The Best Cell Phones for Hearing-Impaired Seniors in 2024

The Jitterbug Smart3
Share: copied!

The Senior List is compensated when you click on the provider links listed on this page. This compensation does not impact our ratings or reviews. Click here to learn more about our editorial review process and click here to learn more about how we are compensated.

Hearing challenges become more common as we age. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders says 1 in 3 people age 65 to 74 has hearing loss, while nearly half of seniors age 75 and over have hearing problems. Hearing loss can make everyday tasks difficult — including using a cell phone.

If you wear hearing aids, talking on a cell phone often comes with noise from interference. Luckily, many modern phones are compatible with hearing aids to dull the noise and create a seamless experience across devices.

In this rundown, we look at the top cell phones for hearing-impaired users.

Pro Tip: A high-quality cell phone is nothing without an equally effective network. To learn about our favorites, check out our rundown of the best senior cell phone plans.

The Best Cell Phones for Hearing Impairment

Our Methodology

If a phone is not hearing aid compatible, static, feedback, and other noises will interfere with your call.

If you have hearing loss and need a cell phone, the most important spec to look for is its hearing aid compatibility. Using a phone that isn’t hearing aid compatible can cause problems such as feedback, static, and buzzing when you try to make a call — all of which make using the phone even more difficult.

Hearing aid compatibility is measured in M and T ratings. Generally speaking, an M or T rating of 3 or 4 is a good indicator that a phone is hearing aid compatible. Apart from hearing aid compatibility, we also rated these phones by the volume of their speakers, their use of voice commands, and their overall affordability.

The Best Cell Phones for Hearing-Impaired Seniors

1. Jitterbug Flip2 - Best Voice Commands

Lively by Best Buy Logo 2023
4.8 / 5
View Packages
Call for best price:
855-403-6340
What We Like Most:
  • Alexa compatibility
  • 8-megapixel camera
  • Optional medical alert features
  • Magnifier and flashlight

Overview

Price: $99.99 when purchased through Lively
Hearing aid compatibility: M4/T4

The Jitterbug Flip2's main menu is simple and easy to navigate
The Jitterbug Flip2’s main menu is simple and easy to navigate

Lively is widely known for its popular phones for seniors, and its newest device, the Jitterbug Flip2, is an ideal option for people with hearing impairment. With its M4/T4 hearing aid compatibility, this device worked exceptionally well in our trial runs. Each of our test calls came in clearly with no interfering noise.

The Jitterbug Flip2 separates itself from other flip phones with its extra features. In addition to its built-in magnifier, flashlight, and dual cameras (one for traditional photos and one for selfies), the Flip2 also offers Alexa voice commands. With this feature, we were able to make calls, send messages, and even browse the web using only our voice. For example, if I wanted to check the weather, I could simply say, “Alexa, what’s the weather like today?” In response, Alexa reported the forecast for my ZIP code.

This phone can double as a medical alert system if you subscribe to one of Lively’s premium plans. By opting into this service, you can use the phone’s dedicated emergency response button, which provides 24/7 access to Lively’s monitoring center, which can contact first responders during an emergency.

To learn more about this phone, check out our full Jitterbug Flip2 review.

Pro Tip: If you want a full-fledged medical alert, take a look at our guide to this year’s best medical alert systems.

Pros
  • Loud and Clear Speaker
  • Simple Navigation
  • Built-in Flashlight
  • Hearing Aid Compatible
  • Urgent Response Button
  • Speed Dialing
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Large Buttons and Screen
Cons
  • No Family Plans
  • Additional Charges for Going Over Minutes or Texts for Some Plans
  • Low-Quality Camera

2. Consumer Cellular Iris Flip - Most Affordable Option

Consumer Cellular Logo
4.4 / 5
View Packages
Call for best price:
(844) 580-0512

Overview

Price: $69 when purchased through Consumer Cellular
Hearing aid compatibility: M3/T3

Our test calls with the Iris Flip came in clearly, even when I wore my hearing aids.

Compared with the other cell phones on this list, the Consumer Cellular Iris Flip has slightly lower ratings for hearing aid compatibility. In our tests, though, it performed just as well. Each of our test calls came through with no interference or ringing.

The Iris Flip offers all you’d expect from a simple phone for seniors. It can make calls, send messages, and take photos (although its 2 MP camera doesn’t compare to the iPhone SE’s camera). The appeal of the Iris Flip, however, is in its simplicity. If you’re looking for a phone that can perform basic functions — and features Bluetooth connectivity — then the Iris Flip is worth a look.

When purchased with a Consumer Cellular plan, the Iris Flip is highly affordable. Unlimited talk and text plans cost as low as $20 per month. To learn more about Consumer Cellular, be sure to check our Consumer Cellular review.

3. Jitterbug Smart4 - Best Smartphone Option

Lively by Best Buy Logo 2023
4.7 / 5
View Packages
Call for best price:
855-403-6340
What We Like Most:
  • Large, bright screen
  • Easy menu navigation
  • Medical alert features
  • Affordable price

Overview

Price: $149.99 when purchased through Lively
Hearing aid compatibility: M4/T4

The Jitterbug Smart4 has dedicated Back and Home buttons on the bottom of the screen. These help simplify navigation.

In addition to its flip phone, Lively also offers the Jitterbug Smart4, a smartphone for seniors. The device, which has all the features of an Android phone, provides a simplified, list-based menu for intuitive navigation. With its M4/T4 hearing aid compatibility, it performed exceptionally well in our tests.

What really separates this phone is its simplicity. Each of its features is easy to access, and a majority can be navigated using only your voice. The phone’s Google Assistant feature supports making calls, typing, and browsing the internet using your voice. It also provides access to Google Play, where you can download helpful apps for seniors. When I purchased this phone, I immediately downloaded WhatsApp, Facebook, and Gmail so I could stay in touch with all of my friends.

Similar to the Jitterbug Flip, the Smart4 can also be paired with medical alert features for an additional cost. Whether or not you use these features, however, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better smartphone for seniors that is fully compatible with hearing aids.

To learn more about this phone, read our updated Jitterbug Smart4 review.

Pros
  • Intuitive Design
  • Hearing Aid Compatible
  • Large, Bright Screen
  • No Long-Term Contracts
  • Medical Alert Capabilities
  • Powerful Camera
Cons
  • Must Be Charged Nightly
  • Somewhat Large

4. Alcatel Go Flip 4 - Best Hearing Aid Compatibility

Alcatel Logo
4.9 / 5
What We Like Most:
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Loud and high-quality speaker
  • Two-week battery life
  • Large internal display

Overview

Price: $96 when purchased through T-Mobile
Hearing aid compatibility: M4/T4

Alcatel Go Flip Home Screen
Alcatel Go Flip Home Screen

Rated M4/T4, the Alcatel Go Flip 4 worked exceptionally well in our tests of hearing aid compatibility. Each of our test calls came through loud and clear, even while using a variety of our favorite hearing aids. The speakerphone feature also made calls loud and audible, with minimal sound distortion.

The Go Flip 4 also has a long-lasting battery, Bluetooth capabilities, and large, tactile buttons. The 2 MP camera leaves something to be desired, but its basic functions as a flip phone work superbly. You’ll also have access to the KaiOS app store, where you can download useful apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and email clients, giving this simple phone some smart features.

At less than $100 when purchased through T-Mobile, this phone is definitely on the affordable end of the spectrum. When paired with one of T-Mobile’s plans for seniors, you’ll get discounted rates on unlimited talk, text, and data.

To learn more about this phone, read our full Alcatel Go Flip review.

Pros
  • Classic Design
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Mobile Hotspot Capable
  • Long Battery Life
  • Large Screen
  • Intuitive Buttons
  • Hearing Aid Compatible
Cons
  • Subpar Camera Quality
  • No Medical Alert Features

5. Apple iPhone SE - Best Hearing App Functionality

Apple Logo
4.6 / 5
What We Like Most:
  • Intuitive design and voice commands
  • Water and dust resistant
  • Great camera quality
  • Thousands of free apps

Overview

Price: $399 when purchased through Mint Mobile
Hearing aid compatibility: M3/T4

iPhone SE
iPhone SE

Many people think of iPhones as beyond the grasp of older adults, but we wholeheartedly disagree. The iPhone SE has a vast array of features, but its intuitive design is easy to pick up and use. Its hearing aid compatibility and access to hearing aid apps also make it a great option for seniors.

The sound quality on the iPhone SE is high, and its speakerphone delivers audio that’s both loud and clear — even for hearing aid users. We appreciated how easy it was to make video calls on this phone due to its high-resolution front-facing camera.

Another benefit of the iPhone SE is its compatibility with hearing aid manufacturers. For example, Eargo and Lively hearing aids both offer apps for their devices, allowing you to adjust your hearing aid settings without having to reach into your ears. These apps are available in the iOS app store.

When paired with a Mint Mobile senior plan, the iPhone comes at an affordable price, even with unlimited talk, text, and data. To learn more about this and other iPhones, check out our guide to iPhones for seniors.

Did You Know: If you’re looking for a hearing aid that can be controlled from your phone, check out our Eargo review and Jabra hearing aids review.

Pros
  • Thousands of free apps
  • Large, bright screen
  • Intuitive interface
  • Loud speaker and clear audio
  • Access to hearing aid apps
  • High-quality camera
Cons
  • Could be difficult to use for those new to smartphones
  • Relatively costly

Bottom Line

If you have hearing loss or impairment, there are, luckily, plenty of phones that can accommodate your needs.

To learn more about our favorite phones and how they can be used with hearing aids, check out our helpful guides.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is there a phone made for hearing loss?

    There are no phones made particularly for people with hearing loss, but many cell phones are hearing aid compatible and allow the phone and aids to be used in tandem without any interfering noise.

  • Are there phones for deafness?

    Traditional cell phones won’t work for people who are deaf, but caption phones can be a good alternative.

  • What is the best phone for hearing loss?

    The Jitterbug Flip2, Alcatel Go Flip 4, and Jitterbug Smart4 are all rated M4/T4 for hearing aid compatibility, making them great options for people with hearing loss or impairment.

ryan-molloy
Written By
Ryan Molloy

Ryan has years of experience researching and testing products that help people successfully age in place. After years of working for various publications such as Boston Magazine and The Believer, he has found his home at The Senior List, writing about all things related to caregiving and senior healthcare.