Two-Way Radio Reviews: Top 7 Two-Way Radios 2018


Best Two-Way Radios Review


Two-Way Radios Review – 2018

We often use  a two-way radio when we can’t use our cellphones, so we may find ourselves completely dependent on them for communication. That’s why it’s so important to find the right one. A good handheld two-way radio is durable, has a long battery life, and has a long range of reception for communication.

We’ve dug deep into the hundreds of Amazon reviews of  2 way radios (sometimes called Walkie Talkies) and picked out the radios with the highest number of stars and the most positive feedback so you can figure out which is the best two-way radio for you.


Our picks

Mike’s Top Pick & Premium Pick:

Uniden GMR5089-2CKHS Submersible 50 Mile FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios

Uniden GMR5089-2CKHS Submersible 50 Mile FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios

This is Mike’s Gear Reviews’ Top and Premium Pick for the most durable and reliable two-way radio. This two-way radio had some of the same features as other radios, but its unique features stood out the most.

Why it’s our Top Pick:

  • Can be submerged in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes
  • Clear and loud communication at a maximum distance of 50 miles on flat land
  • Floats so it can be easily retrieved if dropped in water

Button to Buy Uniden GMR5089-2CKHS Submersible 50 Mile FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios


Value Pick:

Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios (2 Pack)

Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios (2 Pack)

The Arcshell two-way radio is a good option if you’re not looking to spend much money, and are looking for a short-range radio.

Why it’s our Value Pick:

  • Inexpensive, easy-to-use, works at short distances

Button Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios (2 Pack)


 Contents

Introduction

Table of Contents

Comparison Charts

Product Reviews

Our picks

What to know before buying a tw0-way radio

Radio frequency types

Radio Services Types

Conclusion


Comparison Chart

NOAA Weather scan

Long battery life

Unobstructed range of 50 miles

FRS and GMRS

Water resistant

Rechargeable battery only

VOX(Voice Operated)

License needed

NOAA Weather scan

Long battery life

Unobstructed range of 36 miles

GMRS

Water resistant

AA and rechargeable battery

VOX(Voice Operated)

License needed

NOAA Weather scan

-

Unobstructed range of 25 miles

FRS and GMRS

Not water resistant

AA and rechargeable battery

VOX(Voice Operated)

License needed

2 Ways Radio Long Range Samcom FPCN10A (Pack of 3)

-

Long battery life

Unobstructed range of 2.5 miles

GMRS

Not water resistant

Rechargeable battery only

VOX(Voice Operated)

License needed

Motorola MR350R 35-Mile Range 220Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)

NOAA Weather scan

-

Long battery life

Unobstructed range of 25 miles

FRS and GMRS

Water resistant

AA and Rechargeable battery

VOX(Voice Operated)

License needed

Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios (2 Pack)

-

-

Unobstructed range of 2.5 miles

FRS

 Water resistant

Rechargeable battery only

VOX(Voice Operated)

Does not need license

Cobra ACXT545 Walkie Talkie

NOAA Weather scan


Long battery life

Unobstructed range of 28 miles

FRS

Water resistant

AAA batteries only

VOX(Voice Operated)

Does not need license


Product Reviews

Midland GXT1000VP4, 50 Channel GMRS Two-Way Radio

Midland GXT1000VP4, 50 Channel GMRS Two-Way Radio

This radio has a lots of great features including a three-year warranty, water protection, clear and loud sound, and up to a 36-mile range of communication. One downside to this 2 way radio is that, since it uses GMRS frequency you will need to obtain a GMRS license in the US.

ProsCons
3 year warrantyRechargeable battery drains quite quickly
Has both AA battery and rechargeable NiMH batteryGMRS license required
Clear and loud sound with a maximum 36-mile range of communicationComplicated Group Mode setup
Ensure safety with a weather alert radio and SOS Siren
Small size and lightweight make this radio very portable
Water resistant

Other specs:

  • Price: 2 units for around $60
  • Voice-operated
  • NOAA Weather scan available
  • Frequency: GMRS
  • 50 channels with 142 privacy codes

Button to Buy Midland GXT1000VP4, 50 Channel GMRS Two-Way Radio


Uniden GMR5089-2CKHS Submersible 50 Mile FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios

 

Uniden GMR5089-2CKHS Submersible 50 Mile FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios

This 2 way radio is extremely durable: it can be completely submerged in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.

ProsCons
Clear and loud sound with a 50-mile range of communication and direct calling featureUnlike most 2 way radios, standard batteries can’t be used as backup
Great in water: floats and can be submerged to a depth of 3 feet for 30 minutesGMRS License required
Long battery life: Rechargeable battery lasts for days

Other specs:

  • Price: 2 units for around $100
  • Voice-operated
  • NOAA weather scan available
  • Frequency: FRS and GMRS
  • 22 channels with 142 privacy codes

Button to Buy Uniden GMR5089-2CKHS Submersible 50 Mile FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios


Motorola T260TP Talkabout Radio, 3 Pack

Motorola T260TP Talkabout Radio, 3 Pack

 

With a maximum 25 mile communication range, dual power source and weather alerts, this is a great entry-level 2 way radio. However, there are some downsides.

ProsCons
Clear audio at a range of up to 25 milesRechargeable battery drains fast
Weather channels and alertsNot water resistant
Has both AA battery and rechargeable battery

Other specs:

  • Price: 2 units for around $250
  • Voice-operated
  • NOAA weather scan available
  • Frequency: FRS and GMRS (license required)
  • 22 channels with 121 privacy codes

Button to Buy Motorola T260TP Talkabout Radio, 3 Pack


2 Ways Radio Long Range Samcom FPCN10A (Pack of 3)

2 Ways Radio Long Range Samcom FPCN10A (Pack of 3)

This radio is dual purpose: it works outdoors as a standard 2 way radio and indoors as an intercom. It has clear communication for up to 2.5 miles.

ProsCons
Lifetime quality warrantyNo access to NOAA weather channel
Easy to use to useNot waterproof
Can be used as an intercom and can be synced to work with other intercoms

Other specs:

  • Price: 3 units for around $150
  • Voice-operated
  • Frequency: GMRS (license required)
  • 20 channels

Button to Buy 2 Ways Radio Long Range Samcom FPCN10A (Pack of 3)


Motorola MR350R 35-Mile Range 22 Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)

Motorola MR350R 35-Mile Range 22 Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)

Another entry-level 2 way radio from Motorola, the MR250R is the best two-way radio for emergencies.

ProsCons
Great for emergencies: has built-in flashlight and emergency alert feature Not waterproof
Emergency alert feature
Lightweight
Good battery life

Other specs:

  • Price: 2 units for around $100
  • Voice-operated
  • NOAA weather scan available
  • Frequency: FRS and GMRS
  • 22 channels with 121 privacy codes

Button to Buy Motorola MR350R 35-Mile Range 22 Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair)


Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios (2 Pack)

Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios (2 Pack)

While not one of the most durable two-way radios, this is a less expensive option that can be used effectively for short ranges.

ProsCons
One of the most affordable quality 2 way radiosBattery life is not long lasting: needs frequent charging
Loud, clear sound, lightweight and easy to useNo access to NOAA weather scan

Other specs:

  • Price: 2 units for around $25
  • Voice-operated
  • Frequency: FRS
  • 16 channels

Button to Buy Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios (2 Pack)


Cobra ACXT545 Walkie Talkie

Cobra ACXT545 Walkie Talkie

This two-way radio is good for extreme weather conditions: it has a built-in flashlight and is water resistant. However, 28 mile communication range is very dependent on terrain being clear.  

ProsCons
Great for extreme weather: built-in flashlight, water-resistantOnly one power source
Clear sound and good battery life
Vibrating feedback notifies user of incoming transmissions

Other specs:

  • Price: 2 units for around $75
  • Voice-operated
  • NOAA weather scan available
  • Frequency: FRS
  • 22 channels with 121 privacy codes

Button to Buy Cobra ACXT545 Walkie Talkie


What to know before buying a two-way radio

Two-Way Radios Review

Two-way radios (a.k.a. walkie talkies), are handheld portable electronic devices that transmit and receive radio signals. 2 way radios are a reliable form of communication, especially in areas where there is no cellphone signal.

When selecting the best two-way radios for our top picks, we took into consideration the following criteria, as well as the positive review feedback:

  • Range: distance of communication allowed by radio (usually around 2 to 3 miles in a forested setting)
  • Frequency radio operates on (some require specific licenses)
  • Battery life and backup power source
  • Size and weight determines how easily portable the radio will be
  • Antenna length indicates how good the radio’s reception will be; the longer antenna, the better the reception
  • Channels allow for communication and privacy codes allow for private communication
  • Waterproof or resistant radios are good for durability, as two-way radios are often used outside
  • Other features:
      • NOAA Weather Alerts  give alerts to the two-way radio if severe weather is close by
      • VOX: Voice-activated talking is a hands-free feature that enables the radio to respond to voice commands
      • GPS indicates location
      • Headset jack allows radio to be hands-free

Here’s some more information about what you might want to consider when buying a 2 way radio.

Radio frequency types

Radio frequency determines the strength of the signal of the radio and the clearness and distance of communication. The higher the frequency, the stronger the signal.

  • UHF: Ultra High Frequency
    • Ranges between 300 megahertz and 3 gigahertz
  • VHF: Very High Frequency
    •  Ranges between 30 and 300 megahertz
  • HF: High Frequency
    • Ranges between 3 and 30 megahertz. These radio spectrums determine which signal can find its way through buildings or open spaces.

Radio Services Types

Two-way radios will operate on one of or a hybrid of radio services.

  • Ham Radio (Amateur Radio Service)
    • Personal use
    • License required to use in the US
    • Uses all frequencies: HF, VHF and UHF
    • Suggested for: Hobbyists
    • Functions: global communication via data, images, texts, video, and Morse code
  • GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service)
    • Personal and business use
    • License required in the US
    • 15 channels allowed, 7 shared by Family Radio Service (FRS) and 8 dedicated GMRS channels
    • Suggested for: anyone
    • Functions: short-distance communication (within two miles)
  • FRS (Family Radio Service)
    • Personal use
    • No license required in the US
    • 14 FRS channels, 7 shared with GMRS
    • Suggested for: outdoor enthusiasts
    • Functions: short-distance communication (within two miles)
  • CB (Citizens Band Radio Service)
    • Business and personal and professional use
    • No license required in the US
    • 40 channels
    • 27 MHz HF band
    • Suggested for: truckers, on-the-road usage in the US-only
  • MURS (Multi-Use Radio Service)
    • Business or personal use
    • No license required in the US
    • 5 VHF channels, only 2 watts of power
  • Marine Band (Marine Radio Service)
    • Business use
    • No license required in the US, but international license required
    • Suggested for: ship-to-ship or ship-to-shore communication
    • 80 VHF channels from 156 to 174 MHz from 1 to 25 watts of power
  • Air Band  (Aviation Radio Service)
    • Business use
    • No license required in the US
    • Suggested for: aircraft communication
    • VHF frequency from 5 to 8 watts of power
  • PLMRS (Private Land Mobile Radio Service, or Business Radio Service)
    • Business use
    • License required in the US
    • Suggested for: business usage
    • VHF frequency from 1 to 5 watts, with desktop-based option with more power

Conclusion

When looking for the absolute best two-way radio, there are many criteria to consider. MikesGearReviews has done that for you! We compared how each rates based on criteria that included, among other things, durability, battery life, and communication range. We hope that these product reviews and explanation of some of the important criteria can help you make a decision about which 2 way radio to buy for yourself.


 

 

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Uniden GMR5089-2CKHS Submersible 50 Mile FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios
Author Rating
51star1star1star1star1star