Awesome answering machine with caller announce
Caller announce, user-friendly, lots of great features
hard to delete messages on time
The Bottom Line:
It is very hard to find the caller announce feature. This machine is cheap and user-friendly, and it has excellent sound quality and lots of great features.
I was actually quite surprised when I read the negative reviews of this machine. This is the best answering machine I have ever owned, and if this one ever dies, I'll buy the same one again.
I originally bought it because it was the cheapest digital machine I could find at Wal-Mart, and I really didn't have any great expectations of it.
I have caller ID service, which I feel like I can't live without, and this answering machine made it even better. Whenever a call comes in, the answering machine announces the number out loud, so I don't even have to stop what I'm doing to see who is calling. Of course, this feature can be turned off, but I love it. I've come to depend on it. You also have the option of turning this feature on or off during message playback. I keep it turned off during the actual playback of messages because it makes it take too long to listen to them, and I can look at the caller ID on my phone if I want to look up the number.
I have found this machine to be very user friendly. There is a labeled button for each thing you want to do. These buttons include clock, setup, on/off, memo/repeat, play/stop, annc/skip, delete, and volume up and down buttons. I find it helpful to use the instructions when doing the setup and recording my greetings, but I don't think it would be hard to figure it out without the instructions.
The play/stop button is a big gray button right in the middle. Just above it is a light that blinks when you have messages, one blink per message. It is nice that it is big, gray, and in the middle, especially when you need the stop function. This is for when you answer the phone at the same time the machine answers it, so you can turn it off.
You have the option of having the machine announce the time for each call during message playback, or you can turn this feature off. The volume control has a large range, from silent all the way up to very loud.
This machine has a feature where you can check your messages remotely by pushing a 3-digit code during the announcement, when you call from another phone. You set the code ahead of time.
You can opt to accept or not accept blocked calls (calls from a private caller or unknown number). When you set your greeting, you can either use one that you record, or you can use a pre-recorded one on the machine. You can also set the machine to beep out loud every 15 seconds when you have a message. Also, you can set how many times your phone rings before the answering machine comes on. Your choices are anywhere from two to seven rings, or you can choose Toll Saver 2/4 or Toll Saver 4/6. On Toll Saver 2/4, it answers after four rings if there are no new messages, and after two rings after there are. Toll Saver 4/6 works the same way. You can also decide whether or not you want to listen to your greeting when someone calls. If you turn this option off, your caller will hear the greeting, but on your end you will hear silence until the caller starts to leave a message.
The machine automatically saves all played messages unless you press delete during playback. It can be difficult to delete it on time, as there is no opportunity to do this after the message is done. You have to either delete it while the message is still playing, or be really quick at the end. To play back saved messages, press the big gray play button and keep holding it down until it starts playing the messages.
I have not found the sound quality to be poor at all. In fact, I have found it to be quite good.
I suppose it would be nice to have it digitally tell me how many messages I have, rather than having to count the beeps, but I don't get that many anyway, so this isn't a big deal for me.
I have had this answering machine for at least two years, probably more like three, and it still works like new.