7 Best Multi-Line Phone Systems for Small Business (2023 Guide)
With the rise of VoIP providers and the ever-changing telecommunications landscape, businesses have more phone system options than ever before.
While knowing how to choose a VoIP provider is key to long-term success, the phone system you use is just as important.
Multi-line phone systems are a popular choice for small businesses, as they offer many features and functionalities that one can tailor to their specific business needs.
These systems typically come with features that improve call quality and collaboration, allowing businesses to operate more efficiently.
In this post, I’ll look at some of the best multi-line phone systems for small businesses, based on features, price, customer reviews, and more.
This will help you narrow down the best option for your business so you can get back to what’s important – serving your customers.
Let’s dive deep into this topic.
What Are The Best Multi-Line Phone Systems?
The following are the best multi-line phone systems for small business owners.
1. VTech DS6151 2-Line Answering System.
Best Overall Multi-Line Phone.
With two lines of operation, this phone system from VTech lets you make and receive calls on two different phone lines.
This phone also comes with a Caller ID and can store up to 50 calls in the system’s log.
The ability to know who’s calling and to save essential numbers is a valuable time-saving feature for busy small businesses.
The handset can display the number, name, date of the incoming call, and time.
All this information is then stored in the system’s log, which can be easily accessed when needed.
This phone system also comes with a handset and base speakerphone included.
- A RoHS Compliant system means that it does not contain any hazardous materials.
- Hearing Aid Compatibility means that the phone will not interfere with hearing aids, making it a good choice for businesses with employees who have hearing impairments.
- The blue backlit keypad and display make this phone’s display easy to see, even in low light conditions.
- The backlit message counter lets you know how many messages are waiting, so you can return calls promptly.
- The digital answering system with a mailbox for each line is a valuable time-saving feature. It allows you to manage multiple calls without answering each one individually.
- The intercom between handsets is a handy way to communicate with employees in other office parts without leaving your desk.
The VTech DS6151 2-Line Answering System costs $88.95 at the time of writing.
2. MiVoice 5330e IP Phone.
Best For Programmable Keys.
The MiVoice 5330e IP Phone comes with keys that can be programmed as line or feature keys.
This allows businesses to tailor the phone to their specific needs easily.
With an additional 12 fixed-function keys that give access to the most common telephony features, this phone is simple to use and helps to improve productivity.
There are also three contextual softkeys to provide access to more functions as needed.
- The MiVoice 5330e IP Phone is designed for ease of use with its sleek and ergonomic design.
- The phone also has superior acoustics with wideband audio, so you can enjoy clear sound quality when making calls.
- One can program the keys on this phone to meet the specific needs of their business.
You’ll have to contact the sales team for pricing information.
3. Polycom VVX 250.
Best For Extraordinary Sound.
The Polycom VVX 250 provides extraordinary sound quality for precise and natural communication.
This phone also has 4 line keys to let you take on up to 4 different calls simultaneously.
With context keys part of the intuitive user interface, this phone makes it easy to access the functions you need at the time you need them.
It also offers a color display that compliments the modern office’s stylish look and feels.
- Enhance the sound quality of conversations so you always sound your best
- Access features fast in a modern design that is easy to use
- Customize for a variety of physical office or home office settings, including left-handed or right-handed use
- Deploy to teams easily and quickly with mass provisioning tools
Polycom VVX 250 is sold at $179.00 at the time of writing.
4. Cisco 8841 VoIP.
Best For Voice Communications.
The Cisco 8841 VoIP offers comprehensive mission-critical VoIP communications that can help you improve your business productivity.
With this phone, you can keep your existing investment in telephony while benefiting from the many features and applications that VoIP offers.
Ideal for both in-office and remote workers, the Cisco 8841 VoIP offers a five-way navigation cluster that makes it easy to access the functions you need.
It also provides four context-sensitive soft keys that give you one-touch access to the most commonly used features.
With an Ethernet switch, this phone offers the flexibility to connect your computer, VoIP adapter, and telephone all through a single network cable.
- Being 5 inches in size, an HD, widescreen color display lights up everything on the screen.
- 3rd-party Cisco vendor partners offer headsets that provide flexibility and comfort to meet your unique needs.
- The dual-position foot stand provides the perfect angle for screen viewing.
You’ll have to chat to Cisco and request a call from their sales team to get the phone pricing.
5. Nextiva X-835.
Best For Easy Setup.
If you’re looking for a multi-line phone system that is easy to set up and use, then the Nextiva X-835 could be the right solution.
With a 12-line capacity, you’ll rarely have to put callers on hold while juggling multiple calls.
The Nextiva X-835 also offers multi-page support to program the keys you frequently use on each page for easy access.
In addition to the Ethernet ports on the phone, an additional USB dongle can provide even more flexibility.
- Speed dialing features help you quickly call the people you talk to most often.
- The RJ-9 Headset Input allows for private hands-free conversations.
- A single USB input gives you the option to connect a USB device
- Up to 3 expandable module connectivity slots means you can add more features and capacity as your business grows.
- With a three years warranty on purchase, you can be confident in the quality of your phone system.
The Nextiva X-835 comes in at $149.99, or you can also pay $6.00/mo.
6. RCA ViSys 25424RE1.
Best For An Economical Phone System.
The RCA ViSys 25424RE1 is one of the most economical phone systems.
With 3-way call conferencing features, you can easily connect with multiple people simultaneously.
At the expense of its relatively lower price point, voicemail isn’t featured on every station, but if this is something that your business can live without, the RCA ViSys 25424RE1 is one phone to consider.
- Its speakerphone feature allows for hands-free use so your call team can be more productive.
- You can easily see who is calling before you answer with a caller ID.
- A 2-year warranty gives you peace of mind about the quality of your purchase.
You’ll have to contact the team to understand the price point for this phone system.
7. Cisco IP 8865.
Best For HD Video.
The Cisco IP 8865 is a high-end video phone that offers the latest HD video and audio technology.
With a secure, encrypted connection, you can be confident that your conversations are private.
In addition, various deployment options help you tailor the phone to your specific needs.
With this phone, you can also use all of Cisco’s collaboration tools, such as WebEx and Expressway, giving you even more features that get the job done.
- 720p HD desktop video ensures high-quality video chats and calls.
- Cisco Intelligent Proximity for Mobile Voice allows you to integrate your cell phone with the desk phone for added convenience.
- You can use the optional Cisco IP Phone 8800 Key Expansion Module to add additional features and buttons.
- Wired, Bluetooth, and USB headsets from 3rd party vendors offer flexibility and comfort.
Chat with sales to get a custom price for your business.
Other phone systems not mentioned in this article include the Panasonic Link2Cell,
What Is A Multi-Line Phone System?
A business phone system with multiple phone lines allows businesses to simultaneously take and manage multiple phone calls.
This can be highly beneficial for businesses that deal with a high volume of phone calls daily.
With most phones using the DECT 6.0. technology, they can give their users a better range while having the exact power requirements as previous models.
In addition, these systems have been designed to work with each other, so adding more units to the system is a simple process.
Features In A Multi-Line Phone System
The following are some of the key features that a multi-line phone system should have.
Multiple Telephone Lines
It might seem obvious, but the ability to handle a high volume of phone calls is the most critical aspect of a multi-line phone system.
The more available phone lines, the more calls that can be taken and managed simultaneously.
Some systems can have 24 phone lines, while others might be a 4-line phone or even a 2-line phone system.
While startups and small businesses might not need that many phone lines, it’s essential to consider future growth when making a purchase.
Call Waiting And Caller ID
Two other essential features in any business phone system are call waiting and caller ID.
With call waiting, if a business is already on a call and another call comes in, the first caller will be placed on hold, and the phone will display the second caller’s information.
The business can then decide whether to take the second call or not.
Meanwhile, caller ID allows businesses to see who is calling before answering the phone.
This can be a great way to screen calls and only take relevant ones to the business.
Auto-Attendant And Voicemail
A business phone service should also have an auto-attendant and voicemail feature.
An auto-attendant is a recorded voice that answers calls and gives callers options to choose from, such as Press 1 for Sales, Press 2 for Support, etc.
This can be a great way to route calls to the appropriate department or individual.
On the other hand, voicemail allows callers to leave a message if no one is available to take their call.
Coupled with an answering machine, this can be a great way to ensure that no call goes unanswered.
Businesses can then check their voicemail at their convenience and return the relevant calls.
A phone company that offers a flexible phone system should also have a speed dial feature.
With speed dial, businesses can create a list of contacts that one can call by pressing a single button.
This is an excellent time-saver for businesses that regularly make many calls to the same people.
Dedicated Phone Number
Receiving phone calls on a dedicated business phone line is another essential business phone system feature.
A service provider that offers a dedicated phone number ensures that callers can reach businesses anytime, day or night.
This is a great way to give customers and clients peace of mind knowing that they can always reach someone from the company.
An Ethernet connection is a physical connection that allows businesses to connect their phone system to the internet.
This is important because it allows businesses to make and receive calls over the internet, saving a lot of money on long-distance calls.
Having an internet connection also allows businesses to take advantage of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) features.
In addition to an Ethernet connection, a business phone system should also have a WiFi connection.
In some situations, this is even more important because it allows businesses to connect their phones to the internet without using a physical cable through a WiFi system.
Call forwarding is a great way to ensure that all calls are answered, even if the business is closed.
For example, if a business is closed for the day, one can forward calls to various mobile phones or an answering service.
This way, customers and clients will always be able to reach someone from the company.
While some believe this is the same as call forwarding, it’s a different feature.
Call transfer allows businesses to manually transfer calls to another phone line, such as a mobile phone or an answering service – during the actual call.
Having calls recorded is another great feature of a business phone system.
Call recording can be a great way to train new employees or review calls for quality assurance.
Some business phone systems can even transcribe recorded calls, which can be a time-saver in various situations.
Music On Hold
While customers who experience long wait times can become frustrated, playing music on hold can help calm them down.
This is a great way to show customers that their call is important and that the business is doing everything possible to answer it promptly.
Using the main console, this is a feature that one can typically turn on and off at the press of a button.
A Suitable Softphone
A softphone is software that allows businesses to make and receive phone calls through their computers.
This is an excellent way for businesses to save money on long-distance calls and take advantage of features like call forwarding and call waiting.
Features such as volume control and echo cancellation can also be included in a softphone.
Combining a softphone and actual phones can lead to businesses having a complete calling solution.
HD Call Quality
The right telephone system should also offer HD call quality.
This is important because it allows businesses to have clear conversations with customers and clients, which can help to build trust and rapport.
A small business phone system that offers HD call quality is typically more expensive, but it’s usually worth the investment over time.
This allows businesses to provide their own headphones or earbuds, which can be a great way to save money.
In addition, it’s also worth looking for a system that offers noise-canceling capabilities, as this can be a great way to reduce distractions.
Speaking of headsets, while some companies prefer to use a corded phone to get the job done, having a cordless handset is another excellent option.
This allows businesses to move around freely while on a call, which can be a great way to increase productivity.
Multi-Line Phone Systems – FAQ
What’s A PBX System?
A PBX system is a telephone system that allows for the internal routing of calls within an organization.
A PBX can be either an on-premises system that requires the purchase and installation of hardware or a cloud-based system that uses software hosted by a third-party provider.
What’s The Difference Between Analog And Digital PBX Systems?
Analog PBX systems use traditional copper-wire phone lines to connect calls, while digital PBX systems use Internet Protocol (IP).
IP-based systems are often less expensive to maintain and provide more features than analog systems.
Can A Cordless Phone System Be Used With A PBX System?
Yes, most cordless phones are compatible with PBX systems.
However, you may need to purchase a separate base station for the cordless phone if one is not included with the PBX system.
How Does An Outage Affect A PBX System?
If there is an outage of power or Internet service, this may disrupt calls routed through a PBX system.
However, most PBX systems include backup power supplies and redundant Internet connections to minimize the risk of an outage.
A multi line phone system is an excellent tool for small businesses and bigger ones alike.
Having an office phone system that can handle multiple calls simultaneously is essential, especially as one’s business grows.
While traditional phone systems were only able to handle one call at a time, VoIP phone systems can handle multiple calls simultaneously, bringing both basic and more advanced features to those that need them.
To recap, the best multi-line phone systems are:
- VTech DS6151 2-Line Answering System: Best Overall Multi-Line Phone.
- MiVoice 5330e IP Phone: Best For Programmable Keys.
- Polycom VVX 250: Best For Extraordinary Sound.
Have you ever used a VoIP phone system for your business?
If so, what features did you find to be the most useful?
Let me know in the comments below.
Further reading on AdamEnfroy.com: If you run a call center, having the right call center software and using the best conference call services available is critical to your success.
Also, having your finger on the pulse of the best call tracking software can help you make sure you’re getting the most out of your campaigns.