Best 4 Line Cordless Phones
4 line cordless phones are without doubt the most affordable small office phone systems. It's a niche in which there are just two credible options. The choice is between a Panasonic and an ATT cordless phone. Each has strengths and weaknesses that need to be taken into account when selecting the best cordless phone to address your specific requirements.
For many years Panasonic dominated the 4 line phone space. its current flag ship is a 5.8 GHz phone, the KX-TG4500B. While proven and feature rich, we are surprised that a DECT 6.0 successor is yet to appear. It's a void that ATT has opportunistically filled with an excellent small office phone system the SB67118. However many still prefer the Panasonic phone, even though it doesn't employ the latest cordless phone technology and is some what long in the tooth.
4 Line Cordless Phone Comparison
As would be expected both 4 line cordless phones have almost identical features. For example they both support call recording, auto-attendance, handsets with speaker phones, caller ID / call waiting, 3 way conferencing, and the usual hold, pause, redial, flash functions. Hence we will focus on the main differences between these two phones:
Cordless Phone Range
The AT&T SB67118 can optionally be fitted with up to six range extenders. They are simple to install as they are not wired back to the base unit, but simply plugged into a convenient AC power point. By using these devices range can be increased up to half a mile or give coverage over an area of 250,000 square feet. Better still they can eliminate blind spots in multi-level building or in areas where obstacles block communication.
If range or blind spots are potential issues the best solution is undoubtedly an ATT 4 line phone system.
PTT or Push to Transmit is a feature supported by the SB67118. It can be useful in situations such as where multiple parties need to be coordinated. PTT is a half duplex mode of communications that enables parties to take turns at speaking. They are either in transmit or recieve mode. For example it may be useful for calling the kids to dinner while they are watching TV, or getting the attention of a storeman when a part is required urgently.
Both systems enable third parties to join a call in progress, or invoke privacy and block others from joining or listening into a conversation.
As in the case of almost all Panasonic cordless phones the handsets on the KX-TG4500B come with headset jacks and belt clips. On the other hand the ATT 4 line cordless phone handsets don't have provision for a headset jack. They are designed to work exclusively with ATT's TL7600 cordless headsets. They are highly recommended, but be aware that existing 2.5mm cordless phone headsets are not compatible with the ATT 4 line cordless phone.
The ATT phone is slightly more expandable with the ability to operate with up to ten handsets versus eight on the Panasonic unit.
The Panasonic 4 line phone first appeared on the market in the era when all cordless phones were expected to have answering machines. The KX-TG4500B is equipped with a sophisticated 4 mailbox setup with up 100 minutes of recording time. However its nowhere near as sophisticated as the ATT SB67118 when it comes to handling voicemail. For a start there is no visual notification to indicate that a message has been received. The ATT cordless phone also supports multiple mail boxes and enables users to set up different VM messages for each line or even each extension.
DECT 6.0 Technology
DECT 6.0 phones have a number of advantages over earlier technologies. As a general rule the handsets don't draw as much power, which translates into increased talk time. Call clarity is typically better and if security is an issue, we would put more faith in DECT technology than alternatives including 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz phones.
We look forward to seeing more 4 line cordless phones released in the not too distant future. In particular it would be good to see an updated Panasonic phone that can more effectively compete with the ATT SB67118. They are highly cost effective small business telephone systems and increasingly popular as expandable cordless home phones.
Related Cordless Phone Reviews
Best Small Office Phone Systems - when asked by small business operators we always suggest they should focus on simplicity and reliability, alluring features come last.
Best Two Line Cordless Phone - there are dozens to compare and at a glance they look much the same. In fact there are significant differences the best and the worst 2 line phones.
Best 4 Line Phone - selecting the right small business telephone system is a critical decision. It not only has to work reliably, but also support an adequate range of features without breaking the bank.
Small Business Telephone Systems - better than many VoIP business phone systems and more affordable
Expandable Cordless Phone Systems - the latest are expandable DECT 6.0 phones with up to 12 handsets. There are also an increasing number of multi-line cordless phones.