Hey, Howard P., I've got the help you need. Thanks for sending in this smart question:
"We only use my cell phone at home now. Is there a gadget that will ring loud when someone calls my cell phone so I can hear it? The ring on the cell phone is not loud enough when I am in another room.- Howard"
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The quick short answer to Howard's question is yes, you can use a Bluetooth speaker or a smart speaker as a speakerphone for your cell phone. Most smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, have built-in speakers and can be connected to your phone via Bluetooth.
Let me explain how to set this up.
Bluetooth Speaker (Cyberguy.com)
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How to connect your phone to a Bluetooth speaker
If you have an iPhone, here is how to connect your device to any third-party Bluetooth speaker.
Make sure your Bluetooth speaker is turned on and stand near the speaker with your iPhone in hand
Open your Settings app on your iPhone
Click Bluetooth and make sure it is toggled on
- Make your Bluetooth speaker discoverable by putting it in pairing mode with your phone. This should be specifically listed in the instructions that come with whatever speaker you have.
- Once your speaker is discoverable, its name should appear on your iPhone Bluetooth screen. Tap the name of the speaker to connect it to your iPhone
- Now, one of the most commonly used speaker with iPhones is the Bluetooth Amazon Echo, which uses Alexa as a virtual assistant to receive calls.
How to set up Alexa app on your iPhone and then connect to the Echo speaker
How to set up Alexa on your iPhone
- Open your Settings app on your iPhone
- Select Bluetooth and toggle it On
- Download the Alexa app from the app store on your iPhone
- Open the app and log in with your Amazon email and password
- Select your name and press Agree and Continue
- The next step will ask you to set up voice ID, but you can go back and do this later. Press Skip in the top right-hand corner, and then press Yes, Skip to confirm
- Click Set Up My Features
- Next, you will be asked to set up your Contacts. Press Continue and follow the onscreen prompts so that your Alexa device can have access to your contacts and make and receive calls.
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How to pair your iPhone and Amazon Echo speaker
Once you have downloaded the Alexa app you can now begin pairing your iPhone and Amazon Echo speaker by following these instructions:
- Make sure your Echo speaker is turned on and within range of your iPhone that you want to pair with it
- Press and hold the "Action" button on the top of the Echo speaker for five seconds. The light ring on the top of the speaker will begin to spin blue, indicating that it is in pairing mode
- Launch the Alexa app and select your Echo speaker from the Devices section and choose the connect a device option to start pairing with your iPhone
- Now, select the pair a new device option to make Alexa search for devices
- While the assistant is searching for new Bluetooth devices, go to the Bluetooth settings in your iPhone and select your Echo speaker to connect
- Once connected, you'll see your iPhone in the list of paired devices in the Alexa app, and you're now successfully connected your iPhone to your Echo speaker
Note: The specific steps may vary slightly depending on the model of your Echo speaker
How to pair your Android to any Bluetooth speaker
If you are an Android user, here is how to connect your device to any third-party Bluetooth speaker.
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- Make sure your Bluetooth speaker is turned on and stand near the speaker with your Android in hand
- Swipe down from the top of the screen
- Touch and hold Bluetooth
- Tap Pair new device
- If you don't find Pair new device, check under "Available devices" or tap More > Refresh
- Check the instructions on your Bluetooth speaker to find out how to make it discoverable
- Tap the name of the Bluetooth device you want to pair with your device
- Follow any on-screen instructions
- When a call comes in, the speaker will ring loudly, allowing you to hear it even when you are in another room.
What other ways can I be alerted that my cellphone is ringing?
Incoming call is displayed on an iPhone (Cyberguy.com)
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One tool you can use is a sound-amplifying app. These apps are available for iOS and Android devices and are meant to let you amplify the sound of your ringtone so that you can hear it from any room. Here are the best ones I found for iPhones and Androids.
iPhone 4.5 stars (at time of publishing)
Siren Ringtones (Cyberguy.com)
This app is highly rated for iPhones with a 4.5-star rating at the time of publishing. It contains siren sound effects and ringtones grouped in one easy-to-use application. It allows you to customize your ringtone, text tone, voicemail alerts, email alerts, calendar alerts, reminders, and more, all with crystal clear, loud siren ringtones.
Super Loud Ringtones
Android: 4.4 stars (at time of publishing)
Super loud ringtones (Cyberguy.com)
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This app is highly rated for Android phones with a 4.4-star rating at the time of publishing. It's easy to use and has free ringtones, so you'll never have to worry about missing another call again. You can also personalize it by setting one ringtone for all calls or setting specific ringtones for a certain person, an alarm, or a notification.
Enable visual settings
This is especially helpful for those who have some level of hearing loss. Many iPhone and Android models have settings that you can use to alert you when your cellphone is ringing by having the screen or camera light flash. If it is within your line of vision, you won't have to worry about missing a call.
Here's how to set up visual settings on an iPhone:
- Go to Settings
- Tap Accessibility
- Under HEARING, tap Audio/Visual
- Under VISUAL, tap LED Flash for Alerts
- Toggle on LED Flash for Alerts
Here's how to set up visual settings on an Android:
- Go to Settings
- Tap Accessibility
- Tap Advanced Settings
- Select Flash Notifications
- Toggle on the Camera flash or Screen flash options, depending on which you prefer
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What other ways do you make sure you always hear your phone when it rings? Comment below.
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Kurt "CyberGuy" Knutsson is an award-winning tech journalist who has a deep love of technology, gear and gadgets that make life better with his contributions for Fox News & FOX Business beginning mornings on "FOX & Friends." Got a tech question? Get Kurt’s CyberGuy Newsletter, share your voice, a story idea or comment at CyberGuy.com.