Best DMR Radio Reviews 2021

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What is the Best DMR Radio Reviews?

Up until recently, the radio communication industry has been dominated by analog ham radios. Well, thanks to the ever-advancing technology, ham radio companies are now producing Digital Mobile Radios. These radios are a perfect combination of analog radio features and modern technology, offering many advantages over analog radios, which we will expound on later in this guide.

As expected, the market is flooded with a ton of DMR radios, so it can be challenging to figure out what exactly you want. Well, not to worry because we have got you covered. We did comprehensive reviews of what we conclude are the best DMR radios in the market. So, let’s jump right in, shall we? But first things first, let’s take an in-depth look at what a DMR radio is.

What is DMR radio?

Digital Mobile Radio an international or rather an open radio standard developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) back in 2005. Over a decade ago, users of radio systems, both buyers and sellers, realized that existing analog trunking standards needed updates with modern techniques. This led to the development of DMR radios that are less complicated and more affordable while still being capable of facilitating two-way communication. In simple terms, a DMR radio is a new and improved version of an analog radio. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of DMR radios over analog radios.

  1. Digital Mobile Radios utilize the Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) technology, which enables users to make two independent calls simultaneously through the same channel, making them have a higher channel capacity than analog radios.
  2. DMR radios are known to be more affordable than analog radios.
  3. Compared to analog radios, DMR radios come with more advanced features that enhance their overall performance.
  4. DMR radios come with security features that allow users to have private calls on a particular frequency.
  5. They have clearer and undistorted audio than analog radios.
  6. They have better coverage compared to analog radios.
  7. Owing to the TDMA technology, DMR radios have a higher battery life than analog radios.
  8. They are lighter and easily portable compared to analog radios.

Digital Vs Analog Radios

While it is clear that digital radios have better overall functionality and features than analog radios, there are some advantages that they have over digital radios. These include;

  1. The push-to-talk option.
  2. The capability to scan for channels.
  3. The ability to support one way and group conversations.

According to the ESTI,  DMR has three tiers that guide manufacturers on producing devices that meet the users’ specific needs. So, let’s take a look at each of them, shall we?

Tier 1: This tier consists of a range of frequencies set aside specifically for license-free usage. Tier 1 compatible radios operate on 16 channels and frequencies ranging between 446MHz and 446.2 MHz, meaning that they are suitable for personal and non-commercial activities or other situations that do not need extended area coverage.

Tier 2: Like most analog ham radios, tier 2 compatible radios operate on UHF and VHF frequencies ranging between 136-174MHz(VHF) and 403-527MHz(UHF). However, you have to be licensed to use this type of DMR radio.

Tier3: Tier 3 compatible DMR radios are improved versions of the tier 3 DMR compatible radios, meaning they operate on the same frequencies, only that they have advanced features. What’s more, these devices operate on ‘trunk mode,’ meaning that they are automatically allocated to frequencies rather than operating on a fixed frequency.

Operating on DMR radios

Unlike analog radios that use a single 12.5KHz narrowband channel, providing a single path for communication, DMR radios, with the TDMA technology’s help, doubles a 12.5KHz channel’s capacity enabling users to make two separate calls simultaneously through the same channel.

With that being said, let’s jump right into the reviews, shall we?

Best DMR Radio Reviews 2021

1. Radioddity GD-77 DMR Digital/Analog Two-way Radio(Best DMR Radio)

Best DMR Radio Reviews

Starting off our list is the Radioddity GD-77 DMR Digital/Analog Two-way Radio. This radio is a perfect combination of quality, exceptional performance, user-friendly interface, and versatility, making it one of the best DMR radios for amateur operators.

For starters, the device is made of high-quality material, giving it that solid feel, so it’s very durable. It also weighs about 254g with the antenna and battery included, so it is very lightweight and portable.

The gadget features a two-line dual-color display that is large enough for easier visibility and operation. The display has a two-line feature that prevents both the digital and analog channels from mixing up, allowing you to monitor them with ease. Although it is difficult to read it when the backlight is off, you can easily solve that by pressing any button. 

The radioddity gd-77 dmr has been designed to operate in both digital and analog mode, allowing you to use it either as an FM analog transceiver or a Tier 2 digital mobile radio, making it also suitable for commercial use. When in analog mode, it operates on both VHF and UHF frequency capabilities ranging between 136-174MHz(VHF) and 400-470MHz(UHF) for increased efficiency.

Another great feature is the radioddity GD-77 antenna. The 6.5-inch antenna has great sensitivity both in analog and digital mode and does an exceptional job of capturing and transmitting frequencies, enabling you to receive crisp and clear signals. What’s more, it also comes with an in-built Variable Frequency Oscillator (VFO) that allows you to fine-tune the frequencies to find that perfect spot. The device also has excellent audio quality thanks to its 1w audio speaker that projects clear and undistorted audio that can easily be heard even in noisy areas.

 According to most radioddity gd-77 reviews, another feature that makes it perfect for amateur users is its programming. The radioddity gd-77 software is available in both beginner and expert mode. This allows you to easily program it if you are new to the DMR world until you are experienced enough to program it in expert mode. The software enables you to program the Push-to-talk button and the other two buttons located under it either as an emergency on/off switch, a VOX(Hands-free) on/off button, repeater/ talk around function button, scan on/ off button, to mention a few. Once programmed, you can activate the features by simply long pressing or short pressing either of those keys. What’s more, it also allows you to choose what information can be displayed on the LCD. The radio comes with 1024 channels that can be programmed either as digital or analog channels.

The gadget has an impressive power output of 5 watts that enables it to have a transmit range of about 3 miles. It also comes with a high-capacity 2200mAh battery that lasts about 18 hours of working time and 48 hours of standby time. And that’s not all. The radio can be connected to a hotspot and is compatible with radio-to-radio direct or simplex for better all-round performance. It also has an SMS function with 32 pre-made SMS messages, allowing you to send and receive text messages from your radio to another.

Key Features

  • Operates as both an FM analog transceiver and a Tier 2 digital mobile radio.
  • Features a two-line dual-color display.
  • Comes with a 6.5-inch antenna.
  • Features a maximum power output of 5 watts.
  • Comes with a 2200mAh Li-on battery.
  • Features a programming software that is available in both beginner and expert mode.

Pros

  • It is very lightweight and portable.
  • It is easy to program and use, making it perfect for amateur operators.
  • It operates in both digital and analog mode and can smoothly turn from one mode to another.
  • It has excellent audio quality.
  • It has excellent battery life.

Cons

  • It does not have a brightness control.
  • Some customers have pointed out that the battery is not that durable.

2. TYT MD-380 DMR/MOTO TRBO Ham Radio

Best DMR Radio Reviews

Looking for an affordable way to jump into the world of DMR? Well, look no further because taking up the second spot on our list as one of the most affordable DMR radios is the TYT MD-380 DMR/MOTO Ham Radio. Like the radioddity gd-77, this device doubles as an FM analog transceiver and as a DMR Tier 1 and 2 radio, making it suitable for both amateur and commercial use. The radio is made of high-quality aluminum material that enables it to withstand even the most substantial impacts. It weighs about 266g with the battery attached, so it’s very lightweight and portable.

The gadget features a 1.1-inch by 1.4-inch multi-color display with a sky-blue background color for easier visibility. It also has excellent resolution, enabling you to view the information displayed even at a glance.

Unlike the radioddity gd-77, this radio is single-band digital ham radio, meaning that it operates on either UHF or VHF frequency capability. These frequencies range between 136-174MHz(VHF) and 400-480MHz(UHF). What’s more, it also has an FM broadcast capability, allowing you to listen to the radio while going about your ham radio endeavors.

For increased efficiency, the device features a tone option that beeps when a transmission is complete. Like most DMR radios, the gadget utilizes the TDMA technology that doubles a single 12.5KHz channel’s capacity, enabling you to make two independent calls simultaneously through the same channel.

The TYT MD-380 comes with a 17cm-antenna and a 10cm-antenna that perfectly capture and transmit frequencies, making it possible to obtain clear VHF or UHF signals. Most TYT MD-380 reviews are impressed by its audio quality, thanks to its ability to automatically eliminate unwanted signals from channels, enabling you to receive clear and undistorted audio.

The radio also has CTSS and DCS encryption features that lock out any unwanted transmissions, ensuring that you have private and secure communications at all times, making it one of the best DMR radios for commercial use.

Another great feature is the programming software. The radio comes with a CD containing the programming software. Although most TYT MD-380 reviews have pointed out that the programming process is a bit cumbersome, it is effortless once you get the hang of it. Like the radioddity gd-77, the TYT MD-380 programming software allows you to customize the programmable keypads on the front panel as either emergency on/off button, repeater function button, scan on/off button, to mention a few. What’s more, you can manually program these keypads according to your personal preferences.

The device also has an excellent scanning capability, enabling you to easily get the strongest signal at any time. What’s more, it also comes with 1000 programmable channels that you can add or delete channels from the scanning list using either the keypads or the programming software.

The radio has a maximum power output of 5 watts, which is pretty impressive for a DMR radio that is this affordable. It also comes with a 2000mAh battery that is guaranteed to last for a very long time before recharging.

Finally, the TYT MD-380 is compatible with DMR radios from Kenwood, Motorola, Vertex, Hytera, and Standard, allowing you to send to and receive messages from these radios.

Key Features

  • Utilizes TDMA technology.
  • It doubles both as an FM analog transceiver and as a DMR Tier 1 and 2 digital radio.
  • Operates on either VHF or UHF frequency capabilities ranging between 136-174MHz(VHF) and 400-480MHz(UHF).
  • Comes with a 17cm antenna and a 10cm antenna.
  • Multi-color display with excellent resolution.
  • Maximum power output of 5 watts.
  • Comes with a 2000mAh battery.

Pros

  • It is very affordable.
  • It is easy to use and program.
  • It is very versatile.
  • It has great audio quality.
  • It is very lightweight and portable.
  • It is very durable.

Cons

  • Some customers have pointed out that the programming process is a bit cumbersome.
  • It does not have an audio adjustment knob.
  • Its programming cable is not compatible with Mac computers.

Check out Best Handheld Ham Radio

3. AnyTone AT-878 UV Plus Bluetooth W/GPS Ham Radio

AnyTone AT-878 UV Plus

AnyTone Tech is well-known for creating high-quality and technologically advanced DMR radios, and this particular one is no exception. The AnyTone AT-D878UV Plus DMR radio is a perfect fusion of state-of-the-art functionality and user-friendly interface, making it ideal for both business and amateur users. Like most DMR radios, the device doubles as a dual-band FM analog transceiver and a tier 1 and 2 digital mobile radio, making it very versatile. The radio has a very robust structure, making it durable. It also has a very high waterproof and dustproof IP-rating of IP54, meaning that it works perfectly even in very harsh conditions.

The device features a 1.77-inch TFT display that is well organized for easier visibility and operation. What’s more, it has an adjustable backlight, allowing you to dim or brighten it whenever you want to.

When in analog mode, the radio operates on both VHF and UHF frequency capabilities ranging between 136-174MHz(VHF) and 400-480MHz(UHF) for enhanced efficiency. It is also FCC Part-90 certified, making it safe to operate it, as long as you are licensed.

The AnyTone AT-D878 takes pride in having a large internal memory that can accommodate 4000 channels, 10,000 talk groups, and up to 150,000 contacts. It also features an easy-to-understand programming software that allows you to customize it according to your personal preferences.

Another great thing about this gadget is that it allows you to set up several DMR Ids, allowing you to share the radio with another person if you want to. What’s more, you can also set up different Ids for your personal and professional use, making it suitable for amateur and commercial use. And that’s not it. The radio also has a roaming feature that, when turned on, automatically checks whether or not a repeater that is already mentioned is accessible. If it is, then it instantly turns it on.

Unlike most DMR radios, the AnyTone AT-D878’s power output is at a solid 7 watts with four power output levels, including; 7 watts, 4 watts, 2.5 watts, and 1 watt. These power output levels do a great job of enhancing its transmit range and saving battery life. It also comes with a 3100mAh battery that lasts for a very long time, so you don’t have to worry about it shutting down amid your ham radio endeavors.

The device is compatible with Bluetooth, allowing you to connect it with Bluetooth-enabled gadgets like speakers, headphones, laptops, to mention a few. It is also compatible with MOTOTRBO Tier 1 and 2 DMR radios, allowing you to communicate with other people with these devices.

Key Features

  • Operates as both an FM analog transceiver and a Tier 1 and 2 DMR radio. 
  • Operates on both VHF and UHF frequency capabilities ranging between 136-174MHz(VHF) and 400-480MHz(UHF).
  • It accommodates 4000 channels, 10000 talk groups, and 150000 contacts.
  • Built-in GPS.
  • It supports APRS, DMR Roaming, and DPRS.
  • 3100mAh battery. 
  • Maximum power output of 7 watts.

Pros

  • It is very durable.
  • It is waterproof.
  • It is compatible with Bluetooth.
  • It is versatile.
  • It has excellent audio quality.

Cons

  • Most anytone at- d878 reviews have pointed out that it is expensive.

4. Ailunce HD1 Digital Walkie Talkie Waterproof IP67 GPS (UHF VHF)

Ailunce HD1 Digital Walkie Talkie

Next up is the Ailunce HD 1 Digital Walkie Talkie. Although it works like most other DMR radios, it is packed with features and capabilities explicitly designed for amateur use, making it one of the best dmr ham radios for amateur users.

Like all the other DMR radios we have reviewed,  this gadget doubles as an FM analog transceiver and a tier 2 DMR radio. It operates on both VHF and UHF frequency capabilities ranging between 136-174 MHz(VHF) and 400-480MHz(UHF), enabling it to cover a more extended range within a particular area.

The device features a 1.1 inch by 1.4-inch multi-color display with a sky blue background color for easier visibility and navigation. It also has excellent resolution, enabling you to view all the information displayed even at a glance. Most ailunce hd 1 reviews are impressed by the radio’s overall structure and design. It is made of high-quality material and, making it durable. It also weighs approximately 303g with the battery attached, so it’s very lightweight and portable. The radio has a waterproof IP designation of IP67, meaning it can work perfectly even when in wet conditions.

The ailunce hd 1 also comes with a 6.75-inch dual-band antenna that has great sensitivity on both digital and analog mode and does an exceptional job of capturing and transmitting frequencies, enabling you to obtain clear signals.

Apart from operating on digital and analog mode, it also runs on promiscuous mode that, when turned on, it enables you to listen to all talk groups on a repeater times slot. Like the radioddity gd-77, the device features a VFO that enables you to perfectly tune the frequencies to get that ideal spot. It also allows you to set up multiple DMR IDs allowing you to share it with another person. What’s more, you can also set up several DMR IDs for your personal and professional use.

The gadget also has impressive audio quality, thanks to its 500mw speaker that projects clear and undistorted audio.

Although this dmr handheld radio can be manually programmed using the keypads, most reviews recommend programming it using the ailunce hd 1 programming software. This allows you to fully customize the front panel keypads and the whole device according to your personal preferences.

The device has a maximum power output of 10 watts, although most reviews have pointed out that it keeps fluctuating from 10 watts to 8 watts. It also has two power output levels of 5 watts (medium) and 1 watt(low) that help save battery power. It also comes with a 3200mAh battery that lasts for several days from a single recharge.

Key Features

  • Operates on digital, analog, and promiscuous mode.
  • Operates on both VHF and UHF frequency capabilities ranging between 136-174MHz(VHF) and 400-480MHz(UHF).
  • Maximum power output of 10 watts.
  • Multi-color display.
  • IP67 waterproof designation.
  • 6.75-inch dual-band antenna.
  • 3200mAh battery.

Pros

  • It is very durable.
  • It is very versatile.
  • It has high power output.
  • It is waterproof.
  • It supports up to 32 different DMR IDs.
  • It has a large internal memory.

Cons

  • Most customers have mentioned that the programming process is challenging to understand.
  • The programming software does not allow one to import codeplug from other radios.

5. Radioddity GD-73A UHF DMR/Analog Two-way Radio( Best Portable DMR Radio)

Radioddity GD-73A

Radioddity has been known to produce dmr ham radios geared towards meeting every kind of customers’ needs, and the Radioddity GD-73A UHF DMR/Analog Two-way Radio is no exception. It’s hard not to notice its small yet simple design. It is crafted to easily fit into your palm, making it the best dmr portable radio around. The radio has a solid structure, so it is very durable. It also has a waterproof IP rating of IP54, meaning that it can withstand accidental water splashes.

The device has a small and simple LCD that is well organized for easier navigation and operation. As expected, the Radioddity GD-73A operates in both digital and analog mode, allowing you to move from one mode to another with ease.

Unlike the radioddity gd-77, this is a UHF only radio, so it operates on a UHF frequency capability ranging between 406-470MHz. Although it’s in-built antenna is not as efficient as other DMR antennas, it still does an impressive job of capturing and transmitting frequencies, making it possible to obtain clear signals. Another great thing about this radio is that it is FCC Part-90 and Part-97 certified, making it suitable for both amateur and commercial use.

Although the device cannot be programmed manually, it comes with programming software that is easy to understand and allows you to customize it to your liking. What’s more, it enables you to assign up to four different functions to the two customizable keys on the front panel. It’s essential to keep in mind that for you to access the software, you have to download it from the company’s website. According to most radioddity gd-73a, another feature that makes it unique is its ability to connect to a hotspot. This, together with other extra features, enhances its overall functionality.

The device comes with 1024 channels that are grouped into 64 zones of 16 channels each. This allows you to easily scan each channel for any activity. The radioddity gd-73a takes pride in having great audio quality, thanks to its speaker that projects clear and undistorted audio. It also has a squelch function that effectively filters out unwanted noises, enabling you to receive crisp and clear audio. What’s more, it also features CTSS and DCS systems that lock out any unwanted transmissions, allowing you to have clear and private calls.

The Radioddity GD-73A features a maximum power output of about 5 watts with selectable power output levels of 2 watts (medium) and 0.5 watts (low). Thanks to its high power output, the radio can cover up to a maximum of 5 miles, which is pretty impressive for a DMR radio of this caliber. It also comes with a 3600mAh battery that lasts for 48 hours of standby time and up to 16 hours of working time.

Lastly, the manufacturers of the radioddity gd-73a know too well that learning how to operate a DMR is not a walk in the park; that is why they included a comprehensive user’s manual that will guide on how to program and use it.

Key Features

  • Operates on a UHF frequency capability ranging between 406-470MHz.
  • It has 1024 channels grouped into 64 zones of 16 channels each.
  • Operates in both digital and analog mode.
  • Compatible with MOTOTRBO, group call, private call, and all-call.
  • Compatible with hotspot.
  • 3600mAh battery.
  • Maximum power output of 5 watts.

Pros

  • It is durable.
  • It is very lightweight and portable.
  • It can connect to a hotspot.
  • It is easy to program and use.
  • It has excellent battery life.

Cons

  • Some customers have pointed out that it does not display the received talkgroup name or number.
  • The LCD’s backlight is not that bright.

6. TYT MD-UV380 Dual-Band VHF/UHF 136-174 MHz/400-480MHz Handheld Two Way Radio(Ham)

TYT MD-UV380

Another affordable DMR radio from the TYT company is the TYT MD-UV380 Dual Band VHF/UHF Handheld Two Way Radio. Although it has many similarities with the TYT MD-380, it comes with advanced features and better overall functionality. The radio operates as both an analog and digital transceiver, allowing you experience both sides without any difficulty. It is also FCC Part-90 certified, making it suitable for amateur use.

Judging by its looks, the device has a robust yet simple design, so it is guaranteed to withstand even the most substantial impacts. It weighs about 280g with the battery and antenna attached, so it is very lightweight and portable.

The device features a 1.1-inch by 1.4-inch multi-color display with a sky-blue background color for easier visibility, regardless of the day’s time. It also has excellent resolution, enabling you to see all the information displayed at a glance.

Unlike the TYT MD-380, this is a dual-band dmr radio, so it operates on both VHF and UHF frequency capabilities ranging between 136-174MHz(VHF) and 400-480MHz(UHF). What’s more, it also has an FM broadcast capability, allowing you to listen to your favorite radio station while going about your ham radio endeavors. It also comes with a 6.5-inch antenna that perfectly captures and transmits frequencies, enabling you to receive clear signals.

Most tyt md-uv 380 reviews are impressed by the radio’s audio quality, thanks to its squelch function that effectively filters out unwanted noises during transmission, enabling you to receive clear and undistorted audio. Although the squelch function is not available in digital mode, the radio automatically eliminates noises from incoming signals, allowing you to still receive clear signals. And that’s not all; the gadget comes with a tone function that beeps to notify you when a transmission is complete.

Although the TYT MD UV-380 can be programmed manually, most reviews recommend programming it using its factory software that is available for download on its website. This allows you to easily customize the radio according to your needs.

The TYT MD-UV380 comes with 3000 channels grouped into 250 zones of 64 channels each. It also allows you to easily scan each channel for any activity using the menu selection or the programmable keys. What’s more, you can also add or delete channels from the scanning list. It also has a large internal memory that can accommodate 3000 channels and up to 100,000 contacts.

Like most other dmr radios we have reviewed, the TYT MD UV-380 allows you to set up several DMR Ids, allowing you to share it with other people if you want to. It also allows various calling options, including; group calls, private calls, and all calls, making it one of the most versatile dmr radios in the market.

The radio features a maximum power output of 5 watts, which boosts its transmitting range, although if you want to conserve battery power, it is best to set it at its lowest power output level of 1 watt. It also comes with a 2000mAh battery that is guaranteed to last for a very long time from a single recharge.

Key Features

  • Operates in both digital and analog modes.
  • Operates on both VHF and UHF frequency capabilities ranging between 136-174MHz(VHF) and 400-480MHz(UHF)
  • Accommodates 3000 channels and 100,000 contacts.
  • Maximum power output level of 5 watts.
  • 6.25-inch dual-band antenna.
  • Compatible with MOTOTRBO DMR radios.
  • 2000mAh battery.
  • Supports private calls, all calls, and group calls.
  • SMS function.

Pros

  • It is very durable.
  • It is versatile.
  • Operates in both digital and analog modes.
  • It allows one to set up multiple DMR Ids.
  • It is very affordable.
  • It has a large internal memory.

Cons

  • Manually programming the radio can be a bit cumbersome.

7. BTECH DMR-6X2 (DMR and Analog)7-watt Dual-Band Two-way Radio(Best Dual-Band DMR Mobile Radio)

BTECH DMR-6X2

We picked the BTECH DMR-6X2 (DMR and Analog) 7-watt Dual-Band Two-Way Radio as the best dual-band dmr mobile radio. The device is packed with cutting-edge features and has exceptional functionality that is guaranteed to impress you. 

For starters, the radio has a strong yet classic design, so it is guaranteed to last for a very long time before showing any signs of wear and tear. It weighs approximately 306g with the battery attached, so it is very lightweight and portable. What’s more, it is FCC Part-90 certified, making it ideal for amateur use.

The device features a 1.77-inch TFT display that is perfectly laid out for easier navigation and operation. The display also comes with a blue background color that is perfect during the day and a black contrast background color that is perfect during the night. And there’s more; thanks to its display hold feature, the display holds a received signal’s information until another signal is received.

The BTECH DMR-6X2 operates on VHF and UHF frequency bands ranging between 136-174MHz(VHF) and 400-480MHz(UHF). With higher frequency ranges, the radio has better transmissions within a specific area. It also comes with a 6.25-inch dual-band antenna that has excellent sensitivity and perfectly captures and transmits frequencies, enabling you to receive clear VHF and UHF signals.

Most btech DMR-6×2 reviews are impressed by its audio quality thanks to its adjustable squelch function that does a great job of eliminating noises from incoming signals and adjustable volume control, enabling you to receive clear and undistorted audio.

The gadget takes pride in having a large internal memory that accommodates 10000 contacts, 4000 channels grouped into zones of 250 channels each, and 250000 DMR contacts. The manufacturers of the BTECH DMR-6X2 have taken it up a notch higher, allowing you to enter multiple scan lists per channel. What’s more, you can enter both analog and digital channels into the scan lists. The device features a digital simplex repeater that enables it to record, store, and re-transmit a signal. It also has a programming software that allows you to program and customize it according to your personal preferences. Although the software allows you to import code plugs from certain DMR radios, you cannot export its code plug to other radios.

The radio has a maximum power output of about 7 watts on both VHF and UHF, with four selectable power output levels that do an exceptional job of enhancing its transmit range and saving battery power. It also comes with two batteries; a high-capacity 3100mAh battery and a 2100mAh battery. The first battery lasts for about 35 hours, while the second one lasts about 19 hours.

Key Features

  • Operates on both VHF and UHF frequency capabilities ranging between 136-174MHz(VHF) and 400-480MHz(UHF).
  • Maximum power output of 7 watts.
  • Accommodates 10,000 contacts, 200,000 DMR contacts, and 4000 channels grouped into zones of 250 channels each.
  • TFT display.
  • Compatible with DMR Tier 1 and 2 radios.
  • 3100mAh and 2100mAh batteries.

Pros

  • It is very versatile.
  • It is easy to program and operate.
  • It has a large internal memory.
  • It has excellent audio quality.
  • The batteries last for a very long time from a single recharge.

Cons

  • It can only be programmed on a Windows computer.

Check out Best Baofeng Radio Reviews

8. Alinco DJ-MD5TGP Dual-Band DMR VHF/UHF Transceiver

Alinco DJ-MD5TGP

Wrapping up our list is the Alinco DJ-MD5TGP Dual-Band DMR VHF/UHF Transceiver. Sure, it’s not as sophisticated as most DMR radios in the market, but it is a simple DMR radio that gets the job done. It is made of high-quality polycarbonate material, so it is very durable. What’s more, it also has a waterproof IP rating of IP54, meaning it can withstand even the strongest impacts and accidental splashes of water. The radio weighs about 256g, so it is very lightweight and portable.

The device features a 1.77-inch full-color display that, although is small, perfectly displays all the information for more comfortable viewing and operation. It operates on both VHF and UHF frequency capabilities ranging between 136-17MHz(VHF) and 400-480MHz(UHF).

The Alinco DJ-MD5TGP takes pride in having excellent audio quality, thanks to its AMBE+2 vocoder that eliminates unwanted noises from incoming signals, enabling you to receive crystal clear audio even in noisy areas, making it suitable for commercial use. It also has a large internal memory that supports 4000 channels grouped into 250 zones and 160,000 contacts.

The device has a couple of features that make it stand out among other DMR radios. For starters, it features a modern built-in GPS that automatically determines and displays the distances between you and other ham radio operators. It also comes with a digital voice recorder that can record up to 14 hours of transmission. Like most DMR radios, the device features TDMA technology that doubles a single 12.5KHz channel’s capacity, enabling you to make two separate calls simultaneously through the same channel.

Another great thing about this radio is that it comes with 100 programmable SMS messages of up to 200 characters that can easily be edited using the keypads. What’s more, it also allows you to easily import DMR contacts from other DMR Tier 1 and 2 radios. It also supports a variety of calling options, like private calls, group calls, and all calls. The gadget features a maximum power output of about 5 watts with four selectable power levels that boost its transmit range and help conserve battery power. It also comes with a 1700mAh battery. Although it does not have a long battery life, can last long when you set the radio to its lowest power setting.

Key Features

  • Operates on both VHF and UHF frequency capabilities ranging between 136-174MHz(VHF) and 400-480MHz(UHF).
  • Operates in both digital and analog modes.
  • Utilizes TDMA technology.
  • Compatible with Tier 1 and 2 DMR radios.
  • 1.77-inch display.
  • Accommodates 4000 channels and 160,000 contacts.
  • SMS function.
  • 1700mAh battery.

Pros

  • It is effortless to use.
  • Comes with a GPS function.
  • It is durable.
  • It is waterproof.
  • It has excellent audio quality.
  • It has a large internal memory.

Cons

  • Its battery does not last long.

Buyers Guide for Best DMR Radio Review

Judging by the reviews, it’s pretty clear that there are a lot of DMR radios out in the market. But unfortunately, not every radio is perfect for you. So, to find a DMR radio that suits your personal needs, there a couple of things you to keep in mind. Well, let’s take at them, shall we?

  1. Display

 DMR radios in the market have different display screens. They can either have a monochrome or multi-colored display, but that is not as important. When choosing a radio to purchase, always go for one that has a large enough display so you won’t have a hard time viewing the displayed information. The display should also have a great background color and an adjustable backlight that allows you to brighten or dim it whenever you want to. It should also be able to display all the necessary information like the caller ID, channel number, frequency, to mention a few, because believe it or not, there are some DMR radios that do not.

  • Audio quality

This is one of the critical features that determine the overall quality of the radio. When purchasing a DMR radio, choose one that has several features that enhance its audio quality. These features include; volume adjustment function, the squelch function, AMBER+2 feature, to name a few.

  • Number of channels

For effective communication on DMR radios, you require a channel for every frequency you monitor, each color code, and talk group you have. So, when purchasing a DMR radio, go for one that accommodates many channels because the more channels you can access, the more people you can communicate to.

  • Frequency bands

When choosing a DMR radio to purchase, it is best to opt for one that operates on both VHF and UHF frequency bands. This is because you can operate on whichever band that is stronger and more effective at your current location. What’s more, there are some areas where the UHF band interferes with military radars and other UHF public services, so you can use the VHF band instead.

  • Antenna

Most people do not realize it, but an antenna greatly determines how effective a DMR radio is. So, when choosing a DMR radio to buy, always go for one that has a powerful antenna that can perfectly capture and transmit frequencies even in areas with poor signals without affecting the audio.

  • Programming software and cable

Most DMR radio manufacturers offer programming softwares free of charge on their website. On the other hand, some manufacturers charge for the programming software and firmware updates. When choosing a DMR radio, it’s essential to consider what its purpose is. So, if it is for amateur use, it is best to go for one that offers free programming software, and if it is for commercial use, then a DMR radio that has a chargeable software is better since it is constantly updated and improved.

The programming cable is also crucial when purchasing a DMR radio. Before deciding which one you want to buy, choose one that comes with a programming cable to avoid purchasing one that is not compatible with the device.

  • Extra Features

Like any other device, extra features boost the overall performance. So, when choosing a DMR radio, go for one that comes with a couple of additional features like the Bluetooth and hotspot connectivity, built-in GPS, to mention a few.

Frequently Asked Questions Best DMR Radio

  1. What can you do with DMR radio?

DMR radios come with state-of-the-art features and capabilities. These include; excellent audio quality, the ability to make two independent calls, one a single channel, advanced security features, to mention a few that enable you to carry a lot of ham related activities compared to analog radios.

  1. Does DMR require license?

Yes and no. As we mentioned earlier, DMR has three tiers. While tier 1 enabled DMRs do not require a license to operate, tier 2 and 3 DMR radios do need a license to use.

  1. How do you program a DMR radio?

Unlike analog ham radios, DMR radios have to be programmed using its software. But not to worry since programming is not as hard as it sounds. Here are simple steps on how to program a DMR radio.

  • Install the radio’s programming software on your computer. Most manufacturers provide the software on their official websites.
  • Proceed to switch off the radio, plug in the appropriate programming cable, and attach it to the computer. Remember to switch it on once you have plugged it in.
  • Refresh the device’s code plug in the computer. A code plug is actually a fancy name for the software file that you get to load into your radio to guide it on how to work.
  • Begin programming the device.
  • Once you are done, upload the code plug into your radio. It’s important to keep in mind that you can edit the code plug and re-upload it if you notice some mistakes.

Final ThoughtsBest DMR Radio Reviews

It’s no surprise DMR radios have revolutionized the radio communication industry. With modern features, cutting-edge technology, and exceptional functionality, these devices are guaranteed to enhance your ham radio activities.

From the reviews, the Radioddity GD-77 scoops the title of the best DMR radio. Although all other DMR radios perform well, the Radioddity stands out among them because of its way more advanced features and capabilities. We picked the BTECH DMR-6X2 as the best dual-band DMR mobile radio because it is designed to enable you to operate on both VHF and UHF frequency bands without any difficulties.

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