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Phone technology + hearing

 
 
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2012 07:03 pm
I don't know how stuff works with smart phones since I don't have one since I don't have wifi - so this may just be about land lines.

I'm hard of hearing. I don't hear my phone from the living room as the answer phone is in the back of the house.
In the kitchen, I get a faint, very faint, sense it might be ringing if my refrigerator is not doing it's hum rounds and the dog is not barking or trash trucks aren't going by.
I hear it from my bedroom, which usually makes me bound up out of sleep.
I hear it as completely obnoxiously loud sound when I am at my computer, when the phone is two feet away.

My loss of hearing range is, like many or most but not all, loss of high tones.
I probably represent some portion of the population.
Are phone rings set medium or relatively high?

Just wondering.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2012 07:22 pm
@ossobuco,
I'm thinking low and lower. Mine is set on high. Sometimes it knocks me out of the seat, and sometimes I can barely hear it from two feet away.

By the way, the land lines seem to be like equalizers, tuned for human speech. That helps.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2012 07:30 pm
@roger,
What do you mean yours is set on high? High volume? I guess I've assumed we're talking high volume.

I'm talking about the ring itself, where is that set on the spectrum. I am not up on all the hearing terms, so I'll say on the range of hearing.

Suppose a phone ring was set at lower range? I might hear it. Or I am guessing it is already set somewhere middle.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2012 07:44 pm
@ossobuco,
I was speaking of the ringer. It has a two position switch, and no control for voice volume. As to the level of ringer volume, I suggest it is a bit more polite and respectful than necessary.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2012 08:00 pm
@roger,
Mmmm. I can control voice volume re messages, but not the blasted ringer. (I suppose I need a new phone, but would it be better?)

It just blasts two feet from me, now at my computer, but, as I said, not all the way to my living room.

I'm wondering what is the tone level (high versus low tone) of the ringer of most phones.

I am thinking a lower tone ring on the audiology spectrum might be more hearable for me.

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2012 08:05 pm
@ossobuco,
I'm not really talking about volume, but hearing level on audiology charts and how ringers are set.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2012 08:46 pm
@ossobuco,
I've no idea as to decibel levels, but I kind of suspect we both need additional external ringers, rather than a replacement phone. That, or phones designed for the hard of hearing, which are likely to be expensive as well as external power source - meaning the wouldn't work in event of power failure.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2012 09:03 pm
@roger,
Well, that is my point, but before I accuse phone companies, I want to know what level they play at. Surely a phone company could/would put out a variety of phone choices.
Shirley?



0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 06:01 am
@ossobuco,
I don't really have a conclusive answer but some miscellaneous thoughts:

It sounds like you can hear low tones better than high tones (that's pretty common).

Here's a typical audiogram:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9e/Audio23.jpg

Evidently the standard phone ring is about 440 Hertz, or pretty low.

http://www.tech-faq.com/frequencies-of-the-telephone-tones.html

Now, the part I'm not sure about is whether you can just adjust the ringtone on your phone for tone/ frequency, not just volume. What make, model etc. do you have? I don't think it's standard but I could probably look it up and see what I could find out.

There are also many adaptive technologies out there (a flashing phone signaler for example).

roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 01:22 pm
One of these days, I'm going to have to go shopping for an external ringer that doesn't involve replacing the AT&T model with a very expensive specialized phone. It transports human speech very well, at least for my hearing. It's only special feature is redial, which can as easily bite one in the butt as be convenient. It's only problem is that polite little ringer. Obviously, I can only get that clear reception when I am prompted to lift the receiver.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 01:26 pm
@roger,
I would like to know why the feature ad on this page is a request to donate to Mitt Romney's campaign.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 01:36 pm
@ehBeth,
Does Mitt Romney ring your bell?

I don't know why, but for six months after I was checking tire ads, I got tire advertisements on every page.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 01:38 pm
@sozobe,
Thanks! yes, that's what I'm talking about. My audiogram is posted somewhere here on a2k (wouldn't hurt me to look it up again - I think it's on Eva's hearing thread - and keep it in my "hearing file" on the computer). But yes, I hear low tones and lose high ones. My audiogram was taken back around 2005, things are likely worse by now.

My phone is getting elderly - it is an AT & T 2.4 GHz cordless Telephone/Answering System E2125. I can't remember when I bought it, probably 2006.

From what you are saying, the phone is likely keyed in at a low part of the range already. It makes sense that it would be.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 01:48 pm
@ossobuco,
I actually have a simple answer to my problem - put a non-answer machine phone in the kitchen. I would hear that in the living room. I have one there already but I don't keep it plugged in - that one is the one that I would use if electrical connection was lost for some time. I don't keep it plugged in since it is an old and cheap thing that rings like a fire house alarm. But I have a third phone, also not an answer phone, in the bedroom, for emergency. It's ringer is lower sounding, but I would be able to hear it in the living room, from the kitchen. So, duhhh, why don't I just do that. Put the old cheapo in a closet in case I ever need it, and put my cell phone charging area in the bedroom. Voila!

It helps to talk about these matters, so thanks all.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2012 01:51 pm
@ossobuco,
Ah, right - it was on Eva's Huh? thread.

http://able2know.org/topic/21724-8#post-733834
0 Replies
 
 

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