The best Long Range Two-Way Radios of 2019: Features and Reviews

As the name suggests, long range two-way radios allow you to easily and clearly communicate over relatively distant locations. However, the first thing you might notice is that it’s not as “long” as you would expect. Most radios have a specified range on their boxes, probably exceeding 50 kms (31 miles). This number is in some sense theoretical and nothing more since there are numerous factors that come into play when you’re trying to establish a coherent transmission.

As you read on, you will learn about all the necessary features that make the long range two-range radio so great and which model is most suitable for your needs.


What is the Long Range Two-Way Radio?

Imagine a walkie-talkie set but with a much longer distance, this is basically the long range two-way radio! However, as previously mentioned, don’t expect to be able to send and receive clear messages over the noted interval.


Expected range of a Two-Way Radio

If you look closely you will notice that the companies tend to use the expression “Up to” before writing the range. This is critical since it means that you won’t be able to get that reach unless you (and your partner) are in open lands. In other words, any object can act as an obstruction and subsequently affect the range by lowering it.

Under normal conditions, 10% of that range is the maximum extent for clear speech especially if you’re surrounded by buildings, trees, or even diverse landscape.

Keep in mind that you can increase the range by replacing the initial antenna with a longer one or buying a radio with a built-in long-distance antenna.


Using the Two-Way Radios

Now that you understand how the range is affected, you should expect to use your radios in wide and unobstructed locations such as plains or open lands.
Some people make the valid point of saying that if you’re planning on going to forests or cities, you will have a satisfying experience with this device.


Number of channels on a Long Range Two-Way Radio

You won’t need a large number of channels since this is not a radio scanner. You’re most likely communicating directly with the person holding the second piece so there’s no actual need for them.

Be careful though cause someone can mistakenly tap in to the frequency you’re using especially if you’re in a crowded area and if that is usually the case then you need to buy a set that offers a large number of private channels.


Doomsday Preppers and the Long Range Two-Way Radio

The hit show mentions these radios in some of its episodes but it’s important to note that you can’t rely on them in the case of a major disaster. Keep in mind that some models include channels that allow you to checkout weather conditions. This is helpful if you’re facing a catastrophe caused by an unnatural climate state.


Important features in the Long Range Two-Way Radio

Just like any other device, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with the necessary features in order to have the best possible experience.



This is the primary feature in all outdoor equipment since it determines how long you get to use the radio without charging it. If you plan on using the product very frequently while you’re out and for an extended period of time then you should definitely pay attention to the battery’s capacity.

Antenna length

The longer the antenna, the longer the range and the clearer the communication; it’s that simple! Some radios come with a fairly small antenna so make sure you can change it if you want to boost your reception.

Radio size

It goes without saying that it’s always a good idea to get a small and lightweight radio, especially if you plan on taking it with you a lot.

Power options

This feature does not exist in all radios but when it’s there it lets you increase the wattage for a certain period of time which can improve your signal. It’s completely natural that when you increase the power you drain the battery faster so be careful when you do that.

NOAA channels

Most radios offer this functionality through which you can inspect weather channels which warn you about a weather emergency. You can benefit from that when you’re going on long trips.

Out of Range alert

If this feature exists then your radio will send a test signal to try and locate its other pair which in turn resends the signal. When that happens, your device will let you know that you’re in range to communicate with your partner.

Digital Compass

This is exceptionally beneficial if you happen to be camping or traveling over long distances. The compass serves its main purpose by telling you which way you are pointing so you wouldn’t get lost. You can also use it to locate your partner.

VOX - Voice command

As you might figure out, this is not relatively “necessary” compared to other features but it can come in handy if your hands are busy. You can use your voice to use the radio in a limited way.


TWS reviews the best long range two-way radios

After you’ve discovered all the important information regarding long range two-way radios, you can now choose the item that best suits your need in terms of power, range, battery life, or any other feature.

To further your knowledge or simply check out some radios, keep on reading to view TWS reviews on the best two-way radios of 2019.


Motorola MR350R 35-Mile Range

One of the most famous names in this industry! Motorola became so dominant through its reliable and impressive products. The MR350R is a great example since it’s an FRS/GMRS radio that offers a relatively long range.

Pros of the Motorola MR350R

  • Communicate clearly over a 35-mile range if you’re in an open field.
  • Benefit from more than 22 channels and over 100 privacy codes.
  • Guaranteed protection against dust since it’s IP-51 rated.
  • Easy to carry around since you can attach it to your belt by using the special clip.
  • Built-in iVOX technology allowing you to use audio command.
  • Additional features like weather alerts through 11 channels and 20 call tones including a vibration option. In addition to an embedded flashlight and a power boost setting, among others.

Cons of the Motorola MR350R

At around 300$, this long range radio is a bit pricey. If you’re new to radios and just want to have some fun, you can definitely buy other models that are cheaper and have the necessary features.


Motorola T600 Talkabout Radio

Another fine product from the Motorola! The T600 Talkabout contains any feature you might need and so much more. Long range, great battery life, and waterproof built.

Pros of the Motorola T600

  • Similar to the previous item, a 35-mile range is possible when the suitable conditions are present.
  • If you install 3AA Alkaline batteries instead of the included 2 NiMH batteries, you can keep it running for almost 23 hours.
  • Up to 22 channels with 121 privacy codes each.
  • Rated IP67 which means it’s completely waterproof and can float if dropped in water.
  • iVOX/VOX technology for hands-free communication.
  • Push to talk (PTT) power boost feature which increases the power output.

Cons of the Motorola T600

Generally speaking, this is a great device however, some users have reported issues while charging it. In some cases, the company replaced the radio.

Motorola Talkabout T460 Two-Way Radio

The T460 is perfect for the outdoors and it’s fairly priced compared to similar radios. 

Pros of the Motorola T460

  • This device also offers a long range when there are no obstructions.
  • It’s IP-54 rated which means it’s water resistant but not waterproof.
  • LED light that can come in handy when there’s a power outage.
  • You can use it through voice command thanks to the iVOX feature.
  • Choose between 10 different call tones or set the radio to vibrate.
  • Additional features that include NOAA weather channels and PPT power boost, among others.

Cons of the Motorola T460

It’s completely understandable that range is affected when you’re in the forest or in a city but the performance of this radio in particular can become very low.

Midland LXT630VP3 Two-Way Radio

Another known brand in this industry, Midland offers strong and robust radios. The LXT630VP3 falls in this category since it’s more durable than other models.

Pros of the Midland LXT630VP3

  • Extended battery life that allows you to use his radio for several days.
  • Set different power settings to preserve the battery even more.
  • It may be strong but it’s relatively compact and lightweight.
  • VOX feature allowing to use your voice instead of your hands.
  • More than 120 privacy code for confidential conversations.

Cons of the Midland LXT630VP3

One of the worst things about this device is the lack of memory which means that you should choose your preferred settings every time you use it. Moreover, it’s not as powerful as other radios.

Midland GXT1000VP4 Two-Way Radio

This radio is mostly recognized because of its powerful mic that captures even the lowest of sounds. You will also receive a headset when you purchase the GXT1000VP4.

Pros of the Midland GXT1000VP4

  • More than 140 privacy codes keeping your chats private.
  • Powerful range (36 miles) for a relatively cheap item.
  • The microphone can pick up almost any sound.
  • The battery can last up to 10 hours without needing a recharge.
  • Includes 2 chargers and 2 headsets.

Cons of the Midland GXT1000VP4

The batteries don’t last as much as you would expect. Moreover, it lacks advanced features but you should expect that because it has a low price making it perfect for amateurs.




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