using an apartment buzzer

Installed in multi-tenant buildings around the world, apartment buzzer systems are one of the most common building entry systems. Typically seen in multifamily properties, apartment buzzers allow residents to open doors for visitors without leaving their apartments. But have you ever wondered about the buzzing sound they make and where it comes from? In this post, we share everything you need to know about that apartment buzzer sound.

Below, we explain:


What is an apartment buzzer sound?

An apartment buzzer sound is a noise created by an apartment buzzer system to either:

  • Notify tenants of a visitor
  • Notify visitors that the door is unlocked

For tenants, the smart buzzer sound notifies them that they have a visitor who needs access to the building. And for visitors, this sound signals that the tenant has unlocked the door.


How is an apartment buzzer sound made?

Apartment buzzer sounds are produced by an electrical current. This current can either power a traditional speaker (like what you’d find in a stereo system) or a vibration plate.

When a tenant hears the buzzer sound, they’re hearing the speaker inside the intercom substation in their apartment unit. But when a visitor hears the buzzer sound, they’re hearing noise from a piezoelectrical vibration plate installed at the building’s entrance.


Types of apartment buzzer sounds

There are two types of apartment buzzer sounds:

  1. A sound that residents hear
  2. A sound that visitors hear


The apartment buzzer sound that residents hear

The apartment buzzer sound that tenants hear comes from the speaker inside the intercom system’s substation installed in their apartment unit.

When a visitor needs property access, they call a tenant by pushing the ‘call’ button on the intercom base station installed at the building’s entryway. This closes a circuit and sends electricity to the intercom substation, which produces a buzzing sound and notifies the resident they have a visitor.

Below, listen to the sound commonly heard by tenants when a visitor buzzes them.



The apartment buzzer sound that visitors hear

The buzzer sound that visitors hear results when you apply an electrical current to piezoelectrical material installed at the building’s entrance.

When a tenant grants property access to a visitor, they push a ‘door open’ button on the intercom substation inside their apartment. This closes a circuit, sending an electrical signal to the electronic door strike at the building entrance. Closing the circuit simultaneously unlocks the door and vibrates the piezoelectrical plate, creating an auditory buzzing sound. When the visitor hears that sound, they know the door is open.

Below, listen to the sound visitors commonly hear when tenants buzz them into a building.




ButterflyMX apartment buzzer

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ButterflyMX is your complete property access solution, providing a secure, convenient, and affordable way to manage and grant access on the go. Empower your tenants and building staff to open doors, gates, and elevators with a smartphone and ensure they never miss a visitor or delivery. Enjoy easy installation and cut costs by eliminating building wiring and in-unit hardware, and save time by integrating with popular access control and property management systems. Join the 10,000+ multifamily, commercial, gated community, and student housing properties that have made access simple with ButterflyMX. To learn more, please visit or call (800) 398-4416.