Ever since mankind started building structures to live in, there’s been a need for some way for visitors to announce their arrival. In early times, they would stand outside the gate and yell at the house, letting the occupants know they were there. Later, someone came up with the idea of hanging a rock by a cord, creating the first door knocker. While crude, it was somewhat effective. This eventually gave way to a small brass bell, which could be rung by pulling on a cord.
Once electricity became commonly available, more and more things around the home became powered by electricity, including the doorbell. It was easier for the people inside to hear a bell or buzzer inside the home, than it was for them to hear one that was outside. As electronics advanced, so did doorbells, with manufacturers adding innovations such as multi-note chimes that could play a popular tune and the ability to have different chimes for front and back doors, to identify which door the visitor is at.
The latest step in the evolution of the doorbell has been the development of wireless doorbells. With everything else going wireless these days, the idea of having a doorbell that is wireless makes sense. One nice thing about wireless doorbells is they’re much easier to install than their wired cousins. While running the wiring for a doorbell isn't all that bad when you're building a house, once you've got the drywall on the walls, it becomes all but impossible. The wireless doorbell solves this problem, as it doesn't need wiring for anything, allowing it to be hung wherever it will provide the best service.
Another nice thing about wireless doorbells, which most people don't realize, is that you can use multiple receivers (the bell part) with one transmitter (the button part). That's a great advantage for people who have larger homes or some sort of workshop out back. You can add as many receivers as necessary to make sure that you will hear the doorbell wherever you are.
While all of these doorbells are wireless and they all perform the same function, there are some differences between them. Their effective range, number of tones you can choose between and the quality of the tone varies a lot between different models. You will also find that some actually allow you to load ringtones, just like you can for your cell phone.
We didn't think that Jacob Jensen could outdo their award-winning door chime, but they did. This upgraded unit has a 600 foot range and allows you to download your own chime sounds. Read Full Review
If you want the best of the best, this unit is it. This is actually an upgrade from Jacob Jensen's original model doorbell, adding additional capacity and range. This attractive, modern doorbell unit will work at over 600 feet from the push button control, will work with multiple buttons, as well as allowing multiple chime units to be run off of one push button. A total of 64 different personal codes prevent the unit from being confused with a neighbor's unit and the unit is designed to be either free-standing or hung on a wall.
While battery operated, there is an optional power adapter for those who prefer a permanent installation. In addition to the five installed, high-quality tones, you can download your own ring tones in MIDI format and install them with the enclosed software and USB cable. An onboard LED lights up when the unit sounds, as well as when the batteries are low.
Honeywell's top of the line wireless unit is more than just a door chime. This versatile model can be used as a central alarm station, to let you know what's going on around your home. Read Full Review
Honeywell's top of the line unit is more than just a door chime; it can also be used as a central alarm station, to let you know what's happening around your house. The chime unit will work with up to six different transmitters, which include not only push buttons, but door contacts and motion detectors as well. With that, you can keep track of people who come into your home, seeing where they are. A visual alert, as well as the programmed sound, tells you which transmitter is sending the signal. The chime tones are CD quality sound and allow for fully adjustable volume control. This unit has a 450 foot range and features individually coded buttons to prevent interference with other users.
I think this doorbell was designed for people who like to play with the ringtones on their phones as it’s quipped with over 50 different tones. The best part of this unit is it works at 500 feet, along with an affordable price. Read Full Review
I've got good news for those who are trying to get by on a budget as this unit from SatoTech will give you a world of versatility at a very reasonable price. To start with, this wireless doorbell has a 500 foot range, making it the longest reaching unit of all, other than the Jacob Jensen one. That 500 feet will extend to 900 feet if you are transmitting in open area. There are also over 50 different ring tones, the most I've seen pre-installed in any unit and with that many, you should be able to find something you like. The chime unit plugs into any electrical outlet, eliminating the need for batteries as well as mounting.
Here's another great unit for those who want to have their own sounds. This doorbell from Honeywell allows you to download any sound off of the internet and install it via a blank USB memory card. Read Full Review
Have a favorite tune? Well then, make it your doorbell chime! If your main goal is to have a custom sound, but you don't want to spend a lot of money, take a look at the MyChime from Honeywell. Although inexpensive, it still allows you to download your own song or sound for use as a chime as the unit includes software and one blank USB sound card for use in downloading and setting up your new chime sound. While the sound quality may not be the best, the novelty of having your own customizable sounds make it worthwhile. Both parts are battery operated for flexibility and will operate at a range up to 150 feet.
People in noisy environments and the hard of hearing need an audio chime and a visual cue. This unit from Heath Zenith provides both, with a strobe that goes off with the chime. Read Full Review
Sometimes, a chime isn't enough. In cases where there’s a noisy environment or just people who are hard of hearing, a visual cue can be much more effective than a sound. That's why Heath Zenith came out with this unit which has a chime sound and a bright flashing light, both of which go off when the doorbell is pushed. Two separate sounds/lights exist, one that is eight notes and one that is two. The light flashes to match the number of notes, so if you’re using it for two separate doors, you can tell which door it is. The chime unit can be taken from room to room and plugged in, as needed and this unit has a range of 100 feet.