Purchasing an office phone can be overwhelming because the choices come with numerous service type, providers, models, and features. You could go for a virtual phone service or a traditional landline, but a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or IP phone is likely to be the best option for a business.
An IP phone works by converting standard telephone audio into a digital format to transmit it over the Internet. It also receives calls by converting digital signals from the Internet to typical telephone sound. We have also written a complete guide about best office tables.
Types of IP Phones
If you have decided to use IP phones for your business, it’s necessary to know their types to make an informed purchase decision. The technology comes in many forms. Knowing about will give you a clear idea of what you are going to get.
It’s similar to an analog conference phone in terms of allowing communication between multiple people. You can add several parties to a single call. These phones are typically suitable for large offices and conference rooms.
Desktop VoIP Phone
It’s the standard IP phone that combines the features of a traditional telephone with the benefits of VoIP technology. It uses the Ethernet connection system to link up to the service provider. It guarantees quality calls almost all the times.
These are standard IP phones with the additional video calling feature. A small camera integrated into the unit performs as a great substitute for face-to-face meetings. It is also useful for delivering presentations to the clients who are not in the same room.
Wireless IP Phone
These are the best solutions for making and receiving calls in dead zones. These have a DECT transceiver or a built-in Wi-Fi connected to a base station or an access point. So, they function in areas where other phones don’t receive any signal. Just connect your wireless phone to a Wi-Fi hotspot, and you will never miss a call! Also, its wireless design is suitable for moving freely while on a call.
It’s not a phone but a software application that allows making calls. You have to install it onto a computer and make the conversation through a connected headset or a microphone and speaker bundle. Softphones are suitable for call center services, road workers, or for any small business.
USB VoIP Phones
It is actually a device that looks and functions like a telephone. It requires connection to a computer via the USB port. You can link it to a VoIP software to play and record audio or phone calls.
Benefits of IP Phones for a Business
A reliable phone access is vital to the proper running of a business. It is an integral part of the day-to-day communications.Let’s see how many benefits it can bring into an office environment:
Easy to Operate
IP Phones don’t require much technical know-how for installation, configuration, and maintenance. Unlike the traditional phones, there’s no need to call a technician to set up the wiring through a facility.
The system has a web portal for aquick move and changing of configuration. You don’t need to set up hardware and sometimes software installation is also not necessary.
The VoIP system is cheaper than the previous office phone options. Take the Legacy system for example. Its setup was complicated and the repair and maintenance were expensive. Making calls – especially the long distance and international calls – is quite cheaper by using the hosted VoIP system.
You can get access to your VoIP telephone from anywhere in the world. All you need is an Internet connection. Just log in to your phone accountand you will hear a dial tone. Every user has a dedicated phone number, allowing to receive and make phone calls no matter whether you are traveling or spending a holiday somewhere far from your workplace.
Supports a Range of Features
An IP phone supports all types of call features found in a traditional telephone. You will get everything from call hold to hunt, transfer, auto-attendant menu, conference calling, and more. It also supports the old-fashioned virtual faxing or IP faxing. You can use your VoIP email account for sending and receiving faxes, withoutthe use of any paper or toner.
Integrates with Other Business Systems
A hosted VoIP systems can integrate with many business applications. It’s possible to use it for making outbound calls with an email client like Outlook or checking the records of a customer at the time of an inbound call. You can also get text transcriptions of voice mail messages, relieving you from the worry of taking notes while conversing.
Characteristics of a High-Quality IP Phone
The IP phones perform better than the traditional office phones in many areas. However, you have to be aware of their best features to buy the right products for your business.
It looks like a telephone or a mobile phone. It has a touchpad or keypad to enter the phone numbers and write texts, a microphone and speakerphone to make conversations, and a display hardware. The display is likely to be a graphical LCD screen that shows caller IDs and messages. Some models have color screens for video calls and web browsing.
The IP phones may have several ports for various functions such as for connecting ADSL line and Ethernet LAN. Some models feature an RJ-11 port to attach to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
The phones can use a battery or DC/AC as the power source. Some models receive electrical power from Ethernet.
The feature that you should not compromise with is the sound quality. It should be HD level or higher so that there is no confusion or continuous repeating during a conversation. Similarly, the screen quality should be above average too whether it’s a monochrome display for showing voicemail and instant messages or a high-quality one for doing video conferences and watching multimedia information.
Some common functions of an IP phone are displaying caller IDs, call blocking, holding and transferring calls, and securing encryption communications. It’s also possible to set separate ringtones for some contacts for easy identification.
The VoIP phones allow staying in touch with others remotely and exchanging files, documents, and meetings through the video calling feature.
Some high-spec models allow integration with other applications and services. For example, you can link them toa customer relationship management (CRM) system given that you are a customer care or sales executive. You can even integrate with call center features such as Automatic Call Distribution.
Some VoIP phones support multiple languages. You can choose your desired language from the settings.
TOP 10 BEST OFFICE PHONES IN 2018 – CHART
|1. Obihai Gigabit IP Phone OBi1062||Full-Duplex Speakerphone with Built-In Class D Amplifier and Audio Equalizer||$$$||4.8|
|2. Yealink SIP-T46G Ultra-Elegant Gigabit IP Phone||Built-in a USB port, support Bluetooth headset (through USB dongle)||$$$||4.7|
|3. Obihai OBi1022 IP Phone||Dual Ethernet Ports with Power over Ethernet (PoE) Support||$$||4.6|
|4. Gigaset GIGASET-C530IP||Expandable up to 6 Cordless Handsets and 6 VoIP Accounts||$$||4.5|
|5. Cisco SPA504G 4-Line IP Phone||
2-Port Switch, PoE and LCD Display
|6. Polycom 2200-46162-025 VVX 410 IP Phone||
2 x Ethernet 10/100, HD Voice up to 7KHz
|7. Grandstream Enterprise IP Telephone GXP2130||2.8 inch (320×240) color-screen LCD, Integrated Bluetooth||$$||4.3|
|8. Polycom VVX 400 IP Business PoE Telephone||
Polycom HD Voice
|9. Polycom VVX 500||
3.5” (9-cm) TFT Touchscreen Display, Up to 12 line appearances
|10. Cisco SPA514G IP Phone||
2-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch, LCD Display
The OBi1062 from Obihai is a feature-rich office phone that has the capability to compete with other mid-range phones from better-known companies. It’s a color SIP phone with a VoIP Softswitch and compatibility with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The depth of its features enables it to handle any business scenario.
The OBi1062 is a matte-colored phone with a large color display. It does not eat up much of your desktop space. It has six hard-line programmable keys along with up to 8 programmable keys and 24 line keys.
The phone has ports for Power over Ethernet (PoE) and Dual Gigabit Ethernet. It also has an external 12v power supply.
The OBi1062 offers exceptional HD-level clarity in sound output. However, it depends on the network settings. You can get HD calls through voice codecs, good consistent sound quality with Ethernet cord for Internet access, but the quality drops sometimes if you call over Wi-Fi. It becomes quite incomprehensible if you take the phone more than 40 feet away from the access point. The handset audio quality is above par, but the speakerphone is not equally impressive.
The impressive color screen offers quick access to some of the phone’s apps, such as product info, call history, preferences, and more.
The OBi1062 allows making free calls inside the USA and Canada through the Google Voice option. The international calls to more than 150 destinations also have amazing cheap rates.
You can manage the phone through the OBiTALK cloud-management portal. All you need is an Internet connection for easy configuration and maintenance.
It has a couple of impressive call features. You can block unwanted calls, assign specific ringtones to particular numbers, and use the voicemail just like an email.
OBiTALK will let you import the contacts from Google. You can also use the Contacts app for the adding contacts, but there’s no way import them from theweb interface.
- Provides HD-level call clarity
- Large color display
- Call rates are cheap
- Easy management through OBiTALK
- Sound quality can be scratchy over Wi-Fi
- The ideal parameter for Wi-Fi calls is 40 feet from the access point
- Speakerphone delivers below par audio
The SIP-T46G from Yealink is a functional SIP phone with a decent number of features considering its reasonable pricing. It offers good sonic delivery, color display, various device connections, and programmable keys. In a word, it’s a versatile phone, suitable for everyone – from personal users to busy professionals and executive people.
The SIP-T46G is designed for all types of end-users. The color screen, jet-black interface, and plastic buttons installed in a sleek frame give the phone a stylish look. However, it does not feel equality solid upon handling.
It has 7 feature keys, and the 10 customizable line keys offer access to more than 27 features. It has a built-in USB port, dual-port for Gigabit Ethernet, PoE support, andan option for Bluetooth headset connection.
The SIP-T46G produces great sound even after using lower-quality codecs. The speakerphone is clear too, but you will get the best experience when using an external headset. The integration of Yealink Optima HD technology further facilitates the delivery of clear, life-like voice.
It works with most providers and PBX systems. You can use up to 6 SIP and maximum 16 VoIP accounts. Also, it’s possible to make direct IP calls through this phone.
The color screen with backlight option offers visibility in the dark too. You can change the background wallpaper and use it for seeing caller IDs, messages, and emails.
It comes with Yealink Optima HD technology that ensures crystal-clear voice from the beginning to the end.
The phone supports SIP accounts and is compatible with various SIP-based platforms including Broadsoft.
- Easy to use
- Plenty of call features
- Color screen
- Easy to navigate Web interface
- The buttons may feel stuck sometimes
- The sound could degrade if both the parties don’t use the VoIP service
Obihai is one of the few established brands in the VoIP industry. It has a large number of followers that trust its products for high-quality sound and multiple attractive features. The OBi1022 is one of the most recommended midrange models in the market not only because of its reasonable price but also lots of useful features.
The OBi1022 has a simple look, nothing fancy but professional. It has several keys and 11 of them are programmable. So, you can easily create a customizable setup for using it more conveniently. The large color display allows for more under-friendly navigation.
The phone has dual-switched Ethernet Ports. It gets its power via Ethernet. There’s option for a power line too, but you have to purchase it separately.
The OBi1022 provides the users crystal-clear sound because it comes with a high-definition voice technology. It also supports wide-band audio, allowing unmatched call quality with zero static. People who have to handle large call volumes will enjoy this sound quality, but both the parties have to use HD-level phones to get this outcome.
The full-duplex speakerphone also provides clarity and quality because it has an audio equalizer and built-in amplifier.
The configuration of this phone is a cinch by using the OBiTALK Service Configuration. You can use 24 lines with 6 dedicated VoIP service accounts. In fact, it allows you making free calls to other OBi devices connected to the Internet.
The vivid color screen makes navigation through the menus convenient.
The OBi1022 offers seamless integration with Google Voice. Use the OBiTALK portal to connect the two platforms.
There are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi options, connecting easily to external devices and Wi-Fi hotspots. You can also synchronize the contacts stored on the connected smartphones.
- HD-level voice clarity and quality
- Connects to Google Voice
- Can be used with 24 lines
- The configurations across all platforms don’t sync sometimes
- Does not come with a power adapter
The VoIP gives the freedom of talking to anyone, anywhere in the world through an Internet connection. The wireless C530IP phone from Gigaset gives you more liberty, frees you from the obligation of being tied to a cord. With this telephone, you can walk around your home while talking.
It looks like a regular cordless phone featuring a small 1.8-inch color display and multiple buttons for giving commands. The structure is sleek and the size is perfect for holding with your hand and carrying around the house or office.
The integrated hybrid technology allows it make both landline and IP calls. You just simply have to connect it to the landline or to the router to use it.
The audio quality is decent when you use the C530IP as an analog phone, but HDSP sound quality with crystal-clear audio during VoIP will simply amaze you. Thehigh-quality voice clarity is unmatched to any regular cordless handset.
The hi-res color screen is small, but it is perfect for displaying all the basic calling information.
Using the VoIP connection, it’s possible to make up to three parallel calls and expand the network by adding six handsets. It’s a true multitasker that eliminates the necessity of using separate lines for different users. It seems to be an ideal solution for a small office or a home with several family members.
The C530IP has several extra features that make the experience of using this phone more enjoyable. You can assign birthday reminders and personalized ringtones to specific contact numbers. There’s also an option to change the display screensaver.
The Contacts Push online app is a real lifesaver in this case as it allows upload the smartphone contacts directly to the IP phone.
- Wireless option
- Crystal clear sound in VoIP connection
- Allows six separate handsets and three parallel calls
- Reasonable price
- Average sound quality when used as an analog cordless phone
- The screen is small
Since overtaking the Linksys, Cisco has been manufacturing new phones for their small business customers. The SPA504G is one of the successors of the popular Linksys SPA9XX series but with more updates. It gives you the freedom to ditch your telephone provider by offering a more attractive service!You will get a feature-packed phone at a favorable pricing.
The SPA504G is almost similar to its predecessor SPA942 but with a more compact navigation pad and number pad buttons, and a larger handset. It also has a glossy sheen that looks beautiful with the grey/silver combination.
It has line display keys and dedicated hard keys for several functions such as aheadset, mute, speakerphone, and more. The backlit LCD screen is high-resolution.
It runs on a 5v power supply but does not come with one. You have to buy it separately. Additionally, you can run it by connecting to a router or PoE port.
Configuring this phone is a breeze. You just have to use the Cisco Web Interface and don’t even have to use any kind of login or password. On the other hand, the Web UI has lots of customizing functions. So, it is suitable for both the noob and the pro users.
You will get HD-level voice quality, compared to the top players in this category such as Polycom 550, given that the other party is also using an HD voice compatible phone. However, calling to a phone that does not feature HD sound will also produce clear audio.
It supports four phone lines. You can also use two Cisco SPA 500S Expansion Modules that support an additional 64 phone lines!
The screen is small, but it will show all the information you need – from directory to call forwarding, redial, and more.
The speakerphone is surprisingly high-quality considering it’s a midrange phone. You may have to spend some time with the volume settings, but the effort will be highly rewarding.
- Delivers HD-level voice clarity
- Supports 4 phone lines
- Full duplex speakerphone
- Suitable for basic users
- You have to buy the power cord separately
The Polycom VVX 410 IP phone has been carefully engineered to create exceptional user experiences. It’s literally a feature-packed phone that greatly changes the way people use the VoIP phone. It’s a mid-range model but has the capacity to become an integral part of an office setup where crystal clear and prompt communication is the key.
The VVX 410 looks typical with a number of buttons and a handset. However, the large color display is meant to catch attention. It does not have a sleek profile, you can call it professional but not stylish.
It has ports for connecting to two Gigabit Ethernet or Ethernet 10/100. It does not include a power supply, though.You have to buy it separately.
The VVX 410 is truly remarkable in the sense that it delivers HD-quality audio without any noise interruptions and echoes. The speaker can cancel the surrounding noise, creating a feeling of face-to-face conversation.
You can pair it up with 12 separate lines, greatly reducing the operations costs. If your office needs more lines, use the VVX Expansion Module to add more.
The 3.5-inch color screen is large enough to show eight menu items at the same time. It has a multilingual user interface, allowing you to operate it in a language other than English.
The VVX 410 has several impressive options. It allows you to answer the calls via a speakerphone or headset. You can even direct the calls to a mobile device, given that it has anInternet connection.
It supports call recording, which is exceptional because only a few other models have this option. The voicemail mailbox will store the recorded calls if connected to a call manager app.
You can access the corporate directories and calendars via the phone after integrating it with your Microsoft Exchange server. It’s also possible to use your computer’s keyboard and mouse to navigate and input information on the phoneif you install the Polycom Desktop Connector (PDC) on the computer.
- Great sound clarity with no surrounding noise
- Plenty of features
- Supports call recording
- You have to buy a power adaptor
- No Bluetooth option
Grandstreamis an American Telecoms Developer, and the GXP2130 is one of the latest editions of its inventory. The phone is low-priced (less than $100), but has a pack of features that will truly surprise the users. It is particularly suitable for SME, SOHOs, and small business agents that want to provide their callers the best possible service.
Although designed for efficiency, the GXP2130 looks nice with its black plastic body and a white pad featuring a colorful display. It has multiple functions and line keys, but the plastic buttons don’t have a high-quality feel. The graphical icons assigned to the functionality of the keys may also seem inconvenient to some users.
It has dual-switched 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports. It gets its power supply through PoE, but there’s a power adapter too, unlike some high-priced models.
Both the handset and the full-duplex speakerphone of the GXP2130 provide HD sound. However, you will get the best result if both the parties use phones that support HD-level voice.
You can connect the phone to three separate lines and use up to three SIP accounts. All calls and accounts will be completely secure and safe because of the built-in TLS and SRTP security encryption technology.
The 2.8-inch color screen may seem small, but the displayed texts and numbers are clear and sharp.
The phone comes with a four-way audio conferencing feature, requiring just the click of a button to make a conference call.
The Bluetooth option is excellent for hands-free call support. You can also connect it to our mobile devices and synchronize with the calendar, contacts, and call transfer options.
- Full-packed features considering the price
- Powers up via PoE and a power line
- Built-in Bluetooth option
- The graphical icons of the keys are not very helpful
- The Buttons feel cheap
Expensive long-distance phone calls are always frustrating, whether you are a home user or running a business. The VoIP telephones are the most suitable answer to your financial dilemma. And, the VVX 400 from Polycom seems quite perfect if you consider the economics and great user experience. It’s a solid mid-level phone for both households and businesses.
The phone has a great design, featuring well-placed buttons and pads to make call handling easier and a pleasant experience. It does not take much desk space and looks good with the matte-colored body and slim profile. The LCD screen is big enough for reading information without straining the eye.
It has a 12-key dial-pad and multiple hard keys for various functions. There’s also a ‘home’ button for navigating the menu and a ‘select’ button that acts as a navigator key.
The VVX 400 will excel most of the midrange phones when it comes to voice quality. In fact, its sonic reproduction can compete with some high-grade models around. The built-in speakerphone also yields impressive sound, making hands-free call handling more enjoyable.
Setting up and configuring the hone is very easy with the use of Polycom’s web-based configuration tool. The company also provides a cloud-based provisioning solution, Polycom Zero Touch Provisioning, for easy monitoring, maintenance, and upgrade.
You can register the phone to a maximum 12 SIP accounts, and it can handle 12 lines. The color LCD screen displays all the necessary notifications with clear fonts.
It is a user-friendly phone that has many important functions assigned to quick-access buttons, which is useful for quick operation. Besides, the maintenance and upgrades are a cinch too, thanks to the Polycom Zero Touch Provisioning solution.
- Exceptional voice quality
- Installation, configuration, and maintenance is very easy
- Can use 12 lines and 12 SIP accounts
- Affordable price
- Does not have a faster gigabit Ethernet port
- No Bluetooth
The VVX 500 from Polycom is an addition to the brand’s line of business media phones. It’s a good purchase if high-quality and clear communicationsare your priority. The unmatched voice clarity it provides gives your business a productivity boost and your clients a pleasant calling experience.
The device looks dashing and stylish with a black/silver color combination, a shiny texture, and a hard plastic body. The reflective LCD screen seems to complement the black patch at the center while the silver border at the sides highlights the black area even more. It has a distinctive look than other Polycom phones.
In addition to all the regular ports, it has two USB docks for storage and connecting to USB headsets. It uses PoE for power but is also compatible with a 48v AC power adapter, which is not included in the package.
It’s a 12-line midrange business phone that allows registering up to 12 SIP accounts. In addition, it’s possible to jump on multiple calls by using a single line by using the same SIP account.
You will get incredible sound output from this phone because it comes with wideband technology, HD Voice,Acoustic Clarity technology, and a couple of software and hardware components for enhancing the quality of the sound. The speakerphone also shows the same quality. However, all the involved parties have to use the same wideband codec to get the HD Voice output.
The TFT LCD touchscreen is one of the best touchscreen interfaces available in the VoIP phones around. It’s smooth and highly responsive.
A Polycom IP phone never lacks features, and the VVX 500 is not an exception. It has the video calling and conferencing option. However, you have to purchase a Polycom USB camera to enable it.
The Polycom Suite will give you access to several productivity apps. For example, you can utilize the Microsoft Exchange for calendar integration and Desktop Connector to operate the phone from your computer.
- Nice, aesthetic look
- Incredible sound output
- Touchscreen works flawlessly
- Does not come with a power adaptor
- Video calling option needs the purchase of a USB camera
If you are looking for a mid-range IP phone at a reasonable price, the SPA514G could be a good choice. It falls exactly between the one-line SPA502G and the eight-line SPA508G. The 4-line phone, with advanced voice and data handling features,is exactly what you need in your home or the small office.
It’s a stylish phone that looks nice because of the grey/silver color combination, smooth texture, and nicely designed navigation pad and keys. The body is made of ABS plastic, so it’s quite solid and resistant to normal wear and tear.
It supports Power over Ethernet (PoE), but you can use a power cord too, which has to be bought individually.
The SPA514G will keep your business productive and employees responsive to customers with its advanced communications capacity. It can connect to four lines and handles fast data transfer with the 2-port Gigabit Ethernet switch. Another impressive feature is you can use a highly-secure remote provisioning service for everything, from the setup to configuration and maintenance.
The voice quality is impressive although it is lesser than the HD level. However, the experience is likely to be better if the other party uses an HD-quality phone. The settings for the handset and speakerphone is quite handy for pumping up a clear and loud sound.
The 3 inches LCD display clearly shows all the required information. It has a monochrome backlit option for perfect vision in the dark.
The web-based service allows for remote monitoring and configuration. It’s highly secure, safe from the third-party hacking. The phone is also equipped with a 3-way conference call capacity that does not require anything more than the push of a button.
- Decent sound quality
- Speakerphone is good for hands-free calling
- Fast communications with the 2-port Gigabit Ethernet port
- 3-way conference calling
- Web-based configuration and management
- The phone does not have the Bluetooth feature
- Does not come with a power adapter
Is the VoIP Connection As Good As on a Landline?
Well, the current technology is so advanced that it is almost impossible to differentiate one from the other. It means that the VoIP system sound quality is pretty close to that of a landline. However, you have to be careful about the data network setup to get the best performance from an IP phone. The server where the VoIP account has been hosted should have to have enough bandwidth to deal with traffic and ensure voice clarity.
Which One Is Better? Single-Line or Multi-Line IP Telephone?
It depends on the scale of the usage. Let’s say there’s a six-line phone in your office. So, it will be able to handle six calls at a time. It is handy for multitasking such as initiating a three-way conference call, taking a call, and calling another party, everything at the same time. On the other hand, a single-line phone cannot do more than one task at a single time. A two- or three-line phone is the right choice for most of the businesses.