Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios

Last updated date: May 17, 2019

DWYM Score
8.3

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We looked at the top 1 Two Way Radios and dug through the reviews from 3 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, Beebom, Lifewire and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Two Way Radio you should buy.

Overall Take

The Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios is among the most affordable two-way radios, retailing for less than $50 for a set of two. It is heavier than other radios, but you'll get 16 channels to help you find clear reception. One downside is that some EMS services use the same channels as this radio, which may make it tough to find a good channel at times. In our analysis of 60 expert reviews, the Arcshell Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios placed 7th when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note May 17, 2019:
Checkout The Best Two Way Radio for a detailed review of all the top two way radios.

Expert Summarized Score
8.0
3 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.9
1,365 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What 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 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 with those frequencies.
- 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

From The Manufacturer

UHF waves have the ability to penetrate wood, steel, and concrete, giving you better range and performance in urban environments and around buildings. UHF operation has less chance of interference between wireless systems. Specifications: Model: Arcshell AR-5. Dual band or Single band: Single band. Dual frequency or Single frequency: Single frequency. Frequency Range: UHF 400-470MHz. Frequency Stability: ±2.5ppm. Channel Capacity: 16 Channels. Channel Spacing: 25KHz. Battery Type: 1500mAh Rechargeble Li-ion Battery. Operated Voltage: 3.7 V. Antenna Impedance: 50Ω. Operated Temperature: -30°c-+60°c. Plug: 110V-240V AC Wall-wart Type A. Radio Dimensions (with battery, without antenna): 4.53 x 2.36 x 1.30 inches. Antenna Length: 4.3 inches. Radio Weight (with battery/antenna): 6.3 oz.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 16
2. Motorola Talkabout T460 Two-Way Radio
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 6
4. BaoFeng Dual Band Two-Way Radio
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 7
5. Retevis Two Way Radios
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 6
6. FLOUREON Two Way Radios
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 9
7. Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 3
8. Motorola T100 Talkabout Radio
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 5
9. LSENG Waterproof Two Way Radio
Overall Score: 7.3
Expert Reviews: 2

An Overview On Two Way Radios

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.

DYWM 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 know today.

The Two Way Radio Buying Guide

  • Typically, you’ll find two-way radios come with just a few channels. While this will normally suffice, access to more channels means if you can’t get crisp, clear reception on one, there are many more options. 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 as 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. The Arcshell Rechargeable Long Range Two-Way Radios is a set of two and retails for less than $50, making them among the most affordable. You’ll also get a pair of radios with the Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio and Ansoko Long Range Two Way Radios, with each retailing for less than $100. The Motorola Talkabout T460 Two-Way Radio set retails for more than $300, but it’s a set of eight radios, so if you’re buying for a group, that set may actually provide cost savings.
  • 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 you’re 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 you’re 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 you’re 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 makes it easy for 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.