When searching for a telephone system for a small business, there are a confusion array of options. How many lines and extensions? Analog or digital lines? Intercom, voice mail, automated attendant, music on hold? The goal is for the small business to sound solid, dependable and professional. The X-16 Analog Phone Line small business phone system is worth a look.
Size & Scale
For a business with up to 24 employees, looking for a professional phone system with options that rival the big PBX systems and cloud-based VOIP services, the XBlue X-16 is a problem-solver. The system supports up to 6 incoming phone lines and 16 extensions.
Each desk phone is a wired extension (handset) with big-office features, including caller id, speaker/hands-free operation, memory dial, backlit lcd display screen and the ability to record conversations. There’s also speed dial, a headset jack and a choice of snappy colors.
The main control box (they call it the “server” although it is not an I.P. device) takes standard telephone lines (POTS), in other words, those old dial tone lines that are just like the one you used to have at home (or may still have). This control box takes standard phone jacks (modular connections) to make it a do-it-yourself installation possible.
Too busy to take calls? The automated attendant will capture incoming calls with a greeting, then hold the call or pass it on to the desired extension. The voice mail system will store up to 2 hours of messages.
Music On Hold
The music on hold feature is perfect for business wishing to upgrade customer care to a professional message on hold program. The main control box accepts a 3.5mm plug from an external music and message on hold device, such as the iProMOH or USB-Pro, sold by Easy On Hold.
VOIP Also Available
XBlue also makes VOIP phones, which require monthly line charges. Note that the VOIP phones require that you upload hold music files. The files must be under 5MB. I much prefer the use of an external player for ease of use, flexibility in changing messages and less hassle.
XBlue sells their devices through Staples, Sam’s Club and other retailers. Here are some links to help you find the XBlue products at Staples:
- You must purchase the X-16 “Server” http://www.staples.com/XBLUE-4-line-Server-and-Connectors-for-X16-Small-Office-Digital-Telephone/product_884544 $324.99
- Then add the X-16 Phones: http://www.staples.com/XBLUE-X16-6-Line-Small-Office-Digital-Telephone-Charcoal/product_884450 $139.99
- There is also a “package”: http://www.staples.com/XBLUE-X16-4-Line-Small-Office-Telephone-System-4pk-Charcoal/product_884428 with 4 phone sets for $799.99 ($666 on Amazon)
- http://www.staples.com/XBLUE-X16-4-Line-Small-Office-Telephone-System-4pk-Charcoal/product_884428 8 phone sets for $1299
I have not personally used the XBlue products and cannot provide any real-world test results. I do suggest looking into this promising small business telephone solution further. You will find some reviews of the XBlue X16 system on Amazon.