Searching for a 2-line phone can be almost overwhelming, due to the wide variety of available models, prices, and features. Each manufacturer seems to have emphasized certain features, both of design and of function, so the consumer can zero in on exactly what is wanted. What is important is to be clear on what features are most important to you.

There are so many models to choose from, no clear winner emerges. Three top-rated models (by experts and by users) are AT&T 982 phone 2-line speakerphone, the Panasonic KXTS208W Phone, and the General Electric 29484GE2 Corded Speakerphone.

The AT&T phone is the top-rated 2-line telephone, according to ala-test product reviews, even though the sound quality is not the best. However, this phone is compatible with hearing aids, and comes with a two-band 2.5mm controllable headset, which should provide a boost to the audio. This model is bare bones, a good price for the basic functions. If you seek an elegant, sophisticated 2-line phone, for example, this is not for you. This AT&T model lacks a display, for example, but it does include a data port, as do all three models. It can store up to 24 numbers to dial with one button.

The 982 is a very affordable 2-line phone for the home office, its price reflecting the lack of bells and whistles, and its distinct rings making it easy to recognize which line is active. Some programming is needed to make it work smoothly, but it's all in the manual. For the money, this is a fine, reliable phone, if a little pedestrian in style.

The Panasonic KXTS208W Phone is the next, according to user ratings. More sophisticated than the AT&T 982, the Panasonic includes 3-way conference calling, an LCD display with controllable brightness, which shows the number dialed with a call timer and clock, multiple levels of sound control on both the corded handset, speakerphone, and optional headset. It stores only 10 telephone numbers for one-touch dialing. According to user reviews, there is no Caller ID; but the feature appears in the product specifications - it's easy to imagine that some users couldn't navigate the programming guide in the manual. Sleek and good looking in all white; this is the most expensive in this group.

Finally, the General Electric 29484GE2 Corded Speakerphone runs a close third in these top three rated 2-line phones (corded telephone models only). This one has a large, well-lighted LCD display showiGE 2-Line Phoneng date and time, number dialed, verification of numbers in memory, call time and memo. The GE has clearly superior information display along with Standard Caller ID, 3-way conference calling capability, and data port. It has a speed-dialing directory of 16 numbers, so the 2-line phone falls in between the other two. Each line has a distinctive ring, and of course, a data port, where a modem, fax, or answering device can be connected.

The GE 29484GE2 Corded Speakerphone is the best looking and best endowed 2-line of these three models, and falls in between the other two in price.