Get your ass in here, Mr. Watson.
January 23, 2011 2:41 PM   Subscribe

Sing to me of cordless phones!

I need a landline. I haven't had a landline in years, so I kind of didn't keep up with non-mobile phone technology.

I know I'm going to need a 5.8ghz phone since I have a lot of wifi traffic. I also would like to have an answering machine built in, but thats not a dealbreaker.

So tell me...what are some of the awesomest cordless phones out there that I should look into buying.

I don't have a price limit because if its worth it, I will shell out for it. I'll be on this phone quite a bit. But I obviously won't be paying a premium if the phone is expensive because its leather or something. Focus here is on function.
posted by hal_c_on to Technology (23 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
We have a couple of cordless phones and they're both at least five years old. I bought them based on price alone, and I have no complaints at all. I'm amazed at the range, since I can walk down my 150 foot driveway to get the mail and never loose a call.

I just checked and both are Unidens.
posted by imjustsaying at 2:48 PM on January 23, 2011

Owned Unidens for about fifteen years, multiple continents. No complaints.
posted by tra at 2:57 PM on January 23, 2011

Ha, I have a 5.8 mHz Uniden and it sucks. Tons of random interference.
posted by something something at 2:59 PM on January 23, 2011

Sorry, that should be 5.8 gHz.
posted by something something at 3:00 PM on January 23, 2011

I love my B&O BeoCom 1 phone system. Just upgraded to the new version last weekend.

Also, consider the BeoCom 4 and BeoCom 5 systems.
posted by ericb at 3:09 PM on January 23, 2011

Panasonic DECT system here. No wi-fi interference, cheap, and some smart features like automatic clock sync to network time and easy phonebook management.
posted by scruss at 3:14 PM on January 23, 2011

We always go with Panasonic phones and they never disappoint. We have the KX-TGA931T model from a few years ago. There's a 3 pack on Amazon for $70 and a 4 pack for $100. There's one main base station and the rest have charging cradles that just have to be plugged into the wall to charge.
posted by wherever, whatever at 3:24 PM on January 23, 2011

I was buying a new japanese phone practically every year until I discovered B&O about 5 years ago, the trusty BeoCom 4 is still going strong. B&O stereos are overpriced 'lifestyle accessories' but I think their phones are well worth the money, they have the features, the ring tones, the ease of use and most importantly the sound quality.
posted by Lanark at 3:36 PM on January 23, 2011

We don't get cell coverage at our house so we've had quite a long record of cordless landline use. We love our 4 pack Panasonic DECT, it easily handles the rambling layout of our house—we've even got one handset out in the detached shed way out back that gets a great signal. No wifi interference, each handset can have its own ringtone (default ones built into the phone, not custom ones) and works great with Caller ID. It has an answering machine built into the main base unit but it gracefully deals with being shut off in favor of whatever answering service might be built into your landline service, each handset has a indicator that lights up when there's a message waiting. You can add on additional handsets if you wish to expand later, too. Great battery life and after a few years of use when I went to replace the batteries to my great relief they took standard AAA NiHMs rather than something more expensive and difficult to locate.

Our previous Uniden 5.8 system sucked so badly that I wrote a rather bitter review of it on Amazon.
posted by jamaro at 3:44 PM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

I have the same Panasonic KX-TGA931T as wherever, whatever, and though I for years hated the sound quality of cordless phones, I really love these. the signal reaches throughout the house and right into the backyard, and there's lots of neat little features like being able to program when it will and won't ring. I believe they make a similar model that has a built-in answering machine that costs a little more.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:14 PM on January 23, 2011

I had a Uniden. It was fine. Now I have a vTech. Also fine and has more features (can handle 3 lines, keep messages in 3 mailboxes, and has an intercom to ring a second handset.) The only thing I dislike about the vTech is I can't turn the ringer off totally (though I can make it fairly low.)
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:13 PM on January 23, 2011

just my $0.02;
I recently bought a 4 pack of cordless at&t phones at a warehouse store, no model numbers but they say DECT 6.0 on them. I forget the operating frequency, but I was avoiding 2.8Ghz when I was shopping so they are probably not 2.8Ghz. They have an answering machine and over the year I have been using they have done nothing but surprise me with how well they work and how long the battery lasts. I think it was ~ $45 - $55 for the 4 pack.
posted by token-ring at 5:30 PM on January 23, 2011

DECT phones use the 1.9 GHz band, so they won't interfere with Wifi (which uses 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. I had a 2.4 GHz set that interfered with my internet; I moved to a DECT set and the problems stopped.

The "6.0" part of "DECT 6.0" is just a meaningless number they added so it could be "bigger" than 5.8.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 5:51 PM on January 23, 2011

I've had Panasonic KX-whatever phones for several years now. Great reception, no problems, not expensive to purchase.
posted by thomas j wise at 7:07 PM on January 23, 2011

Someday cell phones will be cheaper than land lines, but that day is not yet here, at least not for me. I got my cordless phone in a free pile. Let me tell you, they're the greatest thing since corded phones! Get an old one if you can; they work better than newer, more finicky ones.
posted by aniola at 7:15 PM on January 23, 2011

I see a lot of Panasonic/Uniden support. They also seem to be the only phones available around me without any other competition.

I really like the B&O suggestion...I'm looking into that...any other "unique" suggestions?
posted by hal_c_on at 8:08 PM on January 23, 2011

Panasonic FTW. I have a Uniden system now and I hate it. I have had a few Panasonic systems and a few Uniden systems. The Panasonic are far far superior. But what I really want is a wireless candlestick phone.
posted by fifilaru at 8:17 PM on January 23, 2011

I've had a number of cordless phones over the years and bought quite a few for relatives. My experience has been that vTech break down more quickly than most; brands like GE, Sanyo and Uniden don't hold their charge as long as Panasonic's batteries, and that pretty much all of them have less than stellar battery longevity.

Both the in-laws and ourselves have Panasonic at the moment. We're still using the three-pack bought refurbished five years ago; only battery replacements needed. I like Panasonic's ability to copy the phone book (or a single entry) between sets. And though they are 2.4GHz I've never had any interference issues with my wireless, even when it was just 802-11B.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 9:19 PM on January 23, 2011

Bucking the trend here ... we've been using Uniden 2.4 and 5.8 phones for years (12 & 3) and found them excellent. I like their software better than other phones I've tried (Sony, Panasonic, ATT), the call quality is good, and they're robust enough for my gang of gorillas.
posted by anadem at 10:00 PM on January 23, 2011

If I was buying today I would get another Panasonic DECT phone. Had mine for two years now and it's been rock solid.

DECT provides rock-solid reception, and despite the best efforts of my two toddlers, the Panasonic build quality has held up flawlessly.

Feature set wasn't exactly what I wanted, but the quality of build and calls has more than made up for that (plus I hardly ever use the fancy features I insist on shopping for, so...)

Before that, I had two successive Vtech phones, which I lived with for years. Bought them because they looked cool and seemed to have neat features - but both of them developed flaky buttons, dropped calls, etc, etc. Figured the first one was a fluke so I bought the second one, and now I doubt I'll ever buy a Vtech again.
posted by BK Phil at 8:01 AM on January 24, 2011

Another option to consider is Bluetooth integration - comes in reeeeal handy for parking the blackberry while at home. I can be in the kitchen or office when a work call comes in, and just take it on the nearby cordless handset rather than rushing to wherever I left it to charge.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:10 AM on January 25, 2011

We got a big package of DECT phones from the wholesale club. Orange light-up buttons -- does that suggest that they are Panasonic? They suck, but the other phones we tried before sucked way more. All phones are now flimsy plastic junk with lousy sound and awful batteries. *weeps*
posted by wenestvedt at 9:38 AM on January 25, 2011

I have an older Uniden which won't reach my new garage building, about 75' from the base, but through two walls, one metal. I was hoping to find an answer here as to what to buy for better range...alas.

Personally had bad luck with my last batch of Panasonics. The Unidens have proven to have really really good battery life and have outlasted any Panasonic we've had, which is a bunch.
posted by maxwelton at 4:09 AM on February 23, 2011

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