After several hours of research, we have established our selection of the 4 best walkie-talkies among more than twenty models currently available. In our opinion, the best is the Midland G9 Pro, which stands out for its increased performance and advanced features. In addition to offering an excellent range, the American brand has taken care of the screen and audio to also appeal to professionals.
This Floureon pair is above all a product that has been thought and developed for children. Each walkie-talkie looks like a toy, but you can also use them in a more adult setting, for just about any outdoor activity that doesn't require a too advanced system. It measures approximately 18 x 9 x 7 cm and weighs 159 g, making it a small, space-saving object that is easy to handle. There are eight communication channels, 50 private codes (for a total of 400 combinations) on a frequency of 446 Mhz, which can be adjusted very simply with a simple button on the centre of the device.
You take advantage of the two-channel capability, which allows you to communicate with other people on two different channels while the Vox system offers hands-free operation. Battery status, channels and all useful indications and settings are presented on a backlit LCD display with flashlight for night-time situations. This walkie-talkie can be activated in two ways, either by placing three traditional AA batteries or rechargeable AA batteries requiring a micro USB connection for the recharging function. However, the manufacturer does not provide the batteries free of charge.
It also gives us a theoretical range of 3 to 5 km, but it seems that in practice, especially for use in urban areas, this is reduced to a few hundred metres. But it is obviously more extended on flat surfaces, without too much interference, and in mountainous areas for experienced hikers, it works perfectly. Among the good bargains, this device is among those that offer a competitive price while being complete. Between its refined ergonomics, its various functions and its manoeuvrability, it is ideal for a first familiarization with this type of product, without making intensive use of it since it appears rather like a toy.
Cobra is one of the best manufacturers of transmission-reception equipment, including of course walkies. The device recommended here is part of a range offering different items at all possible prices and performances. The AM645 is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and jogging. The dimensions are 15.4 x 6.1 x 4 cm and the weight is 97.5 g. There are eight channels and no less than 968 channel combinations, as well as communication with 446 other radios.
It comes with the Vox function that can be set in five sensitivity levels for voice detection, so you can speak hands-free. The "Roger Beep" system indicates the end of the transmission in order to warn the other when it is his turn to communicate. As for the Scan function, it automatically searches for channels. In addition, the AM645 also features an LCD screen that displays, among other things, the battery status. Five alerts are also provided to notify you of incoming calls.
It is rechargeable via batteries, with a NiMH battery or by means of a USB cable. The standby time allows to reach 24 hours of resistance. Its range records a perimeter of 8 km in areas not subject to interference. You will have to reduce this value depending on where you are (for example, in the city, it is more complicated). To sum up, even if some aspects can be improved, this device is equipped with multiple functions to which must be added a reliable signal, many combinations of channels and a rather appreciable autonomy. Notice to hikers and outdoor enthusiasts!
Midland G9 Pro
The G9 Pro is the successor to the G9 Plus, whose main qualities it takes over from the G9 Plus with a few improvements. As its name suggests, it is aimed at the professional world and is especially popular with hunters. This model measures 6.4 x 12.6 x 3.6 cm and weighs 157 g. In spite of this size, there is nothing particular to report, it remains classic and handy. But it is above all in terms of performance that it shines: it includes eight PMR446 frequency bands ranging from 446 to 446.2 MHz, for a total of 38 CTCSS (Continuous Tone Code Squelch System), 104 DCS (Digital Cellular System) and 69 LPD (Low Power Device).
This dual-band unit is equipped with a dual PTT button that transmits in high and low power. As with most of its competitors, it features Vox and Scan functions as well as five call tones. The brand now opts for vibration as well as the ability to make emergency calls via the "EMG+" button. Compared to its predecessor, it features a 30% larger LCD display with 30% more audio. Its IPX4 certification means it is resistant to humidity and bad weather conditions.
It runs on four AA rechargeable batteries or one 1800 mAh NiMH battery for 12 to 36 hours. Its large antenna allows a long range, from 5 km to a maximum of 10 km in open field. On the other hand, a recurring flat is raised by several users who complain about the lack of earphones supplied with the walkie-talkie. In the end, this is the most accomplished device of our selection. Its resistant components ensure excellent reception and are accompanied by a formidable autonomy with more advanced functionalities.
Motorola T82 Extreme
The Motorola T82 Extreme shows how serious a tool it is for adult adventurers and outdoor professionals. Its shock and weather resistance are a real plus for its target audience. The pair of walkie-talkies measures 17.8 x 5.7 x 3.7 cm and weighs 197 g, but has a rather ergonomic design that allows it to be carried everywhere without any problem. Like most of its competitors, it features 16 channels and 121 private codes for clear and intimate communication. Note in this regard that in Russia, the manufacturer indicates that there are only eight channels legally available.
This model has most of the known mid-range features with a few additional possibilities. These include frequency scanning, weak signal monitoring, an LED light and an emergency button, just like almost everywhere else. The display is of good quality, close to what is done in smartphones. It offers a discreet display and limits energy consumption. It can be charged either with two traditional AA batteries or with the rechargeable NiMH batteries that are included in the delivery. It can also be connected to a USB port using the cable/adapter that is also included in the scope of delivery.
This promises a nice battery life of 18 hours under normal use, and even 26 hours if you buy NiMH 1300 (default batteries are 800 mAH)! In terms of range, Motorola promises 10 km of distance, but also says that it depends greatly on the surrounding conditions and terrain. We also appreciate its ability to easily pair with another walkie-talkie for easy group calls, without having to make an insane number of external settings that can depend too easily on external conditions. Finally, even though this high-end unit doesn't offer much more than its mid-range rivals, apart from its increased resistance to outdoor conditions and shocks, it is still an example of efficiency and reliability. Its range and autonomy will give you satisfaction!
Retevis RT388: this model for children is powered by a battery or AAA batteries (non-rechargeable). Lightweight, it works with eight channels and lockable communication sub-channels. It has ten call tones, an LCD screen, Roger Beep, Scan, Vox and a flashlight, but its range is limited to 1 or 2 km in open terrain. Nor does it include a two-channel function.
Retevis R628: Specifically designed for children, this compact eight-channel machine is easy to handle and is particularly resistant to shocks. It is equipped with Vox function, flashlight and PTT button. It performs well in terms of sound quality and settings. It can also be attached to clothing and is powered by three AA batteries. However, these are not supplied, and its range (max 2 km) is less than that of the Floureon.
Retevis RT27: This device is designed for adults and professionals and works with 16 channels, all of which have a sub-channel to ensure a private and interference-free conversation. It is equipped with Vox and Scan functions, and guarantees the monitoring of weak signals. Its rechargeable lithium battery gives it a resistance of 8 to 10 hours. You can plug in headphones or attach it to your belt. The downside, however, is the absence of an LED or LCD screen, which affects its ergonomics.
Why trust us?
The editorial team spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and comparing products to find the best value for money. None of our articles are sponsored. We sometimes receive a commission when you purchase a product through our links, which allows us to finance our work while remaining completely impartial.
How did we make our choice?
Walkie-talkies seem to have disappeared a little in recent years, especially with the evolution of mobile phones. But they remain the most reliable solution for communicating in the forest.
In order to help you make a choice adapted to your lifestyle, here is a buying guide outlining the main criteria to take into account:
This is influenced by the size and weight of the gear. In general, lightness and compactness are preferred to ensure a good grip. If it is intended for a child, care should be taken to ensure that the child can grasp it easily and understand how it works. The more you increase in price, the more complex the use becomes.
- Capture quality
Performance in terms of listening quality revolves around the number of communication channels, private codes and model frequency. The higher these values, the better the transmission and the greater the range. Some environments are particularly sensitive to interference and greatly affect these factors, but better components are able to counteract them. The dual TT button transmits both high and low power.
- The functionalities
Several functions can be found within the same walkie-talkie. The roger beep announces with an audible sound the end of each speech and facilitates the exchange. Other features such as the LCD display or the LED light are welcome. The presence of a Vox button offers hands-free operation. The Scan automatically searches for channels. Finally, the use of a dual channel allows a dialogue with two people at the same time. Emergency calls are also a common option.
- Recharging and autonomy
There are products sold without batteries included. Traditional alkaline batteries are not the most practical and economical. Fortunately, most machines use Lithium batteries that charge via USB (which we believe is the best possibility). Some give you the choice between traditional or rechargeable batteries. As for the autonomy, it must be able to assume the duration of your trip. Ideally, it should exceed 12 hours of resistance.
This partly ensures the versatility of the model. Several have a certification with a protection rating. The IP is composed of two digits: one indicating the level of protection against solid particles such as sand and dust (from 0 to 6) and a second indicating water resistance (from 0 to 9). It is also necessary to check the robustness against violent shocks.
All these criteria allowed us to get a first idea of the value of the models. We were able to limit their number to a few dozen in order to establish a more detailed analysis. We consulted the comments and experiences of buyers and specialists, found on sales sites, blogs, forums and English and French-language channels. This research was of considerable interest in the development of our selection of the 4 best walkies of the moment.
We therefore started with around 30 models on the European market. Thanks to these criteria, we narrowed down the selection to about ten mice for the first time. Finally, by consulting the opinions of users, blogs, forums, English and French-speaking sites, we came up with a selection of 6 wireless mice belonging to different price ranges.