Ortovox Diract Voice Avalanche Transceiver 2021 – 2022 | Review

Ortovox bring voice commands to avalanche safety for clear and efficient rescue when the pressure’s on

Why we chose the Ortovox Diract Voice: Innovative, easy to use, concise 

Weight: 210g
Size: 7.9 x 12 x 2.3 cm
Battery Life: Minimum 1 hour in search mode after 200 hours in transmit mode
Search Width: 50 m
Power Supply: Internal battery, USB C rechargeable
Price: £295 / 330€ / $380


Speed and efficiency is the name of the game in the event of an avalanche that involves a fully buried individual. While it’s true to say that practice is key to saving those vital seconds, certain pressures and events can slow your thought process down, and even cloud your otherwise rock solid judgement, when people’s lives are on the line for real.

This is where this all-new, and extremely innovative, transceiver from German-based Ortovox comes in. The Ortovox Diract Voice provides you with clear and simple instructions to guide you through every phase of an avalanche companion rescue. This, in turn, means you can undertake the rescue calmly and with clarity in what might’ve otherwise have been a frantic and desperate search.

Ortovox Diract Voice Build

Being a whole new transceiver, Ortovox have given the form factor of this beeper a new lease of life – it certainly looks, and feels, different to their classic S3+ transceiver. Starting with the screen itself, it’s sporting a full graphic display that puts the direction arrow and distance numbers at its heart. This screen can also be viewed from any angle, a feature we can see being particularly useful during the fine search phase.

“Speed and efficiency is the name of the game in the event of an avalanche that involves a fully buried individual”

Physically speaking, the Diract Voice has been slimmed down just a touch, compared to the S3+, while still coming in at the same weight as this transceiver. That’s nothing surprising really, given the strides in safety and user friendliness that the Diract Voice has made.

In place of a typical triple AAA/AA battery slot is an in-built battery that’s able to provide the Diract Voice with enough power down to -20 Celsius – an advancement we’ve all been looking for in the transceiver world.

Ortovox won’t say how many hours this battery is rated for, but they do state that it’ll comfortably pass a minimum of 200 hours in transmit mode (the industry standard). This use of an internal battery is music to our ears, though. No more leaving your mates behind because they’ve forgotten to put batteries in their beeper – just a couple hours charging the transceiver from your car, or an external power bank, and you’ve got enough juice to head into the backcountry.

Getting into search mode is made by flipping up an orange lever located on the back of the transceiver. After having a go at this novel way of activating search mode, the whole Mpora crew in the office quickly found this to be a simple and intuitive way to ‘flip’ to search. The power button is also located behind this tab theoretically meaning that the transceiver can’t be turned off, especially when in send mode.

Ortovox has added another level of security to avoid any accidental power offs by making you press both the power and flag button together to turn the power off, giving you full assurance.

Ortovox Diract Voice Features

Now onto the voice guidance feature. It’s no real surprise to see a beacon company head down this route in creating a transceiver – the more automation, the better. In fact, in a survey conducted by Ortovox, 45% of ski tourers claim they have little to no knowledge about avalanches and what to do in the event of a burial.

That’s a worrying statistic not just because of the dangers this shows in the likelihood of backcountry users being able to perform a companion rescue. It also means that many are heading out without the essential skills and knowledge to avoid an avalanche in the first place.

“Ortovox has looked to voice automation in a way to reduce the human error stage of the companion rescue”

So this is why Ortovox has looked to voice automation in a way to reduce the human error stage of the companion rescue. Just like any normal transceiver, the Diract Voice will guide you into the buried transceiver when it’s locked onto a signal, and you should guide yourself using the screen prompts and distance markers.

Every time you enter a new phase of the companion rescue, the transceiver will clearly bark an order at you, ensuring you’re moving onto the next companion rescue phase in an efficient and timely manner.

The most effective of this was the transition from coarse to fine search, where the beeper shouts “Go down to the surface!” We found this to be extremely effective as it’s the part of the search where it’s easiest to ski past the buried transceiver, so having an accurate, and snappy, voice prompt was much appreciated.

Yes, the Diract Voice may be a novel way to approach transceiver automation, and many might prefer to not have commands shouted at you during the heat of an avalanche incident (there’s also a Diract without voice navigation available). But with that being said, we’re big fans of this progress in avalanche safety equipment. The Diract Voice is accurate, easy to use and helps to clear your judgment when every second counts and that, to us, makes for an effective beeper.

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