There’s nothing like the job best dual band DMR radio to achieve reliable communication.
Whether it is for communicating in a construction site, safeguarding a property, or preserving a national park – a DMR radio gets the job done like no other.
It is one of the most useful products to communicate effectively in large areas without losing any single bit of audio.
Sadly, not all DMR radios are worth having. So we have to teach you how to pick the right one.
But first, you’re learning about the best models out there. From brands like BTECH, Radioddity, Baofeng, TYT, AnyTone, Alinco, and more – there’s enough for every user and need.
So, are you ready to learn what they offer? Then keep scrolling to find out!
What Are The Best Dual Band DMR Radio Brands?
If you read our reviews, you must be aware of the brands that deliver the best quality. For us, it is all about B-TECH, Baofeng, Ailunce, Radioddity, TYT, and AnyTone.
If we had to pick one – we would go for Baofeng without a doubt. The second place is for Radioddity and Ailunce.
Why Baofeng, B-TECH, Radioddity Are The Best Brands?
Baofeng radios are the best radio for the versatility of affordable prices, excellent signal quality, having necessary functions. For B-TECH, Radioddity radio is the same reason.
A Comparison Table of DMR Radio
|BTECH DMR-6X2 Dual Band|
|Radioddity GD-77 DMR|
|BaoFeng UV-5R BF-F8HP 3rd Generation|
|Ailunce HD1 Waterproof IP67 UHF VHF|
|Ailunce HD1 DMR Radio A9131A-J9131P|
|Radioddity GD-77S DMR|
Top 10 Best Dual Band DMR Radio Reviews 2020
We gathered 10 of the highest-quality dual-band DMR radios available in the market. After a thorough look into each one, we found their best features and their worst.
Then we decided to bring everything we discovered about each in a review.
Want to learn what makes the following dual-band DMR radios the best out there? Then read our reviews – you’ll learn everything you need to know:
01. BTECH DMR-6X2 – Best Dual-Band DMR Radio Overall
- Up to 7W power
- 3,100mAh battery
- TFT LCD Display
- 4,000 channels
- 200,000 contacts
A hybrid brand from Baogenf – BTECH (Baofeng Tech) delivers every single pinch of quality you could expect a next-level brand to offer.
What sets it apart in the first place is the BTECH firmware. It is one of the fastest and most reliable you can get.
You get a total of 4,000 channels so you can work reliably on it without any interference or problem during communication.
Another quality feature to consider is the programmable system. You can set it up however you prefer to get the most out of every communication – whether for entertainment or for work.
The device also comes with a large TFT display. It has several power levels so you can preserve its battery as necessary.
The battery can reach 3,100mAh of charge, which allows tons of work hours. Alongside the belt clips, the earpiece kit, the 6-inch antenna, and the wrist strap, it becomes one of the most practical out there.
Don’t forget you can also charge it with ease thanks to the charger base and transformer. And with a programming cable, you can connect to a Windows PC and configure it as necessary.
Add the comprehensive user’s manual, and it becomes a go-to choice for any demanding user out there.
- Saves hundreds of thousands of data
- Long-lasting battery for extra convenience
- Easy-to-read and use display
- Clear & loud audio
- It is not a waterproof model
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02. Radioddity GD-77 DMR – Best Dual-Band DMR Radio for the Cost
- 5W and 1W power outputs
- 10,000 contacts
- VFO model available
- 5-inch antenna
- 2,200mAh battery
You don’t have to get the most feature-rich model when a simple yet utterly reliable radio can get the job done. That’s what you get with the Radioddity GD-77 DMR.
You get the clearest audio quality for smooth communication along with the capacity to go from Analog to Digital as needed.
The radio compatibility also stands out. It works as a Hotspot or as a Repeater as necessary.
You can get magnificent reach with other radios using this one.
And all of that is possible because you get the dual-band (UHF and VHF) system, along with a third VFO mode that allows its repeating function.
It offers the chance to change between 5W and 1W of total power output, so you can fit it to your demands.
And you get the analog SMS system, 1024 talk groups, and 10,000 contacts, plus tons of other communication features.
“Despite its excellent functions, you may find its interface a bit clumsy. People who like smooth interfaces that make it all easy to use may hate this one.”
The 6.5-inch antenna doesn’t disappoint either. And with the Emergency Button, you can alert other radios when something happens.
Add the 2,200mAh battery and the USB cable for programming it, and it becomes a go-to choice for almost anyone.
- A practical array of software features
- Emergency Button increases safety
- Extensive antenna for clear transmission
- Super sturdy construction for durability
- The interface is not the easiest to use
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03. Baofeng DM-1701 – Best Dual-Band DMR Radio for Ease of Use
- 77-inch LCD screen
- 1W, 2W and 5W outputs
- 5 fast-access keys
- 120,000 contacts
- VFO available
One of the cheapest you can get, but still one of the most reliable. The DM-1701 DMR radio from Baofeng delivers the quality necessary to take your communication to another level.
The first thing you’ll notice is the ability to work both as analog and digital.
With coverage using VHF and UHF and a 400-to-470 Mhz capacity – it easily surpasses anyone’s expectations.
You get a 1.77-inch TFT display with color. It provides smooth operation and increases your overall functionality.
Including 10,000 talk groups, 3,000 channels, and over 120,000 contacts – there’s enough to get everything you could need.
There’s even an SMS system, an emergency alarm that alerts other radios that are close, and several color codes plus DMR encryption.
And if you need them, you can also find 5 fast-access keys you can configure as needed.
The best of all is that you can update and configure the firmware as necessary. It delivers perfect operation and ensures a long-lasting product with maximum functionality.
You only need to hook it up with a PC via USB and program it as needed. Along with its PTT earpiece, a 2,200mAh battery, and power of 1W, 2W, and 5W – this DMR radio doesn’t disappoint.
- Solid build that lasts
- The large display makes it easy to use
- Precise and reliable sound quality
- Superb DMR functions
- Inconsistent volume
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04. TYT MD-380 DMR/Moto TRBO Ham Radio – Most Practical Dual-Band DMR Radio
- 2,000mAh battery
- DTMF decoding
- LCD display
- MotoTRBO operation
- 5W and 1W output
Among the highest-quality brands out there, you’ll surely find TYT. And with its MD-380 DMR radio, you can be sure it will become a go-to choice.
It all comes down to its MotoTRBO Tier I and II operation, making it super compatible with most communication systems.
This matches well with the TDMA digital technology with an LCD display, a DTMF decoding system, and a wide array of channels, groups, and contact options.
The overall frequency range goes from 400 to 470mHz, and the battery is 2,000mAh.
One helps you achieve an ideal reach to communicate with people far away, and the other allows you to use the radio for several hours without issues.
You can still program the device however you prefer. It boasts a USB cable so you can set it up with your computer and configure it via software.
The process is straightforward yet it makes the radio way more practical in the long run.
“The interface is decently easy to use, but it can be frustrating when it comes to changing functions. It’s recommended to configure it via PC.”
Another exciting feature is the large antenna, so you receive an exceptional signal. And with its extra-clear communication, you won’t have any problem listening to people on the other side.
It is easily one of the most stable and reliable models in the market. For anyone in search of a next-level DMR radio – the TYT MD-380 comes like a charm.
- Rugged build can withstand impacts & moisture
- Next-level encryption for safety
- Crystal-clear transmission & reception
- Excellent cost for the quality
- Programming the device can be a headache
05. BaoFeng BF-F8HP – Best High-Range Dual-Band DMR Radio
- 8W, 4W, and 1W power outputs
- V-85 7-inch antenna
- PC03 FTDI cable
- 2,000mAh battery
- 400-to-520MHz frequency
If we had to pick the most sought-after dual-band radio, we wouldn’t hesitate to choose the BF-F8HP from BaoFeng.
At first sight, it looks just like all other models on the list. But once you set it up and start using it – you realize how well-made it actually is.
One of the things that set it apart is the 3 power levels. It goes from 1W to 4W and up to 8W for maximum power capacity and efficiency if needed.
Yet, it is the range at 400 to 520 MHz that genuinely stands out. Despite its low cost, the machine achieves exceptional range in UHF.
Still, you can make it work with FM commercial connections, it receives broad and narrowband and doesn’t disappoint when it comes to battery life – using a 2,000mAh battery for decent efficiency.
There’s a lot more about this radio to enjoy. One thing would be the PC03 FTDI programming cable. You can set it up with a computer and program the device accordingly.
Another excellent feature is the V-85 antenna for high-frequency operation. At 7-inch length, this antenna ensures an exceptional frequency range.
Last but not least, you get one of the most comprehensive user guides, small design for easy operation, and a quality casing that makes sure the device doesn’t break easily.
- Extra-small yet practical design
- High-battery capacity for its size
- Top-notch antenna for superb reception
- Easy-to-use and program software
- Hard-to-read display
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06. Ailunce HD1 Digital Walkie Talkie – Best Waterproof Dual-Band DMR Radio
- 3,200mAh battery
- VFO mode available
- SMS and GPS functions
- 200,000 contacts
- IP67 waterproof
A little expensive but extremely practical – the Ailuence HD1 is the best walkie talkie for outdoor areas.
This device can work on the trickiest of environments and provide amazing results – so you can keep communication with a team or group with little downsides.
The first thing you’ll notice is a 3,200mAh battery. That’s one of the highest-capacity models you can get, achieving over 15 hours of operation per charge. And on standby, it can handle up to 160 hours with no problem.
This matches well with the waterproof case. No need to worry about where you take it – the device can handle almost any kind of use to the max.
“The Push-To-Talk button makes it easy to communicate in any situation. However, it may bug from time to time, making it harder to send audio while communicating.“
Similarly, it offers a VFO mode. This allows you to use it as a repeater as well as a transceiver. You get the UHF and VHF bands as well, at 400-480MHz and 136-174MHz accordingly.
To make it even better, it offers a wide array of programs.
You get a total of 200,000 contacts, 10,000 priority contacts, and thousands of groups and channels to use. Along with its internal memory, you get no short of convenience.
Something that truly sets it apart is the GPS function, offering altitude, latitude, bearing, and even speed – so you can always be aware of your situation.
It still provides an SMS feature and an emergency system.
- Resistant and waterproof construction
- Magnificent GPS function
- Long-lasting battery
- Extra-clear and effective communication
- The PTT button can be problematic
07. TYT MD-UV380 – Budget-Friendly Dual-Band DMR Radio
- 5-inch antenna
- LCD display
- 1W and 5W outputs
- 2,000mAh battery
- DTMF encoding
Coming back with another TYT dual-band DMR radio – it’s now time for the MD-UV380.
This device can deliver a VHF frequency of 150 to 174MHz and UHF of 450-480MHz – making it decent for short and medium distance operations.
This matches well with the 6.5-inch antenna, so you can get the most out of every communication.
The quality and overall clarity will be through the roof.
Still, you get a multi-colored LCD display where you can check everything.
You can change the output power from 1W to 5W, select among 3,000 channel slots, make a group and private calls, and even send text messages if needed.
There’s also a decent firmware system that works like a charm. You only need to connect it to a Windows computer, and you can configure it as necessary.
Lastly, you get a 2,000mAh battery, capable of getting it to 10 hours of total operation per charge. And that’s enough for almost any purpose.
- Large antenna for excellent audio
- Decent memory for channels & contacts
- Solid build can withstand years of use
- Unbeatable price tag
- Highly problematic software
08. Alinco DJ-MD5TGP Dual-Band DMR – Smallest Dual-Band DMR Radio
- 77-inch LCD screen
- 1,700mAh battery
- 5W, 2.5W, 1W and 0.2W outputs
- 160,000 contacts
- VFO mode available
There’s nothing about the DJ-MD5TGP to hate. Considering how well it is made and how practical it is for its size – you get no less than a hugely pleasant experience.
The small design matches well with the 1.77-inch LCD screen. You can configure and use the radio through it – without a single issue.
This program allows you to save up to 160,000 contacts, use more than 4,000 channels, and save your favorite talk groups.
You also get the ability to work in both VHF and UHF bands as needed. But it also works as a VFO mode, working as a repeater if you want.
The device also comes with an exciting GPS feature. It will report your position to other radios if you need it. That’s enough to stay safe on trips and other situations.
This goes well with the multiple-power system. You can choose the 5W for maximum output, or the lowest 2.5W, 1W, or 0.2W so you can get the most out of the battery.
Offering 1,700mAh of total power, you can use it for several hours with no problem.
“While the device can be arranged to use a minimal amount of energy, its battery power is limited. People who want over 10 hours of operation may not like how small this battery is.”
Last but not least, it comes with a polycarbonate construction with an IP54 build. This case can withstand hard impacts and constant moisture without getting damaged.
- Superb GPS feature for position reports
- The large and easy-to-use screen
- Excellent channel capacity for convenience
- Outstanding 0.2W output for saving power
- The battery doesn’t last long
09. AnyTone AT-D868UV – Best Dual-Band DMR Radio for High Volume
- 3,100mAh battery
- 7W, 2W, and 0.5W outputs
- 200,000 contacts
- 77-inch display
- 6-inch antenna
Quality comes in many different shapes and sizes. The AnyTone AT-D868UV is a perfect example of that.
What sets it apart from the competition is the GPS system. You can get all kinds of GPS data on the device through its 1.77-inch LCD screen.
Here, you can also use the 10,000 talk groups, 4,000 channels, and over 200,000 contacts. That’s enough to save an entire list of communication points for any demand.
Alongside this operative system, you also get the dual-band system with both UHF and VHF. It goes up to 136-174 MHz in VHF and up to 400-480 MHz in UHF.
That’s enough for long-range communications with any other similar radio.
And if all that wasn’t enough, the device still manages to offer a 3,100mAh battery. That’s enough to last over 12 hours of continuous operation.
It will help you get up to 7W of power for a long time. Or you can make the battery last even longer with its 2W and 0.5W options.
You also get a belt clip, a comprehensive manual, and a long 6-inch antenna. There’s enough to say this is one of the most practical models as well.
Don’t forget it also lets you connect via USB to a Windows PC and configure it. So you won’t ever feel like it is practical enough.
- High volume capacity for clear communication
- The long-lasting battery lasts for several hours
- Excellent contact & channel features
- Top-notch GPS function
- May produce a buzzing sound at max volume
10. Radioddity GD-77S Dual-Band DMR Radio – Best Screen-Free Dual-Band DMR Radio
- 2,200mAh battery
- 5W and 1W outputs
- 1,024 channels
- 2 antennas
- Windows-compatible software
A high-quality dual-band DMR radio for an affordable cost – the Radioddity GD-77S will surpass your expectations in almost every front.
The first thing that will surprise you about this model is the VHF and UHF ranges – going for 136-174MHz and 400-470Mhz accordingly.
This matches well with the dual-antenna system. You get a small one, so the radio becomes a super-practical portable piece. And with the large one, you can enjoy the maximum gain and range.
Each one has its purpose, so you can get the most out of this radio no matter your needs.
Another exciting feature is the crystal-clear quality with 1024 available channels. That’s enough to communicate without a single interference or audio issue.
“Because it doesn’t come with an LCD screen, changing between channels may be a little problematic. But overall, it does the job reliably enough for most people’s needs.”
On top of that, you get a 2,200mAh battery. It will power up the device for several hours without problems.
And because it comes with a lightweight yet quality construction, it can withstand harsh use without breaking.
As for power settings, you can enjoy the 5W or the 1W options. Each one offers a decent capacity so you can get maximum results no matter what you pick.
And lastly, you can pair it up with any Windows PC and configure as needed. That’s enough to say it is a practical-enough piece for the cost.
- Extra-crisp audio quality
- Decent transmission and reception
- Excellent battery life
- The superb range for the size
- Lack of LCD screen makes it harder to use
What to Consider Before Buying a Dual Band DMR Radio
So, are you interested in getting the best dual band DMR radio for security or communication reasons? Then you’ll love to know what truly makes a DMR radio an excellent piece.
Here, we’re going to explain every single feature to consider about these radios and how you can pick the ideal model accordingly.
If you’re looking for a quality model that meets all your demands, then you’ll want to know what to look for. This guide will help you out:
Types of Dual-Band Radios
First of all, let’s explain how dual-band radios are categorized. These radios can be analog or digital. In some cases, they’re both. Here’s how they differ:
An analog model has the primary purpose of sending a signal that other radios can receive.
They have a frequency range going from around 400 to 500 MHz and can achieve clear communication.
These devices only send signals via voice, though. But they’re highly reliable and deliver an analog capacity that doesn’t require any complex programs or firmware to work.
A digital radio, in contrast, can send and receive digital signals like text messages and alarms.
These radios offer the chance to transform analog signals into readable data as well, making them a little more powerful.
The difference is that digital data don’t transmit radio as efficiently and clearly as analog.
Yet, they work perfectly for numeric and text messaging, as well as other similar operations like saving contacts, channels, and so on.
Be aware that most DMR radios nowadays come with both analog and digital systems. So there’s a high chance you won’t have to choose one or the other. But still, be careful about what you pick.
Bands & Frequency
The second thing you should consider while looking for a DMR radio is the band capacity and its overall frequency.
For example, a dual-band radio like this should offer both UHF and VHF. But their frequencies may differ.
While a VHF range is between 100 and 200mHz, a UHF band is between 400 and 500mHz. The range may vary depending on the model – but because you have a dual-band model, it should be high enough on both.
The focus is to have something that works in both bands so you can receive and send communication as needed.
Once you’ve figured out the type of radio and bands, then you need to consider its software. We recommend interfaces and systems that you can connect directly to a computer.
Quality programming software allows a wide array of configurations. You can set different channels, groups, and contacts.
It could also enable scans and program volume and bands. At the same time, it may allow you to program other people’s radios as necessary.
The programming software should be available via PC. If it is compatible with Windows, that’s enough.
But if you can also program the device on other operative systems like Linux and iOS – then that’s even better.
Channels & Contacts
You want a device that allows at least 16 channels, 100 contacts, and no less than 5 groups. But most radios offer a lot more than that.
A quality DMR may offer up to 10,000 channels, 5,000 talk groups, and over 100,000 contacts. The more data you can save on the radio, the better it will be.
Be sure to consider how many channels and contacts you’ll need before picking.
While this won’t affect overall performance, you probably want something that ensures a practical experience. So choose wisely.
Display & Buttons
Dual-band DMR radios also come with displays. These can be LCD or TFT. Both are decent for operating the device.
But don’t forget to consider the size. If the screen is less than 1.5-inch in size, there’s a high chance you won’t be able to use it comfortably. So go for something large enough so you can program and tweak the machine as necessary.
Power & Battery
The power of the radio refers to how much it will consume while using it. This power can go anywhere from 1W to 10W in some cases.
Most radios allow you to change how much you want to use to send the signal, so you can get the signal as far as you need.
Choosing the minimum helps you save battery power.
Similarly, you want a battery that can withstand at least 8 hours of continuous use per charge. For that, we recommend a battery of no less than 2,000mAh.
Some models can go up to 3,000mAh, which may last 20 hours or so. Go for whatever meets your standards.
GPS & Bluetooth
While most radios don’t come with a GPS feature, we recommend it. Primarily for safety in trips and outdoor activities, it will come like an ideal thing to have.
And sure enough, Bluetooth increases overall connectivity. This way, you can transfer data between radios or with a computer without using a USB or any similar cable.
The antenna is another vital thing to think about. It will let you achieve the most range and get the clearest audio possible.
There are many things to consider about an antenna, and it will tell you the overall frequency range you will achieve.
But for the best experience, just make sure it is at least 6.5-inch in total length. And if it is expandable or collapsible, then that’s even better.
Last but not least, be sure to get a dual-band DMR radio that lasts. This is not easy to look for because most radios won’t tell you what they’re made of.
But some brands indeed focus on providing a quality casing that can withstand a lot of use.
For example, some models come with waterproof casings, so they withstand a lot of moisture. Others offer reinforced cases for extra impact resistance. And others may offer scratch-resistant and similar advantages.
Whatever increases the durability of the piece, that’s something to consider. Most of these radios last between 5 and 10 years.
So be sure to pick something that lasts more for a better experience.
Frequently Asked Questions of The Best Dual Band DMR Radio
Even after our buying guide and in-depth reviews – you are probably confused about some things about dual-band DMR radios.
Well, we may help you out with our following questions and their answers:
What is a transceiver?
Within our dual-band DMR radio reviews, we mentioned transceivers a lot. But you may not have an idea of what they are.
Well, primarily, they refer to devices that receive and transmit radio signals. So you could say every radio is a transceiver.
This includes fixed models and portable ones, like the DMR models in this article.
What is the difference between a walkie-talkie and a two-way radio?
A two-way radio (also called a transceiver) is any device that can both receive and send radio signals to communicate.
In that case, a walkie-talkie is a two-way radio. The difference is that walkie-talkies are portable, so you can use them anywhere you go as long as it is charged.
What’s the difference between portable and mobile radios?
Now that you’re aware of the differences between a walkie-talkie (portable radio) and a standard two-way radio (transceiver), you may want to know how mobile and portable radios differ.
This is easy. A mobile model means it can work on vehicles, so you can use it anywhere the car goes.
You can find mobile radios on police cars and ambulances.
In contrast, portable radios refer to walkie-talkies and other similar models that you can take anywhere.
These are the ones police officers bring on their belt, and security guards use to communicate.
How far is the range of a dual-band DMR radio?
An average DMR radio can offer up to 10 miles of total range.
How to maintain a DMR radio?
Taking care of a DMR radio is not hard. Follow these tips for a better experience:
- Always bring the radio around with a clip. Try to keep it in a place where it doesn’t receive much damage.
- Don’t scratch the radio. Keep it away from sharp objects.
- Don’t let the radio fall in water or incredibly moist places. Even a waterproof DMR radio may get damaged if moisture gets inside.
- Avoid holding the radio by the antenna. The antenna is usually fragile and super valuable. So be sure to take care of it.
- Clean the radio consistently with a microfiber towel. You may use a little detergent to clean its exterior with the cloth.
- Only use a DMR radio with the right battery. And charge it using its charger and not incompatible ones to prevent any damage.
That should be enough to keep the radio working for years.
Setting up a communication system? Want to stay updated with your friends or family on a trip? Or just need to equip the security guards of your business?
For any of those situations, you’ll find the best dual band DMR radio in this article.
Just follow our review recommendations to the letter, consider our buying guide advice, and read our FAQ section. Then, getting the right dual-band DMR radio will be a piece of cake.