Two ways radios are handy tools to have when you are out in a mountain or lake for a hunting trip or fishing activity. It allows you to talk to your mate without having to spend money on the text messages or internet data. There are a bunch of available options that you can choose out there and in this review, I will show the best two-way radios to pick in 2016.
They are highly portable and pack good quality of radio circuit and antenna to provide stable and clear wireless communication. You can use these long range walkie talkies to send or receive info from your partner from miles and miles away. When the place you are about to visit or explore does not have any mobile service, you will be grateful for having one of these top walky talky.
Why Do You Need Two-Way Radios?
Some people do not realize the importance of two-way communication device. It is an excellent gadget to own, besides the regular smartphones. Since most of the extreme outdoor sports places can be quite out of telecommunication service range, your cell phone will be of no use. With this walkie talkie system, you can attain excellent flexibility and freedom in moving around while hunting or kayaking but at the same time, maintain a close contact with your buddies who might be on the other side of the mountain or lake.
Besides, you can also use it while having an activity on your college campus or having a road-trip convoy with your friends in several cars. The radios can also function as a safety and emergency device in your neighborhood. My neighbors and I, for instance, bought it to communicate with each other for specific purposes. I can alarm my friends instantly if there is any robbery or medical emergencies. Calling them on the phone or sending them messages might have some delay. I will not experience it with the walkie-talkie as the communication is immediate. Professional folks can also take advantage of this wireless technology by using it to communicate with your colleague while being on a construction site or research field. You can also use the additional features like recording and replay to listen to the conversation repeatedly for reference.
Tips on Choosing the Best Walkie Talkies
You can always select the cheapest walkie talkie set on the market for your hunting trip but keep in mind that the device might not be as efficient or reliable as the high-quality ones. You need to make sure that you are making the correct selection. There are several important things that you need to consider when buying it. Here are some tips on choosing the best walkie talkies for your use.
- Long radio range is a must. It should, at least, support a minimum of half a mile and stays loud and clear while at that.
- Various frequencies are fundamental. Most brands offer GMRS radio and FRS frequencies with multiple channels up to 25 of them.
- The rechargeable battery is a neat feature to have as it provides quick and easy charging. It is also economical in a long run. Some models even come with dual batteries – lithium and AAA.
- The waterproof feature is something that you need to consider especially if you are always doing something on the water. If it happens to fall into the water, the radio device should be able to continue functioning.
- Bearable weight is also important as because it makes it easier for you to clip it on your belt or toss it inside your backpack.
- Additional features like a flashlight, SOS and NOAA weather alert are more like the bells and whistles of the item. You might not need to use them all, but it is nice to have them around in case you need them.
FRS Vs. GMRS
There is a difference between these two frequencies. FRS is available for free for average users to utilize. It typically has a short range and yet, sufficient for general communication purposes. To enjoy a longer and reliable wireless service, you can opt for GMRS. The frequency wave goes a long way, but you will need to apply for an FCC license to have access to GMRS.
How Did I Pick and Why Should You Trust This Review?
Finding the best two-way radios to pick in 2016 can be quite a chore. It is overwhelming to select one of the hundreds of available options out there. However, after doing hours and hours of research, looking at the specifications and offered features as well as considering the feedbacks given by the previous buyers and owners, I managed to come up the last top contenders for this review. You should trust this review because the selections picked in this guide have all the needed features and have proven to be able to function efficiently!
The Best 2 Way Radios to Pick in 2016 Review
In this Best Two Ways Radios to Pick in 2016 review, I have selected three top contenders for you to select. They are Motorola MS350R, Midland GXT1000VP4, and Uniden Two-Way Radios. They all come in a pair and supports both FRS and GMRS with more than 10 miles of the frequency range. Let us see the difference in features, performance, and ease of use.
- The Best Pick – Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout Waterproof Two Way Radio
Our Best Pick
Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout
Motorola MS350R is the best pick that is worthy of your consideration. It is one of the models in the long Motorola MS Series portfolio. In this MS family, all of the walkies talkies look almost the same and pack similar features. The difference is rather small, which makes choosing the best model in the MS series a bit difficult. However, based on my personal experience and inputs from previous owners, I have selected the MS350R as the best. First of all, the unit itself is very durable and lightweight. At about half a pound, it offers a big screen and several neat features like the weather alert and belt clip. The main selling point of MS350R has got to be the waterproof and floating feature. With a rating of IP67, it can survive over a drop into the lake water. In fact, it will float itself when that happens! You do not have to worry about losing it and having to purchase a new one. The model runs on a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery as well as three AA batteries.
See Radio water submersion test Review:
In the specifications, the manufacturer claimed that the frequency range is as long as 35 miles. Unfortunately, it is only possible in a perfect world where there are no objects between the two communicators. In the real world, the radio range of MS350R is not that far after considering the environmental factors. If there are trees, hills, or buildings between the two speakers, the quality of the frequency can drop quite significantly. In fact, some users have stated that it can go up to two miles only when used in the city. When it comes to the quality of the reception, the audio sound is good at about 0.5 miles. Beyond that, it can get a bit noisy and choppy. Nevertheless, Motorola MS350R is sufficient for short-distance communication in an open area like a lake or field. It has a durable design, and you can expect it to look new and function well even after several long years of using it. At about $65, it has one of the best selling prices. I highly recommend this radio device to you due to the durability, versatility and ease of use.
- Backlit Screen
- 22 Channels
- PTT Power Boost
- Channel Scan
- Hands-free Operation
- NOAA Weather Alert
- One Year Warranty
Pros – Dual batteries support, highly waterproof walkie talkies, can float, durable, lightweight, easy to use.
Cons – No SOS alert, limited frequency range, do not communicate with marine radios.
See more review from the expert.
2. The Runner-Up – Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio
Midland GXT1000VP4 is a professional looking two-way radio device that has managed to earn its spot in the runner-up position. I loved this Midland walkie talkie due to the high-quality radio range and lots of channel options. If you decide to purchase this GXT10000VP4 model, you will get the whole package that includes headsets, chargers, adapters, batteries and belt clips. At only $67, it is an absolute bargain! On a user-friendliness point of view, this particular model has a firm grip, thanks to the ergonomic design. Just like the top pick, Midland radio also has a backlit screen. It is also slightly lighter than MS350R at 4.8 ounces. However, you need to be careful using this device near water as it only has a JIS4 rating. Meaning, it can only withstand a light splash of water, and that is it.
As far as the frequency performance is concerned, I am happy with the radio range. On a good day in an open space, you can get up to 36 miles of radio coverage. Just like most midrange walkie talkie, it is highly dependent on the quality of the antenna and the surrounding area. If you are to use this device in a thick mountain or big city, you can get a high-quality sound at about one mile up to two miles. This mile length might seem small but then again, for average users, the distance should be enough. Hunters, hikers, campers, bikers can use this without any problem as long as they are not too far from each other, and there are no significant physical obstructions in between. Plus, it has many great features that you can appreciate. Check out the specification section to learn more. Thinking of buying a complete set of radio device? Make sure you consider GXT1000VP4!
- 50 channels of FRS and GMRS
- NOAA Weather Alert
- SOS Alert
- Vibration for Quiet Alert
- Whisper Feature that allows others to hear you clearly even when you are whispering (ideal for hunters!)
- Keypad Lock
- 10 Call Alerts
- Four AA Batteries Slot
- Three Years Warranty
Pros – Durable design, extensive options of features, complete accessory set, high-frequency range, multiple radio channels.
Cons – The accessories do not have a good quality and come with no warranty.
3. Budget Pick – Uniden 16-Mile Channel Battery Two-Way Radio
For students or beginners, there is no need to splurge big chunk of money on radio devices. You can choose the budget pick that I have included in this review – Uniden 16-Mile Channel Battery Two-Way Radio. It only costs about $30, and you will get two of them! Even at such a low price, the build quality and radio performance are as great as some of the pricey ones on the market. Uniden is an established manufacturer of radio communication device. They have high-end models as well as budget models. This particular budget model supports both FRS and GMRS. There are 22 available channels – seven for FRS and 15 for GMRS. These channels are readily accessible with the scanner feature. Whenever you receive a call from your group member, you will hear a loud roger beep. The purchase comes with a belt clip and three rechargeable AAA batteries. On a full charge, you can expect to use it for as long as eight hours without needing a power point. As the battery reaches the low level, you will see that on the battery indicator.
Sound wise, the received audio is super loud and static free. The reception is also excellent. It might come a bit surprising, after considering the price range. It will not disappoint you with the maximum 16 miles. Sure, there are many others with a longer range, but if the 16 miles are enough for you, Uniden can serve your needs reliably! Just keep in mind that you will get the long range only in an open space. After looking at the feedbacks, it seems like most buyers purchased them for home purpose, for their kids, or for regular outdoor usage.
- 22 Channels
- FRS/GMRS Supports
- Roger Beep
- AAA Batteries
- 16 Mile Maximum Frequency Range
- Channel Scan and Monitor Included
- Keypad Lock
- Pros – Highly portable, high audio quality, essential features are available, low price
Cons – No SOS and NOAA weather alerts, No mute/vibration feature
|Motorola MS Series||Midland GXT Series||Uniden|
|Mile Range||35||36||16||Mile Range|
|FRS & GMRS Supported?||Yes||Yes||Yes||FRS & GMRS Supported?|
|SOS Alert||No||Yes||No||SOS Alert|
|Weather Alert||Yes||Yes||No||Weather Alert|
|Keystroke Alert||Yes||Yes||Yes||Keystroke Alert|
|Vibrate/Silent Feature||Yes||Yes||No||Vibrate/Silent Feature|
|Waterproof Feature||Yes||Yes||No||Waterproof Feature|
|Amazon Rating||4.0||4.0||4.0||Amazon Rating|
I hope that this review has helped you to make an informed decision about which radio device to purchase. Consider the products that I have suggested in this article as they bring values to your money, have handy functionalities, and high radio performance!
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Our Best Pick
Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout