Analog vs. Digital Two Way Radios

Posted by Two Way Direct on 6th Dec 2019

There are many differences between digital radios and analog radios. But which are better? Below we’ll discuss the pros of digital radios compared to analog radios.

Do digital radios or analog radios sound better?

Digital radios are much clearer than analog radios because of the digital encoder.

Digital radios have a built-in error correction function that helps get rid of background noise, chatter, and static interference. So, the sound you hear from a digital radio is much clearer but some say the voices sound digitized or distorted.

Analog radios have more static but have a more direct travel path, without the digital encoder.

Do digital radios or analog radios give more coverage?

On average, digital radios are better than analog radios because there is a 20% increase in coverage.

Digital radios typically do a better job of pushing through walls and concrete than analog radios.

In addition, for digital radios, the voice is converted into data, which travels further to increase the coverage.

Does the battery last longer on a digital or analog radio?

The life of a radio battery depends on the capacity and age of the battery; however, digital radios usually lasts longer than analog radios because of the reduced power needed to operate.

Do digital radios have more privacy?

Due to the way digital transmissions are sent, there is more privacy in digital radios than analog radios.

Can you use repeaters for digital and analog radios?

Although you are able to use a repeater for either analog or digital radios, you cannot have both types of radios on one repeater.

Analog radios are 1 for 1, handheld to repeater, whereas digital radios are 2 channels per repeater.

What are the pros of digital radios compared to analog radios?

  • Eliminate background noise for an overall clearer sound
  • Increased coverage on average by 20% – 40%
  • Longer life of battery off of a single charge
  • Encrypted message which increases the privacy
  • More channels on a repeater

Digital vs. Analog

Overall, digital radios are becoming more popular than analog radios. If you plan to transition your radio fleet from analog to digital, there are some radios like the  Two Way Direct XTR300 that are capable of having both digital and analog zones for the transition.

For more information on digital and analog radios, give our communications specialists a call at  (888) 742-5893.