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When searching for a telephone system for a small business, there are a confusion array of options. How many lines and extensions? Analog or digital lines? Intercom, voice mail, automated attendant, music on hold? The goal is for the small business to sound solid, dependable and professional. The X-16 Analog Phone Line small business phone system is worth a look.
For a business with up to 24 employees, looking for a professional phone system with options that rival the big PBX systems and cloud-based VOIP services, the XBlue X-16 is a problem-solver. The system supports up to 6 incoming phone lines and 16 extensions.
Each desk phone is a wired extension (handset) with big-office features, including caller id, speaker/hands-free operation, memory dial, backlit lcd display screen and the ability to record conversations. There’s also speed dial, a headset jack and a choice of snappy colors.
The main control box (they call it the “server” although it is not an I.P. device) takes standard telephone lines (POTS), in other words, those old dial tone lines that are just like the one you used to have at home (or may still have). This control box takes standard phone jacks (modular connections) to make it a do-it-yourself installation possible.
The X-16 phone system has automated attendant, but does not allow you to upload custom recorded files for use in answering the phone while you're away. You'll need to record those yourself. (Refer to the OGM —Outgoing Message.) X-Blue says customers have used custom-recorded auto-attendant greetings being played into the handset from a PC with some success. Might be worth a try. X-Blue Automated Attendant Instructions
There are three Automated Attendant configurations. AA Only rings extension 301. This is ideal if your office uses a receptionist, and you don't want all the phones in your office to ring. All Ext Off is the setting whereby no phones ring at all. The caller will hear the Outgoing Message. All Ext On allows all phones to ring when a call is coming in. This works for offices where anyone can answer the incoming call.
Be sure to pay attention to the AA Ans Delay setting. This configuration sets the length of time incoming calls ring before going to Automated Attended (Outgoing Greeting). If using the AA Only setting, the AA Ans Delay should be set to 6 seconds to allow the caller ID to engage, then pass the call to the Outgoing Greeting.
The music on hold feature is perfect for business wishing to upgrade customer care to a professional message on hold program. The main control box accepts a 3.5mm plug from an external music and message on hold device, such as the message on hold device offered by Easy On Hold. NOTE: Other X-Blue models do not allow use of an external player and require an audio file to be uploaded (the file plays from the beginning each time the hold button is engaged).
In recent discussions with X-Blue, we have learned that improvements may be in store for a future generation of models with streaming music on hold in mind. Stay tuned.
XBlue also makes VOIP phones, which require monthly line charges. Note that the VOIP phones require that you upload hold music files. The files must be under 5MB. I much prefer the use of an external player for ease of use, flexibility in changing messages and less hassle. The on hold file playing from the beginning each time will create quick burnout of your message.
XBlue sells their devices through Staples, Sam’s Club and other retailers. Here are some links to help you find the XBlue products at Staples:
It is suggested that you conduct your own research into this small business telephone solution. You will find some reviews of the XBlue X16 system on Amazon.
The XBlue corporate video is on YouTube. You will also find sellers and installers talking about this system. The X-16 carries a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Easy On Hold does not sell phone systems, but we’re always on the lookout for solutions that allow continuous music and message on hold audio to create a more professional caller experience. Tip us off is you find something of interest!