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AT&T Syn-J Small Business Phone System Review

Cordless Small Business Phone System With Hold Music

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.

Understanding Confusing Model Numbers

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.

AT&T Syn J
  • The base station phone is the SB67158 when it is purchased alone, with no extension phones. This model is not sold by AT&T at its retail site
  • The base station with one handset cordless extension phone is called the SB67138.
  • The cordless desk set extension phone is called the SB67148 and must be used along with a base station (one of the models listed above). What's cool about the cordless base stations is that you can have an office with up to 10 desk phones without running any wires. You'll have intercom and voicemail, just like any other office system should have, but without running wires from desk to desk. It's something to consider.

How The Music On Hold Port Works

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).

Connection Cable

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."

Installation Tips

  • For best results, we have found that the 8-Ohm output from the music on hold player provides the correct sound levels for the phone. Be sure to call and test volume levels your callers will hear.
  • Do not place the audio player directly next to the Syn-J phone. Move the audio device one to three feet away from the phone to avoid line noise.
  • 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.

Cost Benefit

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.

Easy On Hold Video Shows Syn-J Music On Hold Set Up


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.

Repeater Technology

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.

AT&T Syn J telephones shown in networked setting

AT&T Syn-J Telephone System Support

USA: 1 (888) 915-2007 / Canada: 1 (866) 288-4268