The Best Home Intercom Systems

Easily communicate with friends and family members inside or outside the home via an at-home intercom system.

Best Overall

The Best Home Intercom System Option: Echo Show 5 (3rd Generation, 2023 release)

Echo Show 5 (3rd Generation, 2023 release)

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Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Home Intercom System Option: Wuloo WL666-4 Wireless Intercom System

Wuloo WL666-4 Wireless Intercom System

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Upgrade Pick

The Best Home Intercom System Option: Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) With HD Smart Display

Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) With HD Smart Display

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Some people may remember home intercom systems from the 70s, while others may have encountered them as door-entry devices for commercial buildings or apartment blocks. Today, both indoor and outdoor systems provide several benefits.

Far from being relics of the past, modern home intercom systems are feature-rich communications devices. However, the vast number of available options may lead to confusion. This article investigates how to choose the best home intercom system for any situation.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Echo Show 5 (3rd Generation, 2023 release)
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Wuloo WL666-4 Wireless Intercom System
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) With HD Smart Display
  4. BEST FOR OLDER ADULTS: Wuloo WL888-3 Intercom Wireless System
  5. BEST WIRED: Intrasonic Technology I2000 Music Intercom System
  6. BEST 2-WAY WIRELESS: Hosmart Full Duplex Wireless Intercom System
  7. BEST RETROFIT: Intrasonic Technology Retro-M Intercom Master Station
  8. BEST MULTIPURPOSE: ChunHee Wireless Intercom System
  9. BEST VIDEO DOORBELL: Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
  10. BEST MONITOR: Infant Optics Drx-8 Full Kit
A person looking at the screen of the best home intercom system showing another person waving hello while walking a dog
Photo: Amazon.com

How We Chose the Best Home Intercom Systems

Selecting the best home intercom systems was quite a challenge, and a great deal of research was required. As can be seen from our top picks, there are a variety of different approaches, each likely to suit different homes and different families.

In trying to select the best home intercom system for as many users as possible, we were careful to offer an extensive range of options to choose from. We’re also aware of the importance of product quality. While some of the brands on this list may not be widely known, all are well established in the field and have a reputation for reliability. Value for money is always a consideration, and we believe there are effective solutions here for all budgets.

Our Top Picks

The best home intercom system for home automation and security should have audio and/or visual communication options to choose from and be as user-friendly as possible. Below, we get into specifics by taking a look at some of the top devices currently available.

Best Overall

Echo Show 5 (3rd Generation, 2023 release)

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Amazon’s Echo Show 5 offers an outstanding range of functions. While it’s certainly not the cheapest home intercom system, it nevertheless represents good value for the money.

The Echo Show 5 gets its name from the 5.5-inch touch screen, which makes it easy to set up and use. Once it’s connected to a reliable internet connection, it can communicate with any compatible device not only within the home but anywhere a Wi-Fi signal is available. In effect, the Echo Show 5 can be an intercom for family and friends around the world.

Being Alexa-based, it also offers voice control, multiple streaming features, and can run a wide variety of apps including Spotify, Amazon Music, Prime Video, Netflix, and more. You can also listen to podcasts or audiobooks. Additional smart-home devices can be added to provide increased home security. It can also be accessed remotely via a smartphone. Each Echo Show 5 has independent sound and video control for privacy and a 2 megapixel (MP) camera for video intercom calls.

Having a unit in every room could become expensive, though assigning one to each family member is an option. Alternatively, the Echo Show 5 can be used as a base station, with less costly voice-only units in other rooms.

Product Specs

  • Intercom type: Wireless
  • Audio/video: Both
  • Special features: Touch screen, 5.5-inch display, and Alexa

Pros

  • High-quality audio and video intercom system; 2MP camera, wide-angle lens, and a 5.5-inch touch screen
  • Can communicate with compatible devices anywhere if required
  • Runs Spotify, Amazon Music, Prime Video, Netflix, and more

Cons

  • Multiple components required
  • Can be expensive for large homes or families

Get the Echo Show 5 home intercom system at Amazon.

Best Bang for the Buck

Wuloo WL666-4 Wireless Intercom System

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The Wuloo home intercom system is available as a value-for-money pack of four devices that simply plug in anywhere there’s a convenient outlet. It uses a radio signal rather than Wi-Fi, so there’s no need for the internet. An effective range of up to a mile allows users to extend to guest accommodation or garages away from the main home. Simple push-button operations allow individual or group broadcasting; room monitoring is also possible.

Having 10 channels and 3 digital codes means additional units can be added and can be wall-mounted if needed. A power pack can be added (at extra cost) for greater portability and as a backup in the event of a power outage. The Wuloo home intercom system provides the necessities at a very competitive price.

Product Specs

  • Intercom type: Wireless
  • Audio/video: Audio only
  • Special features: 1-mile range, 10 channels, and power-pack compatible

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality for checking in with children or older adults around the house
  • Range of up to 1 mile and 10 channels integrated; can be wall-mounted if portability is not a priority
  • Additional units can be added for ample range and communication

Cons

  • No video intercom system is integrated into the design; this may not be ideal for some users’ needs
  • Interference is possible when in use

Get the Wuloo WL666-4 home intercom system at Amazon.

Upgrade Pick

Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) With HD Smart Display

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The Echo Show 10 is an upgrade to the Echo Show 8. As the name suggests, this model has a larger screen and resembles a tablet. There’s also improved sound quality.

In terms of functionality, there’s little to choose between the two Echo Show models. Each provides an excellent intercom, a vast array of entertainment options, and the ability to keep the home secure via its security features.

The main benefit of the Echo Show 10 is its automatic screen rotation. It follows a person’s movement around the room, so they’re never out of the picture. This feature can also be accessed via a smartphone and used to scan a whole room remotely. Add Alexa Guard Plus (a subscription service), and the system can send an alert if it detects a smoke alarm, the sound of broken glass, or other unusual activity.

Adding several Echo Show 10 devices to a home is expensive, but a wide range of other smart-home devices could be used as substations.

Product Specs

  • Intercom type: Wireless
  • Audio/video: Both
  • Special features: Touch screen, 10.1-inch display, and Alexa

Pros

  • High-definition 10.1-inch touch screen for ease of use and visibility
  • The remote “look-around” function monitors the home when you’re not there
  • Alexa compatibility for whole-home control and versatility

Cons

  • Requires quite a lot of space on a counter or tabletop

Get the Echo Show 10 home intercom system at Amazon or Best Buy.

Best For Older Adults

Wuloo WL888-3 Intercom Wireless System

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Those who need an easy-to-use system for children or older family members can rely on the Wuloo WL888-3. This three-pack of communication devices can make audio calls within a 1-mile range and has a crisp sound when in use. There are over 22 channels and 100 digital codes to prevent interference while being compatible with many other intercom types on the market.

Some of the advanced features that users love include the monitor, talk, VOX, group, and calling functions, all of which are labeled with large buttons on the front of the unit. This Wuloo intercom system also has an adjustable volume, a power switch, and a large display screen for ease of use. Need more? This intercom is compatible with Power Bank (5V 1A) for portability when needed, or you can install the model with the black hole for mounting.

Product Specs

  • Intercom type: Wireless
  • Audio/video: Audio
  • Special features: 1-mile range, 22 channels, and power-pack compatible

Pros

  • Can make audio calls within a 1-mile range with crisp sound quality
  • Comes with 22 channels and 100 digital codes to prevent outside tampering or interference
  • Made with a monitor, talk, VOX, group, and calling function for user-friendliness
  • All buttons are large with big bold text for those with vision issues; also has a large screen

Cons

  • Does not have a video intercom system; not as high-tech as some wireless systems

Get the Wuloo WL888-3 home intercom system at Amazon.

Best Wired

Intrasonic Technology I2000 Music Intercom System

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Intrasonic Technology (IST) is the market leader in wired intercom systems. The IST I2000 is a comprehensive kit that offers voice communication and music provision both inside and outside the home.

The wired intercom system kit comprises a base station with built-in AM/FM radio, five individual room units, an outdoor patio station (which needs minimal cover), plus another for door entry. There are also two pairs of ceiling speakers. Each unit has a docking station that will accept a smartphone or an MP3 player. Room monitoring is also possible. Bluetooth compatibility means Echo and Echo Dot devices can be integrated into the system for voice control.

The IST I2000 wired intercom system can be extended up to 20 rooms. A DIY installation is possible for those with adequate knowledge of home wiring, though the system’s complexity may require a specialist.

Product Specs

  • Intercom type: Wired
  • Audio/video: Audio
  • Special features: Alexa compatible

Pros

  • Fully integrated whole-home audio system for user-friendliness
  • Has a built-in AM/FM radio, 5 individual room units, an outdoor patio station, and a door entry station
  • Comes with 2 pairs of ceiling speakers for ample audio range; can be extended to up to 20 rooms
  • Has a docking system that can hold and charge a smartphone or MP3 player

Cons

  • The complex installation process may require more than 1 set of hands
  • Substantial investment compared to other audio and video intercom systems available

Get the Intrasonic Technology I2000 home intercom system at Amazon or Home Controls.

Best 2-Way Wireless

Hosmart Full Duplex Wireless Intercom System

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Those who are looking for a simple, easy-to-use intercom for two-way communication will find the Hosmart system answers their needs for a very modest investment. It consists of a base and a subunit that can be plugged into a standard household outlet via the USB connector or operated via battery (must be 18650-type).

Communication is via 1.9GHz radio frequency, and it uses DECT 6.0 technology to suppress interference. The resulting signal is sharp and clear for up to 1,000 feet. The system can be extended to one base and five subunits in total, though group communication only works from the base to a maximum of three subs. Room monitoring is also possible.

Product Specs

  • Intercom type: Wireless
  • Audio/video: Audio
  • Special features: 0.75-mile range in open area and power-pack compatible

Pros

  • Compact with easy portability when required; does not take up a lot of space
  • Up to 6 units possible for ample range in both small and large homes
  • Can be plugged into a standard household outlet via the USB connector or battery

Cons

  • Basic communications only with no video integrated into the design; not as high-tech as some other wireless systems
  • Battery not included with purchase

Get the Hosmart home intercom system at Amazon.

Best Retrofit

Intrasonic Technology Retro-M Intercom Master Station

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The Intrasonic Technology Retro-M Intercom Master Station is designed for people who have preexisting, nonfunctioning, or outdated equipment throughout the home and who don’t like the idea of ripping everything out and repairing multiple holes in walls.

The system is based around a Master Station that hosts AM/FM radio, a dock for MP3 players, and connectivity for smartphones. A total of 13 substations can be added, which can include two patio and two doorway stations or all internal rooms. Room stations have privacy features and can also be monitored.

Alexa can be incorporated, offering voice control of certain functions. External speakers can be added to any of the stations to enhance audio if required. Only three wires are used, meaning the IST RETRO can replace older three-, four-, or six-wire installations.

Product Specs

  • Intercom type: Wired
  • Audio/video: Audio
  • Special features: Alexa compatible

Pros

  • Designed to fit existing housings; suitable for use as a replacement intercom system
  • Comes with AM/FM radio, a dock for MP3 players, and connectivity for smartphones; compatible with Alexa for voice control
  • Privacy features on each room station
  • External speakers can be added for even more range of audio

Cons

  • Multiple additional units may be required for some users’ needs
  • Can become expensive if all the bells and whistles are added

Get the Intrasonic Technology Retro-M home intercom system at Home Controls.

Best Multipurpose

ChunHee Wireless Intercom System

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The majority of wireless intercom systems are still tethered by a power cord. The ChunHee system overcomes that obstacle with units that look and behave very much like walkie-talkies. They’re powered by lithium polymer batteries and charged via a USB cable. Talk time can be as much as 8 hours, with 2 or 4 days on standby. They take around 3 hours to recharge.

The range is impressive at up to 1.5 miles, and thanks to anti-interference technology they have good audio clarity. They’re suitable for indoors or out, though they’re not weatherproof. Voice activation allows them to be used hands-free.

While the level of portability is a major asset, they aren’t necessarily any more robust than any other electronic device.

Product Specs

  • Intercom type: Wireless
  • Audio/video: Audio
  • Special features: 1.5-mile range and rechargeable battery

Pros

  • Light, compact, and easy to carry in a pocket if needed
  • USB charging construction for long runtimes
  • Has a wide 1.5-mile range for ease of communication and versatility

Cons

  • Voice only; may not be ideal for some users’ preferences
  • Some durability issues have been reported by users

Get the ChunHee home intercom system at Amazon.

Best Video Doorbell

Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2

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Intercoms have long been used as door entry systems, and the Ring Pro 2 is arguably the most advanced of its kind currently available. Existing wiring can be used, or it can be installed just like any ordinary two-wire doorbell (connection kit not included).

Video quality is 1536p, a noticeable improvement on the usual 1080p on video intercom systems. The Ring Pro 2 delivers clear full-color images both day and night. Square framing covers 150 degrees both horizontally and vertically, providing an expanded view particularly low down. A 3D sensor with a range of 30 feet doesn’t just detect movement, it can pinpoint where on the property the person has entered and track them until they leave.

Alexa is an option, allowing integration into a complete home intercom or security system. The Ring Pro 2 app can be operated from a smartphone or a tablet.

Product Specs

  • Intercom type: Wired
  • Audio/video: Both
  • Special features: HD video, 150-degree visibility, and 3D sensor

Pros

  • Head-to-toe view of anyone at the door for security and safety
  • HD+ images, day and night, for peace of mind and ease of use
  • Alexa compatible, but not required for proper usage
  • Does not take up a lot of space in the doorway

Cons

  • Saving video requires a subscription to the brand’s cloud storage

Get the Ring home intercom system at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best Monitor

Infant Optics Drx-8 Full Kit

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While some might argue that baby monitors cannot be used as a home intercom system, the immense popularity of the Infant Optics DXR-8 suggests many parents would disagree. The advanced feature set with its numerous monitoring and feedback functions makes it a very effective two-way device.

The rechargeable battery provides 8 hours of continuous viewing, and the Infant Optics DXR-8 can go more or less anywhere. The handheld monitor is compact, and the camera unit offers pan, tilt, digital zoom, and night vision with increased physical zoom or wide-angle views as options. It offers a non-WiFi frequency-hopping spread-spectrum (FHSS) closed-loop system that provides you with a secure and private connection that only you can hear and see.

Although sold as a baby monitor, this unit can be of benefit to older family members who might need assistance or for those recovering from illness or injury. The range is up to 700 feet, though Wi-Fi and other signal-generating devices can cause interference and should not be placed between the monitor and camera.

Product Specs

  • Intercom type: Wireless
  • Audio/video: Audio
  • Special features: FHSS closed-loop system, night vision, and zoom lenses

Pros

  • Easy to use; comes with a baby monitor and a receiver with video and audio
  • Interchangeable lenses depending on the users’ preferences
  • Night-vision function allows for proper viewing

Cons

  • Wi-Fi can cause interference when in use

Get the Infant Optics home intercom system at Amazon.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Home Intercom System

Today’s best home intercom systems are a long way from the basic models of yesteryear. Those who are interested in advanced features such as increased security or the ability to stream music throughout the home should read about the following key aspects.

Types of Intercom Systems

Intercom systems have long been used for door entry, room-to-room communication, or broadcast messages in warehouses and factories. This article focuses on intercoms designed for at-home use.

Intercoms can be divided into two main categories: wired and wireless. Within each of those categories, there are numerous options. The following technical considerations may help potential buyers find the best home intercom system regardless of their location.

Wired

Originally, home intercom systems were wired because Wi-Fi didn’t exist at the time. Door-entry devices are often still wired, but the majority of home intercoms are now wireless. Though wired home intercom systems are still available, they’re either designed as upgrades, to replace old units without the need to repair the holes where they were inset into walls, or as new installations.

Unlike Wi-Fi home intercom systems, fixed wall units have a known location and will never encounter an issue due to Wi-Fi dropouts or radio interference. Wired systems are also an effective solution in areas where the Wi-Fi signal is poor. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), nearly 21 million U.S. homes lacked high-speed internet in 2020.

Wireless/Smart

It’s no surprise that the wireless intercom is by far the more popular choice. They’re easy to use and simple to install. Basic voice-only units work via FM radio signal; those that don’t use radio are instead connected to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, which is the standard transmitted by the majority of household internet modems.

In addition to voice, and in many cases video, wireless intercom systems are often based on smart-home hubs. These can offer a wide range of household controls and internet-related services. Smartphone integration is another possibility, allowing the home intercom to be part of a larger system incorporating home security.

Another advantage of wireless home intercom systems is that the owner’s investment is protected because the system can move whenever the family or single owner relocates.

Audio and Video

Early home intercom systems were voice only, and that’s still the case with wired systems today. Indeed, many of the more affordable wireless home intercoms only transmit voice.

That said, those who are prepared to invest can have a video intercom that offers remote viewing and control. In theory, it’s possible to communicate with individuals or groups over limitless distances. A home intercom system could, in effect, act like a personal chat or a video conferencing facility.

Radio-based voice intercoms can be subject to interference, though most devices offer suppression to minimize problems. Video clarity depends on both the camera (where applicable) and the screen resolution, so those specifications are worth checking.

Range and Security

Most FM radio-based intercoms have a theoretical range between 0.5 and 1.5 miles; however, obstructions such as walls may reduce that considerably. Detached guest accommodation, garages, and barns will often be within range.

Wi-Fi systems usually work on the 2.4GHz band, giving an indoor range of approximately 160 feet. This is more than enough for most homes, though range extenders and repeaters can increase the distance if necessary.

Wired home intercom systems have almost flawless security because they’re entirely self-contained. Without an airborne radio or a Wi-Fi signal, there’s nothing to hack. An FM radio signal is also very secure. Strictly speaking, government agencies can obtain a warrant to intercept signals, but this has to be considered unlikely unless users are involved in illegal activity. While many fear that Wi-Fi systems are vulnerable, it’s rarely true. As long as the internet modem is password protected (most modern devices do) the chances of interception are remote.

Installation and Power Supply

Installing wired home intercoms can be challenging. If an existing system is being upgraded, then only minor alterations may be required. If it’s a complete system in a new build, those who have a good understanding of electrical systems may be able to undertake the task themselves. While these are low-voltage devices, users should always use caution. If there’s any uncertainty, contact a suitably qualified technician.

Installing wireless home intercom systems is a very different proposition, and most people will be able to manage it themselves. FM-based radio devices usually need a convenient power outlet, though some are battery-powered. A certain amount of setup is required so that the individual devices communicate with each other.

WiFi-based systems are usually just as easy and may run off the main electrical supply or batteries. If the intercom is part of a complex smart-home integration, it might be worth consulting a specialist.

Special Features

  • The cheapest radio-based devices may only have a single channel, which broadcasts to all devices on the system. While sometimes that’s useful, multichannel devices allow for individual one-to-one communication as well.
  • Night vision mode may be available for vision systems, allowing for a clear view of the doorbell or a darkened room (a nursery, for example).
  • It may be worth thinking about whether the system can be expanded as needs change, and by how much. Radio-based devices usually have a limited number of available channels, though that limit might be two or 20.
  • Most intercom systems also offer remote monitoring, which can be useful for those with young children or older family members who need support.
  • Smart-home devices (Alexa, for example) continue to innovate, and numerous versions of the same device may be available. Feature sets are extensive, so it’s important to investigate thoroughly to find the right balance between cost and performance.

FAQs

The information above provides an in-depth look at the different technical aspects of intercom systems and offers examples of many of the best devices currently available. While this may have answered many of the questions that arise, our research turned up several other questions that have yet to be answered. The following section covers the most common queries.

Q. Are intercoms still used?

Absolutely, and not only in residential and commercial premises but also in private homes. A quick read of the information above will provide an overview of the benefits the best home intercom systems have to offer.

Q. Are intercoms worth it?

Yes. Any voice or video entry system is a type of intercom that improves your security. Smart-home hubs can offer intercoms as part of a home automation system. Although technology has changed, intercom systems are as valuable as ever, if not more so.

Q. How much does a whole-house intercom system cost?

Without knowing the size of the home, layout, and a breakdown of the system components, we can’t make an estimate. Many modern systems are very easy to set up, resulting in big savings on installation costs. The equipment listed in our top picks should enable you to make a reasonably accurate calculation.

Q. What replaces old intercom systems?

The popular choice is to install either a more advanced wireless intercom system or a home hub. It’s important to investigate the features, ease of installation, and cost before making a decision.

Q. How do I upgrade a home intercom system?

You can either rip out the existing system, repair the drywall, and install a new model, or there are retrofit systems available that will slot into the existing wall openings. Retro models can be convenient and easier to install, but they may not offer features like video.

Q. What is a hybrid intercom system?

Hybrid intercom systems combine hardwired elements like landline phone services with internet networks. These can integrate a wide variety of functions, incorporating door entry, internal communications, security monitoring, call transfer, and remote access. While theoretically available for home use, the complexity of these systems makes them more appropriate for commercial environments.

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Bob Beacham

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Bob Beacham is an engineer by trade and has spent 35 years working on everything from auto parts to oil rigs. He is also an avid DIY enthusiast. Bob started writing for the Bob Vila team in 2020 and covers tools, outdoor equipment, and home improvement projects.

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