If you’re not new to the world of walkie-talkies, then you might have heard about VOX or seen it on your device. You are probably wondering what it means.
It is common to find VOX as one of the features listed on many two-way radios, usually from mid-range to professional-grade models. In most cases, it’s the more popular models like the Motorola T92, Midland, and the TLKR T60 that have this feature.
But what exactly is VOX, and why should it matter?
You will find out if you stick around till the end of this article.
We are going to see what walkie talkie VOX is, the way it works, and how to set it up on your device (if it’s available).
Let’s start by answering the most important question…
What Is Walkie Talkie VOX?
The early versions of two-way radios usually have a “push-to-talk” (PTT) button, which users press whenever they want to transmit their messages. This button is commonly found on the lower end of the radio.
So the operator holds down the button (or switch), speaks into the microphone, and then let go of the button when done to turn off the transmitter. Once the transmitter goes off on one end, the voice message is then delivered through a channel to the receiver on the other end.
A lot of walkie talkies in the market today still operate this way, especially the cheaper models.
However, with technological advancements, VOX emerged and has now become a common feature found in communication devices, including two-way radios. In other words, instead of the traditional PTT button, many walkie-talkies now use VOX to transmit voice signals.
With VOX, you don’t have to press and depress a button or switch to send a message. As you will discover soon, this is automatically taken care of for you. Thus, VOX is much more convenient than using the traditional “Talk” button.
That said, you will find a lot of walkie-talkies that still use a PTT button.
How Do You Use VOX on Walkie Talkies? – How It Works
We can easily understand how VOX works from its full meaning – “Voice Operated Exchange” or “voice-activated exchange.” VOX is a type of transmission that is activated by the human voice. In other words, when you have VOX own, your walkie talkie automatically listens for speeches.
When you speak, the surrounding air pressure changes (most times, very little); the radio detects this little change and then starts transmitting your voice automatically. The moment you stop talking, the device will automatically stop broadcasting and then give you a chance to listen to the reply from the other end.
In other words, when you have VOX activated, your handset microphone automatically turns on when you start talking and then stops when it no longer hears any sound.
How Do You Turn Off VOX on Walkie Talkies?
It is important to note that VOX doesn’t go off immediately when you stop speaking. Rather there is a delay in the circuitry that ensures the circuit doesn’t deactivate as soon as it doesn’t hear any voice or sound in the background.
This is also important during normal conversations as users are bound to pause from time to time when talking; if there was no such delay, then the circuit will automatically turn off when this happens.
Thus, by adding a little delay between when you stop talking and when the transmission ends, VOX is able to ensure no part of your speech is cut off.
Like I said earlier, in normal conversations, it is common for us to pause often between speeches. It is hard to imagine anyone who always keeps talking without pausing to “recuperate” (take a breath) or think about the next thing to say.
Taking away this delay function from VOX will ultimately result in constant repetition as the bulk of your sentences would come out incomplete.
As earlier indicated, one of the greatest benefits of using VOX is that it allows you to use your walkie talkie hands-free. No need to push any button to send your message.
Sound and Voice Activation
Note that the walkie talkie VOX function is both sound and voice-activated. Thus, apart from your voice, it can also pick up noise from the background. This is often the case when you’re in a noisy environment; in this case, the device is likely to be transmitting constantly.
A lot of ham radios come with VOX, especially the newer models. Although the feature is most popular among products in the high-end tier, you will still find it in some basic models.
Almost every walkie talkie still features the regular PTT button. For those that also feature VOX, a toggle switch is usually provided to enable you to switch between the two modes.
Some radios may come with a sensitivity function, which helps to prevent unwanted transmissions where only a certain decibel level of sound is broadcasted.
Also Read: How to Talk on Walkie Talkie
What is VOX level?
VOX level is used to adjust the sensitivity of the circuit. The VOX level you set will determine whether or not the circuit will trigger. This is set depending on how quiet or noisy the environment is. Thus, a low VOX setting (say 2 or 3) is best if you’re using your walkie talkie in a very quiet environment.
However, for a loud setting, you will need a higher VOX level (say 7 – 9). Using a high VOX level in a very quiet environment will cause the circuit to trigger even on heavy breathing or background noise.
In the same manner, using a low setting in a loud environment might cause the circuit not to activate, especially if your speech is too weak.
What is the difference between VOX and PTT?
Walkie talkie VOX is nothing more than the modern replacement for PTT. As earlier described, both features basically do the same thing, which is to send out the transmission. However, the key difference is that VOX is automatic and is triggered by voice or sound, while PTT is manual (you have to push the button).
How do you get the VOX off Midland walkie talkie?
To turn off VOX on the Midland walkie talkie, you will have to use the menu. Press the button labeled MENU until it shows “VOX” on the screen. This is usually displayed beside the Channel Number to the right.
Once VOX comes up, you will see an option to select “oF” using the buttons. Then push the MENU button again or just press PTT.
I am sure you now know that what does VOX mean on a walkie talkie. This walkie talkie VOX is an important feature. So keep in mind this before buying a walkie-talkie.
Also Read: How to Connect Walkie Talkies to Each Other