Best walkie talkies for schools
One question we get asked most is what is the best walkie talkies for schools.
Truth be told there isn't a simple answer. There are a lot of factors which determine which walkie talkie is best for schools. Here are a few things to consider when deciding on a walkie talkie and a supplier.
Licensed or licence free?
Many people tend to look at the cheapest option first. Many schools get buying catalogues through the post and in the walkie talkie section are cheap twin packs of radios. These are known in the industry as "leisure radios". This type of radio isn't really suitable for use in a school environment. Leisure radios are licence free (limited to 0.5w power output, publicly accessible channels) have old ni-mh type batteries which will degrade very quickly with regular use and are usually plastic shelled making them very brittle and just one drop from waist hight could render it useless. Now, don't get me wrong, licence free walkie talkies can be the best walkie talkies for schools if your site is small and in a fairly rural / remote area. If you turn on a licence free walkie talkie in a city centre or densely populated area you will struggle to find a free channel to use out of the 8 licence free channels available and there is nothing to stop someone using the same channel as you once you've already started using them. This can be a pain to constantly have to change channel due to say a nearby building site or leisure centre deciding to use the same channel as you. The other major consideration whilst on this point is that the language from some other users can be quite choice, not what you would want coming out of your walkie talkies in the classroom! Licensed radios can stop other walkie talkie users in your area using the same channel as you, this is because we can get Ofcom to allocate a specific channel to your site that only you are legally allowed to use. Licensed radios are also much much more robust, with die-cast aluminium chassis and hardened outer casings they are made to take drops and knocks unlike leisure walkie talkies. All licensed walkie talkies we sell come with more advanced li-ion batteries as standard.
Analogue or digital?
Do you have a lot of people on site that you wish to give a walkie talkie to? If so the voice traffic over your school walkie talkie system could be overwhelming. Digital radios can be set up to have individual (one to one) calling and group (one to many) calling. This can massively reduce voice calls on your system and allows you to get hold of specific people without the whole walkie talkie system firing up every time you make a call.
Backup and warranty
If you buy a set of leisure walkie talkies online or from one of the popular buying catalogues and have an issue with them you'll have to send them back at your expense usually, then wait days if not weeks for them to be looked at and a decision to be made if it has broken due to misuse or if it is a warranty claim. Having radios 'down' can really effect the day to day communications in school. All our school walkie talkies come with a 2-year comprehensive warranty* as standard and if there is a fault which we deem to be a warranty issue (done over the phone) we will send in our courier to collect the radios and in 90% of cases we will send the courier replacement kit to swap out with you the next working day (pre-2pm claims). This will keep communications running smooth even when things go wrong.
Our most popular small school walkie talkie is the Pumaradio PR-350. This product has a li-ion battery, hard die-cast aluminium chassis, comes with a drop in desk charger and lanyard in the box. Don't forget this is also covered by our 2-year swap out warranty* as standard. Still not convinced? Get in touch to arrange your free of charge 7-day trial to see how well our radios work and how we can improve on-site communications between key members of staff in your school.