Cordless phone reviews: FAQs

Home phone frequently asked questions

Do I need a cordless phone if I’ve already got a mobile?

There are a number of good reasons for maintaining a landline, even if you also own a mobile phone. Though the mobile networks claim excellent coverage, there remain areas where it can be difficult to get a signal.

Cost is also a key factor. Despite often being sold with tariffs that include generous numbers of free minutes, it can be expensive to rely on your mobile phone. And not just for the user – calls to mobile phones also cost more than calls to landlines, so if you ditch your landline you may find that your friends and family don’t call quite as often.

Another reason why many people choose to maintain a landline while also having a mobile phone is that they need it to access the internet. Having a broadband connection opens up a third possible route for making phone calls – Voice Over IP or VOIP.

What is a Dect phone?

A Dect phone is just a digital cordless model. There are a few analogue cordless phones available but Dect models offer a greater number of features than their analogue counterparts and we've found that the sound quality when making and receiving calls is consistently good.

Will a Dect cordless phone work in a power cut?

No. Most digital cordless phones don’t have battery back-up – if the power fails so does your phone. Only hybrid models that have also incorporate a wired handset will still function (and these are pretty rare).

Can I use my handset with a different model base station and vice versa?

Most phones are GAP (generic access profile) compatible. This means you can use an old handset with your new base station. However, some functions such as paging might not work if you use equipment from different brands.

How can I extend the range of my Dect phone?

Manufacturers claim that their phones will work over long distances - typically up to 50m indoors and up to 300m outdoors. However these are a maximum distance - in reality obstructions, especially thick walls, will significantly reduce the range.

If you suffer from poor reception it can be a good idea to buy a booster (also known as a repeater). Simply place this small box as far away as possible from your base unit (you'll need to connect it to the mains), but still within range, and it will receive the signal and boost it back to the original level - effectively doubling the range.

Repeaters are fairly simple to install and usually only take a few minutes to set up. You can buy more than one repeater – most systems will accept up to four - but these cannot be daisy chained, so one repeater cannot repeat the signal of another one.

Can I use a digital cordless phone with a hearing aid?

Digital cordless phones can cause interference with hearing aids – an audible buzz. Older analogue hearing aids tend to be particularly badly affected by interference, but newer digital hearing aids cope better.

Try phones out before buying and visit the Action On Hearing Loss (the national charity for deaf and hard of hearing people) for more information on suitable handsets.

If you can't try before you buy ensure that the shop you purchase from will allow you to return the handset if it’s not suitable after you've tried it at home.

Can cordless or mobile phones interfere with pacemakers?

According to the British Heart Foundation, you can safely use a mobile phone or a cordless phone, but it is best to keep the phone more than 15 centimetres (6 inches) from your pacemaker. 

You should always use the ear on the opposite side to your pacemaker, and you shouldn't put the phone in a pocket over your pacemaker.

Do cordless phones emit radiation?

Dect cordless phones use radio signals to communicate between the handset and base station. However, according to the Health Protection Agency, the distance is so short that the power emitted is negligible and perfectly safe.

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