A multi-line phone system is hardware that supports two or more voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) phone lines, allowing companies to make and receive multiple calls simultaneously. Some desk phones, called internet protocol (IP) phones, sync with mobile phones and connect to Bluetooth-enabled headsets whereas others provide basic functionality similar to traditional landline systems.
According to our research, the best multi-line phone systems for small businesses include:
- Poly VVX 601: Best overall, and best multi-line phone system for companies needing an expandable system with all the bells and whistles
- Grandstream GXV3370: Better for organizations wanting a VoIP phone system with built-in video conferencing tools
- Poly VVX 150: Better for small businesses needing a straightforward two-line VoIP phone system
- Cisco 7841: Better for small businesses that want VoIP desk phones with the look and feel of traditional models
- Yealink W52P: A good fit for work-from-home business owners who want the flexibility to work indoors or outdoors
- Mitel MiVoice 5330E: More suitable for organizations with sales teams or customer service agents with a high volume of calls
It is worth noting that some of the best VoIP-based business phone system providers offer small businesses a range of phones if you don’t want to purchase your multi-line phone from a retail and ecommerce store as prices range from $70 to more than $300 each in these outlets. Additionally, providers like RingCentral lease desk phones, giving small businesses extra flexibility and lower initial costs.
If you’re not sure about switching to a VoIP provider, learn what VoIP is and how it may benefit your company.
How We Evaluated Multi-line Phone Systems
Multi-line phone systems vary greatly when it comes to features and the maximum number of lines supported. While some business owners want to build a system with only the most affordable VoIP phones, others look for advanced capabilities for the users who will field the greatest number of calls, such as built-in Wi-Fi and touchscreens. We considered various use cases and chose the top multi-line phone systems for each use.
Scoring 4.24 out of 5 based on our evaluation criteria, the Poly VVX 601 is the winner as the best multi-line phone system for VoIP. It’s a user-friendly device that supports up to 16 lines. Moreover, it comes with enterprise-grade features, including Bluetooth, and works with many session initiation protocol (SIP) services, such as RingCentral. The Poly VVX 601 is an excellent choice for small business owners who want desk phones with the latest technologies.
Click on the tabs below to learn how we assessed the multi-line phone systems for a small business:
30% of Overall Score
We compared the prices for multi-line phone systems across several retailers to find affordable solutions for small business owners. In addition, we looked at models offered for sale or lease by VoIP providers.
30% of Overall Score
We examined various phone systems to ensure each one encrypts calls and comes with a speakerphone. We also considered the total number of lines supported by each phone and verified that the models have a headset jack.
20% of Overall Score
Since many business users want their desk phone to resemble a smartphone, we reviewed phone models with touchscreens, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Plus, we checked for USB ports and (built-in or optional) video conferencing tools.
20% of Overall Score
We determined our expert score by assessing the overall popularity of each multi-line phone system, its unique or standout features, ease of use, and value for the price.
Poly VVX 601: Best Overall Multi-line Phone System
*The A/C adapter isn’t included. It sells separately for $24.99.
The Poly VVX 601 is a popular multi-line phone system for small business and earns a top spot for the best VoIP phones. It supports up to 16 VoIP lines. The multi-touch, gesture-based user interface resembles a tablet or smartphone, making it easy for tech-savvy employees to navigate and learn how to use it.
Although it doesn’t have a built-in camera like the Grandstream GXV3370, users can expand capability by connecting the Poly VVX camera for video conferencing. It also integrates with desktop computers, allowing workers to use their mouse and keyboard to navigate phone settings and VoIP calling features.
While the Poly VVX 601 is built with growing companies in mind, business users wanting a comprehensive yet streamlined solution should consider the Cisco 7841. It also supports headsets and VoIP features, including music on hold and call park, but looks similar to an analog phone.
Poly VVX 601 Features
- Display: The sleek, intuitive interface looks modern with a 4.3-inch display which is larger than the Cisco 7841 display, but smaller than the large 7-inch found on the Grandstream GXV3370. The color touchscreen is clear and a stark contrast to Cisco’s monochrome display.
- Tablet functions: The Poly VVX 601 is the only multi-line phone system on our list that integrates with Microsoft Exchange calendars. It also supports quick access to corporate directories, sends reminders or alerts, and connects with productivity apps via open application programming interfaces (APIs).
- Flexibility: Connect headsets through the RJ-9 or USB port, or by Bluetooth. Use a USB flash drive to store local voice call recordings. Do you want to get a quick question answered from a coworker? The intercom feature works with any VVX device, including the more affordable Poly VVX 150.
Grandstream GXV3370: Better for Built-In Video Conferencing
The Grandstream GXV3370 is an IP video phone with a built-in camera, Bluetooth interface, and Wi-Fi connectivity. Created with volume users in mind, it provides a phone directory with room for 1,000 contacts and a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) output for connecting the device to a larger screen. This feature is also found on the Poly VVX 601.
The 7-inch, 720p backlit LCD screen is clear and supports HD video conferencing. Moreover, the system offers multiple protocol support, a speakerphone, and expands to as many as 16 phone lines. Users can even stream internet radio through the Grandstream GXV3370.
Even though the extra bells and whistles add to the price, it’s less expensive than the Poly VVX 601, which supports a webcam accessory. If you need more phone lines, try the Mitel MiVoice 5330e, which supports up to 20 lines.
Grandstream GXV3370 Features
- Call management: Improve experiences for callers by using call forwarding, hold, transfer, caller ID, voicemail, and call waiting. Plus, stay on top of calls and messages with the visual ringer light and voice message waiting indicator.
- Advanced tools: The Grandstream GXV3370 provides software development kit (SDK) support for apps, takes secure digital (SD) cards, allows web browsing, and has an alarm, built-in calendar, and a clock. In addition, the Grandstream multi-line phone system offers local and cloud call recording.
- Multiple protocol support: The Grandstream GXV3370 works with several IP private branch exchange (PBX) and VoIP services, including Google Voice, Skype, Zoom, and WhatsApp. It works with RingCentral, but they don’t provide installation support. For preconfigured phones or provisioning assistance, consider the Poly VVX 601.
Poly VVX 150: Best Two-line VoIP Phone System
The Poly VVX 150 is a straightforward and inexpensive two-line VoIP phone system. It’s one of the most affordable options on our list and may be purchased through VoIP providers like 8×8 and Nextiva. Small business owners can use it as their main phone or place it in a shared or common area.
Although the Poly VVX 150 is a low-priced model, it features incredible sound and noise-canceling capabilities thanks to the Poly HD Voice and Poly Acoustic Clarity features. Moreover, business users appreciate its three-way audio conferencing and voicemail support.
However, for more flexibility, consider the Cisco 7841. It supports up to four lines and has a screen that’s an inch bigger yet offers the same simplicity found in the Poly VVX 150.
Poly VVX 150 Features
- Voice quality: The Poly VVX 150 lets users hear everything the caller says without frustrating background noise. It uses acoustic echo cancellation and background noise suppression to reduce unwanted sound while the Poly Acoustic Clarity™ technology delivers clear audio.
- Custom keys: Like the Mitel MiVoice 5330E, the Poly VVX 150 offers four context-sensitive, programmable, display-based keys. It also comes with a four-way navigation key cluster and a “Home” feature button.
- SIP compatibility: The Poly VVX 150 is one of the most compatible options on our list as it’s supported by more than 60 calling platforms. It also features a web-based configuration tool, making setup easy.
Cisco 7841: Best for Switching to VoIP From Landlines
*Power supply isn’t included. It’s an extra $19.99.
Companies switching from a conventional public branch exchange (PBX) or two-line phone system may prefer the Cisco 7841. Learn more about a four-line phone system vs VoIP system by reading our review.
The Cisco 7841 supports up to four lines yet looks and feels like a standard analog desk phone. Its 3.5-inch monochrome display is larger than the two-line Poly VVX 150 but smaller than the touchscreen found on the Poly VVX 601.
Many SIP service providers work with this model, including 8×8 and RingCentral. The fixed buttons for voicemail, mute, hold, speaker, and headset are easy to find and use along with the scrollable menu.
While the Cisco 7841 is an excellent multi-line phone system for people used to analog desk phones, it may feel outdated for tech-savvy users. In this case, you’re better off going with a desk phone offering Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities, such as the Grandstream GXV3370.
Cisco 7841 Features
- Call handling and management: Although it has the appearance of a landline, the Cisco 7841 supports various VoIP features similar to higher-end phones, including call forwarding, whisper coaching, and call recording.
- Ease of Use: Like the Polycom VVX 150, the Cisco 7841 resembles an analog phone, making it easy for teams to take advantage of VoIP features without investing resources in training and information technology (IT) services.
- User flexibility: The Cisco 7841 supports hot desking so that multiple users can use one desk. It also offers four programmable line keys and has an RJ-9 port for headsets.
Yealink W52P: Best Cordless Multi-Line Phone System
The Yealink W52P is a session initiation protocol (SIP)-based cordless phone system designed for small businesses and home offices. It features a cordless handset with HD voice for high-quality audio and offers from five to 10 hours of talk time between recharging.
The base supports up to five handsets, five SIP accounts, and four simultaneous external calls. The Yealink W52P works with several well-known VoIP providers, including Nextiva and RingCentral. Additionally, RingCentral can assist in provisioning your Yealink W52P phone system.
Although the cordless Yealink W52P provides flexibility and convenience, the phone display is smaller than other multi-line phone systems and it doesn’t offer Bluetooth. If that’s important to you, consider the Poly VVX 601. Like the Yealink W52P, RingCentral helps with provisioning and also sells the Poly VVX 601. It comes with integrated Bluetooth and a 4.3-inch display screen.
Yealink W52P Features
- Portability: Whether you want to work on your outdoor patio or roam around your office, the Yealink W52P is the only model on our list that lets you take calls on your terms. It has a range of up to 50 meters (150 feet) indoors and up to 300 meters (950 feet) outdoors.
- Call functions: The Yealink W52P supports three-way conferencing, paging, call hold and transfer, voicemail, call history, do not disturb (DND), and music on hold. However, it doesn’t work for video conferencing or sync with mobile devices like the Grandstream GXV3370.
- Ease of use: The user interface features a simple menu design, allowing users to quickly navigate various categories like call features, settings, voicemail, intercom, and status (for phone system information).
Mitel MiVoice 5330E: Best for High Call Volumes
The Mitel MiVoice 5330E is a multi-line phone system for small business supporting up to 20 lines. It stands out for features designed to improve the productivity levels of your customer service and sales teams.
Unlike other phones, such as the Yealink W52P, this Mitel model offers a large backlit screen. This allows users to easily browse through 24 programmable keys, 12 fixed function keys, and three context-sensitive keys. Additionally, the hands-free speakerphone and wideband handset provide clear audio.
Unfortunately, the MiVoice 5330E isn’t supported by RingCentral and may take longer to set up with other VoIP providers. Consider the Grandstream GXV3370 for quicker deployment and assistance from VoIP providers like Nextiva and RingCentral.
Mitel MiVoice 5330E Features
- Customizable keys and settings: Use a browser-based desktop tool to set up 24 keys to reach other employees or keep suppliers, supervisors, or VIP clients on speed dial. Alternatively, use the 12 fixed-function keys to easily access contacts, telephony features, browse the web, or adjust user settings.
- Flexible: The Mitel 5330E works with cordless accessories like digital enhanced cordless telecommunications (DECT) headsets and cordless phones. Unlike other IP phones on our list, this MiVoice model works on both VoIP and analog phone lines, so business owners can use a landline as a fallback if the company has an internet outage.
- VoIP features: Program your most-used VoIP features into three context-sensitive softkeys or use the menu keys for one-touch access to features like call history, call forwarding, visual voicemail, and call details.
A multi-line phone system is an investment in your company’s communications. Top-of-the-line models work like a tablet with web browser functionality but may be overkill for small businesses with low-volume call needs. Meanwhile, simpler versions can cost less and come with smaller learning curves for staff.
Ultimately, it depends on your company’s needs and budget. If you decide to go with an older or refurbished model, remember to check for voice quality as outdated handsets may have less bandwidth than newer models. For more information about audio quality, check out our article on VoIP codecs.