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The 13 Best FRS Radio Reviews 2021 + Buying Guide

FRS radios are great communication tools despite various phone models in the current world.

Effective communication between people is important. Sometimes, during different activities, you don’t get the connection you desire with other people.

FRS radios are a sure way to communicate without hurdles. In this guide, we’ll look at the 13 best-selling FRS radios in the market.

But first, let’s look at which FRS radio is the best among them, and why it’s considered the best. Let’s dive in.

What is The Best FRS Radio?

It can’t be anything else from Midland LXT600VP3. This radio has everything you need for communication regardless of where you are.

It can be used in places like schools, churches, and industries. If you are going for outdoor activities such as hiking with friends or family, this device comes in handy.

Here are the reasons.

Why Midland LXT600VP3 is The Best FRS Radio?

Midland LXT600VP3 stands out because of three primary reasons.

It has the highest number of channels to connect to. While most FRS radios have less than 36 radio channels, Midland LXT600VP3 has a whooping 36 channels to connect to and talk to your friends.

That’s a plus for anyone who loves a variety than being limited to fewer channels.

Water-resistance capability. With this gadget, you don’t have to worry about your radio spoiling if you are caught up in the rains because it’s waterproof.

Though there are other FRS radios with this feature, Midland LXT600VP3 is one of the few that stands out.

Wide area signal coverage. This feature is ideal for communication in a decentralized setting.

For example, during activities such as camping or hiking, you’ll have good communication over a wide area.

Midland LXT600VP3 is the only FRS radio with the highest miles coverage.

Now that we’ve seen the best FRS radio and why it stands out, let’s look at the other FRS radios still making waves.

The Comparison Table of Best FRS Radio

ImageBrand Details
Midland LXT600VP3
Midland LXT500VP3
DeWalt DXFRS800
Retevis RT19
Baofeng Bf -88ST
Gocom G600 FRS
Midland X-TALKER
DeWalt DXFS300
Midland T-10X-Talker
4 Pack Walkie Talkie

13 Best FRS Radio Reviews

01. Midland LXT600VP3 – Best Popular FRS Radio

 

Highlighted features

  • Water-resistant
  • 30 miles area coverage
  • 121 privacy codes
  • 36 available channels
  • NOAA weather scan and alerts

If you are looking for an FRS radio with wide area coverage, Midland LXT600VP3 should be your go-to. It has a wide area coverage of up to 30 miles (with little or no obstruction).

Midland LXT600VP3 has a squelch system of continuous codes with many options (up to 2662) to block other conversations.

This feature guarantees your ultimate privacy. In addition, you can turn off all other tones on the radio using the silent options.

Are you in a place with vast weather changes continually? Midland LXT600VP3 will alert you on risky weather changes.

It does this through the NOAA weather scan system. First, NOAA scans through weather band channels then connects to the strongest network. Through this, you will get an alert.

This device has up to 36 channels, allowing you to choose the best channel from a wide variety of your favorite channel.

It has both rechargeable batteries and a 3 AAA battery making it ideal for long-distance travel without the stress of being offline or unreachable.

With this radio, you don’t have to worry about it spoiling when it touches water. It is water-resistant. Are you contemplating hiking on rainy days? You are well covered.

Pros

  • Clear sound
  • Easy to use
  • You can disable all sounds
  • Radios perfectly fit in the charging base

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with a 3 AAA battery. Buy your own.

02. Midland LXT500VP3 – Best Quality FRS Radio

 

Highlighted Features

  • 22 channels.
  • 24 miles coverage.
  • Keypad control system.
  • Two-way battery.
  • Water-resistant.

This gadget has a keypad control system. With this control system, you lock it to prevent unintentional activation of the keys.

It also has keystroke tones keys. These keys respond in tones when pressed for confirmation or response. You have the option to turn off the keystroke tones keys.

Midland LXT5OOVP3 has 22 channels. So while talking to friends or family, you also track your activities, isn’t that wonderful?

The 24-mile coverage allows a wider area of communication. In places with little or no obstacles, the sound is more precise.

Apart from an ordinary battery, this type of radio comes with an 8 AAA rechargeable alkaline battery packed with the radio on delivery. So you don’t have to worry about purchasing a battery.

It’s also water-resistant.

Pros

  • No accidental activation of keys.
  • Has many channels to listen to.
  • It comes with an 8 AAA battery.
  • Excellent sound quality.

Cons

  • Requires a license to access channels (1-7, 15-22).

03. DeWalt DXFRS800 – Best Long Life FRS Radio

 

Highlighted features

  • Dust and waterproof.
  • Shock resistance.
  • 22 pre-installed channels.
  • Key lock feature.

If you want your device to be protected from dust, get this DeWalt DXFRS radio because it’s dust-proof and waterproof.

Let’s say it falls in 1m deep water for about 30 minutes; it will remain intact.

Apart from the 22 pre-installed channels, there’s a scan channel to monitor your activities.

In addition, the pre-installed channels have private codes to help block interferences from other channels. These two features work simultaneously.

If your radio suddenly slips and falls, you don’t have to worry about it getting spoiled.

This radio is designed so that it won’t get damaged if it slips and falls (2 meters from the ground).

This radio has a voice-over transmission through speakers and microphones that frees your hands.

You can multitask as you talk over the radio; therefore, an excellent timesaving factor to consider.

Pros

  • It has a long-life battery.
  • Easy to use.
  • Multi-tasking possibility.
  • Doesn’t require a license or service fees.

Cons

  • Don’t come with speakers or microphones.

04. Retevis RT19

 

Highlighted features

  • 1300mAh Lithium-ion battery.
  • Partial hands-free.
  • Earpiece with metal back clip.
  • 22 channels
  • Two USB ports.
  • Auto squelch system.

This FRS radio has a 1300mAh lithium battery that keeps charge for extended periods (14 -24 hours user time).

The battery is cold-resistant. The radio has a power save that automatically turns off when it’s not in use.

Save your time by charging two FRS radios simultaneously using the two USB ports.

Who wouldn’t love a slim, lightweight designed gadget that fits perfectly in their pockets or palms? Retevis RTTT19 is portable because it’s slim.

Durability is a key consideration when buying any gadget. This is taken care of by a metal back clip to prevent wear and tear that gives it a long life span.

If you value your coins and wouldn’t want to keep replacing your FRS radios, get this gadget.

The auto squelch system cancels any background noise. Clear phone calls are a guarantee.

Pros

  • Fits easily in pockets.
  • Easy to clip to pockets or clothes.
  • No background noise.

Cons

  • Some channels aren’t clear
  • Low volume

05. Baofeng Bf -88ST FRS radio

 

Highlighted Features

  • 1 USB port.
  • 16 pre-programmed channels.
  • Antenna, flashlight, and earpiece.
  • 3 miles coverage.
  • 1500mAh Li-ion battery.

This device has sturdy irremovable antennae to protect the integrated units and increase signal strength. It also has a flashlight and an earpiece.

The earpiece ensures clear communication. In addition, there is a stable transmission of voices in the device.

Availability of a 1500mAh battery is easy to charge. It takes a shorter time to charge. This battery also has a long life span.

There are 16 pre-programmed channels to connect to. Communication through this device doesn’t cover a wide area, though. It only extends to 3 miles.

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • Fast charge.
  • Long battery life.

Cons

  • Works only on short distances.

06. Gocom G600 FRS

 

Highlighted Features

  • VOX hands-free and waterproof
  • 22 channels two-way radio
  • Rechargeable 1200mAh NiMH battery
  • Weather scan and updates
  • Inbuilt LED lights

VOX transmission capability of this FRS radio allows you to perform other duties while using it because your hands are accessible since it has a voice-over transmission.

Therefore, you can continue driving or hiking undisturbed.

In addition, the keypad of this device is water-resistant, so no worries about your phone spoiling when it’s raining.

This is a plus feature to check if you would want to use it for hiking or scouting in the mountains.

This device features 22 FRS channels and a privacy codes system to block other conversations and checks activities.

Eleven weather channels automatically scan and connect to the strongest channel, which creates an update (through an alarm) on risky weather changes.

For regular use, there must be three rechargeable 1200Amh batteries. Dual watch permits you to set up two channels and still receive your call.

Pros

  • Long battery life.
  • High-quality sound.
  • Easy to set up and use.

Cons

  • It doesn’t cover the 3 miles mentioned.

07. Midland X-TALKER T75VP3

 

Highlighted Features

  • Thirty-six channels two–way radio.
  • 38 miles area coverage.
  • Weather scan alert.
  • 121 privacy codes.
  • EVOX hands-free operation.

So far, this is the only FRS radio with the longest area coverage for communication. It covers up to 38 miles with little or no distractions.

This makes it a go-to device for activities such as hiking, zip-lining, swimming, hunting (it has five animal call alerts), and camping in far places.

It also has an FRS channel for scanning activities and an electric voice-over and sound transmission for the operation, which sets you free to multitask.

There are 36 channels to listen to. The two-way allows for scanning of the channels and track activity.

Also, you get alerts on weather changes. This happens when the device automatically scans through the ten weather band channels and connects to the strongest channel.

Privacy is key. This gadget gives you privacy with the automatic squelch system, which blocks other conversations. There are 121 CTCSS codes in the squelch system.

Pros

  • High power.
  • Fast charging speed.
  • Private conversations.
  • Long battery life.

Cons

  • Confusing frequencies.

08. DeWalt DXFS300

 

Highlighted features

  • Shock-resistant, waterproof.
  • Two-way radio with a VOX.
  • 1-watt heavy duty.
  • 22 pre-programmed channels.

If it falls from about 2m to the ground, the radio doesn’t spoil because it has a rugged anti-slip design. In addition, its waterproof feature makes it an ideal radio for camping or hiking during the rains.

Also, there are 22 pre-programmed channels to avoid interference from others.

There’s a wide area of communication coverage because of the 1-watt heavy-duty power. Its signal can span up to approximately 20 floors.

Pros

  • A rugged design. It doesn’t spoil if it falls.
  • Long battery life.
  • Long life span.
  • Fast charge.

 Cons

  • Low sound quality

09. Midland T-10X-Talker

 

Highlighted Features

  • 22 preset channels
  • NOAA weather alert
  • 38 CTCSS privacy codes
  • Hands-free operation
  • 6 AAA batteries required
  • 20 miles coverage

There are 22 FRS preset channels with a different channel to scan activities.

In risky weather changes, the NOAA alert system will update you by connecting to the strongest channel.

There’s a 38CTCSS privacy code to avoid interferences from other channels apart from the pre-selected 22 channels.

If you need to communicate with workmates, friends, or campmates over a long distance, this FRS radio’s got you covered.

It has a wide distance coverage of up to 20 miles, making it more convenient for camping or hiking activities.

In addition, it has a voice-over and sound transmission capability that allows for hands-free usage; hence you can multi-task.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality.
  • Easy to use.
  • Alerts on risky weather changes.

Cons

  • Need to purchase rechargeable batteries.
  • Poor range coverage in places with obstacles.

10. 4 Pack Walkie Talkie for Adults

 

Highlighted Features

  • 22 channels.
  • 5 miles coverage.
  • VOX hands-free operation.
  • It uses both alkaline and rechargeable AAA batteries.

With 22 preset channels, you can choose a favorite channel from this variety.

There is a voice-over and sound transmission to allow you to multitask as you communicate via this gadget.

This radio is flexible in terms of battery. It uses both alkaline and rechargeable batteries. So you can carry extra rechargeable batteries for later use in case of low battery or power.

The ability to cover a wide area is a plus, and this radio provides you with precisely that. It allows communication over 3 miles with little or no distractions.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality.
  • Easily portable because of the strips and clips.
  • Easy to use.
  • Long battery life.

Cons

  • Limited to 5 watts output

11. Retevis RT68

 

Highlighted Features

  • 16 two-way channels.
  • 6 Lithium-ion batteries.
  • 6-way multi-charger unit.
  • Lightweight, 4 pounds.
  • CTCSS DCS codes.

There are 16 pre-selected channels and an activity scan channel.

The multi-charger unit accommodates charging all your six radios or batteries simultaneously, which is a good time and space-saving factor instead of charging them differently.

Easily portable devices are easy to deal with because they’re lightweight and less bulky. For example, Retevis RT68 is lightweight hence convenient for walking around while running errands.

The automatic squelch code system (CTCSS DCS codes) ensures privacy. For clear communications, there are voice-over transmissions. Clarity and privacy are essential communication factors.

The battery life is up to 12 hours of active use, so you can run your errands with no stress of running out of power.

This type of radio is most suitable for business activities, leisure, and school.

Pros

  • Long life span.
  • Long battery life.

Cons

  • Unreliable reception.

 12. FRS Two-Way Radio

 

Highlighted Features

  • NOAA alerts.
  • VOX scan.
  • Four lithium polymer batteries.
  • 64 pounds.
  • 22 channels.
  • LED flashlight.
  • 5km coverage.
  • 154 privacy codes.
  • 1250mAh LI Polymer battery.

NOAA senses risky weather changes and creates an alert by connecting to the strongest channel in extreme weather changes.

In addition, a voice-over transmission scan for sound clarity during communication is also available in this device.

This device’s lightweight makes it suitable to carry around.

Also, you have a wide range of 22 preset channels to choose from.

LED flashlight is available to light up in dark places.

There are four lithium batteries to replace the inbuilt battery if it runs out of power.

Privacy codes prevent disturbance from other channels apart from the set ones. So you listen to your favorite channels without unnecessary interruptions.

This radio covers a maximum of 5 miles of distance with little or no distraction during communication in terms of coverage.

Pros

  • Clear sound.
  • Easy to use.
  • Long battery life.
  • Multi-tasking.

Cons

  • Lots of settings.

13. GLCON

 

Highlighted features

  • 16 preset channels.
  • 5 miles coverage.
  • Rechargeable batteries.

GLCON radio is a great outdoor and indoor communication tool. It has a distance coverage of 5miles in open fields, but it narrows down when in buildings.

There’s a flashlight for darkness.

An added advantage of this device is programming it to suit your desires. Programming includes adding features like emergency alert, VOX, squelch, and scan.

This radio has 16 channels to facilitate communication between two people or groups. A channel for keeping a record of all your activities is available too.

The primary reason to get this product is that it has broad application areas—talk of churches, schools, offices, airports, and outdoor activities like jogging.

Pros

  • Long battery life.
  • Easy to use.
  • It can be programmed.

Cons

  • Reduced miles coverage when obstacles are present.

What to Consider Before Buying Best FRS Radios

Whether you want to buy an FRS radio for family, business, church, or outdoor use, there are key factors to consider before you settle on one.

But, these features depend on your preference and how effective you want your communication with other people to be. So, let us look at these essential factors.

Area Coverage

FRS radios have a limited area coverage depending on the specific type of communication.

While some like Midland X-Talker T75VP3 can cover 36miles, others cover as little as 3 miles.

If you want to buy an FRS radio for use within your house, then going for less area coverage isn’t a bad idea.

However, in hiking, camping, or sailing, where the distance between groups of people could be large, go for radios with wide area coverage with clear sound for communication.

This will help you stay in touch with your teammates during these activities.

Battery Life

Batteries with high power are more convenient because they last longer, no matter the primary use.

Therefore, always go for an FRS radio with a long-lasting battery. An FRS radio with a rechargeable battery is a plus too, which helps avoid any inconveniences of miscommunication between people during activities.

Sound Clarity

A clearer sound yields better communication. FRS radios with VOX transmission are better for communication because they have sound or voice transmission.

Sound quality also depends on altitudes or when you’re between buildings that hinder communication.

Radios with long antennas have high signal strength and are clearer than the ones with short antennae.

Resistance

Dust and water are major causes of equipment damage that should be considered. Buy an FRS radio which remains intact if it falls, is dust-proof, and waterproof.

Number of Preset Channels

FRS radios have a varied number of pre-installed channels. If you prefer a wide variety of channels to choose from, then choose a radio with a high number of channels.

An example of FRS radio with many channels is Midland LXT600VP3 which has 36 channels. Others have as low as 16 channels.

Below are some of the frequently asked questions about FRS radios.

FAQ’s About FRS Radio Reviews

Must I have a license before I buy an FRS radio?

No. For personal or business use, you can use a radio without a license. But, it is limited to radio with 2 watts or below only.

You don’t need to apply for a license to use the models with 22 channels.

What are some channels I can use on FRS radios?

The manual states you can only use channels 1 to 7 and an additional of 15 to 22.

What is the difference between FRS and GMRS?

FRS is an acronym for family service radio, while GMRS stands for general mobile radio service.

While FRS doesn’t require a license before use, GMRS must have a license to communicate.

While amplification of the FRS signal is possible, GMRS signals can be amplified to reach further distances to a maximum of 50 watts.

FRS uses low watts while GMRS uses high watts.

What area can a handheld span approximately?

Several factors influence communication with a handheld radio (FRS).

These factors include environment, the type of antenna, bandwidth, and wattage.

Environmental obstacles like buildings and trees reduce communication range.

Some FRS radios can cover more miles during communication while others only reach a small area or location.

Also, buildings obstruct communication (reduces clarity when talking) while it’s better in void places.

Type of antenna-Long antennas has a stronger signal while short antennae cut or weaken signals.

Wattage- high wattage radio signals travel a longer distance, while those with fewer watts only reach a shorter distance.

Is there any difference between short and long antennae?

Yes, long antennae signals travel for longer distances than short ones.

Therefore, radios with long antennae are more convenient for use when communicating over longer distances.

However, using a radio with a short antenna will still work out for you if you are centrally located.

Can I use over two radios to communicate, or is each radio tied to the other? 

These devices aren’t tied to each other. Communication across radios is possible as long as they are tuned to the same channel.

What are the steps for using an FRS radio?

  • Carefully listen for channel clarity, then click the Push-To-Talk button.
  • Say “Recipient’s call sign” twice.
  • Say “This is” followed by your call sign.
  • If the person responds, pass your message.

Why am I not getting any weather alerts?

Alerts are created by setting the right county channel and codes in the FRS radio. Be sure to check you have set these right.

Then switch on the alert on/off switch. Also, ensure the reception is clear to get weather alerts.

Can my friends and I use different brands of FRS radio to communicate with each other?

Yes, you can. If the frequencies of the different radios are the same, they are compatible with each other. Ensure the privacy code and channel are the same to communicate.

What is NOAA weather alert radio?

NOAA stands for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

It is a network of radio stations that broadcasts weather updates directly from a Weather Service Office (WSO).

You receive all risky weather updates within 24 hours. Examples of risky weather are earthquakes, floods, forest fires, and oil spillage.

How long does the warning light take to turn off?

The light remains on from 15 minutes to a maximum of 6 hours. After the set time is over, the light and display messages reset back to their normal state.

How do I improve my FRS radio signal?

Remove all obstacles around you when using an FRS radio. Obstacles such as buildings reduce the signal strength. Get on higher ground.

Is an FRS better than GMRS?

GMRS has more wattage of up to 50 watts, while an FRS has a maximum of 2 watts. Though, most GMRS uses 1-5 watts. GMRS has a better range than FRS.

A common feature between an FRS radio and GMRS is both use FM (Frequency Modulation) to send signals.

Bottom Line 

Different reasons make people buy radios. No matter your reason, prioritize your primary preference, as we had earlier seen.

Our wide range of carefully selected FRS radios has all the best radios to choose from. These radios will cater to your needs for both indoor and outdoor activities.

Be sure to check the list and choose your favorite radio!

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