Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
7/5/2006
02:43 PM
Mike Elgan
Mike Elgan
Commentary
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Why You've Never Heard Of The Best Phone Ever

I recently bought what I believe is the coolest landline phone with the most useful features of any phone out there. It's called the ClearSounds CLC50 Freedom Phone. If you're under the age of 60 and have good hearing, you've probably never heard of this phone. The reason is that it's designed for older people with hearing loss. My own hearing is perfect. But I still love this phone. Here's why.

I recently bought what I believe is the coolest landline phone with the most useful features of any phone out there. It's called the ClearSounds CLC50 Freedom Phone.

If you're under the age of 60 and have good hearing, you've probably never heard of this phone. The reason is that it's designed for older people with hearing loss.

My own hearing is perfect. But I still love this phone. Here's why.I discovered it after extensive research to solve a very unusual problem I was having. This phone solved my problem - and even solved problems I didn't even know I had).

I do a lot of radio interviews via telephone, including the Computer America show every Thursday night.

The host of that show, Craig Crossman, told me a month ago that, while on the show, my voice sounded too quiet, and suggested that I buy another phone. I listened to the show's podcast and, sure enough, he was right. The difference between the in-studio host and co-host on the one hand, and me on the other, was enormous.

I set out on a wide-ranging Internet search for a phone that would amplify my outgoing voice. I found hundreds of phones designed for the hard-of-hearing that amplify incoming sounds, but very few that actually boost the user's own voice.

I found only one phone that fit my criteria of amplified outgoing sound, cool look and relatively low price: The $100 ClearSounds CLC50 Freedom Phone, which I ordered through Amazon.com.

The phone completely fixed my problem with the radio interviews -- I now sound much louder and clearer than any other guest calling in. I almost sound as if I'm in the studio, rather than on the phone.

I also have come to enjoy features on this phone unrelated to the boosted outgoing signal.

It has not only volume adjustments for incoming sound, but tone adjustments as well. It has a one-slider equalizer on the top of the phone.

In addition to the normally amplified incoming sound, the handset has a button on it that makes it even louder -- a kind of turbo-boost. So if someone calls from a bad cell connection and I can barely hear them, I just press the button, and now can hear them fine as long as I'm holding it in. Yet another "turbo boost" button sits on the phone. When I press both, I can practically hear the thoughts of the person on the other end of the line.

I do a lot of conference calls, often with people on the other end sitting in a meeting room using a speakerphone. I can use the turbo-boost feature to make sure I catch the comments of people far away from the speakerphone. And my own amplified voice gives me better presence during the call. Don't try to shout me down during a conference call. I will emerge victorious every time. : )

The phone also has a flash function -- it looks like a camera flash is going off with every ring of the phone. I can turn off the ringer, and I can see the phone flashing. It's a very useful feature for not missing calls and also not waking anyone who might be sleeping in the house.

My Skype headset plugs right into the phone, so I can talk hands-free without buying an external headset.

The phone has a bunch of other useful features, too: speed dial, big caller-ID screen, mute button, and speakerphone functionality. When you pick up the handset to make a call, the giant numbers on the giant buttons light up, so you can easily make calls in the dark. The phone looks pretty cool, too.

I recommend this phone to anyone wanting a really good, full featured landline phone, regardless of how good your hearing is. And I challenge anyone to point me to a more useful and practical phone for under $100.

Grandma, your secret is out! The ClearSounds CLC50 Freedom Phone is a great phone for everyone!

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