A walkie-talkie is an effective communication device that allows you to communicate with other people on the same frequency. In the past, they were used by police officers only to communicate wirelessly. Their usage, however, has now evolved, and you can use them for a variety of purposes. If you want to find the best walkie-talkie/two-way radio, there is a lot that you have to put into consideration. For starters, you must know that there exist different brands on the market; therefore, extensive market research is critical if you want to make a wise purchasing decision. However, this article will save you the trouble by reviewing some of the best walkie-talkies available. The article also features a buyer’s guide.
Our List of the Best Two-way Radios – Product Reviews
Midland GXT1000VP4 50 Channel GMRS Two-Way Radio – Editor’s choice
One of the walkie-talkies that you could get yourself for your communication needs is Midland – GXT1000VP4. It is an impressive radio that comes as a pair pack. The walkie talkies have an impressive and ergonomic design with adequate buttons for seamless control. The two-way radios also include JIS4 waterproof protection to prevent harm from the water.
Interestingly, the two-way radios operate on 50 GMRS channels plus a channel scan. Moreover, the walkie-talkies have a 36-mile range, particularly in areas where there are minimal obstacles. They also come with easy voice and sound activation transmission that has 9 sensitivity levels to allow hands-free operation.
Moreover, the radios have NOAA weather scan and alert to inform you of weather patterns. They also have 142 CTCSS and DCS privacy codes to block chatter from other users.
- Comes with a user manual.
- The pair comes with the necessary accessories.
- Has a great range.
- The receiver is a bit noisy.
- Takes too long to charge the batteries.
Retevis RT22 Two Way Radio – Our Best Pick
If you need a walkie talkie to go about some activities with your family, then you could consider trying out Retevis RT22 Two Way Radio License. The walkie talkie includes four pieces, making them ideal for family use.
The four radios have a simple, yet ergonomic design. They are small enough to fit in your pockets, enhancing portability. What’s more, you can conveniently charge the radios using the included USB charger.
They operate on an FCC certified FRS frequency. The radios come with an emergency alarm, and they also have CTCSS and DCS privacy codes plus VOX for better sound clarity. Each walkie talkie has a rechargeable Li-ion battery that lasts between 12 and 24 hours, and every radio has an integrated antenna.
- It comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Very portable.
- Has an integrated antenna for better sound clarity.
- Comes with a USB cable for convenient charging.
- Has a limited range.
- Takes relatively long to fully charge the batteries.
Ansoko Long Range Walkie Talkies – Best for Outdoor Use
Have you been looking to get yourself a walkie talkie for outdoor use? If you have, you might consider trying out these devices. The walkie talkies feature sturdy and durable construction to enable extended use. Moreover, their battery life is as long as 24 hours and they are quite portable.
Additionally, they have an impressive frequency range of between 400 and 470 MHz, which allows a communication range of up to 3 miles. The radios operate at 2 wattages, plus they have a 16 channel memory. They also have built-in 50 CTCSS tones and 105 DCS codes. Their ergonomic design also makes them easy to use.
These radios include a built-in LED flashlight for easier operation at night, and they have an excellent sound quality. Moreover, they feature VOX and voice prompt.
- Includes an 18-months warranty.
- Have a durable construction.
- Excellent range.
- Great battery life.
- They produce a clicking sound when you use the headsets.
- The screws are a bit tight.
Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios – Best Durable Walkie-Talkies
Next up is Arcshell Rechargeable walkie talkies. The radios are not only economically priced but also have sturdy construction. Additionally, each radio is waterproof to allow handling in adverse weather conditions. Moreover, it will fit into your pocket conveniently.
These are UHF radios with a range of 400 to 470 MHz with 16 channels. An interesting feature on each radio is the 16 positions mechanical rotary switch channel selector that informs you of the channel that you’ve selected. What’s more, each programmed channel has 50 CTCSS tones and 105 CDCSS codes.
And that’s not all. Every radio includes a 1500mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery plus a charging dock. The batteries get fully charged after 2 ½ hours, and they can last from 8 to 96 hours depending on the usage. Moreover, each of the radios includes an earpiece, and they produce a clear sound. The radios also feature a VOX function, and they have a transmission range of up to 5 miles.
- Each radio has its own earpiece and charging deck.
- It has extended battery life.
- Has a sturdy and durable construction.
- Headsets are fragile.
- Sound quality is not as impressive.
Motorola Business CLS1110 5 – Best Walkie Talkie for the Price
If you run a business or a school where you have to communicate with your employees constantly, you need an effective walkie talkie to run things smoothly, and Motorola Business CLS1110 5 might be a suitable choice.
The walkie-talkie runs on 56 business-exclusive frequencies, and it comes with 121 codes to eliminate interference. It comes fitted with a rechargeable Li-ion battery that provides you with up to 18 hours of usage. One of the most impressive features about this walkie talkie is its keypad lock that provides enhanced security. You can use it to transmit for up to 15 floors in a building or up to 200,000 sq. ft.
- The device has an excellent range within a business environment.
- Has a keypad lock to prevent unwanted changes.
- Adequate battery life.
- Falls in the higher price range.
- It doesn’t include a manual.
2 Ways Radio Long Range Samcom FPCN10A GMRS Walkie Talkie – Best Walkie Talkie for Private and Group Talk
Are you looking for a walkie talkie that can enable you to communicate privately and in a group? If you are, you might want to check out these devices. The two-way radios come with a GROUP button that allows you to communicate to several channels simultaneously. You also have the option of holding individual private talks. The radios come in three units per pack.
Each of the radios comes fitted with a 3000mAh rechargeable battery that allows you to operate it for up to 33 hours. The battery capacity also allows the radio to stay for up to 190 hours on standby mode. The radios have a transmission range of between 2 and 3 miles and a frequency range of between 400 and 469.995 MHz.
The radios also have sizeable LCD displays that are well lit. Moreover, they deliver a clear sound during communication. Additionally, they come fitted with a belt clip and you have the option of communicating hands-free using an earpiece.
- Each of them includes an LCD display.
- They have excellent battery capacity.
- The devices have power saving capabilities.
- Come with a lifetime quality warranty.
- Slightly expensive for some people.
- Not loud enough.
BaoFeng Walkie Talkie, BF-888S Two Way Radios – Best Walkie Talkie for Camping
If you are an outdoor enthusiast, particularly a camper or a hiker, then you know how important it is to have a reliable communication device. If you are looking for reliable walkie talkies, you might consider getting the BF-888S Two Way Radios for your camping needs.
The radios have an ergonomic design and they come with a 16-channel memory. They are ideal for different outdoor environments and allow you to use them both in the day and at night because they have a built-in LED torch and an indicator. Additionally, they have an enhanced signal transmission, and they come with buttons for volume control.
BF-888S comes in pairs, and each radio comes with an earpiece and a charging dock. What’s more, the radios have an extended battery life and a low voltage alert. The radios have a range of about 2 kilometers.
- They come with a volume control.
- Have an intelligent charging mode and an extended battery life.
- They have an LED torch.
- They are very hard to program.
- They might produce a stuttering sound.
ESYNIC 4 pcs Rechargeable Walkie Talkies – Best Additional Features
If you are looking for long-range walkie-talkies, you could consider getting yourself ESYNIC 4 pcs Rechargeable Walkie Talkies. The walkie-talkies are well-accessorized to allow seamless communication with other operators.
The walkie talkies are designed to provide up to 16 memory channels. They have a transmission range of up to 5 kilometers and they have a frequency range of between 400 and 470 MHz. Each of the 4 radios comes with its own charging pack, a headset, and a USB charging cable.
Interestingly, the radios are easy to use, and they come fitted with 1500mAh Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that deliver up to 9 hours of usage. Additionally, the radios have LED torchlights to ensure you can use them easily even at night. Additionally, they have 50 CTCSS/ DCS codes.
- The devices come with an 18-month warranty and a lifetime customer support.
- They have LED torch lights.
- This product is well accessorized.
- The chargers included may have durability issues.
- The device’s range is a bit disappointing.
Proster Walkie Talkies – Best Affordable Walkie Talkies
You might be glad to know that you don’t have to break the bank when you want to get a walkie-talkie. If you are looking for affordable walkie-talkies, you could consider checking out Proster Walkie Talkies.
These walkie talkies come in a pair where each has a frequency range of between 400 and 470 MHz with 16 memory channels. In an open space, this pair has a range of up to 2 miles, and it is license free. Additionally, the pair has CTCSS and DCS function. Each radio also comes with a charging pack, a headset, and a built-in LED emergency flashlight. What’s more, the radios come with a USB charger for convenient charging.
- The device is economically priced.
- It includes an LED flashlight.
- The device comes in handy for both kids and adults.
- The device’s battery might need replacing.
- The headset is fragile.
Baofeng Walkie Talkie UV-5R5 5W – Best UHF and VHF Walkie Talkie
The next product on this review is Baofeng Walkie Talkie UV-5R5 5W. This two-way radio is ideal for users who would like to communicate with users on a different frequency. It supports both VHF and UHF.
The walkie talkie’s design features a 12-inch antenna for better transmission. It also includes an earphone headset for clear sound quality and a Li-ion battery pack. You will also find out that using this device is easy because it comes with an English manual.
Interestingly, this radio operates on UHF 400 – 520 MHz and VHF 136 – 174 MHz. It also has commercial FM radio reception of 65 – 108 MHz. With a built-in LED flashlight, this radio has a 3 miles transmission range. It also has 128 channels and a built-in VOX function. What’s more, it has a water-resistant dual-band display.
- It has a waterproof display.
- The radio has easy-to-use controls.
- The device is economically priced.
- It has a tri-color display.
- There is no customer support.
- It has durability issues.
BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio – Walkie Talkie with the Best Power Output
The last item on our list is BaoFeng BF-F8HP Two-Way Radio. BaoFeng BF-F8HP is an upgraded version that might be ideal for people looking for a walkie talkie with high power output.
The walkie-talkie has a sturdy construction, and it has a large battery with a power output of 8 Watts. It also has an impressive frequency range – VHF 136 to 174 MHz and UHF 400 to 520 MHZ. The two-way radio also comes with a manual to make operations easier for you. What’s more, it features a PC03 FTDI programming cable.
- There are customer support and a warranty.
- Comes with easy-to-use controls (buttons).
- It includes a display.
- Has a high power output.
- The quality of the FM radio is not impressive.
- You might need to get a programming cable.
What can you do with your walkie-talkie?
Technically, walkie-talkies have a wide array of uses. You can use them in security, construction sites, hotels and restaurants, retail stores, or schools. You could also get a walkie-talkie to engage in activities such as camping, skiing, or hiking among other outdoor activities. Two-way radios that are meant for use in professional environments such as security are usually licensed, while those that you use while on a camping or hiking adventure are unlicensed. Additionally, walkie-talkies rely on a half-duplex system, meaning that you can either listen or talk. It is impossible to do both simultaneously.
Things to consider before buying a walkie talkie
Before you purchase a walkie-talkie for yourself or your family members, there are some things that you have to look out for. Different brands are manufactured differently, and it would be unwise for you to settle on the first product that you lay your eyes on. You have to look at the features of the device that you want to purchase to ensure that you only pay for a high-quality product. If you are a beginner and you have no knowledge of the features to consider before making your purchase, here are some of them.
Before you select a walkie-talkie from a retailer, you must consider its battery life. The battery life is an essential factor in the functionality of your two-way radio. The radios either feature standard batteries or built-in rechargeable batteries. Keep in mind that the battery life differs from one device to another but some units can store power for up to 12 hours.
It would be best for you to settle for a walkie-talkie that has extended battery life. For outdoor activities such as hiking, operators are recommended to get walkie-talkies that use standard batteries. If you use your radio in an indoor environment with a power source, then a radio with rechargeable batteries might be ideal.
By now, you must know that walkie-talkies are wireless communication devices. As a result, the range of the device that you wish to get has to be one of the major considerations that you have to make. The range you select could depend on the intended use of the two-way radio. Basically, the range of an outdoor radio differs from that of an indoor radio. Recreational walkie-talkies usually have a transmission range of up to 2 miles, whereas indoor walkie-talkies have a transmission range of up to 10 miles. It is imperative, however, to note that the range of radio might be subject to the obstacles existing between the people using them.
Another key feature that you must look out for is the build quality of the construction quality of the walkie-talkie. The build quality determines the device’s durability, and it is in your best interest to have a long-lasting communication gadget.
The majority of two-way radios are made of plastic material, but their quality differs from one brand. A walkie-talkie that has a more sturdy construction will cost you much more as compared to the one that is made of low-quality plastic. Additionally, you might want to get a radio that features an ergonomic design to fit in your hand well. Other build quality features that you may want to look at include the dust and waterproof qualities. You can also find high-end radios that have a rubberized body to enhance the grip.
When you are on the market looking for a walkie-talkie, it is imperative for you to consider its size. The size of the device might also be determined by your intended use and where you will be going with the radio. Smaller two-way radios are ideal for someone who is constantly moving from one area to another because they have a lightweight design. You can also find smaller radios that can fit into your pocket, allowing easier portability.
Before you settle with a specific walkie-talkie, you need to ensure that its controls are easy to use and very accessible. An ideal radio should have buttons that are easy to manipulate and the menus need to be easily understood. You will also find those that have backlit buttons to allow seamless control even in dark conditions.
When you go out to get yourself a walkie-talkie, it is crucial for you to check the privacy codes, especially if you intend to use the device for security purposes. Why are they among the key features? Privacy codes enable you to separate the main channels of your walkie-talkie to minimize the probability of conversations from other users interrupting your chatter.
If you are an outdoor enthusiast looking to purchase a walkie-talkie, then it is wise to consider the weather capabilities of the device that you wish to get. Some two-way radios are designed with features that allow them to connect to the national weather service, NOAA. This impressive feature enables operators to check for real-time weather alerts and updates. It is beneficial to individuals who spend most of their time outdoors by making them aware of the weather patterns to plan their activities appropriately.
Another important feature that you need to look out for is the wattage of the walkie-talkie you want to get. This feature influences the range of your radio and ranges from 0.5 W to 5.0 W. When a radio has a higher wattage, it has a longer transmission range.
The number of channels that your walkie-talkie has influences the number of people that you can connect to; therefore, you must ensure to check out this feature. However, keep in mind that the number of channels also depends on the intended use of the walkie-talkie. Devices that are meant for outdoor/recreational activities usually have a few channels. On the other hand, higher-grade radios may have up to 22 channels, allowing you to connect to more people.
Some environments, such as construction sites, tend to be quite noisy, and they may hinder proper communication among site workers. If you work in such an environment, it would be wise to get a walkie-talkie that has noise-cancellation capabilities. The noise-cancellation features improve reception and sound quality for better communication.
Backlight and flashlight
Sometimes, you may need to use your walkie-talkie at night or in a dark place. As such, you may need to get a walkie-talkie that has a backlight and a flashlight to allow efficient operation at night.
A walkie-talkie is an investment, and like any other investment, it deserves to be protected. You, however, might feel safer when you have a walkie-talkie that comes with a good warranty as compared to getting a walkie-talkie that doesn’t have one.
GPS and digital compass
Other useful features that you should look out for in a walkie-talkie include the GPS and a digital compass. These two features help you to navigate, especially when you’re in a new environment such as a forest.
What are VHF and UHF frequencies?
When you want to purchase a walkie-talkie, you can choose between a UHF and a VHF radio. The two are quite different, and you cannot use a VHF walkie-talkie to communicate with a UHF walkie-talkie.
UHF (Ultra High Frequency) walkie-talkies usually have a frequency range of between 400 and 512 MHz. They operate on shorter waves, making them ideal for indoor environments because they can handle areas that have some interference. If you work in an urban setting or within a school, a UHF walkie-talkie suits your needs.
On the other hand, VHF walkie-talkies operate on a frequency range of between 136 and 174 MHz. VHF radios are ideal when longer distances are involved. You can use these walkie talkies on an open space where there is minimal interference. As such, you can find VHF devices being used by the marine or by golfers because their environments have a clear line of sight.
What’s the difference between FRS and GMRS?
Besides UHF and VHF, you can also find Family Radio Service (FRS) and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS).
FRS radios are meant for use by families and for recreational purposes. Although you will not require any licensing to use the radios, they have a limitation on both frequency and wattage.
Alternatively, you can find GMRS devices. These devices have 23 frequencies and they share 7 of them with FRS frequencies. Although they are meant for family use, they are also used in work environments that need communication over short distances. As a result, you need to have a license to operate a GMRS.
Benefits of using walkie talkies
Here are some of the benefits of using a walkie talkie:
- They will provide service even when you’re in an emergency.
- Best walkie-talkies have a lightweight design.
- They deliver clear communication.
- The devices are easy to use.
- Using the devices is quite cost-effective.
Yes, what you pay for is what you get, however, the most expensive professional walkie-talkie on the market, isn’t necessarily the best one for sale. First of all, the cost of professional brands is variable. They range in price from as high as $100 to less than $10, if you can imagine. We’ve separated walkie-talkies by type and made several review tables for you, this may help you to separate the good from the not quite as good, and will help you to get the best one that suits for your goals and you will be able to make an excellent investment.
Rechargeable Walkie-Talkies Review
The best rechargeable walkie-talkie is the Midland LXT1000VP4, because the charger is included in the purchase price, and the unit can also use disposable batteries, ensuring that communication won’t be interrupted. This is great for campers, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts who will not have electricity available to charge their walkie-talkies.
The best walkie-talkie for your buck is the Midland LXT1000VP4 for about $60.00+. It out features the other devices and has a great built-in emergency system. It is equally effective and useful for outdoor/recreational entertainment, as well as for construction companies, etc.
Walkie-Talkie for Kids
The best walkie-talkie we recommend for kids is Mopoin T-388. It is an inexpensive model with a decent range for kid play, up to 3-5km, which is just far enough away to still have fun and be safe. What’s especially fun for kids is that the walky-talky has 2-way audio and video capability; Parents appreciate the fact that the Mopoin T-388 walkie-talkie doesn’t require data or Wi-Fi to communicate wirelessly. Consumers can expect to pay right at about $50 for the walkie-talkie. Kids can play with the units inside and out.
How to use walkie-talkies: a small guide
Getting yourself a walkie-talkie might prove to be a daunting task because of the numerous options available from different retailers. If you need to buy a walkie-talkie, you might consider acquiring one of the products listed above. Based on the different features and functionality, the overall winner of our review is Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios. This is because the radios have an excellent transmission range and a frequency range. Additionally, the radios have a quality build design, and their battery life is excellent.