What is the Best VoIP Phone for a Small Business?

At Telzio we’ve tried and tested the bulk of business phones out there, and this article will narrow them down to the one brand that we’ve decided is the best choice for small businesses.

We used three key factors to determine which brand to recommend:

  • Quality - Are the phones reliable and do they have good sound quality?
  • Ease of use - Are the phones intuitive and easy to use?
  • Price - Are the phones budget-friendly for a small business?

With these factors in mind, we went down the line of options and put them through real life testing. Phones from Cisco, Polycom, Mitel, VTech, Grandstream, Invoxia, Aastra, Snom, and Yealink have all spent time on our desks. Over the past six years, our teams have used a variety of different models for months at a time, making hundreds if not thousands of inbound and outbound calls on each device. Our experience gradually led us to favor one brand over the others. Here is our conclusion.


Cisco & Polycom not made for millennials 

We compared a range of brands, including the most well-known of them including Cisco and Polycom, but neither of these big names made it to #1 in our perspective. These phones are clearly not designed in this decade for the millennial user, and are the most challenging to configure. These days, devices should be ready to go once you plug them in, and for the DIYers, configuration should be quick and intuitive. 

Polycom proved to be the biggest headache to provision, which is a problem if you’re bringing existing phones from another provider. Not a problem if you order new, pre-configured phones, but then comes the price. Cisco and Polycom are the more expensive options, which doesn’t meet the budget-friendly requirement for a small business.


Grandstream phones modern, but glitchy

Grandstream is a close runner up with its modern designs, but fell behind in our favor because of occasional glitches with its software. Modern users would be pleased with the sleek design of the Grandstream hardware and its easy to configure UI. Definitely a solid phone, but in a competitive ranking there can only be one winner. While the majority of our users have not had issues with their Grandstream devices, it simply does not win in a head to head comparison over Yealink.


Why we choose Yealink for SMBs

With Yealink, we found all the SMB requirements were met. Yealink VoIP phones are affordable and simply work well with no issues. Yealink has greatly improved in its designs over the years to match Grandstream's more modern look and feel. With a massive engineering team constantly working to improve the firmware, Yealink software is top notch. Not to mention, the sound quality has proven to be clear and consistent.

What it boils down to is that we haven't had any issues with Yealink phones, and not a single complaint from a Telzio user. For a small business, Yealink is the best choice in terms of quality, design, and cost.


Which office phone is right for you?

Yealink offers a range of multi-line desk phones and cordless phones fit for small businesses. Here are the models we recommend. You can browse Yealink phones and find more details at the Telzio shop.

Yealink T48S

The T48S is for light call center and medium sized businesses, and is considered the high-end model of Yealink business phones. The midnight-black phone has clean sharp lines and a touchscreen color display. The key advantage of the T48S over the T46S is the touchscreen capability. If you want a prestigious phone that’s modern and high-tech, this is the one for you.

Shop the T48S

Yealink T46S

The T46S also has a color display and costs 30% less than the T48S. The only thing that’s missing is the touchscreen capability. This phone is a solid option for a team of modern business users, and is not harsh on the budget for a small business. It supports up to 10 lines and 16 SIP accounts.

Shop the T46S

Yealink T42S

The T42 model is almost half the price of the T46S, and with that price cut you lose the color screen and a few lines. With this model you can support 12 SIP accounts and 6 line keys.

Shop the T42S

Yealink T41S

The most affordable of the Yealink business phones, and still supporting 6 SIP accounts, 6 line keys, and 4 soft keys. While this phone doesn’t have the color screen, it offers a sleek black design that feels minimal and modern. This is a great entry level phone for a small business.

Shop the T41S


Cordless phones 

In addition to the desk phones mentioned above, Yealink offers cordless phones that work magnificently. Their cordless IP phones are wide ranging while maintaining excellent voice quality, enabling you to move around large warehouse spaces and still be able to make and receive calls.

The Yealink W60P is a set that includes a base station and one cordless handset. You can create an entire cordless phone system for your business by purchasing additional handsets. The Yealink cordless base station supports up to 8 handsets. The device works as a cordless phone and speakerphone.

By itself, the cordless phone is called the W56H. Lightweight and simple to use, the W56H is a reliable small business phone. The W53H is a more compact version of the W56H, and costs 20% less. Both versions work with the same base station, so you can mix and match.


Using Yealink with Telzio business VoIP services

When used with Telzio, you can do a lot with Yealink phones. Telzio offers powerful features out-of-the-box that are easy to use for small businesses, such as:

  • Call recording

  • Conference calls

  • Phone menus

  • Queues

  • Hunt groups

  • Presence

  • Intercom and paging

  • Hold music

  • Company directory

  • Extensions and voicemail

In addition to using office phones, Telzio phone services integrate with mobile devices and computers. The Telzio Mobile App is free to download and like IP phones, work anywhere with internet connection. The Telzio Webphone is a browser-based softphone that's built into your online dashboard, and works without any installation requirements. 

Visit Telzio.com/features to see all the features available from Telzio.


Understanding VoIP phone features

When researching business phones you may come across some technical language you’ll want to understand. Here are some common keywords and phrases along with their meanings.

BLF

Busy Lamp Field (BLF) Keys are programmable buttons that enable you to register multiple lines into a phone, and contain flashing indicators to let you know which lines are busy. Also known as presence. BLF is a critical feature for teams who handle busy customer service lines.

Codecs

A codec is a technical term used to describe audio transmission in VoIP. Opus and G.722 are standard codecs used in VoIP phones.

SIP

Short for Session Initiation Protocol, SIP is the method of transmitting calls that is used to engineer the phone’s software. It is the most commonly used protocol with VoIP systems, which makes it easy for devices to work with different platforms. The terms SIP phones and VoIP phones are used interchangeably.

SIP Account

Another way of saying “user” or phone line. A SIP account enables you to log into a VoIP phone and start calling. A SIP account registers with the phone the details of your caller ID, extension, and voicemail. When a phone says it can register up to 10 SIP accounts, that means you can manage up to 10 different numbers or extensions on that phone.

Soft Keys 

A soft key is a programmable key on office phones. Higher end business phones will offer soft keys that can be programmed to function as anything from a BLF key, to a parking extension, to do-not-disturb.

PoE

Power over Ethernet (PoE) means the phone gets power from the ethernet cable, and does not require an additional power source. PoE is a nice feature to have because it eliminates cord clutter and can keep your phones running in the case of a power outage.

RJ9 Headset 

The RJ9 headset is the standard headset jack which plugs into the telephone.  

Jennifer is part of the content marketing team at Telzio, providing insight and tips on how Telzio can be used to optimize business communications and customer service.