Hanging onto the landline
While it seems like every man, woman and child now has a smartphone, many of us still reach for the landline as soon as we step through the front door.
Here, we include results for 14 landline phones, including nine newly tested models. Each landline phone is assessed for sound quality when listening to a phone call on the tested handset (receiving sound quality) as well for how the phone would sound to a person on the other end of the line listening on a good-quality corded telephone (sending sound quality).
The ability for a cordless landline phone to operate during a power outage, introduced for the first time for a model on our last test, is now more readily available with two models in the latest test having this feature.
We also tested the answering machine on landline phones of they have one but did not include this score in the overall performance score, so you can easily compare the performance on landline phones with and without answering machines.
This article contains our test results for a range of 14 cordless landline phones with answering machines, as well as general information on what to consider when buying a cordless phone.
Brands and models tested
- Oricom M600-2
- Panasonic KX-TG6461ALT
- Panasonic KX-TG6722ALB
- Panasonic KX-TG7652AZB
- Panasonic KX-TG8032ALB
- Siemens Gigaset A400 A Duo
- Siemens Gigaset A510A Duo
- Siemens Gigaset SL910A
- Uniden DECT 1515 + 1
- Uniden DECT 3035+1
- Uniden ELITE 9135 + 1 White
- Uniden XDECT 6135BTU + 1
- Uniden XDECT 8055 +1
- Uniden XDECT R055 + 1
The following landline phones from the previous test are marked as discontinued in our table but may still be available in some stores
- Panasonic KX-TG6561ALT (Single handset)
- Panasonic KX-TG6622ALB
- Siemens Gigaset E500A (single handset)
- Telstra 9150 TWIN DECT Cordless Phone
- Telstra 9450 Twin DECT 6.0 Cordless Phone
- Uniden ELITE 9145 + 1 (1 Corded & 1 Cordless Handset)
Can't find the model you are looking for? Take a look at our results from our test in 2011.
However the results are not directly comparable to our most recent tests, but it'll give you a good idea of their performance.
How we test
Ease of use Our testers consider factors such as quality of the instruction manual, feel and comfort of the handset, whether the screen is easy to read and any other special features.
Sound quality A panel of users makes calls in a moderately noisy environment and assesses speech clarity, speech loudness, line noise and background noise reduction on each model.
Battery life After fully charging each phone’s battery, our testers set the phones to talk and standby, and time how long each setting takes to be discharged. They also time how long the phones take to recharge.
Range The base station for each landline phone on test is placed within a single story building with solid concrete foundation and walls while the phone under test was located outside on the opposite side of one wall obstructing the line of sight. The tester continues to make phone calls with the maximum range determined by either the radio link being cut or a subjective assessment made that voice quality made conversation unacceptable.
Maximum ringer volume Ringer volume measurements were conducted using a decibel meter placed 1m horizontally away from the base or handset under test.
Answering machine Our testers look at the ease of use when creating a message and managing calls, as well as sound clarity and quality for both the message recording and the message left by the caller.
What else you'll get in this report
As well as the test results for 14 models you'll also get:
- Our interactive database with test results, prices, specs and features for all landline phones
- Invaluable buying information: Plus practical tips on how to choose the right plan for your needs. Read this before you buy!
- CHOICE Shopper: Buy a membership and get this exclusive members' service that can save you time and money on your purchase.