Tips for Choosing Talking Caller ID Phones or Add-On Units
The Advantages of Talking Caller ID
The caller ID feature is great for screening your phone calls and cutting down on the number of disturbances.
This auditory version of caller ID offers some advantages over units without the voice announce feature. They allow you to know who is calling without having to be standing right next to the phone at the time it rings. Since it announces the name or number aloud, you can be on the other side of the room, and continue doing something else, uninterrupted.
In addition, these units are perfect for those who have any type of vision problems since the LCD screen does not have to be viewed and the user could rely completely on the auditory information.
What You Need
This is simple. You only need two things:
- If you want talking caller ID for your landline phone, you can get a unit that will connect with your existing phone or you can purchase a cordless phone with text-to-speech capabilities which have this feature built in.
- In addition you will need caller ID service from your telephone service provider.
Buying Tips for a Landline Phone with Talking Caller ID
Choosing a cordless phone with talking caller ID requires you to consider a few things:
- You will often see phones referred to as DECT phones. This type of phone has a greater operating range from the base.
- You'll also find that phones operate on specific frequencies: 1.9GHz, 2.4GHz, or 5.8GHz. To help assure your cordless phone won't experience interference with wireless devices, it's often best to stick with the 1.9GHz or 5.8GHz models. A phone with FHSS is another option for assuring you can get a clear, secure connection. This means that it can "frequency hop".
- Beyond this, be sure to identify the features that are important to you. Common ones include call waiting, call conferencing, call blocking, voice mail or answering systems, light alerts for incoming calls and waiting messages, customized messages, and of course, talking caller ID.
- You'll also want to consider any special needs you may have such a vision, hearing, or motor problems. Examples might include:
- A larger keypad is easier to use see and manipulate for some people.
- A backlit display or a larger one may help in viewing information.
- Adjustable volume, hearing aid compatibility, and so forth may be necessary
if someone has a hearing loss.
- A speakerphone function can also be helpful for those with hearing loss.
- A speakerphone is also good for those who want to be able to talk while working with their hands.
- A light to alert users of incoming calls is also good for those with hearing loss to assure calls aren't missed.
- Other convenience features might include:
- a large phone book and memory for previous calls and redialing
- the ability to turn off the ringer and even the talking caller ID can assure you can have uninterrupted time when desired
- having the ability to check messages on each handset is good when there are multiple handsets involved.
- If you want a single cordless phone they are quite affordable. However, purchasing one that is expandable can assure that you can easily add additional handsets if it become desirable in the future.
Buying Tips for an Add On Talking Caller ID Unit
Choosing a talking caller ID unit to add to an existing landline phone is a fairly simple task. Probably the two most critical features to consider are:
- The clarity and readability of the screen
A larger screen/font can make the display easier to read and good screen brightness can improve the contrast. If you want to be able to read the display from several feet away, a stand up model may be preferred.
- The clarity of the voice announce feature
The clarity of the voice announce feature can vary between the computerized voice and the customized announcements that you record. The computer generated voice generally has the best quality. Listening to a device before making a purchase is one way of assuring your satisfaction. Of course having the ability to adjust volume or to allow the device to repeat information may also be desirable to assure you don't miss or misunderstand any voice announcements.
There are other features to consider of course. These may include:
- a call log which allows you to retrieve information about previous calls
- a visual ringer alert for those with hearing impairment
- and as mentioned above, the ability to record customized messages
- a voicemail box or a type of answering machine
How to Turn Talking Caller ID On or Off With a Panasonic Phone
© 2010 Christine Mulberry