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Best Multi-Line Phone System for Small Business Compared

We spent over 60 hours comparing the best multi-line phone systems for small businesses and diving deep into each provider’s customer service, automation features, and support for VoIP, landline, or hybrid deployments. In doing so, we found Nextiva X-885 to be the best option on the market because it packs an amazing bang for its approachable price point and the ability to handle up to 12 lines at once.

The Best Multi-Line Phone System for Most

Nextiva logo

Nextiva X-885

Best for Most

Manage up to 12 lines, enjoy a large color display, and improve call productivity with HD call quality, a free phone number, and even unlimited online faxing all backed by the reliability of Nextiva. At just $189.99, it's an excellent pick for managing multiple lines.

The versatile Nextiva X-885 can handle up to 12 lines. That means it’s perfect for call center employees, receptionists, and even executive managers. Users also enjoy speed dialing options and crisp HD voice call quality you can rely on, so customers don’t struggle to hear you.

Set up is effortless, simply connect your network via WiFi or an Ethernet connector for a direct internet connection. The built-in Bluetooth and headset jack keep you from being cuffed to your workstation. Now you’re free to service your customers without restriction.

Best Multi-Line Phone Systems: Golden Eggs

When getting a multi-line desk phone for your office, it can take a lot of time and research to sift through a bunch of bad options to get to the quality choices. Worry not, as we’ve taken the time ourselves to identify three great phone systems that rise above the rest of the pack.

The Nextiva X-885 is an excellent all-around choice, with capability to handle up to 12 lines and a pleasantly large color screen. For a limited time get 25% off, plus a free phone, when you sign up!

The RCA ViSys 25424RE1 is a great entry point for new offices because it can accommodate up to four lines, plus three-way conferencing and call recording. Get yours today from Amazon.

The Poly VVX 150 is the best option when you only need two lines with its unique acoustic fencing technology to keep distractions and noise out of your conversations. Get the VVX 150 by heading to Poly’s website.

But if any of these don’t suit your needs, Cisco IP 8865, VTech DS6151-2, and Cisco 8841 are also great choices. Read more in our reviews below.

When It Makes Sense to Invest In a Multi-Line Phone System

Not all businesses need a multi-line system, especially if you’re just starting out and still growing your customer base.

But, if you manage a growing team that is constantly in touch with your customers, you’ll want to look into a multi-line phone system that can keep your phone lines open for these important interactions.

Whether you’re running a sales team, support center, or anything else where calls come in in droves, a multi-line phone system can be a boon.

Maybe your reps need dedicated lines so they can always be easily reached.

Or perhaps you have different business divisions that each need discrete contact numbers for more streamlined communications. Or, maybe it’s simply a matter of volume and making sure no one who calls your organization is unable to reach a human being.

In any case, equipping your teams with the ability to field and make as many calls as they need is imperative.

If reps and agents are drowning in inbound calls or missing connections because callers can’t connect directly to a specific person, it’s time to elevate your telephone capability.

As your business grows, adopting a multi-line system might be an inevitable part of your journey. In the end, going with a multi-line system could be less a matter of “if” and more a matter of “when” you’ll need it. 

#1 – Nextiva X-885 — Best for Most

Nextiva logo

Nextiva X-885

Best for Most

Manage up to 12 lines, enjoy a large color display, and improve call productivity with HD call quality, a free phone number, and even unlimited online faxing all backed by the reliability of Nextiva. At just $189.99, it's an excellent pick for managing multiple lines.

The Nextiva X-885 is the best multi-line option for most people for a long list of reasons. The fact that it can manage up to 12 lines at an excellent price point is really hard to beat.

A photo of the Nextiva X-885 multi-line desk phone, with a color screen, key page, handset, and several buttons for other functions.

It’s an IP phone, which makes it a more versatile option that you won’t have to worry about upgrading later. However, what really makes it a winning pick is that it’s offered by Nextiva, a reliable calling system provider.

Whether you already have a multi-line phone and you’re looking to upgrade, or you’re using a multi-line system for the first time, the Nextiva X-885 will absolutely be an upgrade to a much smoother calling process. 

The combination of Nextiva’s high-quality VoIP service (which allows you to use your mobile device or computer as a softphone) and deploying an X-885 to anyone in the office who needs a desk phone is nearly unbeatable. You’ll get crystal-clear voice calling and conferencing.

Nextiva also offers a wide range of other desk phones, headsets, and conference call hardware. So you can get much more than just a multi-line phone system from the same provider and know that you’re getting high-quality devices.

Purchase the Nextiva X-885 for $189.99 or $8.40 a month from Nextiva’s website. You can also check out our complete Nextiva review to learn more about the business phone services available from this provider.

#2 – RCA ViSys 25424RE1 — Best for Small Startups

RCA logo


Best for Small Startups

Businesses just getting started will love the RCA ViSys. With four phone lines, conference call capability, and a price point under $200, it’s a great starting-out option.

With the RCA ViSys 25424RE1, you can create and use up to four lines. That’s a perfect level of capability for a startup that’s starting to get a handle on all the calls they’re making and receiving.

A photo of the RCA ViSys 25424RE1 multi-line desk phone, showing a large keypad, handset, monochrome screen, and several programmable buttons.

The sleek RCA phone offers several programmable buttons for quick dialing, a handy volume adjustment button, and a high-contrast display.

Not only that, but you also have access to three-way conference calls, two-way conference call recording, eight programmable ringtones, and a two-year warranty. 

The phone offers a trilingual display system and 16 different one-touch speed-dial buttons as well. There’s even a “Do Not Disturb” setting so you can prevent the phone from ringing after hours or during important meetings.

It’s a solid package for any outfit looking to make their first significant purchase on office phones. And, since it can handle up to four lines, this equipment can hang with your team as call volume grows with your startup’s popularity.

Get the RCA ViSys 25424RE1 today to upgrade to a multi-line system and never look back. 

#3 – Poly VVX 150 — Best Two-Line Phone System

Poly logo

Poly VVX 150

Best for Two Lines

If all you need are two phone lines, the Poly VVX 150 will be perfect for you. And it’s affordably priced, as well.

The Poly VVX 150 is a great option if all you really need is two lines at most. It delivers crystal clear audio in a sleek design with a durable monochrome LCD display.

A photo of the Poly VVX 150 two-line desk phone, with monochrome display, raised keypad, and handset.

As a starter phone for an up-and-coming business that needs a two-line solution, not only is the Poly a viable option, but it’s also extremely affordable in comparison to other phones of its same caliber.

It makes it easy for you by being compatible with over 60 industry-leading communication platforms, including:

  • Verizon
  • AT&T
  • Zoom
  • Google Voice
  • GoTo
  • Vonage
  • Comcast Business
  • 8×8
  • RingCentral

This compatibility is an important feature that ensures high-quality performance in an inexpensive piece of hardware.

One of its best features is its acoustic fence technology. With it, you won’t have to worry about being disturbed by surrounding noise, since it keeps your conversations free from distractions and phone echoing

Additionally, the VVX 150 includes Poly HD Voice technology, which focuses on delivering excellent sound quality. We appreciate getting such good audio quality from a phone in this price range.

You can use it with the desk stand or you can mount it to the wall with the included hardware. The desk stand is sturdy, so you can easily press the buttons without the phone sliding around.

Get the Poly VVX 150 today by contacting Poly’s sales department. 

#4 – Cisco IP 8865 — Best for HD Video Calling

Cisco logo

Cisco IP 8865

Best for HD Video

For when your employees need to see who they’re talking to, check out this Cisco phone system. Its HD video broadcasts on a five-inch touchscreen for clear visuals as well as clear audio.

Do you need HD video calling? The Cisco IP 8865 lets you host collaborative video calls on a five-inch screen with one touch. This way you’re easily accessible to your closest stakeholders at the touch of a button.

Do keep in mind that this model is specifically designed to work with the Cisco call manager system. 

Photo of Cisco IP8865 multi-line, video-enabled phone

It can hold up to ten lines, works with Wi-Fi, and comes with a headset input and USB connectivity. You can reach out to Cisco’s sales team to get pricing, or hunt around the internet for a good deal.

Other highlights include:

  • 720p HD video
  • Integration with personal mobile devices
  • Multiple options for headsets
  • Optional key expansion mode for simplified dialing
  • Flexible deployment options

If you’re interested in Cisco’s technology, you can check our complete Webex review to learn more about VoIP communications from this provider.

Need a phone with HD video calling? Get the Cisco IP 8865 by reaching out to Cisco’s sales team today. 

#5 – VTech DS6151-2 2 Handset — Best Cordless System

VTech logo

VTech DS6151

Best Cordless System

Sometimes you just need cordless handsets. VTech has you covered with up to 12 handsets.

Maybe you think a corded phone is outdated and you prefer a modern cordless phone. The VTech DS6151-2 has you covered, as it conveniently comes with two handsets that don’t tie you down to within a few feet from where you’re working.

Photo of VTech DS6151-2 cordless multi-line phone, with extra handset unit

You can expand the set to connect with up to 12 handsets, so if you go with the VTech DS6151-2 you won’t have to worry about dealing with a line limit. Not only that, but you can also switch the phone to three different language prompts, including French, Spanish, and English.

Other highlights include:

  • Voicemail waiting indicator
  • Ability to redial last 20 numbers
  • Intercom between handsets
  • RoHS compliant
  • Hearing aid compatible
  • Ability to transfer calls between headsets

The VTech also comes with a generous 50 name and number calling ID history. If you’re on a shoestring budget, you can choose to either go with either a new or used model for a more affordable price point. The good thing is, the VTech brand is durable, so you know your phone system will last you. 

You can buy it from VTech directly, getting both the main phone and an extra handset for just under $115.

Ready for a cordless? Buy your VTech phone today for $113.90. 

#6 – Cisco 8841 VoIP — Best VoIP System

Cisco logo

Cisco 8841 VoIP

Best VoIP System

For VoIP users, this Cisco system is fantastic. It comes with five lines--but no extra power cords!

The Cisco 8841 VoIP is one of the sleekest-looking phones on the market. But it’s also one of the best phones out there if you’re going the VoIP route.

This 8841 model comes with five programmable lines with multiple directory features and speed dial options.

The five-inch color display screen is crisp and easy to navigate, giving greater functionality to the programmable buttons. You can use those to pick up lines or perform call functions like speed dial.

Photo of two Cisco 8841 multi-line phones, one in black, one in white

Those are paired with fixed-function keys for easy access to directories, holding and transferring calls, and conferencing features.

It’s designed to be POE (power over Ethernet) so you don’t have to deal with extra power cords that’ll add to clutter. This POE system is so advanced, that the phone doesn’t even come with a power cord.

It also uses Cisco EnergyWise to help keep energy costs lost and reduce your carbon footprint during non-work hours.

As it works with VoIP, you won’t have to worry about keeping up with future updates as it’s generally easier to manage.  Keep in mind it’s designed to be used with Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager.

You’ll have multiple deployment options to choose from as well—including cloud, premises, and through approved UCaaS providers.

You can buy the phone brand new or refurbished for a much lower price point if you’re looking to get the most value out of your purchase.

You can buy it today from Cisco’s Amazon store for $275.

Methodology for Choosing the Best Multi-Line Phone System

What main things should you look at to determine whether you’re making the best choice for your business? That’s what you learn if you keep reading. 

The primary considerations are always cost versus features and where you can get the most bang for your buck without sacrificing quality. Once you make a list of must-have features your business needs, it’s always a good idea to search for those in the providers you’re looking through. 

Beyond that, these are some specific features we looked through to choose the best multi-line phone systems on our list. Read through them and use them to guide your own decision-making journey.

Ongoing Support

Yes, all the bells and whistles are nice, but will there be support when you need it the most? Unfortunately, something like a phone system isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it process. 

Regardless of how much you optimize, something’s bound to go wrong or break at some point. This is when you’ll want to have the best customer support possible to walk you through any troubleshooting you may need.

In practice, it’s always nice to know if you need assistance with something there’s always someone standing by ready to help. This might be a deciding factor when you’re looking through each pricing tier as well. Generally, the more you pay per user, the more dedicated support you’ll have access to, whether that’s through instant chat, getting a live agent on the phone, or through dedicated email support. 

Auto Attendant

One of the beauties of having a multi-line system is the auto attendant feature, because of how much time and money it can save you in the long run. With it, you can easily direct customers to the right line, send them to voicemail, or serve them a set of automated instructions that can solve their problem without ever having to talk to anyone on the other side.

Your multi-line phone system is bound to come with an auto attendant feature. Still, you’ll want to look into the ins and outs of what that means.

How customizable is it? Does it come with extra features that you simply won’t use? Is it equipped to handle a high volume of calls if there were to be a sudden influx of customers calling in?

VoIP or Landline Features

VoIP is widespread and it’s quickly becoming the norm. Yet, you might still want landline features in your multi-line phone system depending on your location, how your business operates, or even for safety reasons.

When considering a multi-line phone system, determine whether you’re okay with a VoIP system only, need a landline setup, or maybe a hybrid of both. While a cloud phone system like VoIP makes it easy to do multiple things from one dashboard, a landline might still be a viable option. 

The more modern your multi-line phone setup is, the less you’ll have to worry about keeping up with time-consuming updates. With a cloud feature like VoIP, updates are much easier to keep up with.

We recommend you take the time to do in-depth research on the biggest differences between VoIP and a traditional landline setup to ensure you’re making the right choice for your current needs. You’ll also want to take into account how much you expect to grow in the near future. 

Refer to our in-depth guide on VoIP vs. landline to learn more. If you’re leaning toward VoIP, make sure you run a VoIP speed test to ensure your connection is stable.

Built-in Hardware Features

A multi-line phone system should offer many of the same features that you receive on their single-line counterparts. These include:

  • Caller ID: The caller ID system shows you who is calling, often displaying the phone number and the name of the caller. This feature lets you screen calls, if desired.
  • Speakerphone: The multi-line phone hardware typically contains a speaker, so you can use the phone hands-free. Some phones can allow you to use this for conference calling.
  • Programmable buttons: Modern office phones should at least sport a few buttons you can use for speed dialing, with some allowing you to custom-program buttons for other functions.

These features may seem pretty basic. After all, we have all these features on our personal smartphones these days. However, business phone systems have not always provided these options in the past, so it’s useful to ensure these features are present on the equipment you choose to buy.

Number of Lines

With the multi-line phone system, you’ll want to think about how many lines you need to manage your calls in the manner you want. When you select more lines, you can make and accept more simultaneous calls. However, you also introduce more complexity into the system and potentially increase cost.

Two or three lines: The most basic multi-line system will allow you to take two or three calls simultaneously. This is the best choice for a sole proprietorship or a small business that receives a limited number of calls.

Four lines: For a small business owner, four lines is a common choice. To justify four lines, you sometimes would need to place callers on hold. You also might have two or three people in the office who occasionally will be making outbound calls at the same time.

Five or more lines: For small and medium businesses that do a lot of speaking with customers on the phone, five or more lines is a smart choice. Businesses that make a lot of outbound calls may want a number of lines equal to the number of employees.

Should you start with four or fewer lines, you may be able to add more lines down the road when you are ready to grow. Understand, however, that some multi-line phone systems require you to add lines in increments of two or four.

Office Size and Environment

Beyond lines and users, you should consider the physical space in which your multi-line phone system will be used.

For example, is the multi-line system for your home office use? Or will it be used in a traditional office environment?

Even if it’s used in a traditional office setting, you should consider whether the system will be deployed to desks in the same room or across multiple rooms and floors.

Some multi-line phone systems come with intercom and paging features—allowing you to communicate with all phones simultaneously. But this feature isn’t necessary or useful if it’s being deployed in a single room for three desks that are all within speaking distance of each other.

You’ll also need to consider whether you want a wireless or wired phone option.

If you and your staff will be using the phone strictly at a desk, then wired is fine. But for wall phones or situations where you’ll need space to spread out, wireless phones are less constricting.

For example, maybe you have a restaurant or dry cleaner where customers constantly call to see if their order is ready. In this case, your staff may need to step into a separate space to physically check on an order. Rather than having to put your customers on hold, a wireless phone system would get the job done.

Standalone Phones vs. Complete Business Phone System

Hardware aside, you need to assess how your multi-line phone system is going to be used.

Do you just need a single phone or a few phones that come with multiple lines? Or do you want a multi-line phone system that’s compatible with a unified business communications system?

For solopreneurs, small offices, retail locations, and home offices, you’ll likely be fine with a standalone phone system.

But larger organizations may want to consider something a bit more advanced.

For example, Nextiva is an excellent option to consider if you want the best of both worlds. They provide a quality multi-line phone system, but you can also subscribe to a complete suite of voice, video, chat, and team collaboration tools.

Cisco is another great choice to consider, and two Cisco multi-line systems made our list. They both work well with Cisco Webex, which supports calls, meetings, webinars, contact centers, and other needs that go beyond basic calling.

We have a complete guide on the best business phone systems that covers these features and capabilities in greater detail.

Expanding Your Knowledge: Best Multi-Line Phone Systems for Small Business

Nextiva logo

Nextiva X-885

Best for Most

Manage up to 12 lines, enjoy a large color display, and improve call productivity with HD call quality, a free phone number, and even unlimited online faxing all backed by the reliability of Nextiva. At just $189.99, it's an excellent pick for managing multiple lines.

The Top Multi-Line Phone Systems in Summary 

What’s the best multi-line phone system for your small business? The final answer to that will largely depend on the features you’re looking for that are non-negotiable.

The Nextiva X-885 does a great job of covering most of the bases for growing businesses that want to get a handle on their phone systems. It comes at a great price point, with plenty of room to grow with a cap of up to 12 lines. 

We hope this guide helped give you a better-rounded outlook on what your options are in terms of multi-line phone systems for small businesses. Make sure to read through it carefully to make your final decision. 

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