Do you know what people miss the most when they’re in a survival situation? It’s communication. And why wouldn’t they? Maybe if they were tagged to any other teammate or person, they might’ve been able to act a bit braver in the situation.
But what if they had the best GMRS radio on their hand? It could’ve changed everything at that moment. After all, this wireless tech comes with the capability to take your words just to the right place where you want it to.
As you’re here, I’m guessing you’ve made your mind to get one for yourself. So, now as you’re ready to have a glance over the GMRS radio reviews, then let’s check them out.
What are the Best GMRS Radios?
In as good as smartphones are, they cannot do it all. For continuous communication, you need a GMRS radio. It allows you to always be connected to friends and teammates. Check below for seven of the best in the market in 2021.
Best Overall: BTECH GMRS-V1 GMRS Two-Way Radio
It gives you a good range and a high level of clarity for a long time.
Best for Emergency: Midland GXT1000AZ 50 Channel GMRS Radio
You get NOAA Weather Alert signals and an SOS siren option if you get into an emergency.
Best Compatability: BTECH Mobile GMRS-50X1 GMRS Two-Way Radio
It connects to all GMRS and FRS brands as well as allowing for PC programmability.
Best Handheld: Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio
It is lightweight, compact, has a keypad lock, and other great features that make this one of the best handheld radios currently available.
Best Battery Life: Topsung Long Range GMRS Walkie Talkie
This GMRS comes with a rechargeable 1800mAH battery that gives you long-lasting performance.
Most Budget-Friendly: Midland MTX 115 15 Watt GMRS Two-Way Radio
This midland offers you a 50-mile range, 15 channels, and clear notification better than most GMRS radios at this price point.
Best Range: Midland MTX 400 40 Watt GMRS Radio
You get an amazing 65-mile range of clear communication with this great GMRS radio in an open area.
Best GMRS Radio Reviews
Things get easier when you have the right options to choose from. But if there’re tons of them, then it starts going in the opposite direction. So, as there’re lots of options out there on GMRS radios, I’ve made a list of the bests, so that you can go for the right pick.
1. BTECH GMRS-V1 GMRS Two-Way Radio
- Channels: 128
- Weight: 8 Ounces
- Tuner: UHF, VHF
- VHF: 136-174 MHz
- UHF: 400-520 MHz
- 1800mAh Battery
I know, you always want to keep yourself connected with your team. Keeping that urge of staying connected in mind, BTECH has come up with the GMRS-V1.
BTECH has been successful once again on ensuring superior performance levels on both range and clarity with its tech. This GMRS two way radio has tons of other superb features to make you fall in love with it.
It all starts with a humongous battery capacity of 1800 Li-Ion Battery mAh that’ll keep you connected to your mates for a long time. Along with that, with its semi duplex system, you can monitor two different frequencies at a time.
To get rid of any nuisance channel, it has the channel skipping system. It’ll remove any channel from your scanning list if you don’t need them. So that it becomes easier for you to see everything in the dark, the bright LED flashlight will help you out there.
- With the scanning modes on channels, frequency, and tone, it becomes easy to track the right channel
- VOX for hands-free voice activation
- 128 channels ensure wide communicational advantage
- Channel-skip system to remove channels from the scan list
- Dual PTT for instant access on a channel from two
- Low power alert to remind you about the recharge time
2. Midland GXT1000AZ – 50 Channel GMRS Two-Way Radio
- Channels: 50
- Weight: 12.8 ounces
- 142 Privacy Codes
- Up to 36 Mile Range
- eVOX – Hands Free
- 10 NOAA Channels
What will you do if you’re in a rough atmosphere where you can’t compromise the constant communication? Sounds awfully challenging, right? To handle such situations, Midland has come up with a long-range GMRS radio. It’s the GXT1000AZ.
This amazing two-way radio comes with 22 primary and 28 extra channels. So, having supreme communicational convenience is just a button away from you now. Its SOS Siren option keeps you on the safe side by giving you scope to send a distress signal, in case you’re in an emergency.
With the humongous communication range of 36 miles, you can reach your team anytime. By the way, the clarity will still be superb even the distance is that much. Impressively, it features 50 GMRS channels, and you can go for channel scanning to check out any activity.
- JIS4 Waterproof feature to protect from light rain and water splash
- 142 Privacy Codes to keep the conversation secured
- 36-mile range to have contact with the team even in a remote location
- NOAA Weather Alert to get you the required updates the weather condition
- 10 call alerts to get notifications on calls from teammates
- The channels scan system tracks the right channels
3. BTECH Mobile GMRS-50X1 50 Watt GMRS Two-Way Radio
- Channels: 50
- Weight: 2.25 Pounds
- Power Output: 50 Watt
- VHF: 136-174.99MHz
- UHF: 400-520.99MHz
- Size: 7.5 x 5.7 x 1.85 inches
It takes guts to plan trips or camping in an area with the lowest signals. After all, they’re never free of risks and hazards. But when you have something like the BTECH Mobile GMRS-50X1 with you, it’s quite difficult to get lost.
The best thing about this 50W GMRS two way radio is its three power levels. On the basis of the channel you’re using, you can choose high (50W), mid (20W), and low (5W) just as per your preference.
To give it an exceptional edge, it comes with a feature where you can scan and select the tone you need for transmitting and filtering to listen to certain conversations as you like.
With its QUAD Watch mode, it can operate as multiple radios. This means you can select one channel as the primary one, yet can simultaneously watch 3 other frequencies at the same time.
- Compatibility to all brands of GMRS and FRS
- 256 channels with wideband and narrowband compatibility
- Efficient scanning option to track down additional channels (receive only)
- Compatibility with all CTCSS (PL tone) along with DCS (DPL tones)
- Large LCD Display to monitor activities easily
- PC programmability to modify the tone, bandwidth, and settings
4. Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio
- Channels: 22
- Weight: 0.54 Pounds
- Push-to-Talk (PTT)
- Up to 35 miles range
- 121 Privacy Codes
- Size: 7.78 x 2.4 x 1.5 inches
Motorola has never backed down when it comes to bringing efficient wireless techs. With the T600 Talkabout Radio, they’ve proved it again why they get counted within the bests. So, if you’re up for the best handheld GMRS radio, then you definitely should check this one out.
Along with being compatible with FRS/GMRS radios, it has tons of other features to awestruck you. One of them is the VibraCall feature. In case you’re in a place where you can’t let the ringing be intrusive, this feature will be highly helpful.
As it has the keypad lock prevents, the occurrence of any changes to your personalized settings is kind of impossible. On unfavorable situations like a power outage, this waterproof GMRS radio with long battery life can keep you connected up to 23 hours.
It has 22 Channels with 121 privacy codes. So, if you’re looking for an available channel, it shouldn’t be a problem to get one. As this one runs on battery, the low battery alert will let you know when the battery is about to die.
- The IP67 Waterproof feature has made it capable of withstanding submersion up to 1.5 min
- Water-active flashlight for helping the lower lights
- Red LED preserves the night vision
- Emergency alert button for helping in the SOS situation
- NOAA weather alerts to get an update on weather conditions
- 22 channels with 121 privacy codes keep conversation secured
5. Midland MXT115 15 Watt GMRS MicroMobile Two-Way Radio
Midland has been a reliable name on the radio segment for a long time. As a proof to their superiority once again, they’ve introduced the MXT115 MicroMobile Two-Way Radio.
This 15 Watt walkie talkie comes with both high and low powered GMRS channels. And guess what? The number of channels you’re getting is as much as 15, and as an addition to that, its 8 Repeater Channels have enhanced its communication range to a higher level.
The most amazing part of this piece of tech is its humongous communication range. If you’re in an open area, this bad boy can take your voice up to 50 miles away. This range is considered to exceptionally higher than any average GMRS radios.
Some other essential features have also made it a better one. It includes the keypad lock feature to keep the settings safe and Signal Strength Indicator to understand your range.
- 142 CTCSS/DCS privacy codes can save you from hearing unwanted transmissions
- NOAA weather scan and alert make sure you get all the required weather updates
- Multi-colored LCD display gives perfect visibility of the activity along with scope for customization
- High-grade microphone makes the communication smoother
- The Cross Compatibility allows you to connect with all Midland FRS/GMRS walkie talkies
- The USB charger port makes it easy to get charged from anywhere like PC, USB adaptors
6. Midland MXT400 40 Watt GMRS MicroMobile Two-Way Radio
If you were thinking that Midland is only focused on just low range walkie talkies, then it’s time to wave off that misunderstanding. Have you checked their MXT400? If the answer is no, then let me tell you more about this 40 Watt GMRSMicroMobile Two-Way Radio.
This sun of a gun comes with 15 High/Low Power GMRS channels. To make sure the communication range hits the ceiling superiority, its 8 Repeater Channels have pushed to a greater level.
Now you might be assuming that how much of a range I’m talking about exactly. It’s 65 miles! So, if you’re in an open area, the last thing you’ll have to worry about is the range over there.
- The 142 privacy codes provide many channel options to get rid of unwanted transmissions
- The keypad lock helps you to prevent activating of function accidentally
- Keystroke tones ensure confirmation if the button has been pressed properly or not
- Silent operation mode helps to turn off all tones when they are not necessary
- Compatibility feature makes it work with all the Midland FRS/GMRS radios
- Auto Power-Off (APO) system shuts it off after a certain idle time.
7. Topsung Long Range GMRS Walkie Talkies
You have a team to lead and need to maintain constant communication with them all the time? Then Topsung can help you out there with their GMRS Walkie Talkies.
Along with being compatible with FRS and GMRS radios, it comes with a bunch of impressive features to be your next best walkie talkie. Its auto-scan feature will help you out with different channels. Plus, its iVOX or hands-free feature has added an extra feather to its convenience.
With the Drop-protection(ABS), even if you mistakenly drop it on the floor, it can simply absorb the bump. The Keypad lock will protect your setting from being changed unintentionally.
When you’re out but don’t know about the weather condition, the NOAA Weather Scan and Alert will get you clear updates there. As it has a battery with 1200 mAh, it won’t be necessary for you to change the battery every now and then.
- 22 channels with 121 privacy codes secure the conversation to a greater extent
- 1800 mAh rechargeable battery ensures long-lasting performance
- 10 call tone informs the user on calls from groupmates
- USB charger compatibility makes it easy to recharge anywhere
- Compatibility with the other brand FRS/GMRS two-way radios improve the connectivity level
- NOAA weather channels and alerts inform on the odd weather conditions
What Is GMRS Radio?
The GMRS is basically a licensed radio service. Even though in short you call it GMRS, it actually stands for General Mobile Radio Service.
All the channels it basically uses are around 462 MHz and 467 MHz. When you need to have a short distanced or two-way voice communication, then GMRS channels are one of the best ways to pull that off.
This system is highly effective with handheld radios, repeater systems, and mobile radios. To give its users a more improvised plot, FCC has expanded GMRS by allowing short data messaging applications. This means you can have the privilege of text messaging along with GPS location information.
Just because it has wide functionality, doesn’t mean it can be utilized by a team. It’s available for individuals with short-distance communication purposes as well. This means if you’ve got a license, then your immediate family member can have its advantage as well in communicating with each other.
All you need to get this GMRS radio facility is get a license and required devices. If your age 18 or more and your compatible with all the conditions for licensing, then you can go for the application.
Benefits of Using GMRS Radio
Every wireless tech we’ve seen so far comes with certain benefits to ease things up for us. GMRS Radio runs on a similar theory on that aspect. But before you make your mind for the purchase, I think you better know a bit more details on that. Let me tell you about the benefits that you’ll attain once you get a GMRS Radio.
To give GMRS Radio its performance edge, the amount of power allowed by FCC on the GMRS frequency is up to 50 watts. This means even if you’re at a higher distance, you’ll still be able to deliver and receive messages with perfect clarity.
If you’re used to the ones that come with 1-5 watts, then imagine what will be the performance level with a 50-watt GMRS radio.
Compactness of Size
You can easily grab a GMRS Radio without worrying about the portability. After all, its compactness made it super convenient to mount it in your ride. All you need to do is pick the perfect one.
One of the best things about GMRS Radio is they’re perfectly compatible with other walkie talkies, GMRS and FRS radios. In case you’re in a group who’s using any other communication media as the mentioned ones, you can get them tagged.
Repeater channels are capable of extending your GMRS Radio’s range to an amazing extent. With thousands of registered repeaters, your communication can get expanded beyond your imagination. These repeaters basically receive the signal and re-transmits them to a further distance.
Functional without Cell Tower
These days, GMRS radios are made in a way that you won’t even need any cell tower to make them functional. All you need is your FCC license. Once you get that, you’re ready to go.
Easy to Use
GMRS Radios are highly convenient to use. If you have any idea on how to use a radio, you can utilize this one to the fullest. After all, who wouldn’t consider it easy if it won’t have to be reprogrammed or tuned?
Great Sound Quality
Causing you no issues on the clarity part, GMRS Radio can get you the finest sound quality. So, forget about all those blurred messages you’ve been expecting from the other end.
How to Get a GMRS Radio License
If you’ve made your mind to go for a GMRS license, then it can be attained by following some certain steps. Let me tell you about them –
Step 1: Getting FRN
First of all, you need to get an FRN or FCC Registration Number. Then go for the CORES or what we call as Commission’s Registration System. Now click on the ‘Register’. You’ll be asked if it’s for business or individual usage.
And your address for contact will also be asked there. After answering that, hit ‘Continue’. After completing the registration information, click on ‘Submit’. Once you’re done, an FRN will be assigned by the CORES system.
Step 2: Applying for GMRS License
Now you’ll have to apply for the GMRS license. Once you go to the FCC License Manager, put your FRN and password in. Then click ‘Submit’. On the next page, you’ll see the option to apply for a GMRS license. Now click on ‘Apply for a new license’. On the next page, choose ‘ZA – General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS).
After clicking at ‘Continue’, answer all the asked questions. Then hit ‘Continue’ again. After filling your name and address, click on ‘Continue’. Then again, answer all the questions and click on ‘Continue’ again. After that, you’ll be seeing your application summary. Edit anything if necessary.
Step 3: Clearing Payments
Now click on the ‘Continue to Certify’ to go for the Certification page. After filling up the required information there, click on ‘Submit Application’. Once you see your application confirmation, hit on the ‘Continue for payment options’.
The next thing you’ll have to do is log in again with the FRN and password. Then enter the payment info, make the payment, and you’re ready to go. After that, you’ll get your payment verification mail and license issuance mail.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the GMRS radios:
Do I need a license to use a GMRS radio?
Yes, you do. You’ll need to get a license from the FCC as they ask for it to regulate frequencies of the two-way radios.
How long does a GMRS license last?
The GMRS license duration used to be 5 years earlier. But for rendering more convenience to the users, the has been expanded from 5 to 10 years now.
What is the range of a GMRS radio?
Generally, the normal GMRS radios use powers between 1 to 5 watts. So, in comparison to the FRS, GMRS radio has a better range. The handheld one can push it to 1-2 miles. But if you’ve got higher antennas on your unit, then you can push it up to 5 miles.
How many watts are GMRS radios?
They have permission to transmit up to 50 watts. But in the common practice usually seen on the GMRS is of transmitting 1 to 5 watts.
How far can you talk on GMRS?
It’s possible to have a conversation with a 10-16 mile range if the radio is on a low optimal range. But with a high optimal range, it’s possible to make it reach 35 miles.
Can Ham radios talk to GMRS?
I would’ve said yes if it was between FRS and GMRS. But the only thing a ham radio can do is receive FRS and GMRS when it comes with a wide receiver.
Is GMRS better than FRS?
The good thing about the GMRS is they can use power up to 50 watts. Along with that, the range is also a little better than FRS.
How much does it cost to get a GMRS license?
You’ll have to pay $70 to the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) if you want to have a GMRS license.
Can GMRS talk to FRS?
Yes, they can. But first of all, check the list of GMRS and FRS frequencies for that.
Not all the places on earth come with a cellular network. But does it mean we’ll stay disconnected? Definitely, No! Now, there are tons of ways to keep the communication intact, and grabbing the best GMRS radio opens the gate to one of those options.
This time it’s up to you whether you’re going to choose this amazing communication tech or look for the old hassling one. It’s your call, mate!