Review and compare the best apartment intercom system on the market for 2021. Find the solution perfectly suited to meet the needs of both tenant and property manager for a secure, seamless living environment.
Each review includes:
- Pricing estimates
- Hardware requirements
- Key features
Reference the Apartment Intercom System Ultimate Buyer’s Guide for detailed considerations when choosing an apartment intercom that meet specific tenant needs and business objectives.
Best Apartment Intercom Systems
2020 has underscored the need for flexible access solutions for residential building.
The 2020 NMHC/ Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Report revealed that 85% of tenants would like controlled amenity access.
Most importantly, we have seen an increasing need for health-conscious access solutions that reduce face-to-face interaction and physical contact with high-use surfaces. There has also been high demand for secure delivery solutions with the influx in e-commerce and food deliveries.
The 2020 NMHC/ Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Report revealed that 84% of tenants would like secure, self-service 24/7 package management.
Residential buildings are turning to advancements in solutions like video intercom systems to meet this need.
Swiftlane is an integrated access control and video intercom system for multi-family, multi-tenant, and multi-unit properties.
Swiftlane Pricing: Swiftlane intercom is priced at $1,200-$1,500 per reader.
Swiftlane Installation: Swiftlane intercom retrofits alongside existing electric door locks and motion sensors. Swiftlane intercom reader requires simple ethernet-based wiring, using standardized cables and avoiding proprietary wiring. Swiftlane takes a single power over ethernet cable to install the reader.
Swiftlane Hardware: SwiftReader comes in a compact, easy to mount intercom system with a beautiful silver-gray or matte-gray design. It features a touchscreen to provide interactivity to tenants and visitors. Swiftlane door unlock relay sits on the secure side of the building, which means it does not suffer from outside security risk. Swiftlane hardware works with existing electric door locks reducing dependence on proprietary hardware as it reuses the majority of the hardware already in place.
- Manage Multiple Doors and Buildings Centrally: Swiftlane is a cloud-based intercom system, which can manage any number of entrances, even multiple buildings, within one system. There are countless benefits for building owners and property managers using cloud-based systems.
- Two-Way Video Calling With Remote Unlock: Swiftlane intercom features two-way video intercom calling. After visual verification, remotely enable door release and unlock the door via the Swiftlane app.
- High-Quality Video: Swiftlane video intercom provides adaptive 1080 P HD video calls, offering a seamless visitor management experience for your guests.
- Built-In Access Control System: Swiftlane stands apart from other systems because of its built-in touchless access control. Keys and key cards pose operational and security issues. Swiftlane intercom features multiple forms of access control for tenants including unique pin access, mobile app access, and touchless face recognition access.
- Effective Delivery Management: Issue single-use pin codes to help guarantee convenient, high-security deliveries. These pin codes expire after one use to avoid unauthorized access.
- Front Desk and Multi-Tenant Intercom Support: Easily call the front desk with Swiftlane intercom. Multi-tenant intercom settings allow creating an unlimited number of tenants and giving them the ability to receive calls from their visitors easily on their phones.
- Wireless Intercom for Apartments: Because Swiftlane users can receive their visitor calls straight on their phone, there is no need to mount a tablet on the wall or answer a door buzzer in person. This avoids expensive installation costs and hassle around letting people in.
- Operational Costs: Swiftlane significantly minimizes operational costs for property management and building owners. Below is a list of just a few ways that is done:
- Eliminate constant cost of creating new keys and key fobs
- Eliminate cost of printing visitor badges
- Avoid having to re-key all the doors when a tenant leaves
- Remotely grant credentials to tenants without requiring shipping key fobs or being on site
- Manage intercom and visitors for multiple doors from a single platform
- Manage visitors across multiple buildings centrally
- Enhance tenant experience
- Increase tenant security
- Eliminate package theft
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2N is a European-based access control company offering various access and communication systems. 2N offers suitable multi-tenant intercom systems for residential and apartment buildings.
2N IP Intercom: 2N IP Intercom comes with a variety of models, including the 2N IP Verso, Force, Solo, etc. Pricing will vary depending on the model you select, but will range between $1000 – 1500 for the main unit, excluding keypad modules, access readers and tokens, and mounting accessories, which are sold separately.
2N LTE Intercom: $1160 for the main unit. Keypad modules ($500+) and access control components are sold separately.
- 2N IP Verso has a touchscreen keypad, address book, fingerprint reader, and Bluetooth
- SIP support available
- Built-in ethernet port
- Entry methods include RFID, Bluetooth, touchpad, and fingerprint reader
- 2N devices can be bulk-managed through the 2N Access Commander. It’s a browser interface that allows:
- Access control configuration
- Device management and monitoring
- Multiple site control
- Time and attendance management
- Visitor card management, and more
- Does not require master stations
- Owned by Axis, so offers good integration with other Axis products
- Can retrofit with legacy systems such as RFID card readers and fingerprint scanners
- Built-in night vision camera
- Free onsite configuration support
- Easy to install and start using
- Centralized multi-device management through a web interface
- Assemble required; the biggest grievance with a 2N entry system is the lack of ‘plug and play’ installation. 2N intercoms are modularized and must be ordered and assembled separately.
- Low quality audio; the voice and video quality of IP intercom can be affected by electromagnetic or RF interference
- The spread of germs and disease such as COVID-19 should be carefully considered when integrating a touchscreen or fingerprint system
Get the complete 2N Intercom System Review to make an informed decision on the best apartment intercom system for you.
Aiphone Video Intercom
Aiphone offers many intercom products that target different industries with unique user features. The following Series models are the most conducive to a residential setting for function as a multi-unit intercom system. Prices will vary for each Series system.
IXG Series (Multi-Tenant Video Intercom System): With a system capacity of 9999 devices including physical stations, gateways, and lift control adaptors, the IXG Series is a scalable visitor management solution that allows visitors to call building tenants from a directory. Tenants can receive calls from in-unit stations, or now via mobile device.
JO Series (Video Intercom with Mobile App Capability): This video doorbell supports 2 door, 2 monitors, and 8 mobile devices for two-way audio and one-way video communication between hardwired stations. Tenants can also receive calls from their mobile device.
GT Series (Multi-Tenant Security Intercom): Finally, the GT Series is compatible for additional security purposes. The GT Series can include up to 5 entrance stations, 2 video guard stations, and 48 tenant stations. Guard stations can connect multiple sites, monitor the built-in PTZ cameras, and forward incoming visitor calls to tenant stations.
Get the complete review of all Aiphone Intercom Series models in the Aiphone Intercom System Review to make an informed decision on the best apartment intercom system for you.
Akuvox SmartPlus Intercom
Based in China, Akuvox products range from doorphones, indoor monitors, access control touchpads, Android video phones, and their smartphone app. Akuvox SmartPlus is a modern and user-friendly video intercom system designed to singularly replace outdated two-wire intercom systems and RF based access control systems.
- Installs on Ethernet cable as well as wirelessly via Android
- Two way video calling via indoor monitor, video phone, and mobile
- Doorphone features facial recognition, NFC, Bluetooth, PIN, and RFID based access control
- Smartphone-based unlock via SmartPlus mobile app and Bluetooth
- Standard phone call unlock
- Cloud-based, single-dashboard multi-site access management
- Wiegand port for backward integration
- Time-limited QR codes and guest PINs
- Integrated with smart home technology like security systems and home automation solutions
- Supports standard phone calls for residents without smartphones
- Variety of access methods
- Centralized multi-site management
- iPhone users report that the mobile app displays a blank screen all too often
- The quality of audio and video as well as facial recognition features is not validated
- The Chinese manufacturer lacks a proper customer service infrastructure in America
Get the complete Akuvox Intercom Review to make an informed decision on the best apartment intercom system for you.
Alpha Communications Intercom
Alpha Communications manufactures two video intercom systems for apartment suitable for multifamily buildings. Pricing varies for each.
GB2 2-Wire Color Video Intercom System: The GB2 2-Wire Video Intercom System can support up to 256 apartment monitor stations and 4 entry stations. To make a call, the visitor presses the button of the apartment on the entry door panel. Calls can be received using a hands-free, in-unit video monitor, which can also trigger a door unlock function. The GB2 Intercom also features an internal communication function.
AlphaTouch Cloud-Based PoE Video Intercom System: AlphaTouch is a smart intercom system for apartments that allows visitors to make video calls to residents from a touchscreen door entry station. Residents can receive video calls from visitors on smartphones and can unlock the door using the AlphaTouch mobile app.
Get a complete review of both Alpha Communications Intercom systems in the Alpha Communications Intercom Review to make an informed decision on the best apartment intercom system for you.
ButterflyMX is a smart intercom system for apartments, suitable for multi-family, multi-tenant, and multi-unit properties.
ButterflyMX software is priced based on the number of units, starting at $750/yr for residential. Commercial pricing is based on the number of employees and starts at $2400/yr, based on pricing available in September 2020.
- 7” Surface Intercom: $3650, with 2 year warranty
- 7” Recessed Intercom: $4150, with 2 year warranty
- 11.6” Surface Intercom: $5650, with 2 year warranty
- 11.6” Recessed Intercom: $6150, with 2 year warranty
- ButterflyMX can be installed next to the door via DC power, internet connectivity wire CAT5 or CAT6 cables; connected to an external UPS to provide power backup; and/or installed on a dedicated network connection in order to provide higher Internet connection reliability.
- Ability to see door release event history for up to 365 days
- Manage tenant and visitor permissions
- Integration with property management software (PMS)
- Remote unlock feature for tenants or guests through smartphone
- Visitors can be sent virtual keys for managed access
- Two-way video intercom calling
- Has been around for approx. 10 years
- Multiple fancy integrations, which are primarily only attractive to large buildings
- Many deployments within the major markets with strong traction in Class A buildings
- 6-digit access pin available if keys or phone are left behind
- Elevator controls through mobile app
- Alexa- or Siri-enabled voice controls
- Installation from in-house, low-voltage electricians. This is highly limiting if on the ground support is needed. Local installers, like those that Swiftlane sells their product through, provide immediate support with just a phone call.
- Primarily an intercom system, which still requires a separate access control solution to be installed. This increases installation cost and overall operational overhead.
- Large butterfly panels could be a space constraint and increase cost of labor and install in smaller spaces
- The Virtual Key QR code cannot be used for embedding in delivery instructions, causing issues with effective delivery management.
- Notable Security Issue: ButterflyMX uses a Chinese lock on their intercom, and panels have a door relay built into the reader. These are electronic outputs, that can open a door by just connecting those two wires together. This is a security issue, since anyone who can connect the two wires from the outside can trigger access.
- Windows-based tablet implementation suffers blue screen outages on the terminal after installation.
- Visitor calls come in from the app, as opposed to through the smartphone. This has the potential to cause delay and other connectivity issues.
- No ability to set up multiple front desk callers
- Does not support temporary pin access for guests
Get the complete ButterflyMX Intercom System Review to make an informed decision on the best apartment intercom system for you.
Comelit offers 3 primary intercom systems for apartments. Pricing and functionality will vary.
Comelit Visto Doorbell: Comelit Visto is a smart video doorbell that allows residents to see, hear and speak to visitors with the Visto App.
Comelit 2-Wire System: This Comlit Intercom model is a standard multi-tenant video intercom system expandable up to 4 door stations and 4 interior monitors. Remote entry is available with the Comelit App, which can support up to 15 smart devices.
Comelit IP System: This Comelit Intercom model is an IP based solution that can accommodate multiple connection devices and an unlimited number of users. The multi-unit intercom system comes with a modular door station that can support up to 15 interior monitors as well as mobile app calling through the Comelit App.
Get a complete review of all Comelit smart video doorbell and intercom systems in the Comelit Intercom Review to make an informed decision on the best apartment intercom system for you.
DoorBird is a German-built doorbell system, providing several different types of intercom readers. DoorBird Intercom installs by disconnecting the current doorbell system and connecting the wires to the inputs on the DoorBird device. It can then be connected to WiFi and operated from the mobile app.
Depending on the products you choose, a single DoorBird Door Station will cost between $384 for a simple home IP doorbell and $2,502 for an IP video door station for multi tenant buildings.
The indoor station costs $505.
There are no charges for the automatic cloud storage of entry photo logs for the 50 most recent motion sensor events. An annual subscription of $53+ has 7-day HD storage, if required.
- Simple installation: built-in connectors for traditional door chime, Ethernet, electric door strike, and door opener button
- Remote unlock function through DoorBird mobile app
- Sends photo records of visitors to the cloud where they can be accessed through the DoorBird app
- 4D motion sensor and infrared Night-Vision
- Each video doorbell can connect with up to 8 iOS or Android phones or tablets
- Works on eight devices simultaneously
- Ultra sharp, 180-210 degree ultra wide angle HD image, straightened and without black fish eye edges
- Aesthetically designed, durable, and high-quality video doorbell
- Open API and extensive integration options including NVR, VMS, NAS, RFID, and a range of smart locks and smart home systems
- Doorbird products come in variety of sizes and form factors. New DoorBird models are aesthetically very appealing and come in up to 50 different shades.
- DoorBird provides products at flat hardware cost, with no subscription needed to use the base product. This provides customers with the ability to purchase it upfront without any recurring cost.
- Impressive weather-proofing
- Door relays included in the intercom, such as DoorBird, pose a security risk*
- Limited access control functionalities
- No built-in SIP or PBX connectivity, can only send push notifications to non-IP phones
- Camera lens should be at a minimum height of 57 inches, compared to the ADA compliance height of maximum 48 inches
IPVM reported that DoorBird suffers from the following issues:
- Noisy Audio: even though the product comes with noise cancellation, it does not seem to be effective
- Poor image quality: high compression, poor WDR performance and focus mainly on nearby objects.
*Door relays that are programmed into the intercom can be removed from their mount to connect the relays, which would trigger an unauthorized door unlock. Typically, more intercom devices avoid this by having a separate device on the secure side of the building that triggers door unlock.
Get the complete DoorBird Intercom System Review to make an informed decision on the best apartment intercom system for you.
DoorKing (or DKS) is one of the oldest American providers of residential access control and telephone entry systems. The company is best known for their telephone entry system which features several products and models.
DoorKing Access Plus Telephone Entry System: DoorKing Access Plus is a PC programmable telephone entry system that provides simple voice communication from the entry point. All DoorKing Access Plus models support LTE, VoIP, and POTL connectivity, and are easily customized.
DoorKing Telephone Entry System: These models are basic tele entry systems being widely used in traditional small and midsize establishments. Visitors are identified by two-way voice communication and access can be granted from a touch-tone telephone after programming with two special inputs.
DoorKing Telephone Entry and Access Control System: DoorKing Telephone Entry and Access Control 1830 Series are PC programmable turn-key access management models that can store up to 3,000 phone numbers, and 8,000 access tokens.
Get the complete review of all DoorKing Intercom models in the DoorKing Intercom System Review to make an informed decision on the best apartment intercom system for you.
Latch is most notably known for its line of smart locks, but has just introduced its multi-tenant intercom system in the past few years. Latch Intercom is part of a larger, all-in-one building solution, LatchOS, which includes building and individual unit access and management.
The visitor entry intercom is priced at $2,999, and you need to buy an external camera for video. Latch charges $2 monthly per unit as software fee. Pricing may vary by number of units and contract length.
- Latch Hardware: Latch is an all-in-one access solution that provides hardware for main entrances and individual units.
- Visitor Access: Grant access to visitors with remote unlock through the Latch app. Issue temporary codes for guests, deliveries, building staff, etc.
- User Customization: Residents can choose how their name is displayed on screen and whether or not to share their video and photo.
- Delivery Management: Latch Delivery Assistant grants access to approved delivery providers through a simple intercom call.
- Integrated intercom, access control and building management system
- Restrict video streaming and choose custom display names
- Multiple entry methods including mobile app, NFC, passcodes, and the good old metallic key
- Comes with optional energy saving tools, visitor access, deliveries, and sound-based access
- Needs an external camera for video calling
- Latch Intercom is a part of a larger, full-building solution, which requires a two-year service contract and can be restrictive to individual needs and customizations
Get a complete Latch Intercom System Review to make an informed decision on the best apartment intercom system for you.
Linear Pro is a part of the GTO family, which has been providing door operators, garage openers, and access control systems since 1961. The Company’s flagship Linear Entry Pro Telephone Entry System is basically an audio-only intercom system with the option to add a video camera. The system works with a large range of controllers, peripherals, credentials, and accessories.
Linear offers 3 different hardware models including the stand-alone EP-402, and the networked EP-436 and EP-736. The EP-EXN expansion nodes can be used for physical door and reader connectivity.
- Linear EP-402 Entry Pro: ~$1299
- Linear EP-436 Entry Pro: ~$2499
- Linear EP-736 Entry Pro: ~$3816
- EP-EXN Expansion Node: ~$660
- Two-way voice calling. Residents can answer visitors’ calls from their phone and unlock the door or open the gate by pressing 9.
- Installs on regular telephone lines
- Can support from 2 doors to up to 64 doors or more
- Compatible with commonly used long-range readers and VoIP adapters
- Does not require an additional PC or software to install
- High-Bright display options for direct sunlight applications
- Custom reports and quick-searches available to manage residential accounts, guests and personnel access
- Lack of integration options
- Need to have landlines installed in the whole building for connection
Get a complete Linear Intercom Review to make an informed decision on the best apartment intercom system for you.
Mircom TX3-Touch Intercom
Mircom’s TX3-Touch is a SIP capable touch-screen telephone entry system that provides two-way audio and one-way video calling along with the ability to make safety announcements and control access to multi-family buildings and gated communities.
Mircom doesn’t reveal the price of TX3 Touch Series on its website. Here’s the price of different components and models as obtained from reseller websites.
- TX3-Nano-S4: $2519
- TX3-Touch-S15-A: $5989
- TX3-Touch-S15-B: $7822
- TX3-Touch-F22: $9697
- Make two-way audio and one-way video calls via in-unit hardware or through the MiEntry mobile app
- Integrate with third-party software and hardware for lighting control, HVAC, and building management
- Residents can use their Android and Apple smartphones as credentials and view event history
- SIP based mobile and PSTN connectivity (requires subscription and only works with TX3-Touch and TX3-Nano-S4)
- PC-based programming through TX3 Configuration and Monitoring Utility
- Highly customizable
- Vandal resistant outdoor panels
- PSTN calling and SIP based mobile connectivity
- MiEntry mobile app for building entry and video/audio calling
- In-unit hardware requires extensive installation time and overhead cost
- PC-based programming requires on-site updates and changes, and remote configuration is not available
- High total cost of ownership (TCO) for multifamily residential buildings
- Does not offer two-way video calling
Get a complete Mircom Intercom Review to make an informed decision on the best apartment intercom system for you.
Siedle Vario Intercom
Siedle, a German manufacturer, has been building and improving door intercom systems for over 70 years. The Siedle Vario video intercom system includes video door stations and indoor stations connected through a two-wire Bus Video Modulator that can also accommodate multiple external cameras.
- Modular system with ability to incorporate fingerprint reader, card reader, and electronic key reader
- Vandal resistant transparent dome with high-grade adjustable colour cameras
- Integrated infrared lighting for clear night-time viewing
- 3 different dome camera models available with different pick up angles
- True Day/Night feature ensures excellent color fidelity in different lighting conditions
- Door monitoring from indoor video panels as well as from Siedle Mobile App
- Add-ons include letterboxes, card reader, code lock, electronic key reader, and external cameras
- Diverse variety of useful add-ons
- Excellent sound and video quality
- Configuration tool for customizing your system
- Outdated technology and interfacing
- No touchscreen directory feature
- Lacks integration options
- Does not offer cloud-based management
- Automatic visitor access features are not available
Get a complete Siedle Intercom Review to make an informed decision on the best apartment intercom system for you.
Best Home Intercom System
While this review is about the best intercom system for multifamily buildings, we would also like to briefly mention the best home intercom system.
What is a home intercom system?
More commonly, a home intercom system is also referred to as a video doorbell. Home intercoms or video doorbells serve the same purpose as an apartment intercom system, but for single family homes. It allows families to safely manage who is at their door when they are unavailable or not at home.
Ring video doorbell is a perfect example of a cost effective and versatile intercom option for single family homes.
- Wired or wireless battery operated options
- Very simple to install
- 1080p HD Video intercom, to see, hear and speak to visitors
- Video proof reduces package theft risk
- Motion detected video capture
- Pick up calls straight to your phone, on the ring app
- Works with specific smart locks to open doors via a hub or Alexa and Google
Buy Ring Doorbell On Amazon (Paid link)
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