20 Sep 2010
By Michael Lewis

Uniden SSE27 +1 – What makes this a seniors’ phone?


I wish I had a dollar for every time I have been told that the home phone is dead, and that mobile phones will replace landlines over the next couple of years.

Thankfully no one has told this to the folk at Uniden.

Last Sunday I took a flight to Sydney to visit my parents (something I don’t do often enough!), and purchased a Uniden SSE27 +1 from the local T Shop as a belated Father’s Day present.

What is a SSE27 +1? Well it definitely is not the winner of the most innovative product name for 2010. It is, however, a wonderful phone, answering machine and additional portable phone (hence the +1) for the visually and hearing impaired. Put simply, it is THE seniors’ home phone I have been searching for.

So what makes this a seniors’ phone?

Firstly it has large buttons that are easy to read and well spaced – both on the corded and cordless handsets.

It is compatible with t-coil hearing aides; has a large red flashing light indicator for incoming calls; easy to use 70 number directories that can be shared between handsets and 30 caller ID memories. What’s really cool is the phone’s voice function that reads out the numbers you are pressing, or alerts you to an incoming call from one of your saved entries.

Added to these features is a fully functional, yet easy to use, digital answering machine with a slow playback option. You can extend the number of rings before the answering machine kicks in (3,6,9 or 12 rings). There is also an intercom, speaker phone, volume boost, large display screen, do not disturb function and long battery life for the portable.

Most importantly, the fixed handset can still make and receive calls via a current through a copper line, even during a power failure.

If you need additional portable handsets, the SSE27 can support up to six handsets.

Uniden says standby time is 7 days, and that the phone provides up to 10 hours talk time.

A bit about the technology.

The Uniden XDECT R series offer Extended Digital Coverage through a diversity antenna system for optimal reception and clarity. The phone is built on the DECT6.0 platform.

In summary, it’s day 4 and the phone is being well used. My father has programmed additional numbers into the directory and increased the ring tone volume. My mother has taken advantage of the larger buttons and the flashing light call indicator. No more misplaced handsets! And the answering machine is working better than the old one.

Bottom line – they are thrilled with it.

It’s good to see a modern, functional phone that combines tailored features and style in a practical device I’d be happy to use.

The Uniden SSE27 is available from T Shops and a range of retailers.


Posts: 87


  1. Saba Karim (Telstra Employee) says:

    Nice review! It’s definitely a nifty home phone.

  2. Richard Browne (Telstra Employee) says:

    Great idea. Does it have an indicator to show it is ‘off hook’? Trying to contact my mother-in-law was sometimes thwarted because it seemed her phone was engaged when in fact the phone was off the hook not having been put down properly on the cradle. We wondered why we couldn’t get through and she wondered why no one was calling her! As she rarely made any outgoing calls she had no need to check the phone and hence put it back on the cradle. A flashing light or noise from the handset would be a great help in these situations.

  3. Greg McCall (Telstra Employee) says:

    Does this DECT phone handle Fixed SMS messages if it’s plugged into a compatible Telstra service?
    (basically a normal line with CLI display)

  4. Pat Dorrington says:

    Sounds wonderful. The features sound just like what my parents need. And cordless to boot!

    However, my parents would have problems doing any programming. And if finding the phone book is not an obvious button, that too will cause further grief for them. They just need a phone that they can make and receive calls.

    Trust me, we have all these problems with the mobile phone.

  5. Lou Mitrione (Telstra Employee) says:

    I also bought 2 of these -- one for my parents and one for my father in law. Only flaw is with the ringer volume of the corless handset. This can’t be set as loud as the fixed phone. Otherwise I think it is a good product.

  6. Daniela says:

    This sounds like we are making progress..The Issue I find however with most of these phones is that the backlite colour doesn’t work for all.

    My dad has had a few ops on his eyes now and finds it really difficult to distinguish numbers on the id panel with the orange background a different easy on the eye colour would be more preferable. He currently find his mobile with the black screen and bright big numbers much easier to read..a possible idea.

  7. James says:

    Unfortunately it’s not just “seniors” who can have vision or hearing impairments, so calling this a “seniors phone” is a bit narrow minded (and dumb from a marketing perspective)

  8. Michael Lewis says:

    Good point -- the Senior’s tag is mine -- not Uniden’s. I was looking for a senior’s phone and the SSE27+1 was the best match.

  9. James says:

    Fair enough Michael. Didn’t mean it in a picky or PC way :)

  10. Brayden Curran says:

    I’m 47 and had eye muscle surgery for double vision late 2006. I still find it difficult seeing things on phone displays and keypads and am currently seriously considering getting one of these. Thanks for the review -- VERY helpful.

  11. Charyse says:

    A wonderful phone, but unfortunately my information is that Uniden have stopped supplying the phone, VERY disappointing!!

  12. Michael Lewis says:

    Hi Charyse
    I have just spoken to the folk at Uniden and can assure you that the SSE27+1 is very much alive and still being supplied to retailers (including Telstra) and and available for purchase.

  13. Neal Pallotta says:

    This ‘phone’s still available, many retailers have held orders pending notification that it’s still being produced is all.

  14. Tony says:

    Bought one on the weekend. Nice phone.

    Only disappointing omission is speed dialling (or one touch dialling).

    Very handy for programming emergency numbers for older people so they dont need to scroll through numbers in the address book.

  15. Maggie says:

    Apart from Telstra retail, what other retail store stock the phone? Thanks

  16. Bruce says:

    I have read many of the comment about the performance / non performance of T Hub. Over the years I have purchased a number of electronic /computer products; the T Hub would have to be the most disappointing and frustrating of any. After many months of long duration calls to the help line, being transferred endlessly to other section that cannot help, my T hub still has problems of:
    not always being able to take a call from the handset
    Voice mail messages not registering on the Hub screen
    Call instantly going straight to message bank.
    I’m an expert at taking the battery out and leaving for 15-20 seconds then replace; this seems to be the panacea for all T Hub problems.

    What do we do now: anyone got a (reasonable) suggestion?

  17. Shelley says:

    So, I’m thinking about buying one of these for my mum who has a cochlear implant. Is this still the best phone around for someone such as her? Has anything else more suitable been released now that we’re in 2012?

    Does anyone have any stories to share regarding compatibility?

  18. Key features listed at include that the phone is Hearing Aid Compatible (T-Coil), so it should be compatible with cochlear implants as well. However, I’d check with a service provider such as Word of Mouth Technology (Melbourne) to be absolutely sure.
    Another phone you may be interested in for your mum is the Telstra Big Button phone. Its available at no additional cost to a standard home phone for eligible customers through Telstra’s Disability Equipment Program. And your mum can try one of these to make sure it is suitable via Telstra’s Disability Equipment Program loan phone program See for more.
    Bert Ciavarra. Manager, Telstra Disability Services

  19. Jean says:

    I just want a phone that when you put it on ‘speaker’ it loud and clear with plenty of volume. Any ideas?

  20. Helen says:

    Does the hand set have speaker phone.

  21. Tim says:

    Great phone but the 15 rings before it goes to answer is not enough for my old mum! She often gets to the phone just as it stops ringinging.

  22. Shelley says:

    Following comments on Mar 20 From Bert I purchased the SSE27 +1 for my mum who has a cochlear implant. She can hear on it reasonably well most of the time, but she does not use the T-Coil capabilities (she’s set in her ways!). She says that when she presses the ‘Boost’ button she gets no extra volume. Not having the phone myself. Is there something that she is doing wrong or should do additionally for it to work? Ta.

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