General Question

sumul's avatar

Are there any multi-handset cordless phones that allow you to talk on more than one handset a time?

Asked by sumul (360points) June 6th, 2008

There seem to be a lot of cell phone questions these days, so I just want to clarify that this is about old-school landline telephones (actually, I’m using VoIP, but whatever).

Anyway, we have one phone jack available, but we want to have phones in multiple rooms. We currently have a dual-handset cordless phone, but you can only use one handset at a time. If both my wife and I want to be talking to the person on the line, we need to resort to some stupid kluge solution (speakerphone, conferencing in one of our cell phones, etc).

The naive assumption would be that we could just turn on both handsets, and they’d both be engaged on the line they share. Apparently, that requires some fancier technology than our phone supports.

My question is: are there phones available that work like you’d expect them to? If so, anyone have a recommendation? What should I even look for? Is there a name for this “feature”?

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20 Answers

robmandu's avatar

< < Eagerly clicks on the “Follow this Question” link. And awards GQ.

monsoon's avatar

So you want a cordless phone… One base that goes to the wall jack… Two headsets… You can use them both at once on the same call?

Yeah I would assume any two phones would work, but that’s weird yours doesn’t.

I dunno about the technology, but you could get a jack splitter and just get two cordless phones.

Have you got a phone like this?

robmandu's avatar

@monsoon, You can buy cordless phones in a multi-pack: 2, 3, 4, or more that all talk to the same base station. In those cases, you typically can only use one at a time. The others won’t join the conversation.

Now, if one were to buy separate base station + cordless handset rigs (especially different models with auto-channel capability), then yah, I’d think that would work. But it’s not nice & integrated like what @sumul and I would like to see.

The example you posted will likely only allow one handset to engage in a phone call at a time. That can be frustrating.

The technical reason why they don’t is that it would require installing more than one transceiver in the base station… to handle multiple connects with multiple phones. Much like why a TV needs two tuners in order to display picture in picture.

Still, it would be nice if someone offered such a model.

sumul's avatar

A jack splitter and two cordless phones would technically work, but it’s not a great solution. The base station of the second phone would have to be in the room with the jack. Since single-handset cordless phones use the base station as the handset charger, we’d have to get a dual-handset phone and put the satellite handset in the other room. We’d basically need three cordless phones (one single-handset and one dual-handset) just to talk on two.

robmandu's avatar

I feel ya… this is one of the main reasons why I won’t switch to VOIP.

benseven's avatar

I’ve had landline phones that work the way you’d expect – i.e, using both handsets on a call works.

In my last apartment, it was a similar set-up to yours, because the theory was you couldn’t eavesdrop on the person who was on the phone.

It’s down to who makes the handsets, and whether they have this feature – best bet would be to ask friends / family / flutherites what make or model of phones they use that can accomplish this…

sumul's avatar

@benseven, I’m glad to hear that they exist. Can you recall who made the phone?

benseven's avatar

Not really – I’m pretty sure it’s quite a standard feature of cordless handset multi-packs though.

robmandu's avatar

@benseven, that’s what I thought I explained pretty clearly… no, that is not a standard feature of multi-pack cordless handsets.

Has anyone here bought for themselves a multi-pack of cordless handsets (that share a single common base station) where more than one of the handsets can participate on a phone call at a time?

benseven's avatar

OK… I know at least four households for whom it is a feature of their handsets. Sorry if I was trying to be helpful in spite of not remembering specific brand names. No need to be a jerk about it.

Sumul – are you based in the states?

robmandu's avatar

@ben, not trying to be a jerk… just extremely interested… and admittedly frustrated at all the conjecture.

sumul's avatar

Yeah, I’m in California. Are you sure that these handsets can all be engaged on a single call at the same time? Every multi-handset cordless phone I’ve ever seen makes you “transfer” a call from one handset to another, but you can never have both handsets simultaneously engaged on a single call.

robmandu's avatar

@sumul, agreed. I’ve owned several brands over the years… and have had the same experience.

Last I heard, there’s over 8,000 registered users on Fluther… but we’ve not gotten any real verifiable hits on this yet. :-\

Still, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

ccatron's avatar

found this set on Amazon that claims to do what you are wanting to do.

“Multiple voice paths are used to enable the entire series to provide up to 3-way conferencing, this allows for multiple handsets to be used at the same time and up to 2 handsets can join into a conversation with one outside caller.”

so you have to conference another phone in. most sets don’t seem to have this functionality, but i’m sure more will be doing this soon.

robmandu's avatar

Not that it counts, but I’ve clicked on GA for @ccatron 20 times.

lurve! lurve! lurve! lurve!

ccatron's avatar

hahaha, thanks for the effort, rob

sumul's avatar

Great answer! I had given up on this. :-)

ccatron's avatar

i missed this when it was asked and happened to find it while browsing topics

Cat4thCB's avatar

Panasonic KX-TG1034S

From their site: “Multiple voice paths are used to enable the entire series to provide up to 3-way conferencing, this allows for multiple handsets to be used at the same time and up to 2 handsets can join into a conversation with one outside caller.”

kt2609's avatar

I have had two sets of multiple handset phone systems that you could simultaneously use more than one. In fact my husband joins in on conversations sometimes I wish he wouldn’t, ha ha. Anyways the two brands I have had experience with is Vtech ia 5883 (has 4 handsets, the ia 5878 is the 3 handset model, ia 5870 is the 2 handset model, 5.8 GHz, and General Electric Digital cordless phone, model no. 21905FE4-A. Hope this helps!

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