Best Cell Phones For Hearing Impaired Seniors

If you wear hearing aids, talking on a cell phone can be frustrating. We take a look at the top cell phones for hearing impaired seniors.

If you wear hearing aids, talking on a cell phone can be frustrating. We take a look at the top cell phones for hearing impaired seniors.
#1 Jitterbug Flip

Their phones:

The Jitterbug Flip from GreatCall is a senior-friendly phone designed specifically for older adults.  The Flip features a powerful loudspeaker and the highest hearing aid compatibility rating.

Why We Recommend Jitterbug Flip

  • Starts at $19.99 monthly
  • Flexible talk and text packages
  • Access to physicians and nurses 24/7
  • Hearing aid compatibility rating M4/T4
#2 Jitterbug Smart2

Their phones:

The Jitterbug Smart2 is the smartphone version of the senior-friendly cell phones from GreatCall. The Smart2 features a 5.5 inch screen, front-facing speakers, and basic call, text, and data plans.

Why We Recommend Jitterbug Smart2

  • Large 5.5in screen
  • Starts at $19.99 monthly
  • Hearing aid compatibility rating M4/T4
  • No annual contracts, no cancellation fees
#3 Kyocera Cadence LTE

Their phones:

The Kyocera Cadence LTE from Verizon is a basic flip phone with a high hearing aid compatibility rating. The phone is sturdy and basic with reviewers reporting high satisfaction with audio quality.

Why We Recommend Kyocera Cadence LTE

  • 2.4" high-contrast display
  • Starts at $5 monthly or $120 retail
  • Fast download speeds with 4G LTE
  • Hearing aid compatibility rating M4/T4

Hearing challenges become more common as we age. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) states that one in three people aged 65 – 74 has hearing loss, while nearly half of seniors aged 75 or over have problems hearing.

Hearing loss can make everyday tasks difficult – including using a cellphone. Holding a conversation, or even hearing phone alerts, can be challenging for those with hearing loss.

We took a look at cell phones that are good options for anyone with a hearing impairment.

What to Look For in a Cell Phone for Hearing Impaired Seniors?

The first thing to check for is hearing aid compatibility. Using a phone that isn’t hearing aid compatible can cause problems such as feedback, static, or buzzing when trying to make a call. This makes phone use even more difficult.

Even if you or your loved one doesn’t wear a hearing aid yet, we recommend checking for hearing aid compatibility. That way you know that if things get worse and a hearing aid becomes necessary, the phone will still work.

Another feature to look for is a good loudspeaker. Whether you use a hearing aid or not, a decent loudspeaker can make a big difference in how easy it is to hear a call.

Hearing aid compatibility is measured in M and T ratings. Without delving too deep into the technical part, here’s what you need to know: An M or a T rating of 3 or 4 is a good indicator that a phone is hearing aid compatible. You want to look for a rating of 3 or 4 in at least one of those categories.

Let’s take a look at four phones that are great choices for hearing impaired seniors.

Top Cell Phones for Hearing Impaired Seniors

Jitterbug Flip

The Jitterbug Flip is a senior-friendly phone from medical alert specialists GreatCall. This is a straightforward easy to use flip phone that’s perfect for seniors who just want to call and text. However, it does a little more than make calls – the Jitterbug Flip also functions as a medical alert. Seniors only need to press the 5Star button to be connected to GreatCall’s 5Star emergency response call center. From there, the customer service agent can track their location and alert caregivers or dispatch EMTs if needed.

Handset: A straightforward and nice-looking flip model, with an easy to see 5Star urgent response button. The handset features big buttons, a brightly lit screen, a flashlight and a magnifier. Hearing impaired seniors will appreciate the powerful loudspeaker. In addition, the menu is extra easy to use. Retails at $99.99, plus shipping and activation fees.
Hearing aid compatible: Yes – rated M4/T4, which is the highest rating.
Plans: Customers have the choice of two different plans. If they’re looking for a phone with no extra features, they can opt for a simple call and text plan. Or, they can sign up for a health and safety plan to get access to 5Star urgent response, plus a wealth of other health features. You can see our review of the Jitterbug Flip right here for full details. Customers who opt for a health plan typically save up to 50% on text and calls compared to those on a basic plan.
Calls: Plans range from 200 minutes for $14.99 monthly with several tiers up to unlimited talk and text for $49.99 monthly for basic users. Health plan customers start at $5 for 50 minutes monthly with several tiers up to unlimited talk and text for $30 monthly.
Texts: All customers can start at $3 for 300 texts monthly with several tiers up to $15 for 2500 texts (or choose an unlimited talk and text plan.)
Data: Not applicable – this isn’t a smartphone.
Anything else: Get a free car charger and wall charger with every purchase. You can keep your existing phone number, and you never have to worry about being tied into an annual contract (regular readers know a lack of long term contracts is super important to us.)
Customers love: How straightforward the Jitterbug Flip is. It’s easy to get started with it, and easy to use. The big buttons attract a lot of positive reviews, too. We saw several mentions of the nice clear loudspeaker, which is great for hearing impaired seniors.
Customers aren’t wild about: The 2MP camera isn’t particularly great. That might not matter to some seniors but for those who want to capture important moments, it could be a major con. Although the menu style seems to be mostly popular, some customers don’t find it that easy to use.
Ideal for: Seniors who just need something simple and no frills – especially if they could also use a little emergency response backup.
Our verdict: The Jitterbug line of phones were designed with seniors in mind, and it shows. This is a straightforward model that has all the basics covered, and works well with hearing aids too.

Jitterbug Smart

The Jitterbug Smart has the same senior-friendly ethos as the Flip, but this time in the form of a smartphone. Just like the Flip, the Smart offers a 5Star urgent response service (this time as an app) and is designed to be easy to use. And, just like the Flip, customers can also choose a basic phone service without extra health features.

Handset: A 5.5” screen combined with a front-facing speakers means the Smart is easy to see, and easy to hear. The menus are designed to be simple to navigate, and the handset also comes with voice typing for ease of sending messages. The 13MP camera is powerful enough to capture special moments in good quality. Retails at $149.99, which for a smartphone is very reasonable.
Hearing aid compatible: Yes – rated M4/T4, which is the highest rating.
Plans: Customers can choose between a basic call, text, and data plan if they want to use the Smart just like they’d use any other smartphone. But for those who want extra health features, including 5Star urgent response, GreatCall offers several health and safety plans. Check out our Jitterbug Smart review here for all the details. Customers on a health and safety plan save up to 50% on the cost of calls, texts and data.
Calls: Basic customers can start at $14.99 monthly for 200 minutes, with several tiers up to $49.99 for unlimited calls and texts plus 100MB data. Health plan customers can start at $5 monthly for 50 minutes, with several tiers up to $40 monthly for unlimited calls, texts and data.
Texts: All customers can start at $3 monthly for 300 texts, with several tiers up to $15 monthly for 2500 texts (or they can choose an unlimited talk and text package.)
Data: All customers can start at $2.49 monthly for 40MB of data, with several tiers up to $30 monthly for 2.5GB.
Anything else: Every package comes with caller ID, call waiting, roaming, and long distance calling. Plus you get a wall and car charger with every purchase, and GreatCall will never lock you into an annual contract.
Customers love: It’s so easy to use! Customers commented on the big screen and ease of navigation. People love the extra health features, too.
Customers aren’t wild about: Although we saw a lot of praise for the audio quality, a few customers do struggle to hear calls properly, so that’s worth keeping in mind. Audio problems do seem to be in the minority though. Some customers do find the internet connection a bit slow, so it might not be ideal for those who want to stream a lot of content.
Ideal for: Seniors who want to do more than just call or text, but who don’t need all the bells and whistles of an iPhone. An especially good choice for those who would benefit from a medical alert, as the phone functions as one of those, too.
Our verdict: We think the combination of a phone with 5Star urgent response is a fantastic idea. Compared to many smartphones this is very well priced and the monthly fees are reasonable, too.

Kyocera Cadence LTE

Kyocera Cadence is another basic flip model. It doesn’t feature the additional medical alert functions of the Jitterbug Flip, which makes it ideal for seniors who really do want a straightforward phone for calling, texting, and nothing else.

Handset: The Cadence offers a sturdy, durable flip handset with a 2.4” screen and an external display for the clock and other notifications. The buttons are large and easy to press, and the overall look is sleek and modern. Features dual-mic noise cancellation for ease of hearing. Retails at $120, plus $40 activation fee.
Hearing aid compatible: Yes – rated M4/T4, which is the highest rating.
Plans: Verizon recommends their basic plan, at $30 monthly, for those who need talk and text only – which is the perfect match for the Cadence.
Calls: Unlimited
Texts: Unlimited
Data: 500MB
Anything else: Be aware that there are no roaming capabilities, and the 2MP camera is very basic. There’s no video recording or playback.
Customers love: The sturdy, easy to use, the handset gets a lot of praise. We also saw several references to the excellent audio quality on calls, which is ideal for hearing impaired seniors.
Customers aren’t wild about: We noticed some customers struggled with the battery life on this model – and it’s not possible to replace the battery. The phone has a low review rating on Verizon’s site, and the battery life is the main cause of that.
Ideal for: Seniors who only need the most basic of phone functions, with no extra features.
Our verdict: The poor battery life reviews make us a little wary, but we also saw plenty of reviews from people who loved the call quality and ease of use. Worth a try for seniors who don’t need a lot of features, but do be aware it may need charging more frequently than stated on the Verizon website.

Apple iPhone 7

For those who want more features and faster streaming, the iPhone 7 stands out. With excellent hearing aid rating and a powerful loudspeaker, the iPhone 7 is perfect for hearing impaired seniors who want a fully functioning smartphone.

Handset: The iPhone 7 offers a clear 4.7” display and 12MP camera, all in a water and dust resistant body. It also features a 73-decibel speaker, which is good news for hearing impaired seniors. Available in black, silver, gold and rose gold. Retails at $449.99.
Hearing aid compatible: Yes – rated M3/T4.
Plans: AT&T offers a range of plans that would work for the iPhone 7. Their smallest plans offer just a little data for those who don’t plan to use the internet a lot. On the other end of the scale, their unlimited plans offer unlimited data, plus HD video and a range of premium TV channels included in the monthly cost.
Calls: Unlimited
Texts: Unlimited
Data: Starts at $50 monthly for 3GB of data and standard definition streaming, all the way up to unlimited data with HD streaming for $80 monthly.
Anything else: The iPhone 7 doesn’t feature a headphone jack – it uses wireless headphones for those who like to use headphones with their handset. Comes with 32GB or 128GB internal storage options.
Customers love: People love both the sound quality and the camera quality on this. The display is popular too, with several customers commenting that it’s easy to read and has a sharp picture quality. Overall, reviews of the iPhone 7 are very positive.
Customers aren’t wild about: Some customers find the battery doesn’t last as long as they would like. Some people also dislike the lack of a headphone jack.
Ideal for: Seniors who need a phone that does a little more. If you want to surf, use apps, email, shop online, or stream content, this is a great choice. It’s pricier than the other phones on this list, but for an iPhone, the price is still very reasonable.
Our verdict: Seniors who are looking for a fully-functioning smartphone could do a lot worse than the iPhone 7. It offers beautiful quality and functionality, paired with a speakerphone that’s ideal for the hearing impaired.

Using a phone can be frustrating for the hearing impaired. With excellent M and T ratings, the phones on this list make the experience a bit easier. From the most basic flip phone to a fully featured smartphone, there’s something here for every need.

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