8 Best Intercom Systems | May 2017

8 Best Intercom Systems | May 2017
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Best High-End
★★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★
We spent 37 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 one of these intercom systems to be a handy 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. Skip to the best intercom system on Amazon.
8
Stay in close communication with an employee, a nanny, or a groundskeeper from the comfort of your desk or living room with the Samcom Digital. It comes with one main unit and one walkie-talkie, but you can buy many more to expand the system as needed.
  • minimal static or hum
  • handset uses up batteries quickly
  • rather limited 200-foot range
Brand SAMCOM
Model FTAN10A+FWAN10A
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
7
If you want to stay safe behind a panel of glass or a wall but still communicate with customers or clients, then the Retevis RT-9908 is what you need. The interior microphone is on a flexible gooseneck for comfortable placement.
  • can record conversations
  • doesn't require pressing any buttons
  • low cost but may not last long
Brand Retevis
Model 56858861973E52DF
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
6
The Calford FM connects up to three rooms in your home or office, allowing for quick communication between those people who need to be in close contact. Setup is simple, as there are no wires to install, and operation is as easy as pressing 1, 2, or 3, and the talk button.
  • can lock the talk button
  • group call feature
  • frequent background static
Brand Generic
Model AF333CH-3
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
5
The Intercom Central 246 comes with four units that communicate with each other via your home's power lines. This means there is no complicated installation and you won't require the services of an electrician. Just plug in and start talking.
  • available in black or white
  • separate call and talk buttons
  • can't be used with surge protectors
Brand Intercom Central
Model FM246B-4
Weight 3.7 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
4
For easy and reliable communication between a reception desk and an office, the basement and the bedroom, or any two places within 1,000 feet of each other, the wireless Chamberlain NLS2 double unit is a great choice. Just push to talk, release to listen.
  • voice activation setting
  • audio monitor mode
  • works with other chamberlain models
Brand Chamberlain
Model NLS2
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
3
The Aiphone Sentry System starter kit comes with one master intercom and one door intercom. If you have remote entry set up on your property and want a reliable way to communicate with visitors before allowing access, this is the model for you.
  • door unit is weather resistant
  • adjustable alert and speaking volume
  • comes with door mounting hardware
Brand Aiphone
Model LEM-1DLS
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
2
The Hosmart 7-Channel comes in your choice of one to six units and can even be purchased with two walkie-talkies to make it fun for kids. It has a roughly 1,500-foot communication range between devices, which is more than enough for the average home.
  • capable of making conference calls
  • accepts usb or wall power
  • rarely picks up any interference
Brand Hosmart
Model 7.18461E+11
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
1
If you thought home intercoms were outdated, then you have never seen the cutting edge Nucleus Anywhere. It is a multifunctional unit that can be used to communicate with somebody downstairs or across an ocean by connecting to all types of smart devices.
  • supports amazon alexa
  • two-way video and audio
  • automatic answer function
Brand Nucleus
Model N1001R31B
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

How Do I Choose The Correct Intercom For Me?

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.

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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Last updated on May 23 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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