Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Welcome to our big walkie talkie test 2022. Here we present all the walkie talkies we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best walkie talkie for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy a walkie talkie.




The most important facts

  • A walkie talkie allows you to communicate with other people or larger groups over longer distances in a very timely manner.
  • A walkie talkie is the mobile and handier version of a station radio and is therefore the ideal companion for outdoor tours with several small groups.
  • It works independently of mobile phone providers and is therefore free to use. Moreover, you don’t need any extra qualifications to operate a walkie talkie.

The Best Walkie Talkie: Our Picks

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Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a walkie talkie

What is a walkie talkie?

A walkie talkie or handheld radio, HFuG for short, is a so-called radio with a mains-independent power supply, i.e. a rechargeable battery.

A walkie talkie is particularly suitable for emergencies. (Image source: pixabay.com/paologhedini)

The advantage is that a walkie talkie can be operated by a single person in the hand and, above all, carried on the body. This makes the walkie talkie a mobile companion in all situations, in contrast to the bulky and heavy station radios.

Handheld radios are not only used on bicycles, motorbikes, trekking or ski tours, but also in the car or at the location of the registered amateur radio station.

Walkie Talkie what to consider?

There are different categories of walkie talkies, which also provide information about the bandwidth range and transmitting power.

Walkie talkies are divided into two areas of application

One is the area of BOS handheld radios and the other is the area of amateur radio handheld radios. We have described these briefly for you below.

Which BOS handheld radio do I need?

BOS handheld radios belong to the category of official radios. BOS stands for “Behörden und Organisationen mit Sicherheitsaufgaben” (authorities and organisations with security tasks). The abbreviation FuG stands for radio.

FuG 10

The FuG 10 is operated in the so-called 2-m band and has ten programmed (or quartz) channels. It is only suitable for intercom operation, which means that only one person can speak or transmit at a time. It has a transmitting power of one watt.

Which FuG you need depends on what you want to use your walkie talkie for. (Source: pixabay.com/skeeze)

For this type of walkie talkie, there is a 40 cm long (lambda quarter length) rod antenna or a 15 cm long antenna that is inductively shortened by coiling.

The shorter of the two antennas, however, has much poorer radiation characteristics, but makes the walkie talkie more manageable. The operating time of a FuG 10 is about four hours.

FuG 10a

This type of radio is a multi-channel radio for 92 channels in the 2-m range. Both the band position and the type of traffic can be switched on this version. Intercom and conditional intercom traffic are possible. The FuG 10a has a transmitting power of about one watt, with an operating time of about 4 1/2 hours.

FuG 10b

The FuG 10b corresponds to the FuG 10a, but can also be operated with a higher transmission power. This enables the walkie talkie to perform functions such as FMS or other additional functions.

FuG 11b

Since 1994, the FuG 11b has represented a new generation of walkie talkies for the 2-m band. All 117 channels of the 2-m range, both upper and lower band, can be switched. This makes the FuG 11b a multi-channel walkie talkie.

It can be operated in two-way and conditional two-way traffic. However, the number of switchable channels can also be limited to a certain selection by appropriate programming. The unit has a transmitting power of one watt.

FuG 13

Ten programmed channels for the 4 m range and a transmitting power of one watt are available with this type of walkie talkie. It is suitable for intercom and conditional intercom traffic and was mainly used for special purposes. Its design is based on that of the FuG10.

FuG 13a

This walkie talkie is a multi-channel 4-m radio. With a transmitting power of one watt, it can be used like the FuG 13 both in the lower and upper band in intercom and conditional intercom traffic.

In some federal states of the Republic, however, the possession and operation of 4-m handheld radios is reserved for city or municipal fire chiefs and district fire inspectors. Violation is punishable by a fine.

FuG 13b

The FuG 13b corresponds to the FuG 13a, but can also be operated with a higher transmission power and be equipped with an alarm transmitter, FMS or other additional functions.

Amateur radio handsets

Amateur radio handheld radios are mostly used on the 2 m and/or 70 cm band, occasionally also on the 23 cm, 6 m or 10 m band.

You can use an amateur radio without a radio operator’s license. (Picture source: pixabay.com/PIX1861)

In the amateur radio service, which is the area you are in when you use a walkie talkie, many different handheld radios are used. Some models can also be upgraded in function so that listening in and transmitting on the frequencies of BOS handheld radios is possible.

Amateur radio handheld radios may be used without a radio operator’s certificate!

Here is another table to give you a quick overview of the different frequency bands.

Name Frequency band
BOS handheld radio FuG 10,FuG 10a,FuG 10b,FuG 11b, 2-m-band, FuG 13,FuG 13a,FuG 13b, 4-m-band
Amateur radio handheld radios no designation, 2-m-band, 70-cm-band, occasionally also in the 23-cm-, 6-m- or 10-m-band

How much does a walkie talkie cost?

You can get a cheap walkie talkie for as little as €15. Depending on your requirements for performance and quality, as well as additional functions, the price can be up to €300 per device.

Price segment Range
Lower price range 15 € – 80 €
Middle price range 81 € – 200 €
Upper price range everything over 200 €

What is the alternative?

A possible alternative to a walkie talkie could be a walkie talkie app on your smartphone. However, for such an app to work, you need the network of your mobile phone provider. More information on this topic can be found in the Trivia section below.

Decision: What types of walkie talkies are there and which is right for you?

You can basically choose between these types of walkie talkies:

  • Walkie Talkie for children
  • Walkie talkie for hobby radio operators
  • Walkie talkie for seniors
  • Walkie talkie for professionals

What distinguishes a walkie talkie for children and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Playful models for children can already be bought cheaply. They are often colourful, with designs that appeal to children. They usually only have a short range, for example from the children’s room to the tepee tent in the garden.

Advantages
  • Appealing design for children
  • Playful learning to use the radio
  • Child-friendly operation
Disadvantages
  • Limited frequency range
  • Low battery life

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a walkie talkie for hobby radio operators?

If you only want to use your walkie talkie in your free time, a handheld amateur radio is sufficient. These usually have a range of 2-10 kilometres and a battery life of about 4 hours.

Advantages
  • No radio operator’s licence required
  • Direct communication
  • Handy and mobile
Disadvantages
  • Limited range
  • Battery operation of approx. 5 hours

However, make sure that your future walkie talkie is not a BOS handheld radio. These radio frequencies are reserved exclusively for the police and fire brigade.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a walkie talkie for professionals?

Walkie talkies for professionals may only be used by trained people with a valid radio operator’s certificate.

Advantages
  • High number of channels
  • Long range
  • Longer battery life
Disadvantages
  • No use without a radio operator’s certificate
  • High purchase price

You need to show this, for example, if you want to get a boat licence or as a hobby pilot. In these cases, the walkie talkies are usually already permanently installed. They may only be used with the appropriate radio operator’s certificate!

What distinguishes a walkie talkie for senior citizens and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

It is advisable to pay particular attention to user-friendliness, such as button size, operating functions and display size.

Advantages
  • Easy to use
  • Cost-effective
  • Useful additional functions e.g. emergency call button
Disadvantages
  • Low range
  • Low battery life

However, this is highly dependent on the individual user.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate walkie talkies

We have selected the following criteria to make your decision easier:

  • Range
  • Number
  • Additional function

Range

The range of the devices varies greatly depending on the type and the intended area of use. As a rule, it is around 2-10 kilometres. If the battery charge decreases, the transmission range of your walkie talkie also decreases.

Before you buy a walkie talkie, you should think carefully about the range you need. (Picture source: pixababy.com/paologhedini)

You should think about what you want to use your walkie talkie for before you buy it and find out from the dealer or online shop. Bear in mind that the range is also strongly dependent on geographical conditions.

Number

The number of walkie talkies you should buy depends on how many people you want to communicate with at the same time. However, it makes sense to buy at least two.

Additional functions

A walkie talkie can have some simple but useful extra features, such as a built-in torch, a compass or an emergency signal function. With a little technical skill, however, modern devices can also be upgraded to the BOS frequencies.

Trivia: Interesting facts about walkie talkies

Accessories for a walkie talkie

There are many different accessories for walkie talkies, such as headsets, microphones, steering wheel mounts, loudspeakers, charging stations or belt clips, depending on the area of use.

Areas of application for a walkie talkie

Walkie talkies can be used in many different ways. Above all, they serve as a means of communication between several people over short distances.

In the commercial sector, walkie talkies are used a lot, for example at trade fairs, festivals, in stadiums or at similar large events.

In the private sector, they are used more on trips or excursions to ensure constant communication.

Amplifying or scrambling the signal from a walkie talkie

To amplify your walkie talkie signal, you need some technical skills and a walkie talkie that allows you to extend the frequency range. Look on the Internet for a circuit diagram and instructions on how to extend the frequency range to suit your walkie talkie.

If you have already bought a walkie talkie according to your ideas, you cannot scramble it afterwards. If you do, you must buy a walkie talkie that comes with encrypted transmission as a factory option.

Walkie talkie apps on your smartphone

There are several apps that allow you to turn your smartphone into a walkie talkie with a push-to-talk function. This function is similar to a voice message, except that it is played directly to the recipient and they can respond directly, just like a walkie talkie.

Which app works best for you depends on what your needs are. A good alternative to the walkie talkie, but only as long as the mobile network allows it.

Image source: pixabay.com/natura_photos

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