I recently bought two pairs of the Walker Razor Slim electronic ear muffs. Though I have a number of electronic muffs already, I bought these to try out the accessory 2-way radio (walkie talkie) attachment. The concept sounded practical, with several use-case scenarios. Here’s my first impressions and short review – focused on distance…
How Far Will The Walker’s Walkie Talkie Transmit?
I’m going to get into the 2-way radio (walkie-talkie) “Handsfree” communications right away. That’s why I bought these. So hear goes…
They operate on FRS / GMRS frequencies. Same as most typical consumer handheld walkie-talkie 2-way radios. You can look up the specs for more data. But I’m curious how far they’ll go in the real world.
In short, they work well for relatively short distances. They’re intended to be used on a gun range – to keep in communication with a partner – while keeping your muffs on while others nearby may be shooting. For that, they fit the bill just fine.
Their marketing claims “Communications up to 3 miles”. Ummmm, no.
Seemingly ALL 2-way radio manufacturers claim distances which are typically way beyond reality. That’s why it’s good to read reviews from real-world experience. It’s never as far as they say. Why? Because those distances are under “perfect” conditions – which rarely exist in your own world…
So, I did some experimenting to see how far the Walker’s walkie talkie would go in my own environment. Here are my initial results…
Solid Communication Distance – 300 feet
The Walker’s walkie-talkies sounded solid and clear up to about 300 feet. That included line of sight, non-line of sight (down a hill), and through some trees. I didn’t venture into dense forest for this test, however I feel that the radio would have performed pretty well in that as well – up to about 300 feet.
Pretty Good Out To 600 feet
The further distance between two headsets (once you go beyond about 300 feet), the reception gradually began to get noisier. More static. The density of obstructions between you will affect this. I did two tests at this distance.
One test was clear line of sight from Mrs.J sitting in front of the house while I walked across an open field to about 600 feet away. The audio / transmit / reception was still pretty good. Slight detection of noise.
For the other test I walked down our drive. It put a dense stand of trees between us. As I continued over a slight rise and then down the other side, it also put a hunk of “earth” between us. At about 600 feet (almost 1/8 mile) the reception was noticeably noisy and becoming somewhat irritating to communicate.
So my general conclusion is that distances between 300 and 600 feet become increasingly annoying due to increasingly poor reception and noise. Again, that was not direct line of sight – but what may be considered somewhat “normal” in the real world.
Completely Fell Over At 1/4 Mile Distance
I continued walking down our drive. The communication distance between our two headsets simply got progressively worse. At about 800 feet it was definitely annoying. 1000 feet, pretty poor. And as I got about 1/4 mile away (~ 1300 feet) communication was impossible.
I had brought my BaoFeng handheld with me. As expected when I transmitted through that radio after losing comms with the Walker’s at 1/4 mile, Mrs.J said it blasted through loud and clear.
[ Read: Best Antenna For BaoFeng Handheld Radios ]
Walker’s Radio Headset Closeup
My Takeaway For Maximum Distance With The Walker’s Headset Walkie Talkies
First, I did not expect that these headsets would go (transmit / receive) too far. They’re not designed for that. They’re obviously low power transmitters (due to FCC restrictions on their bands). The antenna is a very short stubby (to accommodate being strapped to your head/ears). And they’re intended for comms on the range.
With that said, I am very pleased with the results. Why? Because I wouldn’t be using them for longer range comms (I have other radios for that). Rather, they have a few nice use-case scenarios.
- Obviously, while shooting with a partner.
- These would be nice for security / patrol comms within the distance constraints.
- During the winter – nice to keep ears warm while muffling noise of the snowblower – and being able to be in communications with the house.
I’m sure you could think of more uses for fairly close range communications. But overall, I felt that it was worth it.
The Razor electronic muffs by themselves are very good. I was quite surprised how much ambient sound I could hear while turning up the volume!! Better than some of my other muffs in that regard. Being slim design is great for shooting any rifle (easier to cheek and see through your optics).
Voice Activated Feature for Microphone Transmit
The VOX (voice activated option for the microphone) didn’t work very well. Despite two sensitivity settings, it was troublesome. Didn’t always work. I don’t feel that’s a detriment because I wouldn’t normally use that anyway. I would much prefer to press the transmit button – which is simple and easy to do on this headset.
View more details and reviews about the Walker’s Razor Muffs and Walkie-Talkie 2-way radio accessory on amzn:
One more thing… this 2-way radio accessory can ONLY be used with the Walker’s Slim Razor muffs. (Just so you know).