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Home Improvement

Best Intercom

When searching for a good intercom, you will have several choices. You will first need to decide how you are going to use your intercom, and then consider the features you would like to have on it. Some of the features available will include:

  • Wired, or wireless
  • Audio, video, or both
  • Will it be mounted inside, or outside

Once you decide where it will be used, you will be able to sift through your choices a little faster, and find the one that will work best for you. One of the things you will need to consider is if you select a wireless model; make sure it has several channels so you will be able to switch to a different one in case your new device interferes with your WiFi service. It is also a good idea to stay with frequencies that are 900MHz and higher, as these are less likely to be flooded with white noise and other peoples conversations. Not many of these intercoms are totally secure, but you can get one that has enough channels that it would be difficult to pick up someone else’s conversation without searching for it. The following lists will help you get a good idea of what is out there, and which one’s rank well. If you choose well, you will be able to use your new device for many years to come.
 

VTech Communications Safe & Sound Digital Audio Monitor

VTech has been around for a long time, making all sorts of electronic baby equipment, and this is simply another fine addition to the family. Designed more as a baby monitor, this model uses a digital relay instead of analog, so your reception will be clear and without any static or background noise. So far, there have not been any complaints about picking up police scanners, or anything like that. Unlike some other brands, VTech models don't have that annoying "ticking" sound either. This is good news in case you have a toddler that is hypersensitive to noise. One of the best features is this unit comes with two parent units, so you don't have to carry only one around the house with you all day. You can leave one in the family room or kitchen, and another at your bedside. A great feature if you live in a sizable home. You will also be able to use this model as a two-way intercom system, so you can speak to your baby without having to walk all the way to their room.

Panasonic KX-TG6512B Cordless Phone

If you are looking for an audio intercom/ phone, this Panosonic model is a good choice for you. The first thing you notice is that each handset has its own banner name, so you won't have to guess which base unit to return it to. If each person has their own set of contact numbers, you can be sure to return the right handset, to the right base in order to keep them organized. When you need to reach out to the other person in your home, the pager is a simple, one click feature that sends out an adjustable tone of your choice, to get their attention. These can also be customized, so each person has their own tone. The recipient would answer it just like they would any other call. Another nice feature is how you can check the caller ID on the second handset, after the call has been answered. It is nice to know who your kids are talking to in case that is a concern. Each handset also comes with a jack for a headset, so you can place the phone down, without having to turn on the incredibly loud and clear speaker-phone. Not everyone wants their conversation to be blasted through the room. With this Panosonic model, you will be able to talk hands free without any interference of any kind. It also comes with a belt clip for the two handsets so you can keep your intercom close at hand without having to actually carry it with you all day. If you don't have your headset handy, there is also a shoulder-grip pad so you can rest the phone on your shoulder for easy access. In case your phone company doesn't have an answering service, you can always reply on the built in answering machine found with this model as well.

Shark Motorcycle Audio Intercom Shklxmbt688il

If you need a good wireless intercom while riding your bike, Shark provides an excellent service for an excellent price. The range of service can be maintained at about 50 yards, while riding your bike up to 80 mph, with little background noise or interference. The clarity of the voice connection is very good as compared to other models, and additional units can be added without issue to the two that come in the original box. Talk times average about four hours per charge, depending on if you are listening to music or not. You will be able to use your phone jack to hear your music, and if a call comes in, it will simply give it a few rings, and then answer the call. When you are finished, the system will simply go back to whatever function you were listening to before the call.

Philips Avent Basic Baby Monitor w/ DECT Technology

If you are looking for a baby intercom, Philips makes one that has a sensitivity adjustment, so that you will be able to adjust just how responsive your unit will be. This control will allow you to hear only as much of your child as you want to. It is not necessary to hear every breath, or every whimper, by limiting the sensitivity level you will be able to screen background noise, and respond only when your child really needs you. These adjustments are easy to set once you walk through the tutorial, so that you can adjust them from both the parent, and the child units. You will also not experience any third party interference from these wireless units, so there is no need to be concerned that a passing frequency will startle your child awake. The battery backup will also assure that if the power goes out, there will not be any loud alarm to notify you. A simple light will indicate that it is operating on battery power, so you can address the issue at your convenience. There is also another noise level light for those who can't hear very well. With this, you have the option of turning off the intercom, and activating a light bar that will light up according to the noise in the room. This way, you will not have to actually hear your child, but will be able to see from the indicator light that they are calling out for you. A great feature if you are having guests, and want to be quietly alerted to your child's needs. Because these units are equipped with a two-way chat feature, you will also be able to sooth your child without actually being in the room. These intercoms are designed by Phillips that has a long history of wireless communications so you can be sure that you are getting a quality product, at an excellent price.

Panasonic KX-TG4742B DECT 6.0 Cordless Phone with Answering System, 2 Handsets

Panosonic brand has been around for decades, and is sure to remain for several more. You will always be assured of excellent customer service no matter what item you purchase from them. Among wireless intercoms, this model comes with a few upgrades from previous models, such as a larger keypad, and a brighter backlight. This is great for the elderly who have a few challenges in these areas. Because these handsets are two-way, users will be able to speak with each other without having to return to the base units making communication easy and effortless. Initially, it takes about seven hours to fully charge these units, but you will be able to use them after only 30 minutes once plugged in. The well-lit message counter will be able to inform you of messages, even when you are away from the base so you will be able to answer them when you chose, from any location. The one-touch voice message dialing is a welcome feature as well, so you won't have to go back to the base unit in order to answer these. In case your phone service doesn't offer voice messaging, you will have the option of activating a built in answering machine that can be accessed from any handset as well. For those who need to keep up with messages, this will allow you to continue working, and get to your messages again at your convenience. This model has improved the sound quality significantly, so that messages are loud and clear in case someone has an issue with hearing, or background noise.

Chamberlin Wireless Portable Intercom

The Chamberlin is highly recommended because of its many features, and ease of set-up and use. Those that live in steel buildings have found that there is no interference whatsoever, in both quality and service. It is reported to work at 900 megahertz, which means nobody else in the neighborhood will be eavesdropping on your conversations. This superior design will also allow you to talk across digital lines, instead of analog or FM lines, limiting the distortion and white noise that is often found with similar wireless intercoms. Unlike other similar models, this model will also not require you to plug each unit into the same electrical circuit, making it a ‘truly wireless’ intercom system. There is also a ‘conference call’ feature that will allow more than one user to be in on a conversation. Great for those who live in a group home with several members. Shown to work up to 100-feet away from the base, this Chamberlin will allow you to use it all over the house, and not make you scramble back to the base unit in order to answer a caller. This alone is one of the reasons this unit is favored by the handicapped, and those in a wheelchair. Up to 12 add-on units per base can be added, and their linking is very simple to accomplish. If you are technically challenged, a quick call to Chamberlin’s support line will walk you through it when you need them to. No more yelling through the house trying to find someone, or let them know something; with this truly portable, wireless intercom, you will be able to communicate in any environment, practically distortion free.

Panasonic KX-TG6512B Cordless Phone

If you are looking for an audio intercom/ phone, this Panosonic model is a good choice for you. The first thing you notice is that each handset has its own banner name, so you won't have to guess which base unit to return it to. If each person has their own set of contact numbers, you can be sure to return the right handset, to the right base in order to keep them organized. When you need to reach out to the other person in your home, the pager is a simple, one click feature that sends out an adjustable tone of your choice, to get their attention. These can also be customized, so each person has their own tone. The recipient would answer it just like they would any other call. Another nice feature is how you can check the caller ID on the second handset, after the call has been answered. It is nice to know who your kids are talking to in case that is a concern. Each handset also comes with a jack for a headset, so you can place the phone down, without having to turn on the incredibly loud and clear speaker-phone. Not everyone wants their conversation to be blasted through the room. With this Panosonic model, you will be able to talk hands free without any interference of any kind. It also comes with a belt clip for the two handsets so you can keep your intercom close at hand without having to actually carry it with you all day. If you don't have your headset handy, there is also a shoulder-grip pad so you can rest the phone on your shoulder for easy access. In case your phone company doesn't have an answering service, you can always reply on the built in answering machine found with this model as well.

Dakota Alert MURS Two-Way Base Station Radio

If you need a simple to use, long distance wireless intercom, then this Dakota is a good choice. Not a lot of bells and whistles on this one, but it will operate on up to 38 different channels, and is capable of transmitting over several miles. So if your home is large, or you have dead spots, such as the basement or garage, this Dakota will reach your party no matter where they are, and in all kinds of weather. Buyers of this model claim that after purchasing several other models of wireless intercoms, they just couldn’t fulfill all the buyers’ expectations. However, after they bought the Dakota, they were able to just plug it in, and start using it to reach those up to three miles away. Meant for more of a commercial application, the mechanics of this intercom have been housed in an attractive residential unit so you can keep one in your kitchen, without looking like a military base. Voice clarity was clear up to 3-miles away, and with all these channels, you are sure to find your own bandwidth. The relay in this model can be adapted to other existing systems such as alarm panels or even doorbells. Many different applications for small businesses, farmers, security guards, outdoorsmen; anyone who needs to have real time monitoring and two way voice communications will benefit from this brand. There is also an optional handheld unit that will allow this model to expand up to 10 different receivers.

Motorola CLP1040 Lightweight Portable Two-Way Radio / Intercom

Running a small business can be very competitive. You can’t have employees walking from one end of the store to the other, trying to find one little piece of information. Making sure you are supporting maximum use of employees’ time is key to running an efficient business. Likewise in your home. You can't run a peaceful, efficient home if you are always scrambling around trying to communicate with other people in it. This wireless Motorola intercom makes these tasks easy and effective as they have been a leader in the wireless business for decades. Many of the wireless intercom features we take for granted today, were established by the Motorola brand. This CLP104 model is perfect for small business, around the house, in the garage, or even as a monitor for a private room. Some of the channel features include a scanner, a monitored channel, and internal antennae, so you will be able to listen to your channels without actually having to keep your wireless intercom next to you at all times. You can program it to run in the background, and come check it out only when something of interest comes up. Operating off 4-channels, you will also be able to scramble your messages so others can’t hear them. Typical talk range can go as high as 10,000-feet ; that’s 10-floors for you construction guys. There are also 99-UHF business channels in case you are operating outside, and need to have your own private line while calling your spouse to bring more burgers for the grill. While these frequencies are not secure, you can certainly find one to have your own conversation. Being Motorola, they have their own use of 39+ Analog / 84+ Digital Interference Eliminator Codes, making this one of the most versatile intercoms in the market. Depending on your use, you will be able to have private conversations without interfering with your other wireless products in your home. This model is often used by those in a large home, but can also be used in doctors’ offices, police stations, restaurants, and other in-house businesses that need to communicate over a long distance. Because it uses a rechargeable battery pack, you will be able to drop it in its cradle between uses, allowing it to recharge periodically throughout the day.

IntercomCentral FM246 2nd Generation Four Channels Advance 3 Wire Powerline-Wireless Intercom System

Walkie-Talkie’s give off too much white noise, so purchasing one of these wireless intercom’s will give you all the uses of a good walkie-talkie, without all the background interference. This model is great for the disabled, or those in a wheelchair. They will be able to reach out to someone with just the touch of a button; 24-hours a day. The indicator light will also allow for attention getting without loud radio noises in case you don’t want to disturb others nearby. No need to be on the same circuit with this intercom, you can just plug each base unit into any existing 3-pronged grounded outlet and they are ready for use. The volume control has a wide range; you can leave this unit on, turn it up and walk away and yet still be notified when someone is calling you.

Levana LV-TW502 Safe N' See Advanced 3.5-Inch Digital Video Wireless Baby Monitor

If you think video intercoms are for hover-moms; guess again. While moms are the largest demographic that buys them, these remote cameras have several uses. They will monitor the entrance doors of buildings, allow you to watch your business from a distance, and even give moms more accessibility than they thought. If you have a toddler in another part of the house, you will want to keep an eye on them as often as you can. Even the best parents can’t protect their kids 24/7, so having this video intercom will allow you to keep an eye on them while you are off doing something else in another part of the house. Ever wonder what that loud noise was? Want to know why they are so quiet? Now you can answer both questions without stopping what you are working on to go and see. You can even talk to your kids without having to actually go to where they are.

There is also a built in temperature feature in this Levana model, that will tell you what the temperature of the room is. The screen is small yet easy to read, and will easily calibrate to night vision so it won’t keep both rooms up all night. It is clear, but not bright and overbearing like some other models. Because it is remote controlled, you will be able to turn these monitors on and off without having to go into the room. This little feature will extend the life of your batteries considerably. The monitor is also sound sensitive, so it will only stay on when there is noise in the room. There is also a remote controlled music feature that will allow you to play a gentle background song while your little one takes a nap. If you have any interference with your Wifi, you can easily switch channels to find one that allows for whole house compatibility. This is so important as the number of wireless services continues to grow in homes across America.

Samsung SEW-3036WN Wireless Video Baby Monitor

One of the most common problems with remote wireless intercoms is that they all have poor night vision. The 3.5-inch screen found on the Samsung SEW-3036WN allows for a clearer picture of what is going on, while offering some of the best clarity in the market. All of these small monitors have this issue, but this Samsung has minimized it significantly in this model. This practical wireless Video Baby Monitor/ Intercom with Infrared Night Vision and Zoom lens can be used in just about any application inside the home. Because these wireless intercoms allow you to talk to your child, you can step up to the camera and speak to them without having to walk into the room. This will save you precious time while not compromising that soothing comfort you and your child appreciate. The zooming and panning features make this unit a good one for larger applications as well. You will be able to scan your entry ways, your large rooms, and just about any location that you need to monitor from a safe distance. The auto shut off will save you time and energy; however, the voice activation mode will ensure that you will have access when you need it. If you are alone inside your home, and fall, the loud noise will activate the camera again making those around you aware of your distress. If your child falls asleep, the system will power down, but still turn on again when they wake up, letting you know how they are doing. This is a nice feature for those who have built their life around their child’s schedule.

7 Inch Video Door Phone Doorbell Intercom Kit 1-camera 1-monitor Night Vision Wired

Designed for indoor and outdoor use, this TomTop video/doorbell model works particularly well at entry ways, and as property scanners. While it can be used for any application, these are the ones that are used most often with this model. Reviews tell how this unit arrives in only three days, and how it was ready to plug in and start using right away. Installation might be a little tricky though since a hole needs to be drilled and wires fished from the outside, through the house to the monitor, but if you are fairly handy you should be able to accomplish this task. The wires that come with this model are only 20-linear feet, so if you need more between the doorbell and the monitor, you will have to find a way to extend this yourself. If you need to just speak with your visitor, you will be able to with the hands-free intercom that allows you to communicate without leaving your seat. The doorbell feature comes with twelve various settings, so you can have seasonal sounds with each passing year.

Optex iVision Wireless 2-Way Video Door Intercom System

This Optex iVision two-way video intercom is a great solution to answering the front door without actually opening it. The hand held receiver is equipped with a 2.25”-inch monitor that is easy to carry around inside your home, or it can be docked it the cradle for constant recharging. This doorbell camera unit runs on low voltage wiring and should be tapped into your existing low voltage doorbell wire for complete functionality. This is a video/doorbell/intercom, not a full time surveillance camera as some might assume. When the doorbell is pressed, it will alert the homeowner who then has the option of a video chat. If the resident doesn’t reply, the visitor will simply have no other option than to assume nobody is home. When chats are accepted and completed, the unit will just power down and wait for the next person to ring the doorbell. If you want to operate this unit on batteries alone, you can, but you will have to keep checking your monitor to see if anyone is there since without the doorbell hardwire, this unit will not activate the doorbell to alert you to someone’s presence. It is important to understand that this is a doorbell replacement system, designed for those in buildings that either have no peek-hole, or apartments that are on the second or third floors. Because it runs on low-voltage, it can be hardwired to low voltage only, but also comes with a standard rechargeable battery backup so you can have replacements ready if they should ever go out. By using rechargeable batteries, you should always have a spare set close by saving you the last minute run trying to find the right replacements. This transmitter is functional up to 300-feet of straight line service, so if you live on a higher floor, you should probably keep this unit near the window.

VTech Communications Safe & Sounds Full Color Video and Audio Monitor

VTech has a long history of making child toys and tools. Their baby monitor takes all their years of experience and rolls it into one. This is considered one of the best in the market because of the many features it has, and the great price it offers. Like many parents, they already have a house full of toys, strollers, high chairs and other baby paraphernalia. Adding another baby item that is on 24/7 can be the straw that breaks the camels back in some households. Not so with this 2.8-inch LCD screen. It is just the right size to view, without being overbearing in the room. The range is up to 1,000-square feet, so you will be able to monitor not only your child, but other members of your household as well. If you have someone who is physically or mentally challenged, you will be able to place cameras strategically around your home and secure the knowledge that they are still under your watchful eyes. Like most modern video / intercoms these days, this VTech has a white noise filter that can be adjusted to your liking. This way, you will not be alerted every time your child exhales or just rolls over. With this model, you will have the option of selecting what sensitivity level your intercom delivers. Also, like many modern video intercoms, this model includes a temperature and battery alert. These two little pieces of information will be sure to give you plenty of time to maintain normalcy around your house, without scrambling at the last minute to cool the house down, and find replacement batteries. A simple ‘heads-up’ is all you need to keep the peace in your home. The night vision feature is superior to most; not grainy and ‘shadowy’ like other models. This is an automatic feature so you won’t have to be concerned about any adjustments for daylight savings time. This unit will simply read the light level in the room, and respond accordingly. This is particularly welcome when you have nothing better to do than sit around and spy on your kids. Watching them alone in their cribs can be pure entertainment for many.

Kerri Ryan
I was a real estate developer in Washington, DC, both purchasing and remodeling commercial and residential property for over 25 years. During this time, I was able to experience the best of the best in all things related to the home; indoors and out. Kitchens & baths, both indoor and out, faux painting, high end furniture, whole property communication systems, anything that will make life easier around the house, was used and explored at one time or another while running this business. Budgets in DC were large, and their imaginations were even larger. Finding the right materials to keep the customer happy was just part of the fun and excitement of developing real estate for 25 years.
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