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AT&T now offers a 4-line phone that provides an input for an external music on hold player. It's called the Syn-J. While the Syn-J is more expensive than most cordless phones, it does the job of a fairly sophisticated phone system at a very reasonable price. But the best part in our opinion is the way it handles music on hold. With a simple connection to the base station and a few programming tricks, callers on hold can hear a professional on hold marketing message played from a genuine music on hold device.
AT&T has used model numbers to refer to groups of phones, or packages. This can be confusing, but it needs to be sorted out before we go any further.
An audio source, such as a music on hold player, can be connected to the HEADSET/AUX INPUT jack on the side of the phone. This means continuous audio can be played into the telephone, so that when the hold button is depressed, the caller hears the audio stream. This also means that you may not use this port for a headset, as it is an "either-or" option. (Headsets can, however, be used on the extension phone sets.) Once you have decided to use the HEADSET/AUX INPUT jack for streaming music on hold, you must program this option into the phone. There is a programming exercise required to set your preferences on this phone (which we demonstrate on our Syn-J MOH Installation Video).
The Syn-J comes with a connector cable that reaches between the 2.5mm headset jack on the base station and the music onhold audio player. The end of this cable must be adapted to fit the hold music player. An Easy On Hold client writes, "After speaking with your team, I went to Radio Shack and purchased the 3.5mm to RCA plug adapter (RS 274-387) which allowed me to use the cable that came with the phone system. I connected the Easy On Hold USB Pro message player directly into the phone and it works perfectly."
The manual for the AT&T SB67138 mentions using a laptop as an on hold source (which seems unprofessional). Refer to the Easy On Hold video for installation tips using a professional message on hold playback device.
Most ordinary 2 to 4 line telephones do not provide an input for music on hold. Small businesses can accommodate a music on hold player using an adapter (see Skutch Electronics Adapters). This has added up to $300 cost to the on hold playback setup. The suggested retail price for the Syn-J is $379 for the phone base station and one handset, although we've seen it from $379 to $505 on the web. Up to 10 handsets are supported at about $100 each.
Push-to-talk is also integrated into the Syn-J system. The handsets can become intercoms (radios/walkie-talkies) for quick communication needs with your team. An on-board battery provides 20 minutes of system use in the event of a power failure. Phone calls can be recorded using buttons on the base station. A built-in auto-attendant/voicemail system can also be set up to handle calls when you can't. 3-way conferencing is also possible.
If your small business has a warehouse, nursery, plant, yard, etc. and you need a way to stay in touch with the staff at several remote locations, this is the phone for you. Optional range extenders (repeaters) can be placed at a distance from the base station, to double the range for wireless handsets. Phones on your site, but farther away from the main office can now communicate on the same system.