Buying Guide: Cordless Phones
Cordless phones let you do more than make and receive calls; you have the freedom to talk while multi-tasking at home or work. Our guide outlines your choices in buying a new digital cordless phone and explains features in today's range.
The Digital Age
Hearing the neighbours' conversations cutting in and out through the reception on your analogue cordless phones is a thing of the past. Digital cordless phones offer clearer and more secure conversations than ever before. The main systems (frequencies) used for cordless phones are DECT and DSS.
- DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications): This digital frequency is only used for cordless phones so it does not incur static or interference from other devices, such as microwave ovens. It will not interfere with Wi-Fi.
- DSS (Digital Spread Spectrum): Uses a high frequency, which delivers exceptional security, range and voice clarity. Products are available in either a 2.4GHz or 5.8GHz frequency.
XDECT Offers More Range
Uniden recently released the XDECT range of phones, which increases the number of phones using the DECT system. In traditional DECT cordless phones the base is just a recharging point. With the XDECT series, the telephone base is also a receiver and transmitter, which greatly increases the range of the phone.
- Adding two extra XDECT phone bases can extend the range up to eight times over standard, as the phones will work like a "daisy chain," re-transmitting the signal to the next phone.
- XDECT will not interfere with Wi-Fi networks.
Battery Life – The Longer, The Better
Average talk times range from around five to 10 hours. Look for a phone with a low battery warning so you know when you need to recharge. To recharge, simply dock the phone into the base.
Add More Handsets
Phone models that support multiple handsets can be very useful for people with a large house, especially multi-story houses.
- Some multiple handset models can also be used as an intercom system between rooms.
Two-Line Support Is Twice As Good
Receive calls for two separate telephone numbers with the one phone. This is great if you have a home business.
- Multiple ring tones alert you to which line is ringing.
- An auxiliary jack allows the second line to be used for a modem etc.
Free Your Hands
Hands-free (speakerphone) is great when you need to multi-task as you can talk and work at the same time. Let the whole family join in on wishing relatives a happy birthday or catch up with friends while you're preparing dinner. The hands-free function can also be great for conference calls.
- Some phones come with headsets so you can answer the phone and keep typing.
Stay Informed With An LCD Screen
An LCD screen on the handset is extremely useful. It can display your phone directory and other useful information, such as caller ID, battery strength, or how long you've been connected.
Screen Your Calls
Caller ID gives you the option to choose who you speak to. There's no need to answer if you're unsure of who is calling or when you don't have time to take a call.
Take A Message
An inbuilt answering machine can be invaluable, especially if you're running a home business.
- Some answering machines have several mailboxes so you can separate business calls from personal ones by having the caller direct their message to an individual mailbox.
- Check messages remotely, while away on business or on holiday.
Simple Cordless Phone Choices
Type: Choose between DECT and DSS digital phone systems (DECT will not interfere with Wi-Fi).
Multiple handsets: Very handy for multi-story houses.
Hands-free/speakerphone: Multi-task with hands-free while on the phone.
Answering system: Receive and access messages when you're away from the phone.
SMS: Send and receive text messages (SMS) from your home phone.