Communicators are hand-held communication devices used on Starfleet away missions and where normal shipboard communications were inaccessible during the 22nd and 23rd century. Employing a flip-top design, a Starfleet officer spoke directly into the device to give voice commands and speak with other personnel.
In the 24th century, they were integrated with uniform badges and became known as combadges. Users did not have to speak directly into the combadge, and could activate and deactivate it with the touch of a finger. Late-24th Century communicators were composed of a crystalline composite of silicon, beryllium, carbon-seventy, and gold.
Other species also possess their own communicator devices.