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What Else Should I Look for When Shopping for Cordless Telephones?

In addition to energy performance, there are many other important operating and convenience features to consider when shopping for cordless phones.

ENERGY STAR provides this information so you can select the best product for your individual needs. ENERGY STAR does not endorse any of the features or any of the sources of further information and product reviews mentioned below.

Today’s cordless telephones offer a variety of features. Here’s a look:

Analog vs. Digital

Analog phones are the most common type of cordless phone. They rely on conventional radio waves that are modulated to carry sound to and from the handset. Digital phones transmit sound in two values — zeros and ones (digits) and offer increased security and reduced interference with the same or better range.

Concerned about security? Then choose DSS (digital spread spectrum) technology. It spreads the phone’s digital information in pieces over several frequencies, making it the almost impossible for others to listen in.


Currently, cordless phones are available at three frequencies: 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, and 5.8 GHz. The advantages are noted below.

  • 900 MHz. Often the lowest priced phone
  • 2.4 GHz. Offers enhanced security
  • 5.8 GHz. Offers reduced interference

What about dual-band phones? These simply use one band to transmit between base and handset and another band to receive calls. They do not switch between bands.

Dual/Multi-Handset Capable

If you are limited in the number of phone-jacks that you can have, or do not wish to install multiple jacks throughout your home, a dual or multi handset capable phone may be the choice for you. These phones incorporate a main base unit that plugs into a phone-jack and an electrical outlet, and can support anywhere from one to eight additional handsets. Only an electrical outlet is needed for the additional handsets and their charging cradles.

Tip: It’s always best to have at least one traditional, corded telephone in your household as a back up. Often, cordless telephones don’t work during blackouts because they rely on household electrical current. A corded telephone is not usually prone to this problem.

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