What is the best GMRS radio?
GMRS radios have managed to stay on top of the communication industry even though we currently live in a smartphone-centric era, simply because of how reliable, convenient, and easy they are to use. Unfortunately, as the demand for these devices continues to rise, so does the number of GMRS radios in the market. This makes it challenging to get a high-quality unit that offers nothing short of the best when it comes to features, durability, and overall functionality.
Well, not to worry because we dove into burgeoning research and put together all-inclusive reviews of what we conclude are the best GMRS radios out in the market today. below are the Best GMRS Radio at a glimpse:-
- BTECH GMRS-V1 – Best Dual Band GMRS Radio
- Midland- GXT1000VP4 – Best Handheld GMRS Radio (Best Seller)
- Motorola T260TP – Best FRS GMRS Radio
- Ansoko Long Range Walkie Talkie – Best Battery Life
- COBRA ACXT1035R FLT – Best Waterproof GMRS Radio
- BTECH Mobile GMRS-50X1 – Most Powerful GMRS Radio
What is GMRS Radio?
A General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) radio is a unit that is crafted for short-range two-way communication. These radios are FCC Part-95 certified, enabling them to operate on channels between 462 and 467 MHz. Unlike Family Radio Service (FRS) radios, GMRS radios require a license to use. Well, not to worry because unlike ham radios, you do not need to be trained and tested to obtain a GMRS radio license. Instead, you can purchase it for $70 after filling out an application form either manually or online through the FCC Universal Licensing System. Another great thing about the license is that it is valid for ten years upon purchase, and it can be extended to your immediate family members. With that being said, let’s take a closer look at its advantages, shall we?
Benefits of using GMRS Radios
- More access to nearby repeaters
Most GMRS radios (not all) are designed to allow you to have access to a nearby repeater. A repeater is a radio with an antenna located at a high point like a mountain or tower that automatically “repeats” your audio when you transmit, enabling it to be heard at a greater range. Typically, when you communicate on a repeater, you can expand your communication range up to 50 miles, compared to the average 20 miles.
- The ability to use better antennas
Unlike internal antennas, external antennas are rarely affected by the available obstructions like buildings and vehicles, resulting in better performance than internal antennas. GMRS radios are among the few types of radios that allow users to attach external antennas. With GMRS radios, you have the pleasure of choosing a longer antenna that will enable you to have clear and smooth communication.
- More output power
GMRS radios have an output power of up to 50 watts. With this much output power, you will have a more precise communication at a broader range within a particular area.
- Access to the semi-duplex mode
GMRS radios feature a semi-duplex feature that enables you to send and receive signals simultaneously through a single channel. This allows you to have clear and smooth conversations with other radio operators without having to wait for one person’s response at a time. And that’not all; this feature also allows you to watch two channels simultaneously on the display, allowing you to have a smooth and easy operation.
- Access to GPS and messaging functions
In 2017, the FCC made some huge positive changes to GMRS. Among them included allowing GMRS radios to possess short data messaging applications like GPS location information and text messaging, allowing you to have more than one way of communicating with your friends and family.
Wondering which is the best GMRS radio for you? Well, let’s jump right into our reviews to find out, shall we?
Best GMRS Radio Reviews 2021
1. BTECH GMRS-V1 GMRS Two-Way Radio (Best GMRS Radio)
Taking up the top spot on our list as the overall best GMRS radio is the BTECH GMRS-V1 GMRS Two-Way Radio. This device is a perfect fusion of cutting-edge, customizable features, exceptional performance, and top-quality design, making it stand out among other GMRS radios out in the market.
The radio has a robust yet modern design, so it is guaranteed to last for a long time before showing any wear and tear signs. BTECH is best known for producing compact radios, and this particular one no exception. It is designed to fit seamlessly in your palm without having that bulky feeling, making it one of the best portable gmrs radios around.
The BTECH GMRS-V1 GMRS Two-Way Radio features a large dual-line tri-color LCD screen with three selectable background colors, allowing you to customize it to your liking. Another great thing about this device’s LCD is that it can be synchronized, enabling it to display a lot of information at once.
The gadget comes with 30 channels; eight repeater channels, and 22 non-repeater channels that are pre-programmed to the GMRS frequencies. What’s more, it also comes with 98 extra memory slots that can be programmed to store any UHF or VHF channels whose frequencies range between 136 and 174 MHz(VHF) and 400-520MHz(UHF). This allows you to store NOAA weather channels, marine frequencies, or any other channel within that frequency range. Pretty impressive, right? But wait, there’s more.
The radio has a maximum output power of 5 watts, which according to most btech gmrs-v1 reviews, is almost ten times more than that of most GMRS radios available in the market. It also comes with a dual-band A-V-85 antenna that perfectly captures and transmits frequencies, making it possible to obtain clear VHF and UHF signals. Owing to its maximum output power and antenna, the radio can perfectly transmit on the repeater channels on a maximum range of 15 to 20 miles, depending on the available obstructions. However, if you would like to ramp up the range, you can purchase another longer external antenna. Before buying an antenna, always make sure that it can be attached to the radio’s SMA female antenna connector. Most best gmrs radio reviews recommend purchasing an antenna with an SWR of 1:5:1 or lower to prevent the radio from overheating and getting damaged during transmission.
Thanks to the radio’s FM broadcast capability, you can listen to your favorite radio station while transmitting. What’s more, when you receive a signal, the FM radio is automatically interrupted so you can not miss any incoming calls.
One of the highlights of this device is its programming. You can program it both manually using the front panel keypads or using the CHIRP programming software on your PC. Programming allows you to decide what is to be displayed on the LCD and how the display pattern will be, customize the single/dual PTT button according to your needs, to mention a few. Although most reviews have pointed out that the process is cumbersome, it is pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it.
It also comes with a 7.4V 1800mAh battery, can last for a couple of days from a single recharge. However, it is essential to carry along an extra battery if this one runs out of power. And that’s not all; the device also features 50 analog CTCSS and 346 DCS private tones that you can use on all of the 128 channels to help lock out any unwanted transmissions, ensuring that you have private, clear, and fast communications. It is also endowed with extra features like a keypad lockout feature, VOX function, an in-built flashlight, to mention a few that boost its overall performance.
To wrap it all up, if you are looking for a GMRS radio that allows you to tweak it to the exact unit you want, then this is a perfect choice.
- Thirty pre-programmed channels ( 8 repeater channels and 22 non-repeater channels) and 98 additional receive slots.
- Large dual-line tri-color LCD screen that is synchronizable.
- A-V-85 dual-band antenna.
- 7.4V 1800mAh battery.
- Compatible with CHIRP programming software.
- Maximum output power of 5 watts.
- It is a high-quality gmrs radio.
- It is very durable.
- It is affordable.
- It allows the user to add both VHF and UHF channels.
- It has excellent battery life.
- It has a synchronizable display.
- Some customers have mentioned that it has a slow scan rate.
2. Midland GXT1000VP4 50 channel Waterproof GMRS Two-Way Radio (Best Seller & Cheap Pick)
Midland has a reputation for producing premium two-way radios that offer nothing short of the best in terms of audio quality, range, features, and overall performance. This particular one is no exception.
The package comes with two radios, which, according to most midland gxt1000vp4 reviews, are affordable compared to the cost of two separate radios. The device has a durable design with a modern twist to it. It is made of high-quality plastic material that is guaranteed to withstand even the most substantial impacts. The unit has a JIS4 waterproof rating, so it’s highly water-resistant but not waterproof. Its outer casing is also designed to completely cover its most sensitive parts, meaning it’s also highly dustproof.
The radio is very small in size but a bit chunky. But not to worry, since it can easily fit in your palm without having that heavy feeling. Another great thing about this radio is that it has a simple layout, with its buttons perfectly arranged on the front except for the Push-to-talk button located on the radio’s left-hand side. This makes it pretty straightforward to use, especially if you are a newbie. What’s more, the controls are rubberized and large enough, enabling you to easily press them even while wearing gloves.
The gadget also features a black and white backlit display that is large enough for easier visibility regardless of the day’s time. However, one of its downsides is that it does not display a lot of useful information, making navigation and operation quite daunting.
The device features 50 channels, 22 primary channels, and 28 privacy code channels. Unlike the BTECH GMRS-V1, it is not repeater capable, which is a bummer since it helps increase the transmit range. The gadget has a maximum output power of 5 watts, making it one of the most potent GMRS radios around. Thanks to its maximum output power, it has a maximum range of up to 36 miles, depending on the available obstructions. And that’s not all; the device features 142 CTCSS and DCS private codes that allow up to 3124 channel options for enhanced privacy during transmissions.
The Midland GXT1000VP4 is packed with a ton of extra features that are guaranteed to impress you. For starters, it has a group call feature that allows you to create a group with your friends and family. What’s more, it also comes with a direct call feature that enables you to single out a particular radio when you are in a group and comfortably have a private conversation. Isn’t that amazing?
It also features an auto-scan function that automatically scans for active channels, including NOAA weather channels that keep you updated with the latest weather forecasts. The device also features an SOS siren that sends out a distress call in the event of an emergency.
Another one of its downsides is its batteries. Most reviews have mentioned that the rechargeable batteries last for only 9 hours. However, it is compatible with AA alkaline batteries, allowing you to carry an extra pack as a backup power source. It also has high/medium/low power settings that will enable you to control power consumption. It also comes with a DC adapter that allows you to recharge it on your vehicle’s cigarette lighter port when using it on the road.
In other words, if you cannot set your hands on a BTECH GMRS-V1 GMRS Radio, then this is a perfect alternative.
- Fifty channels; 22 primary channels and 28 privacy code channels.
- 142 CTCSS and DCS privacy codes.
- NOAA weather channels.
- Maximum output power of 5 watts.
- Maximum range of 36 miles.
- Extra features like automatic scan function, group call feature, direct call feature, SOS siren, whisper feature, VOX Hands-free function, and vibrate alert.
- It is easy to operate.
- It is highly water-resistant.
- It has a sturdy and durable structure.
- It has a great transmit range.
- The headsets are of low quality.
- The LCD screen does not display a lot of meaningful information.
- It has poor battery life.
- Most customers have pointed out that the menu system is quite complicated.
Check out Best DMR Radio Review
Next up is the Motorola T260TP Talkabout Radio. Known for its versatility and reliability, this device is guaranteed to impress you. Like the midland gxt1000pv4, this package contains three radios, which again is very affordable compared to the cost of three separate radios.
The device measures approximately 6.42 by 2.13 by 1.24 inches and weighs about 6.4 ounces, making it very lightweight and portable. It operates on both GMRS and FRS frequency capabilities ranging between 462-467MHz within the UHF band. This makes it compatible with almost all the GMRS and FRS radio brands with channels within that range.
It also comes with 22 channels with 121 CTCSS and DCS private codes and 2662 channel options for enhanced privacy during transmissions. What’s more, it also comes with an extra 11 NOAA weather channels that are active for 24 hours, ensuring that you do not miss any weather updates. Its automatic scan function does an exceptional job of automatically scanning each channel, including the NOAA weather channels for any activity. And that’s not all; the device takes pride in having a maximum transmit range of up to 25 miles, depending on the available obstructions. This enables you to communicate clearly with people over long distances.
The motorola t260tp also features 20 call tones that are guaranteed to grab your caller’s attention before you answer. According to most motorola t260tp reviews, one of this radio’s downsides is its NiMH batteries. The batteries only last for 10 hours from a single recharge. However, you can opt to use AA batteries that will provide you with up to 29 hours of battery life. It also comes with a DC adapter cable allowing you to recharge it on your vehicle’s cigarette lighter port when operating it on the road.
Like the midland gxt1000pv4, the radio comes with extra features like low battery alert, keypad lock feature, and VOX Hands-free function, to name a few that enhance its overall functionality.
- GMRS/FRS frequency capabilities ranging between 462-467MHz.
- Twenty-two channels with 121 CTCSS with DCS private codes per channel and up to 2662 channel options.
- NiMH rechargeable batteries.
- Maximum transmit range of 25 miles.
- It is easy to operate.
- It is lightweight and compact for easier portability.
- It has a robust structure.
- It has an impressive transmit range.
- Some customers have pointed out that the NOAA weather channels cannot be accessed in some areas.
Check out Best Handheld Ham Radio
Suppose you are looking for a set of durable, reliable, and beginner-friendly GMRS radios that you can use in indoor to indoor and outdoor transmissions in an urban setting. In that case, this should be your go-to radios. Ansoko has been known to produce radios of exceptional quality, and this set is no exception. The package comes with six radios, making it one of the best gmrs radios for family and group use.
The device measures about 4.53 by 1.8 by 2.36 inches and weighs approximately 5.6 ounces, making it one of the best handheld gmrs radios around. It is made of high-quality material enabling it to withstand even harshest impacts.
The gadget operates on the UHF band with frequencies ranging between 400-470MHz. Since UHF waves are stronger within a short transmit range, the signals can easily penetrate obstructions like buildings, making it suitable for people living in urban areas. However, since it is a UHF only radio, it cannot operate on VHF frequency capabilities, so its long-distance range is limited, which contradicts the manufacturer’s claim that it is a long-range gmrs radio.
The Ansoko Long-range Walkie Talkie comes with 16 channels that are pre-programmed to the UHF frequency ranges. What’s more, it also has 105 CTCSS and 50 DCS private codes that enable you to have more clear and private communications. However, it does not feature or have access to NOAA weather channels, which is a downside. Another thing that most Ansoko Long-range walkie talkie reviews like about this radio is its simple design. It is crafted in a way that is straightforward to use, making it suitable, especially for newbies. Apart from being a perfect in-house gmrs radio, it is also ideal for camping, hiking, road trips, warehouse communication, to mention a few, making it one of the most versatile gmrs radios out in the market.
The gadget has a maximum output power of 2 watts, which is pretty impressive for a radio of its caliber. Thanks to its high transmit power, it can transmit on a maximum range of 4 miles or more depending on the level of obstructions. It also comes with a 1500 mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery that lasts for 8 to 12 hours of continuous working time and about 5 to 7 days of standby time, so you don’t have to worry about it shutting down amid your transmissions.
- Frequency range of between 400 and 470MHz.
- .Operates only on the UHF band.
- Maximum output power of 4 watts.
- Sixteen channels, 105 CTCSS, and 50 DCS private codes.
- A typical transmit range of 4 miles.
- 1500 mAh rechargeable battery.
- 4.45-inch detachable antenna.
- It has exceptional clarity regardless of the available obstructions and environmental conditions.
- It has great battery life.
- It has a beginner-friendly interface.
- It is durable and portable.
- It has a limited long-distance transmit range.
If there’s any gmrs radio that is designed for extreme outdoor activities, it’s the Cobra ACXT1035R FLT Floating Walkie Talkie. The device is endowed with features and capabilities that make it perfect for hiking, camping, and fishing, to mention a few.
It’s hard not to notice the robustness of this device. Just by holding it, you will notice that it has a durable casing that can handle anything that mother nature throws its way. It is also very compact and has a rubberized grip, making it one of the best handheld gmrs radios.
The device has a waterproof IP rating of IPX7, meaning it is highly waterproof and dustproof. According to most cobra acxt1035r reviews, one capability that makes this radio stand out is its floating mechanism. In case you accidentally drop it in water, the gadget instantly floats thanks to its floating mechanism. And that’s not all; the device also has a bright orange core that makes it easy to retrieve it, in case you cannot locate it. We love this gmrs radio because it is actually one of the few radios with this capability and is fully waterproof.
While the manufacturer claims that it has a maximum transmit range of 37 miles, you can communicate on a range of about 5 miles at maximum output power. And don’t get us wrong, yes, it can transmit on a range of 37 miles, but that will be possible only if you are in a place where there are absolutely no obstructions, like on a mountain top.
The device comes with 22 channels that are pre-programmed to the standard GMRS frequencies. It also comes with up to 2662 channel combinations for better transmissions. What’s more, it also has 10 NOAA weather channels that keep you posted on the latest weather updates. Another highlight of this device is its Rewind-Say-Again feature. This feature replays any missed incoming transmission, so you cannot miss out on any important information.
The gadget comes with NiMH rechargeable batteries. The good thing about them is that they come pre-charged, so all you have to do is to set up the radio, and you are good to go. The batteries are also guaranteed to last for a long time from a single recharge, so you don’t have to worry about it shutting down during transmissions.
Like most other gmrs radios we have reviewed, this device comes with extra features like the VOX Hands-free function, LED flashlight, Vibralert, to name a few that enhance its overall performance.
- Twenty-two channels that operate on the standard GMRS frequencies.
- 2662 channel combinations and 10 NOAA weather channels.
- IPX7 waterproof rating.
- Rewind-Say-Again feature.
- Maximum transmit range of 37 miles.
- It is very durable.
- It is compact for easier portability.
- It is fully waterproof.
- Its Rewind-Say-Again feature ensures that you do not miss out on any incoming signals.
- Some customers have pointed out that its buttons are stiff and difficult to push.
Next up is the Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio. Like the cobra acxt1035r, this device is an excellent option for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, camping, to mention a few.
Motorola has a reputation for producing radios that literally stand out, and this one is no exception. It sports a bright neon green color that makes it easy to find even in areas with low lighting. The device measures 2.5 by 1.5 by 7.5 inches and weighs approximately 8.4 ounces, which is quite heavy but not too heavy to carry inside your backpack. It is made of high-quality thick plastic material, making it way more durable than other gmrs radios made of plastic.
Like the cobra acxt1035r, this radio has earned its reputation for being highly dustproof and waterproof. It has a waterproof IP rating of IP67, which accounts for its durable waterproof casing that completely covers all the sensitive parts from being damaged by water. With that being said, if you accidentally drop in water, it will still work perfectly. Most motorola t600 reviews are impressed by its floating mechanism. In case it falls inside a water body, it instantly floats for easier retrieval.
The device comes with 22 channels that pre-set to the standard GMRS frequencies. It also comes with 121 CTCSS and DCS private codes and up to 2000 channel options, enabling you to have clear and private communications. It also comes with 11 NOAA weather channels, so you cannot miss out on the latest weather updates. And that’s not all; the radio also features 20 customizable call tones that are guaranteed to grab your callers’ attention before you answer any incoming calls. What’s more, it also allows you to have an “end-of-call” tone that notifies whoever you are communicating with that you have finished transmitting.
The radio has a maximum transmit range of 36 miles. However, it is challenging to communicate clearly over the maximum range since it depends on many factors like the terrain and environmental conditions, to name a few. Most motorola t600 reviews mention that you can achieve a range of about 6 miles in rural areas and 3 miles in urban areas. The device has a maximum output power of 5 watts with two selectable power settings, allowing you to adjust it whenever you want to.
The gadget comes with Ni-MH rechargeable batteries that last for 11 hours from a single recharge, which is low compared to other radios of its caliber. However, the good thing is it is compatible with 3 AA batteries, which last for up to 23 hours. So, you can carry them as a backup power source in case the original batteries run out of power. It also comes with a ton of additional features that ramp up its overall functionality.
- Twenty-two channels that are pre-set to the standard GMRS frequencies.
- 121 privacy codes and 2000 channel combinations.
- IP67 waterproof rating.
- Extra features like the SOS emergency siren, VOX Hands-free function, LED flashlight, 20 customizable call tones, to name a few.
- It is very durable.
- It is fully waterproof.
- It has a decent transmit range.
- Its buttons are large enough, making it easy to operate it even with gloves on.
- It is compatible with most GMRS and FRS radios.
- It is easy to operate.
- It is a bit heavy.
- Its menu system is quite complicated.
Like most other BTECH radios, the BTECH Mobile GMRS-50X1 50-Watt GMRS Two-Way Radio comes with top-of-the-line features and exceptional performance that are guaranteed to impress you. For starters, it is well-built with top-quality material, so it’s guaranteed to last for a very long time before showing any signs of wear and tear. It is Part 95 certified and is compatible with almost all the GMRS and FRS radio brands out in the market.
The device features a new and improved OLED synchronizable display, allowing you to decide the information displayed on it. What’s more, the screen has nine different text colors, allowing you to customize the information’s color to your liking. The display is bright and clear for easier visibility regardless of the day’s time.
Like all GMRS radios around, this device comes with 23 channels; 15 non-repeater channels and 8 repeater channels that are pre-programmed to the standard GMRS frequencies. What’s more, it also features over 200 receive slots, allowing you to scan and store NOAA weather channels, marine channels, or any of your favorite channels that operate on both VHF and UHF frequency bands ranging between 136-174MHz(VHF) and 400-520MHz(UHF). It also features 50 CTCSS and 346 DCS private codes, allowing you to have clear and private transmissions.
The radio has excellent audio quality thanks to its microphone gain control that allows you to increase or decrease it to enhance your voice’s clarity. However, most Btech gmrs-50×1 reviews recommend adjusting it gradually to prevent the microphone from overheating. It also features a DTMF gain control that boosts the audio quality. The device is also repeater capable, enabling you to communicate clearly over long distances.
Like most other gmrs radios we have reviewed, the btech gmrs 50x-1 features an automatic scan function that automatically scans each channel for any activity. However, things are a little bit different with this radio. The scanning function allows you to add and delete channels from the scanning list on the go. This saves you from the hassle of re-programming it every time you need to make any changes. It also has an FM broadcast capability, allowing you to listen to your favorite radio station while transmitting.
The device comes with an antenna that does an exceptional job of capturing and transmitting frequencies, enabling you to receive crisp and clear signals. However, to communicate on a broader range, we recommend getting yourself a longer external antenna. However, when using an external antenna, always check the SWR measurements to prevent your radio from overheating and eventually getting damaged.
The BTECH GMRS-50X1 has a maximum output power of 50 watts, making it the most powerful GMRS radio on our list. It also features three selectable output power settings; 50 watts (high), 20 watts (medium), and 5 watts (low), allowing you to adjust the transmit power for longer battery life. The device also comes with a DC adapter cable, allowing you to comfortably recharge and use it in your vehicle.The device is compatible with the latest CHIRP programming software, allowing you to easily program it according to your needs.
- Twenty-three channels; 15 non-repeater channels and 8 repeater channels that are pre-programmed to the standard GMRS frequencies.
- Over 200 additional receive slots, allowing the user to scan and store channels that operate on both VHF and UHF frequency capabilities ranging between 136-174MHz(VHF) and 400-520MHz(UHF).
- Automatic scan function.
- Maximum output power of 50 watts with three selectable output power settings.
- Compatible with CHIRP programming software.
- FM broadcast capability.
- 50 CTCSS and 346 DCS private codes.
- It has a clear and bright display.
- It has excellent audio quality.
- It has a high output power.
- It allows one to add more channels.
- It requires an external antenna to cover wider ranges.
8. Midland MX115, 15-Watt GMRS Micromobile, Two-Way Radio( Best GMRS Mobile Radio)
Wrapping up our list is the Midland MXT115, 15-Watt GMRS Micro mobile Two-Way Radio. This radio is one of the three Midland MXT radios introduced to the market back in 2015. Judging by its looks, you will notice that it’s not your typical gmrs radio. Most midland mxt115 reviews point out that it’s more of a CB radio, but it’s more compact, powerful and is endowed with top-of-the-line features.
The device is made of high-quality material, enabling it to withstand even the most substantial impacts. It measures approximately 4.3 by 4.7 by 4 inches, so it’s very compact compared to the other two midland mxt gmrs radios.
As expected, the radio features 22 channels; 15 non-repeater channels, and 8 repeater channels that are pre-programmed to the standard GMRS frequencies. Most customers like that it is repeater capable, allowing one to transmit clearly over long distances. It also comes with 10 NOAA weather channels and weather alerts that keep you updated with the latest weather forecasts. What’s more, it also comes with 142 CTCSS/DCS private codes that enable you to have clear and more private communications. Thanks to its magnetic antenna mount, you can get yourself a longer external antenna and easily mount it on top of your vehicle if you want to, for clear and smooth transmissions over wider ranges.
The device features a large display with eight selectable background colors, allowing you to customize it to your liking. Although the manufacturer claims that it has a maximum transmit range of 50 miles, you can only achieve a maximum range of between 5 to 10 miles depending on factors like the terrain and environmental conditions. It also has a maximum output power of 15 watts which goes a long way in extending its transmit range.
The radio has exceptional audio quality thanks to its high-quality microphone that projects clear and undistorted audio and the adjustable squelch function that allows you to reduce the background noise from incoming signals. What’s more, it also has an external speaker jack, enabling you to plug in one to help boost your audio quality.
The device features a flip frame detachable mounting bracket that allows you to mount it vertically or horizontally on your vehicle dashboard. What’s more, it also comes with a DC power adapter cable, allowing you to recharge and use while on the road. Like most gmrs radios we have reviewed, this radio features a set of additional features like the roger beep, tone alert, five selectable call tones, to mention a few that enhance its overall performance.
- Twenty-two channels; 15 non-repeater channels and 8 repeater channels.
- Maximum transmit range of 50 miles.
- Maximum output power of 15 watts.
- 142 CTCSS/DCS private codes.
- 10 NOAA weather channels and weather alerts.
- Backlit display with eight different background colors.
- Extra features like the roger beep, tone alert, five selectable call tones, to name a few.
- It is very compact, making it the best gmrs mobile radio.
- It is durable.
- It has an impressive transmit range.
- It has a large and clear display.
- Most customers are disappointed that its display does not have the flip feature like the other Midland MXT radios.
Buying Guide for Best GMRS Radio
Its no doubt that there are a ton of excellent GMRS radios out in the market. Unfortunately, not all of them are perfect for you. With the huge number of GMRS radios flooding the market, you need to keep a couple of factors in mind while in the hunt for the perfect radio. Well, let’s take a look at some of these factors, shall we?
- Transmit range
From the reviews, we have seen how the transmit range greatly determines how far you can communicate using your GMRS radio. For starters, do not always rely on what the manufacturer claims; otherwise, you will be disappointed. Sure, the maximum transmit range stated by the manufacturer is true, but that can only be achieved in an area where there are absolutely no obstructions. So, before purchasing a GMRS radio, check out some of the reviews on the internet and see how far that particular radio transmit range is in normal settings.
Another important thing to consider is the antenna. The quality and length of an antenna greatly determine the maximum communication range of the radio. Unfortunately, not all GMRS radios come with top-quality antennas. When choosing a GMRS radio to purchase, always opt for one that is compatible with most longer external antennas sold out in the market. Many best gmrs radio reviews also recommend paying close attention to the type of the antenna. There are two types of antennas; the stubby and whip antennas. According to a particular research, stubby antennas tend to decrease the transmit range by almost 30%. So, when shopping for a GMRS radio, opt for one that has a whip antenna.
- Security/Privacy options
If you are transmitting in a busy area, there is a high possibility that anyone can tune into and listen to the conversations on the channel that you are communicating on. So, when choosing a GMRS radio to buy, always go for one that has more than 100 Continuous Coded Squelch System (CTCSS) and Digital Code Squelch System (DCS) privacy codes. Having all these codes ensure that all your transmissions are secure and only accessible to the people intended to listen to them. CTCSS and DCS private codes also filter out some degree of unwanted noise from the channel you are communicating on, ensuring that your transmissions are clearer.
- Maximum output power
Another essential factor to consider is the maximum output power. Most people might not realize it, but the higher the maximum output power, the greater the transmit range, the easier it is to communicate in extreme conditions like harsh weather conditions. So, when looking for a GMRS radio to buy, always check its maximum or peak wattage on its package to get a rough idea of its highest possible output power and decide whether it is the ideal one for you.
- The overall quality and design
Anyone can agree that the overall design and quality of a GMRS radio significantly determines its functionality. When choosing a GMRS radio, always pay close attention to its material. Is it durable? Is it likely to withstand strong impacts? The design is also essential, as it determines whether operating it will be a walk in the park. When choosing a GMRS radio to buy, always go for one that has a user-friendly interface. It also should have large soft buttons, making it easy to press even while wearing gloves.
- Waterproof and dustproof levels
This factor depends on where you intend to use the radio. If you are going to use it indoors or in places like factories, warehouses, to name a few, then a GMRS radio that is water-resistant is perfect for you. If you plan to go fishing, hiking, camping, or any other extreme outdoor activities with the device, always go for one that is fully dustproof and waterproof since it will be able to work perfectly, even if it is immersed in water or has a lot of dust on it.
- Channel accessibility
When looking for a GMRS radio to purchase, it is best to go for one that has repeater channels since they will significantly increase your transmit range. GMRS radios that have additional receive slots that allow users to scan and store channels that operate on both VHF and UHF frequency capabilities are a great option since they will allow you to store NOAA weather channels or any of your favorite channels that are within those frequency ranges.
Frequently Asked Questions on Best GMRS Radio
- Do I need an FCC license to operate a GMRS radio?
Yes. But like we mentioned earlier, you do not have to be tested to obtain a GMRS license. Instead, you can purchase one for $70 after filling out an application form either manually or online through the FCC Universal Licensing System.
- Which is better, FRS or GMRS radio?
Both GMRS and FRS radios have their fair share of advantages and limitations. GMRS radios have a better transmit range, access to more channels, high output power, and a ton of extra features. On the other hand, FRS radios are more affordable, have more privacy, and do not need a license to operate.
- What are repeater channels?
Repeater channels are basically channels from a radio or station with an antenna at a higher point than pretty much any other antenna, like a mountain or tower. These channels automatically repeat your audio when you communicate, enabling it to be heard at a wider range.
Final verdict on Best GMRS Radio
GMRS radios are one of the most reliable communication devices that you can count on to keep in touch with your friends and family, regardless of the current situation. Hopefully, this comprehensive guide will help you make an informed decision on which one is perfect for you.
In this review, the BTECH GMRS-V1 GMRS Two-Way Radio manages to scoop the overall best GMRS radio title. sIts no doubt that all the other radios we have reviewed perform just as well, but none beats the over-the-top features and capabilities of this radio. Its features like the dual-monitor synchronizable display, 98 extra receive slots that allow users to scan and store VHF and UHF channels, semi-duplex mode, to mention a few, make it stand out in a sea of other high-end GMRS radios.
Following closely as our premium pick is the Midland GXT1000VP4 50-Channel Waterproof GMRS Two-Way Radio. Although it offers nothing short of the best in terms of features, range, and audio quality, the BTECH GMRS-V1 has better overall functionality.