A simple cordless handset that sounds good and doesn't record voicemail

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/19/a-simple-cordless-handset-that.html

2 AAA batteries required. (included)

Rechargeable, I hope.
I had a VTech with proprietary battery that didn’t last long.
At least AAAs are available.

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Before I got rid of my land line, I had always been a fan of VTech. That looks like a more modern version of the base/satellite pair I last had. I believe it had an AAA battery setup as well. They were rechargeable. I’d have to replace them every so often when they stopped holding a decent charge.


We had sound quality problems with Vtech. We prefer Panasonic. Given the low price, we just turn voicemail off. There’s a switch.

If you want a challenge, get an iPhone without texting. You can turn off the stupid alerts, but the text messages still pile up unread.

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So, if you’re on the phone and I call, I get a busy signal?

That’s what I want on my cell phone. Actually, I want any caller that isn’t in my contacts list to get a busy signal. Why is that so hard to do?

Turn off call waiting as a feature, or do not pay for it?


"Turn Call Waiting on or off

Turn off: Press *370# from your home phone.
Turn on: Press *371# from your home phone. "

Deal breaker: These have no headphone jack. I have a similar setup made by Panasonic, which is the only brand that still included such a jack when I bought ours in 2014. If you’re able to walk all over the house with the thing, why lose the use of one of your limited supply of hands?

Has anyone seen a cordless phone like this that supports using a bluetooth headset? I found a Jabra gadget that looked very promising seven or eight years ago, it plugged into a phone’s headphone jack and provided a bluetooth tranceiver. It had to be charged to work. But it had fine print: for cell phone use only. When plugged into a cordless phone, it made clicky little noises that sounded like a movie theater popcorn popper.

The best phone we regularly use – other than our old Western Electric rotaries – is an amplified cordless from Uniden; someone has even made a video about it:

It has good (and loud!) sound, big buttons, and lights that flash when the phone is ringing.

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Based on when I last looked the cost of something like the vtech vs something just as cheap looking with a nonstandard analog jack was pretty steep.

Both wired and Bluetooth seem like stupidly simple options but would no doubt cut into the non-It department sales of the plantronics and Jabra crowd who charge ridiculous amounts for very simple tech.

The thing I hate about my vtech phone is the intercom ring tone. Think of it as that noise Jim Carrey made in Dumb and Dumber with a little fingernails on the blackboard mixed in.

I did a quick check to see if Panasonic still makes them. The models have all changed, but they’re out there. For example https://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-KX-TGE433B-Cordless-Answering-Machine/dp/B01HXMJ14S
That’s just the first one I noticed that had a headphone connector - they don’t make them easy to find! For $71 it’s more expensive, but that’s a 3 phone model with answering machine so it’s not a direct comparison.

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