The BT converse range look like normal business or home-office telephones, but are intended to give some help for people who have difficulty with the phone. They include amplification and are hearing aid (telecoil) compatible. This phone is the top of the converse range.
The amplification is good for those with a mild to moderate hearing loss - i.e. people who sometimes struggle when using a normal phone. If the hearing loss is more severe the telecoil and amplification through a hearing aid becomes essential. It also has a small light to show when it's ringing.
The hands free option works extremely well, the speaker's voice is loud and clear.
Some of the additional functions are superfluous, like the calculator. Much easier to use a normal calculator. The call timer is manual - you have to remember to start it at the beginning of a call. I'll still give the phone five stars as these functions are inessential anyway.
Entering numbers into the directory is easy enough, but you have to be fairly quick as it times out if you spend too long double checking the number. Probably easier to have someone read numbers out to you as you enter them.
The flashing light is useful - if you can't hear the phone ringing due to background noise there's a good chance you would see the flashing light if the phone's on your work desk. However, if at home, the flashing light would be too subtle to notice if you were watching TV for example.
The LCD screen is large and clear. Shame it doesn't have a backlight. No problem in a bright office but again, at home, the display doesn't stand out.
Overall, the phone is an enormous help if you need a little amplification, works superbly in hands free mode and has a relatively large memory (75 numbers) with quick access through the directory using the jog-wheel. The LCD and flashing light are probably more effective in an office than a less well lit living room.
If you just need a basic phone with amplification, check the BT big buttons phone. But if you also need to store lots of numbers (with their names) this phone is worth the extra cost. It feels solid and well made, should have a substantial life.
Finally, it feels comfortable to use for long periods!
I Use this telephone set as my work desk phone which I spend a good 2 or 3 hours a day on. The phone itself is a cream colour not the whiter version in the picture, I find this gets dirty easily but I guess most things do. I have been lucky with the cord on this phone in that it doesn't end up in a tangled mess. The cord is approximately 45 cm in length.
I have a headset that easily plugs into the back of the phone and I can either start or continue a call by pressing the headset button. I am also able to place a call on secrecy (mute) which means others on the call can't hear the background noise around me or I can mutter things under my breath.
The phone also has functionality to call handsfree and whilst I don't use this function often as it would disturb my dear colleagues I can confirm the volume is sufficient and can be changed and the microphone works well. The phone has a redial button and I can also use the recall button to place calls through to other lines.
The most useful part of the phone for me is being able to turn the ringtone off or reduce and increase the volume; I must admit I have occasionally forgot to turn it back on. The best thing about this is when the volume is off the light in the top right hand corner still flashes to alert me to calls.
This phone unit has a display screen so as your typing in the numbers you can see if you have mis-hit and saves a few wrong number calls. When you replace the handset you can also see how long you have been on the phone which is useful if you are a bill payer. I often have an error message that says low battery but this does not affect the phone's performance.
As I inherited the phone and don't have anything useful like an instruction book to tell me how to use the extra functionality like calculator but on what I have used for the last 2 and a half years.
I would recommend this phone for office workers. The sound quality is good and it has all the simple things needed.
I work at home and spend many hours on telephone conference calls. I needed a phone with a mute button that would work with a plug-in wireless Netcom headset that lets me walkaround the house while on the phone. The Converse 325 is ideal. I've had it for a couple of years. I only use it with the headset. The Converse is reliable, good value from Amazon, the audio is crisp and clear, the display is easy to read and most important, it has that mute button! The flashing light when ringing and the large buttons for dialling make it suitable for elderly or deaf users. It also works well in handsfree mode. It has features that I don't use - for example a directory of stored numbers, calculator. It has capability to take a backup battery but you only need that for the directory. All in all this is a great buy and I've recommended it to many colleagues.