I ditched my wired doorbell awhile ago, switching to a wireless doorbell that allowed me to take the chime wherever in the house I was and, because my ADD brain gets bored quickly, to change the doorbell sound whenever I wanted.
But recently, I upgraded from a wireless doorbell to a new video doorbell. I looked over all the video doorbell reviews and decided that the best doorbell for me was the Ring Pro, but I’ll go over all the top doorbells on the market and let you decide.
- 1 Types of doorbells
- 2 Features of doorbells
- 3 Top Rated Doorbells Reviews
- 3.1 Video Doorbells Reviews
- 3.2 Wireless Doorbells Reviews
- 4 Comparisons
- 5 Ring vs Ring Pro
- 6 Conclusion
Types of doorbells
There are three types of doorbells on the market:
Features of doorbells
So, what features do you want in a doorbell? Whether it’s wired, wireless, or video, you definitely want ones that are weather-resistant, long-lasting, and reliable, and have clear, loud chimes.
Wireless doorbells require plenty of range and should easily connect between the push button and chime with as little delay as possible.
Video doorbells should have the latest in HD resolution, preferably 1080p, as well as built-in speakers and microphones for two-way conversations, motion sensors, and night vision capability.
Top Rated Doorbells Reviews
Video Doorbells Reviews
One of the first video doorbells on the market, the Ring still does the trick. It includes motion sensors that detect when someone is on your front porch, infrared LEDs for night vision, see-and-speak capability with visitors from your smartphone or tablet, and a wide-angle HD camera.
It also has the capability to be hooked to your existing doorbell wiring or battery-operated, and you can customize the look with four different colored face plates.
That being said, because this is the earlier model, it’s missing a lot of bells and whistles. It doesn’t include on-demand video or PC browser support. Its boxy design may not look quite right on some house designs. Its 720p HD camera is outdated, and its audio quality is mediocre. Finally, it has a short battery life.
Ring came out with its Pro version of the best smart doorbell earlier in 2016, and it definitely improved upon its older sibling. It’s the top-selling video doorbell on Amazon, and for good reason. The ringer is sleeker in design, the camera has been upgraded to full-resolution 1080p HD, it includes noise-cancellation technology for improved audio, and you can customize the motion zones to pick up movement only where you really want.
It also keeps all the features from the older version that customers loved—view footage and receive doorbell alerts on your mobile device, see-and-speak capability from anywhere in the world, four interchangeable face plates, and infrared LEDs for night vision.
However, like the older version, you have to subscribe to Ring’s cloud service to access video recordings of who visited your front porch. There are also two features that didn’t transfer from the older version—the Pro has no battery option, which makes it incompatible for apartment users who can’t just remove their wired doorbell, and users can’t adjust the sensitivity of the motion zones.
This is SkyBell’s latest version and a definite improvement over its SkyBell 2.0 doorbell. It has many of the same features as the Ring Pro, including a 1080p HD video camera that most doorbell camera reviews say is the best doorbell camera on the market, as well as color night vision with adjustable LED brightness, two-way audio with visitors using your smartphone, on-demand viewing, and motion sensors that begin recording video upon detection, even if the doorbell isn’t pressed.
Unlike the Ring Pro, however, you don’t have to have a paid subscription to access videos off the cloud. You get free video storage and unlimited free downloads with the SkyBell HD.
The SkyBell HD does have its flaws, though. The Android app suffers in comparison with the iOS version, and you have consistent 1–2 second delays in video transmission. Also, users have reported mediocre audio quality and oversensitive motion sensors.
The latest entry into the video doorbell market is the August Doorbell Cam, and it also includes many of the same features as the Ring Pro and the Skybell HD. The 960p HD camera has a motion detector that activates whenever someone comes to your front porch, even if they don’t ring the doorbell. You get two-way audio with visitors from anywhere, and on-demand video allows you to monitor your front porch via a live feed. The smartphone app is easy to use, which is a definite plus.
The August Doorbell Cam is meant to be paired with the August Smart Lock, with several integrated features. You can screen who’s at your front door and unlock the door for them remotely, or you can lock your door if you forget when leaving your house.
However, this doorbell also has its knocks. For starters, it’s not the easiest system to install, and its square shape doesn’t fit every door frame. The system has to be hard-wired (no batteries allowed), and it isn’t compatible with either digital chimes or intercom systems. Finally, its night vision capability isn’t the best, because it doesn’t include built-in infrared LED lighting.
Wireless Doorbells Reviews
This is the best wireless doorbell around, receiving the highest marks from the Best Reviews Guide website with an average 9.9 (out of 10) score. The doorbell has a sleek, contemporary design that doesn’t look out of place on your door frame.
It has a self-learning code system, meaning it automatically adjusts to eliminate interference with other devices. It has a fully adjustable volume, and it works with up to three push buttons, door contacts, or motion detectors to signal when someone approaches your home or opens a door or window. You also can connect up to six transmitters to a single chime to put push buttons at multiple entrances. Finally, the chime unit has three visual alert icons to let you know which transmitter was pushed.
The pluses of this doorbell outweigh the minuses, but those do exist. The chime speaker is on the back, so if you mount it, the sound gets muffled. Speaking of sound, the volume adjustment button isn’t the most accessible, and you only can choose from three different chimes—three of the most popular, for sure, but still, just those three.
Jacob Jensen Wireless Doorbell
If your home is large and you need a doorbell that delivers a loud DING-DONG!, the Jacob Jensen is the choice for you. It’s a little pricier than other models, but for that extra money, you get an extra bang. It has a range of 450 feet from push button to chime receiver, meaning you can put it in a central location to maximize its effect.
And what an effect it has. You can hear this doorbell just about anywhere. You can choose from five tones, and you can use batteries or a plug-in adapter. The chime unit can be mounted or free-standing, and the push button doorbell can be mounted to the wall or secured with double-sided tape.
The only downsides are minor. You can adjust the volume to low, medium, and high, but nothing in-between. If you live in an apartment or small house, you may not require a doorbell that delivers this much sound, and you may not want to spend the extra bucks as a result.
Honeywell Series 9 Wireless Doorbell
A very simple doorbell, but one that is favored by the deaf and hearing-impaired community because it not only includes eight different chime options but also comes with an illuminated halo and LED strobe alerts with seven custom color choices to alert you of when someone rings the doorbell.
The model also comes with an adjustable volume, sleep mode, and can be muted. You also has downloadable mp3 capability to add more chimes, and like the Honeywell Premium, you can connect up to six transmitters for push buttons, door contacts, and motion sensors. Finally, it comes with a Secret Knock function that allows you to know when a friend or family member is at the door.
About the only knock on this doorbell is that it’s battery operated, although it does have a microUSB slot for an external power supply that you can purchase separately.
GE Wireless Door Chime
A very simple doorbell that doesn’t have lots of features but gets the job done at a low price. The kit comes with either one or two push button units in either white or satin nickel, and a battery-operated white door chime that plays eight different sounds.
One nice feature if you purchase two push buttons is that you can program a different chime for each, so you know which doorbell is being pushed. It also has three volume adjustments.
SadoTech CXR Wireless Doorbell
Another entry in the inexpensive wireless doorbell category, the SadoTech CXR provides similar bang for your buck as the GE model, although with different features to choose from.
The SadoTech CXR comes with two plug-in receivers and only one push button, so while you can only install it on one door, you can hear the doorbell both inside your house and a work shed or barn thanks to the receivers’ operating 500-foot range that can extend to nearly 1,000 feet in open areas. You can also choose from 52 chimes—each unit can use its own ringtone—adjustable to four volume levels from 25–110 decibels, and it also comes with LED indicators.
The biggest downside to this model is that it comes with only the one remote button, and you can’t program it to add multiple doorbells. It also can’t be configured with motion or door sensors.
NuTone Wired Two-Note Door Chime (NOTE: THIS ISN’T WIRELESS)
Our final selection is a great addition to any home. This model easily connects to older pre-wired homes to replace your outdated chime, providing a two-note chime for your front door and a single-note for a secondary doorbell.
The NuTone does require a 16-volt transformer, which isn’t included with purchase, but it delivers quality sound that can be heard throughout your house.
Ring vs Ring Pro
OK, this is like comparing the XBox 360 with the XBox One. Or Windows 7 and Windows 10. The Ring Doorbell vs. Ring Doorbell Pro comparison requires you to forget about a couple features that you really liked in the old version because you’re in love with all the additional features of the new version.
If you live in an apartment or a rental home, you’ll want to stay with the older model, because it works on batteries. Otherwise, you’ll probably want to upgrade to the Ring Pro because of its advanced features—1080p HD camera vs. 720p, customized motion zones, and so much more.
Skybell HD vs Ring Pro
Can I just flip a coin? These two are the market leaders for a reason. They both have very similar features, are well-designed, and are reliable and durable.
So what are their differences? The Ring Pro allows you to customize your motion sensor zones, and its noise-cancellation features provide superior audio. The SkyBell HD comes with free cloud video storage capability, allows you to change the level of sensitivity of its motion sensors, and has a wider range of operation temperatures, especially in colder climates.
In the end, I’d say the Ring Pro noses out the SkyBell HD for the title of best video doorbell, but I don’t think you can go wrong with either one.
Ring Pro vs August Doorbell Cam
The Ring Pro is the undisputed leader, but the August Doorbell Cam is zooming up the charts as the company works out the kinks as the newcomer in the group.
The August doorbell has the better design and is Bluetooth compatible, but it’s much more difficult to install and its view angles are inferior. It also doesn’t come with night vision capability.
That being said, the August Doorbell Cam was well behind the Ring Pro when it was first released, but with each update, it’s adding features (cloud recording and motion sensors, for example), and when paired with an August Smart Lock, it’s a great combination.
SkyBell HD vs August Doorbell Cam
Again, to me, it’s no contest—the SkyBell HD is the choice for now, but let’s see what August Doorbell Cam does as it matures. Until then, SkyBell’s superior features and video camera, easier installation, and free cloud recording put it on top.
As you can see, there are plenty of choices out there if you want to upgrade to a wireless or video doorbell. Hopefully, this review helps you decide which features are most important to you in order to find the best doorbell for you.