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An intercom system is a two-way electronic communication device containing circuitry designed for transmitting and receiving audio and/or video transmissions.

With the emergence of cellular communication, digital telephone systems, and other new communication devices, there is new intercom technology available to accommodate these changes.

There is a wide variety of systems available, as defined below.

Types of Wireless Intercom SystemsTypes of Wired Intercoms

Types of Video Intercom SystemsTypes of Apartment intercom Systems


Wireless Intercoms

In applications where wires cannot be used, a wireless system is employed. A broad spectrum of two-way wireless communication devices includes handheld radios, outdoor wireless callboxes, as well as traditional desktop devices. The range these units transmit varies widely based on the wireless technology used. For instance, 2-way radio intercoms have a range of up to a mile and can be extended with external antennas. Operating on UHF and VHF frequencies, these systems offer long-range communication and can integrate with existing 2-way radios.

Additionally, Wi-Fi intercoms are now available for use at doors or gates, or even in apartments. Cell phone intercoms essentially function as wireless intercoms with an infinite range, relying on cell service at the intercom's location.

Some wireless intercom systems, like the license-free MURS base stations, offer more than basic communication by providing diverse functionalities. They can broadcast messages to other stations and link with amplified wireless PA units. Two-way conversations are enabled through outdoor wireless callboxes, while customer service callboxes activate pre-recorded messages when a customer presses a button.

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wireless intercom types

Wired Intercom Systems

When wiring between locations is feasible, a wired system can offer more privacy and eliminate possible interference from neighboring systems. Various wire types, such as 2-wire shielded or CAT-5/6, can be used with these systems. CAT-5 intercoms are typically used for door or gate applications. If considering a video system, a wired unit might be the best solution due to the challenges of transmitting large amounts of video data. Wired intercoms are commonly used for door or gate communication. Our 10-Call Master System enables communication between substations and a master station. Additionally, VoIP intercoms, leveraging Ethernet wiring, offer exceptional audio quality and can integrate with existing VoIP telephone systems.

Wired Intercom Systems

Video Intercoms

These systems typically include a unit with a camera, speaker, and push button at an entrance door, and an internal monitor unit that communicates with the entrance unit. Some systems can have multiple video monitors internally. Due to the difficulty of sending video over the airwaves over long distances without interference, most available units are wired. An exception exists for multi-tenant intercoms that allow for apartment stations using Wi-Fi connectivity to the Internet. We also offer a CAT-5 video system that can be converted to wireless using wireless networking equipment.

video intercom types

Apartment Intercoms

This system features a door unit at an entrance and individual units in each apartment or flat that can communicate with the door and possibly see the visitor. Alternatively, the door unit rings a landline or cellular telephone number. Visitors simply press the correct button for the apartment they want to speak to, and the tenant can communicate and unlock the door. Basic systems are wired and allow tenants to communicate with visitors on a wired tenant station and then grant access. Cellular systems enable the same functionality from a mobile or landline phone even when the tenant isn't home. More advanced cloud-based systems offer additional features such as video QR code entry and many others.

Some apartment systems offer innovative features like QR codes for visitor access, facial recognition, or integration with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri.

apartment intercom types

Two-Way Radio Intercoms

Although technically not intercoms, two-way radios can communicate with base station intercoms. This setup provides the flexibility of a mobile radio that communicates over long distances combined with the capabilities offered by fixed intercoms.

If you need help choosing a system, feel free to call our product experts at, and we will assist you in selecting the right system for your needs.