Who invented the radio?

Radios comparison 2021

  • Handheld radios enable you to communicate with other people easily and without a mobile phone contract. In contrast to real amateur radio devices, some of these devices are freely available without permission.
  • If you want to buy a radio, pay particular attention to the power supply. For some devices you need a charging station, for others you can simply replace the batteries. This is particularly useful in outdoor use.
  • Another important point to consider when looking for the best two-way radio is range. You cannot always rely on the information provided by the manufacturer on this point.

Walkie-talkies, in their simple form, are popular toys with children. But the handheld radios are also very practical for adults in certain situations. Several people can stay in contact with one radio device during hikes or excursions in naturewithout a cell phone mast nearby.

Our radio device comparison 2021 compares different types of devices. In this purchase advice, we also want to provide you with the most important purchase criteria for your selection.

1. How do radios work?

With radio devices you can communicate wirelessly over a certain range.

Radios enable wireless communication using radio technology. The walkie-talkies are powered by rechargeable batteries or batteries and are often sold in a two-way radio set. After all, communication only works if every participant has a device.

The two devices are then directly connected to each other during a conversation. There does not have to be a transmission mast in between, you do not need a mobile phone contract to communicate with a cell phone and it is completely free to use.

Since the radios are very handy, they can be easily taken with you and can be used as outdoor radios. In contrast to children's radios, walkie-talkies for adults can have a longer range.

When two handheld radios communicate with each other, this works via everyone's radio applications, i.e. radio technologies that can be used by everyone. These are, for example, the PMR radio (PMR = Private Mobile Radio) or the CB radio (CB = Citizen’s Band Radio).

PMR radios can use a maximum of eight channels, whereas CB radios can use 80 channels in Germany and 40 in Europe. The range of a CB radio can be increased with an antenna.

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The handy PMR or CB radios are not to be confused with amateur radios. These are mostly self-built systems by amateur radio operators. Everyone can listen to them. However, if you want to broadcast, you need a license from the Federal Network Agency, which is only issued after you have successfully passed an exam.

2. Which is the right radio for every situation?

Depending on the purpose for which you need a radio, you can choose between different types of devices, which we would like to introduce to you below:

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Handheld radio
  • Most people think of a device in this category first when it comes to two-way radios. Handheld radios are made for mobile use. They are relatively light and can easily be carried in a pocket or on a belt.
  • The range is usually between three and 10 kilometers.
  • This type is also available as a children's radio - these models are then smaller and more colorful.
Station radio
  • This type of radio has a greater range, but is not mobile because the technology is housed in a kind of box.
  • They are professional and quite expensive devices.
Motorcycle radio
  • With these radios, several motorcyclists traveling together can stay in contact. They serve, among other things, for communication between the driving instructor and motorcycle learner driver.
  • Activation works by voice so that the motorcyclist does not need a hand.
  • Such a radio device includes a headset through which the driver can hear what the other person is saying.

Actually, the baby monitor should also be assigned to this list. Ultimately, a baby monitor is also a radio device. It only transmits much quieter noises.

Apart from that, you can theoretically use a baby monitor as a walkie-talkie. The other way around, this is difficult because of the lower noise sensitivity of normal radios. Unless you are using a two-way radio with a baby monitor function.

3. What are the most important criteria for your purchase decision?

The different models of the different manufacturers and brands score with very different advantages. Read on to find out what to look out for when buying a radio.

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3.1. The range is the central criterion

In densely populated areas, the range of the radio equipment is less.

You won't find a walkie-talkie test on the internet that doesn't compare the range of different radios. After all, it is essential that you can still hear your conversation partner well from a somewhat greater distance.

But be careful: The manufacturer's information does not always correspond to the facts. First of all, these maximum ranges of radio devices only apply under optimal conditions, i.e. on open routes.

Even in a forest, the range can be less. The maximum range is practically never reached in densely populated areas.

A few kilometers are usually not a problem. By contrast, not all devices reach ten kilometers by far. Two-way radios that can transmit a distance of 20 km are even rarer.

Tip: Since the manufacturer's information is not always correct even under optimal conditions, we advise you to read through one or the other radio device test from other buyers on the Internet. Such testimonials or ratings provide information about the actual range.

3.2. Batteries are more practical when you are on the go

When it comes to supplying power to mobile CB radios or PMR radios, you can choose between batteries or a built-in rechargeable battery pack.

You can easily recharge such a battery with a charger. However, you will of course not have the charger with you or a power socket nearby.

In this case, batteries have great advantages that you can easily replace. However, battery operation also has disadvantages.

See in the following overview what the advantages and disadvantages of a radio with batteries look like:

  • If the batteries are empty, you can simply replace them with new ones.
  • You are completely independent of sockets.
  • You don't need a charging station.
  • Repurchasing batteries becomes quite expensive over time.

3.3. Petite and light is best for on the go

Other important points in most walkie-talkie tests are the weight and dimensions of the radios. Especially if you want to take the device with you on a hike in a backpack, it shouldn't be too big. Small devices are only around 15 cm high and therefore ideal for these purposes.

In the long run, too much weight can become uncomfortable ballast. Good thing it There are two-way radios that weigh just over 70 grams.

However, look carefully at this point. Some radios weigh over 200 grams.

3.4. Extras can make the difference

One or the other special equipment can definitely influence the purchase decision. So for one thing the most necessary radio accessories are includedsuch as a radio bag, the battery pack, a charger, and maybe even a headset.

Useful extras are also a key lock and voice recognition, an energy-saving mode and a battery level indicator. A group call, such as the Motorola TLKR T80 Extreme radio, can also be useful for events or use in the company.

4. Which frequencies do the different radio technologies cover?

Strictly regulates radio traffic

Especially with the right amateur radio equipment, not everyone is allowed to simply radio out into the world. Depending on the type of radio service, you may need a broadcast license. To do this, you have to meet certain requirements. Amateur radio operators must also adhere to the regulations, which, among other things, assign frequency ranges.

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As a private person, you are generally not allowed to use every frequency. Some frequencies are reserved for police radio or air traffic, for example. Under no circumstances should you, as a private person, interfere with the radio equipment of the fire brigade, for example.

Basically only legal frequency ranges use the following devices:

  • PMR radio: The frequency range of the PMR radio is between 46,000 and 446,100 MHz and is distributed over eight channels. These devices do not have a very long range (only between three and five kilometers). They are often used by companies for communication on the company premises or in the warehouse.
  • MR 446 radios: These digital models are sort of a successor to PMR devices. They transmit on frequencies between 446.1 and 446.2 MHz.
  • CB radios: With up to 80 channels and a long range, these radios are very popular. The CB radio transmits on frequencies between 26.565 and 27.40580 MHz.

5. Questions and answers on radio equipment

5.1. Did Stiftung Warentest carry out a walkie-talkie test?

Unfortunately, Stiftung Warentest has not yet carried out a radio test. Therefore, we cannot name a radio test winner at this point.

However, this test of baby monitors is informative, which in a broader sense also represents a radio device test. Unfortunately, the result was not very convincing. Only two of the 17 devices examined received the grade “good”. A walkie-talkie that can be used as a baby monitor was also in the test. This is especially useful when you need a long range.

5.2. How do you operate a radio?

In principle, it is very easy to use. All you have to do is set both devices to transmit and receive on the same channel. Radios have a button that you must press to transmit the sound to the other device.

5.3. What does a radio cost?

The smaller the radio, the easier it is to transport.

The price range for two-way radios is quite wide. You can get a cheap radio for less than 20 euros. Depending on the scope and functions, some people spend up to 1,000 euros on the radio. However, this is not necessary for use as an outdoor handheld radio. You have to invest a maximum of 100 euros to get a good model.

5.4. Who invented the radio?

It's not entirely clear who actually invented the radio. The Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi played a major role, who invented a device with which he could transmit at least a kilometer and a half. Later he radioed across the English Channel and the Atlantic.

For his radio system, however, he used discoveries made by Oliver Lodge that the latter had neither protected by patent nor used in practice. The Russian Alexander Stepanowitsch Popow also built a radio-like apparatus. The first mobile radio was invented by Frederick William Downie in Australia in 1923.

5.5. Who repairs radios?

There are a few stores that specialize in repairing broken audio equipment. For example, radio technicians can usually repair a radio.

We definitely advise you to refrain from doing your own handicrafts if you are not very knowledgeable. You only run the risk of losing any warranty claims. If in doubt, send the radio to the manufacturer. They can repair it or send you a replacement device - usually free of charge within the repair period.

5.6. Where should you buy a radio?

Due to the larger selection and the good opportunities to compare prices, we advise you to buy on the Internet. Various online shops offer two-way radios from Motorola or other well-known brands for every need.

Alternatively, you can find what you are looking for in outdoor shops or electronics stores. There you benefit from on-site advice, which is naturally lacking on the Internet. However, the prices in brick-and-mortar stores are often higher and the selection is not that great.

Motorola Talkabout T82
Currently available from € 71.00
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Number of radios
Price per radio (approx.)
35,50 €
Power supply
running time
AA batteries
rechargeable, approx. 18 h
"There's the Motorola Talkabout T82 PMR two-way radio and the outwardly identical Motorola Talkabout T82 Extreme PMR. What's the difference?""The difference is the resistance to environmental influences. The Motorola Talkabout T82 PMR is splash-proof in accordance with IPX2, while the Motorola Talkabout T82 Extreme PMR is weatherproof in accordance with IPX4 and is therefore of higher quality, but also around 50% more expensive."
Baofeng GT-3
Currently available from € 42.00
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Number of radios
Price per radio (approx.)
42,00 €
Power supply
running time
7.4 V Li-ion battery
about 3 days
"How long does the charged battery of the BAOFENG Mark II GT-3 UHF / VHF 2m / 70cm dual band radio last?""The charge of the standard battery in the BAOFENG Mark II GT-3 radio lasts around 3-4 days when used continuously."
Stabo Freecomm 100
Currently available for € 26.92
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Number of radios
Price per radio (approx.)
13,46 €
Power supply
running time
AAA batteries
3-4 days
"Is the radio button on the Stabo Freecomm 20100 radio mobile phone difficult for children to press?""Children from around 3 years of age can use the Stabo Freecomm 20100 radio handset well."
Currently available for € 39.69
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Number of radios
Price per radio (approx.)
19,85 €
Power supply
running time
1500 mAh Li-ion battery
about 1-2 days
"Can I buy other antennas for the CACAGOO BAOFENG PMR446 Walkie Talkie for increased radio performance?""No, a change in the radio performance of the CACAGOO BAOFENG PMR446 Walkie Talkie is illegal under German law and would require a separate permit."
Currently available from € 119.95
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Number of radios
Price per radio (approx.)
119,95 €
Power supply
running time
7.5 V Li-ion battery
approx. 20 h
What is the range of the Kenwood TK-3501E PMR446 radio?The KENWOOD radio has a range of approx. 2 km. The range may vary depending on whether you are using the device in an open field or in an urban area.
Motorola Talkabout T82 Extreme PMR
Currently available for € 83.76
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Number of radios
Price per radio (approx.)
41,88 €
Power supply
running time
AA batteries
rechargeable, approx. 16 h
Is the Motorola Talkabout T82 Extreme PMR radio waterproof?Yes. The Motorola two-way radio has IPX4 weather protection. This means that you can use it reliably even in poor weather conditions, as it can withstand even heavy rain. However, you should avoid direct contact with water, for example by submerging.

Which are the best two-way radios from our two-way radio test or comparison 2021?

Choose your personal radio test winner from the following list:

  • 1st place - very good (comparison winner): KENWOOD TK-3501E - from 119.95 euros
  • 2nd place - very good: Motorola Talkabout T82 Extreme PMR - from 83.76 euros
  • 3rd place - very good: Stabo Electronics 20701 Freecomm 700 - from 101.99 euros
  • 4th place - good: Motorola Talkabout T82 - from 71.00 euros
  • 5th place - good: Retevis RT24 Plus - from 37.99 euros
  • 6th place - good: Motorola T42 PMR - from 41.18 euros
  • 7th place - good: Radioddity PR-T1 - from 36.99 euros
  • 8th place - good: Baofeng GT-3 - from 42.00 euros
  • 9th place - good: Stabo Freecomm 100 - from 26.92 euros
  • 10th place - good: CACAGOO BAOFENG PMR446 - from 39.69 euros
  • 11th place - good: Motorola Talkabout T42 - from 24.99 euros
  • 12th place - good: Motorola TLKR T42 - from 23.99 euros
  • 13th place - good: DeTeWe Outdoor 8500 PMR - from 64.99 euros
  • 14th place - good: AUDIOLINE PMR 16 - from 49.95 euros

When comparing radios, you will certainly not find it easy to choose between the total of 14 radio models, including 3 "very good" radios and 11 "good" radios.Therefore, a radio was also chosen as the winner of the comparison (KENWOOD TK-3501E) and the price-performance winner (Retevis RT24 Plus).

With 5 radio models, the Motorola brand has the greatest variety of products from a single manufacturer in a radio device comparison and is therefore particularly well-known among radio device manufacturers for its product variety.

More information "

From how many different manufacturers are models compared in the radio device comparison?

In the radio device comparison 9 different manufacturers are compared. More precisely, the experts compared and rated models from Kenwood, Motorola, Stabo Elektronik, Retevis, Radioddity, Baofeng, CACAGOO, DeTeWe or Audioline. More information "

Which price categories can I choose between in the radio device comparison?

The cheapest two-way radio is available from 23.99 euros, the most expensive two-way radio costs up to 119.95 euros. The radios within this price range cost an average of 54.67 euros in a radio comparison. More information under radio device test. More information "

Which radio has the most customer reviews?

The Motorola T42 PMR won the most customer reviews, but the Retevis RT24 Plus received the best average reviews. More information "

How many models in the radio comparison were awarded "VERY GOOD"?

Of the 14 different models, a total of 3 were rated "VERY GOOD" by the editorial team, including:

  • KENWOOD TK-3501E
  • Motorola Talkabout T82 Extreme PMR
  • Stabo Electronics 20701 Freecomm 700
More information "

Which models were compared or tested in the radio device comparison?

The 14 different radio models include:

  • DeTeWe Outdoor 8500 PMR
  • Motorola TLKR T42
  • Motorola Talkabout T42
  • Stabo Freecomm 100
  • Baofeng GT-3
  • Radioddity PR-T1
  • Motorola T42 PMR
  • Retevis RT24 Plus
  • Motorola Talkabout T82
  • Stabo Electronics 20701 Freecomm 700
  • Motorola Talkabout T82 Extreme PMR
  • KENWOOD TK-3501E
More information "

Which other products in the radio category are displayed when searching for "Walki-Talki"?

We want to offer you the best selection of products and therefore not only compare radios, but also related products such as walkie-talkies, walkie-talkies and CB radios. More information "