What is the difference between Analogue and Digital Radios

Analogue and digital comms each have their supporters also as their detractors. Each technology has its advantage factors also as its drawbacks, but neither are hugely well understood with the typical consumer. So here’s what we are planning to do; a useful little puff-piece detailing which type of walkie talkie is best as the specific needs.

OK, so, initially, let’s look at the distinctions between analogue and digital communications. 


First of all, analogue technology translates voice into two way radio waves to be able to convey it over long distances. The more the wave may be compressed, the clearer the signal can ultimately become, and with little noise as well.

Analogue technology records waveforms as these are and translates them like that, versus its digital equivalent, which samples and records waveforms 1st before transmitting them. On the other hand, analogue devices typically consume a lot more power.

Analogue 2 way radios are inherently more affordable than their digital counterparts. Digital radios can cost a lot of cash and, as they are an emerging technology, new models can potentially be rendered ‘old hat’ within a relatively short span of use, whereas analogue technology needs far less upgrading.

The downside here, however, is that the end for analogue two-way radios is unquestionably in view. Digital is obviously going to be the best way onward.


Digital technology operates on a very different principal. While analogue translates voice into radio waves (as we discussed earlier), digital technology instead translates the same information right into a binary format (basically zeroes and ones). This needs a communal language between the sending and receiving devices; otherwise the signal can’t be decoded.

Digital tech samples analogue waveforms, assigns a pair of figures to them after which records them. Ergo, digital 2 way radios are way less probable to be interrupted by signal reduction, outside noise and other interruptions, largely because most noise responses are analogue in character.

Digital signal dealing out is instant, as digital sampling works at 8000 samples per second. The distinction linking digital transmittion processing and analogue is therefore negligible.

Finally, digital radios tend not to draw much power as analogue gadgets.

Which one for you?

So, now that is out of the way – which is true for you?

Eventually, when it relates to walkie talkie usage, analogue 2 way radios will serve you well, but not for much longer, it seems.

Start by looking at health and safety issues. An analogue 2 way radio is simple to utilize, extremely tough and entirely immediate. This really is, in short, technology that saves life. This is exactly one reason that these two way radios continue to be employed by everybody from police officers to construction workers the world over. The other reason is cost. Analogue two way radios remain less expensive than their digital counterparts.

Digital 2 way radios have a much wider transmittion range and a clearer sound, but, as we said, they can be cost exorbitant.

Generally, if it’s outdoor, manual labor (where swift, efficient comms is important) if price is an issue, if protection and security are key factors and if reliability is key, an analogue radio is a reasonable choice, but could be somewhat short-sighted provided the large enhancements made by digital tech in recent time. It may be wiser to simply bite the bullet and spend extra over the short term in order avoid spending considerably more over the long term.

If you need to get a jump on the competition, if you want to be up to date and now have your staff operate the top technology money can buy, then digital is certainly the way forward.

What about hybrids?

A device that addresses both grounds is a superb decision, provided that it is still easy to use in a disaster and bug free. If you are forced, then a digital 2 way radio is probably best. The tech has come some distance now and certainly represents the way forward for two way communications.

So there you go, that is our answer.