Best Walkie Talkies

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 29, 2017
The walkie talkies originally used by the military and police have long since become common for campers, hikers, and other fans of the active leisure. Many manufacturers compete for this market today. We have selected 5 best market proposals to assist you in choosing your preferred radio. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Standards
Goof for
Frequency Range
Power
Communication Range
Number of Channels
Battery Life
Extras
Package Contents
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS
The utmost sensitive microphone allows speaking quietly and still being clearly heard by interlocutors. 3-year warranty. Made of durable quality plastic.
CONS
If it is used in the forest or mountains the communication range is limited to 5 miles.
OUR VERDICT
The extraordinary long range and rugged waterproof body make this system perfect for the outdoor use. It also maintains a stable communication level in urban areas congested with various buildings.
detailed parameters
Standards
UHF (FRS, GMRS)
Goof for
Professional, Amateur
Frequency Range
462.550 - 467.7125 MHz
Power
5 W
Communication Range
Up to 36 miles
Number of Channels
50 (22 main and 28 additional channels)
Battery Life
8 hours
Extras
JIS4 Waterproof, NOAA Weather alert, 9-level eVOX, 10 Call alerts, Vibrate alert, SOS Siren, Keypad lock, Auto squelch and Auto scan
Package Contents
2x Radios 2x Belt clips 2x Hands-free mic headsets 2x Rechargeable batteries Desktop AC adapter Vehicle DC adapter
Weight
0.39 lbs
Warranty
3 years
PROS
Automatically cuts off weak transmission signals and undesirable noise caused by the terrain or range limits.
CONS
The VOX function may appear to be insufficiently sensitive.
OUR VERDICT
These radios are really lightweight and have an impressive ergonomic design, they are ultra-compact and can be easily carried around everywhere.
detailed parameters
Standards
UHF (FRS, GMRS)
Goof for
Professional, Amateur
Frequency Range
462.550 - 467.7125 MHz
Power
5 W
Communication Range
Up to 35 miles
Number of Channels
22
Battery Life
12 hours
Extras
Digital voice recorder, NOAA Weather & emergency radio, 5-level eVOX and Vibrate alert
Package Contents
2x Radios 2x Li-Ion Rechargeable batteries Desktop AC adapter
Weight
0.22 lbs
Warranty
1 year limited
PROS
If the rechargeable batteries unexpectedly run down, you can replace them with regular AAA batteries.
CONS
NiMH batteries tend to go flat pretty quick.
OUR VERDICT
Compact radios made by the famous company will fit perfectly any beginner since they are exceptionally easy-to-use.
detailed parameters
Standards
UHF (FRS, GMRS)
Goof for
Professional, Amateur
Frequency Range
462.550 - 467.7125 MHz
Power
3 W
Communication Range
Up to 23 miles
Number of Channels
22
Battery Life
14 hours with 3xAAA batteries; 12 hours with NiMH rechargeable batteries
Extras
11 NOAA Weather channels with alerts, iVOX
Package Contents
2x Radios 2x belt clips 2x NiMH Rechargeable batteries Desktop AC adapter
Weight
0.29 lbs
Warranty
1 year
PROS
Meets most strict JIS standards and continues working even when fully submerged.
CONS
The radio can be charged from a car adapter only.
OUR VERDICT
The model specially designed for marine activities features all functions and qualities vital for those off-shore.
detailed parameters
Standards
VHF
Goof for
Marine
Frequency Range
156 - 158 MHz
Power
1 W / 2.5 W / 5 W
Communication Range
Not specified
Number of Channels
All USA, International and Canadian marine channels
Battery Life
12 hours
Extras
JIS8 Submersible, All NOAA weather channels and alerts
Package Contents
1x Radio 1x Belt clip Li-Ion Rechargeable battery Vehicle DC adapter Lanyard
Weight
0.64 lbs
Warranty
3 years
PROS
Combines wonderful functional and operational features with a reasonable price; might be actually unrivaled in this price range.
CONS
This device might make an impression of being too complex to use.
OUR VERDICT
Supporting a vast range of available frequencies and channels, and full of various functions this device will be the best choice for fishermen, sailors, rock-climbers and common tourists.
detailed parameters
Standards
VHF/UHF, FM: 65-108 MHz (reception)
Goof for
Professional, Amateur, Marine
Frequency Range
136 - 174 MHz; 400 - 480 MHz
Power
1 W / 4 W
Communication Range
Up to 9 miles
Number of Channels
128
Battery Life
12 hours
Extras
NOAA Weather alert, VOX, Keypad lock, Dual band, Dual display, Built-in flashlight and FM radio
Package Contents
1x Radio 1x Belt clip 1x Li-Ion Rechargeable battery AC Adapter Wrist strap SMA (female) antenna
Weight
0.45 lbs
Warranty
1 year

What is a Walkie Talkie?

It happens frequently that you need to maintain a constant communication with your colleagues or buddies either on the job or during leisure time. Usually, you rely on a cell phone for this purpose. But it is not always convenient and the tariffs of mobile operators may be relatively high. That is why many people still fancy walkie talkies. These radios are used by people of all professions: security guards and police, taxi drivers and truckers, sailors of merchant ships and private yachts, construction workers, and foresters, office and warehouse staff, sportsmen, etc. Recently, radio handsets became common among fishermen, hikers, and campers.

This particular type of communication turned out to be so popular because walkie talkies do not require any area coverage by cellular base stations, satellites or other telecom transmitters. Two or more parties can communicate with each other free-of-charge within the range of a stable connection limited by the power of transceivers used.

If you like active leisure, fishing, mount climbing, or forest walks you might also be interested in the headlamps. These comfy power-efficient lamps provide you with a sharp bright beam and leave your hands free.

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What Features to Compare

The first important feature of these radios is the Frequency range. The majority of walkie talkies operate in VHF and UHF channels.

VHF (Very High Frequency) channels use the frequencies from 134 to 174 MHz. The signal has an average penetration rate. This range is recommended for radio communication in the rural areas. As a rule, radio stations used for these purposes are bulky and have long protruding aerials.

UHF (Ultra High Frequency) channels include the frequencies from 400 to 470 MHz. Radio sets operating in this frequency range due to the high penetration rate of transmitted radio waves provide you with a reliable connection in the urban environment, inside of buildings, and in other areas with many obstructions. Before buying a transceiver you should collect information on the licensing of certain frequencies in your region or state.

There is also the FRS standard (462.5625 – 467.7125 MHz), which is applied to a license-free mobile short-range radio communication in the North and South America. This standard limits the power of stations allowed for use in the USA to 0.5 W maximum. There is a total number of 14 channels with 0.25 MHz frequency steps available. In a rugged country, woodlands, mountains, and for the marine use you should stick with transceivers of an LB channels' 30 through 50 MHz frequency range or VHF channels' 136 through 174 MHz frequencies.

One more decisive feature of a great impact is its communication range. This range is restrained by the power of receiver and transmitter of a particular radio station, and by the frequency used for communication. Usually, the figure announced in the manufacturer’s manual is valid for perfect conditions only (sunny weather, open ground without obstacles, the absence of power transit lines and other sources of interferences) and varies from 20 to 30 miles, but in fact, the actual range in a real environment might be smaller.

You may also be interested in Extra Features proposed by manufacturers. Many portable professional radios are highly resistant to external impacts and feature water-resistant bodies, for example, and comply with specific standards. Your station might be protected from raindrops or water splashes, and even after a submersion it can keep you in contact with your communication partner.

It is also common to provide a walkie talkie with the VOX function meaning its voice activation through the built-in microphone or the iVOX function, i.e. activation via the headset mic. The transmitter starts working when you begin to talk. And you do not need to keep Push button pressed to talk. This is especially convenient if you are driving or holding on to a climbing rope, or paddling in the boat — you can talk and continue doing what you need at the same time. Some radios allow storing communication channels in the memory and setting special ringtones for selected channels to know who is calling you.

Finally, you should take a look at the Design and Convenience of radios since the materials, weight, controls and assembly may differ substantially. A decision might be based on the availability of informative display reflecting all necessary information, the possibility to replace the pre-installed antenna with a more powerful one, the location of buttons and controls on the case, and the ergonomics of the handset in general. The station may have a belt clip and a wrist strap to prevent its accidental dropping.

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Midland GXT1000VP4 Two-Way Radio

Your Ideal Buddy

The Midland GXT1000VP4 radio has an impressive range of operation reaching up to 36 miles with the 5 W transmitter. It gives you up to 50 UHF channels compliant with the FRS and GMRS standards in the frequency range from 462.550 to 467.7125 MHz. But you should be aware that to use GMRS channels, you must get the FCC license. We would like to draw your attention also to the fact that walkie talkies with this range of frequencies show the maximum communication distance in the open field or on water, but in the city, forest or mountains its coverage is much smaller and makes approximately 2 miles since the ultra-short radio waves can not round up obstacles on their way. In the course of testing, these multi-functional Midland GXT1000VP4 handsets demonstrated great resistance to the raindrops falling on their bodies, thus proving to be actually reliable and trouble-free in respective weather conditions and confirming their compliance with the JIS4 standard of exposure to water.

Review of Midland GXT1000VP4 Two-Way Radio

It is not Just a Radio

Midland GXT1000VP4 walkie talkies have access to the NOAA weather radio channels alerting you about the severe weather conditions round-the-clock and keeping you informed on any actual weather changes. In case you are still impacted by the weather or any other hazard you can send an SOS signal. It is also worth mentioning that the VOX function with 9 sensitivity levels starts a signal transmission automatically the moment you begin to talk. There is no need to press the PTT button. We have noticed that this function works both with a headset and without it. We also liked the Auto Scan function, which automatically checks channels for any activity or communication; this feature might be very useful in certain circumstances. This radio has extra features of vibrating alert, keypad blocking, and ringtone selection with 10 pre-installed melodies that can be assigned to various callers and channels. In long distance hikes, you may benefit from using the battery save mode that allows you to maintain the communication range stable and conserve the battery power. It is a great option for a group hiking.

Midland GXT1000VP4 Two-Way Radio in the use

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Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


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Midland GXT2000VP4 Two Way Radio Unboxing and First Look
Midland GXT1000VP4 Two-Way Radio
Midland GXT1000VP4 Two-Way Radio
 

Cobra CXR925 microTalk

Great Functionality in Small Body

The first thing you would notice looking at the CXR925 microTalk radio made by Cobra is its compact size, fully attesting to the model's name. Yet, the small size does not affect communication quality or range due to the powerful 5 W transmitter which assures amazing 35-mile coverage provided that there are no interfering obstacles like buildings, power lines, or trees in the sight. The frequency range of UHF 462.550 through 467.7125 MHz complies with the FRS and GMRS standards and provides the Cobra CXR925 microTalk system with 22 communication channels and 142 privacy codes. The open field tests confirmed the high quality of this radio model. We were also amazed by the feather-light weight of this ultra-compact walkie talkie accompanied with versatile functions and substantial duration of the autonomous work. One battery charge suffices for 12 hours of operation on average, making up for efficient performance. The radio set also features a power saver mode activated automatically if there weren’t done any transmissions during 10 seconds after the last interaction. It is also necessary to mention the Rewind-Say-Again™ feature that allows playing back missed messages — if you could not answer a call or have been distracted, record your messages and transmit saved ones! Though, the message length should not exceed 20 seconds.

Review of Cobra CXR925 microTalk

Some Curious Facts about Cobra

In 1948 Carl Korn founded the Central Television Service Company with the objective to provide repairing services to the developing TV-industry. But the industry was growing so fast that service equipment tended to become obsolete quickly. As a result, Carl and his partners have switched to designing, manufacturing and selling their own equipment. B&K Electronics was established. 

In 50th and early 60th of the XX century, B&K Electronics and several other mid-size electronic companies pooled their sources together to establish a DynaScan Corporation. In 1963 DynaScan engineers designed a first civil broadcast (CB) radio in the world, called the Sidewinder. Cobra was their next product. The more famous CBs became on the market, the more familiar the Cobra name was to consumers until finally, it turned into a symbol and trademark.

The company enjoyed a period of high profits in early 80th on the booming market of wireless phones and radar scans. Starting from 1987 they'd concentrated efforts exclusively on the house appliances production and in 1993 changed the registered name from DynaScan to Cobra Electronics Corporation. 

In 2000 Cobra Electronics was the global leader in the sphere of CB radios, radar devices, and two-way radio communication. The Cobra Electronics Corporation has been growing and prospering for the last 50 years as a top manufacturer and supplier of house appliances. From the small business of TV repairs in a garage of its founder Carl Korn, the company has grown to the size of the international Cobra Electronics, with consumer products represented in more than 75 countries and 55,000 stores worldwide, and it still continues expanding.

 

Cobra CXR925 microTalk in the use

More Products to Consider

We recommend purchasing an additional portable AC charger HOME WALL charger replacement for Cobra microtalk CXR925 if the desktop adapter supplied with the radio seems not very convenient for you.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Cobra CXR-925 Two-Way Radio Walkie-Talkies | CXR925
Cobra CXR925 microTalk
Cobra CXR925 microTalk
 

Motorola MH230R Two-Way Radio

Helpful Assistant

The Motorola MH230R walkie talkies use the UHF frequency range of the FRS/GMRS standard, i.e. they provide you with 22 communication channels in the frequencies from 462.550 to 467.7125 MHz with a frequency step of 12.5 kHz. In our opinion, it is sufficient for the majority of potential users. Additionally, the radios feature a convenient function of Auto Scan making it easy to find a channel for communication. The power of transmitter equaling 3W ensures the radio's reliable operation in the range of 23 miles assuming there are no serious obstacles for a signal. We believe this device will be perfect for both establishing communication among family and friends and for professional use. It is also necessary to mention that the radio has a substantially wide range of functions including access to the NOAA Weather Channel that will alert you to the severe weather conditions and VOX/iVOX services for voice activation of the transmission, leaving your hands free. There is also a vibrating alert, which might be useful for fishermen or hunters reluctant to frighten away the game. The Motorola MH230R radios are relatively light-weight, making 0.29 lbs only and of a compact size making them portable — you can carry one in a pocket. They also have a belt clip on the rear side for extra comfort and portability. Though the set is pretty lightweight, the batteries last up to 12 hours in the active use mode and can be further extended due to the Eco-Smart technology.

Review of Motorola MH230R Two-Way Radio

Motorola Leadership

It is not commonly known, but Motorola has a long and rich history. The company was founded back in 1928 by Galvin brothers and became successful soon. In 1930 it registered the first sale outside the USA and 2 years later Motorola gained its share of the international market. In 1939 the company offered to the market a mobile two-way radio transceiver intended for use by public security agencies servicing local communities. One year later, in 1940 Motorola engineers have designed a portable two-way radio and a number of other receivers and transmitters for the US Army and Navy. In 1944 the first commercial transceivers were installed in the US taxi cabs. The first call to a Motorola radio-phone installed in a car was done in 1946 and the first two-way radio communication between two cars using low-power transceivers was tested in 1958. It should be mentioned that the testing required communication to be held with idle engines of cars equipped with radio systems. Further, in 1962 the company designed the first handheld radio with the weight of 33 ounces only. And in 1969 Motorola made a real breakthrough with its transponder installed in the Apollo 11 lunar module, which transmitted the first voice message from the Moon to the Earth. On April 3, 1973, the company introduced the first portable cell phone to the world and in 1977, implemented the first technology in communication encryption. Although, cell phones had been available for a commercial use since 1983 they were not affordable for the majority because of their stiff price. And to fill up that niche, in 1995 Motorola came up with the first two-way pager which gained incredible popularity across the globe right away. Up to this day, the company has been advancing its technologies and offering new cutting-edge solutions to the world.

Motorola MH230R Two-Way Radio in the use

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Additional Info

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Uniden MHS75 Submersible Handheld Two-Way Radio

Your Company Off-shore

We would like to emphasize that the Uniden MHS75 radio is designed specifically for the marine use. It operates in the VHF frequency range covering all USA, International, and Canadian marine channels subject to the mandatory licensing, so you should get the license before buying the device. This set of walkie talkies is sufficiently powerful with an option to switch the power output from 1 W up to 5 W for a battery saving purpose and/or signal quality improvement. You should also remember that the radio set supports connection to the NOAA Weather Channel, which will alert you instantly to an approaching hurricane or any other weather change. Our viewpoint is that this is actually important for anyone off-shore. The most outstanding feature of this radio, however, is its resistance to water impact. It withstands bad weather pretty well while its compliance with the strictest JIS8 waterproof standards guarantees its operation even when submerged. According to the manufacturer, the device can be submerged up to 5 feet in depth and used there for up to 30 minutes with ease.

Review of Uniden MHS75 Submersible Handheld Two-Way Radio

Never Let You Down!

We have noted that the body of Uniden MHS75 is very durable and rugged, it is fully made of sturdy plastic and has a large, easy-to-read and backlit LCD display with a backlit keypad to spot the device easily even in the dark. For this type of radio, that’s quite important even though very few people consider backlighting an essential feature. Uniden Two-way Radio comes with the pre-installed antenna for a better signal recept, but you can always upgrade it to something more powerful (if the signal isn’t as strong as you need). The set works off the battery enabling hassle-free operation during 12 hours and is charged from a car DC charger (included in the shipping package). 3-year product warranty from manufacturer ensures high quality and longevity of use.  

Uniden MHS75 Submersible Handheld Two-Way Radio in the use

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User Manual     Manufacturer


Uniden MHS75 Submersible Handheld Two-Way Radio
Uniden MHS75 Submersible Handheld Two-Way Radio
 

BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio

Multi-tool Among Radios

We bet you’d struggle to find the radio with the same set of functions and at the price as low as that. Made of heavy duty plastic, the BaoFeng UV-5R walkie talkie is extremely handy in use. It is highly responsive to the VOX function, so you can talk with the others hands-free. On top of the other basic functions, the radio set features the auto keypad lock so that a chance of changing a channel or complete radio reset is reduced to none. Like most other walkie talkies on sale, BaoFeng UV-5R connects to NOAA Weather Channels so as to inform users of all weather changes and alert to any hazard. Yet, there’s something more you’d not expect has been included to enhance users’ experience - FM-receiver. Now you can not only talk to other people but also listen to local broadcasts and your favorite FM-stations while walking through the wood or fishing in a brook.

Review of BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio

Always at a Right Place

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that the BaoFeng UV-5R radio is operating in the commercial frequencies of the VHF/UHF-range actually supporting the narrowband transmission including the splinter channels that makes it a unique multi-functional device in this price range. It provides you with 128 accessible channels with the selectable frequency step of 2.5, 5, 6.25, 12.5, 20, or 25 kHz allowing you to use the radio anywhere without interferences to other transmissions. The maximum power makes 4 W securing the communication range of 9 miles. This transceiver features several convenient functions including the backlit dual LCD display and a keyboard visible both in the light and darkness, and the flashlight that may come in handy anytime. The radio also features a removable antenna, which can be replaced with an aerial to extend the range of communication or improve clarity of a sound.

BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio in the use

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Sources:

1. What are Walkie Talkies?, wiseGEEK.

2. Natan Chandler, How Walkie-talkies Work?, HowStuffWorks.

3. Walkie-Talkie, datab.us.

4. Walkie-Talkie, Wikipedia. July 23, 2016.

5. Shannon Morel, What Should One Consider When Looking to Buy a Walkie-Talkie (Two-way Radio) System for Business Use?, Quora. October 24, 2011.

6. Chris Woodford, Walkie-Talkies, ExplainThatStuff. March 9, 2016.

7. Walkie Talkie Buying Guide, eBay. March 3, 2016.

8. Jeremy Laukkonen, How do I Choose the Best UHF Walkie Talkie?, wiseGEEK. 21 July 2016.

9. Two-way Radio Buying Guide, Overstock.

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