Musical door chimes offer a charming yet functional alternative to the basic doorbell. Modern chimes have a plethora of options and features that translate to many decisions to make. Considering these and deciding on the most important features before shopping for musical chimes helps buyers find unique beautiful chimes to welcome guests into their homes.
Wired vs. Wireless Door Chimes
Wired chimes have cables that run from the bell push to the chime. These usually run on mains power, although there are battery-operated ones. Those that plug into a socket need a transformer to reduce the voltage of the current. Wireless door chimes use a signal on a given frequency to trigger the chime and may be easier to install since there are no wires. These may also be either battery- or mains-operated. The former have higher running costs but are more portable.
Door Chime Sound Options
Many door chimes have up to eight preset tunes. At a slightly higher price range are chimes with dozens even hundreds of sounds, from traditional "bells" to holiday music to sound effects. High-end systems offer customisable sounds that users can upload or record.
Wired systems in large houses need longer wiring and possibly extra chimes for parts of the house where the first door entry chime is not loud enough. Wireless systems need sound extenders; these repeat the signal and pass it on to other chimes. The range for wireless systems differs according to the brand and model, but 50, 100, and 200 m are common ranges. This translates to a much shorter range, however, because walls and metal weaken the signal significantly.
Extra Bell Pushes and Frequency Blocking
Buildings with various entrances may require bell pushes at each entrance and a system that allows the chime to sound different tones for each bell push. Frequency blocking is a useful feature in such situations so that the chimes do not respond to signals on other frequencies, like the ones garage door openers and other wireless devices use.
Other Musical Chime Features
High-quality chime systems have weatherproofed bell pushes that can handle exposure to the elements. Chimes that use mains power often have lighted bell pushes, which are useful at night. Some systems designed for businesses have motion sensors that trigger the sensor door chime, either replacing the bell push, or in addition to it. Finally, musical chime options for the hard of hearing include those with flashing lights, deep tones, or volume settings.