What Does Chime Control Mean?

The term "chime control" refers to the various chime settings that are available on a security system. Some common chime settings include whether or not the control panel produces any chimes, whether or not a particular zone produces chimes, and what type of chime a system zone produces.

A chime refers to an audible tone that a security panel and/or keypad produces when certain types of system zones are activated. The tone will even be produced if the panel is in a disarmed state. This tone can be helpful for letting a user know that an activity has occurred on their security system, such as a door or window being opened. Chimes are similar to "voice descriptors", but there is one major difference. That is, a voice descriptor will verbally speak out the name of the zone that has been activated. But a chime will only produce an audible tone, with no zone name being spoken. Please note that voice descriptor features are not available on every alarm panel.

The overarching consideration here is that system chimes must be enabled in order for any chimes to be produced. Many alarm panels have a setting where users can enable or disable chimes. If system chimes are disabled, then no chimes will be produced for any system zones. This is true even if a zone has been otherwise configured to produce a chime upon activation. Once system chimes are enabled, any zones that are set up for chimes will tell the panel or a keypad to produce a tone when they are activated. It's also worth mentioning that a panel and/or keypad may not produce any chime sounds when the volume is muted. For chimes to work, the volume must be on.

But even if system chimes are enabled, not every zone will necessarily produce a chime upon activation. Many panels have zone settings that allow zones to be configured so that they do not produce any chimes upon activation. For some panels, this is determined by the zone's Response Type. That means that a system zone will automatically be set to produce chimes if it is set to a certain Response Type. But other panels allow users to configure an individual zone's chime settings regardless of its Response Type. But remember, chimes will only be produced if system chimes are enabled on a panel level. Also keep in mind that a system zone will not produce any chime sound if it is currently bypassed. It must be un-bypassed to produce a chime.

The final consideration for chime control is the type of chime that a zone produces. Some panels and keypads have different possible selections of which type of chime, or tone, a zone will produce upon activation. One example is the Honeywell Lyric Controller, which gives users a large selection of possible chimes that can be produced by any given zone.

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