Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio

Last updated date: May 17, 2019

DWYM Score
9.3

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We looked at the top 1 Two Way Radios and dug through the reviews from 16 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, Walkie Talkie World, Walkie Talkie Reviews, Your Best Digs, Best Reviews Guide, RelevantRankings.com, Digital Trends, List Outdoor, Lifewire, Best10.ai, Two-Way Radio Talk, TalkieSpy.com, Two-Way Signal, ArcheryTopic.com and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Two Way Radio you should buy.

Overall Take

With 50 General Mobile Radio Service channels and a range of up to 36 miles, you'll get impressive reception with the Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio. It has a couple of bonus features, including an SOS siren that sends an alert if you find yourself in an emergency situation. With a weight of only 4.8 ounces, you can carry this radio for hours without even noticing it. In our analysis of 73 expert reviews, the Midland Midland GMRS Two-Way Radio placed 1st 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
9.6
16 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.9
4,138 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What 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 area or workplace, so as not to disturb others around you.
- 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 clearly on the other end.
- 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 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

From The Manufacturer

Gear up for the outdoors without sacrificing communication with the Midland GXT1000VP4 GMRS Walkie Talkie. It is a waterproof radio that provides clear point-to-point communication, with superior reception, transmission, and sound quality. The GXT1000VP4 meets the JIS-4 standard of exposure to water, meaning it’s protected against light rain or splashing water from all directions on the radio. This radio features 142 Privacy Codes, 9 Levels of eVOX - Hands-Free Operation, a 36 mile communication range, 10 call alerts, SOS siren, and 50 GMRS channels (28 extra channels with pre programmed privacy codes) with easy button access. The whisper feature allows you to instantly contact a member of your party without disturbing others. The GXT1000VP4 has dual power options - 1 rechargeable battery pack per radio (Included) or 4 “AA” Alkaline batteries per radio (not included). The rechargeable battery packs take 12 hours to charge and provide up to 11 hours of battery life on a full charge. The Weather Scan feature finds the nearest NOAA broadcast to stay up to date with the latest weather and hazard information. The NOAA Weather Alert feature sounds an alarm indicating when severe weather could be present in your area. In addition, the GXT1000VP4 has a 3-Year Warranty. Midland Radio will replace any faulty radios within 3 years of purchase. This radio provides an easy-to-use, low cost, and reliable solution to long-range communication for any outdoor enthusiast.

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.