Two Way Radio Comparison 2014
Two way radios have evolved quite a bit of the last few years. The biggest change is the LED screen that allow you to better manage the radio's features. Technology has also improved the clarity of sound and the management of talking to more radio users, at the same time.
We have picked 3 radio sets and shortly reviewed them in two way radio comparison. My 3 choices include a premium set, a budget set and one priced in between them. The top 2 sets are from Motorola and Midland, big brands in the two way radio market.
This pair of Midland model GXT1050VP4 two way radios are high end units with a 36 mile range and can be used to access 50 different channels. They include the NOAA/All Hazard Weather channels that can keep you updated to changing weather and be set for constant weather scan. The camo finishes provide a water resistant package to protect the units against light rain or splashing water.
In clear areas the units can transmit and receive for up to 36 miles. In case of an emergency these versatile units can be used to sound a siren or send distress/locator signals to help rescue teams find you. The units are loaded with extras for the serious sportsman or adventurous. They can be set to vibrate to avoid alerting anything that might be around you.
Whisper mode allows quiet voice tones to be clearly transmitted to others in your party and you can set them on silent mode to turn off all tones. The unit can be activated with up to 9 different levels of voice activation and use ten different tones to keep in touch with your party. There is an auto squelch function to remove any background noises for a clearer signal.
There are a number of different settings that a direct call to contact all others in your group or privately contact one without alerting others. With 387 privacy codes it gives you 5560 different channels to talk to your group, while blocking out other conversations. The dual watch function allows you to monitor two channels at the same time. You can also scan channels looking for other usage.
The battery life extender is meant to provide extended battery life and you can also adjust the transmit power, as a conservation measure. You can power the units with 4 regular AA batteries or rechargeable ones. The pair of radios come with a desktop charger, pair of headphones with mics, rechargeable batteries, AC adapter for wall plugs and DC charger for use in a vehicle.
Motorola MH230R 23-Mile Range 22-Channel
The Motorola MH230R two way radios are a definite step down from the Midland radios described above but are still better than the Uniden model offered below and are still a good value for your money. They feature a 23 mile range, to keep in touch with family or friends under a variety of different situations.
There are 22 channels with 121 privacy channels. You can also tune them to 7 different NOAA channels to keep up to date on the weather reports, in your area. Channels scan allows a way to rapidly search for other radios or for members of your group that may have accidentally changed channels. You can charge these units using a charging port, the included drop in charger, or even use a mini USB cable for charging with your laptop.
Another nice option is the talk confirmation that automatically sends a unique tone after you finish speaking, so others know when you are done talking. The quiet talk option is useful to filter out unwanted transmissions that may be coming from other radios. This can be very helpful in areas that have a lot of radio traffic such as ski resorts or big events. They also have a option that when turned on, can detect when you speak to allow hands free operation. The LCD screen lets you know the status of your batteries, what channel you are on and other useful information.
This item includes two radios, belt clips that are removable, a drop in charger, two rechargeable batteries and an adapter for charging.
Which two way radio brand would you recommend?
Uniden GMR1235-2 12-Mile 22-Channel
Uniden offers this basic two way radio set. They have a 12 mile range, and the price includes the two radios, belt clips, and 6 batteries.
Designed to get the most life out of batteries the radios will switch to power save if there are no transmissions. They offer a roger beep after they are used and a small 10.6 ounce weight. Offering 22 channels and a battery meter to monitor your usage, the batteries can last up to 20 hours. Although they are a basic set of radios they are priced accordingly and would serve well for weekend hikes or trips to the mall.