Do you actually need a wireless intercom system? As we looked at in our CES 2019 sneak preview, 5G is ready for rollout and about to herald a sea change with communications.
Sometimes with smart technology, though, it’s also good to get back to basics and communicating with other people in your household can take on many forms beyond shouting…
Luckily, you’re spoiled for choice today and you can make use of everything from a smartphone to a tablet to video calling on your laptop or desktop to raise your kids from their rooms without getting up off the couch yourself.
It’s nice to get back to basics even in the most innovative connected home and today, we’ll do just that. We’ve got a selection of the best wireless intercoms for you, but we’ve tried to do something different today…
We figured there was little point in running down a handful of products all fundamentally the same in functionality. After all, an intercom is an intercom. Don’t worry, we’ve got a couple of the very best straight-up intercoms on our shortlist but we’ve expanded our remit to include a range of other devices suitable for two-way comms in or out of the house when you don’t want to rely on your cell phone alone.
Do You Really Need a Wireless Intercom?
Whether you think so or not, the answer might well be “Yes” when you consider the many uses of this type of system…
Do you need to keep tabs on a newborn baby?
Perhaps you want the freedom of communicating with your children in a more substantial smart home without constantly scurrying up the stairs?
Maybe you like the idea of streamlining the entry system to your home so you can get remote access to guests coming and going even if you’re not at home?
Then there’s the ability to keep a close eye on elderly relatives who might not be particularly keen to start learning how to use a smartphone.
With so many use cases and wireless intercoms coming in so many different forms, we’ve compiled today a broad cross-section of devices offering you the ability to communicate in just about any way you need so read on for 8 of the best wireless intercom systems in 2019…
8 Best Wireless Intercom Systems
It might seem strange to kick off a study of wireless intercoms with Amazon’s ubiquitous Echo Show but bear with us…
Obviously, a straight-up basic intercom is pretty limited in terms of functionality. Echo Show is the precise opposite. In terms of intercom functionality, the large 10-inch screen lets you make calls between Echo devices with the added benefit of HD video. So you’ve got the ability to call your kids down for dinner or tell them to turn the lights out… and if they don’t comply, you can intervene and turn the lights off using Echo Show anyway!
Unlike some wireless intercoms we look at today, you will need WiFi connectivity, but that’s what allows you to benefit from so much more than just simple, two-way communication with Echo Show. You’ve got a superior speaker than the limp offerings of most smart speakers along with the inbuilt advantage of the display. Of course, you’ll also enjoy full Alexa capability and all that brings in terms of smart home control.
So… While more expensive than a regular wireless intercom, Echo Show tops our list for overall value along with robust features from streaming music and organizing your day through to controlling your thermostat with voice commands and, of course, dropping in on the kids to check how they’re doing with their homework.
Echo Show is the ideal way of streamlining communication within your smart home without needing to purchase an extra device that can do little else besides.
• Remarkably versatile offering audio and video intercom thanks to 10-inch HD screen along with smart home control and monitoring
• Alexa-enabled for voice control and uprated speaker with Dolby processing
• Serves double duty as a baby monitor if you still haven’t invested in a dedicated device
We’ve tried to bring you as many multipurpose intercoms as possible today and the communication specialist Motorola serves up a superb 3-pack of dinky handsets ideal for use in your smart home or out on a family adventure outside.
Whether you’re upstairs and you want to call in your kids from the garden or you’re out in the forest and want to stay in touch with children too young for cell phones but old enough to wander away, these walkie-talkies are a great way to enjoy secure two-way communication at an extremely reasonable price point.
The radio is remarkably user-friendly and a quick-scan feature swiftly picks up available channels.
You can use the older nickel-cadmium batteries thrown in for around 10 hours of runtime or triple that if you roll with 3 AA batteries instead. Either way, you’re looking at all day talk time.
While you won’t get Alexa smarts, you can take advantage of weather reports if you’re out and about, perfect if you’re hiking and concerned about an incoming storm.
If you want to communicate with other radios, the Motorola is compatible with any GMRS/FRS regardless of brand, a nice touch worthy of any smart home gadget.
• Outstanding range offering up to 25 miles of wireless communication
• Two-way communication on a choice of 22 channels, each coming with 121 privacy codes so you’ll have over 2500 combinations at your disposal
• These walkie-talkies work brilliantly inside your smart home but also function strongly outside
If you’ve got a more fluid budget and you fancy a change from the Amazon stranglehold on Alexa-enabled devices, why not road test the Nucleus Anywhere? While it’s not particularly cheap, you’ll get a superb device capable of ramping up your comms within your smart home or when your family members are on the road.
You can use any number of Nucleus devices if you want a wireless intercom system in your home and you can buy the Anywhere singly, as a 2-pack or 3-pack. If you fancy more mobile use, just grab the free Mobile Companion app and you can take your intercom on the road.
The inclusion of Alexa and a touch screen means you can enjoy communicating with loved ones even if they’re not particularly tech-savvy. Alexa voice service is only available in the US, though.
We’ll reiterate that this is by no means the cheapest entry-point to wireless intercom systems but we include it to illustrate just how far technology has come and to appeal to those gadget fiends hankering for something a little different. We would also stress that the extremely user-friendly nature of Nucleus makes this a perfect way to ensure you can have video or voice calls with elderly family members perhaps not confident navigating more complex devices.
• Multiple buying options from single unit through to 3-pack so customize to the needs of your family
• Great connectivity using WiFi or opt for Ethernet/Power over Ethernet for an even more solid connection
• 120-degree field of view on HD camera lets you see everyone in the room at a glance
Next up we’ve got a much more conventional wireless intercom system for you from the stellar Hosmart. What you lose out on in terms of multi-purpose usage, you’ll gain when it comes to the intercom performance.
With a class-leading ½-mile range, you can stay in touch with two-way audio – you won’t get any video with this model – within your connected home or out in the garden. While we’ll assume you have a WiFi network in place, you won’t need one with this intercom to enjoy wire-free comms over an impressive range.
If you’re concerned about others listening in on your conversation, you’ll get a fully secure channel that’s as clear as it is safe.
Although it’s designed primarily for home use, the wireless nature along with the ability to charge from any power bank means you can also take these intercoms out with you if you’re heading for a family outing and you can also use it to communicate with your husband if he’s in the shed or perhaps in the home office at the bottom of the yard. This is where wireless intercoms vastly outflank wired alternatives.
While you won’t get the same range of features available, you’ll get 4 stations included for all the family and you’ll get some smarts with the ability to hook this unit up to Hosmart walkie-talkies or wireless doorbell system. If your prime focus is clear voice communication, this is an affordable and robust intercom system packing a lifetime guarantee for complete peace of mind.
• ½ mile range offering both one-to-one and one-to-all communication between units so tailor-made for larger smart homes
• Rechargeable batteries for wireless experience with the added option of using wall power when required and the inbuilt benefit of USB ports for charging
• Secure communication including a secret digital channel for the security-minded among you
While it might seem strange to include a baby monitor on a list of the best wireless intercoms, that is their intended purpose (as well as being able to monitor your bundle of joy, of course).
Thing is, if you don’t need to keep an eye on a baby, you can neatly harness the communication and monitoring features of the Infant Optics DXR-8. And if you do have a little one in the house, you’ll get two pieces of kit in one!
If you don’t like the idea of outsiders listening in on your communication or even potentially hacking your system, the fully secure 2.4GHz FHSS transmission gives you the freedom to talk without fear of being compromised. While this is not a serious concern for most people, plenty of people are highly security conscious and this is a sea change away from the always-on Alexa devices or Facebook Portal that ring alarm bells, particularly for the elderly.
Most baby monitors are not too strong when it comes to two-way communication but the strength of the Infant Optic here is the prime reason we included it on this list of the best wireless intercoms. The downside is that, unlike with dedicated intercoms, you’ll only get a single channel so communication will be limited to that room. You can still pop it in your kids’ room, though, even when they’ve long grown out of diapers.
With interchangeable lenses giving you freedom over the amount of space you can cover, this baby monitor is a neat way to invest in a wireless intercom system with some serious inbuilt advantages beyond basic communication.
• Fully wireless communication with integrated monitoring capability
• Extremely secure since you won’t be relying on a WiFi network for connectivity
• Fully adjustable camera with wide viewing angle and efficient night vision giving you a first-rate monitoring system alongside the ability to communicate
The classic Ring Video Doorbell 2 is not only a top-notch piece of smart home tech in its own right, it also fulfills the criteria of a wireless intercom system when it comes to visitors arriving at your connected home. If you’ve got a busy house with several teens and a seemingly endless roster of friends dropping by, the last thing you want is constant interruptions.
If pushed to distill smart home technology down to just two words, those would have to be security and convenience. With this wireless doorbell – it does come in wired form but also in this battery-powered variant – you can get both in one surprisingly affordable unit. This model comes with a rechargeable battery pack so you won’t be constantly hustling out for supplies. This is a quick-release pack so you don’t need to remove your doorbell to give it a burst of charge either and you’ll get roughly 6 months of use before needing to do this anyway.
Aside from that wireless convenience, you can stay fully abreast with the comings and goings in your home even if you’re away on vacation or just hard at work at the office finishing that overdue project. Thanks to the motion sensors in place, you’ll get alerts to your smartphone in the event of any potential security breach giving you several layers of functionality beyond two-way communication.
As a truly wireless intercom giving you a convenient streamlining of entry into your smart home, Ring Video Doorbell 2 is a must.
• Mic and speakers onboard allow for two-way communication with incoming guests with the added bonus of 1080p HD video
• Flexible and adjustable motion sensors to minimize those tedious false positives
• Check out both audio and video live on-demand
We’ve got another more regular take on the wireless intercom up next, this time a 20-channel beauty from the highly reputable Samcom.
These intercoms come as packs of 2, 3, 6 or 8 so you can buy in line with your needs rather than being saddled with unused equipment through being forced into a bundle.
You’ll have a number of options from group comms through to speaking on individual intercoms. Whether you want to announce dinner without heading upstairs, check in on Granddad down in the den or communicate with others inside a larger smart home without breaking away from the kitchen, this intercom makes a superb, multipurpose solution.
Since you can also take the devices out with you, they serve well inside a school or office if required and can also be used at music festivals or anywhere that cell phone signal might drop out or get bogged down. While fully wireless, you won’t need any WiFi.
And if you were thinking back to the old days of intercoms where you needed to have your finger welded to the button, Samcom has thoughtfully included a Lock button for hands-free comms the smart home way.
• Works effectively for keeping an ear out for your baby or elderly relative or communicating with your kids or partner
• Wireless unit with no need for WiFi and an exceptional 27 hours of battery life
• Signal coverage of up to 1 mile giving you robust coverage within even the largest smart home along with the convenience of a portable unit to take outside
If you need to monitor the movements and safety of an elderly relative, you’ve probably already found that smartphones are not the smartest choice. Quite aside from a complexity rendering them unsuitable for many older people not raised in a digital environment, it’s all too easy to misplace them. Then you have the issue of running out of battery, dropped signals or inadequate calling credit. So what do you do?
Well, this personal alert system allows you to embrace the functionality of an intercom in a much more mobile pager form. You’ll get a brace of pagers and receivers complete with nifty night-lights along with an SOS transmitter with a pendant so you’ve got all bases covered.
With 55 ring tones capable of being ratcheted up to unmissable volume, you can go about your business without being perpetually worried that your older relative has taken a tumble or needs assistance.
• Pair of pagers and receivers that are straightforward to operate with no need to be particularly tech-savvy
• Wide-reaching ½ mile range suitable for even more substantial smart homes
• Tweak the volume right up to a maximum of 110 decibels so no danger of missed alerts
As you can clearly see, if you’re looking for the best wireless intercom, you’ve got far more choice than you might first have imagined.
From Echo devices packing Alexa to baby monitors, video doorbells to walkie-talkies and, of course, those old-school box-shaped intercoms, you can ramp out comms in your connected home just about any way you fancy.
Come back soon for more daily smart home news Monday through Friday each week here at Smart Home, specialists in the field for more than 20 years and still going strong.
Source: All Things Home Automation