In a perfect example of, “Wow! That’s so obvious – I can’t believe nobody has done this before!,” Swann has made a doorbell that I am absolutely thrilled finally exists.
An errant blasting from a pressure washer a couple of weeks ago rendered my doorbell button a fried mess and put me in the market for a new one.
Happily, it all turned out well as I was able to replace my existing doorbell from something that sounded like this:
To my current doorbell that sounds like this:
Similar to cell phone ring tones in the early 1990′s that were annoyingly shrill and digitally created beeps & bells, most doorbell tones haven’t changed since the 1950′s. Thankfully, the Swann MP3 Doorbell has done for homes what customizable ring tones did for cellphones years ago.
Swann MP3 Doorbell and Buzzer
Sweet! How does it work? As far as doorbell operation goes, it works pretty much like any other wireless doorbell you’ve ever encountered. Simply mount the battery powered doorbell unit on your doorway with the supplied super-strength double-sided tape. Then, position the speaker unit in a convenient spot within your house. As long as you are within about 200′ of the doorbell, you are good to go. Fortunately, this speaker unit is also powered by batteries (AA), so you can put it pretty much anywhere and even bring it backyard or anywhere else you may wander and still hear your “doorbell”.
As far as getting your favorite tunes on the device, you have a couple of options. The MP3 DJ Doorbell can connect to a PC via an included USB cable or you can simply remove the SD Card to add or remove songs. While I used Audacity to clip my desired song to an appropriate length (you don’t really want a five minute song blaring every time your doorbell rings) the package also does include MP3 editing software if you are in need of it.
How does it sound? The sound is actually pretty darn good! I didn’t expect anything more than being able to recognize my desired song but the speaker is very high quality. Swann markets this doorbell as a portable MP3 player as well. So theoretically, you could plop in a 32GB SD card and have thousands of songs on this “portable player”. Built-in controls on the speaker allow you to use it just like any ordinary MP3 player. While the sound is very good, I’m not quite sure what types of people have a need for their doorbell to also double as a player.
What else should I know? This is a very versatile doorbell. As I mentioned, running off of AA batteries (which should last a couple of years) allows for positioning just about anywhere. If you have the receiver located near a computer, it can also be powered off of the USB cable. It looks great and can certainly be left on a shelf or other visible spot, but since the volume is completely adjustable, you can hide it in a closet, behind a cabinet, or anywhere else out of site. Mounting brackets also also for easy wall hanging. The round dial button lights up nicely with blue LED lights when ringing.
If you get sick of your own tunes, the doorbell does come pre-installed with 30 or so ring tones that you can also choose from. There’s a switch that toggles from your SD card with your own music, to the internal tones. If you add more than one, you can select which one to use with the left and right buttons on the dial.
Any drawbacks? Couple minor things to be aware of:
- The audio editing software that is included is only PC so if you have a MAC, you’ll have to find something else to trim your tunes.
- The doorbell button itself is slightly larger than I’d prefer and only comes in this one color. It may not be a perfect match with every exterior.
- There is a minor delay after the button is depressed of about a second or two. Although not too long to wait, I definitely like doorbells that are 100% instant.
Where can I buy this piece of awesome and how much does it cost? A quick Google or Amazon search should give you dozens of retailers selling this great doorbell. Price ranges wildly from $40 to $70 so be sure to shop around for the best deal.
Bottom Line: Great quality wireless doorbell that is attractive, has long range, and priced similar to regular wireless doorbells. With memory that can hold thousands of songs, you can load it up with great doorbell tones for every mood and season- why relegate yourself to the tired bing-bong any longer?
Happy doorbell ringing! (Hope it is friends coming over and not those blasted Jehovah’s!)
Hidden Track Technology Tuesday
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