Polycom Vs Cisco IP Phones – For That Phone System Overhaul!

Whether in business, at home or in school technology is with us and for us! Why stay with the good old when you can glean so much out of the new?

Remember the days you had to wait out your sibling to finish long phone chats (probably as she hid in the closet), for you to make an important call? Thank goodness technology threw such waiting out the window by bringing up so many ways of communicating, using very many devices -even your PC can become your handset! I am talking about video calls, conference calls, texting, email, skype, facetime… and the list goes on. Since IP phones use the internet to transmit calls, one can get all these communication channels under one system. Does it get any more cost-effective than that?! We know that the biggest setback usually is knowing which system will best meet your needs.

What are the DifferencesBetween Polycom and Cisco?

Year Founded
Open Source SIP
Cisco Unified SIP, Proprietary Cisco Call manager
Audio Features
Acoustic Clarity Technology, HD Voice
Noise Proof Technology, HD Voice
Target Market
Small to medium enterprises, public institutions.
Initially large enterprises, but now serving small and medium businesses as well.
SoundStation – Conference phones;SoundPoint IP-Interoperable with existing equipment; VVX Business media VVX 200-600 series; Polycom Skype for Business – CX, VVX and Trio Series; Polycom Teams – CCX series; Accessories
Occasional use- 3900 series; Specialty use – 6900 series;  General business – 7800 series; Advanced HD media, VoIP and mobile communications – 8800 series; Accessories

Polycom Vs Cisco IP Phones – How do they Compare?

Polycom phones are respected and popular the world over for acoustic innovations that provide high quality calling experience. Cisco phones on the other hand are designed to help you maximize your business results by accelerating team performance. This they achieve by empowering your company with a new collaborative experience that will link you with the right information, to the right destination, at the right time. How do the two companies’ IP Phones compare?

Target Market

Cisco is broad based in its product and service offerings targeting large to small enterprises. All Fortune 100 companies, for example, use Cisco products. This is because Cisco offers broad and all-encompassing products. Polycom is more environment-focused in its product delivery, concentrating on offering better solutions for specific uses. As such, Polycom users get to choose services or products appropriate to their environment in home/work office, mobile, theatre or conferencing. Polycom specializes in developing a strong suite of features for products serving a particular purpose.

IP Phone Portfolios

Both Polycom and Cisco have IP phones able to serve users ranging from the smallest business unit to the largest. Basic features e.g. programmable keys therefore differ across each range.

Polycom’s portfolio consists of:

  • Polycom SoundStation: This family of conference phones delivers unbeatable performance and clarity for any room size. They have 360 degree microphone pickup and superior audio performance.
  • SoundPoint IP: This family of enterprise-grade VoIP desk phones is interoperable with premises-based or hosted unified communication solutions. This is cost economic because the user makes use of already existing equipment.
  • Polycom VVX Business media phones condense video, voice and application capabilities into easy to use solutions. Designed with intuitive user interfaces, PoE, full color/high definition displays and 2 Ethernet port, among other features, these all-in-one desktops improve workflow and productivity.
  • Polycom Skype for Business (Lync) phones are highly interoperable and work with Skype for Business providing easy and productive communication. They range phones for the front office, to executive ones. The phones are known for their crystal clear audio.
  • Polycom Teams: These are revolutionary top of the line business phones. Their high-end featuresare interoperable with Microsoft Teams

Cisco’s IP Phone’s portfolio is as follows:

  • Occasional use: Cisco’s unified SIP 3900 series delivers basic phone features at affordable costs. The phones are entry level and suitable for environments needing VoIP solutions occasionally, e.g. hallways, classrooms, lobbies or labs.
  • Specialty use: Cisco unified 6900 series are made of IP phones used for specialty, occasional-use environments like hotel rooms, elevators, cafeterias, etc. The phones are trim, sleek, user-friendly and cost effective.
  • General business: The Cisco 7800 series provides confidential, affordable and SIP-based solutions for small to large companies. They have excellent audio performance.
  • Advanced HD media, VoIP and mobile communications: Cisco IP Phone 8800 series is the next generation voice and video communication, delivering high-end advanced phones.

Polycom Vs Cisco IP Phones – A Comparison Review

Polycom IP Phones

Polycom phones have a professional, sleek, aesthetically pleasing design, built using high quality materials. Incorporating Polycom’s HD Voice and Acoustic Clarity Technology, the phones offer crisp, clear, room filling conversations resulting in higher comprehension and productivity. Through its various products Polycom has been able to successfully connect people in different spheres of life, whether in business, school or at home. The phones’ standard features include call forwarding/waiting/hold, programmable buttons, speakerphone, and call directory.

The Polycom VVX 601 (Business level)

The Polycom VVX 601 delivers premium business media phone functionality to heavy phone users. It comes with a color touchscreen of 4.3 inches, which effectively confers smartphone attributes to a desk phone. The Polycom VVX 601 is designed for business executives who need class with advanced phone functionality. It comes with advanced features like streaming media video playback, integration with other applications and video conferencing through an external USB. The phone also supports Bluetooth a benefit for those preferring the use of a wireless headset to make calls. The VVX 601 has 16 lines keys.

This phone integrates and complements other applications to improve productivity and efficiency. For example, users can access and update their Microsoft Outlook Calendar on the screen, while talking on the phone. Its innovative web-based configuration makes installation and management easy. The phone’s enhanced memory/chipset enables it to offers improved productivity and unparalleled voice clarity by Polycom HD Voice.

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The Polycom CCX 600 (High-end)

Polycom’s industry-leading VoIP phones are easy to set up, use and come equipped with excellent sound quality and unmatched proprietary technologies. They are optimized to run on upwards of 60 IP and UC cloud platforms.The Polycom CCX 600 is a high performance business media desk phone suited for business executives, managers and any other high volume staff requiring maneuverability room.

The phone comes with a large 7-inch touchscreen LED display and the legendary audio technology that ensures conversations stay on track! Powerful chipsets supporting next generation features including Noiseblock AI makes the phone responsive and fast. The phone is designed to include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 2 USB ports, making headsets connection easy because the phone comes with the option of a headset or not.

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Cisco IP Phones

Cisco’s 7800 and 8800 series have the best audio system in the company’s IP Phone range. In addition to standard desk phones, they are home to audio and video conference phones.

Cisco CP-7579G (Business Level)

Cisco 7975G IP Phone
  • 5.6-inch graphical TFT color touchscreen display, 1 6-bit color depth, 320 x 240 effective pixel...
  • Support for wideband (G.722 codec, adherence to TIA 92 0), including handset, headset, and speakerphone

The Cisco CP-7579G phones has a 5.6 inch, touchscreen TFT color display.  It has a full-duplex speakerphone and acoustic echo cancellation. In addition to standard features like a backlit color display, the phone has direct access to voicemail. For quick communication access, the phone has 8 programmable line keys, with an optional Key Expansion Module to further expand programmable keys.

The Cisco CP-7579G comes with standard speakerphones and wideband audio supported handsets. The phone’s integrated Gigabit Ethernet switch reduces installation costs and cabling at the desk top.

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Cisco CP–8861 (High-end/Advanced)

Cisco IP phones offer great value to business with their innovative AI powered Spark Assistant. The Cisco CP-8861 is designed with 5 lines, Bluetooth integration, Wi-Fi support and a fast charging USB port. It has a gigabit internet switch with echo cancelation and wideband audio for voice clarity.

The phone is user-friendly, has a high-resolution color display and cutting edge features like the intelligent proximity for mobile voice – a suite of features activated when mobile devices are brought close by.

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Let’s now compare the 2 popular Polycom and Cisco desk phone models

Polycom VVX 601
Cisco CP–7579G
4.3” Multicolored touchscreen
5.6” (320X240)Color touchscreen
Line Keys
HD Polycom Audio Technology
Wideband Audio , Echo cancellation
Gigabit Switches
USB ports
Bluetooth integration
Yes, together with Polycom intelligent proximity facilitates integration with mobile devices.
Wi-Fi Support
Other Features
PoE and AC versions available
KEM support- 2, PoE class 3


Ultimately, your company’s needs, budget and goals will weigh heavily on whether you choose to be team Polycom or tem Cisco. Both companies have products ranging from the very basic, to the highly advanced. As we conclude, our parting shot would be that if you already have Cisco’s infrastructure, then go for their phones. If on the other hand your business has equipment from various vendors, then Polycom, with its highly interoperable products, should be your best friend!

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