* Prices may differ from that shown
Even though our house isn't particularly big, we often had difficulty hearing people knocking on the front door when we were in the kitchen at the back of the house. When a visitor had to phone us up from his mobile phone outside the front door to alert us to his presence, my husband decided enough was enough and went out later that same day to purchase a doorbell!
He returned with this wireless doorbell, the Byron 'BY101', costing just £14.99 from Argos, so fairly 'middle of the road' in terms of doorbells. The bell comes in just two parts; a small external push button to operate the bell and a plastic box which produces the chime inside the house. Both of these components are white and are unobtrusive, with the external bell being small enough to fit discreetly on the edge of the door frame, without looking cheap and garish, but large enough to be noticed and used by any visitors to the house.
As this is a wireless model, installation was extremely quick and straightforward with no faffing around installing wires and setting up connections. The bell and the interior chime are already linked up to each other using the correct frequency, so there is no difficulty or work involved there either. The bell can be securely drilled to an appropriate surface but my husband (and I) was a bit apprehensive about being set loose on the brickwork with a drill! (Think Frank Spencer!) In the end, he fixed it to the side of the door frame using a decent quality super glue and it has remained securely in position for several months without any issues, through wind, snow and rain. The bell claims to be weatherproof, so there should be no problems with any moisture seeping through and damaging the workings inside.
The interior box requires three AA batteries which aren't supplied and the doorbell itself also needs one of the very small button cell batteries (CR2032.) Fortunately, this one was supplied which is useful as it isn't the type of battery that we tend to keep in stock in the house. Despite having this installed for several months now, we've yet to need to replace any of the batteries so I would say this is fairly economical to run too.
The bell comes pre-programmed with four different chimes, although I found most of them to be pretty tinny sounding and far too long for a reasonable door chime. It was easy to listen to all of the available chimes and select the preferred option, with only a cursory glance at the basic instruction leaflet enclosed. The tune we use is the shortest and simplest of the available choices and is quite clearly a distinctive 'doorbell' sound, so won't be confused with any mobile phone ringtones or any alarms elsewhere. It isn't possible to adjust or increase the volume on this doorbell at all, but we find the volume more than adequate. It is loud and clear enough to alert us to any visitors, but not loud enough to make you jump out of your skin if you happen to be standing next to the chime unit when it goes off!
This is supposed to cover a range of up to 50m, although our house isn't large enough to test this claim to maximum capacity, more's the pity. It does operate through an exterior brick wall and two interior walls and the wireless connection functions reliably, without any noticeable delays or difficulties.
One of the advantages of this particular model is that the chime unit is totally portable, as it is small and lightweight and it doesn't need to be plugged in to a socket or attached to any wiring. In theory, this could be moved around from room to room wherever you go in the house but, in practice, our box tends to remain on the windowsill in the kitchen - out of harm's way. Our household is chaotic enough without playing hunt the doorbell! In all honesty, there really is no need for us to keep moving the unit around, anyway, as it is perfectly audible throughout the house, even from upstairs, so it suits our needs completely.
In all, this is a perfectly functional and economical little bell that helps us to address one of those minor irritations in life. This model is still available from Argos stores and online for just £14.99, which seems a reasonable price to me for a product that I'm happy to recommend.
Short name: Byron BY101