The Ultimate Two-Way Radio Shopping Guide

Technology grows at a rapid speed which makes buying new items like two-way radios difficult. Do you need a radio for commercial use or are you looking to communicate for fun?

You have many options to choose from, most with advanced features. The buying process doesn’t have to be complicated.

Our two-way radio buying guide outlines what you need to know to find the perfect radio for your needs! Keep reading to learn more.

Types of Two-Way Radios

The key to buying a two-way radio is understanding the different types available on the market.

Most noncommercial radio users choose Family Radio Service (FRS) units. A General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) offers more power but requires a license to use.

More power means more range so consider what you’ll be using your two-way radio for. The two radio types do use the same channels.

If you do choose a GMRS radio, you can obtain a basic license through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).


When buying a two-way radio, you should also consider compatibility. Radios are set at different power levels that can still communicate with one another.

Communication works best when both radios are the same brand. For example, if you choose a Motorola radio and want to communicate with someone, they should also have a Motorola radio.

Follow this link to learn about the specific brand.

Radios made from the same brand have the same transmission signals and channel numbers. Radios from different brands can still communicate but you’ll have to use advanced features to make it work.

Transmission Range

When you buy a portable radio, you typically choose from radio power and range of coverage or real-world range of coverage.

The former transmits at a higher power to improve overall signal quality. There is a confusing correlation between range and wattage. This is why some manufacturers don’t say how much power their radios put out.

Real-world conditions aren’t optimal. This means that you won’t be able to maximize transmission range unless you have a line of sight to the other radio.

These factors inhibit the performance of two-way radios:

  • Topographic obstructions
  • Weather
  • Electromagnetic interference
  • Large metal surfaces

You won’t have an ideal range of coverage in environments with the above obstructions.


Two-way radios have different features, so you’ll want to decide which ones are right for your needs before buying.

Some of the most commonly sought out features are:

  • Privacy
  • Scanning
  • Easy pairing
  • Keypad lock
  • Calling features
  • Hands-free options
  • Power boost

In busy areas, the channels can be overworked with interference and cause the battery to die faster. A battery-saver mode feature will send the unit into low-power mode after a certain amount of time has passed.

Buy a Two-Way Radio Now!

Now that you’ve learned the important factors that go into two-way radio buying, you can find one or a set of radios that fit your needs.

Consider the types of radios on the market, compatibility, transmission range, and features. When you research each of these elements, you’ll find that shopping around is much easier.

For more informative articles like this, check out the other posts on our website.

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