Everyone is familiar with seeing security guards, hospital workers, and even a store clerks in action, and the chances are pretty good that you’ve probably seen at least one of them using a two-way radio. Two-way radios are essential when closed communication is needed between employees. Their use in service industries is widespread, and because of their new smaller, more subtle design and manner of operation, you may not even notice who is talking on them while you’re out and about, but a closer look will reveal the prevalence of their use.
Today’s Two-Way Radios
Comfortable, lightweight and portable, most of today’s two-way radios do not look like the traditional radios used in the past. Many of these look more like small palm-sized speakers. Among the more common features are a single push-to-talk button, volume control rocker, and power button. Some feature an LED indicator for power, and Smart Status color indicators that alert you about radio transmission, scan, and battery status.
New Design Features
Some come with voice-assisted-operation features that allow you scan the menu of options, which is great for when you don’t want to remove the radio to manually seek out a single option. You can clip them on, wear them on a lanyard around your neck, and you can attach some via a magnetic clip system to your lapel, belt, or shirt pocket. If you want the convenience of an earpiece, those can be purchased separately in order to make your radio a true two-way device. Thankfully, many two-way radios featuring earpiece capacities come Bluetooth-enabled so there are no awkward and embarrassing cords to wear.
Smaller two-ways are used primarily in retail stores (say, to check stock availability in the back or a remote location when one employee stays to man the register.) Other applications include construction sites, restaurants and hotels. These radios can vary in terms of frequencies and in indoor/outdoor ranges. Most resemble a traditional handheld radio and don’t require a separate headset.