IP (Internet Protocol) phones are telephones specifically designed to work with VoIP. Instead of a traditional phone jack, IP phones use an ethernet jack or wireless Internet connection to connect the phone to the rest of the world.If you are thinking of getting a new VoIP system for your home or office, you will also need to think about IP phones. If you have an analog system (a landline service with any major telephone company), then all of your phones are probably analog phones. Analog phones can’t process VoIP calls, so you will need to get IP phones or adapters for your new VoIP system.
You can get IP phones to suit a variety of needs, from single-line IP phones for your home to sophisticated conferencing IP phones for large offices.
The IP phones chart below should help you better understand prices for different types of IP phones. If you visit the details links, you can read about even more about each phone model and customer review ratings.
|Product name||Product Type||List Price*||Your Price*||User Ratings*|
Cisco Unified IP Phone 7960G (CP-7960G-CCME)
From the manufacturer
The Cisco Unified IP Phone 7960G is designed to meet the...
|Cisco Unified IP Phone 7960G (CP-7960G-CCME) Details|
Polycom SoundStation2 Expandable Conference Phone
The Polycom SoundStation2 is designed to give you mobility during conference calls. The...
|Polycom SoundStation2 Expandable Conference Phone Details|
Polycom SoundStation IP 7000 - Conference VoIP phone
The SoundStation IP 7000 is a Polycom VoIP phone for conferencing. It has a microphone range of...
|IP Phones||$1339.00||Too low to show!||
|Polycom SoundStation IP 7000 - Conference VoIP phone Details|
Polycom Soundstation Vtx 1000 Conference Phone
The Polycom SoundStation VTX 1000 is an HD conference phone with a microphone range of up to 20...
|Polycom Soundstation Vtx 1000 Conference Phone Details|
IP Phones for Residential VoIP
IP phones for residential use are usually small, simple phones. However, there are some more sophisticated VoIP phones available for home use. Be careful, however, when you are looking for a VoIP phone for residential use. Unless you have a home office, there’s really no reason for you to have to buy an expensive, sophisticated business IP phone.
Most IP phone manufacturers produce simple 1 or 2 line IP phones for the home. A good example would be the Cisco SPA301 which goes for around $56.99. If your VoIP service includes a free second line, be sure to choose a home IP phone that has 2 lines like the Grandstream GXP1405 for around $50.
You can also use a softphone with your VoIP service. Softphones are software programs that you download onto your computer so that you can use your computer for voice calling. If you’ve ever used Google Chat or Skype to call someone on the phone, then you’ve used a softphone. Sometimes you can also get a softphone download for your smartphone. Some very basic softphones are free to download, and some full-featured phones can cost as much as $40.
IP Phones for Business VoIP
Most of our IP phone reviews in the above chart deal with business VoIP phones. Business phones can be very complex. You can get phones with 1 line, or phones like the Cisco SPA509G which costs about $160 and has 12 lines.
These phones also have lots of extra features like speed dial, shared lines, speakerphone, etc. Many of these phones are also designed for easy PBX (public branch exchange) installation. A PBX is a piece of hardware or software that a company will use to route calls between phone lines in an office, and to direct inbound and outbound calls. IP phones are only compatible with IP PBXs, not analog PBXs, so you will need to look into IP PBXs if you are converting your whole office to VoIP. IP PBXs range from about $200 to upwards of $3000.
Lots of business phones also have speakerphones and headset ports. Many business owners have found that the ability to use a speakerphone or headset improves their productivity and efficiency during phone conversations and conferences.
Read our IP phone reviews in the chart above to learn about the different features of each IP business phone. Our IP phone reviews will show you the price of each business phone, some of the notable features of each, and the best ways to use each phone.
You can also get some pretty sophisticated conferencing phones for your office VoIP system. Conferencing phones usually have multiple speakers and microphones, and can accommodate lots of people in one room. For example, the Polycom SoundStation IP 7000 can cover an area of about 20 feet, which means you can use this phone to accommodate a reasonably big conference room. These phones can be pretty expensive. The Polycom SoundStation IP 7000 costs about $767.
Read some IP phone reviews on conferencing phones by clicking on the name or picture of the conferencing phone in the comparison chart above. Some conference phones only have a range of 7 feet and are designed for use in smaller offices, while some have the maximal 20 foot range. Be sure to read our IP phone reviews thoroughly before choosing a conference phone.
VoIP Phone Features
VoIP phones have different features depending on the type of phone you get, residential or business. However, there are some VoIP phone features that are considered pretty standard. For example, standard features usually include:
- Caller ID on phones with display screens
- Speed dial
- Contact list
- Displayed time and date
Some of the more expensive phones may also have some additional special features like a color display screen with pictures, or video conferencing screens.
IP Phones vs Adapters
If you have a lot of analog phones in your home or office, you may be hesitant to go out and buy lots of IP phones to replace them. If that’s the case, you can buy adapters for your analog phones that will allow you to use your analog phones with your VoIP system. However, it may not save you very much money to get an adapter. A simple adapter like the Grandstream HT502 which will adapt 2 lines costs $33.99. However, a more complex adapter system like the Audiocodes MP204 4FXS VoIP Adapter which adapts for 4 lines can cost $200.
IP Phone Manufacturers
There are a few major IP phone manufacturers for you to choose from:
These different manufacturers offer a range of models and prices. Cisco and Polycom are the biggest manufacturers, so when you shop with them you will see a lot of full-featured phones. Sometimes this may mean higher costs. If you want a simpler and cheaper phone, you may want to check out some of the other providers.
IP Phone Review
|Type of IP Phone||Residential IP Phone||Business IP Phone||Conference Phone||Adapter|
|Brand name||Grandstream GXP280||Cisco SPA504G||Polycom SoundStation IP 7000||Grandstream HT502|
|Number of Lines||3 lines||4 lines||1 line, 20 foot microphone range||2 lines|