The ClassCo InTouch 5000 talking caller Id box extends the accessible yet low cost, blind-friendly tech into caller Id boxes.
Now, you need not see well just to know who’s ringing you before answering. As each call arrives, this box reads the incoming number in a clear, male voice. You can also assign a category to often received phone numbers. Then the unit then speaks that category when a caller at that number calls you again.
Note that this unit, unlike the VoiceAnnounce 9900CW, also by ClassCo, does not let you record incoming callers’ names in your own voice. Instead, this InTouch 5000 provides pre-recorded “category” names that you can link with each incoming phone number.
You must subscribe to caller Id service from your local phone company for this box to work.
Benefits, Features, Pros, and Advantages of the ClassCo InTouch 5000 Talking Caller Id Box
Quick Set Up
You make three connections.
- Plug the power cord into a 110-volt AC outlet.
- Plug the other end of that cord into the ClassCo InTouch 5000 unit.
- Unplug the phone line from your phone.
- Plug that same line into the LINE connector on the ClassCo.
- Then, plug one end of the supplied phone cord into your phone.
- Next, plug the other end of that cable into the PHONE connector on this caller Id box.
- For dial up internet, plug the phone cord from your modem into the Modem port on the InTouch 5000.
Speaks Number or Category of Incoming Caller
The built-in speaker is loud enough to fill a large room. You regulate the three-position volume setting through the menus. Since announcements occur automatically as each call arrives, you need not rush to the box to see who’s calling.
The ClassCo InTouch Talking Caller Id Box Model 5000 Needs No Special Setup for Basic Call Announcing
If you connect the box as described above, you’re set to go, to hear the phone numbers of incoming callers. But set up certain numbers with categories. Then the InTouch 5000 just speaks the category name when it sees that number. In this case, it does not read the number. Note that this box only speaks if you have caller Id service on your land line.
Internet Call Waiting
The InTouch 5000 offers a third phone port. This is for your computer modem (for those of you still using dial up). Should a call come in while you’re online, you may answer it. But only talk for less than ten seconds.
Or, you can have this box to play a pre-recorded message to the caller. This message tells them that you’re online and will call them back shortly.
Pre Recorded Call Category Names
For each of up to 99 telephone numbers, you can link one of the built-in categories. These categories include…
- Don’t Answer.
- It’s for You (female and male voices).
- A dog barking.
Then, when he or she calls you, the category name plays instead of the phone number digits. This machine has enough memory for up to 99 of these number to number to category links.
Recent Calls List
This box remembers the last 99 incoming unique phone numbers. You can scroll through this list, and the unit reads back the numbers or linked categories to those numbers. Once this list fills up, old call records go away automatically as new calls come in (first in, firs out).
The unit also condenses numbers in the list. E.g. A caller from the same number may call you five times. But this does NOT take up five entries in the call log. Only one entry appears for each unique caller. Just the date and time in that entry update with each new call from them.
The ClassCo InTouch 5000 Talking Caller Id Box Remembers your Settings and Category Associations
Non volatile flash memory. The unit does not forget your category links and settings during power failures. Even if you unplug it from the phone line, this caller Id box retains these values.
Has a Visual Display
The unit speaks caller Id info and shows it on the LCD screen. As each call arrives, the screen displays the date and time of the call. It also shows the originating phone number, and the name of the person calling.
Red Call Light
Find this lamp at the top right corner of the box. This lamp blinks to alert you that new calls have come in since you last reviewed the call log. It also lets you know that you have new voice mail. To get the message-waiting indication, your phone line must have a voice mail box.
The ClassCo InTouch 5000 Talking Caller Id Box Allows Manual Phone Number Entry
Now you might want to link a number not listed in the call log with one of the pre-defined categories. For that, you can enter the number manually using the keys on the unit. This process, since there are no digit keys, can be torturous. But you’ll likely not have to do this very often. Indeed, once done, it’s done for good, until you erase or redo your number-to-category links.
Message Waiting Lamp
This light blinks in a different way, to let you know that you have new voicemail. Again, your phone provider must send this data when new voicemail comes in for this to work.
Call Back / Dial Back Feature
The unit can call back any number in the call log. Just find the number in the list, and press the right button.
The ClassCo InTouch 5000 Talking Caller Id Box Works with Call Waiting
This feature tells you who’s calling when you’re talking on your phone, and another call beeps in.
Comes with an AC 9 volt, 300 MA adapter. It’s the ClassCo model number AX09V300A, Direct Plug-in Class 2 Transformer. Note that though this adapter looks very much like the one for ClassCo’s 9900CW box, they are not interchangeable. So if you have both models in your home, don’t get the adapters mixed up.
Few Keys and Buttons
You can fully access the features of this caller Id box with the five keys on its face. These keys include…
- Program / Busy.
- Mode / Dial.
As mentioned, entering numbers can take a bit of time. But this goes pretty quickly once you learn how to do it.
Foldable legs on back, when extended, angle the display up and toward the viewer for clearer reading.
Typically costs around $30; cheap enough that you can place them throughout your home, for house wide caller Id announcements.
Cons, Disadvantages, Problems, and Limitations of the ClassCo InTouch 5000 Talking Caller Id Box
Sensitive to Phone Line Surges and Spikes
We’ve seen a couple of these boxes destroyed by nearby thunderstorms. After the storm passed, the box either began behaving erratically, or it stopped working altogether. We propose that ClassCo incorporate better lightning and voltage surge protection into subsequent versions of this box.
No Back Light on LCD Display
This can make reading the display hard. You may have to tilt the box for max display contrast.
The ClassCo InTouch 5000 Talking Caller Id Box is for Land Line Use Only
Does not read incoming caller Id data for a cell phone.
No Personalized Outgoing Messages
You can not record short outgoing messages, and assign each one to specific incoming phone numbers as you can in the VoiceAnnounce 9900CW.
Only Announces when Caller Id Data is Sent
The unit can only tell you who’s calling, if caller Id data is present when a call comes in. Without no caller Id record, the unit says nothing. No way around that we see. So this is really not a shortcoming of this box.
Does Not Read the Name Part of the Caller Id Record
Some cordless phones, like the Panasonic KX-TG6423T at least ATTEMPT to say the words found in the caller Id record. But the InTouch 5000 does not. Note though that the name appears on the display for you to read visually.
Hard to Find
As of September, 2015, we’ve not been able to find many copies of the InTouch 5000 talking caller Id box. ClassCo stopped making it. But it still appears on their web site.
Our Rating for the ClassCo InTouch 5000 Talking Caller Id Box
This ClassCo InTouch 5000 caller Id box is a real time and effort saver. It alerts them to who is calling in audio format. We’ve owned a few of these boxes over the past decade, and have replaced a couple when they failed. We like them THAT much.
They’re cheap to buy, although we do not see them in local stores. So we had to buy from Amazon and eBay.
But this is but a minor inconvenience next to the gains this VoiceAnnounce accessibility tech offers. Knowing who’s calling without having to put down the wet dish rag to find out, is really helpful.
While the InTouch 5000 lacks the custom voice recordings feature found in the VoiceAnnounce 9900CW, its pre recorded categories serve well. So we rate the ClassCo InTouch 5000 talking caller Id box at 91 out of 100.
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References for ClassCo 5000 InTouch Talking Caller Id Box
- 2019-07-06: Added key phrase targeting for ‘ClassCo InTouch 5000 Talking’, removed ad code, and added more tags and links.
- 2015-09-11: Originally published.