10 Best Walkie Talkies | December 2016
- multiple sets can be used together
- can't use standard aa batteries
- range is only about 2 miles
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
- clear voice transmissions when close
- conveniently palm sized
- volume is not very loud
|Rating||3.5 / 5.0|
- include earbuds and microphone
- backlit lcd with time display
- auto channel scanning
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
- total of 3124 channel combinations
- rugged housing with a solid build
- can also work on alkaline batteries
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
- single cradle charges both devices
- available in camo and black
- extra large buttons
|Brand||Motorola Consumer Radio|
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
- emergency alarm function
- chinese and english voice prompts
- low battery alerts
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
- float if dropped in water
- use frs and gmrs frequencies
- push-to-talk power boost
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
- can operate in extreme climates
- come with a detailed user manual
- include a wrist strap and belt clip
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
- easy hands-free operation
- 142 privacy codes
- can make direct calls to other units
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
- independent operation of a-b bands
- tri-color display
- very durable metallic housing
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
What Separates a Good Walkie Talkie From a Great One?
The most important feature whenever considering a walkie talkie is range. Most walkies advertise a range that falls somewhere in between 10 and 40 miles. That said, there isn't always truth in advertising, which is why it pays to take note of customer reviews. What you're looking for is any type of pattern - three or more customers who appear to be complaining about the same thing. If you notice certain keywords like, say, "interference" or "static," that should be a tipoff that the walkie talkie in question might have an unreliable range.
Along those same lines, you want to read each product description to get a sense of whether the walkie talkie offers a decent volume (aka decibel) level. Keep in mind that a lot of walkies are used outdoors where there is considerable white noise. You don't want to be holding the device up to your ear every time you need to hear somebody speak.
If you plan on using the walkie constantly, especially while working, it's recommended that you buy a model that comes with its own rechargeable docking station. If you plan on using the walkie outdoors, it's recommended that you purchase a model that's waterproof, if not compact. If you plan on hanging the walkie from a belt clip, it's recommended that you pursue a model that features some sort of rubber casing. Walkie talkies that hang from belt clips are prone to brushing up against solid objects. The rubber casing can protect the walkie from absorbing any shock.
When To Use a Walkie Talkie Instead of a Cell Phone
Most people in this day and age rely on their cell phones for everything, particularly communication. But cell phones come with a monthly charge, and most plans only allow for a set amount of minutes. That being the case, there are a wealth of situations where using a set of walkie talkies might actually make a lot more sense.
If you're a business owner, for example, and you need to stay in touch with your employees across a work site, or throughout a small region, walkie talkies are the most reliable way to do so. Almost all business owners have dealt with the frustration of trying to communicate an urgent message via phone or text, only to be met with no response due to the fact that an employee either doesn't have his cell phone on, or he doesn't have it with him. Arming employees with a fully-charged walkie talkie alleviates that issue, while also allowing everyone in the group to stay on top of what's being said.
If you enjoy the outdoors, particularly hiking or mountain climbing, walkie talkies are an ideal way to stay in touch with all the members of your party. People tend to hike or climb at their own pace, and in the wilderness there's an increased chance of getting lost (or losing cell phone coverage). Walkie talkies keep you in constant contact, while also allowing whoever is in front to provide updates of what to look out for on the path ahead.
If you live on an estate, walkie talkies are a great way to stay in contact with the staff (or your children). If you're young, walkie talkies are a great way to stay in contact with your friends. If you're sick, walkie talkies are a great way to stay in contact with a caregiver. If you need to communicate with anyone on a regular basis, walkie talkies are a cost-effective tool to have on hand.
A Brief History of The Walkie Talkie
Walkie talkies were originally used by the U.S. Military during World War II for communication. These early models, which came housed inside a backpack, were intermittently confused with a two-way radio known as the "handie talkie." A handie talkie looked - but did not function - like a larger version of the walkie talkies that we use today.
Motorola was the first company to publicly manufacture a walkie talkie. There is some disagreement, however, regarding who was responsible for inventing the transceivers which allowed for a walkie talkie to work. One camp credits a radio engineer named Alfred Gross who invented the primary technology surrounding a walkie talkie several years before World War II. Another camp credits a Canadian inventor named Donald Hings who was filing a patent for his "transceiver packset" at the same time World War II began.
Hings is officially recognized as the father of the walkie talkie, particularly because he not only filed the initial patent, but also aided in the production of early walkie talkies for the war effort. Alfred Gross went on to play a pivotal role in developing the early technology for a number of communication devices, including the cordless telephone and the telephone pager.
After the war, walkie talkies were designed to be more compact. During the 1950s police began using them, and soon after, civilians began purchasing walkie talkies as well. Today, walkie talkies remain the most reliable form of communication for countless outdoor businesses, organized events, police departments, military personnel, and more.