Sometimes Technology Advances Are Great

August 29, 2018.  I’m not a big fan of much technological advances as usually it means life becomes more complicated or something that used to be simple to use becomes harder.  One example is a telephone.  At one time, a telephone was just that – a phone.  It didn’t have any bells or whistles, and was simple to use.  I must admit that I don’t miss the childhood days of rotary dialling, however.

Then they invented cordless phones.  At one time, the phone was in a fixed location, attached to a jack in the wall.  If you wanted to move it around, you needed a long extension wire to move it from a location far away from the jack.  I remember we had one long wire so we could have a phone outdoors on the patio. Cordless phones removed that headache as you could pick up the receiver and take it anywhere you wanted.  However, if you had hearing loss, the sound quality was not great.

Between cordless phones and cell phones, I grew to intensely dislike talking on the phone.  So, when our cordless phones finally gave up the ghost I rejoiced.  Yeah, no more phones.  We had one old phone with a very good quality speaker and I figured that’s all we needed.  After all, we don’t use a phone very much.

My husband, aka Tech Support in our household, had other ideas.  He bought new portable, inexpensive phones.  Of course, I griped for quite a while about the waste of money and pointed out it was useless to me.  He ignored me and proceeded to set up the phones.

Which ringtone can you hear best?” was his first question.  There were 10 choices and there was one I could hear from anywhere in the house, to my surprise.

After setting up the phones he then called me from his cell phone and asked me to test if I could hear him.  I could, loud and clear, another surprise.  And it wasn’t at the highest volume!

The phone was even easy to use, a third surprise.

But the biggest surprise came when he showed me the box.  These inexpensive phones were telecoil compatible!  Telecoils have moved into the mainstream!


Inexpensive cordless phones, bought at any office supply store, have a telecoil. Look on the bottom right hand corner of the box for the telecoil sign. (Photo credit: Pieter Valkenburg)


Brief explanation from the user guide.

I love our new phones now, even the ringtone! At the same time as we got our new phones, I read about a new type of headphone that adjusts the sound according to your hearing ability.  Yes, a headphone that gives a mini hearing test, then automatically adjusts itself so that your experience is enhanced.  (See

The third piece of technology I’ve read about is for people with iPhones and hearing aids.  There is now an app which turns an iPhone into a directional microphone to help the user hear sounds around the user via the phone, sending sound directly into the user’s hearing aid.  (See

I give the new cordless phones a thumbs up.  If anyone has tried the new headphone or iPhone app, let us know!  Email us at



Sad News:  Our condolences to Annie Wood on the recent death of her husband. For more information, see

 © Daria Valkenburg