A VoIP phone is a telephone set designed specifically for use in a voice over IP (
) system by converting standard telephone audio into a digital format that can be transmitted over the Internet, and by converting incoming digital phone signals from the Internet to standard telephone audio. A VoIP phone allows the user to take advantage of VoIP technology without involving a personal computer, although an Internet connection is required.
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Physically, a VoIP phone set resembles a traditional hard wired or cordless telephone set. It employs the familiar ear and mouth (
) arrangement with an earphone (or earpiece) for listening to incoming audio, and a microphone (or mouthpiece) for transmitting audio. Some VoIP phone sets offer enhanced quality audio, comparable to that on compact disc(
). A few VoIP phone sets allow for the transmission and reception of image data during calls, so they can be considered video telephones.