What comes to your mind when you think about an alternative to a mobile phone for communicating with others? Your answer is indeed a walkie-talkie. A walkie-talkie comes in handy when phones stop working, for example, in deep tunnels, lifts, or basements. Staying in contact with your partners in such places can be hard. However, having a high-quality walkie-talkie can save you much time and even your life in emergency situations.
Walkie-talkies are also known as two-way radio, and their use can increase the security and safety of staff and provide them the convenience of communicating with each other, even when the cellular signals are weak or unavailable.
The Mechanism of Walkie-Talkies
Walkie-talkies work on the transmitter-receiver mechanism using radio frequencies. They have push-to-talk buttons in walkie-talkies that allow both parties to talk by taking turns. Walkie-talkies differ according to the type of bandwidth and the range in which they can stay connected with each other. For example:
Family Radio Service
Also known as FRS, it is usually used in households with kids and has maximum connectivity up to one mile.
General Mobile Radio
Also known as GMRS, it has a wider range than FRS as its connectivity range goes up to two miles.
Ultra-High Frequency Two-Way Radios
Also known as UHF radio, it has a stronger and wider range than GMRS. Their frequencies can penetrate concrete and metal easily, making them great for hilly, wooded, or built-up areas.
Very-High Frequency Two-Way Radios
Also known as VHF, the waves of these walkie-talkies are longer than all other types. They are usually used in aviation and marine communication or among ground maintenance workers. However, they cannot penetrate concrete or metal, which makes them a bad option for build-up areas.
How to Choose a Good Walkie-Talkie?
If you have decided to buy a walkie-talkie for an emergency situation, there are some factors that you should keep in mind. They are as follows:
For What Purpose Do You Need a Walkie-Talkie?
The nature of work you need a walkie-talkie for is the most important factor to keep in mind while choosing a two-way radio. For example, different types of walkie-talkies are specifically manufactured for different purposes, i.e., stronger walkie-talkies with a wider range are made for the work environment, while others, with a limited range and weaker frequencies, are used in households with kids.
If you are looking for a walkie-talkie that you can use in a harsh working environment and emergency conditions, a waterproof set with high frequency, wider band length, and a greater number of channels will work just fine for you. On the other hand, if you need it for work purposes, such as in hotels or office buildings, a high-frequency walkie-talkie with several channels would work great for you.
Considering the range of walkie-talkies is important as their functioning depends upon radio frequencies. The radio frequencies usually range from 400 to 512 MHz along with the ultra-high frequency range. Walkie-talkies with a smaller range are great for household use. However, those with a wider range work perfectly for work environments as they stay connected even at longer distances.
Long-range walkie-talkies are also great because they wouldn’t stop working even when all other means of communication betray you.
The battery life of a walkie-talkie matters a lot. Usually, portable walkie-talkies have long battery lives, but still, you should make the necessary comparison. An average walkie-talkie can withstand up to 8 to 12 hours, depending on how much they are used. In case of an emergency situation, a walkie-talkie with long-lasting batteries is like a holy grail. Longer battery life provides a long-lasting backup and supports communication among the team members.
Number of Channels
The number of channels has a significant role to play in the use of walkie-talkies. The interference in channels is actually a big issue that can only be resolved if they have the ability to switch between several channels. So, while choosing a walkie-talkie, make sure it has a greater number of channels and the ability to easily switch between them.
Durability and Quality
How can anyone ignore the durability and quality of something they are spending money upon? Walkie-talkies go everywhere with you, even in harsh environments where they can be exposed to water or may fall down several times; this is when durability makes a difference. Make sure that the one you are buying is durable enough to withstand extreme situations. Along with that, ensure that the walkie-talkie is water and dustproof, so you don’t have anything to worry about.
Our Top Picks
Here is a list of some of the best walkie-talkie sets available on the market:
This set contains three walkie-talkies, and each of them works on three 1000MAh NI-MH AA rechargeable batteries. The set comes with a micro-USB cable that allows you to charge it with a power bank or vehicle adaptor.
You can also connect to radios from other FRS brands through privacy code and using the same channel. The main features of this set include:
- Drop protection
- Weather alert
- Voice monitor
- Keypad lock
- 22 main channels
- 38 CTCSS Code
- 83 DCS Code
- Squelch System
This is a great option if you need a walkie-talkie set for your family. With the push-to-talk buttons and adjustable volume, it is surely worth buying.
For a professional environment, a long-range 2-way radio with several channels and strong frequencies is highly recommended. This set allows you to create 16 channels at the same time within the frequency range. The range of this set is about 3 miles, and the battery life is anywhere between 8 to 96 hours when fully charged.
Moreover, it comes with a built-in flashlight, LED indicator, and battery alert. The set is lightweight, drop-proof, waterproof, and dust resistant, along with being durable. If you need a walkie-talkie for a harsh work environment, this one would be a great option for you.
This slim and compact-designed two-way walkie-talkie has connectivity of up to 16 channels. With a wide range and strong frequencies, it is great for several applications, including emergency situations. The 0-9 voice-activated transmit function allows the user to have a real hands-free operation.
The built-in emergency alarm helps you stay alert in dangerous situations and alert your teammates as well. The channel lock helps prevent accidental channel shifting while working out of the box. The set comes with a six-way multi-gang charger, allowing you to charge six walkie-talkies simultaneously.
Mobile phones may be the new normal, but they don’t come in handy in several situations, especially emergencies. Moreover, you cannot use them to communicate continuously with your teammates. For such purposes, nothing can beat a set of high-quality walkie-talkies that can help you communicate with your teammates in any situation.