Best Walkie-Talkies to buy

Two-way radios are incredibly versatile and can be used in a host of scenarios, including many work and leisure-based activities. This technology helped lay the foundations for the way that we communicate today, with two-way radios having been in use for almost a century. The development of the technology actually pre-dates 1923, when the first mobile two-way radios for voice communication were introduced. This is because the wireless telegraph came into use in the late 19th century. Prior to the advent of the two-way radio as we know it today, devices could only communicate with each other via Morse Code.

The evolution of two-way radios

Two-way radios were first used in the military, allowing those in the air to communicate with personnel on the ground. As the technology became smaller, they were adopted by the police and fire services, enabling emergencies to be attended to quickly. Though walkie-talkies are heavily associated with portability, the first devices actually had to be worn on the backs of those using them. Soldiers would wear a radio whilst it was being operated by another soldier. It would be several years before smaller systems became reliable enough for frequent use. Learn more about the history of walkie talkies

When did two-way radios become portable?

Many experts cite Don Hings as the inventor of the portable walkie-talkie as we know it today. Hings created the device in 1937, though it's said that many other people invented similar products around the same time. In 1939, the technology was redeveloped so it could be used in battle, though it was still nowhere near as portable as it is today, weighing around five pounds with a height of approximately 17 inches. In the 1970s and 1980s, the walkie-talkie started to appear in growing numbers of family homes, around the same time as the first mobile phones were being introduced.

What’s the difference?

Although there is technically no real difference between two-way radios and “walkie-talkies”, the terms are used to market products sold for markedly differing purposes. Technically, the only difference between the two is that a walkie-talkie can only be a handheld device. The term “walkie-talkie” is generally used to refer to a two-way radio that is used for leisure purposes. When the technology is used in a professional setting, the term “two-way radio” is normally employed. Products marketed as walkie-talkies will normally be sold in the high street and might feature fun, vibrant colours. They will usually be more affordable, be great for family use and have a more basic series of features. You won’t normally need a licence to use a product marketed as a walkie-talkie.

Professional uses

Products sold as “two-way radios” normally have a large number of features and are used in professional environments like building sites, hospitals, schools, farms and large-scale events. These radios are used by emergency services like the police and will have an IP rating as well as more robust build quality.

Licenced and unlicensed business radios

Two-way radios used in professional settings are often called business radios. They enable large groups of personnel to remain in contact, and new channels and handsets can be added to networks with ease. They can be more reliable, efficient and affordable than networks based on mobile phones and have superior build quality. Licensed business radios are much more powerful than unlicenced ones, have a better range, uncongested channels and mean you don’t have to worry about problems with interference. However, unlicenced radio networks have proved to be a suitable solution for businesses with modest communication needs.

Going digital

More and more businesses are now opting for digital two-way radios. They offer communications of the highest quality even in a world where analogue is still immensely popular. They are renowned for their generous battery life, monitoring capabilities, noise cancelling credentials, simple migration possibilities and wide range of software applications.

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Why Two-Way Radio?

At Two-Way Radio, we can assist you whether you need a two-way radio or walkie-talkie for business or leisure purposes. We offer solutions from some of the most esteemed manufacturers around and are waiting to hear from you right now if you have been searching for the best walkie-talkies and two-way radios to buy.

Getting in touch

You can reach us today by calling 0800 0286261 / 01527 872777, sending a message to or using the contact form on our website. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need help selecting the two-way radio or walkie-talkie best buy available to you.