Your guide to electronic digital doorbells and door chimes
ichime iChime
The "Play Anything" Doorbell

Comes with dozens of sounds or download your own song or sound!
  Musical Doorbell
Plays Any Song you Want

Use the built in piano keyboard and
compose any song to greet your visitors
TalkingDoorbell.Com /
  Your guide to electronic digital doorbells and door chimes
Q: What is a "doorbell"? A: Simple question, but... some people refer to the button outside at the door as a "doorbell". Others call that the doorbell "button" and refer to the box inside the house that makes the sound as a "doorbell".
Q: What is a
"door chime"?
A: There is no confusion here. The chime is inside the house and is what makes the sound when someone presses the button outside at the door.
Q: What is a
"talking doorbell"?
A: Generally speaking, a talking doorbell or talking doorchime is a chime that "talks" instead of making a normal "ding dong" sound. These are electronic and usually digital. The most versatile type is one that lets you load any speech you want to customize your greeting. Some also come with built in sounds and phrases that are already professionally prepared for optimal results. One product with both features is iChime®.
Q: How is an old
mechanical door chime powered?
A: Most homes are wired with a "bell transformer" which is in the wall or attic. It converts the 120V to a lower 12 to 16 VAC for use with the door chime.
Q: How does an old mechanical door chime make its sound? A: When you push the button in, the AC voltage is applied to a coil which moves a bar against a metal plate to make a "ding" song. When you release it, the bar reverses and hits against a second plate to make a "dong" sound.
Q: How is an electronic doorbell different? A: The electronic circuitry needs power for the sound to continue when you release your finger off the button. This is accomplished either buy putting a "diode" in the circuit (which lets half the power through) or by using batteries in the door chime. If the chime is programable, you will want to set it up while it is off the wall, so using batteries is a good choice. A well designed product such as iChime will not use any power when not in use so the batteries will last a long long time.
Q: What is a "wireless" doorbell? A: No wires are necessary from the button to the chime. A special button with its own batteries must be placed outside the door and the chime is made to detect a radio frequency sent from the button. Since the chime must always be "listening" for the code - it takes power. So wireless chimes either need to be plugged into the wall or they consume batteries very quickly, rendering them useless.
Q: What is a "lighted button"? A: Lighted buttons are very popular. They have a small light inside the button so they can be seen in low light conditions outside. Power for the light comes from the bell transformer.
Q: Can a lighted button be used with a wireless doorbell? A: No, the light takes quite a bit of power and would drain batteiries very quickly (it's like leaving a small flashlight on). Even many wired elecronic chimes have problems working with lighted buttons becasue of the power that normally flows through them.
Q: Where can a get a chime that makes a sound that I saw on TV or in a movie? A: Most such sounds are copyrighted. It is illegal to distribute or publish sounds such as these, without permission (and payments to) the copyright holder. The makers of iChime do not provide copyrighted material. Even the "Happy Birthday" song is copyrighted.
Q: What do people make their door chimes say?

A: It is quite amazing what different people want. Some just want is to say "Go Away!". Others are quite unique. Over the years is has been proven that the only way to please everyone is with a product like iChime that lets the user record whatever they want. Some examples of what people put in their talking doorbell are as follows:

Movie Catch Phrases
Clint Eastwood in Sudden Impact: "Go ahead punk, make my day!"
Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator: "I'll be Back".
Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally: "I'll Have What She's Having."
Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind: "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."
Judy Garland as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz: "There's no place like home."
Star Wars: "Make the force be with you."

Music and Song Snippets
Elvis Presley singing: "Love me Tender" or "Hound Dog"
Britney Spears "Oops! I Did it Again"
Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water"
Rolling Stone's "I Can't Get No Satisfaction"
Star Wars: "The Imperial March"

TV Show Sounds or Theme Songs
The Jetson's 4-note doorchime
The Addams's (Adam's) Family low scary doorchime
Leave it to Beaver theme; Bonanza theme

Animal Sounds
Dog barking, Cat meowing, Cow mooing, Frog ribbet, Elephant roar, Lion roar, Tiger roar
Rooster cock-a-doodle-do, Horse whinney, Sheep baa, Duck quack

College Fight Songs
These are often popular greetings to load into a talking doorbell
All Right Now - Stanford, Tribute to Troy -USC, Nebraska, Hail Purdue, Notre Dame, On Wisconsin Fight On State, The Vistors (Michigan), Indiana, Iowa Tiger Rag, I'm a Tar heel, Victory Song, Boomer Sooner, Rocky Top, Razorback, Achors Aweigh

Most people get tired of the same sound so getting one that is loadable by the user and can hold many different sounds is often the best option. iChime is a great choice since it comes with dozens of preloaded professionally recorded sounds plus you can put up to six of your own and selcted them when desired. Everyone in the family can have their own!

Q: Who owns this site? A: This site is owned by Microsystems Development Inc., makers of innovative musical and talking products such as iChime®, MusicalDoorbell, and CogaPA®.