Many high-end two-way radios come with a feature called VOX. But many of you will be wondering- just what is VOX? Product specs are often written by people who deal with these devices day in, day out. They forget that some people won’t know what these terms mean, or how these features work. Luckily, though, we’re here to help. In this post, we’ll be clearing up what VOX is, how it works, and most importantly, why you need it in a two-way radio!


What is VOX, and how does it work?

VOX stands for “Voice Operated Exchange”. To put it in simple terms, that just means voice-activated transmission. With this mode switched on, the two-way radio is always listening out for human speech. It does this by detecting tiny changes in the air pressure. It then automatically starts transmitting when someone starts talking. Once you stop, the handset will stop transmitting, so that you can hear the other person’s reply.

VOX also adds a slight delay between the end of your sentence and the end of the transmission. This is to make sure that nothing of what you’re saying is cut off. In normal conversation, we tend to pause more often than we think. Whether it’s thinking about the right word to use or taking a breath mid-sentence, we can’t always keep up a constant stream of talk. If VOX didn’t have this delay feature, then you’d end up having to repeat yourself all the time!

As we mentioned earlier, most mid-range and high-end two-way radios, like the Motorola TLKR T80,  now come with VOX. That’s not to say that VOX has completely replaced the “Talk” button on two-way radios, though. This is partly because some users like to do things the traditional way, but there’s also a practical reason. Strictly speaking, VOX isn’t actually “voice activated”. It actually starts transmitting whenever it hears a loud noise. That’s obviously not ideal when you’re trying to use your two-way radio in a noisy environment. For that reason, you will usually be able to switch off the VOX setting if needed.

Motorola T80 Extreme

How to set up a VOX headset

It’s not just the two-way radios themselves that can come with VOX. There are also a number of headsets available that make talking hands-free that much easier. Since the mic on a headset is closer than it would be on a radio strapped to your belt, it will pick up your voice better. Headsets also tend to cancel out more background noise for the same reason.

To use a VOX headset, you’ll first need to turn off your two-way radio. Then, plug the headset into the radio and switch it back on. Each model will have a slightly different display, but there should be a VOX icon to show it has detected the headset. You might also want to toggle the VOX sensitivity until you find the sweet spot for your setup. To do this, look for the VOX option in the radio’s menu, and then turn it up or down accordingly.

We hope that we’ve now cleared up the question of what VOX is and why it’s useful to have this feature. At liGo, we’ve got a huge range of two-way radios that come with VOX, so you can enjoy hands-free communication whenever you need it. Click here to see our top picks!

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