Clarity - a division of Plantronics that creates smart communication solutions for seniors - has launched Alto™, a new corded home phone with 53 decibels of intelligent and powerful amplification designed for people with mild, moderate and severe hearing loss.
Alto is the first amplified home phone to pass strict new industry standards set by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) to ensure the best possible sound output for the 36 million in the U.S. with hearing loss.
Alto reduces noise and it makes soft sounds audible and keeps loud sounds in a comfortable range for the user through Digital Clarity Power™, a patented sound processing technology that functions similarly to a modern digital hearing aid. Users can adjust the amplification settings with a new ergonomic volume and tone control wheel, simple and easy to use for those with Arthritis or dexterity challenges.
Clarity also launched AltoPlus™, a version with a four-inch titling LCD display and additional features. Alto can be purchased for $159.95 and AltoPlus for $169.95 at www.clarityproducts.com.
"Hearing loss is the third most common health issue in the U.S.," said Carsten Trads, president of Clarity. "Millions are struggling and don't realize helpful solutions like our Alto phones exist. Because the Alto family is the first to meet the new standard, users can be confident that these phones will truly help them hear and understand conversations better. We are proud our Alto line is first to meet the new TIA-4953 standard, which will hold manufacturers accountable to ensure they are providing the quality sound amplification that consumers with hearing loss deserve."
In addition to boosting incoming sound, the Alto phones amplify outgoing speech up to 15 decibels. Both feature a speakerphone, and an extra-loud and a bright visual ringer that makes sure users never miss a call.
More than just clearer call quality, Clarity also designed the Alto family with ease-of-use in mind. It features a talking keypad and Caller ID so that users with low vision can easily operate the phone. Alto and AltoPlus are also equipped with ClarityLogic™, an award-winning customer service technology that allows customer representatives to remotely access the phone and adjust and configurate the volume, tone control or other settings for the user.
Although amplified telephones have been available for many years, the new TIA-4953 standard, published in May 2012, establishes the first official industry benchmarks for telephones designed for individuals with hearing loss. The purpose of TIA-4953 is to provide consumers with hearing loss with objective information to verify how a specific telephone model will help them to communicate on the telephone.
The TIA-4953 standard establishes performance metrics for telephones serving individuals with mild, moderate or severe hearing loss. The standard requires laboratory based testing, using specialized telephone test equipment, to measure sound amplification (volume control gain), tone control, simulated use for hearing aid users, and the sound level of the ringer. The telephone sound output must meet stringent noise and distortion requirements even for the highly amplified settings.