On a film set or any other movie shooting place, you have several individuals working together in various departments. Communication is vital to ensure everything runs efficiently and smoothly.
A walkie-talkie lets you communicate easily and quickly with your crew members. Moreover, walkie-talkies are quieter, more reliable, and more efficient compared to using mobile phones.
To make life simpler, we have researched the best walkie-talkies for film sets available on the market. Below are our top 5 recommendations.
Top 5 Walkie Talkies for Film Set
|1||Motorola CP200D||Best Overall|
|2||Midland GXT1000VP4||Best Range|
|3||Dewalt DXFRS800||Best Weather Resistance|
|4||Motorola DTR600||Best Battery Life|
|5||Retevis H-777||Best Price (Most Affordable)|
The Best Walkie Talkie for Film Set: Motorola CP200D
Film production crews encounter diverse issues all day, daily. That is why having reliable clear communication is important to making any team run efficiently.
Enter the Motorola CP200D. With its innovative X-Pand technology, the Motorola CP200D provides clear voice communication within crowded environments like film sets, stadiums, meetings, and so forth.
Filmmakers generally require a two-way radio that offers a long battery life. This Motorola walkie-talkie comes with a durable Li-ion battery. Several previous buyers report that with continuous use, the battery life is approximately 15 hours.
This is more than enough to take you through a day on a film set. If you ever require a quick charge to keep your radio powered, the CP200D’s charger base can come in handy. Your handset will quickly get a power boost once you place it on this base and set it for rapid charge.
The CP200D offers selectable output power including 5 watts, 4 watts, and 1 watt. The 5 watts of power is sufficient to cover any range you may want to cover while working with your crew.
Some users have reported a transmission range of 6 miles while working within an open field. Other users who work in urban settings with many structures and buildings have reported a range of 2 miles.
The Motorola CP200D has also received much praise from users due to its superlative durability. The device has been certified to comply with the quality standards of the US military.
This means the walkie-talkie can hold its own on any film set no matter how demanding. The two-way radio has an IP 54 rating. This rating indicates that the device is adequately protected against small water splashes and dust ingress.
This Motorola radio model can function in analog as well as digital mode simultaneously. Thus, though CP200D is compatible with analog devices, it will also let you tune to digital radio channels. This way, you can enjoy premium digital features like extended range and clear voice quality.
The kit contains the Motorola CP200D device, owner’s manual, antenna, warranty card, battery, belt clip, charger cords, charger base, and charger instruction manual.
Most film set managers value the CP200D because of its ease of use plus low maintenance costs. You will never have to bother about monthly fees or service contracts with this Motorola radio.
- Number of channels: 16
- Turner technology: UHF
- Number of batteries: 1 Li-ion battery
- Dimensions: 9.5″ x 8.5″ x 3″ (LxWxH)
- Waterproof (IP54 rating)
- Voltage: 7.5 volts
- Weight: 0.94 pounds (battery inclusive)
- Output power: 5 watts/4 watts/1 watt
- Auto squelching
- MDC1200 Signalling
- VOX function
- Rapid rate charging
- Tricolor LED lights
- Push-to-talk function
- Great business two-way radio
- Supports up to 16 channels
- Works great in noisy surroundings
- Long battery life
- A bit expensive
- Lacks many advanced features
What Makes Motorola CP200D the Best Walkie-Talkie for Film Set?
Generally, film sets require walkie-talkies that are durable, do not need too much maintenance, and offer a long battery life. The Motorola CP200D offers all of these features and more. This is why we selected it as the best walkie-talkie for a film set.
How to Use Motorola CP200D on Film Set?
The Motorola CP200D is very easy to set up and use. Even if you are a non-technical user, you will not have to spend several days setting up the device.
All the information you require to get started is in the easy-to-understand owner’s manual. When you unbox the product, insert the battery before you power on the device.
If the battery level is low, charge before you begin using the radio. Attach the antenna plus additional accessories, select the channel you wish to communicate with and you are all set.
Below are very useful tips while using Motorola CP200D:
- Inspect your radio frequently: Regular inspection will help you detect faults before they lead to expensive damage. You also need to change the device’s battery regularly. Old batteries may spill and corrode terminals inside the radio.
- Regularly remove debris from ventilation openings: The CP200D has some ventilation openings that allow for air circulation inside the unit. Air circulation helps to keep the device from getting overheated. Thus, you should ensure that debris and other materials do not clog the ventilation openings.
- Store in dry are: The Motorola CP200D has a 1P54 rating. This means the radio is dustproof and is well protected against water sprayed from all directions. Despite this, ensure you store your radio within a dry area. And, do not deliberately submerge it in water.
- Safely store your radio: When the radio is not in use, you should place the device within a protective case like a holster. This will help to protect it against impact damage.
User Reviews and Feedback on Motorola CP200D
Users who are pleased with the Motorola CP200D say the radio is simple to set up and use. Many happy buyers also note that the radio delivers loud and clear audio at all times. These users report that the radio works great even within noisy environments.
Most previous purchasers are happy with the radio’s rugged design. Many of these users describe the CP200D as a long-lasting and durable unit. Several customers who are film set managers note that the device does not require too much maintenance. These users agree that the CP200D does not come cheap but it is also not very costly.
Several previous buyers rate the customer service they got from the vendor as great. Several happy purchasers especially like that the product is dustproof and offers a reasonable degree of protection against water. Most previous buyers agree that the radio is sufficiently weatherproof for any outdoor/indoor use.
However, some users are not happy with the lack of advanced features on the Motorola CP200D. A few users also report that they had a difficult time charging the battery using the charger base. These customers report that they had to replace the Li-ion battery only a few days after purchase.
4 More Top Rated Walkie Talkies for Film Set
1. Midland GXT1000VP4
Walkie-talkies allow film set crews to communicate clearly and quickly. However, it is extremely common for these compact devices to be incapacitated by poor audio quality and interference from obstacles.
Midland says that under perfect conditions you can get a max range of 36 miles from this device. These perfect conditions comprise using the handset under the finest possible weather condition. It also includes using the device within a plain line of sight.
Most users report that they have never been able to attain the 36 miles range using the GXT1000VP4. Nevertheless, several users in urban areas with large structures have reported a range of 3 miles.
You will be impressed by the device’s audio quality. Many previous buyers have praised the audio transmission quality describing it as exceptionally clear.
The radio also features the whisper mode. With this feature, you can whisper into the radio and the device will broadcast your message across the channel. This feature can be highly beneficial when in a setting where you do not wish to be heard.
Film set crews and hunters will find this feature extremely useful during the actual filming. The GXT1000VP4 features voice-activated transmission (VOX) technology that allows for total hands-free use.
The device also comes with emergency features such as the SOS siren. When you use this feature, the radio broadcasts a distress signal plus your location to other radio users.
This way, they get to know that you require help. The GXT1000VP4 is a highly convenient choice concerning walkie-talkies that support NOAA weather alerts. The device offers 10 distinct weather channels to get your crew ready for any weather changes.
The interesting thing about this model is that it reads your location automatically and tunes in to the local channel. This way, you do not have to perform manual scans during an emergency.
Another feature that makes the GXT1000VP4 a superb walkie-talkie-for film set is its excellent durability. Walkie-talkies being used on a movie set can be impacted in various ways including being dropped or stepped on.
With this Midland radio model, you can rest easy knowing that your radio can take the beating. However, some users have complained that falls and other impacts sometimes leave scratch marks on the plastic body.
Most previous purchasers love the dual power options offered by this Midland walkie-talkie. The device has an inbuilt rechargeable battery. It is also designed to work with any standard AA battery.
So, if you are not able to recharge the inbuilt battery, the AA battery power can come in handy. The built-in rechargeable battery can power your device for 12+ hours. This, however, depends on usage level.
The transceiver is rated JIS-4. JIS is the acronym for Japan Industrial Standards. The JIS-4 rating means that the radio can take water splashes from any direction without harmful effects. Note that the unit may be ruined if you submerge it completely in water.
The package comprises 2 GXT1000VP4 radios, 2 belt clips, headsets with mic functions, a DC adapter, an AC adapter, a charging dock, 2 rechargeable batteries, and an owner’s manual, plus a 3-year warranty card.
- Excellent range
- Durable construction
- Dual power source
- Provides NOAA alerts
- Somewhat expensive
- A few users have complained that the radio is not so user friendly
2. Dewalt DXFRS800
Best Weather Resistant
If you are seeking a reliable, easy-to-use, and robust walkie-talkie for a film set, then the DXFRS800 by Dewalt is a smart choice. Film productions can be done both in outdoor and indoor settings.
Thus, your walkie-talkie needs to be weatherproof as well as have a good IP rating. With an IP 67 rating, the Dewalt DXFRS800 is completely protected against dust ingress. And, if it gets submerged in water up to 1-meter depth, the radio can hold its own for 30 minutes.
A dependable two-way radio or film set should also allow for medium to long-range transmissions. Dewalt claims this radio can deliver 27+ miles of transmission range under ideal conditions.
However, several previous buyers have reported attaining a range of two miles using this radio in areas with many trees. This is pretty satisfactory for walkie-talkies that will be used on film sets.
Another important feature to look out for when buying walkie-talkies for movie sets is durability and resistance to bumps and drops. One of the finest features of this Dewalt radio model is its fantastic shock resistance.
The device is fitted with rubberized edges that enable it to withstand drop impacts up to 2 meters high. Users also love the cushioned grip that helps prevent drops.
The radio’s long battery life has also earned it 5-star ratings from its users. The battery delivers 19 hours on standby.
Several film set managers report that the battery holds up well for 24 hours of use on a single charge. However, a few users are disappointed that the radio is not designed to use double-A batteries.
Users also like the DXFRS800’s compact construction. If you do not want to hang the radio from your pocket/belt using the belt clip, it will fit nicely within your pocket.
The radio comes with 22 preset channels, which are preprogrammed with privacy codes. The device’s sound quality is superb so you and your crew will not have a hard time hearing incoming messages.
- Long battery life
- Voice-activated transmissions
- Comparatively pricey
- Some users have complained that the belt clip breaks easily
3. Motorola DTR600
Best Battery Life
The DTR600 from Motorola enables interference-free, confidential communications to ensure your crew stays focused whilst keeping conversations private.
The compact transceiver is rated IP54. This rating indicates that your radio will be shielded against damage from limited levels of dust particles.
You can also be certain that the radio will be adequately protected against water sprays from any direction. All these mean that the radio is durable enough to function well within the severest working environments.
This Motorola digital radio allows for a wide area coverage of up to 450,000 square feet within a building. So, with its standard whip antenna, the DTR600 will enable your crew to enjoy uninterrupted communications within any type of building.
If you are working outdoors, the DTR600 will cover 1.5 miles to 2.5 miles in areas with minimal obstructions.
The radio delivers digital audio quality devoid of the dead spots and noise that are typically experienced with analog devices. Users are happy with the radio’s full-graphic, backlit display that permits operations in settings that are badly lit.
Furthermore, the navigation menu is intuitive meaning that your team will have no trouble locating all of the radio’s features. The DTR600 also offers flexible call options. With its Private Reply feature, users can do private one-to-one communication after a group broadcast has ended.
Most users love the radio’s enhanced text display and caller ID feature that lets you see who is calling. You can define as many as 100 groups – 50 public and 50 private.
Also, the device will enable you to call an individual transceiver or an entire group simultaneously. With a full charge, you can expect to get up to 14 hours of active use from the battery.
Included in the box are 1 DTR600 radio, 1 Li-ion battery, a drop-in charging tray, plus AC adapter, swivel belt holster, quick reference guide, antenna, and product safety plus RF exposure booklet.
- Long battery life
- Wide area coverage
- Excellent audio quality
- Flexible call options
- Some users report they had a difficult time using the battery charger that came with the radio
4. Retevis H-777
Retevis is renowned for making affordable transceivers that have only basic features. If you are seeking walkie-talkies that you can use for a small-budget film set, then the Retevis H-777 is a fantastic choice.
With its 3 watts output power, Retevis claims the radio covers a range of 10 miles. They also advise that the range obtainable can be influenced by several factors like terrain, weather, and type of antenna.
However, real-world use indicates that you can expect a max range of approximately 0.6 miles from this radio. The device was tested within a locality surrounded by several obstructions.
Thus, the H-777 may be just perfect for keeping in close contact with your crew on a film set location. You can detach the antennas that come with these radios and install bigger ones. This will enable you to broadcast over a wider range.
Nearly all previous buyers love the ease of use of these radios. Each radio has 16 channels that have been programmed on the UHF band. This means your crew can begin using the radios out of the box.
It is also easy to alter the frequency if you wish to do that. The transceivers are well constructed and extremely rugged. Thus, they can hold their own in any work environment.
Each radio is powered by a 1000mAh battery, which is not so impressive for a two-way radio. Nevertheless, this battery power can last you through a typical day on a film set. You can expect the battery to deliver 9 to 10 hours of continual use.
Another fantastic feature of this Retevis radio is its charging system. The radio supports USB charging and you can interconnect the USB port to charge up to 5 radios at a time. This can save you a great deal of time and energy.
- Compact design
- Easy to use
- Easy to program
- Excellent audio
- Durability concerns
- Short range
How to Select the Best Walkie Talkie for Film Set?
You should consider the following critical factors when shopping for walkie talkies for film sets:
1. Impact Resistance and Ruggedness
Walkie-talkies used on movie sets need to be tough enough to resist impacts such as being dropped or stepped on. All accessories like headsets must also be highly durable and robust.
If impact resistance is your key concern, then the Dewalt DXFRS800 will give you fantastic results.
The radio has rubberized edges that make it highly resistant to mechanical shocks and impacts.
2. Battery Life
For individuals working on film sets, the length of the typical workday can be up to 14 hours or longer. To cope with such long days, walkie-talkies should have reasonably long battery life.
Having backup batteries is also beneficial. These will let you and your crew carry on working without losing time.
The radios recommended here all have reasonably long battery life.
Nevertheless, the Motorola CP200D and the Motorola DTR600 are the winners concerning battery life. These radios offer a battery life of up to 15 hours.
3. Weather Resistance
Movie making can be done anywhere both outdoors and indoors. As you already know, the weather can change with no warning whatsoever. So, you will require transceivers that can work well under any weather condition be it wet, hot, or cold.
The Dewalt DXFRS800 is your best bet if you are seeking an all-around weatherproof walkie-talkie.
The transceiver has an IP 67 rating meaning that it is dustproof and waterproof.
Film production can be a costly enterprise. That is why every dollar needs to be carefully spent. So, when you are selecting walkie-talkies for your film set, make sure you select a cost-effective option.
The best transceiver for a movie set will help ensure effective communication, but it should also not break the bank.
If you regularly work with large film sets, then, Motorola CP200D and the Midland GXT1000VP4 are the most cost-effective choices.
If you are on a tight budget or work with small film sets, go for the Retevis H-777.
5. Range of use
When selecting walkie talkies for film sets, take note of the mileage range the device can cover.
A short range transceiver like the Retevis H-777 will be most appropriate if your team will be using the device in close proximity with one another.
If your film production crew is scattered across various locations, then you will require a longer range radio like the Motorola CP200D or the Midland GXT1000VP4.
6. Multiple Channels
For large movie productions, you should consider getting multi-channel walkie-talkies. These models will let you separate into groups like audio/visual, crew, production, sound, maintenance, and so forth.
Each group would leave their radios tuned to their allocated channel and communicate among themselves. If a group wants to communicate with another group, they can switch to that group’s channel to talk with them.
If multiple channels is a priority for you, then you may want to check out the Midland GXT1000VP4.
7. VOX and Hands-Free
Nearly all walkies-talkies come with a Push-To-Talk button that allows the user to start broadcasting. However, radios with Voice Activated Transmission (or simply VOX) can also be utilized hands free.
When VOX is activated, the radio’s mic stays on all the time. Once the mic detects your voice, it will start broadcasting automatically.
Once you stop speaking, the mic switches off. Models with the VOX feature are typically fitted with a headset for a total hands free communication experience.
If VOX and hands-free operation is important for you and members of your movie production team, then you may want to opt for the Motorola CP200D or the Midland GXT1000VP4.
These transceivers can be controlled by voice to allow for a total hands-free use.
Comparison of Top 5 Walkie-Talkies for Film Set
|Walkie-Talkie||Weight||Dimension||Battery life||Number of Channels||Waterproof|
|Motorola CP200D||0.94 pounds||9.5” x 8.5” x 3” (LxWxH)||15 hours||16||Yes|
|Midland GXT1000VP4||0.3 pounds||7.9 x 2.4 x 1.5 inches||10.94 hours||50||Yes|
|Dewalt DXFRS800||0.77 pounds||2.17 x 2.58 x 7.27 inches||12 hours||22||Yes|
|Motorola DTR600||0.49 pounds||50.06 x 2.2 1. 06 inches (H x W x D)||15 hours||–||Yes|
|Retevis H-777||0.25 pounds||2.34 x 4.49 x 1.25 inches||10 hours||16||No|
Walkie-talkies are a fantastic way for film set crews to communicate effectively and quickly without wasting time. This post has selected and reviewed 5 of the best walkie-talkies for film sets.
The Motorola CP200D is our top option for any movie production crew. If you are operating on a low budget, then check out the Retevis H-777.