Walkie talkie vs 2-way radio – What you need to know

What is the difference between Walkie talkies and two-way radios?

Walkie talkie vs 2-way radio. Often times, these two are used interchangeably, two-way radio is a term that’s not used often, but walkie talkie is one that we use all the time.

Two-way radios are radios that can transmit and receive, a one-way radio is a FM radio, a radio that cannot transmit audio.

Technically, a walkie talkie is also a two-way radio, but walkie talkies are often perceived as being an amateur tool of communication because they are usually small, colorful and have lower range than two-way radios and are mostly used by kids.

Commercial users of two-way radios have much bigger and powerful communication device such as CB radios, MURS radios and what not.        

Walkie talkie is the portable version of two-way commercial radios.

Technically they are both the same thing, but walkie talkies are often handheld and are portable, while “two-way radios” are desk mounted of mounted on cars, are bigger and have more features on them and require license in order to be operated. Some types of walkie talkies also require a license, depending on the wattage of the product.

If it uses more than 2 watts than it is going to need a license, most walkie talkies operate on unlicensed channels, commercial two-way radios are more powerful and require a license as they operate at a higher wattage.

While a two-way radio, is called a “two-way radio” it is however, still half duplex, meaning that users can only talk or hear at a time, both cannot be taking place simultaneously.

Let’s have a look at mobile phones for comparison sake, with a mobile phone, you can talk and listen at the same time, therefore; it is full duplex, a walkie talkie or two radio, is half duplex since both cannot take place at the same time.

So, to conclude, a walkie talkie is also a two-way radio, but people refer to high end commercial radios as two-way radios and handheld devices as walkie talkies, but technically, they both are the same.