The VTECH DS6421 is a great home or home office phone system

A low cost yet functional phone system is a useful addition to your household … especially if you’re working from home. The new VTech DS6421-3 DECT 6.0 Digital Three Handset provides a compelling set of features that make it stand out. The required features that I must have include capabilities for connecting cell phones, using a headset, and handset speakerphones. The headset is the V-Tech IS6100 Cordless Accessory Headset. At a (Amazon) price of $83 $80 for the base system with 3 handsets and $43 for a headset, you can get a great system for $126. And for a mere $20, you can get additional handsets.

After comparing phones from various makers (including RCA, Panasonic, VTECH, and Motorola), reading reviews by satisfied and unsatisfied customers, looking at options available in today’s phones, and looking at Consumer Reports, I landed on the VTECH DS6421 as the phone that I’d like to put into my home office. It has the best mix of features, price, and quality for a home and home office. If you look at reviews about Cordless Phones at Amazon Bestsellers, you’ll see that Panasonic and VTECH are the most popular. The VTECH DS6421 is new in 2011 and it is very stylish.

Using the Phone System

Generally, all cordless systems work the same way. This one is no different. You will:

  • Connect the base unit to the phone jack – mount it on a wall or set it on a table. Plug it into a wall outlet. That gives you 1 handset and the answering machine (if needed).
  • Put one handset in your next favorite room or office – plugged into a power outlet (for charging). The handset will communicate wireless to the base unit.
  • Put another handset in your next favorite room.
  • (optional) get more handsets at $20 each if you’d like. You can have 12 of the darn things in this case.
  • (optional) Put the headset in one room. Since you cannot dial from it, it probably needs to go near a handset.
  • Put your cell phones wherever they have decent reception and plug them in. They will automatically connect to the base unit via bluetooth. Unfortunately, you’ll have to read the manual to ‘pair’ the cell phones to the base unit.

Must Have Features

To compare systems, I made myself a list of features that I considered most important. There are many many features, but what do I really NEED? For me, a phone system must have these features:

  • Connect to Cell Phones – I once thought that I’d never need this, but once my car started doing it, I realized what I was missing.
  • Connect a Bluetooth Headset – a headset is a must and one that plugs into the handset requires you to still hold the dang handset. I once thought a headset was a waste of money, but hands free and ability to roam the house is incredibly liberating.
  • A Handset Speakerphone – I often need a speakerphone so the handset must have one.
  • Good Battery life – when I’m on the phone all day, a cordless phone needs to last a long time.
  • Share phone directory among handsets – a phone list is so useful if you can get it.
  • Clear reception for me and the person on the other end.

There are many other advertised features of cordless phones, but most are available in every phone, so I didn’t include those. They include DECT 6.0 (the latest standard frequency that doesn’t interfere with microwaves or home wireless networks), expandable to multiple handsets, Caller ID, and security.

There are also other features that are not important to me – but some people choose to gripe about like:

  • handset phone jack – its time to go Bluetooth. Throw away your 1998 headset and get unwired.

VTech DS6421-3 DECT 6.0 Digital Three Handset Features

Direct from the product web site, the system has these features:

  • Pair four different cell phones (or headsets) and have two devices actively connected. Cellular calls can be made or received from either of the these two active cell phones. Landline service not required, works great for cellular only households.
  • The frequency band has been extended allowing for the signal to be reproduced and tuned for a fuller and clearer sound.
  • Push-to-Talk intercom
  • Audibly announces the name and number of the caller on all of the handsets and base unit. No need to find the handset to see who is calling. Makes screening calls that much easier.
  • Download your cellular phonebook directory to this cordless phone systemdial a landline or cellular call from the directory for easy access
  • DECT 6.0 Digital technology provides the best sound quality, security and range in cordless phones.
  • Interference free for crystal clear conversations—won’t interfere with wireless networks and other electronic devices
  • Protect yourself from identity theft with digital security—your call is digitized and encrypted, making it nearly impossible for someone to eavesdrop
  • Expandable up to 12 handsets using only one phone jack—uses accessory handsets
  • Return phone calls and recall numbers with 100 name and number caller ID memory. (*Caller ID service requires a subscription from your local telephone company.)
  • Digital answering system—no tapes or moving parts
  • With just the touch of a button, hands-free conversations are made easy with the handset speakerphone.
  • 50 name and number phonebook directory—easily store and dial frequently called numbers
  • Trilingual prompts—choose between English, Spanish or French
  • Wall mount bracket included

V-Tech IS6100 Cordless Accessory Headset Features

The headset is a lovely work of art. It is comfortable and simple to use. You can wear this headset over your ear or use the provided headband. Also from the manufacturer, the headset features are:

  • Multiple wearing styles – over the ear and over the head
  • This DECT 6.0 cordless headset gives you the same interference free, superior quality voice and sound, and range you expect from a traditional DECT 6.0 cordless handset. Have more efficient conversation in your home or office with this versatile cordless communication system
  • Filters out unwanted background noise for the highest possible audio quality
  • Requires the LS6315, LS6325, LS6425, LS6475 or DS6421 series to operate. This cordless headset can be placed anywhere in your home or office where you have an electrical out let and does not require a phone jack.
  • Multiple wearing styles – over the ear and over the head. Included in the box are universal over the ear hooks and an over the head band.
  • Significant range improvement over any 2.4GHz or 5.8GHz cordless phone-enjoy interference free conversation from hundreds of feet away from the base unit

After researching options, the VTech DS6421-3 DECT 6.0 Digital Three Handset provides the right mix of features and value. It is new in 2011 and VTECH has caught up to Panasonic. Give this system a try.

Testing Results

This is indeed a great system. Here are several observations:

  • the clarity is terrific
  • speakerphone clarity is terrific – the person on the other end is always impressed
  • background noise is minimal to the person on the other end
  • the optional headset is comfortable, high-quality, and has superior clarity
  • the cell phone connection feature works flawlessly – incoming calls ring on the home phone
  • with cell phones connected, you have the option to make simultaneous outgoing calls using up to 3 connections – landline, cell phone 1, and cell phone 2 – from any handset.
  • the directory is shared between all handsets
  • the battery length is fabulous – I’ve been on the phone all dang day without issue.

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