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Most microwaves are not suitable for blind or visually impaired people, but luckily some brand leaders on the market have catered to the needs of people with disabilities. We tested 11 of these models to find out which is the best microwave for the blind of 2021.
Among those we tested, the MaxiAids Talking Microwave was manufactured while keeping the specific needs of visually impaired customers in mind, while a voice-controlled microwave like the GE JES1097SMSS proved to be extremely easy to operate hands-free.
But, which is the best microwave oven for the blind? We chose a machine that is reliable, sturdy, multifunctional, and affordable. Continue reading to find out what we’re talking about!
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|MaxiAids Talking Microwave Oven
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|Commercial Chef CHMH900B6C
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The Best Microwaves For The Blind Of 2021
Microwaves are meant to make our life easier because cooking can be a quite satisfying but also quite complicated experience. For people with disabilities, it’s even more difficult to achieve certain results.
As technology is meant to ease our everyday struggles, microwaves cannot be left out of this equation, because for many people who live with eyesight issues, a microwave is a fundamental help in the kitchen.
There are many ways in which microwaves today can help visually impaired people: there are talking microwaves; there are machines with memory pads and Braille keypads; there are also simpler yet useful units with dial knobs and timer limits.
We tested some of these microwaves to write down a list of what we believe are the best microwaves for the visually impaired currently on the market.
From this list, you will probably come to realize the fundamental characteristics a microwave for the blind should have, but in case you still have doubts, you can also read our final section on how to choose this type of microwave.
- Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
- Humidity Sensor
- Large Capacity
- Very quiet
The brand Toshiba is a guarantee of quality and indeed the ML-EM34P(SS) has so many well-loved qualities that we couldn’t help but include it in a few of our articles.
The first thing you need to know about this microwave is that it’s one of the very few voice-controlled microwaves that doesn’t work exclusively with Alexa, in fact, it can also be set up to work with Google Assistant as well.
This is a large family microwave with a pizza oven, 1.3 cubic feet, and a wattage of 1100. Surely it’s not a microwave you can fit in a small room or a boat, it needs its space but it’s very reliable and well-grounded, thanks to its 35 pounds of weight.
The reason why we believe this is a great microwave for the blind is that on top of being voice-controlled, it also has a built-in humidity sensor that removes all the guessing from cooking.
The oven can measure the humidity level in your food and automatically adjusts cooking time based on the gathered data. The results are quite satisfying, as the food is heated evenly up to the perfect temperature.
The only downside of this appliance is that it’s very quiet. Its beeper is not as loud as most microwaves and while working, it’s a very silent microwave. Luckily, when connected to Alexa you can have reminders on your phone and on the speakers when the food is ready.
We chose the Toshiba ML-EM34P(SS) as the best talking microwave for the blind because it proved to be a machine of high quality, has all the right functions to help people with disabilities and it comes at a very affordable price as well.
MaxiAids Talking Microwave Oven
- Designed specifically for the blind
- Spoken prompts for each function
- Adjustable volume
- Reminders before, during, and after cooking
- Compact and spacious
- Buttons could be raised more
The MaxiAids Talking Microwave Oven is not just an average microwave that has additional functions that could be useful to visually impaired customers, this model was born as a talking microwave oven for the legally blind.
Indeed, this machine-made our cooking life so much easier by speaking out loud each function. Every time you set up this microwave there are confirmation announcements for the time and power level, so you can do no wrong.
Announcements are repeated during cooking as well, and of course, you have reminders for when the microwave is done heating or when you left food inside. It’s nearly impossible to make mistakes with this unit, and the speaker volume can be adjusted to your needs.
Besides the functions made specifically for visually impaired customers, the MaxiAids Talking Microwave Oven boasts 1000 watts of power and a capacity of 1.1 cu. ft., so we believe this can be a nice family microwave if you’re looking for something of a smaller size, but it certainly makes a great microwave for those who live alone.
One thing that didn’t completely convince us is the keypad, because even though the buttons are raised to make them easily available to the touch, they are still quite difficult to find without looking and it may take some time to find the right one.
The price is another thing to take carefully into consideration when looking at this model because the MaxiAids Talking Microwave Oven is quite expensive in comparison with the other microwaves in this list.
While we believe this price is justified by the fact that this microwave is designed specifically for the blind, we also think that you can easily find a talking microwave for the visually impaired for less than 200$.
- Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
- Scan-To-Cook technology
- Low wattage
- Small capacity
The GE JES1097SMSS is a wifi microwave under 150$ that works with both Alexa and Google Home. Perfect for those who are on a budget, this model is also ideal for people with disabilities who wish for a microwave that does most of the work on its own.
In fact, you can control the GE JES1097SMSS through your smartphone and operate it hands-free, which it’s the perfect solution not only for visually impaired users but also for the average user who is busy cooking something else or cannot stay in the kitchen while the microwave works.
The JES1097SMSS offers another useful tool, which is the Scan-To-Cook technology: thanks to the GE app, users can scan the barcodes of their products and the microwave automatically sets the most appropriate cooking time and power level.
It’s a great feature that removes the struggle of having to read the often very small instructions on the package and allows you not to waste time.
This microwave is perfect for office break rooms because it has a fairly small capacity of 0.9 cu. ft. and sports only 900 watts, which makes it a good microwave for camping, sailing, or just to keep your energy bill in check.
Unfortunately, the very thing that makes this microwave so special is also the one feature that should be improved the most.
We’re talking about the barcode scanner function, which sounds absolutely awesome on paper, but fairly disappointing in real life, because the product library is quite small as of now and only recognizes maybe 1 out of 10 products scanned.
If GE manages to enrich the product list (which they surely will, just as they added compatibility with Google Home most recently) the GE JES1097SMSS could easily snatch the spot for best microwave for the blind on the market.
Despite having only 0.8 cu. ft. of internal capacity, this microwave works like a train. It’s sturdy, compact, and makes the best out of its 1000 watts of power.
Many people love the glass turntable because it assures that your food is heated evenly by rotating inside the oven. This microwave doesn’t have a turntable, but it features a bottom energy feed system which works even better than that.
In fact, since the heating system is placed right below the oven, energy needs to travel a shorter distance to reach the food, thus making cooking with this microwave quicker and better.
Surely, the keypad is less effective than a voice-controlled or a talking microwave, as it takes a longer time to set it up, but the Panasonic NE-1054F also features 10 programmable memory pads for your most used setups, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of setting up the microwave again and again.
The only downside of this microwave is that as all the microwaves without turntable it is quite pricey, but its certified quality managed to make it a bestseller nonetheless.
Commercial Chef CHMH900B6C
- Dial controls
- 30-minute timer
- Easy to operate
- Numbers are hard to read
Commercial Chef surprised us with this compact low-wattage microwave that is incredibly easy to use.
The CHMH900B6C is one of the most minimal microwaves you can find. The control panel features two dial knobs: one for the power level and one for the timer. It is very old school, but that’s exactly why it makes a great microwave oven for the blind.
The timer goes up to a maximum of 30 minutes, so accidents are greatly reduced with this microwave. It’s perfect for the elderly and for those who aren’t comfortable with touch controls or too many functions.
The Commercial Chef CHMH900B6C is in fact quite essential in its functions, featuring 6 power levels from low to high and a defrosting option. It’s a good machine if you’re looking to save some bucks on your energy bill since its output counts only 900 watts.
The oven is ideal for a single person or a couple since the capacity amounts to 0.9 cu. ft. and it’s also fairly lightweight.
The dial knobs work well, but the numbers on the timer are really small, that’s why we can’t give this microwave full marks. Nonetheless, it works flawlessly and heats perfectly, so it makes a great deal for its reduced price.
How to choose a microwave for the blind.
Whether you’re buying a microwave for yourself or someone you love, you want to make sure you’re buying the model that will turn the cooking experience into the easiest one possible.
A microwave for visually impaired people should feature at least one of three fundamental characteristics. We will talk about each one in detail, so keep reading below to make sure you’re making an informed purchase.
Voice-controlled microwaves are the best choice for visually impaired customers because they can be operated hands-free or through other technological tools like the smartphone.
These microwaves are connected to the speakers of your smart home, so you can communicate directly with the microwave and at the same time, the microwave can send you reminders for the cooking time, power level, end of cooking cycle, and if there’s food left in the oven.
In a similar way, talking microwaves like the MaxiAids Talking Microwave Oven communicate directly with the user by speaking out loud about the settings you just selected. While they’re not as smart as wifi microwaves, they can be a good solution for those people who wish for a less-technological machine.
Many microwaves today have smart functions like the Sensor Cook and the Scan-To-Cook technology. While these functions are really useful for the average customer, they become fundamental tools for the blind.
The Sensor Cook or the Humidity Sensor ensures that you always obtain the best cooking results by automatically adjusting power level and cooking time as they operate.
The Scan-To-Cook technology allows for a quicker and less troublesome cooking process because your smartphone detects the cooking settings from the product package and communicates them directly to the microwave.
Through these smart tools, people with disabilities who might have difficulties setting up the microwave through the control panel are able to rely on the keypad as little as possible.
What to do when you’re not really tech-savvy? If smart microwaves are not your type, an old-school dial microwave like the Commercial Chef CHMH900B6C can still be of great help.
Dial knobs are easier to use than keypads for people with eyesight problems. Dial controls are usually limited to a few, fundamental functions, so there’s not much to guess and they’re easy to set up if you just need to reheat or defrost something.
Microwaves with dial controls are also less expensive than more advanced microwaves, so it can be a good investment for someone who doesn’t use the microwave that often.