Communication is an integral part of our lives and whilst mobiles and smartphones have come to dominate the way we keep in touch, 2-way radios still offer a reliable and cost-effective way to keep in touch for certain situations. Whether you intend to use two-way radios for a skiing holiday, camping trip, at an event or as a present for your children this guide will help you to find the right model:
Here are the most important features that you need to make yourself aware of before deciding which set of two-way radios to buy:
One of the most important factors to consider when deciding what 2-way radio to buy is the range you need them to cover. The maximum range capable on consumer 2-way radios using the PMR446 frequency on a transmit power of 0.5W is up to 10km, which is in ideal conditions (meaning you can't and shouldn't expect this range if you intend to use them in a built-up urban environment). If you need anything over and above that then you will need to consider a more powerful two-way radio (which requires a license and is more expensive).
(Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems work by breaking the voice signals received in small data packets which are transmitted over the internet. VoIP uses PSN (Packet Switching Network) technology where packets are marked and transmitted in a sequential manner so that the original voice signal can be generated at the receiving end. Shop for all VoIP deskphones here.
Most license-free two-way radios have 8 channels, which tune the frequency on which the handsets communicate with one another. In addition to the channels, there is typically a number of privacy codes; these do not guarantee the privacy of your transmissions but rather offer you the chance to chat freely without interference from others, which can be a problem if you are using them in an area where a lot of other two-way radios may be in use like a skiing resort.
Some two radios are powered by regular alkaline batteries, whilst others come with rechargeable batteries (some of which come with charging dock). If you intend to use your two-way radios for more than a few days and won't have regular access to a power outlet (eg. camping trip) then a model, which takes regular batteries or both would be a better choice. For regular use it is better to opt for rechargeable 2-way radios as replacing batteries is not very cost effective and can be bad for the environment if used batteries are not disposed properly.
If you need to use your two-way radios hands-free (eg. motorbike convoy, mountain climbing) it is important to find two-way radios, which have VOX (Voice Activated Transmit). The models will also come with a socket, which you can use to plug in a headset or throat mic.
If you're new to two-way radios then you may not be clued up on all the various brands, which can make it difficult to know who to trust. To make it easier we've compiled a list of the best two-way radio brands:
Motorola have deep roots in radio communication and their TLKR range of license-free two-way radios offer great design, ease-of-use, and value for money. Shop for all Motorola 2-Way Radios.
Binatone two-way radios are excellent if you're looking for something reliable and are on a tight budget. Shop for all Binatone 2-Way Radios.
Cobra are an American company who have been manufacturing two-way radio products for decades and their MT range offer something for everyone. Shop for all Cobra 2-Way Radios.
Doro are a Swedish manufacturer who specialise in communication products, and their 2-way radios offer reliably long range, excellent sound quality & durable build. Shop for all Doro 2-Way Radios.
We hope this buying guide has given you a clear starting point on how to find the right Two Way Radio for you. For information on more specific Walkie Talkies select from one of the Buying Guides below or start shopping for Two Way Radios now.