These days with our modern technology, there is no reason to ever be out of touch with members of your household. With a wireless intercom system, everyone in your family can communicate effortlessly. This isn’t just a matter of convenience; in many cases, it is a question of safety. Wireless intercom systems are ideal for elderly and disabled adults to keep in touch with caregivers. They also are great for keeping in contact between separate buildings (i.e. a main house and a workshop).
If you want to purchase a wireless intercom system and are not sure where to start in your search, check out our product comparison table below. Here you can view prices and features for top-selling wireless intercoms.
If you still are not sure what you need, read on to learn more about wireless intercom systems—how they work, questions to ask, features and more.
What is a Wireless Intercom System?
A wireless intercom system is exactly what it sounds like. You install two or more intercoms in rooms throughout your house and use them to communicate. Unlike walkie-talkies, a wireless intercom system is not publicly accessible. No one from outside can listen in or call you through the intercom, and you cannot contact anyone on outside channels. The intercoms can only be used to respond to one another.
How Does a Wireless Intercom System Work?
A wireless intercom system works by means of radio waves. Wire-free design allows you to avoid the hassle (and tripping hazards) of running cords from room to room, and also allows you to install the system in separate buildings.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Wireless Intercom System
How many channels do you need?
Some wireless intercom systems include a single channel, while others provide you with multiple channels. Multiple channels might be useful if you want to be able to hold conversations with one member of your household without everyone else hearing. So for example, if you want to be able to chat with your spouse in the workshop from the kitchen without disturbing your kids working on their homework in the other room, multiple channels would offer you the functionality you need.
Do you need voice operation?
Voice operation is a convenience for some customers, a necessity for others. If you have an elderly or disabled family member using the intercom, he or she may not always be able to push a button to call for help. Voice operation could be a life-saving feature. Keep in mind however that intercom systems are not baby monitors; you cannot use them to continuously monitor a room.
Do you need weather-resistance?
There may be situations where you want to install one of the intercoms outdoors. If so, look for weather-resistance which will protect your device from temperature swings, moisture, and dust.
How do you want to mount your intercoms?
Some intercoms are designed to sit on a desk or counter, while others are built to be mounted to your wall. There are intercoms which you install permanently and others which are portable and which you can easily move from room to room or building to building.
Features and Add-Ons to Look For When Shopping for a Wireless Intercom System
Most wireless intercom systems offer a range up to 1,000 feet. If you have line of sight, you will be able to maximize the range, but intercoms are designed to transmit and receive effectively through walls. Range is most important if you have a very large house or you will be installing your system in separate structures.
Most intercom systems use standard AA batteries. This is good because it is easy to replace them without spending a ton of money. In terms of battery life, you will see some variation, but you can typically expect around four months in standby mode. The more you use the intercom, the sooner you will have to replace them.
When you purchase your intercom system, it will likely include two units you can set up in your house. If you want to be able to communicate with more rooms, you will need more intercoms. Check to see if the models you are interested in support scalability. This allows you to add more intercom stations as you need them. The option to add a large number of intercoms may be particularly important if you are purchasing the intercom system for business use.
Some intercom systems are far more intuitive than others. Look for intercoms which you can operate by hand or voice with ease, and which provide you with a number of different options for communication. The best wireless intercom systems include pager capabilities but also the option to speak with just one respondent.
Noise Cancellation and Clarity
Noise cancellation is a very important feature in a wireless intercom system because chances are good that you will be communicating over all kinds of background noise. Someone may have music playing or a TV or console on. So look for an intercom which will screen out this noise automatically. You can even find intercoms which give you some level of manual control. By customizing sensitivity settings, you can choose which noises to screen out.
Fast and Easy Installation
Setting up an intercom system may be easy or it may be a challenge depending on the model you buy and your level of tech expertise. Read customer reviews to find out how quickly you can expect to get up and running and how useful the user manual will be.
Now you know all the important features for wireless intercom systems and questions you should ask yourself when you are shopping for a system for your own home. Scroll back up to the top of the page to view our product comparison chart. We have made it easy for you to compare prices and features for top wireless intercom systems at a glance!
Chamberlain NLS2: an All-Around Awesome Intercom System
If you find yourself shouting at the top of your lungs every time you want to get the attention of your family, check out the Chamberlain NLS2. It’s an inexpensive, easy-to-use communication solution.
- Long range. As long you stay within 1000 feet of the station you want to communicate to, the message will come in loud and clear.
- Large “transmit” button. Even technology adverse elderly people will find it easy to use the NLS2.
- Reasonable price tag. The NLS2 is quite cheap compared to most other intercom systems.
- Easy to install. Just take it out of the box, plug it in and you’re good to go.
- Voice activation mode. VOX mode allows you to communicate without pressing the button.
- Expandable. If you need to set up lots of communication stations, you can expand this intercom system out to 64 units.
- Neutral colors. The black and beige matches most types of furniture.
- The NLS2’s flimsy plastic case chips and cracks easily.
- The walkie-talkie style microphones and speakers don’t sound amazing, but they get the job done.
Samcom: Send and Receive Extra Loud and Clear Announcements
The Samcom intercom system is ideal for elderly people and people with poor hearing. It’s louder than most intercom devices. You’ll never miss an announcement again if you crank the speakers all the way up.
- Slim design. Measuring only 7.2 x 4.8 x 1.0 inches, Samcom features some of the slimmest intercom units on the market today.
- Great reception. Some intercoms don’t work that well in the basement, but Samcom performs well in any type of room.
- No setup required. If you know how to use a wall plug, you already know how to install a Samcom intercom.
- Wall mountable. Screw holes in the back allow for easy mounting.
- Page the whole house. Conference mode allows you to broadcast your announcement to every room in the house with an intercom station.
- 1000 foot range. Like most modern intercom systems, Samcom intercoms can send and receive broadcasts from up to 1000 feet away.
- The speakers are very loud. Even hearing impaired people will have no trouble understanding what’s being said.
- The Samcom intercom system is slightly more expensive than most other home communication systems.
- The manual is not very well written and contains a few grammatical errors. Luckily, this system is so easy to use that you probably won’t need to read the instructions.