Walkie-talkies are equipment that can be both fun and useful. There is so much variety when it comes to walkie-talkies. They have many different technical details- you are bound to get confused when trying to select the best walkie-talkie. Moreover, the frequency range as well the durability of walkie-talkies differ on where you buy them from. This is a device that can be used by both adults and kids as there are specialized kids’ walkie-talkies.
So, without any further due, let’s look at some key features and types of walkie-talkies that you can choose from.
Who Uses Walkie Talkies?
If you want to buy this two-way radio, you must be wondering about its use. The thing is, walkie-talkies are still widely used. A lot of industries and organizations use walkie-talkies for communication, especially when instant group communication is required.
These two-way radios are easy to communicate even when mobile phones don’t work or have no signal, like in a harsh environment.
They use radio waves which make communication easier within the maximum range that the radiofrequency can travel.
This feature of walkie-talkies makes it an exceptional device to be used in emergency services, military, transportation industry, and security services. The vast majority of government organizations use walkie-talkies since you can create your own private channels with them.
This is a very famous device now which is also used by kids and families as a fun game and to keep in contact while on a camping trip. Therefore, if you need these two-way radios for fun, you can choose the affordable options, but if you need them for serious work, you can choose the ideal option that will fit your requirements.
Which Walkie-Talkie is Suitable for Me?
As mentioned above, there are many excellent options for walkie-talkies available, but which one is the best suited for you? Well, it mainly depends on the type of indoor or outdoor adventure that you need it for.
Understanding the Different Types
There are many types of walkie-talkies that you can buy and use as your method of communication. Here are some two-way radios that are available in the market as your companion when cellular communication doesn’t work.
- Family Radio Service (FMR): This is a personal family radio that is useful for short-distance communication. It has a good audio quality and doesn’t require a license to operate. It is perfect for a family trip or a casual camping trip.
- General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS): These walkie-talkie radios can be modified to amplify the signals and boost the power of the radio. This is more of a professional radio that is useful when you need walkie-talkies for frequent use, even in severe weather. Moreover, it is a licensed radio, for which you need a license to operate.
Top Factors When Choosing the Best Walkie-Talkie
Maximum Range and Clarity:
The frequency range greatly depends on the environment in which you will use this device. According to the seller, the maximum range that a walkie-talkie reaches is usually in an obstacle-free and perfect environment with ideal conditions. However, the actual range is much less as there are obstacles everywhere.
Analog vs. Digital:
Analog walkie-talkies are the original ones; they are much more simple and cheaper. It has all the handy features but is less secure and reliable. Digital radio is much more modern, has better sound quality, is more secure, and has a wide range of additional features like weather alerts.
Number of Handsets:
As you know, this device is like a mobile phone, so everyone needs their own to communicate. If you need more handheld radios, then choosing one with better quality is important for clearer communication. If the radio handset is just for you or for your few friends, then the affordable ones that don’t require a radio license are used.
Channels and Privacy Codes:
If you need a decent range of radio frequencies, then FRS can be used on channels from 8 through 14, but for GMRS, you can use them from channel 15 through 22 when powered up. The privacy codes allow you to listen to the only people that you want to. For private communication, use the more reliable ones.
Knowing if the types of batteries for your walkie-talkie need to be replaced or recharged is one of the most important things to know. In harsh weather conditions where you don’t have electricity or power outputs, using the replaceable battery is better if you have an extra battery lying around. Overall the battery life should belong so the battery level can remain high for a longer period of time, and if the rechargeable battery, it should recharge many times before dying.
VOX and Hands-Free:
VOX is a feature that you will find in newer two-way radios. In this, the radio is always turned on, so you don’t have to turn it on manually. When it listens to your voice, it will immediately broadcast the message to the people within the radio signal range. This feature can also be turned off when you want it to, so it is handy.
Size and Weight:
No one wants to carry extremely heavy and huge digital two-way radios. However, smaller ones have a more limited range and less clarity between the frequency band. You can find very small walkie-talkies as well, but you have to make sure that sound quality and battery life are acceptable for your use.
You will need a durable walkie-talkie if you need it as serious business radio. A durable radio has a lasting battery, the ability to survive severe weather, and is water-resistant. IT should also survive in a combustible environment or hazardous environment. Of course, not everyone needs these features, so it depends on where you are using them.
An ideal walkie-talkie can alert you of any emergency alerts and help you in an emergency situation. Having built-in flashlight and weather alerts are amazing features. Moreover, if you are traveling in a group and you wander too far, some walkie-talkies send emergency alerts to your friends as well.
How Do Walkie-Talkies Work?
To quell your thirst for knowledge, here is a simple explanation of how walkie-talkie radios work. These handheld two-way radios use radio waves to communicate on a single frequency band. It has an antenna that sends and receives the waves, which lets you hear your friend’s voice.
Moreover, it needs a microphone so that you and your partners can speak into it, which is then transmitted to your friends. When no one is talking, the signal is still transmitting; that is why you hear the static. Radio waves travel at the speed of light as they are a part of the electromagnetic spectrum, within the adequate range, and reach your partner’s walkie-talkie.
The signal is then decoded, and others hear your voice. The modern walkie-talkies are more complex and have a long-lasting battery as well as LCD screens, so they are easier to use.
What’s the Difference Between a Walkie-Talkie and Two-Way Radio?
Although both terms have been used interchangeably in this article, there are small differences between these two devices.
- Walkie talkies can only have one frequency at a time, while a two-way can have multiple. They are both different than cell phones, though!
- A two-way radio requires a license for you to use them, so only people who need it for serious business use it, and they both have crisp sound.
- The main difference is that with walkie-talkies, you can either listen or talk, while with two-way radios, you can both talk and listen simultaneously. This is not advisable as mobile phones are a better fit for this feature.
Lastly, both of these devices have all the necessary features like a crisp sound, using frequency channels for communication, and standing adverse weather. So, whatever you choose to use, will be useful when there is no mobile signal.
Choosing a Long Range Walkie Talkie
If you need walkie talkie with a long-range, so you can use it in any adverse weather condition in an emergency when you don’t have mobile signals, here are the top three that you can buy. Keep in mind that a walkie-talkie’s normal communication range is 8 miles in perfect conditions, which is 3 miles in bad conditions.
This is waterproof, so light rain or bodies of water will not affect it. Moreover, it has a rechargeable battery, a communication range of 36 miles in an ideal condition, and good sound quality. However, it has a nosy receiver and takes a very long time to recharge. It is a good option if you need a long-range of communication.
You can buy this radio as a pair, as there are two in one pack with their own rechargeable batteries. It also has an emergency flashlight and a range of 35 miles in perfect condition. Another key feature is that it has water resistance. The drawback of this product is that it only reaches areas that are 25 miles away, even in good conditions, and has poor voice quality.
It has emergency weather alerts so that you can know when you need shelter. Moreover, it has good sound quality and can choose two channels to listen to simultaneously. The range of communication is 4 miles in perfect conditions. Of course, the range is not as far away as the ones mentioned above, but it is a good product that is useful for a short hike.
Buying a Walkie-Talkie for kids
As you know, a walkie-talkie is a fun toy for kids of all ages to play with as well. So here are three options for a walkie-talkie that your kid can use.
This is great for the kids’ indoor and outdoor activities as it has a small and colorful design that is easy to carry. It has a clear sound and is easy to operate with many channels available, and can reach up to 3 miles in good conditions. It is a durable product as well. However, it is easy for children to change channels which is hard to fix.
It has a good sound quality and also has a built-in flashlight for the kids to use. It has a range of 3 KMs and can be used with headphones as well. It comes in a pack of three and is very durable as well. The only bad thing about this product is that you will need batteries and can’t be recharged to be used again.
It is another compact and lightweight walkie-talkie that is also durable. It also has a key lock so children can’t change the channel accidentally. Furthermore, has an adjustable volume that can also be heard with a headphone. Like others, this also has a range of 3 miles. However, these require batteries as well, and the speaker quality is not that great either.
If you are looking for a walkie-talkie that can be charged again and again, here are three that you can choose from!
This is a rechargeable walkie-talkie that is charged with a USB cable and has a range of three miles without obstacles. It can also be used for up to 9 hours after being fully charged. It is a great product that also has good sound quality, but the manual is hard to read, so you will need to figure out how to use it on your own.
This is another rechargeable option with long battery life. It uses a lithium battery and can be used for up to 12 hours. Very easy to use as it is already set up. Charging them is a little complicated as you have to charge them in perfect position but overall a very useful and good quality product.
This one can be charged with a power bank and can stay on standby for 48 hours. It has a clear sound that eliminated unwanted noise and adjustable sound. It also has a long-range of about 16 miles. These are easy to use, and people have no complaint against this great radio.
If you plan a trip into the wilderness or need a device in extreme weather conditions, then waterproof options are great. Here are the top two that you can buy.
This walkie-talkie can float on water and can be submerged as well; it is completely waterproof. It has an emergency SOS lamp and LED light as well. It also has weather alerts and a VOX feature and a good range of up to 32 miles in great conditions. It doesn’t have a good frequency range when there are minor obstacles
They are easy to use as they come prepared in the box. It will float on water and has a bright flashlight as well with an SOS sign. The rechargeable batteries can last up to 10 hours as well. Switching between channels is hard and doesn’t provide a good frequency range of conversation.
Are there walkie talkie apps for smartphones
Yes, there are walkie-talkie apps for smartphones that can be installed on your Android or iPhone. They are more for fun as real frequencies are not used for smartphone walkie-talkie options.
Apps like Zello which is one of the most well-known walkie-talkie apps to Voxer, you can choose the ones that you want. These apps have a lot of options that normal walkie talkie don’t and can be a fun way to contact your friends and families. So if you want to have fun without the commitment of actually buying a walkie-talkie, you can install an app of your liking.
Apple Watch’s Walkie-talkie is available just for Apple Watch users.
Motorola Walkie Talkies: What Are the Options?
Motorola is one of the most well-known companies, so here are the top three Motorola walkie-talkies that you can buy.
This comes in a pack of three and can be recharged as well as used by a replaceable battery. They are compatible with all other walkie-talkies and have customizable ring tones as well. Moreover, they have a range of up to 20 miles. The batteries, however, can’t be fully charged in the set but is very durable.
This waterproof option has a built-in flashlight and a battery life of up to 23 hours. It keeps you updated with the weather at all times and is compatible with any radio. This also has a 35 miles range. You do need to fix it when there is an elevation change as the microphone and audio can be almost inaudible.
It comes in a pack of two and requires batteries to work. It can last up to 18 hours and alerts you when it has a low battery. It has a very short range but has good quality sound. It is a very old Motorola device that doesn’t have some advanced features but has everything you need.
In conclusion, using walkie-talkies is a great way of communication for fun or when you don’t have any cell phone reception. Make sure to buy one with all the features that you and your family require!