There are so many walkie-talkies on the market that finding the right one can be difficult. You’ll find there are two way radios made in different frequencies, materials, ranges and features. This will show you the most important features so that you know exactly what to look for when buying a walkie-talkie.
Every walkie-talkie is made to work with a certain frequency. This determines the overall range of the device and how well it functions in certain conditions. There are several common frequencies that you should be familiar with.
Both Ultra High Frequency, or UHF, and Very High Frequency, or VHF, walkie-talkies are considered high-end devices. UHF is considered the more versatile of the two because you get good range, the frequency is able to penetrate and get around many obstructions and the voice clarity is excellent. VHF has longer range and requires less power, but it isn’t very good at penetrating obstructions.
Under these frequencies would be Family Radio Service, or FRS, and General Mobile Radio Service, or GMRS. Both of these are very similar and are great for short-range communication in a house or business office. If you want walkie-talkies for fun or limited use, then these frequencies would be better because they are more affordable.
All two way radios have an advertised range and this is a good yardstick for comparing one walkie-talkie to another, but you’ll rarely get that actual range out in the field. This isn’t faulty advertising as much as it is adverse conditions such as obstructions or weather getting in the way.
On average, you’ll find the real operating range is about 20 percent less than the advertised range. If you need a specific range for business or professional needs, then be sure to keep this in mind. If you’re just getting these for fun, then the range may not be quite as important.
Some walkie-talkies are made to be waterproof and weatherproof. This allows them to be used in nasty conditions without any reduction in quality or condition. This is an ideal feature if you plan on using the devices outdoors for business use. If you intend on only using them indoors, or if they are only for fun or limited use, then buying weatherproof models might be going overboard.
This feature is amazing if it’s needed, but it does drive up the price of the walkie-talkies. Consider how you’ll be using them and it should be simple to know whether you need them to resist water or not.
While a weatherproof walkie-talkie is obviously more durable than one that isn’t, this section is more about general durability and how the device performs under average circumstances. Any two-way radio can be dropped from a few inches and still be fine, but a good device can be dropped from several feet and still function without any problem.
You’ll want to check more than just the body durability. One of the weakest points of a walkie-talkie is the antenna because it might snap or bend under the wrong circumstances. If you need a durable model for business or outdoors use, then check all over and make sure that every part is made to take a hit without being permanently damaged.
There are a few special features that can make the walkie-talkies even better depending on your needs and preferences. A few of them are:
- Accepts both alkaline and rechargeable batteries
- Whisper mode and vibration
- Voice activation for hands-free use
- Privacy features so others don’t hear your conversation
These are just a few of the special features you’ll come across when looking for a two-way radio. Walkie-talkies are surprisingly versatile and there are many features to choose from. Consider what you really need from your device and you’re sure to find one that fits your needs and preferences.
Buying a walkie-talkie is simple, but finding the right one requires a little bit of research. The most important things to look for when buying these devices would be frequency, range, durability and any special features that you want. After that, you should have no problem finding the right one for your needs.