephone is from Hamilton Communications. They produce 3 CapTel phones, we’re going to look at the Hamilton CapTel 2400i.
What makes this device unique is that the large screen prints your conversation in real time captions – so not only can you speak to and hear your caller on the 40dB amplified handset, your conversation will also be displayed in large text on the display. This feature is also available for any messages left on the answering system.
It’s important to note the caption service is only available to those who are officially registered – the cost associated with the caption service is paid from a federally administered fund – not the registered user. Federal law prohibits anyone but registered users with hearing loss from using Internet Protocol (IP) captioned telephones with the captions turned on. So you will require certification from an independent third-party professional stating that the user has a hearing loss that necessitates captioned telephone service to communicate with others on the telephone.
This can be a massive advantage for those who suffer from a more severe hearing condition. But it’s not just the caption service that makes it a great landline phone for seniors, it also includes a number of other assistive functions, such as: –
- A massive color touchscreen that not only displays the captions, but is also perfect for displaying the clock/calendar, phone book and system menu.
- Adjustable volume – with amplification up to 40 decibels.
- Tone adjustment for optimal hearing.
- Dial-by-Photo capability – allowing you to add photos to your phonebook.
- Adjustable font sizes for anyone with poor eyesight.
- Extra loud ringer (90 decibels).
Hamilton CapTel 2400i Captioned Telephone: What’s in the Box
- CapTel 2400iBT Phone
- Telephone Cord
- Power Adapter – to plug into a wall outlet
- Ethernet Cable – to connect to Internet service (not necessary for Wi-Fi installations)
- CapTel Setup Guide and CapTel User Manual
Hamilton CapTel 2400i Captioned Telephone: Pros and Cons
- Real-time captioned telephone conversations
- Built-in answering machine (also captioned)
- Huge touchscreen display
- Dial-by-Photo capability
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Captioning service is provided at no-cost
- Simple clean keypad
- 40dB volume amplification
- 90dB ringer
- Captions can only be used by registered users with hearing loss (Federal Law)
- No large buttons or keys
- Only 4 speed dial entries
- Relatively expensive
- Requires internet access (Wi-Fi or Ethernet)
Hamilton CapTel 2400i Captioned Telephone: MeemawTech Key Criteria
Ease of use
The Hamilton CapTel 2400i Captioned Telephone setup process is a little more complicated than the other phones on review – this is a result of the phone needing to be connected to the internet by Wi-Fi or an ethernet cable, and the requirement to complete the phone registration process required by the FCC – this is to ensure you are eligible to use the free IP captions service. During the process you will need to provide your name, address and last four digits of your social security number and agree to the terms and conditions. Using the phone once setup is complete is a straightforward affair – the keypad is uncluttered and clearly labeled (albeit the keys are smaller than most).
If you have difficulties with the installation process you can “Live Chat” a Hamilton customer care representative, phone or email.
- People with hearing loss can easily connect with family, friends, colleagues and medical professionals again - without missing a word. A Hamilton@ CapTel@ captioned phone works just like a standard phone When it rings, you answer it. lf you need to make a call, you just dial - but with this phone, you see captions of what's being said in large, easy-to-read print on an integrated screen. Captioning service is provided at no-cost anywhere intheU.S.,24/7.
- Large buttons, easy-to-read backlit display for people with low vision, and an integrated answering machine captions your messages.
- Supports Caller lD and includes a built-in personal directory, allowing you to easily store and dial more than 95 names and phone numbers; Dial-By-Photo capable. Bluetooth@ and Wi-Fi compatible.
VTech SN5147 Amplified Corded/Cordless Senior Phone
VTech SN5147 Amplified Corded/Cordless Senior Phone: Key Features
The VTech SN5147 Amplified Corded/Cordless Senior Phone is from VTech – the largest manufacturer of residential phones in the US. Founded in 1976 they produce a variety of electronic learning and telecommunications products.
The VTech SN5147 Amplified Corded/Cordless Senior Phone bundle comes with 1 corded handset and 1 cordless handset (the corded phone cannot be purchased on its own) – you can add up to 4 accessory handsets. Apart from the inclusion of corded & cordless handsets, one of the features that attracted us to the SN5147 bundle was the ability to accessorize it. VTech have created a number of companion items that many users will appreciate: –
- Cordless Audio Doorbell – talk to visitors at the door from your VTech phone
- Wearable Home SOS Pendant – a wearable device with a button that calls the 5 SOS contacts on your phone
- Amplified Photo Dial Accessory Handset – Handset with no keypad, just photograph buttons
- Amplified Cordless Extension Ringer – can be placed anywhere in your house and will alert you when the phone rings
The inclusion of an SOS button on the cordless handset will be a great plus for many – when pressed it can dial 5 selected numbers and play a pre-recorded message requesting help. It can also be used as a pager – alerting other VTech handsets in your house.
The sound features are impressive – up to 50 decibel volume from the handset and an impressive loudspeaker for hands free conversations.
VTech have included their Smart Call Blocker on the SN5147 bundle – this lets you block nuisance callers in real time with the press of a button. It can filter automated / robot / spam calls – but still let genuine callers through and it can also screen unknown callers by asking them to identify themselves before you answer the call, affording you the option to accept or block.
VTech also have a feature intended to help you slow down messages left by fast talkers. The final feature worth noting is the inclusion of “photo dial” – on the base unit there are 8 extra large buttons that can have printed photos inserted into them – a really nice touch.
VTech SN5147 Amplified Corded/Cordless Senior Phone: What’s in the Box
- VTech Amplified Corded Senior Phone
- VTech Amplified Cordless Senior Phone
- Cordless phone base unit
- 2 x AC adaptors
- Telephone line cord
- Rechargeable batteries
- Belt clip
- Quick start guide
- Introducing Smart call blocker
- Important safety instructions
VTech SN5147 Amplified Corded/Cordless Senior Phone: Pros and Cons
- Includes a cordless handset
- Good value for money
- Useful accessories
- Photo dial
- Extra large keys
- 50dB Audio Assist
- Caller ID announce
- Digital answering system – Up to 22 minutes of recording time
- Expandable up to 4 handsets
- Slow Play (for recorded messages only)
- Smart Call Blocker
- Talking prompts
- Visual ringer alert
- 90db Ringer
- Dedicated SOS button (programable)
- No display for clock or date on the corded base unit
- Cordless phone display feels a bit “cluttered”
VTech SN5147 Amplified Corded/Cordless Senior Phone: MeemawTech Key Criteria
Ease of use
Setting up the VTech SN5147 Amplified Corded/Cordless Senior Phone was reasonably straightforward – it came with an 91 page User’s Manual which was laid out neatly, and all the instructions were written clearly – but there are a lot of them, especially as you have 2 handsets. One thing that did help a little with the initial installation was the “Talking Prompts” feature – this walks you through the steps required to set up the answerphone. The user menu on the phone is not confusing and the settings are found easily enough – as with many of these phone menus – be prepared for a little trial and error while you familiarize yourself with the unit.
Again, I’d like to have seen VTech create more instructional/setup videos – although they do have an introduction video to the use of their Smart Call Blocker.
They have a good support portal with access to user manuals & frequently asked questions, you can also contact VTech customer support by phone Monday – Friday 7am – 4pm (Pacific Time) or by email anytime.
- Smart call blocker: Say goodbye to unwanted calls. Robocalls on your landline are automatically blocked from ever ringing through—even the first time. You can also permanently blacklist up to 1,000 numbers with one touch.
- 50dB Audio Assist: Temporarily increases overall volume by up to 50dB and enhances sound frequencies that make speech easier to understand.
- Photo dial: Never forget whose number is whose. Program eight frequently dialed phone numbers and attach a photo to each one for convenient speed dialing.
ClearSounds CSC500 Amplified Landline Phone
ClearSounds CSC500 Amplified Landline Phone: Key Features
The ClearSounds CSC500 Amplified Landline Phone is from US based ClearSounds Communications – a manufacturer of listening devices for people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
ClearSounds have done everything they can to keep things simple with the CSC500 – but have still managed to include all the basic assistive features: –
- Amplification up to 40 decibels is available, although with the amplify key off – the standard volume range is 15-30dB.
- To the left of the large numerical keypad are 8 photo frame keys – this is a nice feature, letting you print out photos of your friends/loved and use them as speed dials. Clearsounds even provide a photo button sticker sheet.
- The ringer is loud at 85 decibels, and accompanied by a flashing visual alert, so you’ll not miss a call.
This phone will appeal to those who just want something simple & loud.
ClearSounds CSC500 Amplified Landline Phone: What’s in the Box
- CSC500 Amplified Landline Phone
- Curly cord for handset
- Phone cord
- Instruction Manual
- Photo Button Sticker Sheet
ClearSounds CSC500 Amplified Landline Phone: Pros and Cons
- 40dB amplification
- 8 one touch photo frame speed dials
- Extra large clearly labeled keys
- Loud 85dB ringer
- Can be desk or wall mounted
- Ringer Hi, Lo and Off options
- Visual flashing ringer
- Hearing Aid Compatible
- No display for clock or date
- No answering system
- No caller ID
- No separate phone book (11 contacts only)
- Hanging up requires the handset to be placed quite precisely on the base unit
ClearSounds CSC500 Amplified Landline Phone: MeemawTech Key Criteria
Ease of use
The ClearSounds CSC500 Amplified Landline Phone is a simple landline phone to both setup and operate. Apart from assigning numbers to the 8 photo frame keys & the 3 standard memory dials there’s nothing much more to do – although printing out your favorite pictures of the contacts you’ve chosen can be a bit fiddly – it helps that the package includes a photo button sticker sheet.
The user guide is very clear and well laid out, if you have any technical questions you can direct these towards ClearSounds customer support by phone or email.
- ENABLES YOU TO HEAR PHONE CALLS BETTER - The ClearSounds CSC500 Telephone has a specialized (up to 30dB) amplification function that boosts the volume and tone level of the person on the other end.
- WORKS WITH HEARING AIDS - You can use the CSC500 with cochlear implants and hearing aids equipped with a T-Coil. The landline phone complies with FCC standards for Hearing Aid Compatibility.
- PROVIDES 8 ONE-TOUCH PHOTO MEMORY DIAL KEYS - Each of the eight photo-frame buttons allows you to store up to 32-digit phone numbers. You can instantly recall these numbers with a single press.
Clarity C200 Amplified Corded Trimline Phone
Clarity C200 Amplified Corded Trimline Phone: Key Features
The Clarity C200 Amplified Corded Trimline Phone is from Clarity who create communication products specifically aimed at the elderly and seniors, such as assistive listening devices, amplified phones & notification devices. Their headquarters and labs are in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
We’ve kept the simplest for last. And it really doesn’t get much simpler than the Clarity C200 – but that’s not a criticism.
We’ve selected this corded landline for those who are more likely to use a cell phone or cordless home phone – but would like the comfort of having an emergency or backup landline “just in case”.
In terms of assistive features, The Clarity C200 packs a few: –
- It’s amplified up to 26dB, not fantastic – but louder than most standard landlines.
- The keypad is backlit, making it easy to read in darker conditions.
- It’s hearing aid compatible.
- There’s a large red visual ringer light on the handset and a suitably loud ringer.
Clarity C200 Amplified Corded Trimline Phone: What’s in the Box
- Clarity C200 Handset
- Base Unit
- Handset Line Cord (Coiled, 10 ft.)
- Phone Line Cord (long/short flat)
Clarity C200 Amplified Corded Trimline Phone: Pros and Cons
- Compact & light
- Bright visual ringer on handset
- Desk & wall mountable
- Backlit keypad
- Hearing aid compatible
- Very simple to use
- Only 26dB amplification
- Regular sized keypad
- No answering system
- No display for clock or date
- No answering system
- No caller ID
- No phone memory / phonebook / speed dial
Clarity C200 Amplified Corded Trimline Phone: MeemawTech Key Criteria
Ease of use
To use the Clarity C200 Amplified Corded Trimline Phone; plug it in – and that’s it. Apart from dialing a number or picking up the receiver to answer a call – there are no other functions or features. It does not get any simpler than this!
If you have any questions, Clarity will be happy to answer these by phone or email.
- Clarity Power technology.
- Amplifies incoming sounds up to 26 decibels
- Bright visual ring indicator
The two that stood out for us were the AT&T CL2940 Corded Phone – a simple, loud, good all rounder that’s great value for money, and the VTech SN5147 Amplified Corded/Cordless Senior Phone – where paying a little extra gets you a full featured corded & cordless bundle with some great safety features and the option to accessorize.