Are you looking for the best two-way radios? Here are the 10 best 2-way radios to buy in 2020. The Keen Hunter has picked the best of the best two radios from the market for you.
We, at The Keen Hunter, have spent around 46 hours on research and testings to finally come up with these 10 best two-way radios 2020.
Rest assured that you will be buying only the best long-range 2-way radios / long-range walkie talkies today with us. Before we proceed to the list, let’s fisrt get quick introduction to the two-way radios and their purposes.
An Introduction To Two-Way Radios 2020 | What Are 2-Way Radios?
You don’t need to be a hunter or hiker to make use of a 2-way radio. One can use two-way radios for camping or a family trip to a theme park. Low cellular network can be a dangerous situation when you’re lost and need help. 2-way radios don’t require a tower to operate, it can operate on its own, within a reasonable distance. 2-way radios also have emergency features that can come in handy. It can also be used at home to play around with your friends and family.
Never bought any two-way radios before?
Don’t worry: The Keen Hunter is here to help you. We have added the best two-way radios buying guide at the bottom of the best two-way radios reviews section. So, just read that best two-way radios buying guide, and you will get enough information and details to pick the best from below two-way radios reviews list.
So, that’s all with the jargons. Let’s now get started with top 10 best two-way radios buying reviews and buying guide 2020.
Top 10 Best Two-Way Radios Reviews (Tested) And Buying Guide 2020
Two Way Radios Buying Guide 2020
Purchasing a 2-way radio that fits your needs is crucial. And choosing from a variety of radios might seem tedious. Buying the no. 1 item that is in every Top 10 list might seem like a wise idea, could you be anymore wrong. Usually, a Top product is mid-range with decent features. So, when you need a 2-way radio for a certain job, the Top one might not always solve your problem.
All that out of the way, allow us to help you in picking the one that will best suit your needs. Here a few facts and features that you should consider when buying the best two-way radios 2020.
Durability Of Two-Way Radios
A 2-Way Bluetooth radio is commonly used for outdoor activities, which requires that it withstand fluctuating temperatures, water, and moderate impact.
So, here are a few things you might want to consider while purchasing a durable 2-way radio.
Predicting the weather might not fit everyone’s laundry basket. That’s why being prepared for the battle against Mother Nature will go a long way. A 2-Way radio needs to be Waterproof, Weatherproof, and Dust resistant to help against unforeseen calamities.
– Splash Proof radios can withstand a few sprinkles of water, but will not endure if dropped or exposed to water for a long time. Not suitable for frequent outdoor use.
– Waterproof/Dust-resistance is an essential feature to have on a 2-way radio. Mid-range radios have an IP rating of 67, which means it can survive for 30 minutes in 1-meter deep water and is fully dust-resistant.
If you live in a place with extreme weather, you might want to look for a radio that can withstand that type of weather. Weatherproofed 2-way radios can work in extreme cold and protect itself from humidity.
Impact Resistance :
If you are a rough user or want extra protection for your radio, you might want to check the durability on the specification. An impact-resistance does not come in affordable 2-way Radios. But if you’re willing to pay the extra cash, you’ll get yourself a long-lasting 2-way radio. For average daily use, you might not need heavy-duty radios. It just makes it more difficult to carry it around.
Mass & Measurement Of Handheld Two-Way Radios
2-way Radios come in distinct shapes and sizes. Most overweight 2-way radios come with additional features. Additional features might include impact resistance, extreme indoor range, and extra UHF frequencies.
These radios are useful while in a dense forest or a multiple story building (such as hotels).
If you’re looking to use it for hunting or scouting, a mid-range radio is satisfactory. These radios are compact, have basic durability features, cover a reasonable range, and are affordable.
Channels & Privacy Codes Of Two-Way Radios
Radios transmit the communication using different frequencies known as channels.
To keep the channels private, they use privacy codes. When you use privacy codes, only the radio that uses that particular code will get your message.
This feature is useful when you are in a crowded area with too much activity.
● Channels Of Two Way Radios
There are 22 common channels on standard radios. There are two different services, namely Family Radio Service (FRS) and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS). Most 2-way radios have access to 7 FRS, 8 GMRS, and 7 FRS/GMRS channels. You may require a license to operate in GMRS channels, depending on the country’s regulations.
● Privacy Codes:
Some 2-way radios have more than 120 privacy codes, which can make up to 2500 possible combinations. These codes don’t make your communication private. Still, it will make it unique, so only the radios with your combinations can listen to you.
● Call Mode:
With the call mode, you can transmit a message to a single radio without anyone else listening to it even if they are on the same channel.
Emergency Features To Look For In Best Two-Way Radios
One of the helpful features to have in a hiking or hunting equipment is the Emergency features. A few of the Emergency features almost all 2-way radios have are Panic Button, Lone Worker, Man Down, and flashlight.
When you are in danger, a panic button can save your life. It sends out a signal to all nearby devices and an alarm to the base station. And if a nearby device has a display, they can see your location.
● Lone worker:
The lone worker feature allows you to set a timer on the radio. Within the given time you need to reset the timer, if you don’t, you’ll receive a warning, and if still there is no response, an alarm is triggered. It gets louder by the minute if no one responds.
● Man Down:
This feature is similar to Lone Worker, except this takes in the angle and movement of the radio. If the radio is slant, you’ll be informed to set it straight, and failing to do so will set off the alarm. Also, if it is falling at a rapid rate, it will trigger the alarm.
Having a flashlight on a 2-way radio is a boon. It’ll help you at night or while travelling through a dark tunnel. But the flashlight drains the battery if not used wisely.
The Long-Range Two-Way Radios | Long-Range Walkie Talkies
The range is usually what most people look at while buying a 2-way radio. The average range of FRS is 6 miles, and GMRS is 50 miles in a clear line of sight.
Keep in mind that the range mentioned in the specification only works if there are no obstacles in the way, hence the “clear line of sight.”
When there is no clear line of sight, FRS radios can only transmit up to 0.6 miles, and GMRS can transmit up to 10-15 Miles. The usual complaints people have are about the range not being accurate.
And that’s because the actual range was calculated in an open field with no obstacles. You only get about half of the actual range when there are obstacles.
So, always calculate the range accordingly. Don’t blindly trust everything written in the package. We have listed several long-range walkie talkies / long-range two-way radios in our best 2-way radios reviews 2020 list. So, go through the list to pick long-range walkie talkies for your purposes.
VOX Support In Two-Way Radios
Voice Activated Transmit (VOX) is one of the essential functionalities you can have in a 2-way radio. It allows you to transmit communication without pressing the button. It has a smart sensor that automatically starts when you speak.
This feature can come in handy when you’re climbing or riding a bicycle. Attaching a high-quality headset with a mic can make it more efficient.
Most mid-range radios have a VOX feature. But always keep an eye on the specification cause most low range light-weight radios cut-off this functionality.
VOX used with Bluetooth headset can also come in handy. You can cut all the wire space and make it truly a hands-free 2-way radio.
Power Source Of Two-Way Radios
● NiMH Battery:
Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries are much preferred than others. The operating temperature of the NiMH is 100 °C, which far exceeds the standard of other batteries. These batteries can work at the extreme cold of up to -30 °C, and blazing heat of 75 °C. It has a High Energy density, which makes it much lighter than the competition. It also has No Memory Effect. Memory Effect occurs when you cannot use the full potential of the battery. NiMH batteries last longer than NiCd batteries, considering the Memory Effect.
● NiCd Batteries:
Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) batteries have a Memory Effect after multiple uses. Cadmium is also a highly toxic heavy metal, not suitable for the environment. NiCd batteries are often used for a cordless screwdriver, which requires high torque power. For a 2-way radio, a NiMH provides sufficient and efficient battery power.
- Alcaline/Li-ion supported radios.
Weather Alerts Function In Two-Way Radios
● NOAA Scanner:
NOAA channels transmit alerts about the weather whenever necessary. And having a radio that can receive those channels is crucial. A 2-way radio with an NOAA Channel Scanner will alert of any hazardous weather in your area.
● Weather channel:
Few radios can tune in to the weather channels to get every second report of the weather. If you want to know the weather while in the fields, you can tune in to channels.
Bluetooth Compatibility| Bluetooth Two-Way Radio
If you’re tired of getting tangled in earphone wires, you can get a Bluetooth two-way radio. Connect your Bluetooth headphones, and you’re good to go. Having Bluetooth two-way radio is useful for bike riders and hunters, where you need your hands to be free.
But it also has its drawbacks. Bluetooth headphones usually have a battery that can only go up to 6-7 hours. So, you might want to bring a power bank while on a long trip for your Bluetooth two-way radio.
That’s all. Hope this guide has helped you in buying the best two-way radio for your purposes from the above best two-way radios list 2020. That’s all for now and thanks for reading this post here at The Keen Hunter. We are The Keen Hunter, hunting best products for all your needs on a daily basis.