How to choose the best city walkie-talkies

How to choose the best city walkie-talkies

Today, many people want to buy city radios for different goals. For example, walkie-talkies are very popular with airsoft players – they are a great opportunity to coordinate actions to demonstrate maximum efficiency in battle. They can also be a good choice for builders, security guards, drivers, and many other people. But you have to be careful about choosing a suitable walkie-talkie.

The type of radios

First, you need to decide on the type of a radio. They can be stationary and automobile or portable.

Base station radios

Base station radios -are the most powerful and they provide high-quality communication, but you cannot move them – after that, you will have to re-configure the equipment.

Mobile radios

Mobile radios can work autonomously for a long time and provide communication over a long distance.

Handheld radios

Portable or handheld radios work on a battery for a few hours (the most quality ones – up to a few days) and have low power. But the compactness outweighs these disadvantages for many owners.

So, each buyer can choose the option that suits him. If you don’t know, how to talk on a walkie-talkie, welcome!

The range of a walkie-talkie for city use

The next important issue that should be dealt with is the range. For city walkie-talkies, there are two most common ranges: VHF (‘Very High Frequency’ – from 30 to 300 MHz) and UHF (‘Ultra High Frequency’ – from 300 to 3000 MHz). They both have extremely short wavelengths – 2 and 0.7 meters. Therefore, in the forest, they will be of little use – there you can work only at a very short distance. But they are perfect for the city.

VHF (‘Very High Frequency’ – from 30 to 300 MHz) and UHF (‘Ultra High Frequency’ – from 300 to 3000 MHz) are perfect for city use.

But here it should be borne in mind that VHF strongly depends on solar activity – on some days the connection may be disrupted. Besides, it is better to use such radios in relatively open areas – with a large number of obstacles, you can meet connection problems.

radio bands for policeUHF is a different story. On the one hand, it is not affected by solar activity. On the other hand, you can maintain a stable connection even in a crowd or in any place replete with obstacles. It is not surprising that many experienced users prefer UHF radios.

When working with a walkie-talkie, it is highly important to remember that there are certain restrictions – if you climb into specific ranges, you can get serious problems with the law. Yes, many frequencies are only available to military forces. Therefore, civilians, regardless of who they are – security guards, builders, or airsoft players, have to use relatively narrow ranges.

Be cautious! Many frequencies are only available to military forces!

Approximate values of the permitted power for some bands:

  • at power up to 10 W – CB, 27 MHz,
  • at power up to 0.5 W – PMR, 446-446.2 MHz (12.5 kHz step),
  • at power up to 0.1 W – LPD, 433.075-434.775 MHz (25 kHz step).

But these values are not the same for the whole globe! Be cautious! You should find the actual info for the country where you are going to use the radio. Here you can find more information about permitted free frequencies in Europe.

Other features of the best in-city walkie-talkie

The defense level

When the type of a radio and its range are chosen, it’s time to speak about the defense level.

Today, many walkie-talkies can boast not only a shock-resistant case but also a high level of water resistance. For base station and mobile radios, this is unnecessary – a solid case will still not protect from falling off the table, and they will hardly be in the rain. But when buying a portable radio, this issue should be seriously considered.

Shock-proof and waterproof aren’t necessary for mobile and base station radios.

The situation in which radio will be used causes the requirements. Will it be in raining or while running? If so, then it makes sense to purchase the more protected radio. True, it will cost more than a regular one, and in terms of weight and dimensions, it will slightly exceed the usual one. But in general, these are quite useful features – it is better to overpay right away than buying a new radio instead of a broken one or out of order due to a few drops of rain.


Another important issue is the necessity of registration of a walkie-talkie. There are many legends around this, some of which scare off potential users. It is worth thoroughly understanding this issue. Some bands are only allowed after getting special permission.

If you have a CB radio (27 MHz), then the permission is not needed. But this frequency is not suitable for urban usage – it is widely used in open areas, so a walkie-talkie can be a good choice for truck drivers.

If you need the most stable connection, then you have to use the UHF band. Alas, it is no longer so simple – you have to get permission to use the radio in the whole band. If you haven’t such permission, then use LPD, PMR, or FRS (contains 22 channels between 462.5625 MHz and 467.7125 MHz) bands. FRS is free in the U.S. and Canada, LPD and PMR are for Europe.

FRS is free in the U.S. and Canada, LPD and PMR are for Europe.

Headset needed?

Also, when buying a walkie-talkie, many people think about how useful a headset is. In fact, very useful. Moreover, this is relevant for a variety of users: airsoft players, drivers, builders, snowboarders, security guards. That is, for everyone who cares about the ability to comfortably talk on the radio while leaving their hands free to work or perform any other actions. Therefore, spending extra money on such a purchase is definitely worth it. A headset is highly recommended if you use your walkie-talkie for snowboarding.

The best city walkie-talkies: our review

Motorola TLKR-T80

The walkie-talkie has a good reception range – up to 8 km (5 miles). Besides, the famous manufacturer values ​​its reputation: the assembly is very good, nothing creaks, no backlash. Convenient rubber overlays provide secure grip – even in the rain, the radio will not slip out of your hand. One of the most remarkable things here is the possibility of changing the battery whenever you want. This radio uses regular AAA batteries, unlike many others.


  • user-friendly design,
  • large reception range,
  • low weight.

Power, W

Range distance, km / miles


Weith, grams / lbs


10 / 6.21


140 / 0.3

Baofeng UV-5R

best city walkie-talkie baofeng UV 5R

The model has a great design, a large set of functions, and can connect headphones – each user can easily customize it. This walkie-talkie has excellent autonomy – when fully is charged, it can work for days.


  • VOX function,
  • 128 channels,
  • power of 4 watts.

Power, W

Range distance, km / miles


Weith, grams / lbs


10 / 6.21


250 / 0.5


A very easy-to-use model, which suits both beginners and professionals. It weighs only 450 grams – extremely light! The walkie-talkie has a built-in flashlight – in some situations, it can be quite useful. And 16 channels are quite enough for comfortable work.


  • low weight,
  • good for newcomers and experienced users,
  • built-in flashlight.

Power, W

Range distance, km / miles


Weith, grams / lbs


8 / 5


150 / 0.3

Icom M330G 31 Compact

One more popular radio form a famous manufacturer. It is reliable, powerful, GPS is included. A bright display allows reading the info even when it’s dark. Buttons are large, well tangible. The radio has a Distress power and provides you such features as GPS, GLONASS, DSC.


  • GPS, GLONASS, DSC, and other functions are included,
  • Bright Dot-Matrix display,
  • Distress button,
  • Waterproofness.

Power, W

Size, WxHxD


Weith, grams / lbs




1950 / 4.3

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