A telephone ringer amplifier sounds a loud alert with incoming calls. Volume controls can allow operators to decide how loud the sound should be, and some also come with a visual strobe to make it harder to miss calls. Some are designed to be portable so people can bring their amplifiers with them when they travel. Portable devices can also be useful for office settings where people may need amplification but don’t have a fixed desk or office.
People who are hard of hearing may find a telephone ringer amplifier helpful. Without one, they may miss the sound of a phone ringing, especially over competing noises in the house. The amplified ring will be more audible, and a high volume setting can also increase the volume of phone calls to make them easier to hear. Visual alerts can increase the chances of catching a phone call when it comes in; even if the recipient doesn’t hear the phone, the light will be a reminder.
Telephone ringer amplifiers can also be useful for people who don’t always hear the phone because they may be elsewhere in the house or garden. Some amplifiers even come with long cords to allow people to set them up closer to the outdoors so they have an increased chance of hearing the ring. This can be important when people are expecting calls but don’t want to wait by the phone to make sure they hear them.
The typical design includes an amplification box with speaker that plugs directly into the phone jack. A telephone cord can plug into the amplifier from the phone to complete the connection and make it possible to send and receive calls. No power source is needed, because the electricity in the phone line provides enough to set the telephone ringer amplifier off and power the strobe, if one is present. Switches to adjust the telephone ringer amplifier may be made larger so they are easy to control even if people have tremors or arthritis, concerns with older people, who are more likely to be hard of hearing.
Telecommunications stores may stock this equipment, especially if they focus on products for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. Some may allow people to test units in the store so they can determine if the telephone ringer amplifier will be loud enough for their needs. Those wishing to plug devices into phones at work and in hotel rooms may want to ask to see a portable version.