Walkie talkies are not the typical old-school devices you see from movies and, at times, security essentials. Instead, these gadgets are a must-have for several people—besides coordination, they are an excellent device that won’t fail you if your high-end mobile phone gets battery-dead or coverage is scarce.
Before shopping for your next walkie-talkies, you need to remember some key features and criteria. Consider this your ultimate buyer’s guide.
What You Need To Know About 2-Way Radios
Besides navigation purposes, walkies are used mainly by the military to coordinate troop movements, but ever since their invention in WWII, they have evolved tremendously. These days, walkies come with several features and functionalities that make them perfect for outdoor activities or just plain communication around your home.
If you’re planning on buying one soon—or already own a few of these devices at home—there are some key things to consider before shopping. Furthermore, WalkieTalkieCentral has an authoritative list of Cobra walkie talkies together with details of range, water-resistance, and different power options based on various needs.
So whether you’ll be hiking, camping, searching for an excellent gift for kids, skiing, going to an event, or more, you may want first to check a few vital factors below as a guide.
Type of Radio
Walkie talkies work through radio frequencies (RF) which can be analog or digital. Analog is what we usually see from old movies and TV shows featuring cops and other emergency personnel.
It’s also cheaper than its counterpart but doesn’t offer any quality benefits such as clearer audio transmissions among users. Digital, on the other hand, provides better quality audio but is also pricier.
One of the most frustrating things about walkies is their batteries—or lack thereof. If you’re planning to use your radio for several hours daily, then you should opt for devices with longer battery life or invest in countless sets of rechargeable ones. Make sure these radios can last long enough without running out of juice at a crucial moment.
You’ll need to identify the range of your radios—how far can they transmit audio signals? Some devices come with several handsets, but there are also ones that only have one. If you’re planning to use the walkies in an enclosed space (like a house), then it’s best that you buy models with more handsets for multiple users or if you want to expand the overall coverage area.
Besides range, another essential factor to consider is the capacity of the walkie’s coverage. The higher its capacity means it can transmit signals further at a wider area—ideal for campsites or large open spaces surrounded by hillsides and other structures that may block transmission signals.
If you’re planning on using this device in your backyard, then even an inexpensive model will do since there are no obstructions to interfere with transmissions.
You don’t have to invest hundreds of dollars to get one of these devices; they come in various price points depending on their features and specifications. You might want to go cheaper if all you need is something simple for daily use around your house or office.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to use walkies for outdoor activities, you should invest in a pricier device with better quality and more features that can be used even deep down the forest where signals may not reach as easily.
Some additional features include a built-in flashlight and even USB connectivity which makes recharging more convenient. These options vary depending on each type so make sure you find one with some solid specs if this matters to you already.
Types Of Walkies To Consider
2-way radios also come in various types based on the frequency of use and requirements. However, some of the most common types of walkies are:
Handheld walkie-talkies are great for short-range communication. They are usually waterproof but not submersible underwater. Handheld radios can be used in vehicles too, where they’re fixed to the dashboard or windshield by a magnet mount while an antenna holds up the other end. You will need to hold it with your hand while talking.
Otherwise, you could miss out on important messages coming through from dispatch personnel who may also have their handheld radio.
All Terrain Radios (ATR) are built tough and designed for outdoor use even when dropped into the dirt, mud, or wet grass. ATRs typically come standard with protective rubber boots, which help protect them against damage due to weather conditions. They can also be used in a vehicle with a magnet mount.
Based-station walkies are just what they sound like. They allow you to use the walkie from a base station instead of handheld units which can be bulky and require batteries to work. In addition, base stations are usually mounted on walls for easy access, so being able to reach across your office or police vehicle should not pose any problems with these types of radios.
The best thing about all three kinds is that they come in different frequencies allowing users who have multiple devices set up at their disposal to talk simultaneously without having interfered with each other’s channels.
This also means one person could communicate within a group while another walks away from them towards an area with no signal coverage whatsoever without disconnecting anyone else trying to get through.
In addition, some systems include roaming capabilities that allow walkie-talkies to switch channels automatically as they move from one area of coverage to the next.
Walkie Talkies are portable and lightweight, making them great for outdoor use because you can carry one around your neck or on your belt without it getting too bulky to handle. If you need a backup communication device for coordination and emergencies, a walkie-talkie is a way to go.