BaoFeng Dual Band Two-Way Radio

Last updated date: April 17, 2019

DWYM Score
9.0

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

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

We looked at the top 1 Two Way Radios and dug through the reviews from 7 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, Walkie Talkie Reviews, Best Reviews Guide, Walkie Talkie World, Lifewire, Product Reviews and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Two Way Radio you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 64 expert reviews, the BaoFeng BaoFeng Dual Band Two-Way Radio placed 4th when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note May 21, 2019:
Checkout The Best Two Way Radio for a detailed review of all the top two way radios.

Expert Summarized Score
8.1
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.5
4,960 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What 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 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 automatic offset, these do not.
- 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

From The Manufacturer

The Most Powerful One Yet: BaoFeng BF-F8HP (High Power). The BF-F8HP is the most powerful BaoFeng capable of transmitting 8 watts! A PC03 FTDI Programming Cable is Recommended for Easier PC Programming. The BF-F8HP is the third and final generation of the UV-5R. Some new features found in the BF-F8HP are the three selectable power levels (Low - 1w, Med - 4/5w, High-7/8w); the BF-F8HP has a better high-gain antenna (7") that was not available in earlier models; the BF-F8HP also brings back the customizable tri-color display that was not found in second generation UV-5Rs. The BF-F8HP also comes with a Full IN-DEPTH 76 Page User Manual that will help you get aquatinted with all the New Features! Much like its little brothers (the BF-F8+ and the UV-5R) the BF-F8HP maintains full cross accessory compatibility with all previous UV-5R accessories. SPECIFICATIONS: Color: Black Model: New BAOFENG BF-F8HP Battery: 2000mAh, 7.4v, Li-ion Frequency Range: 65-108MHz (FM Receive only) 136-174MHz and 400-520MHz (TX/RX) Antenna: High Gain Dual Band Antenna 7" Antenna Mode of operation: Simple or semi-duplex Transmitter Output power: 8W/5W / 1W (Max 8W) Modulation Mode: 16k F3E / 11k F3E Maximum deviation: 5kHz(Wide) / <2.5kHz(Narrow) CTCSS/DCS deviation: 0.5+/-0.1kHz(Wide) / 0.3+/-0.1kHz(Narrow) Intermediation distortion: Included:BF-F8HP 7.4V 2000mahvLi-ion Battery Pack Antenna Belt Clip Hand Strap Earphone ***NEW IN-Depth Manual Desktop Charger (110V)

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 are now familiar with.

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 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. 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 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.