A Good Phone System with a Great Price

Mar 7, 2002
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Attractive look, compact, easy to understand and operate.

Cons:Doesn't have caller ID if that is important to you.

The Bottom Line: Now you can have Sony quality without the high price. A cordless telephone and answering system in one compact set will meet your telephone needs.

My husband loves to tease me on this purchase. He tells me that I have just entered the late 20th Century. I guess I am a bit far behind the rest of the world - considering I still have four working rotary phones in my house. I believe the old rotary phones deliver excellent sound quality that is far superior to the phones made today. But I am not writing about my rotary phones, and hence, regress. I recognize that owning a touch tone phone and answering system are no longer luxuries but have become necessities of life.

When our old answering machine showed signs of unreliability, I knew that its seven years of faithful service were soon over. One of our old cordless phones was only 49 MHz, so it just made sense to me to look for a cordless phone and answering machine all in one unit. I already own a Sony SPP-900 900 MHz cordless phone, see epinion http://www.epinions.com/elec-review-1E81-A97AB21-38E3B8B8-prod4.

I was pleased with my Sony SPP-900, so this made my decision to look at another Sony telephone product with confidence. The Sony SPP-A1050 was an excellent solution to my current telephone needs.


The Sony SPP-A1050 comes with the following features:


900 MHz enhanced reception system to provide a clear sound and extended range performance.

Ten speed dial presets to simplify your life by storing up to ten of the most frequently called numbers you dial.

Automatic channel scan and selection that scans all available channels and selects the one that is clearest for your call.

Seven hour talk time with a six day standby allowing you to use the handset for longer than most of us would be on the phone anyway.

Any key answer to answer incoming calls by pressing any button on the handset.

Last number redial to automatically redial the last number you called.

Low battery indicator that lets you know when the handset battery needs to be recharged.

Digital security system with more than 65,000 built in security codes to protect against unauthorized access from other cordless phones that may be operating nearby.

Handset locater sends a message to the handset to ring until found. This is a great feature for families who have members that forget to put the handset back on the base unit.


Tapeless digital system stores the messages digitally on an IC chip, providing instant access to messages with no tapes to rewind or replace when they wear out.

Fifteen minute recording capacity that should be adequate for most people's needs.

Variable speed playback that lets you listen to a message more quickly or slowly depending on your needs.

Three mail boxes so that incoming messages can be stored in three separate boxes for so different family members can listen to messages sent just for them.

Voice guidance is a built in voice prompt that guides you through set up and operation.

Voice date and time stamp that announces the time and day of each message that was received.

Pre-recorded outgoing message built-in greeting simplifies the initial set-up.

Announce only mode gives you the option of using a second outgoing message that does not accept messages. This is useful when you are going for an extended period of time and won't be returning calls.

Audible message indicator that beeps when new messages are received. This feature can be turned on or off.

Digital message counter indicates how many messages have been received.

Memo message to record messages to your family when away.

Call screening allows you to hear the message while home so you can decide if you want to pick up the receiver.


Set up is very easy on the Sony SPP-A1050. The first thing you will need to do is prepare the battery pack. This is done by removing the battery compartment lid from the back of the handset and then connecting the battery and connector and then sliding it in the back of the handset. The handset should be returned to the base unit as it will need to be charged for at least ten hours before initial use.

Next, connect the telephone line cord to the line jack in the back of the base unit. Then connect the AC power adaptor to the jack that is located next to the line jack. Plug in your line jack to the telephone jack and the power cord into any electric outlet.

This phone comes installed with four different ringer types which can be changed to suit your needs and tastes. To change the ringer type, you press 'PGM' on the handset and then press #. Next, press a number between 1 and 4 to select the ringer type and press 'PGM' again. If you want the ringer turned off, simply chose ringer number '5'.

The answering machine can be turned on or off depending on your needs. A light indicator on the base unit tells you if the answering machine is on.

To set up the answering machine all you need to do is press 'menu' on the base unit until you hear the friendly voice say "set day and time." Press 'select' on the base unit and hit repeatedly until you hear the desired day of the week. Then press 'time/set'and the day is set. Next hit 'select' until you hear the hour of the day (the machine does both AM and PM times). Press 'time/set' to set the hour. Next you press 'select' again for the minutes and 'time/set' when finished. Press 'play/stop' when finished.

You can record your own greeting for the 'normal' and the 'announcement only' messages. Simply press 'menu' repeatedly until you hear "set outgoing message" then press 'rec/memo'. The friendly voice system will tell you when to record. Then speak in your normal voice into the base unit. You can record up to 90 seconds, which is longer than most people would leave as an outgoing message. To stop recording, press 'play/stop'. Your greeting will replay automatically.

You can also set the number of times the phone should ring before it answers to take a message. There are four modes: 2, 4, 6, or toll saver. Simply press 'menu' repeatedly until you hear "set number of rings". Then press 'select' repeatedly to select a ring duration. The toll saver option will answer at four rings if there are no messages but change to answer at two rings when there are new messages on the machine. Press 'time/set' and 'play/stop' to set the desired number of rings.

Playing back messages is very simple. If there are new messages, the display will tell you the number of messages waiting to be played. Press the desired mailbox (if you haven't set up optional mailboxes, the messages will go into the first mailbox). The message will play. When finished, you can dispose of the message by pressing 'erase'. Otherwise the message will be saved for later replay.

The speaker volume can be adjusted by a volume control on the base unit for message playback or speaking on the phone. You cannot adjust the volume while the phone is ringing.

You can pick up your messages from an outside phone while away from home by setting up a remote ID security code. Then you simply call your telephone number from any touch tone phone, press the # key when you hear the greeting and enter your security code. The number of new messages will be announced and the messages can be played and saved for later.

Sony provides a limited one year warranty on parts and labor for the SPP-A1050. They also provide a toll free telephone number at 1-800-222-SONY if you have any questions about your phone.

I have found the Sony SPP-A1050 to be everything that Sony promised. The phone provides good reception within all rooms in my home, including the garage and basement. The answering machine delivers clear sounding messages that are easily saved for later use. The features this phone provides are simple to use and handy to have around.

I paid $59.00 at Big K for the Sony SPP-A1050, you could pay more and perhaps get a better phone system, but I believe this phone and built-in answering system is well worth the price paid.

Thanks for reading and happy telephoning!

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