In this article, I’m going to share with you the best IP phone to use with your VoIP system and why it’s the best choice.
I’ll also go over the most well-known VoIP phones that many people end up going with and why you shouldn’t make the mistake of buying those phones today. We power VoIP service for companies around the world.
Our VoIP system allows you to bring existing IP phones in addition to buying phones directly from us, so we see a wide-range of phones. Since 2013, we’ve tested hundreds of different IP phones in-house, and today we’re gonna answer the big question – What is the best VoIP phone?
While you might think there would be at least a couple different brands out there that would rank closely as the “best” IP phones there is just one brand that stands out among the competition. We’ll go over the key advantages this brand offers, compared to the other more established brands.
Let’s start by looking at the two biggest players on the market – Cisco and Polycom. Cisco and Polycom have been around for decades. They were the first to mass-produce IP phones back in the 90s, and back then the phones were pretty groundbreaking.
At the time, VoIP was brand new technology, and these companies were so ahead of the game that they dominated the market. But since then, not so much has happened. Take a look at this phone from Cisco….
This is the Cisco 7900 series phone that was released 25 years ago. It hasn’t been updated, and they still sell it today.
To be fair, Cisco acquired a company called Linksys back in 2003, which had a line of IP phones called the SPA series. Cisco took over that line and continued to sell it.
When they decided to phase out the SPA phones, they replaced it with the 8800 series. The 8800 series has a slightly better color screen and a more modern design, but the phones have the exact same software as the SPA series.
While Cisco has probably the most well-known and widely-used phones to this day, it doesn’t mean that they’re still the best phones.
I mean – would you still want a Nokia 3310 from 2002, or would you have upgraded to an iPhone by now?
The same story goes for Polycom. Polycom was started in 1990, and was able to take some of the market share from Cisco throughout the 90s and 2000s until they just stalled.
Polycom hasn’t done any real product innovation, and their phones are still as challenging and cumbersome to configure as they were twenty years ago. Plus, Polycom phones lack a lot of the standard features included with other IP phones.
So what do Cisco and Polycom have that still drive people to buy their brands? Well, they are really big brands and people tend to go with what they know…
Yes, their phones are stable and reliable, but there’s more to a great VoIP phone than that.
Would you rather pay 2 to 3 times more for decades-old technology, or would you rather reduce costs and increase employee productivity with a more modern product? If you’d rather stick with the older models, you might as well ditch your email and just use a fax machine.
You see what I’m getting at?
Before we answer the question ‘What is the best IP phone’, I want to go back a few years. When Telzio was founded in 2013, the best VoIP phones on the market were from Grandstream.
This was a young company that decided to take on Cisco and Polycom, and was doing a pretty good job of implementing all the features that SIP technology offers.
They gave the phones a sleek design and sold them at affordable prices. Grandstream’s top-of-the-line model ran around $150.
Comparing that to the $500 it costs for a top-of-the-line product from Cisco or Polycom, Grandstream was able to gain a lot of traction.
Unfortunately, Grandstream hasn’t been able to keep that traction going. Their firmware just had too many glitches and it seems like every time they release an update to fix one bug, 3 new bugs are introduced.
This seemed to coincide with the launch of Grandstream’s new product lines, including surveillance cameras, network routers and other products not directly related to VoIP phones and for this reason, we can’t say that Grandstream provides the best IP phones.
Now that we have talked about what phones not to buy, let’s talk about the phones you should buy!
At around the same time as Grandstream launched their phones, another brand surfaced.
That brand is Yealink. For the first several years, it seemed as if they were trying to catch up to Grandstream, and a lot of their phones actually looked the same.
While Grandstream was going in all different directions with their products, Yealink was focused on IP phones, and making sure their firmware was rock solid. Before long Yealink also started updating their designs to make sure their phones look and feel more modern and high quality.
Today, the best VoIP phones are from Yealink. Yealink produces a range of different models, and while they vary in terms of bells and whistles, they all come with the same core firmware the same hardware quality, and the same handsets.
This means that the main differences between Yealink phones are: ONE, The number of lines or active calls the phone can support. TWO, The physical size of the phone and the overall design.
And THREE the screen, which varies from a small LCD display to a large color touchscreen.
Next, let’s dive into some of the best business phones Yealink has to offer. The Yealink T48S is what I would call the perfect executive phone. It’s sleek and has a huge 7-inch color touch screen.
You can easily scroll through pages of programmable keys, and quickly see who is available for taking calls and who’s currently on the phone.
The T48S allows you to configure up to 29 custom buttons on the display for easy access to functions like line keys, BLF, intercom, transfers and tons of other cool features and if that’s not enough, the T48S also allows you to connect several sidecar modules, making it a powerful phone for call centers.
Like all other Yealink phones, the T48S also offers the new Opus codec, which comes with some significant benefits. Opus uses significantly less bandwidth, which enables you to connect more phones on a slower internet connection.
It also enables HD audio, which significantly improves the call quality. One important thing to remember however, is that your VoIP provider must also offer Opus to take advantage of this feature.
Telzio was actually one of the first VoIP providers to implement the Opus codec in early 2019.
Next we have the Yealink T46S. This is hands down the best office phone. The T46S is the phone most of us use here at Telzio, and the bottom line is it just works.
This phone has a full feature set, including 27 customizable buttons, which you can configure to do exactly what you want. The T46S doesn’t have a touchscreen like the T48S, but it does have a super sharp 4.
3-inch colour display that gives you a convenient overview of everything you need to see. Priced just under $250, this phone is still on the high-end.
But because it’s extremely reliable with advanced features that are very easy to use the T46S is an incredibly good investment. While the first two options I’ve shown are intended for heavy usage, Yealink of course also has entry-level business phones that are much more budget-friendly.
The T42S is one of those phones, and at about $100 less than the T46S it’s a great phone for a small business.
This phone doesn’t come with a fancy colour screen, but it does have a large black and white LCD display that provides easy access to features and clearly shows caller ID info.
Like the T48S and T46S, this phone also has the option to program the display buttons, and create up to 27 soft keys. All three of the phones we’ve mentioned enable you to make 3-way conference calls right from the phone.
And with Telzio’s conferencing feature, you can host teleconferences for even larger groups. All three phones also support a wifi dongle which allows you to connect the phone to the internet wirelessly.
But with that said, we always recommend using a wired connection whenever possible.
There are all sorts of things that come into play when using wifi for phone calls, so it’s always going to be more stable when using an actual cable.
What’s more, all of these Yealink phones have two ethernet plugs on the back, which means that you can loop your network through the phone. If you already have a CAT 6 cable for your computer, you can take that cable, connect it to the phone, and then pull a short cable from the phone to your computer.
That way, you won’t have to pull a separate cable for the phone and you can eliminate some of that cable clutter.
Beyond the phones we mentioned, Yealink offers a more high end T5 series, which is priced quite a bit higher. The main difference is that with the T5 it offers features like video calling and larger touch screens.
Some of them also run Android as your operating system, which enables other advanced features like installing your own apps. We’ve talked about three of the best VoIP phones but Yealink actually makes more than just desk phones.
They also make some amazing conference phones and cordless handsets, and I want to take a quick minute to show you their cordless VoIP phone.
This is the Yealink W56H – a super slick and lightweight cordless phone, which has an indoor range of up to 150 feet.
It uses the DECT technology, which is extremely stable and offers amazing sound quality. The phone connects to a base station, which connects to the internet just like a regular VoIP phone.
You can connect up to 8 handsets per base station, and if the range becomes an issue, you can install repeaters throughout your office. Just like Yealink’s other phones, this one supports HD voice through the Opus codec, and also allows you to make 3-way conference calls.
The cordless handset has a nice, bright color screen, and get this – you get 30 hours of talk time and 400 hours of standby time on a single charge.
This phone is so convenient and functional, that a lot of people at Telzio have traded in their desk phones for this cordless option.
One last thing we want to mention is about setting up IP phones. All Yealink phones, and most other VoIP phones, can be configured using our auto-provisioning service.
This means that we ship the phones directly to you and all you need to do is plug the phone in From our website, you can assign users to the phones, and Telzio automatically configures the phones’ settings.
We’re excited to hear which phones you’re thinking of using for your business.
Let us know in the comments below, along with any questions we didn’t get to answer in this video. don’t forget to subscribe to our channel, where we have more videos coming and you can stay on top of the latest tech for your business phones…