An FRS radio is an excellent wireless communication tool for a group with multiple members to connect and talk to each other on the same frequency. It often transceiver signals in a long distance with little or no obstruction. There are other beneficial functions to boost its audio quality and convenience for users.
Furthermore, it can scan through a sufficient number of FM channels in the UHF band to find the strongest ones along with useful privacy codes. This radio is mostly manufactured in small portable sizing and attached belt clips for hassle-free carriage. And it offers diverse charging options as an FRS walkie talkie.
If you are looking for the best FRS radio to support distant communication in team sports, group entertainment, business, and services, you have come to the right place. This article about FRS two-way radios contains unique and helpful tips with product reviews concluded from my experience.
|Best Overall||Best Durability||Best Battery Life|
|Preview||Midland LXT500VP3||Retevis RT21||Radioddity FS-T1|
|Weight||–||5.3 ounces||4.16 ounces|
|Channels||22 FRS Channels||16 FRS Channels||22 FRS Channels|
- Best FRS Radio Reviews
- 1. Midland – LXT500VP3, 22 Channel FRS Walkie Talkies
- 2. Retevis RT21 2-Way Radios UHF FRS Walkie Talkies
- 3. Radioddity FS-T1 FRS Two-Way Radio Walkie Talkies
- 4. Midland – X-TALKER T77VP5, 36 Channel FRS Two-Way Radio
- 5. Motorola MT350R FRS Weatherproof Two-Way Radio
- 6. DEWALT DXFRS800 Heavy Duty Two-Way Radio Walkie Talkies
- 7. Motorola T100TP Talkabout Radio
- 8. Midland – LXT600VP3, 36 Channel FRS Two-Way Radio
- 9. Retevis RT22 FRS UHF 16 Channel 2-Way Radio
- 10. TIDRADIO TD-777 FRS UHF Two Way Radio Walkie Talkies
- What to Look for When Buying an FRS Radio
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best FRS Radio Reviews
1. Midland – LXT500VP3, 22 Channel FRS Walkie Talkies
The FRS LXT500VP3 radio from the brand Midland comes with a package of two to provide extra convenience in use. Being a two-way transceiver radio, it has a total of 22 FRS channels with a long 24-mile communication range of little obstruction. Activating its channel scan helps you reach favorite stations quicker.
This package contains a charging dock for both of the walkie talkies and their rechargeable batteries; however, you can choose to apply 4 AAA batteries into it instead. Thanks to its functional high/low programmable settings for power, the batteries are preserved. This FRS radio offers completely silent operation.
There is an integrated jack to enable the external speaker or plug in a mic on the radio side. A license-free unit can resist water to suit a wide range of users for extended use. If you are worried that the radio keypad might be altered by accident, use its lock function to secure all current setups.
I like how its LCD shows you everything you need to be aware of this FRS walkie talkie. It views you everything from battery status, TX/RX icons, channel number, and an icon for transmitting power level. Audible tones are available in the keystroke mode so that each press comes with chosen sound for response/confirmation.
2. Retevis RT21 2-Way Radios UHF FRS Walkie Talkies
From my perspective, it is not wrong to say that 10 packs of the RT21 FRS radio from Retevis are literally among the best 2-way radios for business on the market. All of them have been preset to the same frequency, so a team of security guards or restaurant waiters can immediately interact with each other.
Overall, the two-way radio is manufactured with a sturdy housing and portable size, and its highly sensitive knobs are easy to rotate. A belt clip is included for each unit in the package for convenient carriage. It enables the UHF range for communication and delivers excellent reception with crisp, crystal clear audio.
In terms of communication privacy, I bet that not many other opponent brands can surpass this business walkie talkie. Its privacy codes of CTCSS and DCS are effective in keeping your team conversation all to yourself without others hearing. The air acoustic earphone already has a PTT and mic for you to talk about.
The 1100mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery in the UHF FRS radio has a long life. Plus, its alarm will let you know when to charge the low battery. There is a function to save power. When you work alone, turn on the emergency alarm to notify others. Its voice prompt operates in both English and Chinese
It is good to know that the walkie talkie radio is compatible with other FRS/GMRS radios from other brands. Just keep in mind one critical point is they need to be on the same station and privacy codes. The bandwidth selections of 25 and 12.5KHz are beneficial. This unit can quickly scan through 16 FRS channels in total.
3. Radioddity FS-T1 FRS Two-Way Radio Walkie Talkies
The Radioddity FS-T1 FRS radio model displays both the frequency that you are on with its compatible number channel. Because of those features, clear information is more accessible for beginners to use it more easily.
There is als an LED flashlight on its right side to run this unit in the dark. Its lanyard has a removable buckle to carry the radio around. With a weight of around 0.26 lbs, it can sometimes be too light to feel that it is there.
The Y-cable charging cable is a micro USB one that allows you to charge two FRS walkie talkies simultaneously through a laptop or wall charger. You will not need a license to operate this radio with a total of 22 FM channels.
I usually choose the 0.5W low power consumption whenever the two-way FRS radio is in battery saving mode, but you can always select a high 2W rate. This FS-T1 walkie talkie offers up to 154 private codes for you to talk with an entire group in great privacy, but it also goes with 2 pairs of earpieces.
Its weather band (WX) contains 10 pre-programmed NOAA channels to help you get instant updates on severe local weather issues. The FRS radio should be operated between the temperature of -10°C to +50°C. Plus, there is a VOX function that enables voice command of the unit without pressing.
4. Midland – X-TALKER T77VP5, 36 Channel FRS Two-Way Radio
As a more advanced walkie talkie FRS model from the brand Midland, this unit coded T77VP5 is provided in two identical packs per purchase with up to 36 channels (14 privacy coded ones). It is a long-range FRS 2 way radio that allows communication within 38 miles in open areas with little or no obstacles.
Similar to other FRS radios manufactured by this brand, the wireless gadget is highly water-resistant and does not require any professional license. It also includes two different adapters of the AC wall and USB car to connect the two-way radio. Its convenient belt clip has already been attached on the back.
I appreciate an additional carrying case with a soft shell that comes along in this FRS radio package to contain the entire set. Having the eVOX feature with 9 levels to activate the T77VP5 walkie talkie by voice command makes things easier for you to achieve hands-free operation.
On its weather band (WX), you can enable the NOAA weather scan to auto-filter 10 available stations for quick weather updates in the neighborhood. Moreover, this FRS radio is safe to use because the NOAA alert will notify you instantly of extreme local weather risks. This band is combined with the Up button.
5. Motorola MT350R FRS Weatherproof Two-Way Radio
The Motorola MT350R FRS radio is engineered to have a class D amplifier, which improves the audio quality with distortion reduction at high volumes. Its IP54 rating provides efficiency in resisting both dust and wet weather. In case there are sudden power outages, the built-in flashlight would become a savior.
There is no need to worry about the hand operation of the FRS unit when you are occupied since its iVOX feature acts as a speakerphone. The power boost that is integrated into the push-to-talk button is capable of enabling extended transmission range, but saving battery life for this radio when not using the mode.
A bunch of optimal charging options is available for this walkie talkie with its NiMH rechargeable battery. I believe you would use the mini USB charger with a Y cable to charge two units at home. Its desktop charger or PC cable allows charging via a laptop, and the alkaline batteries are for when there are no other choices.
It has effective NOAA channels. If you wish to be informed about harsh weather conditions like floods, storms, tornadoes, or emergency evacuations, you have come to the correct radio. Wherever you feel that ringtones for radio calls are unhelpful in noisy areas, it includes a vibrating ringer that works in silence.
6. DEWALT DXFRS800 Heavy Duty Two-Way Radio Walkie Talkies
To be honest, I do not find many FRS walkie talkies on the market that can resist shocking, but not more once has this heavy-duty model from Dewalt on hand. I am quite impressed with its protection from dust, water and impacts. By being engineered with a rugged rubber coating, the radio is capable of going through a drop from max 2 meters and never slips off your hands.
The two-way FRS unit is smartly programmed to auto turn to a battery save mode if there’s no detect of transmission in 10 seconds, which is a fantastic ability. It only requires a 2W output to enable a long communication range of 30,000 sq—Ft. Or 25 floors together with massive 2,662 channel combinations.
It contains 22 preset UHF/FM channels that already have sufficient privacy codes, so your conversation with other group members experiences the least interference. IP67 dust and waterproof rating are implied right under its LCD. This FRS transceiver unit allows you to use it up to 18 hours straight.
Incoming transmission signals are informed to you through an effective Viber alert system in the DXFRS800 two-way walkie talkie. It is nice to know that its swivel holster can be rotated sideways with adjustable 360° angles. The lithium polymer rechargeable battery of this unit is 2000mAh for much more extended usage.
I love it when radios include the roger beep tone because I can notify that my transmission is finished through a quick beep, and it is their turns to talk. It has an auto squelch function to eliminate unwanted noises from communication. The keypad is highly protected after you activate its key lock to secure current stations.
7. Motorola T100TP Talkabout Radio
If you ever ask me for FRS two way radios that can keep the whole family in touch when out for picnic or hiking, I would not hesitate to suggest this T100TP unit from Motorola. In an environment from mountain to valley, it is capable of transmitting & receiving signals within a 16-mile range.
The radio can connect with other FRS/GMRS ones for communication. It contains 22 channels in total in the UHF band. Despite having a common and simple outlook, you can intermittently use this two-way unit for up to 18 hours with 3 AAA batteries. A removable belt clip is firmly integrated into the back of it.
Its battery status is displayed right on the small LCD screen, and there will be a flashing alert to notify you when to charge this unit. The keypad tone is useful to select different tones for each keypress. I often activate the auto squelch to get rid of background noises while communicating and strengthen the signals.
8. Midland – LXT600VP3, 36 Channel FRS Two-Way Radio
As usual, the first thing that I always pay attention to when considering Midland FRS radios is their long communication range. This LXT600VP3 unit is certainly not an exception since it can transmit and receive signals within a 30-mile distance. It features a total of 36 FRS stations and a channel scan.
Its dual options for power supply are highly convenient as you can use 3 AAA batteries or the provided rechargeable battery. The two-way radio can connect with all other FRS/GMRS units from this brand for wireless communication. This unit includes a big volume knob on top for easy rotation.
Like other FRS walkie talkies available on the market, this model does not need a license to operate. There is an NOAA weather scan to save 10 strongest channels and inform you of intense local weather news along with an alert. 121 CTCSS privacy codes on the radio can block other conversations.
9. Retevis RT22 FRS UHF 16 Channel 2-Way Radio
Retevis manufacture this RT22 FRS model in a pocket-size that is as thin and lightweight as a smartphone to be brought along for outdoor adventures. Two FRS 2 way radios have been set up with the same frequency and privacy codes right out of the box, so it is ideal for small kids to use them with ease.
There are 16 FM/UHF channels in store in this transceiver walkie talkie and a scanning feature. Since it contains up to 121 CTCSS/DCS privacy codes, you can choose unoccupied frequencies to communicate privately. The 39.4-inch long USB charger cable is used to charge its 1000mAh rechargeable battery.
-10°C to +50°C is the suitable temperature range for this FRS unit to perform. It has a squelch function to eliminate weak signals or unwanted background noises for better sound quality. Its supplied soft translucent plastic earbuds will fit in your ears. You can lock the current channel to prevent sudden changes.
The radio also uses a power supply of a 3.7VDC adapter. Its sturdy removable belt clip allows reliable radio hanging on belts in the long run. Plus, its antenna has been integrated and extends longer without breaking. A VOX function is available for you to operate the RT22 FRS radio through voice transmission.
10. TIDRADIO TD-777 FRS UHF Two Way Radio Walkie Talkies
The convenient charging with a built-in micro USB port helps you to use this TIDRADIO TD-777 FRS radio like a smartphone. It lasts up to 4 days straight of intermittent use due to the strong 1500mAh rechargeable battery. This unit offers UHF waves to go through thick materials and offer crisp audio in urban environments.
Plus, this two-way radio can be entirely PC programmable. 16 channels are ready for action, so you can pick one unit up and immediately start talking through it with another radio in this package. You can listen all loud and clear via its 1W speaker output. There are 50 CTCSS and 105 DCS privacy codes.
The lightweight radio performs well for a lot of indoor and outdoor activities, including. Its busy channel lockout function allows more privacy on your stations. You do not need to hold the walkie talkie unit in hand for activation. Its VOX can start hands-free communication with a pair of air acoustic earpieces.
When you enable the time-out timer (TOT) feature, it will set the maximum time for emission and stop transmitting afterward. It provides choosing high or low power mode and saves battery performance as well. This two-way radio supports using the CHIRP software, which is a free tool to program amateur radios.
What to Look for When Buying an FRS Radio
Privacy codes – CTCSS and DCS, are short for continuous tone-coded squelch system and digital coded squelch. Both of these codes are used to ignore foreign users that are sharing the same channel with you. Not all FRS radio is equipped with this function, so keep an eye on ones that do include.
Undeniably, private conversations are essential for team communication with more than two participants involved to secure the information. Privacy codes shield the chatter to ensure no data is leaked to other frequencies or irrelevant sharers, especially in business and services, so they are a must for the radios.
The number of these privacy codes does not affect much to their performance, but generally, the more, the better. There are up to 154 codes with 50 CTCSS and over 100 DCS ones on an FRS radio. It is hard to imagine how helpful they are right now, but I am certain that you will understand when these codes are required.
Charging variations – FRS radios are usually equipped with the lithium-ion rechargeable battery up to 2000mAh. Higher mAh equals a longer time; you can use the radio between charges. There are plenty of brands that offer a compatible charging dock for quick drop-in power supply situation on their FRS walkie talkies.
The Y cable allows you to charge two units simultaneously, while mini micro USB connectors are convenient for charging in cars. A USB PC cable is used to connect the FRS two-way radio to a laptop or power bank. Or you can pick the standard AAA alkaline battery that is disposable if there is no other outlet.
All of these charging variations are fully included in each FRS radio package to help you adapt better with the current situation to operate the unit. As a small portable radio model, an FRS transceiver radio works with more charging options than other advanced types, making it more flexible for carrying around.
VOX function – VOX is short for voice-operated exchange, simply known as hands-free talking on an FRS walkie talkie. It will comprise a sound sensor to enable the transmitter/recorder if you speak enough for this radio to deliver voice data. Most advanced FRS radio models include this convenient feature.
The VOX function helps you to activate the transceiver radio with sounds. It is incredibly beneficial for high-intensity jobs that often, reaching out to operate the radio takes much time. Instead, it recognizes your voice to automatically turn on and fulfills voice transmission as requested without pushing the PTT button.
Having a built-in VOX function is helpful, but the other side of the conversation might trigger it if they accidentally speak too loud. Nevertheless, you can use voice command for this unit to begin talking to other people without the need to look or touch it. Therefore, you can focus entirely on your work.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is an FRS radio? Who is this for? How does it work?
FRS is short for Family Radio Service, which means this portable radio is suitable for a large group. It can contain a maximum of 36 FM channels, and you can select wide/narrow bandwidth (25/12.5kHz) settings for this radio. An FRS radio is desirable for long-range communication as a two-way gadget.
Moreover, the GMRS radio (General Mobile Radio Service) is much similar to this FRS one in most aspects; therefore, it adapts to almost whatever an FRS radio does. An FRS radio would commonly require 2W RF output. Sometimes, it is engineered to have an extra UHF band to boost the general audio quality.
This unit is often provided in large quantities per purchase. It is a license-free unit that works for a wide diverse range of users, including families, security guards, hotel/restaurant services, warehouse staff, group sports, etc. Several FRS two-way walkie talkies include a simple interface for children to use them.
A majority of FRS radios consume lithium-ion batteries that are rechargeable. It scans through 88 – 108MHz frequencies to find audible stations and delivers audio via an external speaker. It displays important icons on the LCD screen. The belt clip on the back is usually removable and helps you to hang this unit easier.
Regarding team communication, it is compatible with other FRS/GMRS walkie talkies from different brands when they are at similar frequencies and privacy codes. In summary, an FRS radio is used to transceive signals within a certain range in miles so users can hear others talk loud and clear from afar.
What are the different types of FRS radios?
From my perspective, it is just a matter of more advanced functions when comparing FRS radios with each other. Their construction, interface, and other details are mainly designed in the same way so that I would point out differences between the FRS and GMRS radio. For your information, they are not entirely alike.
While anyone can use an FRS radio, an FCC license is required to operate a GMRS two-way unit since it is stronger. It also offers channel frequencies that are not available in the FRS one. From what I can tell based on previous experiences, the communication range of a GMRS unit, in general, is a little better.
Why do you need an FRS radio?
FRS radio enables stable wireless communication between two or more individuals in versatile activities such as services or camping trips. Other than that, you can use it as a standard unit for entertainment and local news updates, exceptionally severe weather conditions in the neighborhood to prepare yourself.
Because it is mostly manufactured in a portable compact size, you can bring it along nowhere without a burden. The charging methods of a regular FRS radio vary so you can supply its power in different situations. I highly recommend using an FRS radio for when there are no mobile signals for smartphones.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted FRS radio brands?
According to reliable FRS radios review from previous users, most positive feedback is dedicated to walkie talkies from these brands: Motorola, Midland, Radioddity, Dewalt, Retevis, and TIDRADIO. They have been working actively in the industry for a long time, so their popularity and product quality are highly commended.
Moreover, FRS two-way radios produced by the brands mentioned above are optimal with a wide range of effective wireless communication features via FM/UHF frequencies. Their packages always include sufficient and necessary accessories; consequently, they help to bring you the highest level of convenience and efficiency.
How to set up and use it?
The radio always has a pre-installed antenna. Audio either comes from its external speaker or a pair of air acoustic earphones for private listening. Use the push-to-talk button to transmit voices or take advantage of a hands-free operation via a VOX function, which not all FRS radios on the market offer.
Pay attention to the display icons on its LCD screen, such as battery status, transmit power level, current frequency, and channel number. You should try to activate the supplied privacy codes to communicate with others privately. The roger beep tone is good to confirm that your transmission is finished quickly.
Its keypad should be locked to secure the unit from unwanted changes. If you activate the keystroke tones, you would hear different tones for each press. A silent mode works in the opposite way to operate this radio quietly. Each FRS walkie talkies should have emergency alarms in case of danger while working alone.
The auto squelch feature eliminates weak signals and ambient sounds from interrupting your conversations. When it is running low of battery, put it into the supplied charging dock or connect it to a laptop/power bank via a micro USB charging cable. Most FRS two-way radios can adapt to AAA batteries as well.
How to take care and maintain it?
You should always check the product description to see whether the unit is water-resistant or obtains an IP rating in the first place. Or else, avoid getting it wet. Try not to let it go overcharged to extend the battery lifespan in the long run. Do not drop the radio to the ground as not all of them are shock-resistant.
In case the FRS radio gets dusted or stains on the external shell, carefully wipe them away with a damp cloth of water. You should never apply chemical substances or detergents since they can damage the unit. Store this two-way walkie talkie in airy places at normal room temperature whenever you are not using.
Where can I buy an FRS radio?
It is all right if you cannot decide which trustworthy locations among so many of them that offer diverse FRS radios for sale from different brands. That is why you should reach out for my professional help, and I have these famous global names to offer: Walmart, eBay, Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon, Best Buy, etc.
I bet that these addresses are way too familiar with you since they provide a massive quantity of excellent FRS walkie talkies at different price ranges. You can either choose to directly visit one of these chain stores or log onto online shopping websites. Both ways can get you an FRS radio at the most excellent quality.
As you can see, there is a series of benefits that you can obtain when using a fine FRS two-way walkie talkie. In this digital era, sometimes, a smartphone or laptop is not convenient and functional enough for situations without mobile signals or power outlets. I bet you can never go out of style with the best FRS radio.
I hope that all of my product reviews and the tailor-made buying guide in this article will become advantageous for your shopping time in the future. Just stick close to the amount of information that I provide about FRS radios, and you would soon be able to find the most suitable unit. Thank you for reading.
Richard Pennington is the one to consult when you need professional insight into electronics. With over a decade of experience in the field of electronics and communication engineering, he now serves as our chief content editor.
He is an advisor for multiple articles and videos with topics revolving around ham radios, electronics devices, and communication.