Jan 05, 2022

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Categories: Radio

Best Walkie Talkie Without a Licence: Our Expert Guide

Finding the right walkie talkies for your personal or professional needs can be difficult because there are so many options available. Choosing the best walkie talkie without a licence can be particularly difficult because you still need to make sure it has enough channels, functions and other features to effectively do the job. While unlicensed walkie talkies may be more convenient and easier to set up, there are still many things to consider before deciding which ones to purchase.

To help you find the best walkie talkies, this article will explain the main differences between licensed and unlicensed radios, the situations when a licence is not required and then give our rundown of the top 7 unlicensed walkie talkies on the market.


For our expert advice on our best unlicensed walkie talkies, get in touch with us here.


What is the Difference Between Licensed and Unlicensed Walkie Talkies?

As their name suggests, unlicensed walkie talkies do not require an Ofcom licence to be used in the UK. Ofcom is in charge of regulating all UK telecommunications and licences are given for walkie talkies that are at risk of potentially interfering with other communication devices. For example, many walkie talkies use the same wavelengths as air traffic control towers or police radio networks, so these devices need to be licensed to stop them from disrupting the signal or being able to tune in to sensitive information.

However, it is important to understand that just because you have an unlicensed walkie talkie, that doesn’t mean you can use it anywhere you like. Unlicensed walkie talkies are still restricted from being used anywhere they could potentially cause telecommunication interference, or to put it another way, anywhere a licence is usually required. This includes:

  • Large music venues, concert halls or stadiums with more than 1,000 seated spectators
  • Airports and the area around airports
  • Major roads, motorways, railway networks
  • Government administration buildings
  • In or near to military bases

When deciding whether you can use an unlicensed walkie talkie, just ask yourself whether there is any potential risk of your signal interfering with another communication system in the area. If the answer is yes, you will need to get a licensed walkie talkie to use in that area. We have an extensive range of licensed walkie talkies if that is what you need, otherwise, read on for our…

Top 7 Best Unlicensed Walkie Talkies

At NRC we have an extensive range of unlicensed walkie talkies which are ideal for a huge number of personal and professional uses. If you need some extra help choosing the right two-way radios, get in touch with us and we will be able to help you make the right choice. Here are our top 7 picks…

  1. DigiX Sky
  2. DigiX Star
  3. DigiX Nano
  4. DigiX Liberty
  5. DigiX Zeus
  6. DigiX Orb
  7. DigiX Jazz

best unlicensed walkie talkies


For our expert advice on our best unlicensed walkie talkies, get in touch with us here.


#Number 1 Unlicensed Walkie Talkie: DigiX Sky

DigiX Sky The DigiX Sky is a professional level unlicensed PMR446 walkie-talkie that is compatible with both DigiX radios and all the other major manufacturer’s radios. The Sky is light, compact and highly portable, has 16 licence-free pre-programmed channels, and a range of functions including a built-in flashlight and SOS. This radio has a 14-hour battery capacity and a water and dust rating of IP54 making it highly durable.

All in all, the Sky is an excellent unlicensed walkie talkie for both personal and professional use. It is easy to set up, provides excellent audio quality and is very affordable.

Click here for more information about the DigiX Sky or get in touch to discuss our other unlicensed walkie talkies.

#2 DigiX Star

DigiX Star

The DigiX Star is a professional DMR 446 unlicensed walkie talkie that is ready to go as soon as you unpack it. It has 16 unlicensed channels and 16 further channels that are compatible with all the other major manufacturers. The Star comes with a range of useful accessories and is a very durable walkie talkie with a rating of IP54, making it suitable for most outdoor uses. In summary, this is an excellent unlicensed walkie talkie that is very simple to use but provides top-notch functionality for the price.

Click here for more information about the DigiX Star or get in touch to discuss our other unlicensed walkie talkies.

#3 DigiX Nano

DigiX nano The DigiX Nano is one of the smallest and most powerful unlicensed walkie talkies available on the market. It has 10-hour continuous battery life and a number of useful features including group call and remote monitor as well as the ability to record 200 hours of communication on its flash memory. The Nano also has a built-in LED display so that you can see the battery life, signal strength and channel number.

The Nano is an excellent walkie talkie for everyone who is looking for a portable and powerful two-way radio. It has a rating of IP54 so is suitable for outdoor use and is also compatible with all other major manufacturers’ walkie talkies.

Click here to learn more about the DigiX Nano or get in touch to discuss our other unlicensed walkie talkies.

#4 DigiX Liberty

DigiX Liberty

The DigiX Liberty is available as both a licensed and an unlicensed walkie talkie. Both versions have the same 90/61/30mm dimensions and weigh in at just 135g. The Liberty has a hidden LED display with low battery alert and battery strength indicator, digital encryption and VOX technology; incredible performance for such a tiny walkie talkie.

Like the Nano, the DigiX Liberty has fantastic functionality in a brilliantly compact radio. Its tiny dimensions and weight make it highly portable so it is ideal for outdoor and active use.

Click here to learn more about the DigiX Liberty or get in touch to discuss our other unlicensed walkie talkies.

#5 DigiX Zeus

DigiX Zeus

The DigiX Zeus unlicensed walkie talkie is another excellent choice for all personal and professional needs. This compact, lightweight and durable radio is compatible with Motorola, Kenwood and Icom licence-free radios and is ready to use straight out of the box. The Zeus has an LED display with channel announcement and comes with a wide range of accessories including a 6-way charger and audio accessories.

Like all DigiX radios, the Zeus offers unbeatable functionality at an affordable price and is one of our best-selling unlicensed walkie talkies.

Click here to learn more about the DigiX Zeus or get in touch to discuss our other unlicensed walkie talkies.

#6 DigiX Orb

DigiX Orb The DigiX Orb is a sleek, modern unlicensed walkie talkie that is also ready to use straight out of the box. It has dimensions of 121/57/37mm and weighs 205g and is compatible to work with all other analogue channels on Motorola, Kenwood and Icom
two-way radio devices. The Orb comes complete with all necessary charging cables, earpieces and a long-life lithium battery.

With all of this at a very low price, the DigiX Orb is another of our best selling unlicensed two-way radios.

Click here to learn more about the DigiX Orb or get in touch to discuss our other unlicensed walkie talkies.

#7 DigiX Jazz

DigiX Jazz

The Digix Jazz has all the functionality you would get from an industry-leading walkie talkie at a highly affordable price. It is lightweight, easy to use and comes with 199 channels and is available in a range of cool colours including red, blue, black and yellow. The jazz is compact but durable and has a range of useful features such as VOX function, programmable keys, a panic timer and even a built-in FM radio.

With password protection and key lock function, the DigiX Jazz is one of our safest walkie talkies and is an excellent choice for professional and recreational use.

Click here to learn more about the DigiX Jazz or get in touch to discuss our other unlicensed walkie talkies.


For our expert advice on unlicensed walkie talkies, get in touch with us here.


What if You Need an Ofcom Licence?

If unlicensed walkie talkies are not suitable for your requirements then you will need to choose a licensed walkie talkie and apply for a licence on Ofcom’s website. Different licences vary in price and are usually approved by email within five working days of the application being made. The email will give all the instructions necessary on downloading the necessary licence software needed to use the licence as well as information on how to update your radios. There are various licences available depending on what you will use your radios for. The five most important licences are:

1. A Simple UK Light Licence

This is the most common type of Ofcom licence for walkie talkies. It covers all frequencies, including PMR446 (which are usually unlicensed) and allows you to use your device in any location within the UK terrain. You do not need separate licences for different locations or terrains as long as they are covered by this licence. The Simple UK Light Licence is perfect for personal walkie talkie use and can also be used for other radio services such as CB radio and in-car communication systems. It costs £75 per year and is valid for five years. Once your licence is granted, you will have to pay a small fee every time you use your walkie talkies.

2. A Simple Site Light Licence

This licence is identical to the Simple UK Light Licence in all aspects except for one: it only covers a single site, such as your home or office. This means you cannot use the walkie talkies outside of this location and also restricts their usage frequency-wise. The benefit, however, is that once your application has been accepted, you will not have to pay for every use of your walkie talkie. Instead, the licence is valid until it expires or when you move premises and then need a new one. If you only intend on using your walkie talkies in one location, this could be the most cost-effective option.

3. A Technically Assigned Licence

This is a very specific licence that gives you access to certain frequencies and radio modes. This means it covers the frequency bands, services (such as PMR446), location licences and operating parameters of your choice. You will need an Ofcom-approved engineer to carry out any changes to these settings for you; however, once this has been done, you will have permanent access to the frequencies and modes you have chosen. This licence is perfect for businesses that need a bespoke walkie talkie solution as it can be tailored to their specific needs.

4. A Suppliers Light Licence

This licence is for companies that sell, lease or hire out walkie talkies to customers. It allows them to provide their customers with access to the PMR446 frequency band without any additional licensing fees. You can also use it yourself if you need a business account on another supplier’s radio system so this type of Ofcom licence can be very versatile. The Suppliers Light Licence is free to apply for and there are no annual fees, but you will need to pay a small fee for each walkie talkie that uses the PMR446 frequency band.

5. An Area Defined Licence

This type of licence is for businesses that have a mobile workforce or staff who need walkie talkies to communicate across their wide-ranging territory. The Area Defined Licence allows you to choose one frequency band and apply it to all your devices so they can be used anywhere in the UK without any additional payments. This Ofcom licence also covers the use of other radio services, such as CB radio and in-car communication systems.

man using unlicensed two-way radio


For our expert advice on our best unlicensed walkie talkies, get in touch with us here.


Final Thoughts

When choosing the best walkie talkie without a licence, it is important to consider where and how you intend to use the radios. Unlicensed walkie talkies are only suitable for short-range use without the risk of interfering with other local communication devices. For other uses, you will need to choose a licensed walkie talkie system and make sure that you secure the correct Ofcom licence.