Simplex, Half-duplex & Full duplex explained.

Discover the difference between the three different variations of communication transmission.


Full-duplex communication is a communication system that allows for two-way communication between two or more parties, where each party can send and receive information simultaneously. In other words, full-duplex communication enables multiple parties to communicate in real-time, with the ability to send and receive data at the same time.

Examples of full-duplex communication are speaking on a mobile phone call, video conferencing and online gaming.


Half-duplex communication is a communication system that allows for two-way communication between two or more parties, but only one party can transmit data at a time. In other words, half-duplex communication enables both parties to send and receive information, but not at the same time, an example of half-duplex communication is a walkie-talkie.

In some cases a VOX PTT can be used (Voice-operated PTT).

Please note, VOX systems can be triggered by loud background noise and can also cut off the parts of speech.


Simplex communication is a one-way communication system where information is transmitted from one device to another, but the receiving device cannot send information back to the transmitting device. In other words, simplex communication is a unidirectional form of communication, where the communication is one-way only.

Examples of Simplex:

  • Television, Radio Broadcasts & Monitors are great examples of a simplex transmission
  • Aircraft VHF AM and marine radios
  • Often “Legacy” systems, which have existed for a long time.

Advantages: Simplest system configuration, reliability from the fact that only two radios are needed to establish communication between them.

Disadvantages: The simplex configuration offers communication over the shortest range or distance.

Duplex communication is essential in many applications that require real-time communication and is widely used in various industries.

About Us

Founded in April 2000, SWATCOM is a family run business based on the south coast of the United Kingdom. SWATCOM is the “Brand” of Talking Headsets Ltd.

We have a global footprint & an extensive knowledge base within our team on professional communication solutions, hearing protection & personal safety.

Learn more about us…

The Great British Rifle Team

“Since 2016 we have benefited tremendously from our partnership with Swatcom, using their Multicom system in international teams matches; allowing team members to communicate wirelessly and in full duplex more effectively than ever before. The Swatcom Active8 headsets are now widely used by team members in individual and team competition and are preferred for their excellent hearing protection and exceptional comfort, thanks to their innovative gel seals.”

Matthew Ensor

GB Rifle Team

Long distance communicaiton

Full-duplex communications compatible with helmets & face visors.

Challenging conditions

Hands-free, full-duplex communication enabling lifeguards to remain in communication when working.

Noisy environments

ATEX Approved full-duplex communication solutions.

Large groups of people

Large ammounts of users in communication, with the ability to add in more listen only users.


What is the difference between Half-Duplex and Full-Duplex?

Full-Duplex enables transmission & receiving of data simultaneously, Half-Duplex can only send or receive at any one time (Not simultaneously).

How many people can I have in my Full-Duplex group?

We offer Full-Duplex solutions that will support up to 25 users in full-duplex communication.

Can I integrate Two-Way Radio with Full-Duplex?

In a word, YES! We offer multiple Full-Duplex systems, some of which can be manufactured to work alongside Two-Way radios, others with the features built in. If you would like to know more please contact us.

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