Video intercom at apartment entrance.


Key takeaways

  • ButterflyMX is the best cost-effective intercom system for your budget and is beloved by both property managers and tenants.
  • An intercom system is a valuable addition to a multifamily apartment complex — and an inexpensive option is just as beneficial as an expensive one.
  • Some advantages of an inexpensive intercom system include affordability, maintenance ease, energy efficiency, and simplicity.
  • The top features to look for in an intercom system are audio and video communication tools, access control, integration abilities, customer support, compatibility, and convenience.


Intercom systems are a valuable addition to any multifamily apartment complex. They make residents feel safer, improve visitor management, and add convenience for staff. However, finding an inexpensive intercom system that is both effective and reliable can be a challenge.

Below, we go over the benefits of a cost-effective intercom system. Then, we assess the features you should look for in one. Most importantly, you’ll discover the best inexpensive intercom systems.

In this post, we cover:


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3 best inexpensive intercom systems

There are hundreds of intercom systems on the market at varying price points. However, if you want an intercom that’s both effective and inexpensive, there are a few stand-out options.

The three best inexpensive intercom systems are:

  1. ButterflyMX
  2. 2N IP Verso
  3. Aiphone IXG Series


1. ButterflyMX

ButterflyMX is the best multifaceted, cost-effective intercom system that fits a majority of multifamily access control budgets.

Established in 2014, ButterflyMX is a cloud-based access control company with a transformative video intercom experience. Since its inception, the ButterflyMX video intercom has been installed in over 10,000 buildings and one million units.

The ButterflyMX video intercom features:

  • Easy smartphone use. With ButterflyMX, residents can easily use their smartphones to open doors and gates for themselves and visitors. Residents can even see who they’re letting in via the video intercom.
  • Delivery passes and virtual keys. Visitor management is simple with ButterflyMX’s virtual keys and delivery passes. Residents can provide virtual keys to visitors, and delivery couriers can use passes to leave packages with ease. Moreover, property managers can remotely manage delivery passes and change permissions from anywhere.
  • Retrofitting for older buildings. Property managers and owners with older buildings don’t have to worry about complicated installations with ButterflyMX. Retrofitting this affordable intercom system is easy and can save time and money.
  • Wide-angle camera. Capture the full scope of your main entryway with ButterflyMX’s 156° field-of-view wide-angle camera. That way, your residents can clearly see who is requesting access at the front door, while your audit log will fully record who enters when they’re let inside.
  • Built-in WiFi. Reduce installation requirements and costs by connecting your video intercom directly to the WiFi. Internet access points can be difficult to locate near main entryways. So, ButterflyMX makes it easier for properties to connect their intercom to the internet with WiFi capabilities.
  • Multiple credential support. Enable your tenants to use any credential they like to gain entry: mobile app, PIN code, key card, or key fob.


Here’s why property managers love ButterflyMX:

  • With ButterflyMX, property managers can easily monitor the property and see who is coming and going.
  • Resident satisfaction is higher because of the overall increase in convenience.
  • The cost and complexity of installation are significantly lower than other intercom systems.
  • The intercom’s software is automatically updated periodically via the cloud, ensuring your system is always up-to-date and receives new features over time.


Learn about video intercoms and how ButterflyMX works:


2. 2N IP Verso

The 2N IP Verso is a configurable intercom system thanks to its customizable modules. The base of the system encompasses mobile access, a touchscreen, and a camera with night vision. Of course, you may also select the modules that best suit your property’s needs, such as a fingerprint reader, Bluetooth, or touch display.

Some features and benefits of the 2N IP Verso include:

  • Modularity lets you customize the 2N IP Verso intercom to your needs.
  • Security relay prevents intrusion attempts.
  • Third-party integrations with security systems and software.
  • Suitable for single-family, multifamily, and commercial properties.
  • Hidden camera records entries at all times of the day.
  • Modules are available for those with hearing impairments.
  • Receive door entry events directly in your email.


Read the full 2N intercom review »


3. Aiphone IXG Series

Aiphone offers a variety of intercom systems, but the IXG Series encompasses the most cost-effective intercom. The IXG Series video intercom is a cloud-based system that can be integrated with Aiphone’s AC series, their new access control solution. Aiphone’s video intercom enables tenants to have two-way video communication with their guests before letting them inside via the mobile app.

The IXG series showcases the following features:

  • Built-in HID reader for key card or key fob access.
  • Integrates with elevator controls, allowing control of up to 16 elevators.
  • IP65 and IK08 ratings.
  • Optional emergency stations for guard and entry monitoring.
  • Hands-free, push-to-talk, and handset communication methods.


Read the full Aiphone video intercom review »


How do I choose an intercom system that fits my budget?

So, you know you want to invest in an intercom system. But how do you pick one that’s cost-effective?

The best way to choose an intercom system that fits your budget is to:

  • Determine your access needs. Do you need a security-heavy intercom to vet visitors or a simple access control system that only residents will use? What are your building’s requirements? When you know your most basic needs, it’s easier to compare intercoms and what they offer, plus how they can meet your expectations.
  • Compare prices. The average price of an apartment intercom system ranges anywhere from $1,000 to $7,000. So, you should shop around until you find something that offers what you want for your budget.
  • Research vendors. Not only do you want a system that will fit your budget, but you also want a reputable vendor. Do your research to make sure you find a brand that will deliver on the agreed price and won’t nickel and dime you out of your budget.


Vehicle entrance intercom


How much does it cost for a new intercom?

Intercom systems cost anywhere up to $7,000.

Of course, many attributes influence costs, such as the manufacturer, technology, and features.


How much does it cost to install an intercom?

Intercom installation can cost up to $3,000 or more, depending on certain factors.

Factors that influence installation costs include:

  • Installer
  • Building architecture
  • Intercom install requirements
  • Retrofitting vs. new intercom


What is the easiest and simplest type of intercom installation?

The easiest and simplest type of intercom installation is a wireless intercom system.

Wireless intercom systems are cloud-based, meaning they don’t require extensive wiring throughout the property. Instead, these types of intercoms only require a few wired connections, typically to a door release, power, and the internet. As a result, these intercoms are much simpler and cheaper to install.


What features should I look for in an intercom system?

  • Audio and video capabilities. Regardless of cost, a good intercom system will include robust audio and video capabilities.
  • Visitor access. Make sure the intercom system provides a reliable way for visitors to request property access from tenants and/or building staff.
  • Integration abilities. Integrating with other proptech is a huge benefit of an intercom system.
  • Maintenance and support. Knowing that you’ll have access to maintenance and technical support is a priceless addition to any intercom you go with.
  • Building compatibility. An intercom system, no matter the cost, should be able to be retrofitted within any property.
  • Convenience and ease. Being able to use a system easily should be a priority. If an intercom doesn’t add convenience to your daily operations, it might not be worth the time or money.


truck stop gate intercom mobile access butterflymx


Advantages of an inexpensive intercom

There are many advantages of an inexpensive, uncomplicated intercom system for multifamily properties, gated communities, commercial buildings, and industrial complexes. These benefits are, namely, simplicity of use and ease of installation.

But an economic intercom system doesn’t have to mean less quality.

In fact, here are four advantages of choosing a cost-effective intercom system:

  1. Affordability
  2. Maintenance ease
  3. Energy efficiency
  4. Simplicity


1. Affordability

Above all, the most notable advantage of an inexpensive intercom system is affordability.

Firstly, choosing a budget-friendly intercom system lowers the cost of the device itself. But you should also consider the cost of installation, repair, and software.

These things can add up with both luxury and affordable intercom systems, so it’s important to budget accordingly.

Pro tip: Opting for a wireless intercom system will help further cut costs.


2. Maintenance ease

A more low-cost intercom system will likely be easier to maintain because it contains simpler components. Additionally, parts are less expensive to replace and easier to find.

As such, you’re less likely to wait as long for your intercom system to be repaired because you’ll have an easier time finding someone to help you maintain it.


3. Energy efficiency

Most affordable intercom systems are energy-efficient in a way that their luxury counterparts are not.

They generally consume less power which can help minimize the cost of a monthly electricity bill. And some are even battery-powered, making them reliable during a power outage.

Moreover, you may find that certain budget intercom systems have power-saving modes that increase the efficiency of their operation.


4. Simplicity

As mentioned above, simplicity is one of the biggest assets of an inexpensive system. With some more expensive intercoms, the features could be overwhelming, and there are many things to install and learn.

A simpler design actually adds convenience by making everyday tasks and building operations easy to accomplish.


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Rebecca Cline

Rebecca is based in Northern Virginia and has been a writer all her life. She loves learning new things and enjoys writing everything from real estate to property management!

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