8 Best Cordless Phones | May 2017

8 Best Cordless Phones
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We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you prefer the security of a land line over a cellular phone for your home or business, take a look at our selection of cordless phones. Coming with a range of features, including digital answering systems and intercom capabilities, one of these will be perfect for any household or office needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best cordless phone on Amazon.
8
The AT&T Cordless 3-Handset answering system features an illuminated keypad and LCD screen with dim lights, making it super easy to use at night. It also includes a convenient intercom system between its individual handsets.
  • caller id and call waiting
  • full duplex speakerphones
  • susceptible to interference
Brand AT&T
Model EL52365
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
7
Blending style with function, the Swissvoice L7 offers an ergonomic, L-shaped design with high-quality speakerphones integrated into both the handset and base station, which can function as a push-to-talk walkie-talkie system.
  • sleek and modern looking
  • built-in novel ringtones
  • awkward to hold on shoulder
Brand Swissvoice
Model 20407053
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
6
With the VTech CS6529, all incoming calls are digitized and encrypted, while its call transfer and conferencing capabilities offer smooth, hassle-free in-home communication. The answering machine has a steeper learning curve, though.
  • expandable to 5 handsets
  • silver and black color
  • power drains too quickly
Brand VTech
Model CS6529
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
5
Designed for high security, the Uniden D1760-2 DECT 6.0 has a convenient silent mode that quiets all connected handsets, so if somebody is sleeping in the home you don't have to search for every one to turn them off individually. Unfortunately, it's not very durable.
  • price is affordable
  • trilingual menu support
  • no answering machine
Brand Uniden
Model DECT1560-2
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
4
The AT&T CRL82312 features easy-to-read LCD screens on each of its 3 handsets, so you always know who's calling. You can also store up to 50 names and numbers within its internal directory. However, the ringer is difficult to hear.
  • extra-large buttons
  • quick redial feature
  • quiet mode is a pain to reset
Brand AT&T
Model CRL82312
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
3
Versatility defines the Panasonic Link2Cell KX-TGE475S. It has the capability to sync your smartphone to its handset, and to announce incoming calls using its unique text-to-speech function. But the battery life is, unfortunately, quite short.
  • buttons are easy to push
  • enhanced noise reduction technology
  • menu system is confusing
Brand Panasonic
Model KX-TGE475S
Weight 4.1 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
2
The AT&T EL52313 cordless phone system can be mounted on a wall to save space in your home. Its answering system allows for message retrieval from its base, its handsets, or remotely from another line, and its redial feature has a ten number memory.
  • system is hearing aid compatible
  • equipment is durable
  • 14 minutes of digital recording
Brand AT&T
Model EL52313
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
1
The VTech DS6151 includes a total of 6 handsets, but is capable of accommodating up to 12 using a single phone jack. Its DECT 6.0 technology delivers superior sound quality, and prevents conversation interference from other devices.
  • ideal for home or professional use
  • features a 2-line operation
  • built-in digital answering system
Brand VTech
Model DS6151
Weight pending
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

How Does a Cordless Telephone Work?

The easiest way to explain how a cordless phone operates is by pointing out that the curly wire (attached to a traditional phone) is essentially being replaced via radio waves. Unlike the wire, these waves can travel over and through any objects in their path. As a result, you get a more versatile piece of hardware that comes with some pretty cool little extras, as well.

Beyond the use of radio waves, a cordless telephone transmits an analog or digital signal in much the same way an old-school telephone does. The cordless phone's docking station (i.e., its "transceiver") is connected to a telephone wire, which is, in turn, connected to a phone jack in the wall. This jack attaches to a much longer wire which runs outside to either a nearby telephone pole or an underground telecommunication system, where all of the individual wires have been bundled into a network.

If there is one critical difference between a cordless phone and a rotary phone it is that the cordless phone requires constant electricity - and a rechargeable battery - in order to function. This may seem like a limitation (and an extra expense), but it's a minor drawback, especially given today's docking stations can accommodate multiple lines and multiple headsets, while also allowing for some degree of smartphone compatibility (depending on the cordless phone that you're using).

What Do I Need to Know Before I Buy a Cordless Phone?

Most landline phones these days are cordless, so the primary decision comes down to whether you need a phone for the home or the office. In-house cordless phones are pretty straightforward. They come with one or two handsets, a built-in answering machine (or voicemail service), and a digital display including Caller ID. Some models have better sound than others, but your major focus should be on finding a cordless that matches the decor and doesn't take up too much space. You may also want a cordless that comes with some sort of call blocker, given telemarketers tend to focus on calling people at their homes.

If, on the other hand, you're buying a phone for the office, you have a lot of aspects to consider. Assuming the phone will serve any type of administrative function, you'll probably want a model that can forward calls and page people. Assuming you plan on putting the phone in a conference room, you'll want to make sure it has a reliable speaker. In addition, check out how many handsets/headsets the central docking station can accommodate. During conference calls, it's helpful to have two or more people on the line.

If the phone is for one employee, the most important feature might be smartphone compatibility. The majority of executives are mobile these days, and a lot of them spend more time out of the office than they do in. That being the case, it's almost essential to have an office phone that can forward calls to an executive's cell phone, while also allowing him or her to access business voicemail on the go.

A Brief History of the Cordless Telephone in America

Like a lot of innovations, there is some debate regarding who is actually responsible for putting the cordless telephone on the map.

One story has it that a jazz musician named Teri Pall invented the basic technology for a cordless phone in 1968, but had no idea how to modify it, and so he sold that technology to a manufacturer for next to nothing. What that manufacturer may not have known was that a U.S. Army radio operator named George Sweigert was already a few steps ahead of him.

Sweigert had discovered a connection between in-the-field military communications and the practical application of similar technology to allow for wireless communication in the home. Radio waves were the key to what Sweigert termed a "full duplex wireless communications apparatus" on his original patent application back in 1966.

Sweigert's application wasn't approved until 1969, as technology with that capability needed to be thoroughly vetted. The idea of allowing for open access to radio-wave communications raised questions regarding the potential for breach of privacy, and even national security.

Not a lot happened with Sweigert's invention until the late seventies, when Douglas Talley and Duane Gregory introduced a "duplex communication link involving a base station connected directly to a telephone exchange" (aka the cordless phone as we know it). While the cordless has experienced certain technological advances over the years, the basic premise surrounding it has remained very much the same.



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Last updated on May 28, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.


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