Upgrade Pick: Vtech Is8151
The VTech IS8151-4 offers impressive range, good-enough voice quality, four handsets, and every other feature we can think of. A speakerphone and dial pad on the base station? Check. Smart call blocking? Yep. Cellular connection? Yes, indeed. If you want everything a cordless phone has to offer, the IS8151-4 is the model youre looking for. And even though its more expensive than our other picks, the price per handset is actually less than that of the AT& T DL72210.
In our standardized distance test, the IS8151-4 traveled fartheran impressive 450 feet, or the length of almost 13 school busesthan any other phone before our call broke up. VTech markets the phone as supporting super long range, which it defines as 2,300 feet, but its not surprising that the phone fell far short of that figure in real-world conditions all the phones we tested delivered far less than their stated ranges.
Our testers opinions on the IS8151-4s voice quality variedindividual respondents placed it second, third, and fourth in their evaluations. One described the voice quality as being a little muffled but perfectly understandable. Again, your results may vary depending on whether youre using a traditional copper wire or a VoIP connection .
Personal Experience With The Panasonic Kx
With our landline canceled I have several weeks of experience using the Panasonic cordless bluetooth phone system now, and have been pleased over all.
The bluetooth hookup failure after driving our car continues to happen intermittently, but also continues to be a small enough problem that I haven’t tried to fix it. Just a minor quirk to me.
There is a pause between dialing on the cordless handset and the cell phone actually dialing a call when calling out. I suppose this is because the number information needs transferred from the handset to the Panasonic base to the cell phone. Again, not a big deal and something I can live with.
There is also a pause when answering an incoming call on the handset, probably for the same reason. I’ve learned to wait a second or so after pressing the answer button on the handset before I produce the inevitable “Hello?”. Simply snatching up the phone and saying “Hello” produces only silence as the cell has not passed information to the cordless yet. This is more of an irritation, but again one I’ve learned to handle.
The “block caller” function certainly works well and is appreciated. The cordless set can accept up to about 20 numbers and will ring those numbers only once, until the caller id comes through. It then disconnects the call with no action from me.
Pair Your Device With A Bluetooth Accessory
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A Great Amplified Phone: Panasonic Kx
*At the time of publishing, the price was $93.
For those with mild to moderate hearing loss looking for an amplified phone, we recommend starting with Panasonics KX-TGM420W. It has all the features a great phone should have, amplified or not, and when retired audiologist Lisa Devlin tested our amplified finalists, it was her favoritethe one she would tell her clients to get. The volume adjustments should be suitable for many people who need boosted voice levels, and the six levels of tone adjustment plus custom tones provide a greater range of voice qualities than you can find on phones from any other company. The phone meets the TIA-1083 standard, so it offers compatibility with hearing aids without causing interference, and it works with headsets and neck loops. And like all of our picks, the KX-TGM420W has good range and outgoing voice quality.
Panasonic says that the KX-TGM420W can reach up to 40 dB and that the ringer can go up to 100 dB. We didnt measure the volume to confirm those numbers, but Devlin found that with her level of hearing loss, she didnt need to turn the phone up all the way to reach a useful, comfortable listening level. That would disqualify any product for me, if I always had to go to the maximum volume, she said.
Pairing A Cellular Device
Before pairing a Bluetooth enabled cellular phone to the base unit, make sure that no other Bluetooth device such as a Bluetooth headset is connected to your cellular phone.
- If the cellular phone has already paired to the base unit, its pairing is overwritten
- Make sure that your cellular phone is set to connect to this product automatically. Refer to your cellular phones operating instructions.
- Make sure you cancel your cellular phones current pairing if you want to pair it to the other line.
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Our Pick: At& t Dl72210
AT& Ts DL72210 offers great range and clear audio, plus nearly all of the features most people could hope for in a cordless phoneall for a price lower than that of comparable handsets. This model has a long enough range that youll be able to walk around your house without the connection sputtering, and its also the best-sounding phone we testedour panel ranked it even higher than an iPhone used with Wi-Fi calling. The package comes with two handsets, so you can have phones in different parts of your home. And this model includes features normally found only on more expensive phones, such as automated call screening and a Bluetooth cell phone connection.
Although the DL72210s range isnt the longest of the phones we tested, its plenty long enough for almost any application. We were able to get about 260 feet away from the base station before the audio on the other end of the call began to cut in and out. Some phones offered a range upwards of 450 feet in our tests, but 260 feet should still be plenty for use in most peoples homes. To put that number in perspective, we were able to get seven houses down the street with the DL72210 before our test call began to break up. AT& Ts CL82219a similar phone in the same price range but with fewer featureswas able to go a house and a half farther, which is great, but that extra range is probably not necessary unless you have an especially large property.
Panasonic Cordless Expandable Bluetooth Phone System
Panasonic is one of those brands that needs no introduction. Whether you see their name on a stereo system or a pair of Bluetooth headphones, you can expect good quality. Their Cordless Expandable Bluetooth Phone System comes with four or five handsets, depending on which option you choose. Theres a single large base station, which is DC-powered, and includes a built-in voicemail. The other handsets mount in small docks, which are just large enough to hold them vertically. This design saves space on your desk, countertop, or wherever else your phones need to live.
The base station allows you to control a variety of settings. You can also take advantage of all the Bluetooth features well cover in the next section. From the base station, you can also program the smart function buttons on your phones. These buttons are located on the sides of the phones, like a walkie talkie. You can use them to check voicemails, or to perform any other function you want them to perform. If theres a button for it on the base station, it can be done with the smart button. All four phones are powered by AAA batteries, which are included in the kit. The batteries are rechargeable, and should last for years of normal use.
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Landline Phone Uses Bluetooth To Make Friends With Your Mobile
The base units have Bluetooth built in, letting you wirelessly connect a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone to them so you can make and receive cell phone calls using your home phone.
Senior Editor / Reviews
Joshua Goldman is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering laptops and the occasional action cam or drone and related accessories. He has been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 2000.
If you’ve been debating dropping your POTS line because everyone calls you on your cell phone anyway, this new handset from Advanced American Telephones just might make you keep it. The AT& T-branded dual-handset TL92278 and triple-handset TL92328 base units have Bluetooth built in, letting you wirelessly connect a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone to them so you can make and receive cell phone calls using your home phone.
This means you can leave your cell phone charging 30 feet from the base of these phones and still answer calls using your landline. You also don’t have to worry about interference or dropping a call if you’re walking around your house. Plus, it uses Digitally Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications 6.0 antenna technology giving you the enhanced clarity and extended range of that, too.
These AT& T Bluetooth DECT systems are expandable with up to 12 handsets . You can find the TL92278 in Best Buy and Wal-Mart and the TL92328 at BJs and Sam’s Club stores.
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Mobile Phone Bluetooth Transfer
If you make or receive a call on your mobile phone, you can transfer the call to your Ooma device via Bluetooth. To do so, youll first need to enable the Allow Incoming Bluetooth Audio Transfer option on the Bluetooth setup page .
The user interface for changing the audio source depends on the mobile phone, but on the iPhone, there is an audio source button when you are on a call. The audio will cut-out on your mobile phone and your home phones should ring distinctively like an intercom call. Answer on your home phone and you will be connected to the remote party.
Depending on the behavior of your mobile phone, this transfer may be automatic when your mobile phone enters the vicinity of the Ooma Telo Base Station or Phone Genie . You can always switch the audio back to your mobile phone if you did not want the call transferred. Note that if you hang up on a transferred call, the audio source goes back to your mobile phone. The call does not end until you hang up on your mobile phone.
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Notes On Bluetooth Pairing
During the pairing process, follow any instructions that appear on your PC or phone. In some cases, you’ll have to type or confirm a passcode. Often, this is a generic number like 1234 or 0000. Once you confirm this code, your phone should connect to your PC and will automatically do so in the future, as long as the devices are in range.
If you can’t get the devices to find each other, one of them is likely not discoverable. As a security feature, most Bluetooth devices only broadcast themselves when you have their Bluetooth options open.
Double-check that you’ve enabled Bluetooth on both your phone and PC, and keep the Bluetooth options menu described above open while you pair. You should see Now discoverable as or something similar.
The connection will remain active until you turn off Bluetooth, manually disconnect the devices, turn one of them off, or move them out of range. The exact Bluetooth range depends on the device, and differs based on the quality of your Bluetooth adapter or chip. In general, you can expect the connection to reach around 30 feet.
Why Not Use A Cable To Connect Your Phone And Computer
While using a wire to connect your PC and phone may be more straightforward, it’s not always the best choice.
For example, your PC may not have a free USB port. Many small laptops only have one or twoor you might have a MacBook that only has USB-C ports. Even a well-equipped desktop PC often has all its USB ports in use.
Additionally, you may not have the right type of cable cable handy, or perhaps you’re already using your cable to charge your phone and want to charge it as quickly as possible. Finally, you might want to keep your phone out of sight or avoid the hazard of dangling wires, particularly if you’re in a public place.
Whatever the reason, connecting with Bluetooth is fairly easy. Once you’ve completed the initial setup, it can even be automatic when you connect again in the future. Anyone who frequently transfers files between their phone and PC should master Bluetooth.
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Other Ways Of Connecting Your Phone And Pc
If you don’t have Bluetooth , another method of connecting your phone and computer might be better suited to your needs. Bluetooth can consume extra battery life, might not be reliable for large file transfers, and isn’t always fast.
In those cases, you might want to try an alternative, such as one of the below options.
Pairing A Mobile Phone
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Connect Through Bluetooth On Your Android Device
You can use Bluetooth to connect some devices to your phone without a cord. After you pair a Bluetooth device for the first time, your devices can pair automatically. If your phone is connected to something through Bluetooth, at the top of the screen, you’ll see a Bluetooth icon .
Pairing A Bluetooth Headset
Add a Device: Click on Add New Device to pair a Bluetooth headset to your Ooma device. The Base Station or Phone Genie will automatically scan for Bluetooth devices and provide a list of devices to choose from:
After clicking Next, and enter your Bluetooth headset PIN code. For most headsets, the PIN code is 0000. Click Yes to add the headset
IMPORTANT: If your Bluetooth headset shows up as Not Connected after pairing, try powering down your Bluetooth headset for 2 minutes. After turning it back on, repeat the Bluetooth headset pairing steps above.
Note: You can also use the Bluetooth setup page if you wish to pair a mobile phone.
Reference: If you are having trouble connecting to , please see our troubleshooting FAQ.
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Move Files With Email Or Cloud Storage
If you need to transfer a small number of files, emailing them to yourself is a quick and dirty solution. However, this is clumsy. Using a cloud storage service is better, as you can organize the files and keep them from getting lost in your email.
However, be aware that these methods both involve uploading and downloading. If you’re on a slow or metered connection, you may want to think twice about transferring large files.
Unpair A Bluetooth Device
> Bluetooth, tap the information button next to the name of the device, then tap Forget This Device.
If you dont see the Devices list, make sure Bluetooth is on.
If you have AirPods and you tap Forget This Device, theyre automatically removed from other devices where youre signed in with the same Apple ID.
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Keep Your Pc And Phone Connected With Bluetooth
Each method of connecting your computer and smartphone has advantages and disadvantages. Bluetooth is great for temporary short-range connections when you need to zap over a file or two quickly.
USB cables, cloud storage, and other connection types are still important. But Bluetooth is hard to beat when you just need something quick and universal.
How To Enable Bluetooth On Windows 10
Most modern Windows laptops have Bluetooth built-in, but not all desktops do. If you’re not sure, you can check whether your computer has Bluetooth. If your computer doesn’t already support the feature, you can add Bluetooth to your PC with an adapter to get it working easily.
On Windows 10, visit Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices. If the Bluetooth slider at the top is off, turn it on. Then choose Add Bluetooth or other device, followed by the Bluetooth type. From there, follow the instructions to pair your phone. See our guide to setting up Bluetooth on Windows 10 for more info.
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