Best FRS GMRS Two-Way Radios 2014 Review
Review the Top Rated Two-Way Radios for 2013
Using a two-way radio is ideal for situations where you want to keep in contact with someone else on a channel that is withing a few miles of you. With the advent of cell phones two-way radios are especially important in the outdoors where cell phones may not have a tower nearby or have a poor signal. My family has a cabin that we like to go up, hang out, and do snowmobiling and four wheeling at. Ever since my father-in-law got stuck in a snowstorm a few years back we always carry them with us just in case. Below I'll go through a few of my favorites including the top rated and most popular two-way radios on the market in 2013.
Best FRS GMRS Two-Way Radios of 2013
Best Motorola MH230TPR Radios
As a highly rated product, these radios give you a range of up to 23 miles, as long as conditions are supportive. They come with 22 channels and they each have 121 privacy codes for over 2 thousand combinations. Battery life lasted about 9 hours, for me, on 3 AAA batteries. Something very nice about this set is that they give you a hands free option without any extra accessories to buy. There is also a mini USB charging port which was very nice to have. With this purchase, you get 3 radios, a drop in charger, a charging adapter, 3 belt clips and 3 NiMH battery packs with 3 earbuds.
Buyers should be aware that the batteries will last much longer if you let them drain of power completely before recharging. The charging station will only do 2 at a time and that did pose a problem when we needed all three to be fully charged for use. I did notice that sometimes they were hard to hear when in a noisy atmosphere, but the earbuds made that easier. Having these for my children who are too young to own cellphones, was a nice convenience at the amusement park we frequent.
Uniden Water Resistant GMR 3040-2CKHS Two-Way Radio
This set gives you a 22 mile range with 22 channels and 121 privacy codes. The weather resistant shell was very nice since one was accidentally dropped in a puddle and it didn't seem to affect the radio at all with the protective cover doing its job effectively. It comes with NOAA weather radio, so staying on top of the forecast was easy. This set does not come with a USB charger, however; they are powered by NiMH battery packs and it includes a DC-1002 adapter for charging in your car. They do not come with earbuds or a headset, but they include a jack for you to plug your own in.
Lead-Free Two-Way Radios Are Better For the Environment
Something that I find impressive is that they are RoHS Lead-Free; they limit the use of lead, mercury and cadmium. The packaging is also 100% recyclable and printed with non-toxic inks. This might not impress everyone but I find it worth my money. The major drawback I found to this set was that they can be very hard to hear what the other person is saying if they are speaking too loudly, or too close to the unit. This is a more affordable set of radios but I would recommend them more for simple use, or for younger users.
Midland GXT1000VP4 FRS GMRS Two Way Radios
This set has the biggest range I've found at 36 miles, but this only worked on flat land areas, and I only got a clear signal within 15 miles. I was disappointed that the range is much less in cities or woods. They include 22 channels with 28 extra channels. You also get 387 privacy codes, which is probably more than necessary but still a nice option. Other than the NOAA weather alert scan, you get an SOS siren so you can send out a distress signal easily if you need to. The sound on these was amazing!
Two-Way Radio Even Whisper Transmit
Even whispering can be heard very clearly; although if you are in a loud area, whispering won't be heard very clearly by the receiving end. The hands free option is activated easily with only the sound of your voice. My son likes how he can call one member in his group without alerting all the other members; this is handy when playing night games with his friends.
Top Rated Two-Way Radios of 2013
Motorola MR350R Two-Way Radios
This set was pretty good, but it seems the manufacturers of two way radios really like to inflate the range. It is stated that you can also get 35 miles out of these, but I found the most I could get was about 18. In the city, it was very spotty as well. However, with that said, the clarity was better than most with a decent battery life. They also have 22 channels that include 7 NOAA channels.
I did like that they have a mini USB charging port but you need to purchase a cable separately. I found the feature of the LED flashlight was great; no need to carry all types of equipment with you when these radios do it for you. The buttons are also nice and big making it easy for older or younger users. I also especially liked the Push-to-Talk power boost; this extends your transmission range by increasing the power output while saving your battery when no boost is needed.
Don't Miss a Transmission
They come with a vibration feature which allows you to be in noisy areas where you might miss the alerts but you can feel the vibration instead. The many features included can make it somewhat non-user friendly, but once you get used to what you are working with, it isn't too bad.
Best Two-Way Radios
Motorola Talkabout Two-Way FV300 FRS/GMRS Radio
The think I like best about these radios are how rugged they are. They have withstood all kinds of abuse from my children and their play outdoors. The stated range is about 16 miles and I found that to be fairly true to form. There are 22 channels with 38 privacy codes, much less than the others we have talked about but still sufficient for average users. They include an accessory connector which gives you use for headsets for hands free use. They also operate on NiMH or three AA batteries.
The sound was better than I had anticipated and the battery life was also adequate. These are not the top of the line radios, but work very well for people who just want something simple. Buyers should be aware that the belt clips included are very flimsy, so you might want to invest in different ones. They do take a long time to charge, but since the battery life is so good, you won't be charging as often as some others.
Top Rated New Two-Way Radio 2013
© 2013 Bob Miller