The 9 Best Intercom Systems
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. You don't have to live in a mansion to find that one of these handy intercom systems is a great way to communicate with members of your family in other rooms or to act as additional security at your front door. They are also perfect for offices and other businesses that need a quick and cheap method of keeping employees in touch with each other. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best intercom system on Amazon.
How Do I Choose The Correct Intercom For Me?
The two most important features when considering an intercom are sound and range.
An intercom's range should easily exceed the distance between consoles.
The two most important features when considering an intercom are sound and range. You want an intercom's delivery system to sound crisp and clear. You also want to be able to adjust the volume based on whether you're in a reserved office, for example, or, say, a noisy warehouse space. An intercom's range should easily exceed the distance between consoles. A wide range is usually an indication of less interference, which is a major selling point, as well.
The next area you'll want to consider is an intercom's consoles. Certain intercoms feature desk consoles, which are ideal for a den or office, while other models feature wall consoles, which make more sense for an apartment's door unit, or a home. If you're buying an intercom specifically to stay in touch with someone like a groundskeeper or a foreman, be sure to purchase a model that includes at least one walkie-talkie. This way you can maintain contact with that party regardless of whether he or she is near a stationary console.
The more upscale your tastes, the more you may want to consider a digital intercom that you can link up to a security system, along with any mobile devices or computers. In addition to an intercom's traditional features, a lot of digital models will allow you to connect to an entire network of contacts. This way you can send and respond to any intercom transmissions with the touch of a button on your phone.
The Myriad Advantages of Owning an Intercom
In an age of smartphones, it is fair to question why the intercom has remained so relevant. Part of the reason is that an intercom delivers a message immediately, without any need for the recipient to "pick up." Beyond that, an intercom is designed for very brief, and perhaps even one-sided, exchanges. Dinner is ready. Someone is at the front door. There is a meeting in the conference room. These are all scenarios that do not lend themselves to a phone call, an email, or any type of instant messaging.
Intercoms are unique in that they're designed for a closed environment. The majority of intercoms are stationary. They are posted to a wall, or a desk. An intercom helps two or more parties avoid yelling, or running up two flights of stairs. They also provide a sense of security by allowing homeowners to determine who's at the door before letting someone in. Digital devices, by and large, are open systems that enable people to communicate across vast distances. Imagine, if you will, the absurdity of phoning a person who is 10 feet down the hall.
On top of all this, intercoms are a flat expense. Once an intercom has been bought and installed, the only cost is electricity, which is minor. Cellphones are an ongoing expense with the possibility of set limits on minutes and texting. What's more, cellphones and other digital devices periodically need to be replaced. An intercom can conceivably last for several decades.
A Brief History of The Intercom
The term "intercom" is short for Intercommunicating Telephone System - a designation used by Chicago manufacturer Milo Kellogg on a patent application he filed in 1894. Up to that point, the majority of inter-office communication took place by way of what were known as speaking tubes. True to their name, these tubes ran between separate offices, allowing one executive to contact another directly, his voice sounding like an echo emanating out of a nearby wall.
Certain upscale intercoms can be used for video conferencing, as well.
After speaking tubes came electric buzzers. Kellogg's intercom superseded both of these devices by providing clearer, telephonic communication that connected people without any need for them to get up from their desks.
The intercom became a fixture in corporate offices during the first quarter of the 20th century. During the Depression, intercoms began to feature both stationary consoles and detachable handsets. By the end of World War II, electronic intercoms had begun to supplant a standard walk-up's doorbells. By the end of the 1950s, transistors made for clearer transmissions and a much simpler installation.
By the end of the 1980s, certain intercoms were being built with inset cameras for video surveillance and home security. Today, a digital intercom can be synced up with a personal smartphone, or even a tablet. Certain upscale intercoms can be used for video conferencing, as well.
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