Whether you’re opening a new office and need phones or you’re planning to update your existing phone system, we have done the research and tested over 30 small business phone systems to prepare the list of our Top 5 most recommended business telephone systems.

Our criteria we believe the best small business phone systems must meet:

  1. Must be reliable. The manufacturer must have a proven history of reliability.
  2. Must be affordable for a small business to purchase and maintain.
  3. Must support at least 4 telephone lines.
  4. Offers a smartphone app or an ability to transfer calls to a cell phone for work-from-home employees.
  5. Would like to have an automated attendant menu, voicemail functionality, and message/music on hold.

For businesses who require more phones or access to more telephone lines, please give us a call at 1 (877) 877-9473 to discuss larger systems we recommend and install.

.

#5. JUST THE BASICS!
AT&T Synapse Phone System
(Landline only)
at-t-sb35031Voicemail: Yes
Music/Message on Hold: Yes
Installation type: Ethernet/Cat5 wiring
Headset option: Wired and Wireless supported
Mobile softphone app: No
Cost: $

Our favorite small business phone system, hands down! Manufactured by VTech, the AT&T Synapse works the way you do — no headaches, hassles or hidden costs. Large backlit displays, web-based system administration, familiar call handling and features, scheduled-based auto attendant, built-in voicemail, dial-by-name (first or last) functionality, and inbound call routing rules, the Synapse has the most features in its class.

With support for traditional POTS and digital phone lines as well as support for our SIP Trunking service, you can have the best of both worlds — ownership of a traditional phone system installed in your equipment closet and the ability to take advantage of the reduced monthly costs of sending your calls through your high speed Internet connection.

On the bottom of each model desk phone (see models here) are two Ethernet ports, so you simply connect your computer to the phone and the phone to your network switch — no new wiring needed. System’s searchable-by-name speed dial directory is shared across all phones automatically — no other phone systems in this price class offers that feature! Visual Voicemail is built-in on the larger display Synapse phone (pictured above), allowing you to navigate and manage voicemails as you scroll through your e-mail on your smartphone. Reliability and build quality are absolutely exceptional. It also offers the ability to connect multiple locations together for calling from store-to-store, for example. The included warranty is 2 years with an option to extend to 5 years.  You cannot go wrong with this versatile AT&T solution!

.

#4. GREAT VALUE! Yealink Optima
(Landline or VoIP/Cloud compatible)

Voicemail: Yes
Music/Message on Hold: Yes
Installation type: Ethernet/Cat5 wiring
Headset option: Wired & Wireless & Bluetooth supported
Mobile softphone app: Yes (Android & Apple iOS)
Cost: $

Yealink is once again at its innovative best, with the release of the T4x Series IP Phones. These phones are designed specifically for users who expect integrated communication to come with excellent functionality, great value, and ultra-smart design.

With the ability to grow to huge potential capacities, the Yealink is a great all-around solution for small businesses, churches, retail, manufacturing, and schools that desire an affordable but highly expandable solution.  It offers the ability to connect multiple locations together for calling from store-to-store, for example.

For locations where a desk phone is required but no Ethernet cable is nearby, Yealink offers an option to use it’s reliable and secure DECT wireless extender, or use your existing Wi-Fi signal if you prefer, for quick and easy desk phone placement in places with no easy Ethernet cable access — an ideal solution for installations that simply cannot run new Cat5 cabling everywhere.

.

Exclusive to Phonewire, you have a choice — Setup your new phones with our VoIP service hosted “in the cloud”, or use with our mini-server and your traditional landline phone lines “in your closet” — whatever makes the most sense for your organization right now.

.

#3. BEST WARRANTY! VTech Snom Eristerminal
(Landline or VoIP/Cloud compatible)

Voicemail: Yes
Music/Message on Hold: Yes
Installation type: Ethernet/Cat5 wiring
Headset option: Wired & Wireless supported
Mobile softphone app: Yes (Android & Apple iOS)
Cost: $

.

First introduced in 2016, the ErisTerminal product changed the industry with its unbeatable 3-year warranty standard. Updated in 2019 with a partnership in German-engineered sound design, the new Snom series is designed to provide the small business market with the best sound quality and make it easier to add new people and integrate employees who use their mobile phone more than their desk phone. The new platform can start with just 2 lines and 2 phones, then easily grow up to 100 lines and up to 300 cordless and desk phones as your business grows. And it’s your choice to have your phone services hosted in the cloud or installed to traditional landline phone lines in your closet — whatever makes the best financial sense for your organization right now.

Most phone models include built-in support for a Bluetooth wireless headset or noise-canceling headphones, or add wireless handheld cordless phones which makes this system great for installations where easy and inexpensive cordless mobility is important such as retail and daycare centers.  VTech includes a standard 3-year warranty with the option for up to 5 years of coverage.

.

#2. BEST RELIABILITY! Panasonic
(Landline or VoIP/Cloud compatible)
Voicemail: Yes
Music/Message on Hold: Yes
Installation type: Telephone or Ethernet/Cat5 wiring
Headset option: Wired, Wireless & Bluetooth support
Mobile softphone app: Yes (Android & Apple iOS)
Cost: $$

Panasonic’s business telephones offer a complete solution for businesses large and small — from the small compact hybrid communication appliance solution and the newest enterprise servers from their product line. Designed specifically to support the small business marketplace with simple web-based system administration, the new platform offers users flexible access to their communications system and includes initial support for 2 analog phone lines and 2 phones; that easily grows to support up to 2,000 cordless and desk phones as your business grows. And it’s your choice to have your phone services hosted in the cloud or installed to traditional landline phone lines in your closet — whatever makes the best financial sense for your organization right now. Because of its exceptional DECT cordless handheld telephone capabilities, this system is also ideal for installations where mobility is essential such as retail, manufacturing, and warehouses.

With the ability to grow without the need for replacement hardware, Panasonic is an ideal solution for small businesses that desire an easily expandable solution.  Easily connect multiple locations together for calling from store-to-store, corporate-to-retail, or country-to-country for example. Panasonic’s cordless telephone capabilities include your choice from a standard cordless model, a compact model with Bluetooth headset support, or a ruggedized dust, shock, and splash resistant IP54-complaint cordless model, And Panasonic includes a standard 1-year warranty with an option for up to 5 years of optional extended warranty coverage.

.

#1. BEST FEATURES! Switchvox
(Landline or VoIP/Cloud compatible)

Voicemail: Yes
Music/Message on Hold: Yes
Installation type: Ethernet/Cat5 wiring
Headset option: Wired, Wireless & Bluetooth supported
Mobile softphone app: Yes (Android & Apple iOS)
Cost: $$

From the manufacturer who created the revolution of telephone systems for the past two decades, Digium Switchvox is the most capable and most affordable phone system for small and medium-sized businesses.  You have the option to add a new Switchvox server in your closet and use landline phone service, or have your phones connect with our cloud server by VoIP using your Internet connection.

When making an investment in a new phone system, the Digium Switchvox system makes the most economical sense.  Regardless of how your business changes and grows, your initial investment is always protected.  For a small business, start out simply with five phones and a phone system installed in your closet connected to traditional phone lines.  As you add new locations, peer that new phone system to the original system to allow call transferring, intercom, paging, and line sharing between sites.  Or create your new phone system hosted in our cloud and your desk phones can be placed anywhere in the world — imagine, office employees, telecommuters, and home office employees all interconnected on one phone system as simple as unboxing your new phone and plugging it in!

The Switchvox system has too many features to list and with its IVR scripting, you can easily create steps to take your caller almost any direction you can dream.  For example, a school might offer parents a custom absentee line to quickly report student absences or a company may route new callers to sales people but existing clients are routed directly to a customer success team automatically based only on the Caller ID.  And its built-in mobility allows calls to be made and received on your smartphone exactly like you were sitting in front of your desk phone — even hand off an active call from one phone to the other without placing the caller on hold!  With Switchvox, the possibilities are endless, the investment is long term, and the price is surprisingly affordable.

.