Best Walkie Talkie Reviews 2016 and Ultimate Buying Guide

best walkie talkie

Walkie talkie, or two-way radios, can be an effective medium for communication. It presents an excellent alternative to modern smartphones. If you are skiing, hunting, or camping, among other outdoor trips, having a pair of walkie talkies will surely be beneficial in more ways than one. It will facilitate communications between two users in the absence of having to be worried about the interruption.

If you are on the lookout for the best walkie talkie that is available on the market, you will surely be overwhelmed with the abundance of the options that are available. This can make it more challenging for you to decide which brand or model to pick. With this, keep on reading and we will provide you with valuable insights on the essential factors to consider and we will also have a quick rundown of some of the best choices that can be taken into consideration.

Advantages of Using Walkie-Talkie

If you still do not have a walkie talkie or if you have not yet considered the possibility of buying one, this is possible because you have no idea on the advantages that you can enjoy from such. The following are some of its advantages, which can convince you to start looking for the best walkie talkie now:

  • Free Form of Communication: Once you have purchased a walkie talkie, you can use it for free. Unlike mobile phones, there is no contract, license fees, or roaming fees, among others.
  • Instant Communication: Another good thing about walkie talkies is that it can facilitate direct communication. There is no need to wait before ringing or for the other person to pick up the phone. Within a press of a button, speak and you will be heard. Transmission and receipt of the message will be instantaneous.
  • Can Be Used Anywhere: Cellphones are an excellent way to communicate with others. However, the problem is that you need to have a reliable reception for such to be useful. If you are camping in the woods or if you are in a place where there is no signal, walkie talkies can be beneficial.
  • Economical: In spite of the many benefits that can be enjoyed from a walkie talkie, most of the models available, especially those with basic features, can be purchased at affordable prices.
  • User-Friendly: Most of the walkie talkies on the market are built with simple user-interface. Even kids will be able to use them without complications. Once it is set, all that you need to do is press the button and speak.

Top 3 Best Walkie Talkie Reviews

1. Motorola MH230R 23-mile Range 22-channel FRS/GMRS Two Way Radio

Motorola MH230R 23-mile Range 22-channel FRS/GMRS Two Way Radio The versatility of this walkie talkie is one of the many reasons why it is an excellent choice. It comes with 22 channels and 121 private codes. This means that you can make up to 2,662 combinations. For sure, you will find a channel that will work best for your needs.

The hands-free operation of this model is another reason why it is preferred by many people. There is no need to keep on holding the button as you talk. With the iVOX feature, you can keep on talking even when you are doing any activity, such as when cooking.

A lot of people were also happy with the four-way charging of the battery, allowing it to offer flexibility. You can have the batteries charged by having it connected to a mini-USB car charger or a desktop charger. There is also a USB wall cable charger.

You can also enjoy flexibility when it comes to the batteries that you can use for the product. It can be powered by three alkaline batteries, which can last for up to 14 hours. Alternatively, you can also use NiMH batteries, which can last for up to 12 hours.

2. Motorola MT350R FRS Weatherproof Two-Way 35-mile Radio Pack

Motorola MT350R FRS Weatherproof Two-Way 35-mile Radio PackIf there is one reason why this is chosen by many people who are on the lookout for the best walkie talkie, it would be basically because it comes with an affordable price tag. Even in spite of being an economical alternative, however, it does not run short in terms of features that are comparable to those in the higher end of the market.

This model comes with a 1P-54 rating, which makes it perfect for the outdoors. It is meant to not only withstand dust, but it can also be functional even in wet weather conditions.

Among the many features of this model, one that is impressive is the VibraCall silent vibrating ringer. It vibrates rather than letting out a loud ring. This makes it ideal for environments wherein ringing can be considered as being obtrusive.

It has a range of up to 35 miles, which is pretty much impressive given its affordable price. Such range is true if it is going to be used in mountains or valleys. For open water, on the other hand, it has a range of up to six miles. Lastly, in neighborhoods, the range is up to two miles.

3. Midland GXT1000VP4 36-mile 50-channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio

Midland GXT1000VP4 36-mile 50-channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way RadioWith this walkie talkie, you will be able to enjoy 22 channels, providing you with clear and crisp communication that is possible with a press of a button. It also has the 36-mile range, provided that there are no significant obstructions in the environment where it is going to be used.

If you are looking for an option that can be excellent in terms of security, you have a good reason to choose this above all others. It comes with 142 privacy codes and 5,560 channel options, providing you with the guarantee that no one will be intruding in your conversations.

The eVox feature is another thing that you will love, which will allow you to use the walkie-talkie in hands-free mode. It can be easily activated through your voice.

The whisper feature has also been given words of praises by many of its users. This means that you can talk in a low voice, yet you can be assured that the other party will hear it loud and clear.

When it comes to ease of use, there are many features that make this product a top-notch choice. For instance, it has bright backlit LCD, making it easy to monitor the functionality of the unit, including the channels where you are connected and the battery level.

Choosing the Best Walkie Talkie

To help you make the right choice for the best walkie talkie, make sure to consider the factors that will be mentioned below.

1. Channels

One of the most important technical specifications that should be looked at would be the number of channels. The more channels there are, the more expensive the walkie talkie can be. Some have a few channels, while the most advanced models can have as much as 22 channels. More channels would be tantamount into being able to send messages in a manner that is quicker and clearer.

2. Privacy Codes

One of the things that you have to keep in mind is that when walkie talkies are operating on the same channel or frequency, there is a risk of interference, and hence, other parties might be able to hear your communication. Privacy codes allow signals to be scrambled. This can provide you with peace of mind that your messages will be as private as possible.

3. Frequency

When speaking about frequency, you will general have two options:

  • UHF: Also known as Ultra High Frequency, this is what is considered by many people as the better option between the two. Typically, their frequency is from 400 to 512 MHz.They have shorter waves and they are capable of penetrating any interference that could possibly get along the way.
  • VHF: Also known as Very High Frequency, it operates anywhere from 136 to 174 MHz. This will work best only when there is minimal interference in the area where it is going to be used. In marine and aviation communications, this is the most popular option because the signal will be transferring in a place where there are no interferences.

4. Reviews

To be able to easily differentiate the options for the best walkie talkie, you should also find time to read the reviews that have been shared by other people. Go online and look at the opinions of past users. If you are hesitant in trusting the opinions of strangers, you can also ask around for the recommendations of people you personally know. By doing this, it will be easier to evaluate the alternatives and make a well-informed choice.

5. Price

A lot of people are budget-conscious. With this, it is no longer surprising that many are tempted to choose the cheapest option that is available on the market. Nonetheless, you have to look beyond price. We recommend that you do not make a decision on the basis of price alone and consider a walkie talkie as an essential investment. Therefore, you should not take twice to be spending more if this is tantamount into being able to enjoy better quality and functionality.

6. Range

You also have to think about the distance that will be covered by the walkie talkie. For recreational use, a minimal range would be more than enough. For commercial applications, on the other hand, more extensive coverage will be better. The wattage of the walkie talkie, more often than not, will be indicative of the distance that it can cover.

7. Overall Construction

You should choose a walkie talkie that is made with the use of durable materials, making it long-lasting. It should be waterproof, which will make it useful even if it is raining outdoors. Choose one that is shockproof as well. All of these features, however, will inevitably make the price tag more expensive.

8. Ease of Use

Make sure that the walkie talkie comes with a user-friendly interface. It must be a snap for such to be operated, which will allow you to make the most out of it. It must come with a large and clear display, which will show the information that you need to know, such as the level of the battery and the channels where you are connected.

9. Battery

One of the best things about walkie talkies is that they can be used wirelessly. Just like smartphones, however, their usefulness will be constrained by their battery life. With this, pick one that comes with rechargeable and long-lasting batteries. See to it that it can withstand an extended period of use before having the need to have the batteries replaced.

10. Warranty

This is one thing that is ignored by many people, in spite of its apparent importance. Choose a walkie talkie that comes with an extended warranty. The standard warranty coverage is one year. Others,however, can have three to five years of warranty. This means that within such period if any problem is experienced, the manufacturer can have it repaired without incurring any additional cost on your end. Just make sure that the terms and conditions are followed to avoid the warranty from being void.

11. Additional Features

Aside from those that have been mentioned above, there are other features that are optional, but will surely be good if they can be found in the walkie talkie that you will be purchasing. A headset jack, for instance, can be useful if you want to hear the conversation in private. There are also some that have a hands-free operation, which is going to be excellent when it comes to convenience. Noise canceling is another feature that is good, especially because it will make sure that you can be heard with optimal clarity.

Tips in Using Walkie-Talkie

To make the most out of the walkie-talkie that you have, make sure to follow the tips that will be mentioned below:

  • Identify yourself: One of the basic etiquettes of using walkie talkie is to first say your name before you speak. This is especially true if there are multiple users. This will help the person on the receiving end to know who is relaying a particular message.
  • Keep the batteries fully charged: If you are going out on a trip and bringing the walkie talkie, make sure to check the batteries. Has it fully charged? Invest in spare batteries, if possible. Nothing can be more frustrating than running out of batteries when you need it the most.
  • Acknowledge the receipt of a message: When you receive a message from another party, say “copy” or “copied”. More than just a sign of courtesy, this will provide the other party the assurance that the message has been successfully cursed.
  • Talk in a Loud Voice: If your voice is too low, this can lead to confusion as the other party may not hear you clearly. To avoid any form of miscommunication, make sure to speak with a clear and loud voice. This will also prevent the need to have the message repeated only because it was not well-received by the other user.
  • Wait for one second before and after the message: In using a walkie talkie, you have to press a button to start talking and release it when you are finished. This could lead into the omission of the first and last words you have said. To avoid such problem, press the button, wait for one second, and start your message. You should also wait for one second after the last word before letting go of the button.

FAQs about Walkie Talkies

1. What is the range of walkie talkies?

Answer: This will depend on a number of factors, including the wattage of the product. For those with .5 watts, they can be used as a distance of up to 300 meters or building with four floors. On the other hand, for those with up to 4 watts, it can be used to a distance of up to 3 kilometers and height of up to 15 floors. Lastly, for those with 7 watts, they can be functional for a length of up to 4 kilometers and height of 25 floors.

2. Are they waterproof?

Answer: There are some models that are waterproof, but there are also some that are not. Make sure to pay attention to the specifications from the manufacturer to know what outdoor conditions it will be able to withstand.

3. Where are walkie talkies used?

Answer: There are many situations wherein walkie talkies can be used. They can be functional for business purposes and even for the military. They can also be used for recreation, such as when camping. It can also be used to communicate with family members at home.

4. Can you record messages?

Answer: In some models of walkie talkies, you will be able to record messages. You can have them played when needed. However, keep in mind that the recording feature is only an add-on and this can be an added cost for the product.

5. How long will the batteries last?

Answer: Walkie talkie is powered by rechargeable batteries. They can last for several hours, but this will depend on the specific model that will be chosen. Make sure to choose one that comes with long-lasting batteries so that they can be used for an extended period.

6. What are UHF and VHF?

Answer: When you purchase walkie talkies, they can be generally classified into two. The first is UHF or Ultra High Frequency. The second is VHF or Very High Frequency. The better choice is UHF. Refer to the discussions earlier and see the difference between the two.

7. Is it legal?

Answer: You have to check with the regulations in your country to see if it is legal from where you live. Walkie talkies transmit over a frequency, which is why you have to check if it is legal.

8. Can you use headphones?

Answer: Yes, you can! Just like in the case of mobile phones, there is an audio jack, which is going to make it possible to communicate in private as no one would hear what the other person is saying.

9. Can kids use walkie talkies?

Answer: Many of the walkie talkies in the markets are made for adults, including those that we have earlier reviewed. There are, however, some that are made exclusively for kids, such as those that are made by Fisher Price.

10. Are they secured?

Answer: It is important to note that walkie talkies can offer security in private conversations, making sure that only the intended party will be able to receive the message. It has a special type of filtering system to transmit the message only to the right person.

Conclusion

Walkie talkies can deliver an abundance of benefits, providing users with an alternative and effective medium for communication. Its advantages, however, can only be reaped if you choose the right product. In a market that is teeming in terms of competition, it will be challenging to make the right pick for the best walkie talkie. Go back to our recommendations and discussions above, and for sure, making the right decision will be a lot easier.

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