VoIP telephones have been around for a long while now, so there are VoIP versions of all types of business phones. Learn about each phone type and the specific use cases each is best for in the post below.
VoIP Desk Phone
Desk phones are the prevalent business phones that you see in offices. Equipped with a handset, DTMF keypad, and a variety of call handling buttons, these phones are perfect for an individual employee, receptionist, or lobby area.
VoIP desk phones—also known as IP phones—look and feel exactly like landline desk phones. In addition to the keypad, they both have dedicated buttons for mute, hold, speakerphone, and volume control.
The main difference between a VoIP phone and a landline phone is how they connect to your phone system. While a landline phone is plugged into a telephone jack on the wall, a VoIP phone uses an Ethernet cable to connect to your business Internet. There is no need to plug a VoIP device into a phone jack because the IP phone transmits calls over the Ethernet cable and out through your Internet connection.
VoIP phones are also capable of HD voice calling, which uses an audio frequency range that is roughly double than what landline phones use. This expanded range results in vastly superior call quality when compared to a regular call. Trust us, when you’re on an HD call, you’ll notice it!
VoIP Cordless Phone
A VoIP cordless phone looks very similar to the cordless telephone that you may have used for your home phone service. These cordless phones have a detachable handset with a DTMF keypad and other calling buttons so you can move around while on phone calls. The handset fits snuggly into the base unit for when you need to charge the handset device.
You’ll most likely see a VoIP cordless phone sold as a ‘DECT phone’ as that is one of the main cordless telephone standards. While these phones are great for office use, they are also best suited for storefronts, medical offices, and other workplaces where employees tend to be on their feet throughout the day.
VoIP Conference Phone
Conference telephones are devices that are specifically built for conference calls where multiple people are sitting in the same room on the same call. Instead of having a handset, conference phones have large speakerphones typically configured in a ‘Y’ shape.
Like other IP phones for business, a VoIP conference phone connects to your Internet via an Ethernet cable instead of linking to the wall phone jack. They also have call management buttons (like mute and hold) and volume controls. Some more advanced devices are equipped with touchscreens, detachable mics, and access to business software applications.
VoIP Video Phone
VoIP (or IP) video phones are simply desk phones that have a large screen so users can make and receive video calls on them. They tend to be packed with features, have a luxurious design, are fitted with touchscreens, and provide a premium calling experience.
Since IP video phones fuse the features of desk phones (call handling buttons, speakerphones, a handset, a keypad, etc.) with the option to make and receive video calls and join video conference calls, they are perfect for people who have a regular need to be on video calls throughout the workday. They work well in business offices and home offices, too.
Softphones are not physical devices like VoIP desk and conference phones. Rather, they are software-based telephones—they provide all the features and functionality of a business phone via a downloaded app on your computer, laptop, smartphone, and tablet.
Using a softphone app, you can make and receive calls, check voicemail, video call coworkers, and perform drag-and-drop call transfers all directly on your computers or mobile devices. You can even use softphones to host video conference calls and team meetings.
Because of their mobility, softphones are perfect for remote and hybrid workers, as well as those who frequently travel for work. But, since many softphones are more feature-rich than VoIP desk phones, they are also a smart choice to use as business phones in offices!
There Are IP Phones for Business for Every Office Setup
A word of advice as you’re selecting VoIP telephones for your organization: It’s best to pick phones from the same manufacturer (i.e., Poly or Yealink) rather than mix and match phones from different manufacturers. It’ll make deployment, staff training, and maintenance of phones much easier.