AUGUST 2012: Are you thinking of giving up your landline but like your comfy handset? Do you walk around the house with a Bluetooth device sticking out of your ear? Would you like to answer your cell phone without having to carry it around in your pocket?
Then leap on this convenient technology whose time has come — Bluetooth handsets for your home. Check out how they work:
Bluetooth phone systems connect to your cell phone. You put your mobile phone next to the base of the Bluetooth system and the two devices pair and communicate. Systems have one base and anywhere from one to 12 handsets (typically four). When your mobile phone rings, all of the system’s phones ring, even the ones upstairs or on the other side of the house. Pick up whichever is most convenient — no more mad sprints or missed calls.
Depending on the system, the phones are either completely wireless (no landline needed) or hybrid, which means they’re connected to each other through a landline. Some people prefer hybrids because it’s easier for 911 to locate you from a landline … and for some families phone redundancy is a good thing! With either system you can make calls using any phone — cell or Bluetooth — and download your mobile phone contacts into the home phone system.
Some systems also let you link up two mobile phones and numbers, giving each a different ring tone.
There can be differences in call quality depending on the brand — Panasonic, V-Tech, Siemens and AT&T are at the top of most lists. Pairing between brands can also be an issue, so make sure you buy your system from a retailer with a good return policy. Here are reviews from TopTen Reviews and Nextag.