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The Best Two Way Radio

Last updated on July 19, 2019

We looked at the top 9 Two Way Radios and dug through the reviews from 60 of the most popular review sites including Best Reviews Guide, Comparaboo, Walkie Talkie World, Busted Wallet, Globo Turf, TalkieSpy.com and more. The result is a ranking of the best Two Way Radios.

Best Two Way Radio

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Two Way Radios

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Midland

GMRS Two-Way Radio

Overall Take

Impressive ReceptionImpressive reception and several bonus features make this lightweight radio set a winner.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus BestReviews, Walkie Talkie World, Walkie Talkie Reviews, Your Best Digs, Best Reviews Guide, RelevantRankings.com and 10 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart.
Pros
" 50 channels, SOS siren with locator, fantastic weatherproofing, great accessories such as headsets included."
Cons
"More critical ones have mentioned that at the 36-mile range, the reception gets a little fuzzy, that the design isn’t as rugged as advertised and that the features can be a bit overwhelming."

Motorola

Talkabout T460 Two-Way Radio

Overall Take

Buy in BulkIf you're looking to buy two-way radios in bulk, this set comes with eight radios that charge through a USB port.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus Busted Wallet, Best Reviews Guide, Globo Turf, TalkieSpy.com, Two-Way Radio Talk, Two-Way Signal. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Best Buy and Home Depot.
Pros
" The waterproof rating of IP54 ensures that this walkie talkie will be safe guarded against rain, snow, and dust. This will ensure that the walkie talkie can handle any extreme location you choose to explore."
Cons
"Does not come with earpiece."

BaoFeng

Dual Band Two-Way Radio

Overall Take

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus BestReviews, Walkie Talkie Reviews, Review Meta, Best Reviews Guide, Walkie Talkie World, Lifewire and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Rugged, great weatherproofing, emergency band radio is top notch."
Cons
"The instructions is sketchy."
  The Best Value

Arcshell

Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios

Overall Take

Affordable RadiosIf you're looking for a budget-friendly set of radios that come with 16 channels, this set is for you.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus BestReviews, Review Meta, Beebom, Lifewire. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Solid build and good sound quality for a low price. Construction feels solid."
Cons
"The walkie-talkie boasts an impressive 5-mile radius, though this is heavily dependent on the terrain, so expect a lower range in congested areas."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
16

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the two way radios available to purchase.
9

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

60

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Best Reviews Guide, Comparaboo, Walkie Talkie World, Busted Wallet, Globo Turf.

30,178

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, Walmart, Target.

Our experts reviewed the top 9 Two Way Radios and also dug through the reviews from 60 of the most popular review sites including Best Reviews Guide, Comparaboo, Walkie Talkie World, Busted Wallet, Globo Turf, TalkieSpy.com and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Two Way Radios.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio

Our Expert Score
9.6
16 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.9
4,138 user reviews
Our Take

This radio offers impressive reception with 50 General Mobile Radio Service channels and a range of up to 36 miles. It features several bonus features, including an SOS siren that sends an alert in the event of an emergency. With a weight of only 4.8 ounces, you can also comfortably carry this radio for hours.

What other experts liked
50 channels, SOS siren with locator, fantastic weatherproofing, great accessories such as headsets included.
- BestReviews
Extremely lightweight makes it easy to carry anywhere.
- Walkie Talkie World
The walkie-talkie makers took extra care and enabled each device to work flawlessly with four AA-sized batteries so you can easily use it even without any source of recharge. It is one of the rare benefits in walkie-talkies.
- Walkie Talkie Reviews
This model holds communication features such as whisper, group call, and eVOX hands-free operation. The whisper setting increases volume output for communication at whispered volumes. This can be useful when operating your device late at night or in a quiet...
- Your Best Digs
It has 50 channels – 22 FRS/GMRS plus 28 extras that use the existing FRS/GMRS frequencies with hard coded tones – with a max 36 mile range and 142 privacy codes.
- RelevantRankings.com
GXT1000VP4 is equipped with an SOS siren that can alert others when urgent help is needed, and it comes with a built-in NOAA weather alert radio to keep users informed of changing weather conditions.
- Digital Trends
It has Direct Call Function enables you to contact a member of your group without alerting the others. The walkie talkie also has 10 Call Alerts that notify you of an incoming call.
- List Outdoor
It has 50 channels of crisp, uninterrupted communication, with an added 142 privacy codes. The walkie talkies also have a bright backlit LCD display, making it easy to read in dark lighting conditions.
- Lifewire
We liked the Auto Scan function, which automatically checks channels for any activity or communication; this feature might be very useful in certain circumstances.
- Best Advisor
Private communication. The GXT1000VP4’s extra channels and nearly 300 privacy codes will keep your opponent from listening in on your strategy.
- Two-Way Radio Talk
The gadget is portable and gives you more than 50 channels to select from. It works well within 36-mile range.
- TalkieSpy.com
If you're in a space where you need to be quiet and stay hidden, you'll feel much safer knowing that you can use the Whisper mode on this model. This means that you can speak softly, but still be heard...
- Two-Way Signal
NOAA Weather Alert Radio feature enable you to scan the weather. This impressive feature sends you an alert when there’s a severe weather condition.
- ArcheryTopic.com
What other experts didn't like
The advertised ranged of up to 36 miles is very optimistic.
- BestReviews
The set is equipped with so many controls. Therefore, the startup walkie-talkie users may face some problems in using it. Many users who are already using this device faced this problem.
- Walkie Talkie World
This version is weatherproof, not waterproof.
- RelevantRankings.com
The user manual is complicated.
- List Outdoor
More critical ones have mentioned that at the 36-mile range, the reception gets a little fuzzy, that the design isn’t as rugged as advertised and that the features can be a bit overwhelming.
- Lifewire
Luckily the charging dock for these radios comes with a wall plug and a 12v vehicle plug. You can also swap the battery packs out so that aftermarket batteries can be carried as backup.
- Outside Pursuits
If it is used in the mountains or forest the communication rangeis limited to 5 miles.
- Best Advisor
The GXT1000VP4 doesn’t work so well when there are lots of buildings around. If you’re looking for a walkie talkie that works well in urban areas, keep shopping.
- Two-Way Radio Talk
However, it's important to note that, unlike some of the other walkie talkies we've reviewed, this model does require a fairly completely unobstructed space in order to reach 36 miles.
- Two-Way Signal
Group call feature is missing.
- ArcheryTopic.com

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios

Expert Summarized Score
8.3
4 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
951 user reviews
Our Take

The Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios are among the most affordable picks. You'll get 16 channels to help you find clear reception. One thing to keep in mind is that some EMS services use the same channels as this radio, which may make it tough to find a good channel at times.

What other experts liked
Solid build and good sound quality for a low price. Construction feels solid.
- BestReviews
The walkie talkies are very small and can fit in the palm of your hand.
- Beebom
The Arcshell stands 4.3 inches tall (4.53 including the antenna), and weighs just 6.3 ounces, so it fits snugly in your hand or clipped onto a belt.
- Lifewire
What other experts didn't like
Five mile range is questionable in some settings. Battery life inconsistencies noted- some owners compliment it,but others complain that its too short.
- BestReviews
Do note that EMS services in certain areas use the same frequency range so you might have to re-calibrate them to avoid those frequencies. It would be better if you check the EMS frequencies used in your area and look at other offering on this list which do not interfere...
- Beebom
The walkie-talkie boasts an impressive 5-mile radius, though this is heavily dependent on the terrain, so expect a lower range in congested areas.
- Lifewire

Overall Product Rankings

1. Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 20

2. Motorola Talkabout T460 Two-Way Radio

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 10

3. BaoFeng Dual Band Two-Way Radio

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 11

5. Retevis Two Way Radios

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 8

6. FLOUREON Two Way Radios

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 10

7. Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 6

8. Motorola T100 Talkabout Radio

Overall Score: 7.7
Reviews Included: 8

9. LSENG Waterproof Two Way Radio

Overall Score: 7.3
Reviews Included: 3

Our Findings

Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio

What We Liked: This radio offers impressive reception with 50 General Mobile Radio Service channels and a range of up to 36 miles. It features several bonus features, including an SOS siren that sends an alert in the event of an emergency. With a weight of only 4.8 ounces, you can also comfortably carry this radio for hours.

Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios

What We Liked: The Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios are among the most affordable picks. You’ll get 16 channels to help you find clear reception. One thing to keep in mind is that some EMS services use the same channels as this radio, which may make it tough to find a good channel at times.

Motorola Talkabout T460 Two-Way Radio

Also Consider

Motorola Talkabout T460 Two-Way Radio 22 Channel NOAA Walkie Talkies 8-PACK (Electronics)


List Price: $316.00 USD
New From: $316.00 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

What We Liked: Initially, the Motorola Talkabout T460 Two-Way Radio seems a bit on the pricey side, but it comes with a set of eight. So if you’re buying for a group, you may actually be able to save money. We are big fans of the fact that these radios is the fact that you can charge through a USB port, which allows you to leave your charging base at home when you travel. This radio is also weatherproof, keeping it protected during wet weather.

Our Two Way Radio Buying Guide

As cellphones have become more popular, consumers have forgotten about the value of a two-way radio. Designed for short-range communication between people, these devices have been around for decades. A two-way radio is ideal for groups of people who want to be able to quickly get in touch with each other. Staff at a campground, for instance, or employees at an events venue can use two-way radios to contact each other and relay messages.

Before you start shopping for a two-way radio, it’s important to know just how many you need. Chances are, you won’t be purchasing just one, which is why you’ll find they usually aren’t sold that way. You can find them in sets as small as two, with an included charging base that keeps all your radios charged when not in use.

One of the first things you’ll notice is that radios differ in the number of channels they offer. This is important because you’ll need your own dedicated channel on which to talk. If you choose a two-way radio with only four channels, you may find that you can’t get the reception you need. More channels will offer a larger range of options.

When it comes to reception, not all two-way radios are equal. Some advertise a wider range than others, but that doesn’t always take into account whether you’re in an open area or dealing with obstructions like buildings or mountains. Many two-way radios offer a reception radius of about five miles, though, which is usually sufficient for what they’re designed to do.

If you plan to use your radio primarily outdoors, look for one that can withstand the elements. Some two-way radios are weather-resistant, while others are weatherproof. Some also are more rugged than others, which is something to consider if you plan to use it on hiking or camping trips.

DWYM Fun Fact

You may have heard two-way radios called “Walkie Talkies,” which was actually the original term for the devices. The first Walkie Talkies were released in 1940 by Gavin Manufacturing, which later became Motorola. These were designed for troops in World War 2 and were carried as a backpack.

But around the same time, Handie-Talkies were invented, and these smaller units were similar in design to what we know today as two-way radios. Eventually, Motorola trademarked the units as HT, which is still included in model numbers for Motorola two-way radios today. Following the war, Walkie Talkies became more of a consumer product, gradually evolving to the devices we are now familiar with.

The Two Way Radio Tips and Advice

  • Typically, you’ll find two-way radios come with just a few channels. While this will normally suffice, access to more channels means many more options for when you can’t get crisp, clear reception on one. The Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio offers 50 General Mobile Radio Service channels, as well as 142 privacy codes. These privacy codes let you block out other conversations, expanding your channel options even farther. The Motorola Talkabout T460 Two-Way Radio offers 22 channels and 121 privacy codes. With Ansoko Long Range Two Way Radios and Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios, you get 16 channels.
  • No matter how many channels your radio provides, though, reception can vary from one radio to another. The Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio promises a range of up to 36 miles, but you’ll find that unless you’re in an open area, you’ll have issues. In mountainous or heavily forested areas, you’ll only get a 5-mile range. But you’ll find reception drops similarly with other two-way radios, and they only promise up to a 5-mile radius.
  • With Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios, it’s important to note that some EMS services will use the same frequency range as the radios, so you may find that you have to do some calibration work to get around it.
  • The Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio has a bonus feature: an SOS siren that will send out an alert if you find yourself in an emergency situation.
  • If you plan to use your two-way radios outdoors, look for a radio that offers weatherproofing features. The Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio offers JIS4 waterproofing, which provides protection against light rain or splashing water. The Motorola Talkabout T460 Two-Way Radio is IP54 weatherproof, keeping it safe from rain, snow or dust.
  • When pricing two-way radios, consider how many you’re getting. Some come with two radios, while others come with eight.
  • Two-way radios also differ in their communication features. The Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio has a feature called “whisper,” which lets you talk in a hushed tone while still getting through to the other end. It also includes Direct Call, which lets you reach out to one specific person when using your radios in a group.
  • Weight matters when you’re carrying something around all day, especially if you’re hiking. The Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio weighs only 4.8 ounces, while the Ansoko Long Range Two Way Radios is 5.5 ounces. Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios and Motorola Talkabout T460 Two-Way Radio are slightly heavier, at 6.3 ounces and 6.9 ounces, respectively.
  • Two-way radios run on batteries, but they differ from the type that is rechargeable to those that require regular batteries. The Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio offers two options: Run on a rechargeable battery that goes into the charging dock or use four AA batteries. That lets you carry AA batteries along with you as a backup in case your rechargeable batteries die while on the go. The Motorola Talkabout T460 Two-Way Radio has a handy feature that lets you recharge through a USB port, which means you can leave your charging base at home while traveling.
  • It can take a while to get the hang of a new two-way radio. Ansoko Long Range Two Way Radios make it easy to get started, building in a programmable channel feature that allows you to quickly start a session without having to stop to key in frequencies. As many features as it has, the Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio can be a bit more difficult to learn.

About The Author

Avatar
Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a former information technology professional who spent most of her career working with computers and printers. Now a novelist and professional writer, her writings on electronics have been published on Online-Tech-Tips.com and Switching to Mac, among many others. When she isn't writing about technology, she's often checking out the latest news on the upcoming iPhone release.