There are many reasons people may decide to install an intercom system in their homes. An intercom system allows multiple people to communicate without being in the same area.
The needs you have for intercoms in the home can affect the type of intercom system that would be best for you. In this review, we’re going to look at the fifteen best home intercom systems. We also provide a thorough, in-depth buyer’s guide that will cover everything you need to know on the topic.
Keep reading to find out what we think are the fifteen best intercom systems for the home and the different types of intercoms.
Table of Contents
The 15 Best Home Intercom Systems
Here is our list and review of the fifteen best intercom systems for home use. Before you leave, keep reading our detailed buyer’s guide, which will answer any questions you may have about home intercoms. We also provide a helpful, frequently asked questions section to answer common questions about home intercom systems.
1. Echo Show
- Premium speakers with Dolby processing let you stream music and books in crisp, stereo sound. With a vibrant 10.1" HD screen for watching videos, movies, and TV shows in a new fabric design.
The Echo Show, by Amazon, is a two-way video/audio intercom device with a 10.1 HD display. But it’s so much more than that! The Show also allows you to connect to Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant.
With Alexa, you can communicate with other users in the house via a crystal clear video stream with Dolby processing audio. But you can also talk to people outside your home who also have a Show. This system is perfect for a home intercom system that lets you connect with anyone, anywhere.
That’s not all – you can also play games, create a shopping list, or control connected smart devices, all with voice commands. You can even stream movies from Prime Video, Netflix, or Hulu, watch live TV or use the Food Network Kitchen app to get cooking lessons.
The Show requires a Wi-Fi connection for it to be able to communicate with other compatible devices.
Unfortunately, it can get costly having to buy multiple monitors to connect with all the rooms in your house. But if you assign a device to each family member, they can carry it with them anywhere they go, reducing the need for systems in every room. They can even take these devices with them when they leave the house, as long as there’s an internet connection to use.
Privacy features include buttons for disabling the camera and microphone. This device is compatible with Zigbee smart devices, Amazon Photos, Skype, Alexa, Echo Spots, and other Echo Shows.
The Show is a modern version of a wireless home intercom system that allows you to connect with users in your home or from afar with video and audio capabilities.
- Video and audio enabled
- Connects with anyone using compatible devices, regardless of location
- Advanced functions allow for more than communicating
- Requires a connection to the internet
- Communications might not be as safe as audio-only
2. Ring Video Doorbell 2
- 1080p HD video doorbell that lets you see, hear and speak to people from your phone, tablet, or select Echo device. Includes privacy features, such as customizable privacy zones and audio privacy, to focus only on what's relevant to you.
Skip the hassles and dangers of running to open your door to unidentified visitors by installing a Ring Video Doorbell 2. This doorbell features a 1080p HD video camera that connects via Wi-Fi using the Ring app.
With the app, you can view your door in Live mode without having to approach or open the door. You can see, hear, and speak through the doorbell using a phone, tablet, or connected Echo device.
By syncing the Ring doorbell with Alexa, you can get verbal alerts on compatible Echo devices when the doorbell rings. It will also display live footage on devices with screens. Communicate with your visitor by commanding Alexa to talk to the front door (or whatever you name your device).
You can also set up motion zones, track movement, set instant notifications, designate privacy zones, and create audio privacy filters.
The Ring does require a rechargeable battery pack or power via connection to an existing doorbell. An additional feature that costs a small extra fee is recording videos and having access to missed footage for the past 60 days. For this, you’ll need to sign up for the Ring Protection plan.
- Connects with Alexa for voice controls
- Allows you to see who’s at the door without opening
- Increases security and protection of home
- The Ring Protection plan adds advanced features
- Not for communicating with members around the house
- Requires an internet connection
3. Wuloo Wireless intercoms
- [ Excellent Signal ] Home intercom system with clear sound quality and long range. An enhanced signal with 5280 feet range helps ensure crisp sound quality. The most trusted wireless intercom system for home!
Wuloo Wireless intercoms are an excellent system for long-range communication for home systems. These systems have a range of 5280 feet (one mile) for clear quality sound.
This wireless intercom allows for two-way audio communications with monitor, talk, VOX – Voice operated exchange – call, or group features. Volume control buttons allow you to set the noise level to accommodate privacy calls or group chats.
You will need to use a wall outlet to power this device, but a 5V 1A battery allows for you to continue receiving power in emergencies or if you’ll be taking your intercom outdoors. This power bank does not come included. And there is no feature that allows you to record or store copies of communications.
This intercom is real-time only, which limits information received while using the device to talk to someone. There also isn’t the ability to speak simultaneously.
There is no button to turn the power off and on, but you can connect with other intercoms using three codes and ten secure channels.
- Real-time audio-only
- Can connect with power bank for portability
- One mile range
- Can’t turn off or on
- Power bank not included
4. Echo Flex
- Make any space a little smarter - This plug-in smart speaker lets you get help from Alexa in more places in your home.
The Echo Flex offers a space-saving way to communicate with users throughout your homes hands-free, using only your voice. This 2.8″ x2.6″ x2.0″ device plugs into any available wall outlet and uses a 0.6″ mini speaker to communicate. A 3.5mm stereo audio output allows for connection to external speakers.
A built-in USB-A port allows you to connect various attachments. Users often connect motion sensors, clocks, nightlights or use them to charge their phones.
The Flex is compatible with 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (5 or 2.4 GHz) dual-band Wi-Fi networks, but it will not connect to peer-to-peer or ad-hoc networks. You can stream audio to or from the Flex using A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) to connect to a mobile or Bluetooth device.
You can use Alexa to communicate with other connected devices using Announcements or Drop-Ins. Or call any number in the US, UK, Mexico, or Canada hands-free. If you have smart devices connected to Alexa, you can use the Flex to control these or to receive Smart Alerts.
Safety features include a button that disconnects the microphone, wake-up from standby via word choice, and the option to view and delete voice recordings.
This device also lets you use most Alexa features via voice commands, such as checking the weather, traffic, or your to-do list or adding items to your shopping cart.
- Small size allows for space-saving
- Communicate by syncing Alexa
- Advanced features enable voice command
- Built-in USB drive allows for connecting accessories
- Requires Wi-Fi connection
5. Hosmart Full Duplex Wireless Intercom System
- 【SIMPLE TO USE BUT POWERFUL】- The intercom can be used out of box, then plug and begin communicating. It is truly that simple and hassle free. Monitor function can be monitored continuously. Group function, Increase/lower volume, can have 10 different ring tones. The intercom with DECT.6.0 technology makes the product full of high-tech and easier feeling. Note: One Main intercom may be paired with up to 5 Subs. For Group call function, can only work with 1 Main & 3 Subs.
The Hosmart Full Duplex Wireless Intercom System comes in three options – one main box plus one sub, two subs, or three subs, allowing for a whole home connection with up to five subs.
This option is easy to use with large buttons that make it easy to read and press. There are options for continuous monitoring, group communications, and the ability to adjust the volume up and down. Group calls can only work between the main and up to three subs.
You can use this intercom system for real-time two-way audio communication within 1,000 feet range. The adjustable antenna makes this device great for carrying around the home or outside in an outbuilding or yard. You will need to use a 3.6-3.7V 2800-3000mAh 18650 battery for operating without connecting the USB 5V/1a adapter.
A 1.9 GHz DECT 6.0 technology gives you clear sound with anti-interference and secure frequency transmission. You can set up six channels, ten separate ringtones, and hands-free communications.
- Group call, monitor, or talk to other monitors
- Connect multiple devices for complete house communications
- 1,000 feet extended range
- Requires being plugged up to 110V wall plug unless connected to the battery
- The battery pack doesn’t come included
6. Ring Alarm Home Security Kit
- A great fit for 1-2 bedroom homes, this kit includes one base station, one keypad, four contact sensors, one motion detector, and one range extender.
The Ring Alarm Home Security Kit includes all you’d need to protect a one to two-bedroom home with eight pieces safely. You get a base station, keypad, motion detector, range extender, and four contact sensors.
When you sign up for the Ring Protect Plus plan, you can get 24/7 professional monitoring and emergency services, including fire, police, or medical response, that respond any time your Ring alarm activates.
You can use your mobile device and the Ring app to receive alarm trigger notifications, control, and edit Alarm mopeds, and monitor your Ring devices. When you connect your Ring to Alexa, you can arm or disarm the system using your voice.
The keypad consists of large, easy to press buttons with designated alarms for emergency response. The base requires power through the included 100-240V 50/60 Hz Ac Adapter and a rechargeable 24-hour backup battery to keep you safe if there’s a power outage.
What you cannot do with this device is communicating. It is strictly for visual observation and tracking movements. In terms of intercom systems, this option is better for security but not for talking with other people in different areas of the house.
- Kit contains a complete security system
- Sends trigger notifications to Ring app for immediate viewing
- 24-hour backup battery in case of power outages
- Only enough equipment for one to two bedrooms
- Monitors home but doesn’t operate as an intercom
7. ChunHee Wireless Intercom Doorbell System
- 【Respond in Real-Time】With built-in microphone and speaker provides you real-time clear two-way audio. You can speak directly to the visitors who approach your front door via this wireless intercom doorbell without having to get up and answer the door. And you may also extend more receivers to built your home intercom systems.
This ChunHee wireless intercom doorbell has a built-in speaker and microphone so you can communicate with visitors at the door via real-time two-way audio.
You can expand the system so that you can interact with other intercom systems indoors or outside. The doorbell intercom attaches to the wall outside your door, so it can’t be easily stolen.
Advanced features of this intercom doorbell include an extended range of 2,400 feet (half a mile), three channels and volume levels, ten chime options, IP55 waterproof capabilities, and a built-in, 2800mA low power consumption battery.
You have to push a Talk button to communicate with someone on the speaker’s other side. Release the button to hear the response.
- Low power consumption for extended battery life
- Built-in speaker/microphone for talking to people at the door
- Connects with additional intercoms
- Can’t communicate simultaneously
- Audio only
8. Hosmart Wireless Intercom Security System 7-Channel
- The Hosmart Advantage: 30 + years of wireless intercom home system technology produced by our leading factory.Pass Safety Certification and Lifetime Quality Warranty: The wireless intercom system passed FCC, CE, ROSH Certified. In order to ensure your benefit, we will give you a lifetime warranty.
Another product by Hosmart is this wireless intercom security system. You can get this package with two to six stations for audio communications throughout the house, up to a ½ mile distance away.
This intercom system offers seven secure channel options with the latest technology to keep your privacy protected. Features of the Hosmart wireless system include monitoring (24 hours), group call, talk, and VOX.
WIth this intercom network, you can use the large buttons to easily communicate with other receivers on the same channel as you without interference or deterioration of sound quality.
You will need to plug these receivers up to deliver power, although you can attach a 5V 1A power bank to use outdoors or when there is no access to electricity.
- Seven channels
- ½ mile range
- Group, monitor, talk, call, or VOX features
- Anti-interference for clear quality and security
- Requires power due to being plugged in or by battery
- Battery pack not included
9. Wuloo Intercom Wireless System
- [ Excellent Signal ] Clear sound quality and long range. An enhanced signal with 5280 feet range helps ensure crisp sound quality. The most trusted wireless intercom system for home!
This Wuloo Intercom system allows you to connect to other intercoms up to one mile (5,280 feet) from the receiver, with clear sound and security.
There are ten channels with three digital codes, so you can avoid other systems that share the same frequencies, giving you better privacy. But you also have the option to connect with any other devices that use the same channel code up to one mile away.
You can use this intercom system to monitor, call, VOX, talk, or group with other receivers, and you can adjust the volume by session.
Powering this device can be done through a wall adapter or by connecting a power bank. Placement can be on a desk or mounted to a wall. You can even take it into the yard or an outdoor building.
- Monitor, VOX, call, talk, or group features
- One mile range
- Ten channels and three digital codes
- Indoor/outdoor operation
- The power bank does not come included
10. House Communication Intercoms Wireless System
- HOME INTERCOM SYSTEM：Give Both Caregiver and Patient/Elderly/Resident/Handicapped/Sick Freedom while Still calling for Help at home. Not need to Yell to Get Someone’s Attention.
Rather than use permanently placed intercoms, some people prefer to use portable options like these wireless intercoms for indoor or outdoor use.
These walkie-talkie-style intercoms have a range of 1.5 miles, making them the perfect option for use in garages, shops, game rooms, and guest houses where there are elderly or sick people who may require accessible communication.
You can even use these intercoms when children are outside playing, swimming, or at a nearby neighbor’s house. Other activities include shopping, fishing, camping, sports events, traveling, or letting your children talk with nearby friends instead of using a phone.
Completely wireless, this intercom system does not have any wires or require a Wi-Fi or power connection. You can communicate one on one or one talk to two communications using audio.
This intercom option includes 16 channels, low voltage alert, USB charge, flashlight, call shock, adjustable volume, and 2800mAh 8-12 hour battery with power saving.
- 16 channels
- USB charged
- Flashlight built-in
- 1.5-mile range
- Short battery life
11. eMACROS Portable Wireless Intercom System
- HANDSFREE REAL-TIME COMMUNICATION - eMACROS wireless intercom for home is a two-way communication intercom system with encryption, effortlessly connect and converse Hands-Free, no need to hold the button to talk.
The eMacros intercom system is a two-way audio system that allows for hands-free talking, around-the-clock monitoring, group messages, and volume adjustments with large buttons.
You can get this system with two, three, or four units with a ¼ mile range. While you need to plug this device into a 110v wall outlet for regular use, you can also use a battery pack to make it portable. The 2800 mAh 3.7V 18650 battery does not come included.
Extra security features like anti-interference and secret digital channels ensure your connection is crisp and private, without interference from other devices.
- Hands-free talking
- Group messaging or around the clock monitoring
- Stationary or portable
- Anti-interference and secret channels for privacy and clarity
- Battery not included
- Short ¼ mile range
12. Chunhee Wireless Intercom System
- 【Home Intercom system Wireless】16 channels secure wireless intercom system. Features an enhanced anti-interference and can work with other intercoms with the same digital channel code! 17mm ultra-thin home intercom, Mini fuselage, Small and exquisite, Crystal Voice, Ease to Communicate.
Another portable, extended range option for a wireless intercom system is this four-pack of wireless communicators with a 1.5-mile range, allowing for indoor or outdoor use.
These communication devices are perfect for children to chat with friends or let parents keep in touch when kids are outside or within close range. Inside, you can use these when talking to people in a different room or out in a garage or office.
There are sixteen channels with anti-interference for clear audio that allow these intercom devices to connect with devices using the same digital code.
With these intercoms, you can use talk, VOX, voice activation, adjust the volume, and power them off and on.
You don’t need a power cord, but you will have to recharge the USB’s built-in battery by plugging it into a wall, computer, or car.
- Chargeable by USB
- VOX, voice activation, volume control, talk features
- 16 channels
- 1.5-mile range
- The connection may be intercepted if someone figures out channel/code combo
13. Hosmart Wireless Security Intercom System
- The Hosmart Advantage: 30 + years of wireless intercom home system technology produced by our leading factory.Pass Safety Certification and Lifetime Quality Warranty: The wireless intercom system passed FCC, CE, ROSH Certified. In order to insure your benefit, we will give you a lifetime quality warranty.
This Hosmart system has a ½ range, ten channels, large buttons for easier reading and accessing, and an adjustable antenna that ensures your connection is clear.
Anti-interference technology and advanced security features ensure your communications stay private and audible.
These flat-paneled intercoms have a slim design that makes them attractive and space-saving. You can connect this system with any compatible devices using the same code.
Features include full-time monitoring, group calls, volume controls, hands-free chat, a call button, and ten secure channels. You do need to plug this device into a wall socket for power or attach a 5V 1A power bank (not included).
- Full-time monitoring, group, hands-free talk, call features
- Ten channels
- ½ range
- Compatible with battery packs for portability
- Battery pack not included
14. Samcom Long Range Walkie Talkies
- 【Two Communication Methods】Pressing Left Side PTT you can start a talk on the same channel. Pressing "GROUP" button enables you to deliver messages to all the team members even they are not on the same channel. An excellent option for security guard coordination, first responders, event planning or restaurant management that require to keep in touch with a large group immediately.
These long-range walkie-talkies by Samcom come in packs of one, two, three, six, nine, or sixteen.
These two-way communicators feature a PTT on the left side that initiates talking on the current channel. The group button sends a message to anyone on the “team” despite what channel everyone is on.
Three 3000mAh Li-ion batteries (included) provide thirty-three hours of operation time and 190 hours on standby. At 1.19″ x1.18″ x11″, these walkie talkies feature a hard outer shell that’s resistant to dropping and water exposure.
Advanced features include a belt clip, earpieces, and upgraded antennas, making these intercoms ideal for use around the home, outdoor adventures, or professional settings like search and rescue.
Security features include UHF 406.1MHz470Mz frequency, CDCSS/CTCSS codes for custom frequency channels and easy programming for compatibility with various brands.
- Water and impact resistant
- Three included batteries last 33 to 190 hours between charges
- It comes with additional accessories
- Custom code frequencies
- It might be too complex for young children to use
15. QNIGLO Intercoms
- 【Excellent Signal】Home intercom system with clear sound quality and long range. An enhanced signal helps ensure crisp sound quality. Ideal wireless intercom system for home!
The QNIGLO intercom system comes with a single intercom, two, three, or four stations, making it a perfect home intercom system option.
This system features ten channels with three digital codes to ensure a secure, private connection that’s not intercepted or interfered with by unwanted users.
You will need to plug this device up in a 110V wall outlet, whether by mounting it on the wall or placing it on a flat surface.
An automatic answer mode allows this intercom system to respond to incoming communications without ringing, making it perfect for monitoring young children or elderly patients.
You can use this intercom system to monitor, make single calls or group communications, or communicate via VOX, but it does not allow video.
- Ten channels and three digital codes
- Anti-interference for privacy and secure communications
- VOX, group, call, monitor functions
- Automatic answer
- Cannot connect to the battery
What Is a Wireless Home Intercom System?
A wireless home intercom system is a network of devices that allow you to talk to someone in a different room remotely. These systems send and get radio signals via radio waves using specific frequencies.
When an intercom system is wireless, the receivers are not hardwired into your house. Not having to open up walls to install an intercom to your home’s wiring is cheaper and faster. Many wireless intercoms are portable, so you can carry them into different rooms rather than having stationary units.
There are different types of wireless intercoms, which vary by letting you communicate and connect. Since these systems are not built-in, most require a direct power source, usually a regular wall outlet.
Options that have a backup battery system are useful in locations that experience frequent power outages. These systems will continue to operate without power until the battery drains.
How Do Wireless Home Intercom Systems Work?
When you use a wireless system, there’s no need to run new wiring or tap into existing lines, which often means demolishing and repairing walls. You simply set up the wireless monitors according to the manufacturer’s directions.
How a wireless intercom system will work depends on the type of system. A microphone allows you to speak, while a speaker will enable you to hear. Newer models may offer live video feeds via a camera and screen.
Another difference in how these systems work is how the intercom receivers communicate with each other. There are multiple ways these wireless devices connect.
Some systems may require an internet Wi-Fi connection, while others use frequency channels and digital codes. Other systems can be compatible with smartphones, which poses a higher security risk. Most systems have security features that keep communications private.
To get the most security and privacy when using systems that require an internet connection, look for options outside the typical range of 200-270 kHz FM band, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. Systems that connect via your home Wi-Fi network can prevent outside interception (when you have the proper security protocols). But if your internet service goes out, your system won’t work.
The most advanced wireless home intercom systems will use encrypted channels. You may have to use a password or other verification processes to access the network, which reduces the chance of attackers. These systems require professional setup unless you’re a tech guru.
Stand-alone home intercom systems offer the most security. These intercoms only connect to the other intercom receivers. They cannot link to smartphones, apps, or work outside of range. These systems can be box intercoms or portable two-way radios, or walkie-talkies.
Ways to Use an Intercom System
There are multiple ways to use an intercom system in the home. If you live in a two-story house or have a sprawling single-story, an intercom is easier to communicate with family members.
You save time and energy by talking through an intercom rather than having to yell across the house or walk into multiple rooms just to ask a question or give an announcement.
Intercoms are also helpful for people who have physical limitations. Whether a person is stuck in bed sick, paralyzed, on bed rest due to pregnancy complications, or any other issues that make it challenging to move around, an intercom can be an easier way for them to ask for help.
Many intercom systems have features that allow you to connect all the intercoms to make group announcements. Another helpful option most intercoms have is monitoring, which lets you listen to the activity occurring from another monitor.
Most people like to use the monitor feature to supervise babies, young children, the elderly, and those who need regular monitoring.
Depending on the monitor, some intercoms have external antennas that allow for additional range. Range refers to the distance a monitor can be away from the other intercoms without affecting communication. Portable intercoms let you stay in contact with other intercoms, no matter where you are, as long as you’re within range.
Some people even use intercoms for monitoring activity on exterior doors. Audio-only devices allow you to communicate with visitors via a speaker and microphone built into a waterproof case. But newer video intercoms stream real-time video and audio so you can see and hear your visitors and talk to them without having to open the door or approach it.
Types of Home Intercom Systems
As we’ve mentioned and proved with the wide variety of options in our review section, there are multiple types of home intercom systems.
The different options vary by style, abilities, power supply, portability, and communication. Let’s break down some of the different types of home intercom systems, so you have a better understanding of each.
The most common type of home intercom system is audio-based. Audio intercoms allow for verbal communication exchanges between monitors.
With these systems, there is no visual feed. It is strictly real-time audio, possible due to a two-way speaker and microphone.
A control panel built into the receiver allows for function control. Most receivers have a number pad that will enable you to assign communication channels and enter digital codes. Many also have buttons for group communications, individual talk, and monitor.
Most audio-based intercom systems are simple in features and setup. And best of all, they’re the easiest to use. Some options require a power supply through a plugged-in adapter or may have the ability to run on power banks when unplugged.
Many audio-only receivers have enhanced range and the ability to work with battery packs, allowing them to be portable.
Then there are a few options for advanced tech audio-only intercom systems compatible with home automation systems and smartphone connection. If these features are essential for you, you’ll want an intercom system that connects via the internet rather than using channels that relay radio frequencies.
Most audio-only devices feature anti-interference and require devices to be on the same channel and using the same digital code. For this reason, there’s less risk of interception from other outside devices, meaning more privacy. But some devices will have warnings on things that may disrupt your connection.
Another option for home intercom systems allows for communication via video feed and audio capabilities. These intercoms have screens that work the same way as using your cell phone for FaceTime or Facebook Messenger.
Many of these receivers have additional capabilities, like making outbound calls to devices outside your home on compatible devices. Those with advanced technology connect to Wi-Fi and allow you to operate using cell phones or other mobile devices.
You can use these to control home automation systems, use apps to watch videos or play games, or stream movies or Live television using paid services like Hulu or other available apps.
The majority of video-equipped intercoms are portable, allowing you to carry them around from room to room. Since these communication devices cost much more than audio-only, you can save money by assigning one device to each person in the home.
With advanced range abilities, video intercoms are fantastic for checking on children playing out in the yard, spouses working in an outdoors shop or doing yard work, or sending out a message for everyone to come home from a day of playing.
And while you’re waiting on everyone to come in for dinner, you can use some video intercoms to add ingredients to your shopping cart, check your email, and download recipes to plan for the next day’s meals.
Most video-enabled intercoms run on batteries or operate while plugged up in a standard wall outlet. But they usually require an internet connection. If your Wi-Fi connection isn’t secure, you could face risks of your communications or devices getting intercepted by outsiders.
Before wireless intercoms were a thing, many homes relied on wired intercoms to talk to people in different areas of the house.
Wired intercoms are permanent receivers mounted to a wall. These fixtures draw power from the electrical wiring in the walls, so there’s no need for a wall outlet. And to transmit your communications from one receiver to another, the radio waves travel through copper wiring that runs between boxes.
Wired intercom systems tie into the existing electrical lines you have running through your home. But to get to these wires, you often have to cut holes in the wall to run the copper lines needed to connect intercom systems. Once you’ve got all the wires connected, you must repair the walls and repaint them.
Given how much manual work goes into placing these systems throughout the house, it often requires professional installation and a large chunk of money.
Other limitations of these systems are that they have a permanent placement, so you can’t relocate them or carry them around. If there’s an emergency and a person can’t reach the receiver to call for help, the intercom has failed its purpose.
You often see hardwired intercom systems in apartments, office buildings, and large older homes. The easiest way to have a wired system installed is to order the placement while you’re building a new home. If your home is already built, you’ll have to do some major construction. Avoid the hassle with a wireless system instead.
Two-way radios are not technically an intercom, but they serve some of the same abilities, allowing them to be a valuable alternative to installing an intercom system in your home.
The most significant advantage of two-way radios is that you can take them literally anywhere, allowing you to stay in communication with your family, whether you’re at home, on an outdoor adventure, a concert, or shopping.
You do have to be within range of each other for these radios to operate. But they have more extended distance capabilities, allowing for more dynamic use.
Two-way radios are an audio-only option that allows multiple users to communicate with each other using secure channels. These devices receive and transmit communications in real-time, although they cannot be simultaneous.
Some two-way radios are walkie-talkies or handheld radios that you can carry around, while others require a mounted base station.
Pros and Cons of Wireless Intercom Systems
There are many advantages of using wireless intercom systems. The most significant factor is that wireless systems are easier to install, maintain, and operate. Wired systems require you to hardwire into existing electrical wires. Wireless systems only need a standard 110V wall outlet or batteries.
Many wireless intercom systems also can be portable. Family members can carry these devices with them as they move through different rooms in the house.
Having an intercom that you can carry around allows for a way to reach out for help. Wired intercoms stay in the same place, posing a risk if there’s an emergency and you can’t reach the intercom.
Intercoms are also helpful for communicating with people in separate rooms. Rather than walk into multiple areas of the house to talk to all your family members, you can save time and energy by using an intercom. With a group feature, you can speak to everyone simultaneously instead of having to do it one on one.
Portable intercoms are a great way to stay in touch with children or house members who are not in the house. As long as the transmitter is within range of the base station, you can talk to other people, no matter where you’re both located.
While there are plenty of advantages to wireless home intercom systems, there are also a few downsides to mention. Regardless of the type of intercoms you use, wireless systems are more vulnerable to interception by outsiders than wired homes, which requires direct tapping into the line to eavesdrop.
With the right technology and skills, an experienced person would be able to identify the code and channel you’re using and intercept communications. Systems that use Wi-Fi or cellular service pose a higher risk, depending on your network security preventions.
Another downside of wireless intercom systems is that you may lose communication abilities if there’s a power failure. Some wireless intercoms are compatible with battery packs, but very few options (other than two-way radios) come with batteries included.
Systems that require a Wi-Fi signal can fail to operate if there’s a disruption in the power supply or during internet outages.
Features In the Best Home Intercom Systems
When trying to decide on an intercom system for your home, it helps to know what features are essential. When comparing different intercom options, consider whether the option offers these standard features.
The biggest reason you want an intercom system is to talk to people in other rooms of the house without having to walk into the area or yell across the house.
When searching for home intercom systems, the best options are ones that allow for two-way communications. What this means is that each device can receive and transmit messages.
Devices that are one-way communicators allow the transponder to send a message and the receivers to broadcast it, but there is no way for the recipient to respond.
If you are okay with devices that will let you send voice messages to other machines without the person on the other end being able to communicate back, then a one-way option would be acceptable.
Remember that intercoms come as audio-only or video/audio combinations. Video feeds are great when you want to see another person, such as infants, visitors at the front door, or sick or older adults who need frequent supervision.
Even if you plan to use your intercom as a stationary item instead of a portable device that you can take around with you, it’s still a good idea to choose intercoms that allow for connection to a power bank.
Systems that operate with electrical power are great for permanent solutions because you never have to worry about dead batteries. But if there’s a power outage, your system might not be able to operate correctly.
Having a device that’s compatible with a battery pack or other alternate power source ensures that your intercoms will remain operational in cases of disruptions of your primary electrical source.
Intercoms differ on the maximum range they can operate. You may not necessarily need an intercom that transmits up to a mile away for devices you will use strictly for home use.
However, you will want to ensure that your intercoms will have enough range ability to accommodate your home’s square footage.
Houses with two or more stories, outbuildings, or sprawling single stories may require an intercom with better range. The building materials can also affect an intercom’s function, with thicker materials causing more interference than standard wall types.
The best feature of wireless home intercom systems is that they are versatile enough to accommodate a range of placements.
With old wired intercoms, once the unit gets installed, it becomes a stationery piece. But the majority of wireless intercoms allow you to position them on top of a flat surface, mounted to a wall, or left loose so you can port them around.
Some portable intercoms may require you to have a base positioned somewhere for charging. Others may need it to work as the primary system to connect all the different intercoms connected to the same system.
The primary concern is to make sure that you place your intercom at a location where it can receive an adequate power supply, have a clear, uninterrupted connection, and that it’s easily accessible for the people who need it.
When shopping for an intercom system, you may want to find options that allow you to add additional intercoms at a later date.
Suppose you end up having more children or have a family member who has to stay with you while recuperating from a severe medical issue. In that case, you’ll want to be able to buy extra intercoms that are compatible with your existing system.
Some types of intercoms allow for compatibility with other devices of the same brand, while others may connect to other devices not the same as them, as long as they can operate on the same channels and digital codes.
But some options will not cross-match with external devices, leaving you limited on expansion solutions. You may end up having to start all over with a new system if you can’t expand your existing system.
The biggest issue with wireless intercoms is that they are easier to intercept. Most companies use safety features like anti-interference to ensure that your devices stay private.
A connection cannot occur with many intercoms unless the users are using the same channel and digital code. The digital code will be different for everyone, which reduces someone’s chances of randomly stumbling onto your channel. However, that’s not to say that it’s impossible.
Systems that operate by connecting to your home’s Wi-Fi internet are also at risk of being intercepted. But if you have the proper security system set up on your wireless network, you reduce the chances of a stranger eavesdropping on your private communications.
Considerations When Buying a Home Intercom System
Given the wide variety of home intercom systems, it can be nerve-wracking to decide which specific system to pick. When comparing different home intercom systems, weigh these factors to ensure you get the right option.
For a home intercom system to function, the intercom receivers must have the ability to send and receive transmissions, either by wires or airwaves.
When debating between different home intercom systems, the first consideration should be how they communicate with each other and how they receive power.
Most wireless home intercom systems are easy to set up in any area of the house, as long as you can provide a constant source of power supply. Most, if not all, intercoms will require a 110V plug rather than a 220V. Some models have the ability to connect to batteries for easy portability.
Communications generally occur due to the transference of radio waves. Some newer models with advanced technology require an internet connection and broadcast video feed instead of audio-only.
For intercoms to connect with each other, they have to be within range – distance. The range capabilities vary by a home intercom system, with a typical limit of 1,000 to 1,500 feet.
For most homes, this is plenty of distance to cover the home end to end. But there are some intercom alternatives like two-way radios and some portable audio-only transmitters with a more extended range, up to one and a half miles away from the base station.
The more comprehensive range your intercoms have, the more versatile use they will get. The most significant advantage of wireless intercoms over wired is that many can set up anywhere, and some are transportable.
The biggest difference between wired and wireless home intercom systems is the level of security. Wired systems are more secure, as there’s no way for outsiders to intercept your communications.
In terms of security, most wireless intercoms provide safety features that keep your system private from outside users. Many of these have anti-interference and multiple channels and digital codes.
Wireless intercoms are also helpful for the safety and security of your family. Many people use portable intercoms to stay in touch with children who are outside, upstairs, or next door at a neighbor’s house.
Intercoms with a monitor feature allow you to listen to the activity occurring on another monitor in a different room without going in physically. These devices are great for checking infants or small children who are light sleepers or for the elderly or sick.
Connecting an intercom to your exterior doors increases safety and reduces the need to open the door to strangers. With these devices, visitors can identify themselves from outside the home, and you can talk to them from the safety of being inside.
Some doorbell intercoms come with cameras that allow you to see what’s happening on the other side of your door. Other options only have audio capabilities, so you can hear the person but can’t see them.
How to Install An Intercom System In Your Home
The method for installing an intercom system in your home varies on the type of intercoms you use. Installing a wired system is more complex and often requires experienced installers to mess with your home’s electrical wires. You wouldn’t want to connect these wrong and experience an electrical fire.
Wireless systems are much easier to install in the home, making them a preferred choice for houses that are already built. These systems don’t require you to connect them to the wiring, so they’re safer and more straightforward. There’s less mess to clean up and reduced costs to incur.
To install a wireless intercom system in your home, start by purchasing the devices. Then choose the best location for your monitors. The great thing about wireless devices is that you can place them anywhere – on a counter, table, desk, or next to the bed.
With most wireless intercoms, you’ll need a steady supply of power but no other limitations other than being within the other receivers’ range.
Once you have your system installed, you can continue with the setup by following the manufacturer’s instructions for setting up the specific channels, syncing your devices, or creating a personal digital code.
Home Intercom System Alternatives
As technology continues to grow, we’ll constantly have updated options in terms of new ways to manage old situations. Home intercoms are no exception.
While intercoms help communicate with members in different areas of the house, you are no longer limited to basic intercom systems.
Instead of using devices strictly labeled as intercoms, you can use other devices that have additional features as intercoms.
Examples of alternative technologies that you can use for intercoms include two-way radios, walkie-talkies, tablets, or other electronic devices that allow you to communicate with other users on separate machines.
We’ve listed multiple intercom alternative solutions in our list of the fifteen best wireless home intercom systems above.
Best Home Intercom System FAQ
Before we conclude our review and buyer’s guide of the best home intercom systems, we’re going to cover a few frequently asked questions many people have about the topic of home intercoms.
How Do I Choose an Intercom System?
The best way to choose an intercom system is to evaluate your needs. What is the purpose of your intercom system?
Do you want to talk to people in a different area of the house or communicate with someone outside the home in a shop, playhouse, or garage?
Do you want your system to be portable so your family members can carry the devices along on family outings like camping, shopping, or concerts?
The answer to these questions will help you decide what type of intercom system would serve your needs the best.
How Much Does It Cost to Install an Intercom System?
Pricing for installing an intercom system varies based on the type of intercoms you’ll be using. Newer tech video feeds will cost more than audio-only systems.
Installing a wired intercom system will cost much more than a wireless system because you have to do a lot of demolishing and repairing and often require professional experience. On the low end, you can expect to spend $1,000 or more, depending on the number of units and your home’s size.
Wireless intercom systems are cheaper to install because these are not built into your home. In most cases, you can install a wireless intercom system yourself for little to no extra costs past what you paid for your system.
If you want an advanced security setup, you may wish to consult a professional who can configure your Wi-Fi network to provide the most privacy for your intercoms. But if you use devices that do not require an internet connection, there’s little to no use for a professional.
Are Intercoms Still Used?
Many people have the mistaken belief that intercoms are an outdated piece of technology that no one uses anymore outside of corporate offices or apartment buildings.
But the truth is, plenty of people still rely on home intercom systems to communicate with multiple family members in a home spread out in different rooms. We also use them for surveying small children, pets, our exterior property,
However, with the advances in technology, intercoms may look vastly different from the wired intercoms we’re accustomed to seeing. Now, you can use tablets, cell phones, and video monitors to connect with family in real-time.
Or choose a portable intercom, which may be a receiver box or a handheld two-way radio with extended ranges to allow for greater use.
We hope you enjoyed accompanying us on our journey to explore the vast world of wireless home intercom systems. As we’ve demonstrated, modern versions of intercoms can be audio-only or audio/video combinations. Wireless intercoms are more convenient, easier to install and operate, and cheaper.
Start your shopping trip with one of our fifteen best wireless home intercom systems. But remember, we’ve only listed a small portion of all the available options. There’s plenty more out there to explore and consider.