What is VOX on Walkie Talkie? (Explained)

With the first walkie talkie in your hands, it’s very common to wonder what does VOX mean on a walkie talkie. VOX stands for Voice-Operated Exchanged transmission. This is a feature which helps you use the walkie talkie hands-free. VOX is similar to PTT button. You will find VOX feature on several radio walkie-talkies. Some popular VOX walkie talkies are Motorola Talkabout T465 and Midland X-TALKER T71VP3. Let’s dig deep to find out what it’s all about!

What is VOX on a Walkie Talkie?

Most standard two-way radios and walkie talkies feature a Push-To-Talk (PTT) switch. When you press and hold down the button, it enables you to transmit audio to users tuned in to the same frequency. Another feature that most radios contain is the voice-operated exchange or voice-activated transmissions. The VOX feature performs the same function as a PTT button, except that it keeps your hands free! Once you enable the feature on your handset, you can activate the microphone and transmit audio by simply speaking. Most mid-range and high-end walkie-talkies are equipped to enable ease of access and communication on all available channels. The function was designed as a modern alternative to the traditional PTT button. It takes away the need for pressing down the PTT switch each time.

It’s quite a useful function, especially for workers that use walkie talkies throughout the day. These include traffic enforcers, construction site workers, caterers, servers, and more. It can also come in handy for outdoor hobbyists interested in recreational activities.

How do you use VOX on walkie talkies?

  1. For starters, activate the VOX function on your handset. It’s best to clip the device on to your shirt pocket or backpack strap, so that it picks up sound when you speak.
  2. Keep in mind, when used in noisy settings, your transceiver may pick up unnecessary background noise to transmit. That’s because it may not be able to differentiation between voice and sound. Hence, it may activate transmission by getting stimulated by another person’s voice.
  3. Use the toggle switch to change between Push-to-talk and VOX options.
  4. Prevent unwanted transmissions by choosing a voice activated walkie talkie with multiple sensitivity levels. That way, the VOX will only activate when it detects sound above a certain threshold.
  5. Lower sensitivity levels are best for noisy environments. You can switch to higher sensitivity levels in quieter environments.

The delay option in the VOX circuitry is a brilliant innovation, as it prevents the transmission from cutting off during short communication pauses. It includes a hang timer to transmit complete utterances, despite the delays.

Do I need any Accessories to Use VOX?

You can use the VOX function without the use of any external accessories. Nonetheless, using earpieces compatible with VOX will make communication much easier. That’s because the microphone on your headset will be closer to the mouth, hence it will pick up sounds much better. If your work requires you to be in noisy environments, such as a restaurant or construction site, then a VOX headset is a must-have. It would prevent you from missing out on any important information. Moreover, the earphones will also cancel out unwanted background noise.

You can check out CYen earphones on Amazon. They are noise-cancelling earphones with PTT and VOX options.

Just how VOX enables a walkie-talkie to transmit immediately by merely picking up sound, VOX accessories do the same. The mode is triggered once you speak into the earpiece microphone. Before each transmission, the headset frees the operator of the burden of having to press a microphone button.

Here’s how to set up your VOX two way radio headsets:

  • Plug the earpiece into your unit and power on the radio.  
  • The radio should recognize the VOX microphone. If the accessory is compatible, you will see an icon on the display.
  • Press on the icon to set the sensitivity level as per your surroundings.


Having a voice control option on your walkie-talkie is great. It saves you the hassle of pressing the PTT button every time you want to transmit. With this function, you can simply begin transmitting through voice activation. Keep in mind; not all devices support this function. Therefore, you must look for two-way radios that offer this modern feature. I highly recommend opting for external VOX accessories, especially if you work in noisy environments, as it can save you from accidental transmissions because of unnecessary, unwanted background noise.