Without a doubt, the best 2 way radios and walkie talkies offer unmatched benefits to its users. However, it is important to determine first the difference between a 2-way radio from a walkie talkie. These devices are considered by many people as identical, especially in the United States, using the terms, based on the common accepted usage in the country, whereas other countries may use them differently.
Technically speaking, a 2-way radio is different from a walkie talkie, although they can be the same thing in some cases. Basically, two-way radios operate in two ways, having the capacity to receive and transmit radio signals, while operating either in a full duplex or half-duplex mode. Therefore, they are sometimes called transceivers.
Meanwhile, a walky talky is more of a portable type of a two-way radio, particularly a handheld model. Generally speaking, it is a type of two-way radio, which is also referred to as HT, handheld transceiver, or a handy talkie. This particular device lets you talk on the radio as you walk around, hence, its name.
So, without so much ado, it is now time to learn about the best two way radios and top-rated walkie talkie reviews.
|Picture||Model||Editor Ratings||Our Review|
|Midland GXT1000VP4 Two-Way Radio|| (4.1 / 5) |
|BaoFeng BF-F8HP Two-Way Radio|| (4.5 / 5) |
|Retevis H-777 Walkie Talkies|| (4.4 / 5) |
|Motorola MH230R Two-Way Radio|| (3.9 / 5) |
|Cobra Walkie-Talkie CXR925|| (3.7 / 5) |
Best Walkie Talkie & Two Way Radio Reviews 2016
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Walkie Talkie & Two Way Radio Reviews 2016
- 2 Walkie Talkie & Two-Way Radio Buying Guide
- 3 Buying Considerations
- 4 Conclusion
The first item worthy of your attention is the Midland GXT1000VP4 Two-Way Radio. Garnering an average rating of 4.0-Stars from its customers on Amazon, this 2-way radio has a 36-mile range with 50-channel capabilities. Coming in a pair of black/silver color combination, these gadgets are also waterproof with All Hazard and NOAA weather alerts.
The entire package includes rechargeable batteries as well as headsets, dual desktop charger, and a 12-v vehicle adapter. Based on 2 way radio reviews, the Midland GXT1000VP4 utilizes the regular 22 GMRS channels, including additional 28 channels. This pair of radios also passes the JIS4 Standard when it comes to exposure to water, having a 30-minute water exposure capability.
The Maximum Power feature allows for GMRS Handheld Radios to reach a 36-mile range, while the Weather Scan feature is able to search for nearby NOAA broadcast, keeping you up to date with the latest hazard and weather information. Additionally, the GXT1000VP4 can also receive additional emergency announcements like Child Abduction, which is likewise known as the ‘Amber Alert’, plus Biological Hazard, Power Plant Warnings, landslide, and fire warnings.
Two way radio reviews also indicate that the GXT1000VP4 includes new features, such as the Whisper Function, allowing you to speak softly, but remains to be heard clearly by other radio users. The SOS feature lets you send out a distress call during emergency situations, while the Group Call lets you generate direct calls to other users within the group, but without alerting the whole group.
On top of those impressive features, the GXT1000VP4 also boasts a Vibrating Alert, resulting in silent notification, and for hands-free operation, you can rely on the 9 Level E VOX feature. Extra facets include the 142 Privacy Codes, Low/Med/Hi power settings, 50-channel scan, keypad lock, 10 call alerts, Auto squelch, Roger Beep, and the battery save circuit.
Another item that continually captivates consumers is the BaoFeng BF-F8HP Dual Band 8-Watt Two-Way Radio, which receives an average rating of 4.5-Stars. This third generation, 8-watt radio is dual band with a large battery to complete the kit.
The BaoFeng BF-F8HP claims to be high-power, yet cheap walkie talkies with unmatched capabilities and affordability. This third generation UV-5R design equates to a dual band and handheld radio, improving in almost everything for a more transmit power, thanks to the new generation chipset.
Aside from its 1-watt, 4-watt, and 8-watt power levels, the BF-F8HP offers a new 2000mAh battery, a high-gain V-85 antenna, a comprehensive user guide, and not to mention a concierge support. All these are available, while maintaining a complete backward compatibility with all previous UV-5R accessories.
Having the newest N5R-340A firmware, this radio has a patented technology, unlike any other model on the market. It has 30% larger battery than others, providing a long-term radio experience, in spite using high power. The average battery life lasts for 18 hours at UV-5R High (4W), 20 hours for BF-F8HP High (8W), and up to 24 hours for BF-F8HP Mid (5W).
The larger battery of this long distance walkie talkie makes way for the availability of a built-in FM radio and a flashlight, while allowing you to communicate all-day long without the need for recharging. TheBaoFeng BF-F8HP Dual Band 8-Watt Two-Way Radio has 65-108 MHz frequency range, but only limited to commercial FM radio receptions. It is Narrowband and Broad selectable, resulting in optimum versatility.
Meanwhile, the Retevis H-777 3W 16CH Walkie Talkies are 3-watt, 16-channel devices with an original earpiece. It does not come in a pair, but in three pieces. These 4.4-Star-rated two-way radios have UHF 400 to 470MHz frequencies with modification capabilities. You can connect these very good walkie talkies to your computer, and through a particular software, you can modify the frequencies and settings.
These radios have a 3-mile range, depending on the terrain you are in or the environment. It has 1500mAh battery capacity with lots of features like the Monitor function, Scanning function, Emergency alarm, TOT function, built-in LED torch, power-saving mode, VOX function, and more.
Among the impressive features also include the PTT button, which is soft and nice, and is very easy to use. The built-in torch, on the other hand, simply makes things more convenient during the night time or whenever you are in dark environments. Apart from the programmable support PC software, you will also find English and Chinese voice prompt, making it a very flexible device.
In order to stay away from irrelevant calls, you can rely on the 50 CTCSS or 105 CDCSS, allowing you to make some private exchanges and communications. It is said to be the best buy walkie talkie since it is programmable with free use of Wirte-frequency Software, video and Drive of USB Wirte-frequency.
The Retevis H-777 gives you back your money’s worth as the entire package is fully-loaded, giving you 3 H-777 2 way radios, 3 antennas, 3 lithium-ion battery packs, 3 chargers, 3 belt clips, 3 slings, and user manuals.
While shopping for the best walkie talkies and 2-way radios, it is also sensible to pay extra attention to the Motorola MH230R 22-Channel Two-Way Radio with a 3.9-Star rating. These Motorola walkie talkies come in pair with 22-channel capabilities and a 23-mile range. It allows for a hands-free communication, thanks to its iVOX technology.
Moreover, these radios have 11 NOAA weather channels, including other essential alerts and warning channels. The Quiet Talk Filter allows you to speak quietly, but loud enough to be heard by the users at the other end. You can also find 10 call tones, while the rechargeable battery results in flexibility and cost-efficiency.
You can enjoy the battery save feature, including the mini-USB charging port for other, compatible electronic gears. The Motorola MH230R models are waterproof walkie-talkies and are considered as must-have items for all outdoor enthusiasts. These are the most ideal and most reliable ways for friends and family members to keep in touch with each other, while inside a crowded shopping mall or undertaking a countryside trail.
This Motorola walkie talkie does not end with an exceptional range, because this lightweight unit comes fully-loaded with essential features. Each of the 22 channels has its own 121 privacy codes, totaling to 2,662 combinations, but still easy to identify the channel. Stay updated with weather alerts and be prepared for unexpected disasters in advance.
Indeed, the Motorola MH230R makes it possible to power during your adventures by using three AA batteries that last up to 26 hours, or maximize the included NiMH rechargeable batteries that can run up to 10 hours or so. The package includes 2 radios, 1 dual drop-in charger, 2 belt clips, a charging adaptor, and 2 rechargeable NiMH battery packs.
Last, but definitely not the least is the 3.7-Star-rated Cobra CXR925 microTalk Walkie-Talkie/35-Mile Two-Way Radio. These radios are the next best long range walkie talkies, after the 36-mile Midland, having a 35-mile range, 22-channel capability with 142 privacy codes.
To complete the package, these radios come with two rechargeable li-ion battery packs, plus a desktop mini charger with two ports. In addition, these radios feature 10 NOAA channels, allowing for emergency and storm alerts and warnings. It boasts a digital voice recorder referred to as the ‘Rewind-Say-Again’ function that lets you replay the last 20 seconds of your audio, transmitting saved messages, and recording messages to yourself.
Extra features include the VOX for hands-free operation, the patented VibrAlert silent paging, 10 selectable call alert tones, a scanning function, backlit LCD display, a microphone, single pin speaker, charge jack, selectable hi-low power, 10-channel memory, Roger Beep, keypad lock, battery low indicator, signal strength meter, power saver mode, auto squelch, and so much more.
A belt clip and maximum range extender are also included in the kit. Hence, these features make the Cobra CXR925 the best walkie talkie for the price. Over and above, the 35-mile range capability still maintains a very clear reception, although the range may vary on specific terrains and conditions. Certainly, many customers love these radios, considering the selectable power output, the total 3124 channel combinations, NOAA weather and emergency radio capabilities, five VOX sensitivity levels, battery saver circuitry, patented VibrAlert, illuminated LCD display, and so much more!
Walkie Talkie & Two-Way Radio Buying Guide
Getting the best walkie talkie can be possible by reading about reviews, customer ratings and feedbacks. However, equipping yourself with further knowledge will help you make a more informed buying decision later on. With this regard, this portion of the article provides you with more insights about the featured product, giving you the edge and advantage.
Types Based on Configuration
When it comes to the types of two-way radios and walkie talkie, you choose between two categories, based on the device’s configuration, which includes the following:
- GMRS – Also known as the General Mobile Radio Service, the GMRS type is a high-power model, operating between 1 and 2 watts. This type can make use of up to 22 channels, while requiring a specific license, before use. Previously, GMRS was available only for commercial purposes, but there are now GMRS radios for recreational use, which do not require any license anymore.
- FRS – The other type based on configuration is the Family Radio Service or FRS, which operates on a half-watt, while transmitting on 14 channels, although today there are models with 22 available channels. Most of the FRS radios are the consumer models as they do not require a license to purchase and operate.
Types Based on Design
The types of high-quality walkie talkies are also categorized, according to their designs, which are as follows:
- Handheld – The handheld type is the most standard type of device available on the market today.
- Vehicle-mounted – The vehicle-mounted or mobile radio takes power from the battery of your vehicle. You can boost the range potential by adding an external antenna.
- Base/Desktop – As its name suggests, this type of radio is stationary, such as at home, drawing energy from the wall, while functioning on AC power. An external antenna can be used to boost the range of a base or desktop radio.
After learning about the basic types of two-way radios, it is now time to talk about the buying considerations and variables that will surely affect your buying decision later on. This article further explains the essential features of each radio or walkie talkie, such as the power, range, channels, and more.
In the simplest explanation, the power boosts the range of the radio. Keep in mind that a higher wattage means better range. This idea also explains why GMRS channels require a license as it also requires a higher wattage than the FRS channels. As a result, a stronger signal is obtained.
Another thing worth considering is the range capability of the radio, which varies on handheld models. There are some models with 8-mile range, while others can offer up to 30+ miles, such as some of the featured products in this review. When using your radios within urban areas, chances are, you can only get up to a 2-mile range, in spite the claims of many brands. This is mainly because of variables that could disrupt the signal like buildings and trees. Therefore, be wary of getting long distance walkie talkies for the maximum range.
Regardless the radio type that you are getting, you will probably come with a 22-channel radio with 121 privacy codes each. Such feature tends to reduce obstruction on the same channel, especially when these devices are used within crowded areas like park grounds and resorts. Fortunately, manufacturers have equipped their models with privacy codes that are called CDCSS or CTCSS, which stands for Continuous Digital Coded Squelch System and Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System respectively. These features let you speak privately and utilize the same channels without interference.
On top of the above-mentioned variables, there are additional features and factors that you might want to consider when shopping for the best walkie-talkies and two-way radios. More of the features include the battery type used in these instruments as some models make use of regular alkaline batteries and the others utilize rechargeable batteries with charging units. Also take note of the battery life claim, choosing the longest battery lifespan for utmost convenience.
Other essential features include the IP or Ingress Protection, Noise Filter, Headset jack, Keypad lock, GPS, and call alerts. The Voice Activated Transmit or VOX is also an important aspect that captivates many consumers because this function allows for hands-free operation; thereby, resulting in flexibility and portability. This feature is specially a great choice for working people and those doing sports and virtually all those with buys hands, and need to start transmitting automatically.
In a nutshell, the top walkie talkies have already been identified and described in this comprehensive review. All you need to do is choose between the featured products in this article. Rest assured that you will get no less than the highest quality, high-performing, most powerful, and the most reliable models of two-way radios and walkie talkies on the market today.
By this time, you now have a clearer starting point in finding the best device as the best-rated walkie talkies have been provided throughout the review, but also keeping in mind the buying guideline as the information within that section gives you more edge and advantage in choosing the best product to serve your needs and preferences. Until then, enjoy shopping for the top rated walkie-talkies and two-way radios, while enjoying the radio experience to your heart’s desire!
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