You’ve likely heard the ballyhoo after every major cordless phone technology update. This Megahertz and that Gigahertz were all supposed to provide incredible range and amazing clarity. Well, the new-to-the-U.S. DECT cordless phone technology (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications or 1.9 GHz) really does live up to the hype. Although all DECT 6.0 cordless phones are not created equal, most DECT phone models provide a winning balance between exceptional voice clarity and suitable-to-fantastic range.
Why is DECT so special?
Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications is nothing more than a digital wireless communication technology that operates at 1.9 GHz. It’s popular with manufacturers (a good thing for consumers) because it’s a global standard, enabling them to produce fewer models to satisfy the needs of all countries. In general and all other technology components being equal, the lower the frequency, the longer the physical range you’ll get with your cordless phone. Phones that operate at lower frequencies (remember your old 49 MHz cordless phone from 1988) are also prone to much more interference, which significantly reduces voice clarity. When manufacturers launched phones at the higher frequencies, the opposite occurred as you might expect. Voice clarity improved dramatically with digital 5.8 GHz models, but physical range became a genuine problem…..especially in all the growing number of McMansions in the U.S. Some DECT 6.0 cordless phones can get up to 1000 ft of range from the base outdoors.
Though frequency is only one feature to examine in the search for a cordless phone, a DECT 6.0 phone is the best bet in today’s cordless phone market as long as all included features meet your needs. It’s also dedicated to cordless communication in residential, commercial and public environments, so you’re unlikely to be interfering with other home electronics. Besides premium voice quality and extended range, DECT technology is inherently more efficient with battery life. It’s not uncommon to see some DECT models with up to 12 hours of talk time, which can be ideal for those who work at home.
Which DECT Phone to Select?
First and foremost, look for a global brand you can trust. Because DECT is a global standard – where launching a U.S. product is much less expensive than in the past, you’ll see lots of “import brands” hitting the market. Price points vary depending on brand and features, but most DECT phones are at the same or lower cost than the 5.8 GHz phones they’re succeeding. Consider your usage as well. Will you be using the phone in a home office where you’ll need a headset jack? Surprisingly, only some DECT models have included a headset jack. Will you need multiple handsets? While most models are expandable, be cautious that a few are locked into the one included handset. There are many more features available, but most DECT phones handle core functionality (excellent voice quality and good range) really well. Look for reviews and comparisons online and consider asking your retailer for recommendations.