Besides using a mobile phone with advanced technology, people are also fond of another wireless but the traditional way to communicate with others from afar. Owning a UHF radio can respond to your requirements of transceiving ability, and suitable for long distances.
A UHF radio is one of the best transceiver tools for group activities. With advanced technology, most brands have loads of effective features added in. You might be confused about finding a piece that fits, but do not worry. Underneath is the list of products I have used that might help you get the best UHF radio.
|Best Overall||Most Feature Rich||Longest Battery Life|
|Preview||Retevis RT22||Kenwood TM-281A||Greaval UV-5R|
|Dimensions||12.6 x 8.4 x 6.3 inches||6.34 x 6.71 x 1.69 inches||11.42 x 10.71 x 2.44 inches|
|Weight||0.24 pounds||2.5 Pounds||0.425 Pounds|
|Tuner Technology||UHF||UHF, VHF||UHF, VHF|
- Best UHF Radio Reviews
- 1. Retevis RT22 Two-Way Walkie Talkie
- 2. Kenwood TM-281A 144MHz FM Transceiver
- 3. Greaval Ham UHF VHF Dual Band 2-Way Radio
- 4. Arcshell Two-Way Radios UHF Walkie Talkies
- 5. BaoFeng BF-F8HP Dual Band Two-Way Radio
- 6. BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 Dual Band Radio
- 7. BTECH Mini UV-25X2 Dual Band Radio
- 8. BaoFeng UV-82HP Dual Band Radio
- 9. Retevis H-777 Two Way Radios
- 10. Motorola Original VX-261-G7-5 Two-way Transceiver
- What to Look for When Buying a UHF Radio
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best UHF Radio Reviews
1. Retevis RT22 Two-Way Walkie Talkie
The UHF RT22 from the brand Retevis is undoubtedly compact and slim for commercial use. It only weighs about 57g, 30% smaller than regular walkie talkies, and as thin as a phone. You can easily slide this radio in your pocket and do not have to worry about getting a belt clip for it.
It has 16 channels for you to choose from. Being a license-free unit makes it very convenient to use without paying for the frequency you use monthly. This can save you a great deal of money.
With adjustable levels of the voice-activated transmit feature from 0-9, this radio allows hands-free operation. I personally think that this is one of the most appealing features you can get with a walkie talkie. Talking to your co-workers from a distance whilst focusing on your job has never been easier.
It also includes an emergency alarm system. If you stumble upon a critical situation or dangerous obstacles and animals, other team members will be alerted immediately via the system. This is ideal for forest rangers and other careers that might not guarantee your safety.
Accidental button change is quite irritating, and to prevent that, this UHF unit offers you the channel lock function. To furthermore, enhance user experiences, it allows you to set a privacy line with the squelch feature to help you keep out external intervention and obtain explicit audio.
This package includes six-way multi-gang chargers with multiple charging protection. You no longer have to worry about overcharging, overvoltage, or circuit fried with short circuit protection. It is much safer to charge the 6 pack 2-way radios or batteries at the same time.
In the six-way multi-charger, you can see that it has LED lights. Bright red for being charged, green for completely charged, and neon green when starting to turn on. You do not even have to plug off the charging cable after a full charge with the power-switch-button. All is set with a push of a button.
The integrated antenna of this small UHF radio is absolutely amazing. Although it is small and rugged, it still provides you with powerful penetration. The last things you will have to concern about when using this product are the distance of transmission.
2. Kenwood TM-281A 144MHz FM Transceiver
From my experience, this is undeniably among the best UHF portable radios nowadays. With the rugged portable construction, it is tough enough for off-road assignments to even meet military-standard for shock and vibration mitigation.
Installing this device is quite easy too due to its subnormal dimensions. Even though it has a toylike size, its maximum power output can reach 65 watts with low to high output choices. A DTMF microphone is also provided for buyers so that they do not have to put less food on the table for it.
The illuminated keypad and alphanumerical looks amazingly stunning. For suiting all ambient light conditions, the bright amber LCD display comes with 32-step adjustable brightness and is able to show 6 alphamerical on the display screen.
Besides, the astounding speaker is positioned in the front to ensure every audio is caught and can be heard clearly. It also has a memory name feature. With a total of 6 alphanumerics and more than 99 memory channels can be identified.
You might be interested in the scanning functions of this two-way radio. Variable frequency oscillator (VFO), memory, continuous tone-coded squelch system (CTCSS) scan, and damage cleanup service (DCS) scan are included as usual.
By having the weather alert/RX, your safety will be guaranteed from severe local weather conditions. No longer should you be worried about the catastrophic natural events happening in your areas. This makes it a must-have for people who live in areas with potential natural disasters.
3. Greaval Ham UHF VHF Dual Band 2-Way Radio
This portable UHF radio from Greaval right here has a switchable radio frequency power output of low (1W)/medium (5W)/high (8W). With this output, you can easily adjust levels of signal to be transmitted. You are capable of sending it to nearby or far away co-workers by choice.
Being able to program this radio to fit in with your current system is something quite impressive to mention. This UHF unit is a programmable unit that assists keyboard and PC programming. It allows you to program the radio frequencies as your requirement.
About its power source, a rechargeable 2100 mAh Lithium-ion battery plus one extra battery is contained in this package. One battery supports 12 to 20 hours of continuous use. The spare battery helps you with nonstop communication for your works, vacation trips, or regular tasks in long days.
There’re a lot of different stations you can listen to and communicate through. A spectrum range of 136-174 MHz(Rx/Tx) for VHF, 400-520 MHz(Rx/Tx) for UHF, and 65-108 MHz for commercial FM radio reception only.
You can save the frequencies that you like in the form of channels for a quick approach to them later on. It contains 128 slots in its channel memory is generous for your favorite station saving within the radio system. That is pretty easy to do because these channels can be programmed via the keypad.
Many commonly used frequencies can be covered with the Greaval UV5R walkie talkie, which makes it more compatible with many other models such as the BF-F8HP or the UV 82HP.
4. Arcshell Two-Way Radios UHF Walkie Talkies
This is probably the smallest UHF radio I have ever used. 4.53 inches in height absent antenna, 1.30 inches in thickness, and 2.36 inches wide is the dimension of this UHF radio. Not to mention that it is solidly built, has a water-resistance cover, and can easily be used by all ages.
Each walkie talkie in this package has a spectrum range of 400-470 MHz and 16 channels already programmed. All of them share the same frequency when unboxed that comes with a rotary switch with 16 position channel selector.
An Integrated voice is installed within the two-way unit to inform you of the station number when you rotate the knob to change the spectrums. You are able to adjust the channel frequency in the possible range as well. 50 CTCSS and 105 CDCSS privacy tones are installed on each programmed station.
A rechargeable 1500mAh Lithium-ion battery and a charging station come with each radio. To fully charge the radio battery, it only takes about 2.5 hours. The less you use, the longer the battery lasts, in which one charge lasts for about 8 to 96 hours.
To provide loud and crystal clear audio quality, the manufacturer installs a high-quality hardwired speaker on the radio. A pre-installed mic and push-to-talk button are also located on the unit for better user experiences. Plus, the VOX function is also included to help you with hands-free operation.
How far this radio transmits depends a lot on the terrain. In areas with no obstructions or obstacles, it is still supporting communication up to 5 miles and less in crowded areas. It is very suitable for security, maintenance team, etc., and works extremely well around the house or in commercial construction.
5. BaoFeng BF-F8HP Dual Band Two-Way Radio
BaoFeng is one of the most commonly used handheld radio brands across all continents. I own a BaoFeng radio for personal use, and it turns to be incredibly amazing. This product is an upgrade from the manufacturer’s previous generation UV-5R.
The power output has been doubled, from 4 watts to 8 watts output. New toughen durable radio cover for better protection against collision. With a 30% larger battery size, it can last to up to 24 hours. So you can keep your mind in peace whilst using the built-in flashlight or built-in FM radio and still can communicate.
They also double the antenna performance with the V-85 model. An in-depth user guide is now included with USA support to help newbies. You can adjust the power level settings between low (1W), medium (4W), and high mode (8W) without breaking a sweat.
A wide range of frequencies for VHF, UHF, and 65-108 MHz for commercial frequency modulation radio reception is offered. You can freely choose which channel you would like to use for long-range communication. Also, it has a selectable broad/narrowband to help you improve audio quality.
This transceiver is designed in the USA to help users with how to use this effectively, they additionally add in the new in-depth manual since not everyone is a radio expert. The manual should guide you through the capabilities and how to customize the BF-F8HP unit.
Moreover, the package also includes warranty assist and exclusive professional customer help. Only on some selected UHF walkie talkies such as the UV-82HP, UV-5X3, and BF-F8HP will you find this concierge service.
Being able to program your spectrum range is something quite interesting about this walkie talkie. I would recommend using a PC03 FTDI programming cable for more accessible PC programming. It is advised to be programmed immediately after being delivered.
6. BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 Dual Band Radio
Based on my point of view, the BTECH UV-50X2 UHF radio has some of its uniqueness. A new multi-color LCD screen that is customizable is added to this unit. Besides that, you can also customize your channels entirely for them to display their alphanumeric names and frequency settings.
The new dual sync mode is also included in this dual-band model. This feature allows you to display the name and frequency of a single or two dual synced different channels simultaneously. Furthermore, both channel modes and VFO can be monitored coincidentally with this new function.
With programmable memory channels up to 200, you can freely add or delete FM frequencies from your channel list. Your channel preferences are editable without having to program a brand new station. Modifiable extra squelch information, tones are equipped in the transceiver.
This two-way UHF radio supports commonly used Analog Tones. 2-tone, 5-tone, DSC, DTMF, and CTCSS are assisted as well. This dual-band unit is even capable of sending DTMF tones, allowing users to send remote commands or ANI that require DTMF tones.
I am keen on the scanning feature of this UHF FM radio. It has a new menu in which scanning resume methods are selectable. You can engage in scanning immediately while rebooting or continue scanning if it was previously interrupted.
The capability of operating as multiple radios in one unit is another useful function of this dual-band unit. It allows you to simultaneously watch up to 3 channels or frequencies while having a main Tx/Rx band. You can also configure this FM product to operate UHF-UHF or VHF-VHF together.
7. BTECH Mini UV-25X2 Dual Band Radio
This is a smaller, more compact version with half the power output of the BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 50 Watt. Despite its humble size, it still has all the unique features of the X-Series Mobiles: adjustable Multi-Color LCD screen, dual synchronize display mode, etc.
Having a lot of helpful functions may make it hard to use and install. That is why this UHF radio also comes with an in-depth user guide to instruct you step by step. You will no longer feel lost, confused after unboxing this two-way FM model.
Setting your microphone audio is possible too. It provides you loud and clear audio and allows your microphone output to be customized for all repeaters. No longer will you need to be concerned about your walkie talkies audio synchronization.
This portable unit has the auto power-off function to prevent unwanted power-draining and save the battery. This helps keep the battery longevity and prevents charging issues that might occur when you charge your battery too regularly.
With the quad watch delay time, the transceiver can stay on the secondary channel for up to 50 seconds after incoming transmission. When communicating with two contacts simultaneously on different frequencies, there should be no worries left about switching channels manually.
8. BaoFeng UV-82HP Dual Band Radio
This handheld product is an upgraded version of the original UV-82 Series. It owns brand new features of 3 power levels for you to adjust: 1-Watts, 5-Watts, and 7/8-Watts freely that distinguish this UHF two-way unit from other products.
A dual push to talk button is added to this dual-band UHF model. This button supports the transmission of two frequencies. You can press “up” to transmit on frequency A and “down” for frequency B. Both frequencies can also be used as a scanner of CTCSS, frequencies, and channels.
Emergency alarm, flashlight, FM radio, and external accessory compatibility are also engineered in this BaoFeng UV-82HP unit. Two frequencies or channels are watchable with only one built-in receiver. Both of them will be monitored while the first station has the priority to receive incoming calls.
Its calling method includes DTMF, CTCSS, and DCS. This two-way UHF walkie talkie supports the latest requirements for repeater applications to tone calling. Moreover, you can even send DTMF tones, which makes remote commands and sending ANI that requires DTMF possible.
This dual-band UHF model is one of their most profit-oriented radio series. Compared to other BaoFeng’s products, this item has a much louder speaker, a more robust, tougher case, and larger buttons. Using the brand’s newest chipset makes this radio a completely whole new product.
9. Retevis H-777 Two Way Radios
The frequency and channel of this handheld UHF walkie talkie are set to the same when unboxed for secure communication. You no longer have to program your channels to be able to use it. It is also quite easy to locate your channel group or edit the channel.
The transmission range of this two-way unit is considerably longer compared to other small models. This is fairly convenient for business activities such as warehouse, construction, school, and church. It supports you a lot in team communication, allowing better crowd control.
Working in the dark has never been easier with the flashlight function. More convenience can be obtained with the USB charger and adapter, enabling faster communication by reducing charging. There is no need to charge constantly or save power for it to function normally.
This Retevis H-777 is a multi-function radio with great signal and clear audio. Conversations that are currently being transmitted can be located with the scanning feature. You should always be able to catch on with your co-workers no matter where you are.
8-9 hours of continuous use is assisted with the 1000mAh battery. Furthermore, making sure that your communication does not get interrupted with the power issue, a battery latch teeth capable of enduring solid contact is engineered.
10. Motorola Original VX-261-G7-5 Two-way Transceiver
With the weight of only 11.7 ounces, this mini UHF radio is very mobile if you need a transmission device to bring along. 16 default UHF frequencies are already programmed pre-purchase, so you do not need to worry about channel programming.
This portable UHF walkie talkie has the power output of 5-Watts, which is pretty good for transmitting power. The battery and charging system of this radio is incredibly good and lasts for a long period. A 1380 mAh Li-ion battery and desktop charger is included for maximum usage.
The whisper mode feature helps boost the communication of this UHF unit by a large margin. It allows your device to search for possible propagation paths for low-power transmission. It is very versatile if your device is not capable of full power transmission.
This dual-band product is fairly useful for workers in remote, difficult terrain such as forests and mines due to the lone worker mode. Regarding a built-in timer with a pre-set interval in the item, the user should reset the timer for the next interval or switch to emergency mode and send distress signal tones.
With the cover being built rugged and sturdy, the UHF transceiver has proven to be quite reliable for almost all industries. All of your team members and co-workers will have no trouble communicating with 16 channels pre-programmed within this handheld model.
What to Look for When Buying a UHF Radio
Handheld/CB radio – UHF radios are available in CB radios (citizens band) and handheld radios. CB radios are usually referred to as car-mounted radios. They are not as versatile as the handheld version but are perfect for emergency correspondence should you find yourself in a tough situation.
Handheld walkie talkies are lovely for those wanting to slide their radio in the pocket or tuck it on the belt, only reach for it when they need to communicate with a partner. A cheap UHF radio yet functional is what they need. It comes in almost all shapes and sizes, from fairly large to small.
Surrounding terrain – One of the best things about UHF radios is that they can operate in just about any surroundings. While they are ideal for urban areas with a lot of building blocks or in structures, they also perform far better in the open field.
In case you are wondering, why should I get a UHF radio when I could have gotten a VHF radio as it can cover more distance with less power? For maritime uses, most boaters and anglers use VHF units instead of UHF. But UHF models excel in nearly every terrain condition that you are more likely to encounter.
Transceiving range – It is really important how far away you want to get in touch with someone else. This can be the main foundation for choosing which UHF unit is the right one for you. And you should always check the unit’s effective range before buying; it will save you much time.
If you are warehouse or supermarket workers and simply want to communicate within 200 yards away, a short-range handheld UHF radio will suit your needs just fine. However, if you’re going to talk with another campsite 3 miles away, a CB UHF model can live up to your expectations.
If you are looking for private conversations when buying a UHF radio, you might want to consider checking the unit’s privacy codes. CTCSS and DCS, which are short for continuous tone-coded squelch system and digital code squelch system.
Both of these codes are used to ignore unwanted participants that share the same FM channel as you. This function can only be engineered on some UHF radios, so you should pay attention to this feature before making a purchase.
Battery supply – A rechargeable Li-ion battery up to 2250 mAh is usually included within each radio package. Batteries with higher mAh help you a lot in long conversations. More mAh means the longer you will be able to use the radio between charges.
The temperature plays a crucial role in battery life. When used at room temperature, the most common type of batteries performs excellently. Battery life may last 25% less time with a full charge when energized at a high temperature. More than 50% of charging capacity can be lost when charged in cold environments.
The memory effect is also a vital factor in your battery life. Your battery may only charge to the level it was last discharged. To put it simply, a battery capable of lasting up to 8 hours now runs out of steam in 3 hours despite receiving a full charge. If this happens, contact your provider for solutions.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is a UHF radio? Who is this for? How does it work?
UHF stands for ultra-high frequency, which is designated by the ITU for station frequencies in the range between 300 megahertz (MHz) and 3 gigahertz (GHz). Any transceiver that can work with a spectrum that falls between this range is called a UHF radio.
These radios are generally better for indoor use because their wavelengths are shorter and offer better penetration through concrete and steel. With shorter antennas, UHF walkie talkies are a bit better in situations where longer antennas are ineffective or fit for discreet radio devices.
In many facets of life, you can see the presence of UHF radio. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, walkie-talkies, cordless phones, cell phones, satellite communication, GPS, television broadcasting, and numerous other applications.
UHF radio has a large advantage of short wavelengths produced by the high frequency in the transmission. Its radio waves propagate mainly by line of sight. Although it is blocked by large buildings, obstacles, and hills, the transmission is still strong enough for indoor reception.
What are the different types of UHF radios?
On the market these days, there are numerous UHF radio types—Dual-band, two-way, digital UHF radio, etc. But normally, radio types are separated based on their frequencies.
I have researched this and found out that there are two types of UHF radios. Thanks to US frequency groups, we know that UHF radios are separated into 2 versions. The low-band UHF with frequencies between 450-806 MHz and high-band UHF with a 900-952 Mhz spectrum range.
Why do you need a UHF radio?
When traveling with your family or going to work, a UHF CB radio is an excellent wireless device to help you communicate with others. These ultra-high frequency units can transmit over a distance of 30 Km. This is extremely convenient if you are not going to ultra remote areas.
With almost the same functions, UHF handheld radios are perfect for teams or troops that need on-site communication for a more reasonable price. An extra level of safety and peace of mind are guaranteed when heading off on a solo trip away from the vehicle or campsites with these portable units.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best brand of UHF radio?
The next is a reliable UHF review based on my experience that you can count on. Most positive feedbacks give credit to these brands: Uniden, BaoFeng, Retevis, BTECH, Archshell, Greaval, and Motorola. They have been working in this industry for a long time, so their popularity, as well as quality, is undeniably good.
Moreover, I find the Uniden UHF radio extremely convenient, comfortable to use, and deserve an honorable mention. Apart from the UHF units that I have mentioned above, you can always check out Uniden units for more choices. Their packages are still reliable and will never disappoint you.
Which is better, VHF or UHF radio?
This depends a lot on where you want to use it, indoor or outdoor, the transmission range, and how much you can afford for a radio. Both UHF and VHF units offer different advantages, so it all goes down to your circumstances.
Generally, UHF radios are better for indoor uses because they can penetrate through steel and concrete with short wavelengths. Between 300 MHz and 3 GHz is the spectrum range of these transmitters. They also have shorter antennas than VHF models, which make them perfectly fit as car-mounted radios.
With a frequency range between 30 MHz to 300 MHz, VHF radios are more suitable for outdoor activities, where the terrain is not blocked, and the line of sight is involved. If you need to reach out to your partner at a festival or construction site, this is the one you need.
When choosing between a VHF and UHF radio, think carefully about what you currently need and fulfill all your criteria. Also, make sure you are buying from well-regarded brands, as cut-rate brands tend to perform poorly.
How to set up and use it?
In case you pick a handheld UHF radio to use, you only need to charge it and use it as in the instruction manual. But when it comes to CB UHF radio, you are going to need to set it up; normally, it should be installed in a car.
What you need is a mountable CB UHF model, along with an antenna and an antenna mounting bracket if your vehicle does not have one already. About the antenna, what kind of antenna to buy also depends on your purpose, whether you like to communicate in open terrains or areas that are steep with many obstacles.
After having gathered all the parts, you are only 5 steps away from experiencing a car-mounted radio.
Step 1. Make up your mind about where you would like to fix the UHF radio and handpiece. Then mounts the antenna on the bullbar of your vehicle. You are using conduit and cable ties to protect the cable after running it through the engine bay.
Step 2. Use some silicone spray to help you feed the cable through a grommet in the firewall. Energy for your unit should be taken either directly from the battery or tapped into from an accessory socket. The radio will switch on and off with the ignition if picking up power from the accessory socket.
Step 3. An appropriately rated fuse must be used to conceal an easy-to-access area with all 12-volt accessory installations. Behind the accessory socket, tap the positive and negatives wires from your radio directly into the wiring.
Step 4. Next, screw the coaxial connection together and tighten it onto the back of your radio. You could damage the model if you try to switch on your radio before connecting the antenna.
Step 5. Once your UHF radio is screwed and wired up in place, grab a partner, and test the signal. If all of the steps above are done right, you will be communicating over a huge distance without any glitch or lag.
For operating a UHF radio, there are some specific things that you should remember. Firstly, choose a radio tuned to public UHF frequencies. Despite having a huge radio spectrum from 300 MHz to 3GHz, only a portion of it is available for public use, regularly from 460 Mhz to 480 MHz.
Secondly, turn on your unit and choose a channel. Change the channel with the turner selection on your radio. The older models do not have channels already set in them, so you will have to tune in a specific frequency. Your device might even have an up and down channel selection button.
Finally, press the transmission button to communicate. It is just as simple as using a handheld UHF radio. Hold down the push-to-talk button and speak into the microphone, which can be located on the face of an attached speaker-microphone headset. Just remember to follow proper radio etiquette.
How to take care and maintain it?
Your UHF radio should be kept in good condition whilst not in use. Find a cool, dry place, ideally at room temperature to store it. Aso, keep it away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Make sure it is turned off and have the batteries removed.
It is very important that you use chargers and batteries that are compatible with your device because chargers that are not compatible with your unit may damage it. Pull the plug after it is fully charged, do not leave it charging overnight, or impact the overall battery life.
Treat your UHF radio with care. Although some walkie talkies are designed to be extremely robust, you should always be mindful of their day to day use. Avoid grabbing your radio by the antenna, and this will affect your radio signal. Only use accessories designed to go with your brand of radio. It can cause functionality problems if you try to do the opposite.
Using cleaning sprays and industrial cleaners to wipe your radio is not recommended as the chemical could damage it. Just make sure there is no dust build-up by simply wipe it down with a soft cloth.
Where can I buy it?
There are a lot of trustworthy locations that have a fine UHF radio for sale nowadays. And it is understandable if you cannot yet decide where to spend your hard-earned cash to get a perfect walkie talkie.
That is the reason why you read this article and reached out to my professional help. I have some famous global names to offer: Walmart, eBay, Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon, Best Buy, etc.
You should be familiar with these addresses already since they provide a massive quantity of excellent UHF radios at reasonable price ranges. You can log onto these online shopping websites or visit a chain store directly to see the item in person.
You should have seen that a series of benefits can be obtained when using a great UHF two-way walkie talkie. With the evolution of technology, people tend to use smartphones more for communication. Nonetheless, sometimes they can be quite inconvenient and not as functional as a radio when there is no mobile signal.
I bet you will never be outdated with the best UHF radio. And I truly hope that the buying guide in this article can become your advantage for UHF radio shopping in the future. Stick close to the amount of information that I provided, and you should be able to find a suitable one soon. 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.