Consumer Reports Best Walkie Talkie Reviews Of Top Rated

Although the constant evolution of mobile phones leads us to use them more and more often to communicate, it is undeniable that walkie-talkies still arouse a lot of fascination in us. They are still frequently used both for recreational use and for professional purposes, in sectors such as construction, hospitality, and the like. If you are looking for quick and easy communication outdoors while hiking, camping, riding a mountain bike, fishing or kayaking, a good walkie-talkie will not disappoint you. And it will be fun too! The range of the device is essential when you have to buy one model rather than another.

Reviewing 5 Best Walkie Talkies

1. Midland 50 Channel Waterproof GMRS Two-Way Radio - Long Range Walkie Talkie

consumer reports best walkie talkies

If you are looking for sturdy and effective walkie-talkies, then these Midland GMRS 2-way radio-long range walkie-talkies are for you. These are waterproof devices that can work in all conditions. They won’t get damaged even if water is splashed over them. With a range of around 36 miles, these walkie-talkies can be used for long-range communication where there is minimal obstruction. The walkie-talkies feature Easy Voice & Sound Activation Transmission (Evox) which allows them to transmit and receive sounds clearly for up to 36 miles of distance.

It also features 9 sensitivity levels for hands-free operation. The 142 CTCSS/Dcs privacy codes in this walkie-talkie will give you to choose from 3,124 channels to block other conversations. The walkie-talkie can also automatically scan through 10 available weather band channels, thanks to the Noaa weather scan, and could lock onto the weather channel with the strongest reception to alert you about the weather conditions. Then, there is the Noaa weather alert, which will sound an alarm to indicate the risk of severe weather in your area.

2. BAOFENG BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio

consumer reports best walkie talkies

Have a look at this walkie-talkie from Baofeng, which comes with a V-85 high gain antenna, 8 watts of output power, a longer battery, and a durable radio shell. You can change the power settings from low (1 watt), medium (4 watts), and high (8 watts), and frequency range from 136 MHz to 174 MHz. and UHF from 400 MHz to 520 MHz.

You can also choose from narrowband and Broadband depending upon your requirement. In the package, you will receive BF-F8HP, V-85 Dual Band Antenna, CH-5 110-volt adapter, CH-5 Charger, 2100mAh battery, belt clip, wrist strap, earpiece kit, and user manual. It is recommended to use PC03 FTDI programming cable with the product for smooth PC programming.

3. Motorola T100 Talkabout Radio

consumer reports best walkie talkies

Motorola brings to you a highly efficient walkie-talkie, which produces a call tone instead of a default ring to attract the attention of your friends and family members before you start speaking. You can quickly find the channels you are currently using through the scanning feature of the walkie-talkie. It also features a low battery alert that reminds you of the low batteries, so that you can recharge them. It also features a keypad lock that doesn’t let your personalized settings from getting changed inadvertently.

4. Retevis RT22 Walkie Talkies Rechargeable Hands-Free 2-Way Radios

consumer reports best walkie talkies

Retevis RT22 Walkie Talkie is a highly compact and sleek 2-way radio that is widely used for business use. It comes with 16 channels and plenty of smart features. It is a license-free product, so you won’t require a license to operate this walkie-talkie. The inclusion of 9 levels voice-activated transmit function that allows hands-free operation. You can easily adjust the level according to your surroundings to get the best audio quality. It also features an emergency alarm that allows you to get prepared for any imminent danger and alert team members. The presence of the channel lock feature avoids accidental changes of a button.

It also comes with a 6-way multi-gang charger with multiple charging protection along with protection against short circuits, overcharges, and overvoltage. It is safe to charge 6 packs of 2-way radios or batteries simultaneously. Carrying this walkie-talkie is a breeze, as it easily fits in your palm and offers optimal coverage in a variety of environments. The compact size of the walkie-talkie allows it to fit in any bag, as it is about 7 inches tall from the base to the top of the antenna.

5. MOICO Walkie Talkies With LED Flashlight VOX Scan LCD Display

consumer reports best walkie talkies

Last on the list is a walkie-talkie from Moico, which comes with 22 FRS channels along with 99 sets of CTCSS tones, which are also known as privacy codes. You will get 2178 combinations from the continuous tone-coded squelch system that allows you to communicate with other FRS radios irrespective of the brand by being on the same channel and privacy code. It also features a push-to-talk (PTT) button, 10 call tone settings, 6 adjustable volumes, a keypad lock, and a built-in LED torch.

The company has incorporated a bold green backlit LCD screen for night visibility. To operate the walkie-talkie, you just need to insert the battery in the battery slot, which isn’t given in the package, so you will have to buy it separately. As far as the range is concerned, then it is around 3 miles in open areas, suburbs, rural areas or seaside, etc, where the obstruction is minimal. In towns and cities, the range gets reduced to 0.6 to 1.2 miles, but that also varies according to the level of obstruction.

Coming to the design and durability of the product, then it is a small-sized unit, which is extremely lightweight, but that doesn’t mean it’s not durable. It is made of a hard and durable shell, which is drop-proof. It comes with an easy voice and sound activation transmission (VOX) which incorporates three levels of sensitivity to allow you a hands-free operation. If you are going hiking, camping, biking, on a road trip, and so on, then this walkie-talkie is ideal for those situations. The company provides a money-back guarantee on the product within 30 days along with lifetime customer service.

How Many Types Of Walkie-Talkies Are There?

In general, we can say that there are three different types of walkie-talkies. Of course, within each category, there may be differences between the various models. However, in order not to complicate matters too much, we will only do a general review of these three great families. Let's talk about analog, digital and hybrid walkie-talkies:

Analog Walkie-Talkies: Less and less used, analog walkie-talkies offer slightly fewer clear communications than their digital analogs, as well as being more sensitive to interference. To avoid problems, they must be of high quality.

Digital walkie-talkies: They are the future. Digital walkie-talkies deliver superlative audio quality. The bandwidth, being less saturated, allows communication without noise and annoying interference. They can also include multiple functions, such as data transfer, text messages, GPS, etc… They also allow two simultaneous communications per frequency, while analog only one.

Hybrid Walkie-Talkies: These are dual configuration devices, thanks to which you can use the analog or digital option depending on where you are. This way, you won't be left without communication due to a network problem.

Things To Consider When Buying A Walkie Talkie

The time has come to buy a walkie-talkie to start having fun with it. If you still don't know which product to choose, we recommend that you analyze some key purchase criteria, thanks to which you can choose the option that suits you best. Consider the following factors:

Use

Depending on the use you want to make of the walkie-talkie you will opt to buy one model or another. If you need it to work, you may need a licensed product. If you go hunting or do other countryside activities in a group you should look for a walkie-talkie with good battery life. It all depends on how you plan to use it, so think carefully about this important criterion before making any purchase.

Scope

It is a criterion related to the previous one. If you are planning a trip between several cars and friends, opt for long-range walkie-talkies. This is the only way to know where each group and each vehicle are at any time. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a pair of walkie-talkies for children, a minimum range will be more than enough.

However, keep in mind that a walkie-talkie allows communication between 2 devices at a maximum distance of 8-10 km. This can vary depending on the environment in which you will use it, but also depending on the weather conditions and more.

Frequency

There are two types of frequencies. Depending on which one uses the walkie-talkie you want to buy, the benefits may vary. I am talking about VHF (very high frequency) and UHF (ultra-high frequency):

VHF: with ranges from 30 MHz (megahertz) to 300 MHz. They require that there are not too many obstacles between one device and another. Otherwise, they suffer from too much interference.

UHF: They range from 300 MHz to 3000 MHz. Interference is less with this type of equipment. They are usually of high quality.

Autonomy

As for autonomy, this will depend on the type of battery used. If it's lithium, the walkie-talkie will be cheaper and you get a battery that will last a long time. If, on the other hand, it is a Ni-MH battery, it will generally offer you an exceptional duration in momentary use, but it will last less over time. Some options use alkaline batteries. Check the characteristics of autonomy well to avoid future disappointments.

IP protection degree

Sometimes this is underestimated by those who are less experienced. If you plan to use your walkie-talkie for hiking outdoors, you will need to think about protecting it from moisture and dust. You must therefore opt for a model with IP certification, i.e., the degree of protection it offers against the penetration of solid bodies (the first digit) and liquids (the second digit). IP protection against solids can vary between 0 and 6 degrees, while against liquids it varies between 0 and 8 degrees.

Accessories

Even accessories are often forgotten when choosing a walkie-talkie. However, we think that especially some of these could be very useful to you. Consider whether a case, headphones, or shoulder microphone, among others, might be useful for you. If you plan to use them for multi-day rides, you can consider a second battery as a backup.

Conclusion

When it comes to buying the right walkie-talkie, remember several factors to keep in mind. Study well how you will use it, and the range and autonomy of the model you plan to buy. Or, you can cut to the chase by picking a product from the aforementioned consumer reports best walkie talkie list and quickly place your order.

Last Updated on July 25, 2022

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