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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

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.

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

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."

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."

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."
  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

BaoFeng Dual Band Two-Way Radio

Our Expert Score
8.4
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
10.0
3,415 user reviews
Our Take

What other experts liked
Rugged, great weatherproofing, emergency band radio is top notch.
- BestReviews
It has good sound quality and seems decent reception (with rubber ducky) and good transmit power.
- Walkie Talkie Reviews
Battery might last up to a week.
- Walkie Talkie World
It comes with a 2,000mAh battery that gives up to 20 hours in high power mode or 24 hours at the mid-range setting.
- Lifewire
Among the most interesting features are the transmitter time-out timer and the busy channel lock-out. At the same time, this model is compatible with all UV5R battery options and accessories.
- Product Reviews
BaoFeng BF-F8HP has three power settings (low (1W), high (8W)) and medium (4W). It also has an adjustable frequency range in both UHF (400-520MHz) and VHF (136-174MHz) spectrums.
- Top 10 Best Pro
What other experts didn't like
The hands free capabilities are subpar.
- BestReviews
Difficult to program, especially for long time hams used to other radios programming. While others may be “frequency, tone, save”, these Baofengs are “frequency, save, tone, offset, offset +/-, save” making it more difficult to manually program. Some radios have...
- Walkie Talkie Reviews
Does not come with the programming cable.
- Walkie Talkie World
There’s no button for VHF/UHF.
- Product Reviews
The instructions is sketchy.
- Top 10 Best Pro

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios

Our Expert Score
8.4
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. BaoFeng Dual Band Two-Way Radio

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 11

2. Motorola Talkabout T460 Two-Way Radio

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 10

3. Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 20

5. Retevis Two Way Radios

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 8

6. Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 6

7. FLOUREON Two Way Radios

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 10

8. Motorola T100 Talkabout Radio

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 8

9. LSENG Waterproof Two Way Radio

Overall Score: 7.3
Reviews Included: 3

Our Findings

BaoFeng Dual Band Two-Way Radio

What We Liked:

Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios

Best Value

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: $312.49 USD
New From: $312.49 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

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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 top tech sites. When she isn't writing about technology, she's often checking out the latest news on the upcoming iPhone release.