8 of the best 2 way radio options to stay connected
There’s more to radio than top 40s hits and talk shows. Radio is one of the most innovative technologies available today. It’s been connecting people around the globe since long before the internet – and it continues to help us communicate today.
From amateur radio to walkie talkies, the right radio can keep you in touch with the right people.
The best 2 way radio is often a must-have for people out in the wilderness who need to keep track of friends and family. These tools are also helpful for linking team members in a professional setting.
Good 2 way radios, otherwise known as walkie talkies, often come in a portable size, so you can take them wherever you go.
Aside from offering convenient communication, long-range 2 way radios can also provide other handy features.
For instance, these devices offer weather alerts, SOS signals, and even flashlights.
If you’re looking for a new communication tool for your business, or a product for your survival kit, read on.
We’re going to check out the best 2 way radios on the market.
Most of the best 2 way radios are simple products that you can easily use in a hurry.
If you’re a fan of ham radio, you can also get devices that combine two-way communication with amateur radio waves.
This set of 2 UV-5R radios from Baofeng come with a special firmware kit to get your system up and running fast.
The product comes with a dual PTT button, automatic keypad lock, dual-band access, FM radio, radio scanning, and so much more.
Most people in search of a simple walkie talkie will find these two-way radios too complex for their needs.
But if you’re looking for a device that can help you chat to people near and far, this could be the option for you.
Along with various standard 2 way radio functions, the Baofeng also comes with a large LCD display, where you can search through channels, a low battery alert, and an LED flashlight.
Low-battery alert and battery saver mode
Massive frequency range
Included firmware kit for ham radio
This device is more of a basic handheld ham radio than a solution for connecting with your friends and family when you’re on a hike.
You can monitor specific channels for local connections. If you’re searching for a new hobby, it’s worth checking these products out.
Access to HAM and FM radio
Large LCD with lots of information
Automatic keypad lock
Brilliant low-battery alert and battery saver mode
Huge frequency range
Too complicated for your basic walkie talkie
3. Motorola T260TP Talkabout (best for scanning)
Heading back to some of the most powerful 2 way radio options for beginners, we have the Motorola T260TP walkabout models.
Designed for quick and easy use, the Talkabout collection features state-of-the-art technology from Motorola, so you know you can rely on your radio.
The Talkabout devices come with various charging options to choose from, including the option to switch between rechargeable batteries or a set of 3 AA batteries.
On full charge, your top rate 2 way radios will deliver up to 29 hours of power, or 10 hours when using rechargeable batteries.
There’s a low battery alert to indicate when you need to find a charging point.
If you’re looking for the best 2 way radio, and you want something flexible and accessible, then the Motorola Talkabout is a great choice.
These devices are compatible with all industry standard frequencies. You also get the NOAA weather radio alert system, to ensure you remain up-to-date on any impending issues.
NiMH rechargeable batteries for 10 hours of energy
Up to 29 hours of battery from 3 AA batteries
NOAA weather alert service
Quickly find a channel with rapid scanning
Low battery alert
22 channels with 121 privacy codes
Works with any radio
20 call tones
Lightweight durable design
Access to hands-free calling
The Motorola Talkabout is one of the best 2 way radios because it’s simple and convenient.
You can access up to 2,662 channel combinations with this device. The quick scanning feature also makes it easy to see which channels you can use in an instant.
There’s no waterproofing or dust proofing on this device, and the battery can drain quite fast.
Multiple charging options
Durable, lightweight design
Clear voice quality
Quick scanning to help you find channels
Low battery alert
Battery drains quickly
No protection from water or dust
4. DEWALT DXFRS300 (best durability)
The best 2 way radio needs to continue correctly working no matter what.
If you’re on a construction site and you drop your device, it should work afterward. The same applies if you’re out camping and it suddenly starts to rain.
The DEWALT DXFRS300 devices are some of the best 2 way radios for long-range communication and reliability.
This two pack of radios comes with a limited lifetime warranty for peace of mind.
An IP67 rating means that your devices are both dustproof and waterproof. You can immerse your 2 way radio into up to 1 meter of water for as long as 30 minutes.
The shock-resistant radios can also withstand up to 2 meter drops, with an anti-slip design that means they won’t slip from grasp.
With 22 preset channels to choose from, and various privacy codes, you can get your 2 way radio from DEWALT up and running quickly. There’s also the option to buy packs with more radios and headsets too.
Limited lifetime warranty
Long-range communication (up to 20 floors)
2,622 channel combinations
22 preset channels to choose from
Dustproof and waterproof to IP67 standard
Rugged anti-slip design
Key lock function
Speaker and microphone jack
The DEWALT 2 way radios come with everything you need to master communication in a workplace or construction site. You even get a 360-degree swivel holster so you can rotate the 2 way radio to suit you.
There’s also an auto-squelch feature to automatically shut weak transmissions.
The DEWALT 300 and 800 are built on the FRS platform and are ideal for on-site business applications such as hotel front desk, retail, restaurants and grocery. The FRS business Series are smart, simple, reliable, high-performance and tough!
5. Midland X-Talker T77VP5 (best with accessories)
Many of the best 2 way radios available today come with extra tools and accessories to make them as convenient as possible. That’s the case with these Midland X-Talker 2 way radios.
License-free and easy to use, these walkie talkies feature 36 family radio service channels to choose from, along with a quick scan function to check for activity.
With a range of up to 38 miles, the Midland long-range 2 way radios are great for communication in open areas where there isn’t much obstruction.
The continuous tone-coded squelch system gives you up to 2,662 channel options to help block other distractions.
You can also use silent operation to turn off all other tones.
NOAA weather scan and alert functionality comes with this radio as standard, and you can access eVOX for sound and voice activated transmission.
License-free walkie talkies
38 miles range with no obstructions
121 CTCSS privacy codes
2,662 channel options
NOAA weather scan and alert
Hands-free voice and sound-activated transmission
USB car adapter
Belt clips, carrying case, battery packs
USB car adapter, micro USB charging cable
The best thing about these good two way radios from Midland is that they come with a bunch of extra accessories, including a carrying case, microphone headsets, rechargeable battery packs, a USB car adapter, desktop charger, and more.
One slight issue is that these devices are heavily influenced by any surrounding obstructions, so they’re best in clear areas.
This walkie talkie is perfect for security guards, supermarket connection, construction area or field/outdoor adventure and survival with the built-in LED emergency flashlight designed to keep you safe.
There are products that you can use for ham and amateur radio, as well as communicating with your colleagues.
Choosing an ideal radio for your needs, means considering your requirements carefully.
Do you need a very high frequency, or ultra-high frequency radio system? Are you looking for something that you can use on a construction site, or do you need a set of walkie talkies that your hiking team can use when cell-phone service isn’t available?
Other points to consider include:
Distance: The best long range 2 way radios will help you to stay connected to the people who matter wherever they are. Many devices struggle to deliver the best range in crowded areas with a lot of obstructions. When you’re comparing the top rated 2 way radios, check how much range you can get both in open and obstructed areas.
Build: Most of the best handheld 2 way radio options are sleek, slimline devices that will fit easily into any pocket. You might be able to use a belt clip to keep your product connected to your outfit too. Aside for looking for something small and portable, make sure that your walkie talkie is durable too. IPX7 water resistance is a must-have if you think your radio might end up falling in water.
Features: Another point to consider when looking for the best handheld 2 way radio is what you want to do with this device. Of course you want to connect with the other people on your radio frequency. You may also need a device that you can use to browse the NOAA weather radio channels. There are also radios out there that come with extra emergency tools, like built-in flashlights and alarms.
Accessibility: How easy is it to use your radio? If you’re experimenting with ham and amateur radio, you can expect that the device will be a little more challenging to use. Most top-selling products are relatively straightforward, with a clear screen where you can check for available frequencies.
Call quality: The sound of your two-way radio is likely to differ depending on things like range and which channel or frequency you use. The best devices should be able to maintain a decent level of clarity for you in most circumstances. Remember that inclement weather can make it harder to get a clear signal.
Battery life: A 2 way radio only has so much energy to offer before it shuts down. Checking the battery life before you make your purchase will ensure that you don’t end up with nothing but a chunk of plastic in your backpack every time you run out of power.
Investing in good 2 way radios
The top-rated two way radios are more than just a fun accessory to have on-hand when you go camping or hiking. These devices can be excellent pieces of survival equipment for those who like to explore the great outdoors.
Radios can continue to pick up signals even in areas where you can’t get an internet or phone connection.
The most powerful 2 way radio products can also make businesses more productive and efficient.
Get your entire team set up on the same channel, and they’ll be able to communicate at the touch of a button, without wandering around a work site.
Choosing the best 2 way radio for you isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. You’ll need to think carefully about what you need from your investment and go from there.
If you want more insights into some of the leading 2 way radios around, then you can check out our walkie talkie list.
Alternatively, read up on our other Radio Fidelity articles for more tips and information.
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