The Quick Fix When Two-Way Radios Fail

See how wireless headsets solve communication challenges

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The Quick Fix When Two-Way Radios Fail

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Two-way radios have several benefits. Many crews rely on them to connect with team members or dispatch, but two-way radios also have weaknesses. There are times when they shouldn’t be the first thing you pull out of the equipment shed.

Here are a few scenarios where radios aren’t optimal:

  • High-noise environments
  • Tasks that require two hands on your work
  • When communication needs to be interactive and flow easily

High-noise environments: When “say again” is your typical response

In the field, you compete with equipment noise and the elements. In excavation, it’s the drill and working in confined spaces. In tree care and public works, it’s the tools and equipment.

In many industries where two-way radios are the standard for crew communication, there are noise factors that can make their use difficult, frustrating and even dangerous. In all of these scenarios, sending or receiving a message can be mission critical for both safety and productivity. Nobody wants to be the person who couldn’t hear the warning, or couldn’t be heard when trying to warn a coworker. 

Situations that require two hands: Sometimes PTT can be too distracting

To talk over a two-way radio, you have to press and hold the push-to-talk (PTT) button.

That sounds simple enough, until you realize you’ll need to take a hand off what you’re doing:  A crane control. A steering wheel. A power tool. A shovel.

Much of the time, it may not be that big of a deal to reach for your two-way.  Until it is. We can all think of instances where both hands and a complete focus are required to keep work moving, and keep our team and ourselves safe. When this happens and we choose to shut equipment down to use the radio, production suffers. Communication is essential, but you don’t have to sacrifice safety or productivity to get there.

No room for error

Two-way radios are half-duplex, which means that while you’re pressing the PTT button and talking, no one else will have the chance to be heard. Half-duplex is one-way communication, which is fine for general announcements and reminders.

When an emergency or urgent situation happens however, others aren’t able to interrupt to call out a warning when something dangerous is about to unfold. 

When every member of the team needs to hear and be heard simultaneously — whether it’s a team of two or 20 — then full-duplex communication is a necessity.

The quick fix when two-way radios fail

Sonetics wireless headsets connect teams with hands-free, wireless communication. Using the DECT7 wireless standard, Sonetics headsets ensure full-duplex, interference free, digitally encrypted communication for every member of your team.

In high-noise environments, you have the added advantage of 24 decibels of hearing protection, noise reducing features and an auto-leveling microphone that lets your voice stand out against varying levels of background noise.

To communicate, all you have to do is talk in a normal voice and listen. No need to use the PTT unless you want to engage your integrated two-way radio or answer a call on your Bluetooth connected mobile device. And every team member can hear and be heard with confidence, making for a safe, productive work environment. Two-way radios will continue to be an option for group communication, but if the scenarios where two-way radios fail have a familiar ring, then it may be time to explore Sonetics wireless headsets.


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