The Best Home Office Phones

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Working remotely proved one irrefutable fact to many. The fact is that the existing house phone with an answering machine was not up to the task of becoming the office phone.

In fact, many homes no longer have the traditional landline phone systems with a phone line. Instead, residents are using a mobile phone or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Or they may be using a PBX (Private Branch Exchange), which is a telephone switching system that’s accessible over a network in the cloud. PBX is increasingly popular.

Whether your existing house phone is a landline phone or cell phone, or you use VoIP technology, we’ve got suggestions for the best home office phones.

17 Best Home Office Phones

Existing house phones lack the advanced capabilities that are basic on an office phone. Your house phone may have caller ID, call waiting and an answering machine, but that’s it and that’s not what’s best. You can’t be content with that if you’re working remotely and want to come across as professional. You need a real office phone and an answering machine system.

If you need to know how to run a business from home with solid communication, or you are going to be working remotely you need to up your game when fielding calls. You don’t want to miss callers. Bells and whistles aside, the best office phone system for you is the best one that fits your job or business. It might not be the office phone with the most advanced technology, or the most capabilities. Landline phones may be all you need.

We’ve researched the models and options. We’ve highlighted the best models, for specific businesses, to help you narrow the field and choose the best one for you.

1. Panasonic KX-TGF350N – Best Home Office Phone Overall

Key Features:

  1. This Panasonic desk phone model has a built-in baby monitor.
  2. A phone book capable of storing 100 numbers
  3. A full 17 minutes of message recording.

Many phone systems have a good phone number and message storage. volume control is standard. Many come with a base and a handset (you can buy an additional handset), background sound reduction, speed dial buttons and a one-touch call block. So what makes this Panasonic model our top choice?

Whoever thought of the baby monitor feature for Panasonic should get a raise. That feature alone is a deal maker. And we also like the price, about $70, which is a bargain price. And it’ll work with your existing phone line.

2. Nextiva

Key Features:

  1. Not a desk phone. It’s a VoIP service added via an app on a cell phone or computer for unified communication.
  2. Can do conference calls on a cell phone.
  3. Can host HD audio and video meetings. Businesses can create groups with links to connect via chat, or video and audio.

You can bundle the VoIP Nextiva App with additional Nextiva software. For example, you can do call tracking with customer reports. You can integrate with Google, Microsoft and more.

The VoIP service has unlimited calling, faxing and texting nationwide.

3. Cisco 7841

Key Features:

  1. A phone for VoIP use has four lines.
  2. Can use with Cisco Expressway software, which gives a remote worker single sign-on access through a one-time pin code.
  3. Can use with Cisco Webex for unified communication.

This model is one of the offerings in Cisco’s 7800 series. Each model in the series is slightly different. We liked a couple options with the 7841, including that it’s wall mountable and has speakerphone capabilities.

4. Cisco 8800 series

Key Features:

  1. Built-in gigabit ethernet switch for connection to PC.
  2. Two models, the 8845 and the 8865 come with HD video capabilities.
  3. Wide range of available headsets.

Compared to the Cisco 7800 series phones, the 8800 are more expensive. But the HD video capabilities make them worth the price increase, because that feature is great to have for remote working.

5. Panasonic KX-TG7875S Bluetooth Cordless Phone

Key Features:

  1. This cordless phone has Link2Cell via Bluetooth capability.
  2. Links to up to two smartphone units.
  3. Handsets can receive alerts about text messages.

This model comes with a base phone and four handsets. Each handset has about 10 hours of talk time. All phones (the base and the handsets) have enhanced noise reduction. The main phone has a digital answering machine.

6. AT&T DL72219 DECT 6.0 2-Handset Cordless Phone

DECT stands for Digitally Enhanced Cordless Communications)

Key Features:

  1. The base can connect to a cell, or cells using blue tooth technology.
  2. You have options – can connect two cell phones to the base, or one cell phone and one blue tooth headset.
  3. Comes with two handsets and is expandable to five.

This offering from AT&T has lots of options for future expansion. The connect to cell feature is a bonus for the home-based worker who doesn’t want to miss calls. The base can be used as a speakerphone. The answering system can record up to 22 minutes of voice mail.

7. AT&T SynJ DECT 6.0 4-Line Corded/Cordless Phone

Key Features:

  1. Extended cordless range – up to a half-mile.
  2. Push to talk intercom capability between handsets and the base station.
  3. Built-in protection against wiretapping.

Can receive four lines, with an auto-attendant on each line. The system can handle up to 11 users, each with a handset. You can get a holster for the handset. The answering system can be set up for group or individual mailboxes.

This system is the best choice for a growing warehouse or shipping business owner who wants to be able to communicate with employees who are outside or out in the warehouse. The push-to-talk option does not interfere with wireless routers.

8. AT&T Synapse Phone System

Key Features:

  1. Fully digital and IP-based system.
  2. Best in terms of versatility. Can work with regular phone lines, cloud-hosted VoIP service or through ethernet network.
  3. Up to 16 trunk lines and up to 100 extensions.

This system is tailored for a large business. It can be set up for central voice mail or individual voice mail. It can also be set up for voice-to-email forwarding. Music will be streamed for customers who are on hold.

9. Grandstream GXP 1630 Series (great for conferencing)

Key Features:

  1. Suite on VoIP has power over ethernet, with dual-switched gigabit ports.
  2. Supports four-way conferencing
  3. HD audio on main phone and handset.

Security encryption technology is included on all three lines. Can hold up to 1,000 contact numbers. Supports Plantronics headsets.

10. Grandstream GXV

Key Features:

  1. HD audio speakerphone conferencing.
  2. Uses an android system for video functionality.
  3. Works across types of communications using touchscreen technology. This is based on a desk phone/tablet combo.

This offering from Grandstream is a great choice for someone who prefers the touchscreen operation option to pushing buttons. The model delivers a multimedia experience with video and audio functions.

11. Xblue X16 Small Business Phone

Key Features:

  1. Two-year warranty. A one-year warranty is standard with most phones.
  2. A standard, analog phone, expandable to up to 16 phones.
  3. Intercom with call announce paging.

Includes a standard automated receptionist with voice mail for every user (hosting a full employees directory). Also, calls forward to cell and three-way conferencing. One of the top picks because of its low price.

12. Samsung SMT-i3105

Key Features:

  1. Two ethernet switch ports
  2. Function keys for transfer, hold and conference.
  3. Call log for up to 100 calls.

This is a simple desktop phone with no handset. It has 5 programmable keys and headset capability. Phone book with up to 100 names. One of the top picks for working remotely if you’ve previously ditched your landline.

13. Sangoma Switchvox

Key Features:

  1. Through unified communications system can report data on every call, in and out.
  2. Includes capability for call controls such as queue monitoring, from a web browser.
  3. Can be integrated with Microsoft, Chrome, Firefox and others.
  4. Connect using a mobile app to iOS (smartphone) and/or Android phone numbers.

Phone system loaded with pluses, including web-based interface. Call control settings also include automatic dispersal of calls amongst employees, such as between members of a sales team. Is designed for Landline or VoIP Bluetooth headsets.

14. Snom D7XX series

Key Features:

  1. Best for large organizations who want to provide a quality phone for the use of employees working remotely.
  2. USB support, Bluetooth capability, password-protected web interface.
  3. Integrated digital signal resources including blue tooth option.

Snom started offering VoIP technology to businesses in 1999. The Snom D7XX series is loaded with content, but you may also want to browse the D1, 3 and 7 series option to check out additional phone communication devices.

15. RCA Unison U1100

Key Features:

  1. Two-year warranty and a bargain price ($99).
  2. A four-line system can be expanded up to 10 desk phones or handsets, with six-way conferencing.
  3. Customizable hold music.

No one likes a hold phone signal that is a tone, or repetitive tones. Customizable hold music is a big step up from the standard office-style phone.

Digital receptionist for calls and answering machines. Call transfer and intercom. Speakerphone capability on the desk phones.

16. VTech DS6771-3 DECT 6.0 Cordless Phone

Key Features:

  1. You can connect to a cell phone and landline at the same time, receiving calls on both.
  2. Can connect to Siri, Google Now or S Voice service.
  3. Can connect to a blue tooth enabled cell phone, and receive notifications if a mobile receives a text or social media update.

This is cordless and operates with two handsets. Each handset can be set up for connecting to a cell phone to prevent missed calls.

The interaction between the various types of media, such as Siri, that is commonly used makes this model a favorite amongst office products.

17. Yealink Optima CP 960 (best for hybrid meetings)

Key Features:

  1. This is a stylish purposed-for-conferences phone with wireless microphones.
  2. Ports for Ethernet and USB.
  3. The wireless microphones have noise-proof technology.

How It Works

Employees working from home call in using Skype for Business or a mobile phone. The call is routed to the CP 960 via a USB port (Skype) or Blue tooth pairing (mobile). In addition to employees at a table, the hybrid meeting can bring in up to 20 employees who are working remotely.

Things to Consider When Buying Home Office Phones

Buying home office phones for your business is an important decision. What kinds of handsets do you need? Do you prefer landline phones or cordless? We’ve compiled a list of important things to consider when choosing your home business phone system.

Number of Handsets

Even if you’re a sole proprietor, it’s nice to have more than one. If you work with a group, you should always have at least one spare (for those times someone forgets to recharge.)

Cordless Phone System vs Corded

A corded system ties you to a place or area (if you have a long cord). With a cordless system or corded/cordless combo, you have the option to move to another room if needed.

With either, you need one hand on the phone, unless the products you’ve chosen have speakerphone capability. When choosing corded or cordless products, a more important feature to consider maybe if the products are headset capable. Being able to talk, hands-free, might be the feature you need most.

Budget

The prices of the products can range from $70 to $700. When choosing from the various products, focus on features rather than price. Products that cost more can be worth every penny in the long run if they have the features your specific work requires.

Talk Time

At the lowest, a cordless handset talk time is about 7 hours. We don’t consider talk time a huge factor, as we advise having a spare. The handset can be recharged during the workday as well.

Voice Quality

When VoIP technology was in its infancy, admittedly the voice quality was sometimes lacking. Technological advances have removed this issue.

Audio Quality and HD Audio

If you do a lot of voice and/or video conferencing, HD audio quality is a must. It’s a must because sound quality supports your professionalism.

Security

Look for DECT technology with cordless phones.

Warranty Support

Most have a one or two-year warranty on the equipment.

What to Look for

When choosing the phone system for your home office, think about the features your business needs. We’ve listed the most important below.

Smartphone Integration and Transfer to Landline Phones

Important for an office phone system. This will keep you connected all the time.

Base Unit Battery Backup

If you live in a part of the country where power outages are the norm, a base unit battery backup is key.

Caller id Feature and Auto Screen for Unknown Number

Caller id is typically a standard but the auto screen is not. Yet, do you want/need an auto screen for an unknown number? Could it be a hurdle for a new customer who is trying to contact you?

Conference Calls

Conference calls could be the most increasing facet of the home office operations. It’s important to be able to be part of them. But keep in mind that the trend is towards video conferencing.

LCD Screen/Display Screen

What good is caller id if you can’t see the number? You may prefer a model which has a large display screen, where the caller id number is easy to see.

Enhanced Background Noise Reduction

Background sound is tough to control in the home office environment. Someone may be watching tv or cooking nearby, for example.

Enhanced background noise reduction really makes a difference in creating a professional office environment. It’s something to look for if your family or roommates share your space.

Additional Features

Sound quality is as important as eliminating background sound. Another feature nearly impossible to be without is the capability for conference calling – joining a conference call is easy. But will you need to initiate and run a conference call, connecting callers?

What is the best phone system for a small business?

  1. List the equipment you already have, such as a landline phone or high-speed internet.
  2. Name the tasks you typically do during the workday.
  3. Make a list of anything you can’t now do, but could do if you had a better office phone.
  4. Weigh the cost of the office phone against the cost of not being able to work your best.

Does anyone still use landline phones?

Yes. People who live in an area with poor or nonexistent cell service often have a landline phone. In fact, landline phones are often the only options in these areas, because poor cell service and lack of high-speed internet go hand in hand, and VoIP isn’t an option.

In such an area, the only choice for a phone system is the landline. The only option available in that case is a base with cordless phones.

What is the best landline phone to buy?

We like the Panasonic KX-TGf350N, which plugs into a phone line. That may make it seem old-fashioned, but it comes with a cordless handset, a baby monitor. All for around $70.

What makes the best cordless phone?

The best cordless phones have enhanced noise reduction, call forward to cell, and protection against wiretapping.

Can I use my cellphone as a home phone?

You can use a cell phone as a home phone. But you should have a separate cell phone for business use.

Image: Depositphotos

This article, "The Best Home Office Phones" was first published on Small Business Trends



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