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Home ringtones may not be music to your ears

Hammacher Schlemmer's gadget costs a lot more than others.


Several months ago we thought the idea of custom ringtones for home phones was a pretty nifty concept that would be picked up by other manfacturers. Our prediction, naturally, was met with dead silence. But now Hammacher Schlemmer is trying to introduce one such gadget for the masses, claiming the technology as its very own by labeling it "the first home telephone custom ringtone player."

While the hype is to be expected, other aspects of this "first" are less excusable. For starters, there's the $70 price: Do its features really justify costing that much more than the $12 Evertek "Magic Ringtone MP3 Ringer" we mentioned earlier? And even if they do, couldn't the design of Hammacher's version look a little better than an intercom speaker from an apartment building lobby?

Perhaps the price is simply justice at work. One probably should have to pay a penalty for subjecting everyone else in the household to the Bee Gees' greatest hits.