Cordless Phone Buying Guide

Whether you are choosing a Cordless Phone as your home phone or office phone, you will want a phone that allows you to receive, or make, telephone calls at the highest level of sound quality, with minimal interference, and without the possibility of your conversation being overheard by unscrupulous eavesdroppers.

Cordless phones nowadays are available in a number of different types, analogue, digital, 2.4GHz, 5.8GHz, DECT, etc., so familiarity with, at least, some of the technology, and the technological terms bandied about, can be extremely helpful when it comes to choosing the cordless phone that is right for you. Whilst we often start by looking for cheap cordless phones it is usually the right features that drive the actual sale.

Cordless Phone Features, Benefits & Considerations

The base station and handsets of a cordless phone system are effectively small radio transmitters and receivers – a.k.a. transceivers – which communicate via RF, Radio Frequency, signals. The actual frequency at which a cordless phone operates affects the amount of interference to which transmissions are susceptible – and, therefore, the overall quality of the sound – and its range, or the distance from a base station at which can be used satisfactorily.

Early cordless phones, for example, operated in the relatively low frequency 27MHz, and 46-49MHz, bands, but the pursuit of higher quality ultimately led to 900MHz cordless phones and, more recently, 2.4GHz, 5.8GHz and DECT 6.0 cordless phones. Please note that the “6.0” in “DECT 6.0” is simply a version, or revision, number; it has nothing to do with frequency. DECT 6.0 actually utilises frequencies in the 1.9GHz band of the radio spectrum, so DECT 6.0GHz – a common mistake, perpetuated across the Internet – is erroneous.

2.4GHz cordless phones support multiple handsets from a single base station, caller ID, speaker phone and other features, but, because they operate in the same frequency band as microwave ovens, baby monitors – like the BT 150 and BT 200 – and WiFi wireless networking equipment, are still subject to a fair amount of interference. The 5.8GHz frequency band, on the other hand, is less congested, leading to a plentiful supply of fully featured, yet affordable, cordless phones operating in this frequency range. So if you are using a baby monitor, we’d recommend you buy a 5.8GHz cordless phone or a DECT phone.

Cordless DECT Phones

The latest technology, in terms of a cordless phone platform, is DECT 6.0 – Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunication. DECT 6.0 is the latest revision of the DECT standard, originally developed by ETSI – European Telecommunications Standards Institute – in the early 1990s, but increasingly adopted worldwide, for cordless phones. DECT operates on a frequency band – in fact, the 1.9GHz frequency band – that has been set aside for the use of cordless phones, exclusively, so DECT cordless phones provide superior sound quality and minimal interference.

Cordless Phone Battery Power

On a practical note, even the latest state-of-the-art technology is of limited use if a cordless phone handset cannot be used, on the power of its battery, or batteries, for a reasonable length of time. Cordless phones can typically be operated for between 4 and 8 hours on a single battery charge, and left, in standby mode, for anything up to 48, or 72, hours away from a base station. Bear in mind that the more features a cordless phone has, the shorter its battery life is likely to be as they will use more battery life.