Best Cordless Phones
Comparisons and Ratings
It's much easier to identify the best cordless phones today than in the past. For a start the contenders are all DECT 6.0 phones. As a consequence they have few if any problems with WiFi interference, call quality or range. In other words the latest cordless phones are generally more than adequate for use around the home, however that's not say there aren't differences between them and some are a lot better than others.
In each of the respective niches there are typically one or at most two top rated cordless phones that stand out from the rest. They are the phones that get recommended to friends and family. More often than not they are also the top selling phones.
Best Cordless Phones Review
The quickest and best way to compare cordless phones is to first identify the type or category that is of most interest. Having reduced the field to a manageable number you can more easily compare apples with apples when deciding on the best cordless phone.
Best Cordless Home Phones
Single line expandable cordless phones systems for use around the "average" home or apartment are the top sellers. Most are expandable up to six handsets, or in some cases twelve. Optionally they may or may not include digital answering machines.
Panasonic or Vtech Phones?
The best phones in this category are either Vtech or Panasonic cordless phones. The former are usually cheaper and more basic, but very reliable. On the other hand Panasonic cordless telephones target the premium end of the market. They have numerous proprietary features that users quickly find indispensable such as:
- Talking caller ID - announces the callers name or nick name
- Silent mode - stops annoying calls by blocking specified numbers
- Choice Mail - enables users to quickly scan voice messages visually
- Uses standard rechargeable AAA batteries as available everywhere
- Shared phone book always up-to-date across all handsets
While Vtech cordless phone systems are generally cheaper if less than two or three handsets are required, Panasonic cordless phones are often cheaper in four-five and six handset configurations such as the KX-TG6545B. It's also a good idea to order more handsets than required. In our experience they always get used and if one has a mishap you have a spare unit on-hand.
Most manufacturers have at least one two line cordless phone in their range, but the best cordless phones in this niche are either Panasonic or Uniden phones. These two companies have dominated the space since long before DECT 6.0 phones took center stage. Over the years they have comprehensively addressed the operating requirements associated with setting up default lines, transferring calls, multi-party calls and private calls. Other manufacturers typically pay less attention to these usability issues.
The top selling Uniden 2 line cordless phones are the DECT4096 and DECT4066A. On the Panasonic side of the fence the corresponding top sellers are the KX-TG9382T and KX-TG9233T
For years the Panasonic KX-TG4500B was the only 4 line phone worth considering. Despite being a little long in the tooth, it's still very popular as it's a tried and proven small office phone system. However it's a 5.8 GHz phone and over-due for replacement by a DECT 6.0 equivalent. In the meantime an AT&T cordless phone has stepped into the breach and pretty much stolen the market.
The AT&T SB67118 is a DECT 6.0 phone. It's definitely the best cordless phone to use in situations where cordless phone range could be an issue. Optional signal boosters can be added. They dramatically increase coverage and can also overcome issues with blind spots.
Vtech was probably first cordless phone manufacturer to embrace Bluetooth technology. It was a smart move because there are millions of consumers who are undecided as to whether or not they should keep their land line phone service, or rely exclusively on mobile phones. Phones such as Vtech's DS6321-3 offer the best of both worlds. They use Bluetooth technology to provide a bridge between cellular and land line phone services. There are many advantages to such a setup including the ability to answer or make cell phone calls from a cordless handset.
Vtech's Bluetooth cordless telephones are excellent value for money, but as always they are up against stiff competition from Panasonic. Panasonic has several Link-to-Cell Bluetooth cordless phones including the very impressive KX-TG7645M. It combines the advantages of Bluetooth with Panasonic's DECT 6.0 Plus enhancements. The result is a very cool phone that tops the cordless phone ratings.
While clever technology may impress some, others simply want the convenience of a wall mount cordless phone. Unfortunately there aren't a great number of options in the way of flush mounted cordless wall phones. The next best thing is an AT&TCL81209 or related model. They have a viable wall mount, but stick out a little at the bottom. Alternatively a Motorola L301 sits "almost" flush to the wall, but on the down side it's a fairly ordinary phone.
Existing cordless phones can be retained and used with a cheap Internet phone service. They are interfaced to a broadband connection via an ATA that is usually supplied as part of the package. Unfortunately some service providers use this mechanism as a means of locking customers in for a period of time. In our view a better approach is to buy a VoIP cordless phone and enjoy the freedom of being able to switch between providers if they don't live up to expectations. To this end the best cordless phone is one of the dual mode Siemens Gigaset cordless VoIP phones. They are very easy to set up and the voice clarity is exceptional.
If you require a hands free portable cordless phone with a headset and microphone, there is only one option to consider. The Plantronics CT14 is the benchmark and has no serious competition. Up to 10 hours of talk-time, excellent call clarity and a dial pad that can be tucked into a pocket or clipped onto clothing.
So what do we mean by long range? If we are talking about hundreds of meters and using a cordless phone in a multi-level home or from the bottom of a very large yard the solution is probably a Panasonic KX-TG4053B. A range extender or signal booster enables these phones to achieve much better range than a standard DECT 6.0 phone.
On the other hand if you need a long range cordless phone that will give coverage over even bigger areas the best cordless phone is undoubtedly an EnGenius Durafon. They are commonly used in entertainment complexes, car yards, tourist resorts, large construction sites and college campuses.
The best cordless phones to use around the pool, in the garden or in the garage are Uniden waterproof cordless phones. They can be totally immersed in water. Furthermore they will withstand loads of rough treatment. They make an excellent Father's Day gift for the man who spends a lot of time tinkering in the back yard. The most popular model is the Uniden WXI3077 DECT 6.0 phone.
The advent of DECT 6.0 technology brought the cost of cordless phones crashing down. They are a fraction of the cost that they were even five years ago. However, it's not only a consequence of new technology, but also off-shore manufacturing and outsourcing.
The manufacturer of Vtech and ATT cordless phones is the master of cost cutting. While there maybe cheaper cordless phones, Vtech has also been successful at maintaining consistent quality standards. Hence from the perspective of value for money, Vtech phones are an obvious choice when deciding on the best cordless phone.
It's obviously impossible to nominate the best cordless phone for someone to buy without knowing how it is to be used and a few other basic requirements. On the other hand it's usually the case that there are only one or two suitable options to choose between. Hopefully we've shed some light on the best options to consider.
Related Cordless Phone Reviews
Panasonic Cordless Telephones - the top rated cordless phones in most categories with features and functionality well in advance of most alternatives.
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.
How to Block Unwanted Calls - the easiest way is to use a cordless phone equipped with caller ID block. They enable numbers to be added or updated in seconds and the blocks are effective immediately.
Best Uniden Phones 2017 - when comparing Uniden cordless phones with alternatives make sure they are not superseded models.
Best Cordless Phone Headset - the Panasonic KX-TCA60 is one of those rare finds. It costs next to nothing, but works really well.
Top Rated Cordless Phones - in most categories the top rated phones are made by one company. Panasonic outsells all other brands and the gap is growing, but are they the coolest cordless phones?