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The Best Apartment Intercom Systems (2022)

The most popular apartment intercom systems for 2022. Choose the right intercom for apartments, including video intercoms and audio intercoms.

Tags: apartment intercom system | video intercom system | apartment intercoms | intercom apartment | video intercom for apartment building | smart apartment intercom | apartment video intercom system

Chances are that you are a landlord, property manager or a condo board member, looking to achieve any of the following things:

  • Looking to find replacements for a broken wired intercom system that’s 20+ years old
  • Need help picking the right intercom for apartment building or condominium
  • Learn more about best video intercom systems for apartments
  • Compare various intercom systems and manufacturers
  • Learn about pricing and features for each system

As a modern video intercom company, we have put together a comprehensive list of best video intercoms for apartments below. Use this guide to select a callbox or video intercom system for your apartment – and please reach out if you need a free consultation on your apartment access control and video intercom needs.

Important reasons to upgrade an apartment building to a video intercom:

  • Residents want to verify who is at the door, before buzzing them into the building
  • Porch pirates can pretend to be delivery drivers can get buzzed in over audio intercoms
  • Having a video doorbell intercom is one of the top 5 considerations for renting a new apartment
  • Residents want remote access to their apartment buildings for letting guests, deliveries, dog walkers, nannies, cleaners into the house
  • Video intercoms allow residents to take control on managing their guests – freeing property managers for other important tasks like closing new leases and move-ins and move-outs
  • Break-ins are at all time high – 1.7 million packages are stolen every day!
  • Video intercoms provide visual proof of the person at the door, ensuring you don’t let someone in without verifying their identity

34 Factors to Consider While Buying an Apartment Intercom

We put together the most critical questions someone needs to ask while evaluating intercom companies and selecting a product.

How much does a video intercom system cost?

Video intercom systems range from $1800 to $6995. The price depends on the feature set and manufacturer. With modern improvements in the hardware, the prices have continued to drop. A telephone intercom requires a $75 to $200 monthly fee for a telephone line. Video intercoms use a cloud based server to connect the calls, and charge prices based on number of units or users, to cover the cost of server hosting.

How much does it cost to install a video intercom system?

A wireless video intercom system, like Swiftlane, costs between $1200 to $3000 for installation. If you are upgrading an existing older intercom and the wires can be reused, it’s cheaper to get the installation done. Total cost of installation includes the cost of the video intercom ($1400- $8000), and installation + cabling ($1200 – $4500). Make sure to get a quote for video intercom in order to discuss your specific building needs.

What are the best video intercoms?

The best video intercoms are:

  • Swiftlane
  • Latch
  • Alphatouch
  • Aiphone
  • Doorbird
  • Doorking
  • 2N
  • ButterflyMX

ALSO READ: Top Buying Factors for an Apartment Intercom

Best Video Intercom Systems for Apartments

Next, we will perform a deep dive into popular intercom systems for apartment buildings.

Swiftlane Video Intercom

Swiftlane Feature Grid

Swiftlane video intercom page

Request quote for your building

You can download a PDF overview of Swiftlane’s intercom here

Swiftlane is a modern video intercom system for apartments, that also won the best new access control and intercom system for 2020. Based out of San Francisco, Swiftlane deploys all over North America through certified installers. Swiftlane’s vision is to create safer communities and increase day to day conveniences through technology.

Benefits:

  • Touch screen based multi-tenant apartment video intercom
  • Mobile app to remotely unlock doors and receive video and audio calls
  • Touchless unique face unlock – just present your face to unlock building doors
  • Minimum wiring changes and cost effective to retrofit an older telephone or analog intercom
  • Plenty of customer reviews
  • Give secure access to delivery companies like UPS, Fedex, Amazon, USPS and food delivery drivers
  • Temporary access codes with ability to set expiration times
  • Swiftlane works with local installers who can provide round the clock support. e.g. if you need someone to be there in 20 minutes
  • About 30%-40% cheaper hardware and ongoing subscription costs than alternatives
  • Future proof system with over the air software updates
  • Built with the intent to drive higher NOI for building landlords
  • For property managers, Swiftlane provides complete automation through property management system integrations with Yardi, Entrata, Realpage Onesite and many more.
  • Swiftlane is SOC 2 certified for its data security and privacy efforts, the gold standard for evaluating data security practices of software companies.

Swiftlane increase property value and NOI, by adding valuable amenities at the front door, and improving security and peace of mind for tenants.. It automates security management for property teams.

By eliminating package theft, removing telephone lines, the cost of regular rekeying of doors, and onsite maintenance calls every quarter, you save anywhere between $4000-$5000 a year by upgrading to a Swiftlane system. Compared to legacy, hard wired intercoms, Swiftlane provides the fastest and cheapest upgrade path to existing buildings, through wireless video and audio calling to residents. It reuses your building internet or works over cellular, and eliminates the cost of intercom telephone lines (up-to $2000 a year).  The upgrade requires a single ethernet cable to the main door, without the need for running wiring to every unit (up-to $800 per unit). The Swiftlane software comes with over-the-air updates, like a Tesla, which means you constantly get new feature updates and remove maintenance costs.

Request a demo and a quote of the Swiftlane intercom.

Resident Experience

Swiftlane increase security for multifamily buildings, while reducing the friction for residents and adding many modern desirable amenities:

  • Mobile Access
  • Multi Tenant Video Intercom for direct video call to resident’s phone
  • Classic telephone calling support for non technical people
  • Key card access
  • Remote Door Unlock that allows letting friends and family into the building
  • Face recognition touchless access
  • Visitor Access through PIN codes
  • Secure deliveries through unique PIN codes

LEARN MORE: Swiftlane Video Intercom Solution for Multifamily Buildings

Management experience

  • White glove onboarding of your entire building, we run the onboarding for you.
  • Simple interface, designed for property managers and board members, not technical staff – can be learnt in ten minutes
  • Manage the site completely remotely, from your phone or computer
  • Complete unlimited security footage that’s archived in secure storage in the cloud
  • Photo based evidence for visitors, ensure high security of the building
  • Unique PINs that can be granted for visitors, delivery drivers etc
  • Extensive reporting functionality
  • Ability to manage dozens of locations through a single centralized interface
Cloud Dashboard - Activity

Visitor Experience

  • Get temporary PINs for access to common areas
  • Virtual front desk option to connect with doorman or remote staff easily
  • Multi tenant directory with the option to look up tenants quickly, video calls with them and gain access through remote unlock

Installation Experience

  • Single ethernet wire needed to connect and bring up the system
  • Low cost of install, that can be done in less than a day
  • Professional certified installers all over the US, who can provide continued, on the ground support
  • Completely automated and white glove onboarding

How much does Swiftlane intercom cost?

Swiftlane video intercom costs between $1300 to $2200, depending on the model and features. A Swiftlane subscription costs comparable to a traditional telephone line intercom, and depends on the number of units in the building. It varies in order to handle the costs of video intercom calling and server hosting.

LiftMaster CAPXLV Smart Video Intercom

Website

LiftMaster has been manufacturing intercom entry systems for more than 50 years. Its CAPXL video intercom system has evolved from the legacy EL series telephone entry systems. The company kept pace with the burgeoning technology and, over the years, added a touch-screen interface, cloud compatibility, and video to its product. CAPXLV is the result.

LiftMaster Video

LiftMaster Pricing

No pricing information is available on LiftMaster’s website. A third-party website mentions a price of $2,995 for LiftMaster CAPXLV entry station. Users can contact LiftMaster’s dealers to obtain a quote. 

LiftMaster CAPXLV Features

  • Add, remove or modify directory contact details across multiple entry stations from a single dashboard
  • Remotely unlock doors using the myQ Community app 
  • Control multiple entry points including vehicular gates and building entrances across all communities in your portfolio
  • Residents can safely schedule and control visitor access control and set up guest lists for one-time, multi-day, or recurring access events. Guests receive a trackable entry code associated with the resident’s personal code.
  • Managers can view device status and watch live streaming video and recorded access events using the myQ Community Control Web App.
  • LiftMaster Smart Intercom System works with other LiftMaster products including RFID long-range reader, wired keypad and proximity card reader, gate operators, and CAP2D Smart Access 2-Door Controller.

Advantages

  • LiftMaster Smart Video Intercom is a perfect solution for controlling perimeter access to gated communities such as multi-building condominium complexes or garden-style apartments. 
  • The 7-inch CAPXLM model may be suitable for controlling access to the main door of residential buildings. 
  • It is primarily built for controlling LiftMaster door openers and may be a great choice for you if you are already using other LiftMaster products.

Disadvantages

  • The system does not support SIP or WebRTC connectivity, so you cannot place calls over LTE or landlines. The residents need to be connected to the internet to receive visitor calls.
  • The CAP2D controller can control only two doors, so it may not be the best system out there for large multi-tenant applications.

READ THE FULL REVIEW: LiftMaster Intercom Review

Aiphone Video Intercom

Aiphone intercom

Aiphone IXG Series Website

Aiphone offers many door 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.

READ THE FULL REVIEW: Aiphone Intercom System Review

Akuvox SmartPlus Intercom

Akuvox Smartplus

Akuvox SmartPlus website

Based in China, Akuvox products range from door entry intercom, 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.

Akuvox Features

  • Video based apartment entry system
  • 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

Akuvox Video

Advantages

  • 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

Disadvantages

  • 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

READ THE FULL REVIEW: Akuvox Intercom Review

Alpha Communications Intercom

Alphatouch intercom

Alpha Communications manufactures two video intercom systems for apartment suitable for multifamily buildings. Pricing varies for each.

Alphatouch website

GB2 2-Wire Color Video Intercom System: The GB2 2-Wire Video Intercom System can support up to 256 apartment intercom 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.

READ THE FULL REVIEW: Alpha Communications Intercom Review

Alphatouch Intercom Video

ButterflyMX Intercom

butterflymx intercom

ButterflyMX is a smart intercom system for apartments, condos, multi-family, multi-tenant, and multi-unit properties.

Butterflymx Website

ButterflyMX Pricing

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 Features

  • 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

Advantages

  • Has been around for about 10 years
  • Multi tenant video intercom can support small and large buildings
  • Ability to handle visitors through the mobile app
  • Remotely unlock doors with a mobile app
  • Give out temporary PINs to delivery companies
  • PIN pad can provide options to enter with a temporary code
  • Multiple integrations, which are primarily only attractive to large buildings
  • Many deployments within the major markets
  • 6-digit access pin available if keys or phone are left behind
  • Elevator controls through mobile app

Disadvantages

  • Expensive: Smallest unit starts at $3,995, about twice than average cost of a video intercom
  • Installation from in-house, low-voltage electricians. This is highly limiting if on the ground support is needed. Customers report a lack of timely support due to no service contracts with local security companies. If something breaks, there is no contract to get someone to fix it asap.
  • Primarily an intercom system, which still requires a separate access control solution to be installed. This increases installation cost and overall operational overhead. Butterfly recently acquired a company that provides key card access, and may integrate this feature into their system.
  • Large butterfly panels could be a space constraint and increase cost of labor and install in smaller spaces
  • There are no vandal resistance certifications published. If a large $6,995 panel breaks, you may have to shell out a lot of money to replace it.
  • 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 may suffer 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

How much does a ButterflyMX intercom cost?

ButterflyMX video intercom costs $3,995 for the smallest phone sized 7″ intercom, and $6,995 for the 11.6 inch video intercom panel. ButterflyMX subscription may vary but costs between $36-$42 per year per unit. e.g. a ButterflyMX subscription for 100 units may cost $3,600 – $4,200 per year.

READ THE FULL REVIEW: ButterflyMX Intercom System Review

2N Intercom


2n intercom

2N Website

2N is a European-based access control company offering various door access and communication systems. 2N offers suitable multi-tenant intercom systems for residential and apartment buildings.

2N Pricing

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 Features

  • 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

2N Review

Advantages

  • 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

Disadvantages

  • 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

READ THE FULL REVIEW: 2N Intercom System Review

Comelit Intercom

Comelit offers 3 primary door entry 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.

READ THE FULL REVIEW: Comelit Intercom Review

DoorBird Intercom

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.

DoorBird Pricing

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.

DoorBird Features

  • 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

DoorBird Review

Advantages

  • 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

Disadvantages

  • 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.

READ THE FULL REVIEW: DoorBird Intercom System Review

DoorKing Intercom

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. 

READ THE FULL REVIEW: DoorKing Intercom System Review

Latch Intercom

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.

Latch Price

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 Features

  • 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.

Latch Video

Advantages

  • Integrated door entry 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

Disadvantages

  • 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

READ THE FULL REVIEW: Latch Intercom System Review

Linear Intercom

Linear Pro is a part of the GTO family, which has been providing door operators, garage openers, and access control systems since 1961. Their flagship Linear Entry Pro Telephone Entry System is an audio-only intercom with the option to add video. The system works with a large range of controllers, peripherals, credentials, and accessories. 

Linear Pricing

Linear offers 3 different hardware models. 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

Linear Features

  • 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

Linear Review

Advantages

  • 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

Disadvantages

  • Lack of integration options
  • Need to have landlines installed in the whole building for connection

READ THE FULL REVIEW: Linear Intercom Review

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 Pricing

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

Mircom Features

  • 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

Mircom Review

Advantages

  • Highly customizable
  • Vandal resistant outdoor panels
  • PSTN calling and SIP based mobile connectivity
  • MiEntry mobile app for building entry and video/audio calling

Disadvantages

  • 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

READ THE FULL REVIEW: Mircom Intercom Review

Siedle Vario Intercom

Siedle, a German manufacturer, has been building and improving door entry intercom 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.

Siedle Features

  • 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

Siedle Review

Advantages

  • Diverse variety of useful add-ons
  • Excellent sound and video quality
  • Configuration tool for customizing your system

Disadvantages

  • Outdated technology and interfacing
  • No touchscreen directory feature
  • Lacks integration options
  • Does not offer cloud-based management 
  • Automatic visitor access features are not available

READ THE FULL REVIEW: Siedle Intercom Review


Commonly Asked Questions

What is an apartment intercom system?

An apartment intercom system allows entry to a visitor to a building. A visitor can come up to the entry system at the main building entrance, select an entry and call a tenant. This sends a buzzer signal to the resident inside the apartment. The resident can pick up the call using an audio phone call, or a video call using a video intercom mobile app. They can communicate with the visitor, and then release and buzz the door remotely.

What is an apartment call box?

Apartment call box is the same as an apartment intercom system. It is commonly called a callbox, since it traditionally connects a visitor to a building resident through a phone call, over a telephone system.

How does an intercom work?

An intercom system works by sending an audio notification from one device to another, which can be picked up as an audio or video call. Wired intercoms work by transmitting a data signal from one device to another through local wires. Wireless intercoms work through telephone lines or internet based servers, to initiate a call, notify the other person and start audio or video call between two people.

How does an intercom work in apartments?

Apartment intercom buzzers work by chiming a buzzer to an apartment, and then allowing an audio call between the two parties. They use wired communication techniques like SIP protocol, in order exchange signals and audio between two ends. If the receiving person clicks the unlock button, it sends another signal to the main intercom unit, to unlock the door.

Can intercoms calls between apartments?

Most intercoms can only call from a front door intercom station, to a specific unit. Modern video intercom systems, can provide ability to call from a resident’s phone to the door station. e.g. you can call back if you just missed a call a few seconds ago. Most systems dont allow calling from one unit to another to protect privacy between residents in an apartment.

How much does a new intercom system cost?

Wired intercom systems require purchasing a main entry station, a master station and receiver tablets in each unit. This may cost around $6000 for common area components plus $1000 for each receiving tablet. Wireless intercoms cost much less. They only require buying a main entry station at the door, and communicate wirelessly to each person’s phone. They typically cost between $2000-4500.

How much does a video intercom system cost?

Most video intercom systems cost $2200-$5000 for the hardware and installation of a new video intercom system. They require ongoing costs as well. A telephone line intercom requires paying for a landline or cell line. A video intercom system costs ongoing costs for internet and service fees.

How do video intercom systems work?

Most video intercom systems use cloud based servers to communicate over the internet. E.g. When a visitor starts an intercom call, the unit will transmit a signal to the service provider’s servers, requesting the call. The server will send a push notification or voip call to a receiving person’s phone. The receiving person will get a call and pick it up. At this point, both devices will establish a common video intercom exchange link, such as a WebRTC session, in order to start transmitting audio and video to each other. A video intercom call also embed actions like “door unlock” in the app, so that it can trigger a door release.

Are intercoms still used?

Yes, intercoms are still heavily used. Their usage has increased to an increase in online shopping, and growth in number of packages being delivered to building. Most intercoms are converting from audio wired intercoms, to wireless video intercoms.

Can you replace old intercom system?

Older intercoms are generally wired throughout the building, into each unit. This is too expensive to replace with a similar system. Also, many companies that sold these products decades ago dont exist anymore. Older intercoms are replaced with newer, wireless video intercoms. The video intercom systems dont require wiring to every unit. The new video intercoms make calls to the resident’s phone through a telephone call or a video call (using an app)

What can I do with the old intercom system?

I assume you are looking to upgrade an older intercom system with a newer one. Most people replace wired intercoms with wireless video intercoms. Intercom installers can swap out the main entry panel with the new system. The receiving buzzer buttons in each unit become non functional, and just artifacts of the past.

How do old intercom systems work?

Are intercoms safe?

Most intercoms dont bite, and are safe to use. Most intercom systems run on low voltage electricity (under 48 V DC), so they are safe to operate.

Can you use Alexa as an intercom?

While less common, many intercom systems offer an integration with Alexa, allowing you to voice commands to operate the intercom and to unlock doors.

Can you use Google Home as an intercom?

While less common, many intercom systems offer an integration with Google Home, allowing you to voice commands to operate the intercom and to unlock doors.

Apartment Intercom System with Door Release

Most apartment intercom systems come with ability to release the door. All the intercoms we covered today have the ability to open doors. They often work with existing electronic door locks, by sending a relay switch signal to release the door for a few seconds, and let the visitor into the building.

How can I get my Apartment Intercom System Repaired?

If you have a newer apartment entry system, talk to your the security installer who installed the system. You can also google search for the intercom companies contact info. If it’s a wired legacy intercom, you might not find parts for it, or people to service it.

What are Wireless Intercom Systems for Apartments

Apartment wireless intercom, typically refer to the ability to connect to the resident wirelessly over an internet or telephone line. The system still requires wiring the front intercom device, but does not require installing cables and in-unit receivers. Calls are made wirelessly to the residents from the intercom to the person. Traditionally, these calls were made on a telephone based system. Today, most system utilize a video intercom call, using an internet line at the intercom.

Author: Imran Anwar

Published Date: October 7th, 2022

Modified Date: July 20th, 2022

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