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The Best Wireless Doorbells

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With a whole host of neat features, wireless doorbells offer an improved experience when answering the door

Ready to step up from an old-school, buzzing, push-button doorbell, but don’t want to splash out on a fancy video doorbell? There’s a new wave of wireless doorbell filling in the middle ground. Cheap-looking beige, plastic doorbells with matching chunky chime units are out, and so is replacing four massive batteries every year or so. In their place are a whole range of nice-looking wireless doorbells with sleeker, smarter chime units. Some work off normal AA batteries and some simply plug into a mains socket, but nearly all work over longer distances and offer a choice of cheerful chimes.

If your doorbell needs replacing or updating, we’ve got something for you. What’s more, we’ll let you know what to watch out for, so you get a wireless doorbell you can rely on, not one that keeps on failing, leaving visitors (or deliveries) out in the cold.

The best wireless doorbells you can buy

1. Honeywell DC311N

If you're looking for a reliable push-button bell with battery chime, you won't get much better than the DC311N. With a 150m range, you can carry the chime unit around the house or even outside. The connection seems to be exceptionally good. It's loud, so should still be audible if your hearing isn't so good, and while you only have the option of four different chimes they're all quite listenable.

A set of four AA batteries should last around four years. The only downside is that there's no flash on this one for hearing-impaired users or anyone wearing headphones, but otherwise this is a brilliant bell from a quality brand.

Key specs – Power: 4 x AA batteries; Quoted range: 150m; Chimes: 4; Flash alert: No; Mute function: No

2. Byron DBY-22321

Byron has been in the doorbell business for nearly 120 years, yet it’s giving the less established brands some competition at the budget end of the market. The bell push of the DBY-22321 feels nothing special, but it’s IP44 weatherproof rated and easy to fit. Meanwhile, the chime unit has a better design and feels more solidly built than most budget efforts, with a neat fabric grille over the speaker and three LEDs that flash when the bell rings.

While there are only 16 chimes, most are actually usable, even if the super-bright speaker makes them wear on the ears. Still, you can adjust the volume through five levels from running silent to 85dB, and pair additional pushes or chimes with relative ease. Our only concern is that the wireless range isn’t the best we’ve encountered, with the unit struggling to get a signal in our outside office, where the Honeywell chimes still work. At normal range, though, it’s perfectly fine, and you can have it with a battery-powered or mains-powered chime, or even one of each in a double-pack.

Key specs – Power: Mains/2 x AA battery; Quoted range: 150m; Chimes: 16; Flash alert: Yes; Mute function: Yes

3. Avantek Wireless Doorbell

This wireless doorbell is the pinnacle of simplicity. All you need to do is plug in the receiver to a power source and attach the transmitters using either the screws or adhesive patch provided. Two transmitters are included so you can position them at different points inside your house to ensure you never miss a visitor, regardless of where you are in your abode.

It’s got an impressive range of up to 400m, 52 different chimes to choose from and five different volume levels, with the loudest measuring in at 115dB. The doorbell is IP55-rated, making it both dust and waterproof and Avantek says it will continue to operate in temperatures as low as -20°C. The Avantek Wireless Doorbell doesn’t do anything fancy or complicated but for the money, you'll be getting a doorbell that's perfectly serviceable and straightforward to install.

Key specs – Power: Mains; Quoted range: 400m; Chimes: 52; Flash alert: Yes; Mute function: No

4. Novete Wireless Doorbell Kit

If you absolutely hate changing batteries, the Novete Wireless Doorbell Kit is the doorbell for you. Its lithium battery will last for up to three years, removing any need to remember to replace those pesky disposable AA or C batteries.

The doorbell also boasts a huge wireless range of up to 1,300ft (roughly 400m), is IP55-rated for waterproofing and will operate between -20°C and 60°C. There are 52 different chimes and five sound levels to choose from and once you’ve made your choice, they will be remembered and restored whenever you turn the doorbell off and on again, even in the event of a power outage.

Key specs – Power: AC and in-built battery; Quoted range: 400m; Chimes: 52; Flash alert: Yes; Mute function: Yes

How to choose the best wireless doorbell for you

What types of wireless doorbell are there?

There's a wide selection of wireless doorbells available, ranging from fairly traditional push-button efforts to minimalist doorbells that barely look like doorbells at all. Beyond the aesthetics, though, your first choice is whether to go for one that uses a plug-in chime unit or one where both the doorbell and the chime run on batteries.

Plug-in chimes are now sleeker, better-looking and able to work over longer ranges – and they have the added bonus that you don’t need to change the batteries every year or so. That’s the big downside of the battery model, but the upside is that you can carry around a battery chime or place it just about anywhere in range and that you’re not using up a precious power socket in a house where you’re struggling for mains outlets.

Next, we should discuss range – some doorbells now promise to reach 100m to 300m – but we know what you really care about: chimes. While a few just have the classic “ding-dong” sound or a handful of chirpy tunes, even cheap models are now packing in 36 or more chimes, ranging from poppy jingles to horrific chip-tune assaults on the classics.

Some can be a little on the quiet side, while others can dish out a chime at ear-splitting volumes almost guaranteed to rouse the sleepy and – potentially – wake the dead. Look for models that offer extra volume or adjustable volume if you want a loud wireless doorbell or one less likely to induce a panic attack in nervous pets.

What other features should you look out for?

Flashing lights are a popular addition, allowing you to mute your doorbell to avoid waking the kids or alert those with weaker hearing that someone is outside. Some models even offer a dedicated mute function or options to silence the doorbell for a set period of time.

Some doorbells offer a choice of wireless “channels” or frequencies. Some kind of link feature can also be useful, as certain wireless doorbells are susceptible to interference from electronics or car key fobs. It’s also worth looking for a push-button that’s IP44-rated, as this means it should be protected against the hostile weather many UK front doors endure on a daily basis.

Battery life is important for battery-powered models because – trust us – you’ll keep putting off replacing the batteries far longer than you should. Finally, a few wireless doorbells now offer MP3 chimes, allowing you to record your own ditty, use a favourite pop song or play the opening bars of AC-DC’s “Hell’s Bells”.

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