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on May 21, 2013
My mother had already owned the CapTel 840i caption phone which she uses daily. And when she needed a second phone for a different room, I decided to try this new Plantronics model. I love gadgets - my family has owned every iphone model made, as well as several iPads, multiple Amazon kindles, and my media centers use Logitech Harmony touch-screen remotes. But.....this Plantronics has taught me that touch-screen isn't the right interface for everybody. The good news about the Plantronics - it looks nice, its new, its high-tech looking, and it has a touch-screen. The bad-news, its a terrible choice for the elderly. (1) The default text size of this phone is much too small, although you can adjust the font size, it must be done with every single phone call. (2) the text re-size button is difficult to grab and adjust (3) The button which enables captions changes locations depending on the screen. When the phone is ringing, its in the middle, when you pick up the phone it moves to the bottom. (4) the touch-screen lacks any physical feedback and its visual feedback is sluggish. When you push the caption-on button there is a delay before the button highlights (as well as other buttons) (5) The speed-dial buttons are buried menus. (6) touch-screens are just harder to use at night. imagine waking up in the dark and trying to focus and use buttons on a bright touch-screen. The phone works, and it does everything its supposed to do, but the interface is just not intuitive or easy to use.

Old-school buttons, and old-school color LCD displays wins this round. Low-tech is better. The older CapTel model is much easier to use day or night, the buttons provide real-world tactile feedback. Its screen is easier to read, plus it remembers your font settings. In addition, the caption button is in the exact same location 100% of the time - and having a physical button that glows red when its enabled just further enhances its ease-of-use... nice. And the 3 physical speed-dial buttons are always in the same place 100% of the time without digging through menus -- so easy to use.
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on December 7, 2014
For the hearing impaired - it really makes a huge difference. Hooked up in wireless fashion via WIFI - the words of the caller come across in print form across the LCD screen. You can control the font size of the print. There is a human being transcribing the incoming callers words. The person who is transcribing the incoming caller cannot hear what the outbound caller is saying. The transcriber does not even have access to the phone numbers.

Keep in mind that there is a 1-3 second delay for the wording to reach your screen. Its a worthwhile trade off for those who frequently miss what callers are saying.

The phone can be used by those who are not hearing impaired by simply NOT increasing the sound volume.

Other things to point out: Sometimes it seems like the phone has a mind of its own. The screen turns on by itself and sometimes screens will change as if the invisible man has entered your home and needs to make a phone call. Nothing wrong with the phone..CLARITY is constantly updating the phones firmware and its perfectly normal behavior for the phone.

Customer Service::::::****** Clarity regularly calls my mother to check on how the phone is working/operating. The nice part is that the same person "WHO SPEAKS ENGLISH AND IS CALLING FROM THE UNITED STATES!!!!" developed a bit of a rapport with my mother. Its a great service. They are not calling to try and sell you other products or waste your time.

You can store phone numbers on the phone for auto dialing. The downfall is that the phone does not have flash storage. In the past we have lost stored numbers due to electrical outages. Most recently (last month) we lost electricity for roughly 14 hours. When it was restored, the phone numbers were still intact. I haven't checked in with Clarity but its possible they designed a solution to the problem.

Special note to those who like to use profanity: Close captioning typist will not type profanity. Period. If someone calls cursing away, the owner of the Clarity phone might hear what you are saying but the words will NOT appear on their screen to read. Whether you consider that censorship or not, that is how the system works.

Lastly the phone must be near an electrical outlet.

Review: You need to have WIFI enabled in your home to use the close captioning feature.
You need to have the phone near an electrical adapter.
This phone is designed to be on a desk or table and not wall mounted.
If you have ANY problems, Clarity is very quick and responsive.
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on January 13, 2014
Update 11march 2014: phone consistently goes dead even though it is plugged directly into the wall. Clarity says I need to return phone to their service center for repair or replacement and I HAVE TO PAY FOR THE SHIPPING TO THE SERVICE CENTER since the 30 day Amazon return window has closed. This is not acceptable and Clarity should offer me a refund of my postage when they confirm the issue. I will update the review if they do.

I purchased this phone for an 86 year old hearing-impaired man. He is not very computer-literate but so far is reasonably impressed with the phone. My list of pros and cons might help you make a decision as to whether or not this phone will work for you:
1. Easy for me to set up. It connected to my house WiFi almost immediately and the required FCC registration process was simple. I am a senior citizen and fairly computer literate. I don't think the user would have known how to connect it to the internet although the illustrations were straightforward--it was just easier for me to do it for him.
2. Great sound quality and the available Boost, tone and volume adjustments allowed it to be tweaked further to improve the caller's voice.
3. Menu screen seems to be pretty intuitive despite others' reports that it is not
4. The captioning service is adequate and free. It takes several seconds for a captioning operator to connect and the captioning is probably 90% accurate, but I suspect this is a function of the captioning service rather than the phone itself. Ideally you'd see the caption almost simultaneously with the caller's voice but there is a slight delay. Still, it's a huge improvement over no captioning. I love that you can get answering machine calls captioned as well as live calls.
1. When a caller leaves a message (e.g., when we're out), there is no visual indication that a message has been left. You have to physically go to the phone and check to see if there are any messages. I'd love it to have a flashing red light to show that there is a message.
2. I couldn't get the voice tag to work even though we have caller ID etc. I can record a name but when that person calls, all you here is a buzzy faint and incomprehensible sound through the talking caller ID. My other phone (non-captioning) did a great job of announcing the name or the number so I can't figure out the problem.
3. I have to remind the user to press the CC captioning button (icon) firmly; it's a touchscreen but it's not as sensitive as the touchscreen on tablets or cellphones.
4. At times, in the middle of the night, the screen lights up. Spooky, or else our dogs are calling their friends...
Overall, the benefits of the phone outweigh the cons and the user is satisfied (not an easy thing to accomplish, trust me!!!) We have had the phone for one week and so far, it's a keeper.
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on January 17, 2014
Bought this phone for my 84 year old mother who is extremely hard of hearing. We've tried amplified phones but they don't help. This one does.

Setup for me took all of 5 minutes, if that long. Mom has cable-delivered phone and high speed wireless internet service in her apartment via Comcast. I had the internet installed initially for me and the rest of the family, not for her, but it's essential for this phone. If you have a weak internet signal it probably won't work very well. But for me, I plugged in two cords, connected to her internet with her password, got a 5 bar signal, and we were ready to go.

Other reviews note that there is a brief delay while the caption typer comes on the line. This is true. That takes some patience. It also has a touch screen like an iPhone or iPad, so if you aren't able to handle that, you'll have trouble getting used to the phone. When Mom answers, she has to press the "button" on the touch screen that signals the captioning company to come on the line. The captioner signs on, Mom says, "they're on," and then I can begin to talk. There is a learning curve for Mom, and she's not entirely comfortable with it yet, but I think she will be in a few more weeks. She's learned to use an iPad since August, so I expect she'll eventually get the hang of this.

Bottom line:
1. Great product that does what it promises. Certainly state of the art right now!
2. Set up requires a strong wireless internet signal and some basic installation skills. If you have a wireless router in your home and can keep your own devices connected, you can set up this phone in a flash.
3. The person who is going to be using it needs to have a reasonably clear mind. If you think your elderly parents who can't remember what they had for breakfast are going to be able to use this phone, you are probably mistaken.
4. The real heros here are the folks at Clear Captions. I always thank the captioner before I hang up.
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on November 22, 2013
great phone! i bought it for my 78 yr old father who is hard of hearing and has low vision. I can actually have phone calls with him now without yelling & repeating myself. it was easy to set up, easy for him to use and the price was right.
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on January 8, 2014
Excellent phone. It was a gift for my parents who are hard of hearing. The set up was EASY for my tech challenged parents. The graphics on the phone are easy to read. You can adjust the size of the read out to be large text. There is a very slight delay in the relay but, who cares if you know what people are saying! The conversation is slowed down a bit by the delay but, in the long run everyone is happier knowing that they are being heard and do not have to say "say that again please." The phone has made life better!

We tested the phone's accuracy by me whispering into the reciever. The people on my end couldn't even hear me and the phone was sensitive enough to pick up my voice. Sometimes when you speak too fast the phone can't determine if it was one long word or a sentence and can get confused. That doesn't really happen often. has improved the quality of life for everyone involved. It also makes for a better conversation when having to call any type of cutomer support!
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on February 17, 2013
At age 91 it takes time for me to understand the phone,but I can use the basic part.I expect that I will do better in time.It is agreat advancement for the hard of hearing.
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on January 1, 2015
We purchased this for my mom whom I have not been able to talk to on the phone for years. She has felt isolated and frustrated not having access to communicate with us since we are out of state. My dad said it was easy to set up and with the first call we had a long conversation for the first time in years. We both had tears in our eyes. We have used it many times and the longest delay we have experienced as 5 seconds. I will wait 5 seconds all day long to be able to talk to my mom. The icing on the cake was a customer service person from Clarity called my mom to teach her how to use all of the features and maximize the ability of the phone. She set the sound to meet the tones of each of our voices so she can try and hear as well as read.
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on November 11, 2014
I purchased this phone from an outlet store. After 10 days of use, I love it. Yes, the Captioning is a little slow at times and about 90% accurate, but it is such an improvement for my phone conversations. If I didn't use the captioning, I would still love it - the clarity of the sound surpasses any phone I have previously owned. I have no dexterity or vision problems, but I can see this might be a problem based on the individual's situation.
In spite of the fact that another reviewer said theirs quit, I am purchasing additional phones for other locations in the house.
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on May 4, 2016
I would highly recommend this telephone for anyone who needs assistance with hearing over the telephone. It not only provides clear audio, but also includes a transcription of the callers conversation.
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