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Answering machines are devices that people hook up to their telephones to record messages when those people cannot answer their phones. These machines also can store greetings that are recorded and are played back when the machines must answer the phone. To choose the best answering machine, you should decide how you plan on using this device. If you need an answering machine for clients who might be calling your business, it is a good idea to pick an answering machine that is highly reliable and that is able to store a large number of messages. People who need devices for their homes, however, might find that the best answering machine is a simpler model that also is less expensive.
To choose the best answering machine, you first should become familiar with the different models that are on the market. As with most kinds of technology, new answering machines are developed often. You might find some models that are attached to telephones and other models that are freestanding but are designed only for certain phones. Some answering machines use tapes to record incoming and outgoing messages, but more advanced models tend to use electronic recordings. It is common for fully electronic answering machines to hold more information.
Sound quality is another factor to consider when it comes to getting the best answering machine. If you go into a store and listen to various models, you can get a pretty good idea about which machines sound best from the owner's end. When it comes to which answering machines sound best to callers, however, you might have to do a little more research. Think about answering machines that you have called and that have a clear, crisp sound. If you have friends or colleagues who use answering machines that you like, find out which kinds they use.
People who use answering machines often are quite concerned about calls that they receive when they are not able to answer their phones. For this reason, the best answering machine often is one that is durable and reliable. If you have an answering machine that is not recording all messages, you might not find out until this flaw already has caused problems for you. Read consumer reviews in magazines and websites. Stay away from models that have mixed or negative reviews.
Another option for many professionals is to use an answering service. Instead of having an answering machine that records calls, you can hire a third-party service to record and deliver your messages. This option might be best for professionals who receive many business calls in a day or for large organizations that have many departments.