An Epic Search For A New Phone

Nothing lasts forever, and the two-line Uniden phone I have plugged in to my Phone.com VoIP adapter has finally given up the ghost, after years of service as my home office phone, starting long before I got home office VoIP service. Indeed I can’t even begin to count the number of interviews I’ve done over the years using that phone.

Why a two-line phone? After all, there’s just one of me.

Once upon a time I needed two lines for my professional use in case an important call came in while I was on the line, but that was before the advent of call waiting. The call waiting feature first appeared as an extra-cost option on traditional landline service years ago and freed me from the need for two lines for business. (As an aside, where I live to get call waiting from Century Link still requires a service plan that costs $18 a month more than basic phone service. With any Phone.com plan it doesn’t cost a penny extra).

But I still need two lines since, being a small office-home office (SOHO) business, my wife is liable to be on one line at the same time I need another for business.  With standard Phone.com features, for either outgoing calls or incoming, via the use of menus I can do that with just one number. Basically, the two incoming lines to my Phone.com VoIP adapter are simply two different extensions on my virtual PBX.

(Okay, really I have three numbers, but the second a number is used mainly for calls to my kids around the world, who each have Phone.com VoIP adapters, and the third is an overseas number for people to reach me, an add-on that costs just $4.88 per month at Phone.com for a long list of countries.)

But back to the real issue – my trusty phone has a speakerphone base with dial pad and a wireless handset into which I can plug a headset or use as a speakerphone. Despite a new battery the handset drains the battery in something like half an hour of use. Some of my business interviews, though, last an hour or more.

So as I write this I’m searching the Internet for a reasonably priced (i.e. less than $100) high quality replacement. A key feature is a wireless handset that not only accommodates two lines, but also has a standard headset jack – a requirement that’s already eliminated more than one contender. It’s really tough to do an interview and take notes if you’re holding the phone in one hand.

Then there is the issue of the speakerphone base. Ideally it will be full duplex, and have a keypad. That’s an issue that’s eliminated more than one other contender (although in the end I may have to settle for a simplex speakerphone).

Basically, I’m describing my old 5.8 GHz phone. To my surprise, and disappointment, I’m having trouble finding a new-generation DECT 6 phone that matches those features – and from the comments I see on the web about various phone systems, other folks are complaining about the same thing. So, if anyone knows of a worthy candidate for me to try, please send a response to this blog.