IP desk phones

A key point to note about desktop phones is that they often have a limited range of codecs and they often support proprietary codecs such as G.729 rather than Internet-optimized codecs such as Opus and iLBC. Given that a significant number of calls will start in a web browser using WebRTC and the Opus codec, codec compatibility is an important consideration.

One of the most recognisable IP phones is the Cisco 7940 and its successors. The Cisco phones are well manufactured with good audio quality (including speakerphone support). However, there are multiple firmware options available and this can be expensive to purchase and complicated to administer. If purchasing used Cisco phones on eBay, it is vital to ensure that you are obtaining proper firmware with the phones or that you have some other legal means of obtaining all firmware. The phones load the firmware and configuration using DHCP and TFTP.

The Polycom Soundpoint IP phones are very similar in quality to the Cisco phones but without the licensing complications. They typically support SIP out of the box. The Polycom phones support configuration over HTTPS. From the era of Soundpoint IP 320 and later models, there is a client certificate in each phone. This certificate can be used to authenticate when downloading the configuration, ensuring that SIP passwords can't be compromised. The certificate can also be used to authenticate SIP over TLS connections, this is supported by the repro SIP proxy using the settings EnableCertificateAuthenticator and CommonNameMappings.

Another popular choice is the SNOM device.

There are various factors to think about when choosing a phone, such as VLAN support, built-in Ethernet hub, power-over-ethernet support, codecs, configuration support, support for NAT traversal (using ICE and TURN) and TLS support.