Two things often move people into active search for the best small business phone systems. First is the need to upgrade an existing system. And then second could that you are in the market for the very first time.
Whatever your case may be, this business phone system buying guide aims to bring you the best on Amazon as well as clarify the core features that will help to fulfill your current needs. Moreover, increased understanding in this regard will enable you to think properly through the comparative options available.
So whether you are an intending first time buyer or veteran user, the PBX phone system reviews below are for you. But first let’s look at some basics.
You can skip if your experience level has passed this stage.
What Is PBX Phone System?
At a certain point in the development and growth of a business, using personal phones to manage client, customer and supplier relationships become too complexity. And in most cases, the cost often continues compound on the upward side. This even gets worse when there is more than one branch involved.
In simple terms, PBX which stands for private branch exchange is system used to manage inbound and outbound communication within and outside a business entity.
Technically, this involves compatible interconnection of cables, hardware and software tools. The phone and other hardware parts are the main things we’ll be reviewing here. When starting out, you may choose the option of hosting and setting up everything within your office or opt for virtual hosted systems that attracts monthly fee.
On the other hand, this can be looked at as a system that receives incoming business calls and distributes same based of technically programmed rules.
How PBX Phone System Work?
When it comes to how PBX phone systems work, this could be really complex if we are to dive deep into the technicalities of how it works. Basically, it is all about the management of communication workflow. Regardless of how many phone lines, there is always a switchboard where everything is controlled.
Besides, the other essential features and functions include the following –
- Use of multi line telephone systems
- Division of single phone line into multiple lines for internal communication – this is often called extension. It saves money by adding up some users in the same line and making one phone number available for their use at different intervals
- Interactive voice response (IVR) – this used to direct callers to the appropriate recipients
- Call recording – this can be use to get real insight into purchase patterns, buyer objections and other useful hints for sales performance improvement
- Cost savings – yes, the appropriate PBX phone system should save you money. However, the key lies in choosing the best options that is suitable for the size of your budget
Types of PBX Phone Systems
Even before calling in an expert, understanding the best types of PBX phone systems is very important. And that is the essence of this small business phone system buyer guide. With this, the one you choose is definitely going to match your peculiar needs. Let’s do a little overview.
Traditional On Premise PBX: Whenever the term PBX is mentioned, this is the type of often comes into many people’s memory. This system works with a physical hardware box.
From the hardware box, phone line connection will now be made available for all of the office desks where it is required.
In most cases, the hardware, installation and maintenance makes this option very costly in comparison to modern office communication systems. The analogue phone lines required for this to work also contributes the comparative higher cost.
Hosted PBX: The advancements in technology led to availability of hosted PBX systems. With this option, there won’t be any need for hardware purchases, installation and maintenance. Instead the core services are provided by independent companies that charge monthly subscription fees.
All you have to buy in most cases are your telephone sets and router. This is where the best small business PBX phones come into play. Along the line, we’ll also be highlighting the best routers that go with them. Our research work brought these together, so you don’t have to spend time browsing and searching from one page to the other.
Best Small Business PBX Phone System Comparison
One thing that I have observed among many of the oldest electronic manufacturing corporations is that they often build products in response to perceived trend or need in the marketplace.
But it’s very obvious that blindly following some trends alone cannot get you the market share you want earnestly. What matters most in this context is unified communication protocol. And that is what this Panasonic model KX-NS700 is all about.
In addition to the sleek and compact design, this product has 22 usable ports in total.
On the front panel, you’ll see two LED indicators meant for showing status information as well as the present PBX mode. For those that have color preference, this machine often comes mainly in black. In some very low circumstances, you can as well find it in ash color too. The dimension stands at 430mm x 88mm x 335mm. Here is a small business phone system that is proven to work well with analog and digital systems.
In simple terms, it means that the phone supports analog and dependable digital telephones. The maximum extension on this product is scalable up to 288 but you can start with 6 extensions.
Through IP connection the SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunking support allows users to connection to multiple phones in a remote office without additional charges.
And you don’t have to deploy additional PBX.
For new and existing users that needs an upgrade, the KX-NS700 phone system works well with many Panasonic desktop phones. And it provides lots of interesting and useful features too. In the desktop range, some of the best compatible phones include Panasonic KX-TD546 and KX-DT541.
Other IP models are the KX-NT560 IP and KX-NT551. Most DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) phones are also confirmed to be working well with this phone system.
Also from the same brand is this hybrid Panasonic small business phone system. Like the one reviewed above, the capacity of this system can be expanded to 8 exchange lines and 24 extensions.
However, it comes configured with 3 exchange lines and 8 extensions by default.
Other features include in built remote modem and USB port for PC programming.
The direct inward system access (DISA) enables outside callers to access preferable extension without going through an operator.
Voice messaging here is optional. You also get flexible SMS routing and caller ID display on SLT.
Just in case you find it hard to set up with the driver included, consider working with Windows XP software. Based on our research, this is a proven solution for many past users. Just note that you need to buy some phones separately.
Beside business contexts, you can also use this as personal PBX in relatively large homes.
For people that have used the older model KX-TA824, this is a good option worth considering. And it comes affordably cheap at a price that is under $200 (used ones). Brand new Panasonic KX-TA824 is priced around $490. To put it in its maximum capacity and while avoiding some unintended damage during installation, consider getting experienced expert for this.
Going that route as opposed to doing all by yourself will give you access to reliable troubleshooting services without wasting your time. But that is only if you can afford it.
With regard to some peculiar use cases, the automatic fax transfer and automatic pause insertion are impressively useful. Based on how long Panasonic has been in the market, this product belongs to a class of the best small business phone systems.
Perhaps you are looking for where to buy Panasonic small business phone system, best option is to click and follow through the appropriate product link in the beginning of this session.
Possibly, you can have it delivered to your doorstep within 48 hours or less.
Even though a lot of people have never heard of this brand before, Grandstream offers some interesting models when it comes to small business phone system. Unlike many other models in these phone system reviews, this one comes with four standard corded phones.
Perhaps, this explains why it is priced relatively higher. If you want the complete package, expect to pay a price that is slightly above $600.
One great feature of this tool is that you can have it integrated into existing digital lines from other service providers like FIOS, Time Warner, Comcast, Spectrum and others.
That also means you mustn’t have to subscribe to and depend on the VOIP services provided by Grandstream. In the full package you get main Grandstream voice server, 4 telephones and 1 year dialtone for two lines only. For these two lines talk time is limited to 3000 minutes per month within US and Canada.
For efficient handling of incoming calls, there is a call queue and multi language auto attendant feature built into this phone system. The availability of encryption security provides full protection of both data and voice communication flow.
Depending on your preferred use cases, other features like call recording, phonebook, voicemail and fax to email were built into this product. In some instances, you may decide to connect standard cordless phones or fax machine too. The SIP trunks and VOIP lines makes that possible.
Also worthy of note is the fact that this system supports up to 16 concurrent phone calls.
Even though the design looks deceptively simple, it is a light weight machine with the weight standing at 13.74 pounds. So it is practically easy to carry when there is need to move it from one premise or position to the other. Regardless of how old some of these systems are, our data shows that some people are still doing active search for this product.
Beside this one, there are some other affordable small business phone systems from the same brand. Popular models include Grandstream UCM6510 and UCM6204 which supports up to 42 concurrent phone calls.
If you are that person looking for where to buy affordable phone system for your multi location business, here is another great option currently selling under $200 on Amazon.
In those instances where power outage is usually expected, this product offers what they call Failover server feature which works as great alternative when needed. And there is a confirmed support for PSTN/PBX analogue telephones. And for such connections, the GXW4004 gateway has up to 8 ports to serve either a team or entire company.
However, it all depends on the size of your business. Before proceeding, take note of the fact that this one doesn’t come with telephones already. So always bear that in mind.
The manufacturer also claims advanced security protect when you put this product into use.
This is very important because full security of important conversations with your clients, staff and supplies out to be prioritized above cost savings on business phone system purchase. If you don’t take this into account before purchase and installation, you may end up making confidential information vulnerable to dangerous intrusion.
According to past users, this product is very easy to set up. You just have to download the manual from Grandstream’s website. However, if it is beyond your technical competence, consider hiring an expert.
While this is meant to be a stationary office electronic tool, the light weight which is about 1.75 pounds makes it a little more different from other models in the same category.
When compared with other models from Avaya, Cisco and YeaStar this issue of light weight is unmatchable. For the purpose of reiteration, Grandstream GXW4004 can be used perfectly for modem, fax and most common voice communication needs.
Even though it comes with a single corded handset, this is the best affordable multi line phone system for small business you can buy in the market today. Comparatively, it is convincingly cheaper than most other models that sell above $300. And it has almost of the core functions of a phone system you can think of.
And then for people interested in the expandability, this product guarantees up to 1000 extensions. So if you have searched in the past for phone systems with 32 extension capability, this one got you covered.
Among many interesting benefits, the phone call quality was confirmed to be very impressive, especially by the past users. In fact, this is the exact reasons that bring some people back to market to check if there is any upgraded version.
Just around the system is a port for headset jack. So if you are keenly interested in that feature, yes it has it. Note that only three people can be on hold at the same time.
At a certain fixed price per month, you’ll get unlimited nationwide calling. That’s for people in the US.
In comparison to what is obtainable from other brands, this phone is very easy to install. With the clearly written manual that comes with it installation is relatively plug and play stuff. Businesses with multiple branches or the ones with different functional departments will find this very useful.
The design of this product is very sleek and attractive.
Inside the box you’ll get the FastPBX 3 line business IP phone system, handset and stand. Also included is the quick start guide, handset cord, Ethernet cable and power adapter.
Weight is about 2.8 pounds with a dimension of 14.7 x 11.4 x 2.4 inches. One year warranty is what you get here. Just like in some other models reviewed earlier you get conference calling, customizable IVR, call forwarding, extension monitoring and many more.
As noted at the beginning of this small business phone system reviews, people in the market for this are bound to have practically unique needs. While some are looking for the system server alone others are likely to have specific interested in a bundle. Besides, there are people looking for small business phone system buying guide special need for everything in a complete package including the monthly subscription.
However, if you are the person that wants to buy phone system server and telephones as well, the Xblue X16 model is very much likely to fulfill your need.
When you buy the X16 package, it comes with 4 standard analogue telephones and a host of other interesting features.
Perhaps, if for some reasons you have the need for additional telephones this product is expandable up to 6 lines and 16 telephones. Organizations with 8 – 24 employees will find it satisfactorily usable.
Depending on your needs, the auto attendant helps to process calls and even voicemails too. With this feature, you can as well record instructional messages for callers to get in contact with the appropriate recipient. And there is a blue LCD screen that displays everything in monochrome order. Before or during phone calls you’ll have ringer volume control that helps to adjust things just as required.
Whether you are paying for their subscription service or not, the support reps are always on standby to give a guideline when you want it.
Go to their main website https://xblue.com/ and you’ll find the appropriate channels.
And if you have some sales people that handle some specific type of calls, you can transfer calls to them with ease. Setup is very easy to do with the quick start guide.
From the same brand Xblue, comes this other model of small business phone system. Through all the sales copies and description of this product, one thing that is emphasized very much is the Do-It-Yourself easy installation. That means you may not have to spend big money in the process of engaging installation experts. And then during the installation process, you can get a real practical guide that will guide you through the process.
Through their website, you can also get good tutorial videos that will help to get you up and running in minutes.
If you intend to buy XBlue XB1606CH on Amazon, you’ll get 6 telephones that are bundled with the voice server. Unlike some other phone systems in the same category, you can operate this one independent of internet connection. By adding XBlue Voip service, you can begin to enjoy both remote and onsite communication access whenever you need them.
At any point in time, it is also possible to add more phones without installing an expansion board. For internal dialing, this product also comes with intercom feature.
It has in built music on hold but you’ll have the option of adding or connecting your own programmed music. One downside for many past users is that you can only transfer calls by extension to extension.
On the other hand, if you want to connect cordless handsets, you have to make use of the XBlue 1645 terminal analogue adapter.
As for color preferences, you have red mahogany, titanium and vivid blue options. Probably because of the number of phones that comes with the full bundle, the price is a bit high above standard phone system server only options. Probably, the number of employees for the intended organization or nature of existing need will determine whether you buy server only or a full bundle.
Following these detailed reviews, the best small business PBX phone systems come at different price points just as there are strong variations in terms of the features in each one. Beside price considerations, issue of whether you need server only or a full bundle will be determined by your own peculiar need.
Obvious, if you have existing telephones from anyone of the brands reviewed here, get a compatible phone system server is all you need.
And in that case, the price is certainly going to be lower. As always, don’t forget to test all of the features that matter to you immediately when it arrives. This is very important if you intend to buy small business phone system online from Amazon or another retailer.