The VoIP Phone or IP Phone is a fundamental element of business communications. It expands the possibilities of the telephone with improved audio quality, centralized network-based management, multiple device integration and many more possible features.
Buying a VoIP phone is an investment in your business success and style of work. It can improve worker and customer satisfaction while enhancing productivity. In this buyer’s guide, we cover everything you need to know when shopping for VoIP phones in clear and non-technical language.
What is a VoIP phone?
A VoIP phone is a phone that transmits calls over internet technology. Rather than connecting directly to the traditional phone network, a VoIP phone runs through a VoIP phone system. A VoIP phone is also known as an IP phone: two names for the same thing.
The First Question to Ask When Shopping for a VoIP Phone
What VoIP phone system am I going to connect this VoIP phone to?
This is the first question you need to ask when shopping for a VoIP phone. Your phone must be compatible with your phone system. Learn more here https://www.ringcentral.com/internet-voip-phones.html.
There are two basic varieties of VoIP phone system: on-premise or cloud. An on-premise VoIP phone system is owned and operated by your company, such as an IP PBX made by Grandstream or Yeastar. A cloud VoIP phone system is a subscription service that provides business telephony control, like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Nextiva, RingCentral, OnSIP, 8×8, GoTo or Google Voice by Google Workspace.
Does Microsoft Teams support VoIP phones?
Microsoft Teams is a popular unified communications service that’s part of Microsoft 365. Built from workplace chat, Teams now encompasses many forms of communications, including video conferencing and VoIP telephony. However, while Teams does support VoIP telephony, Microsoft has certain requirements for a VoIP phone to be compatible with Teams, which include a dedicated Teams button for launching the service and full integration with your Microsoft calendar, contacts, call history and so on.
What features do VoIP phones support?
VoIP phones support vastly more features than a traditional phone. We’re going to cover some of the major features that you can find on a VoIP phone. Many of these features come standard. However, some may not be available on every phone and some are dependent on the phone system for availability.
One of the primary features that distinguishes a VoIP phone from a traditional phone is HD audio. By HD audio, manufacturers mean that the phone can capture and broadcast a larger band of the audio spectrum than a traditional phone. Voices sound fuller and more natural as more of the spectrum is covered. Studies have shown that better audio can improve comprehension. Many manufacturers have branded their versions of HD audio: for example, most Yealink VoIP Phones feature Optima HD.
Background Noise Reduction
VoIP phones offer significantly improved noise reduction compared with traditional phones. Poly, for example, offers NoiseBlockAI, which detects whether or not you’re speaking and dynamically mutes and unmutes the phone accordingly. This cuts out the noise of shuffling papers, coughs and so on when you’re not speaking, leading to a much clearer call. Noise reduction is a big deal for business, particularly for open office phones, home office phones and conference phones.
Almost every VoIP phone will have a full-duplex speakerphone that you can use for hands-free communications or impromptu group calls. The big issue with speakerphones is background noise. Many phones offer enhanced background noise reduction that showcase what is possible with VoIP phones. For example, Poly VoIP Phones provide exceptional noise reduction not possible before VoIP.
Many VoIP phones now feature touchscreen displays. Besides the convenience and quality-of-life factors, having a touchscreen display can enable additional features because the interface is dynamic. For example, you can have dynamic line keys, eliminating the need for an expansion module. Another perk of a touchscreen display is that it will typically be larger than a standard display. Who doesn’t want a larger display?