Everything you need to know about VOX when used with a Two-Way Radio

Everything you need to know about VOX when used with a Two-Way Radio

VOX, short for Voice Operated Exchange is a feature in many two-way radios that enables hands-free communication. The feature operates by detecting when you start speaking and automatically switches the radio to transmit mode sending your voice to the person you are wanting to communicate with.

To activate VOX on a two-way radio, you must first turn on the feature in the radio's settings. This is usually done through a menu system on the radio's display or by using physical buttons on the device. Once activated you can adjust the VOX sensitivity to match your speaking volume.

Using VOX is straightforward - start speaking and the radio will automatically switch to transmit mode. When you stop speaking, the radio will switch back to receive mode. Speaking clearly and directly into the microphone is important to ensure that the VOX circuit can accurately detect your speech.

While VOX is a convenient feature it is not perfect. In noisy environments, the VOX circuit may have difficulty detecting your speech leading to missed transmissions or a radio that remains in transmit mode unnecessarily. Additionally, in some situations, you may need to speak softly making it difficult for the VOX circuit to detect your speech.

VOX isn't available on all radios, and you need a VOX-capable radio and headset to use it. It also might require adjusting the settings including sensitivity level. It is advisable to do some tests in the environment you intend to use VOX first….to be on the safe side.

VOX works best with headsets and earpieces equipped with mics that are positioned fairly close to the mouth such as one on a headset with a boom microphone. The sensitivity levels for the VOX circuitry in the radios are usually preset and calibrated based on that scenario. This is to help mitigate accidental transmission from ambient or extraneous noise.

Since there is a slight delay between the moment a voice or other sound is detected and the moment the microphone is activated to transmit there is a tendency to clip the first word of any speech that gets through. It's a common practice to repeat the first couple of words when speaking on a VOX-activated microphone to ensure the entire communication is transmitted.

With the right equipment and configuration in an optimal setting VOX can be a viable solution for hands-free communications. It's not a panacea for every application or situation. Understanding VOX's advantages and limitations makes all the difference between solid, reliable on-air conversations and endless, noise-filled frustration.

Despite its limitations VOX provides many benefits for two-way radio users. The primary benefit is the ability to communicate hands-free, which can be particularly useful in outdoor or active situations where using both hands is necessary.

VOX is a useful feature for two-way radio users looking to communicate hands-free. While there are limitations to its use, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, making it a useful tool for a variety of activities.

Icom has a range of VOX-enabled radios and headsets available across all markets. To check availability, check out the product specifications in our catalogues. Alternatively, contact our team at 01227 741741 or email sales@icomuk.co.uk.

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