We live on the top of a hill. Three times since we’ve lived here lightning has killed a phone / answering machine. So I’ve had some experience in finding ones l like that meet our needs.
This is actually a phone / answering machine system, and I will review each portion of that system separately, since they each have quite a few features.
The first requirement for us in an answering machine is that it have multiple mailboxes, three of them to be specific. I run a small business, my husband has his own interests and friends, and we need to be able to take messages for a grown son who does not have a phone. This limits the choices a lot.
However, this three-mailbox answering machine is the best one we’ve had to date. The answering system works fine. There is one issue with the phone (see separate review) which affects the clock... which makes the time and date stamp on the messages incorrect. This is annoying, and we haven’t been able to figure out what is causing the problem. Although it affects the messages by noting an incorrect time, it is really a phone problem, not an answering machine problem.
The vtech t2455 has three separate mailboxes. You record one message that is heard by all callers. In that message you need to explain, “Press 1 for Cam, 2 for Axel, and 3 for Rod.”
Messages are retrieved from the base unit by pressing your mailbox number. You can set the base unit to give an audible message alert which beeps every 10 seconds when new messages have been received, or set it so the mailbox light blinks. The lights are red. You cannot retrieve the messages through the handset, so you cannot listen to messages privately (unless no one else is in the room, of course!). A small window with a red LED display shows the total number of messages recorded. You have to press the lighted mailbox button to see how many are in that mailbox.
You can set the number of rings before it picks up to 2, 4 or 6. This was another important feature for us because from certain parts of the house we simply cannot make it to the phone in 4 rings. Additionally, there is a setting to screen calls so that by pressing the correct button on the handset if you pick up after a message has begun it will override the mailbox and you can answer the call.
You can pick up your messages remotely by dialing your phone and entering a two-digit security code that you have pre-set. I have only done this twice, but it was easy enough and worked fine. You can listen to new messages or old messages. Supposedly you can save, delete, record a new announcement and even record a memo from a remote location, but I have not tried all those features.
You can adjust the message volume. You can skip or repeat messages while listening. You can slow down or speed up the message by pressing and holding the repeat or skip keys. This is handy to be able to understand a number that someone gives you too hurriedly, or to move through a long-winded message-leaver to get to the number he left at the very end.
You can also use the mailbox to record a memo to yourself.
This is a digital recorder; there is no tape. A total of 15 minutes of messages can be saved, and the limit for any one message is 4 minutes. If you are gone from home for long periods of time and don’t retrieve your calls this might not be enough total time for you. It is plenty for us.
You can also make a separate recording to be used if you do not want to accept messages. In other words, the machine will store two outgoing messages at the same time, one when you want to accept messages, and another one if you just want to announce to the world that you are not interested in hearing from anyone. There is a setting which allows you to choose which message is heard by callers.
Recording the announcement is quite easy, and the recording doesn’t seem to have that hollow oil drum sound that so many of them do. Just be sure the TV or music is off when you make your recording because it picks up background noises quite well too.
We’ve had this system for about two years. So far, so good with the lightning. All in all, this has been a great answering machine, which has met our special needs.