Best Walkie Talkies

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 29, 2019
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 models to assist you in choosing your preferred radio. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Standards
Goof for
Frequency Range
Power
Communication Range
Number of Channels
Battery Life
Extras
Package Contents
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

Thanks to the built-in microphone jacks and ergonomic ear fixtures, three wireless radios from Midland can be used as hands-free devices. On top of that, the battery of the units can be charged using a special car charger, which is convenient for on-the-go use.

CONS

It will take you pretty much time to get the hang of the basic controls.

OUR VERDICT

When it comes to really powerful devices with high coverage, this model from Midland is a real beast. With an exceptional operating range of 36 miles, it blows any other device out of the water. On top of that, you are getting not only one but 3 powerful radios in a single package. There's really not much more you could ask from a portable walkie-talkie set.

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, Autosquelch and auto-scan

Package Contents

3x Radios, 3x Belt clips, 3x Hands-free mic headsets, 3x Rechargeable batteries, Charging stand, 2 AC adapters, Vehicle DC adapter

Weight

0.39 lbs

Warranty

3 years

PROS

The radios' housing is protected against splashes and dust (IP67 class), so, they can be safely used in harsh conditions as all-weather models. The shock-resistance, on the other hand, protects the units from breaking in case you accidentally drop them.

CONS

Push-to-talk button is located somewhat inconveniently.

OUR VERDICT

Thanks to an operational range of 25 square miles, the 2-piece set from DeWalt is ideal for use in large open areas and vast construction sites where it is essential for the workers to stay in contact with each other. What makes these radios appealing as well is their durable housing that is a must-have for the use in heavy-duty conditions or in case you operate heavy machinery.

detailed parameters
Standards

UHF (FRS, GMRS)

Goof for

Professional, Amateur

Frequency Range

462.550 - 467.7125 MHz

Power

1 W

Communication Range

Up to 25 miles

Number of Channels

22 channels

Battery Life

12 hours

Extras

VOX Function, Drop-resistant, Waterproof and dustproof housing (IP67 rating), Keypad lock

Package Contents

2x Radios, 2x Belt Clips, 2x Rechargeable batteries, Charging Stand

Weight

0.4 lbs

Warranty

Limited lifetime

PROS

The eVOX feature allows for sending voice messages without pressing anything: the device automatically detects sound and switches to the send mode.

CONS

The battery level indicator doesn't show the charge level correctly at times.

OUR VERDICT

If you are searching for a professional portable radio that has all the premium features and is reliable at the same time you should definitely consider this model. The two-piece kit can be set for various situations from outdoor camping to mountain skiing. Besides, it's reasonably priced and doesn't lag behind the high-end models too much.

detailed parameters
Standards

UHF (FRS, GMRS)

Goof for

Professional, Amateur

Frequency Range

462.550 - 467.7125 MHz

Power

5 W

Communication Range

Up to 30 miles

Number of Channels

36 channels

Battery Life

NiMH battery: Up to 8 hours

3 x AA alkaline batteries: Up to 20 hours

Extras

VOX function, NOAA weather radio, NOAA weather alert, Channel scan function, Channel monitor function, Keypad lock, High or Low power selectable feature, Speaker and Microphone jacks, Battery low indicator, Silent operation

Package Contents

2 x Radios, 2 x NiMH Rechargeable batteries, 2 x Belt clips, 2 x Chargers

Weight

0.4 lbs

Warranty

3 years

PROS

A simple yet convenient user interface paired with a minimum number of handles and switches makes the radio simple to use.

CONS

Somewhat limited operational range.

OUR VERDICT

If you are looking for a prime set of multiple FRS units, look no further. The Archell AR-6 is a good choice for the whole family or your staff since it features 4 powerful radios that can work at a distance of up to 7 miles away from each other. You can use it while out and about or for security reasons, especially since it's easy to master.

detailed parameters
Standards

UHF (FRS)

Goof for

Amateur

Frequency Range

400 - 470 MHz

Power

3 W

Communication Range

Up to 5 miles

Number of Channels

16 channels

Battery Life

8 hours

Extras

VOX function, Emergency alarm, Intelligent charging with overcharge protection, Battery low alert, Built-in LED flashlight, Noise reduction, Channel monitor, Scanning function, High or Low power selectable feature

Package Contents

4 x Radios, 4 x 1500mAh High Capability Li-ion Battery, 4 x SMA-Female Antenna, 4 x Chargers, 4 x Belt Clips, 4 x Handstraps, 4 x Earphones

Weight

0.34 lbs

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The radios come equipped with rechargeable Ni-Mh batteries that provide the users with up to 12 hours of continuous runtime. Additionally, you can also take 3 regular AAA batteries to extend the standard work time up to 29 hours.

CONS

The belt clip lacks ergonomics.

OUR VERDICT

The Motorola Solutions T260TP have a fairly compact size, which makes them handy for the use on the go. Owing to additional noise-reduction functions and a powerful microphone, this set is a great option for windy regions and noisy job sites. It will become a real find for those who are on a budget, yet, still need a reliable and functional set of walkie-talkies.

detailed parameters
Standards

UHF (FRS, GMRS)

Goof for

Professional, Amateur

Frequency Range

462.550 - 467.7125 MHz

Power

2 W

Communication Range

Up to 25 miles

Number of Channels

22 channels

Battery Life

NiMH battery: Up to 12 hours

3 x AA alkaline batteries: Up to 29 hours

Extras

VOX function, NOAA weather radio, NOAA weather alert, Channel scan function, Channel monitor function, Keypad lock, High or Low power selectable feature, Speaker and microphone jacks, Battery low indicator, Silent operation

Package Contents

3x Radios, 3x Belt clips, 3x Rechargeable batteries, 2x AC adapters

Weight

0.4 lbs

Warranty

1 year

Midland GXT1000X3VP4

An Exceptional 3-Radio Pack

When one or two handheld radios are just not enough it might be a prime time to consider purchasing a 3-piece set. Fortunately, the Midland GXT1000X3VP4 has it all for communicating over long distances using GRMS frequencies.

Right off the bat, we would like to mention that this model boasts by far the biggest number of pre-installed channels among other walkie-talkie radios in the same price range. Reaching almost 50 different frequencies, the user can utilize the radios on 22 regular channels and 28 private channels many other portable radios cannot access. In addition to that, all pieces are equipped with 142 CTCSS and DCS privacy codes that allow for up to 3000 different channel options that can be used to block conversations on the same or closest frequencies.

When it comes down to reliability, the Midland GXT1000X3VP4 radio proves to be a good mean of communication, which will come in handy when regular cellular devices cease to work. Surprisingly enough, even despite the relatively small size of the handheld radio units their maximum operation range can reach 40 miles when used on flat terrain without many obstacles and around 25-30 miles in forested and obstructed areas.

Review of Midland GXT1000X3VP4 Waterproof Two-Way Radio

Thought out to the Last Detail

Convenience features include several weather report services such as NOOA Weather Alert, as well as the Weather Scan. What makes it special, though, is even when not activated, this feature will still notify you about severe weather conditions in your area.

The microphone jack located on the front panel of each unit allows using radios in hands-free mode, which could be quite convenient on certain occasions. Thanks to this, the handheld radios can quickly turn into a cruise radio in your vehicle or into a compact speakerphone on the side of your backpack while you walk. Moreover, the kit comes equipped with 3 boom mic headsets that feature high-quality microphones for static-free communications.

The battery life, on the other hand, is limited to the equivalent of 4 AA batteries stripped into one unit that acts like a rechargeable battery. Every radio has its own AC charger adapter, so you won’t have to worry about recharging. As for the actual longevity of a fully charged unit, it can operate for around 6-8 hours of active use before it needs a refill.

Designed for daily use, this set from Midland will be suitable for both professionals and amateurs. The rugged build and superior capabilities allow using the radio at extremely long ranges. Small, light, and easy-to-use, the Midland 3-pack radio provides the users with a high quality of communication, regardless of weather conditions and terrain.

Midland GXT1000X3VP4 Waterproof Two-Way Radio in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

DEWALT DXFRS300

A Surprisingly Capable Device From DeWalt

Even though the DeWalt company doesn’t need any additional introduction, their devices that are not power tools might seem a bit out of place at first glance. Nevertheless, in practice, this DXFRS300 walkie talkie set appeared to be a real surprise. Let's have a closer look.

First of all, the package comes complete with everything you need to start using it right out of the box and includes two radios, two chargers, two belt clips, and two rechargeable batteries. Designed in the branded black and yellow color patterns, the units are solidly built to withstand extensive use and will neatly fit into any palm for comfortable use.

Although the devices are advertised as waterproof we don’t recommend actually submerging then under the water due to safety concerns. However, the IP67 rating ensures secure splash resistance and make the model suitable for wet conditions. The shock resistance of the housing is also fairly decent. The walkie-talkies can endure a fall from several feet without damaging the inner electronic components.

The built-in antennas of the handheld radio units enable using them on long distances ranging from 10 to 25 miles depending on the terrain type and objects that may interfere with radiowaves. With the operating radius reaching almost 250,000 square feet, these high-frequency units feature up to 2600 possible channel combinations. Thanks to this, users can filter out all the unwanted chatter that may occur on the standard 462-467 MHz frequency range.

Review of DEWALT DXFRS300 Walkie Talkies

Smart, Handy, and Efficient

Functional and high-performing, Dewalt walkie-talkies also boast a number of convenience features. Thus, the memory unit built into each DeWalt radio provides every user with 22 memory slots they can use to save certain frequencies, which makes it easy to create small communication networks to be accessed by anybody who has a walkie talkie.

The blue-lit LED screen is easy to read under any light conditions and the keypad lock option will keep the push-button locked to prevents any unwanted radio interactions when not in use. The viber alert will let you know of any incoming calls and the Roger beep tone will confirm the transmission completion. Besides, the Auto Squelch function will come in handy to reduce the unwanted noise caused by any signal constraints and terrain. The only minor flaw we've noticed is a bit inconveniently located push-button placed right above the screen. However, since it doesn’t affect the actual performance of the devices, we don’t think it is a big minus after all.

With the weight of only 0.4 pounds and fairly compact dimensions, the device can be carried on the belt, in the pocket, or in the pocket of your bag. Owing to a special belt clip coming in the set, you can easily carry the unit around and have free access to it at all times.

Wrapping things up, if you are looking for an inexpensive pair of radio units that are designed for professional use both indoors and outdoors. you can’t go wrong with the DeWalt. Durable and powerful, they will definitely become your best companions when it comes to long-range communication.

DEWALT DXFRS300 Walkie Talkies in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Midland LXT630VP3

Reliable and Simple

The Midland LXT630VP3 is a two-piece family radio system that can be easily used by both amateurs and professionals without any prior experience in radio communications.

Each device in the two-piece kit features low and high power modes that allow for maximizing the effectiveness of the walkie-talkie. To expand on that, the low power mode allows the radio to conserve the battery charge when it is close to being completely drained while operating on the same distances as if the radio was fully charged. This is achieved thanks to a lower quality of the sound that is transmitted and received by the gadget. But don't think that the decline is that significant, the signal and the sound will be heard and understood on the other side of the line without any problems though you might have to listen a bit more attentively.

There are quite a few security precautions that you can use in order to protect your conversations. The 121 code combinations of this FRS offer a huge number (over 2000) of secure channels that will neither be heard or interfered by other radios. This makes it a great pick for security teams and those who'd prefer to keep their chatter hidden.

Review of Midland LXT630VP3 FRS Two-Way Radio

Perfect for Outdoor Use

What makes this model stand out, though, is the option to turn off all sound notifications and audio cues. It might not sound that impressive but this ability of the radio is proven to be crucial for both fishermen and hunters. The latter will be glad to know that this feature can be turned on with one single push of a button. After that is done you will no longer scare your animal of choice away due to annoying beeping of the device or, what’s even worse, chatter on the channel. That is definitely a nice addition to an already great model that other similar radios could use since it gives the hunter an element of surprise over the game.

The kit comes supplied with two rechargeable NiMH batteries, two chargers, and two clips that you can use to attach the radios to your belt or other pieces of clothing. As for the power source, the radios can be powered by both NiMH and AAA batteries, which makes this model adaptable to different circumstances. The operating time of the device varies, depending on the battery type of your choice. While the NiMH will provide you with 8 hours of continuous communication the AAA ones can power up the radio for up to 20 hours, which is quite impressive for a 5W device.

Frequency and power aspects aside, let’s take a closer look at the communication range of these little radios. The heavy-duty radio is capable of transmitting and receiving the signals at a distance of up to 30 miles. The distance, of course, is limited by the terrain and weather conditions and may thus vary slightly from the optimal numbers. Additionally, the device has a special voice-activated transmission mode that allows you to utilize the radio absolutely hands-free.

Finally, the Midland LXT630VP3 is a good choice for both hunters and campers, thanks to the waterproof housing and an excellent level of stealthiness it offers.

Midland LXT630VP3 FRS Two-Way Radio in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Arcshell AR-6

Full of Surprises

The Archsell AR-6 is a set of four two-way long range radios. However, we should clear up that the long range part doesn’t mean the device will work at great distances away from each unit. To be more specific, it basically means that the frequency range of the device uses long waves in order to not interfere with other channels that the device may receive during operation. That way the signal is clearer and never drops off.

Each unit from the set is supplied with a handy headset that can be used independently of each other. The main selling point of the headset is the ability to utilize the radio in a hands-free mode, which makes it convenient for use for security tasks or communication between workers in warehouses.

The operational range of each radio barely reaches 5 miles, and thus, this model is not suitable for hunting or camping purposes. On the bright side, however, under normal weather conditions without obstacles, the communication is possible at 7 miles or more. This feature makes the kit extremely useful at construction sites, malls, warehouses, and anywhere where you might need a private communication network.

This model doesn’t feature a digital screen, which is a bummer, to say the least. Since there are no means to see the frequency and the channel due to the lack of visual cues the user must rely on the dials and audio hints while changing the modulation and frequencies as well as the channels.

Review of Arcshell AR-6 Rechargeable Long Range Two-way Radios

Linking Made Easy

In case you need more than four radio pieces for any reasons, you may face some issues with pairing all of the devices by yourself. That's because the firmware is programmed differently for each set in order to not interfere with frequencies of similar products that can be used in the close vicinity of the AR-6 units. This can be easily fixed, though. All you have to do in order to make your own network of 5 or more devices is to get in contact with tech support that will help you program the radio units using a simple USB cable and computer.

Other than that, the AR-6 acts really great as a standalone kit that is reliable, easy to use, and has a small weight and thus can be utilized by anyone from a small kid to an adult. The kit offers a great versatility, and each piece just screams high-quality and reliability, thanks to the always stable connection between the units and great, durable materials of the housing.

All in all, this GMRS will be more suitable for personal or corporate use at small sites rather than for snowboarding or skiing, due to the short operational range. But it's one of the best at what it does and an easy tool to master.

Arcshell AR-6 Rechargeable Long Range Two-way Radios in the use

 

Motorola Solutions T260TP

Get the Benefit of Long-lasting Runtime

If you need to create a stable and reliable private radio network for your private or business needs, this 3-radio kit from Motorola will definitely come down your alley.

To start off, these compact radios weigh only 0.4 pounds each, so, you can easily carry them either in your bag or even in your pocket. The microphone jack, on the other hand, allows for hands-free communication when needed. What is more, the units also have a headphone jack, hence, if you want the radio to stay inside your backpack that's not a problem. Hands-free operation option is a real find for those occasions when you are engaged in some work or driving and can't distract to answer the call.

As far as the controls go, however, the device only has a handful of buttons. These include the mute button, volume adjustment, keypad lock, push-to-talk trigger, and an emergency menu. Yet, all the basic functions for convenient operation are there and you'll hardly need more.

Speaking of the runtime, the rechargeable battery each radio device is complete with is an equivalent of 3 AAA batteries stripped together, which allows actively using the radio for up to 10 hours without any interferences occurring. Besides, you can always use regular AAA batteries, extending the overall runtime of the device up to 29 hours of non-stop use. To add even more, the T260TP features a USB port that can be used for both charging and programming the device so if you have a capacious power bank no longer will you fear of running out of charge for several days. It is something you will really appreciate on job sites and open areas with no access to the mains to recharge the units.

Review of Motorola Solutions T260TP Talkabout Radio

Small but Mighty Radios

What is surprising about this radio kit is that fairly compact in size, 2W radios are capable of reaching impressive operational distances of up to 25 miles. Other wireless radios pale in comparison when more expensive 5W models struggle to reach even a 10-mile radius, and for that, these radios from Motorola get an additional bonus point.

Moving on, let’s take a closer look at the digital capabilities of the radios included in the kit. Each device can be operated on 22 different channels with 121 privacy combinations on each channel, which totals in around 2600 combinations ensuring reliable connection and perfect communication security. If security is not your biggest concern, though, you will be happy to know that this radio is compatible with any FRS or GMRS radio. Thanks to this, you can find other channels in the frequency range of 462-467 MHz, which will be helpful in case of an emergency.

All things considered, this kit from Motorola provides great value for the buck. Available at only a fraction of a price of premium walkie-talkie radios, it offers great functionality, decent operation range, and impressively long runtime you won't find even in some pricier models.

Motorola Solutions T260TP Talkabout Radio in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

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 headlamps. The advantage of using a headlamp is that it allows for lighting up the way hands-free, which is handy if you have some other gear to drag behind you.

What Features to Compare

Frequency Range

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.

Extra Features

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.

Design and Convenience

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.

Sources:

1. What are Walkie Talkies? wiseGEEK.

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

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

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

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

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

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