These days, home automation has become the norm. Either audio, video, or robotic tech takes off a lot from the homeowner’s shoulders, making daily tasks less burdensome. From bolstering security to protect your family’s lives and properties to easing communication between different individuals in different parts of the house, there’s no disputing the fact that home automation has become as important as the air we breathe in.
One basic home automation tool is the home intercom systems, which are essential for fluid communication in the home, especially in large homes. Nursing parents could also use an intercom system if their little child sleeps in a room other than theirs.
This guide is written for you to understand what makes an intercom system great as well as show you the things to look out for when buying an intercom system.
Wuloo Intercoms Wireless for Home – 10 channels and 3 digital codes in a secure wireless home intercom system.
Wuloo Intercoms Wireless for Home 1 Mile Range – supports a 5V 1A power bank in the case of loss of electrical power and battery drainage
AMOCAM 6 Units Apartment Video Intercom System– Built-in camera and Microphone
What Is Home Intercom System?
Intercom systems are electrical two-way communication devices that comprise circuitry for video and audio broadcasts. Intercoms in your home enable you to speak clearly and simply between rooms as well as from exterior areas such as entranceways and gates.
Intercoms also contribute to the security of your house by enabling you to determine who is at a door before answering it, watch a child’s room remotely, or communicate with a family member that’s located in another room.
Buying a Home Intercom System
An intercom system is one that includes an array of products that aids communication flow between people in their homes. It can either be via video communication, strictly audio (speaker and receiver), or it could be a combination of both.
Some of these systems can easily be moved around, while others are either made to be hung on a wall or a desk.
Some may argue for the usefulness of these systems with the advent of smartphones, where you can simply call or text the other person to come right up so you can talk or simply just call down to the person the traditional way. But the fact is that some homes serve as a business base for a spouse or both, would make that disruptive and take away the professional feeling. Shouting to family members or people you work with at home would not give a professional outlook for the business.
For people with mobility issues, an intercom system is the best bet to help communicate in diverse situations, either normal routine or emergencies.
You can barely walk into any home without intercom systems these days as it is viewed as a necessity both in large and small homes. Intercom systems that have video output are now in heavy demand even though they are more expensive. It has been noted that homeowners feel more secure when visuals are involved.
Home Intercom System Benefits
The Intercom systems industry has proven to be a must-have for home security in recent times. This system helps homeowners improve home security and prevent intruders or unwanted salesmen from gaining access to their homes.
Intercom systems are available in various forms. They vary from simple gadgets to more complicated equipment. They are usually installed alongside doorbells. Either a wireless or wired intercom system can be installed, depending on your needs and how deep your pockets are.
Here are a few benefits of having an intercom system in your home.
Having an intercom systems takes your home security up a notch and gives it a more advanced outlook. The design of the system is built so that the outer front door and the home interiors are connected with speakers and microphones. This way, whenever your doorbell rings, you are alerted immediately, and you can speak directly to whoever is at the door. Since it is a two-way communication device, the visitor will be able to answer your questions; with this in place, the chances of anything dangerous happening drops to the barest minimum.
Children’s activities are easily monitored
Young children have to be kept under constant surveillance as they tend to do things out of the norms most of the time, like chug down toys down their throat. With the help of intercoms, parents can keep an eye on their children even when they are outside the building playing.
The parents can also converse with the kids over the intercom. The modern-day doorbells also have CCTV cameras, which help monitor what the kids do and what the neighbours and passers-by.
The fact that you don’t need to get up to open the door before you know who is at the door is the highlight of the intercom system.
With the advent of wireless technology, if you are in favor of wireless intercoms and wireless doorbells, you can avoid the troubles of cable wiring and, in the process, save up a little cash that would have been spent on it.
Insurance covers, these days, are becoming more and more expensive, but having added an intercom system installed can earn you a better deal from insurance companies. The importance of the system as an added security measure against attacks and burglary is that they would be willing to offer lower premiums.
Things to Look Out For
Choosing an intercom system is not something that should be done blindly. You have to understand the nitty-gritty of each product before you make a choice. So seek a professional opinion when you get confused about anything.
There are two categories of intercom systems that you can choose from. They are the wired and wireless intercom systems
Having either a wired installation or a wireless one depends on a lot of factors, chief of which is the cost of equipment and its installation. Both systems can have both video and audio functions and can be operated remotely.
Here are a few things to consider before you choose either a wireless or wired Intercom System:
Intercom systems can access sensitive information. Doors can also be unlocked easily via these systems so, for security, it is always best to use wired systems as they cannot be easily breached. Wireless intercoms have to use networks for communication, which can make it susceptible to hacking.
Wired intercom systems are always connected, so all they need is a steady power supply as they do not need networks to function. On the other hand, when there is no internet connection, the wireless intercom systems shut down.
However, some wireless intercom utilizes radio frequency for communication, very much similar to the walkie talkie. Even though they are not affected by the loss of network, they can be affected by radio interference.
Both wire and wireless intercom systems can be accessed remotely; however, wireless intercom may seem to be more mobile-friendly than its wireless counterpart.
Wireless intercoms are way easier to install than a wired connection. Most times, you don’t need a professional to install a wireless intercom. They are mostly ready to use straight out of the box. All you need to do is charge and power them up.
Wired systems, however, have to be installed by a professional. It is best when this is done while the construction of the building is going on as installing them in a pre-existing structure is more stressful as, if you don’t want the wires to be visible, the walls will have to be broken open to run the cables and thereafter patch it all back, this is bound to be messy and costly.
The cost will always be considered when buying anything, be it for the home or business. Wireless intercom systems are more pocket friendly. Wired systems come with wiring, and the installation costs incurred from hiring a professional. Also, the longer the distance between the speakers, the higher the cost. So when it boils down to costs, wireless intercom wins, hands down.
What to choose an intercom system
As stated earlier, it is up to you to know what you need in your home and choose a system that aligns with your financial status. The wireless system is more cost-effective when compared to the purchase and installation of the wired system. But when it comes to security, the wired system is the best option.
Power for the system
These systems need the power to run. It is best to install the receivers at a place that has proximity to a power source. This ensures that the system does not run out of power when it is needed. The best thing to do is to charge the intercom receiver when the family is asleep at night.
If there are plans to sell your home in the future, installing a home intercom system could make your property more valuable. Having added security features like home communication, doorbell CCTV is a valuable plus. It is also the best thing for individuals with mobility issues as it is a lifestyle requirement. This is the case when you have a wired installation. With the wireless system, you can easily take the system with you when you move, as all you’ll need to do is simply unpack and begin to use.
Also, young families with babies can benefit from night vision in the video feature, making it easy to switch to monitor their babies in a different room. It will be clearly outlined in the product details if it has the night mode feature.
How Many Types of Intercoms Are There?
There are a lot of different intercoms out there, so let’s take a look at some of the most common types.
1. Wireless system
Wireless intercoms rely on intangible radio frequencies referred to as spectrum to transmit the signal which triggered wireless devices to start operating. The ability of a wireless intercom to broadcast either video or audio or both is determined by the amount of spectrum utilized, referred to as the “band”.
If wireless intercom systems are the next on your shopping list, make careful to inquire about the system’s operation. If the intercom connects via cell or Wi-Fi connection, verify that the signals are strong at the location where the intercom will be installed.
External issues such as electrical interference can easily disrupt Wi-Fi transmissions. Additionally, cellular connections frequently necessitate commercial-grade plans that ensure a continuous, high-bandwidth connection to the cellular network. We recommend using an ethernet cable to connect your intercom straight to the internet.
2. Wired Systems
One of the clearest differences between wireless and wired systems is how they connect to the internet. All intercoms need wiring, but wired systems need a lot more of them compared to wireless alternatives.
Building intercom systems that are cost effective require simply wiring at the area where they are installed. For instance, you’ll require wiring to power and link your intercom to your magnetic or electronic door lock.
Other intercom systems necessitate wiring throughout the structure. For instance, you may be required to run wiring from each substation to the base station located at the property’s entrance.
3. Audio systems
Occasionally referred to as an apartment buzzer, an audio intercom enables visitors to communicate with occupants located inside the building. If the audio intercom system additionally includes a door release device, so that whoever is in the apartment can authorize the guest to enter the premises. Audio intercoms are typically only found in older buildings due to the widespread use of video intercom systems.
4. Video systems
For a video intercom to work, two main components are required: a cam to capture the video images and a screen to display the captured images. For the most part, you will be able to find video intercoms that have their own built-in camera and, if not, you can also connect your own.
The technology required to display the video footage is different and will be installed in various locations across the facility. Because video consumes more bandwidth than audio, it is recommended that a video intercom is connected directly to the internet.
5. Commercial systems
Commercial intercoms must be capable of dealing with a greater degree of complexity. These particular systems will allow whoever is at the front door to contact an employee within a multi-tenant facility. This is because a guest may require access to the property without first visiting a specific staff.
For instance, a delivery worker may deliver things to a building’s business without knowing who ordered the items. Therefore, when the delivery person utilizes the commercial intercom in this circumstance, he or she should have the choice of dialing the front desk.
6. Apartment systems
As the name suggests, an apartment intercom is designed for residential buildings that have several apartments. It allows each apartment to connect to the visitors waiting at the main entrance and give people the opportunity to unlock the front door for their visitors.
In order to install an apartment intercom system, you are going to need a master station (the thing that goes at the main entrance and allows visitors to call your apartment or any other apartment in the building) and various substations (installed in the apartment units of all tenants, allowing them to talk to the people at the front door and buzz them in).
7. Outdoor systems
The majority of homes, particularly those that are gated, require an outdoor intercom that can resist the elements year-round. Outdoor intercom systems have weather-resistant gear that is mounted outdoors.
Visitors can use this technology to communicate with residents and request entrance to their property. Additionally, an external intercom might be equipped with in-unit hardware or rely on renters’ smartphones to act as substations.
The weatherproofing specifications for an outdoor intercom are determined by its IP rating. The most resistant intercoms are IP65 rated, which means they are dust-tight and resistant to water projected from a nozzle. Therefore, if you’re putting intercom hardware outside, opt for an IP65-rated system.
8. Gate systems
Oftentimes, the front entrance is not a door but a gate. An intercom system installed at the gate can be used to provide access to vehicles or pedestrians. As with other intercom systems, an intercom installed at the gate needs both a master station and substation so that those on the property may communicate with and open the gate for guests requesting admission.
Oftentimes, the front entrance is not a door but a gate. An intercom system installed at the gate can be used to provide access to vehicles or pedestrians.
As with other intercom systems, an intercom installed at the gate needs both a master station and substations so that those on the property may communicate with and open the gate for guests requesting admission.
Gate intercoms may contain a call button that connects to a property staff-controlled substation. Gate intercom systems might be more challenging to install, as the gate may be located away from a building or could be pretty far away from a source of power.
As a result, you may have to run wiring a considerable distance to power it. The gate’s position on the property determines how complex the installation process will be and how much it will cost.
The Best Home Intercoms System
Intercom systems are more than meets the eye. Going up to a market store and choosing anyone that looks beautiful to you might end up costing you in the end. So here are few Intercom Systems that might be just what you are looking for. We also alight a few honest reviews on each product as well as their pros and cons just so you know what you are getting into before you make any purchases.
If you are looking for a wireless intercom with a wide range covering, Wuloo Intercoms wireless is your plug. It has a very clear sound quality and is specially designed to block off interference. This system is good for an extension. It has a channel quantity of 10 channels and 3 digital codes with a signal range of 1 mile (5280 ft). It is designed with a back-hole for wall mounting on walls.
This is a go-to for the home business for room to room communication. This intercom system is great for taking care of children, the elderly, the pregnant as well as the physically disabled. The waves are low in power, so they cannot affect a baby or a pregnant woman.
It does not require an internet connection as this intercom system uses radio waves to function. Another plus is that in case of a power outage and the battery is drained; a 5V 1A power bank can be used to recharge it.
This intercom has various features like monitor, talk, voice-operated exchange (VOX), group, and calling function.
The major downside for this product is that it uses radio waves to function, so it might be susceptible to radio interference.
- Super clear sound quality
- Special design for anti-interference
- Good for the extension system
This is another intercom product from Wuloo. It has a super clear sound quality and is also great for taking care of babies and the aged. The low power makes it safe for babies and pregnant women to use. It has 22 channels and 100 code for setting, good for extension system even up to thousands in one system.
This intercom system also supports a 5V 1A power bank in the case of loss of electrical power and battery drainage. Its signal range is also about 1 mile (5280 ft).
A major ‘but’ to this product is that the system does not have a storage and memory function as it is a real-time communication system. Therefore, you will be unable to receive any information while you’re communicating with another person or they speak at the same time. It is also important to note that your neighbors’ system might be able to interfere with yours, so it is best if you set up another code or channel to avoid interference.
- 22 Channel/ and 100 digital codes
- Super clear sound quality
- Special design for anti-interference
- Good for the extension system
The AMOCAM 6 units Apartment Video Intercom system is not as complicated as its name sounds. It is a 6 unit video intercom that enables you to see outside your house at your leisure. With this tool, you can easily see the person at your door and speak to them without having to move towards the door. As it uses 6 units, it can be used by a building with 6 households, enabling each household to observe security monitors. It can be used in villas, hotels, offices, buildings, apartments, among others.
The indoor monitor used inside the house has a 7” LCD color screen. Its output has a fashionable appearance and gives it a modern look. When the call button is pressed on the outdoor unit, the indoor monitor activates as the monitor turns on and gives the visuals outside.
Also, when there is a low lighting situation, the IR-LED night vision activates, enabling you to see images at night.
However, it uses an internet connection to function, so when there is no network, everything shuts down. Also, you can end up racking up a bill of close to $1000, which is a turn off for people who do not earn as much.
- Requires surface mounting
- Built-in camera and Microphone
- Weatherproof aluminum material
- Multiple ringtones
- Night Vision
This is about one of the most advanced intercom systems. It utilizes both the video and audio functions. The intercom system requires that you have the uCareHome application on your phone. This app enables you to watch over your home’s security, monitor the compound, video record, dual-way communication, and remote unlocking, among others. Your smartphone can also serve as a key to unlock your home’s door if it goes missing. Also, you can speak to anyone at the front of your door, even from your office miles away, as if you were inside the house. This app is available both for IOS and android.
Although it needs a network to function, the monitor needs to be connected to the doorbell via wiring. The indoor monitors need a WIFI network (a 2.4GHZ router band) or an RJ45 network cable to run. The system’s motion detection can also be set to recording or picture capturing when it is triggered.
The doorbell is an IP65 waterproof design and is weather resistant. It has a 12000TVL pinhole camera, anti-oxidation aluminum alloy panel, and is both dustproof, rainproof. It also has an IR LED illumination for seeing at night.
As with everything that requires a network, it can easily be hacked, and also the bills can be high from constant use.
- Motion Detection
- The smartphone is the key
- Automatic recording
This product’s major downside is that it has no memory or storage function. This intercom system is a typical real-time communication system. Therefore, you will be unable to receive any information while you’re communicating with another person or they speak at the same time. It is also less secure as it requires an internet connection to function.
However, its signal range is also about 1 mile (5280 ft) which is fair. It has a very clear sound quality with 10 /channels and 3 digital codes. It has a handheld size, which makes it easier to carry around. It also has a rechargeable battery with a low power indicator and can last 24 hours after charge, but it is advisable to leave it on the charging stand after each use.
- Excellent sound quality
- Easy to use
- Group, VOX, calling function.
- 10 channels and 3 codes
- Expandable to more stations
Created in 2016, this intercom system has a range of half (½) a mile. In ideal conditions, the walls and floors determine their range. It is easy to set up and install as it does not require any wiring. You can take it to any part of the house.
People in different rooms can easily make a group call or a private dialogue. It has 7 channels that can be used to call the family. You can choose to communicate with just one person or decide to call everyone at once. It can be easily charged with a power bank if it runs out of power.
But, as with every radio wave product, however, it is susceptible to radio interference. Its range is also an issue as it has half a mile range which is not good enough for some.
- Easy to use
- Special feather
- Long-range signal
- Noise reduction
This intercom system is quite useful when a steady stream of communication needs to be maintained. They are mostly used to keep in touch while camping, hiking, or on the site of a large event. It offers 190 hours of standby and works 33 hours after charge. It is water-resistant and is coated with solid shells and stubborn accessories in case of a fall. Its speakers are also excellently clear.
However, they work with radio waves and their easy availability can result in congestion of channels.
- Big LCD Screen
- Works for 33hrs after charge
Are Intercoms Still Used?
Intercom systems were introduced for the first time in the 1950’s. It has now become a standard feature in both commercial and residential buildings, particularly large ones. By pressing a button, people in the building could communicate with persons in adjacent rooms. Vacuum tubes were employed in the initial intercom devices.
In the 1960’s, real estate advertisements began offering intercom as a house feature with other luxuries such as cable television, central air conditioning, and a pool. Intercoms of the subsequent generation began employing hard-wired technology. This technology included multi-station capabilities in addition to additional AM/FM radio capabilities.
While the intercom has lost its luster in the face of modern technology such as cell phones, computers, and other devices, it has not become obsolete. The home intercom system is always developing to keep up with technological advancements.
Nowadays, intercom systems are equipped with wireless technology and come equipped with a plethora of capabilities and functions. Apart from basic audio communication, intercoms can also be used for video conferencing. They range from basic operations to those that are connected to the Internet of Things and may be accessed remotely.
Are Intercoms Worth It?
In order to determine if intercoms are a worthy purchase for your particular needs, you have to analyze the benefits of these communication systems.
Due to advancements in home automation, people are way more invested in installing intercom systems compared to a decade ago. These systems are currently available in a variety of configurations, from the simplest to the most complicated.
Such a system raises the bar on security. Your system can be connected to your doorbell, allowing you to see who is waiting outside before opening the door. The intercom system enables you to effortlessly communicate with someone outside and determine who it is before letting anyone in.
Similar to security, an intercom system’s video capability ensures that you are always aware of what is happening in your home. You don’t have to sprint up the stairs or shout at the top of your lungs to summon the children to dinner.
Rather than that, you can click a button and interact with them through the system installed in their room. This is especially advantageous for large households, those with a significant number of children, the elderly, and those with disabilities.
How Much Does a Whole House Intercom System Cost?
There are plenty of factors that weigh in on the price of an intercom system, so you need to know that depending on the fittings, connectors, mounting hardware, and actual number of intercoms, the price can vary considerably. For a one-system purchase, you can expect to pay at least $1,800.
The price also varies depending on whether you want video monitoring or just audio communication, whether the system is wireless or wired, and if you’re going to call in a professional to install it.
It is best to know how you plan to use the system both now and in the future. Think long term as with time; you might need something more sophisticated for your home. Rather than replacing old systems in the future, investing in a premium home intercom that will be useable in the long term is the wise thing to do.