Best Business Two-Way Radios of 2018

If you are shopping for two-way radios for a remote worksite, resort, or other location, you need a set of business two-way radios. Why not simply purchase consumer two-way radios? While business two-way radios may seem similar to their consumer counterparts, they feature much higher quality. In terms of durability, battery life, and accessories selection, they cannot be beat. Even though they may be more expensive initially, over the long run they are a better investment. They will stand the test of time and offer you greater functionality than consumer two-way radios.

Not sure where to begin your search for business two-way radios? Check the table below to see prices and features for top-selling models on Amazon.com.

Motorola RDU4100Motorola RDU4100Check Price on Amazon
Motorola RMU2080Motorola RMU2080Check Price on Amazon
Motorola CLS1410Motorola CLS1410Check Price on Amazon
Motorola DLR1060Motorola DLR1060Check Price on Amazon
Motorola VX-261Check Price on Amazon
Kenwood TK-3400U16PCheck Price on Amazon

If you still are not ready to pick out the best business walkie talkies, read on to learn all about their features as well as important questions you should ask during the buying process.

What is a Business Two-Way Radio?

If you know much about consumer two-way radios, you probably are aware that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has 22 UHF frequencies available for consumer use. Other frequencies have been set aside for business use. A business two-way radio allows you to communicate on these frequencies, which are relatively free of chatter since the general public is prohibited from using them. You can even operate on VHF frequencies for superior transmission indoors and outdoors.

Do you need a business two-way radio?

Not every business needs business radios, but many do. If you will be using your two-way radios every day, the higher quality and longer battery life may be very useful, as well as the added privacy of being able to use business frequencies.

What accessories do you need?

There are some accessories like rapid chargers and multi-unit chargers which are only available for business two-way radios (not consumer radios). You will also find a wider selection of headsets and earpieces to use. Always check to make sure that the radios you are thinking of buying will support the accessories you need.

Will you be using your business radio indoors or outdoors?

If you will be using your radios indoors, UHF or 900Mhz radios are ideal. Their signals do a better job penetrating walls. If you will be using your radios outdoors, VHF radios will give you the best obstruction-free range. If your radios will be used both indoors and outdoors, UHF or 900Mhz are the best choices overall.

Recommended Features For Business Two-Way Radio

Battery life

Usually with a consumer radio, you are limited to around eight hours of battery time. But with a high-quality two-way business radio, you can get 12 hours of battery life or more. For long work days, this is a must. Purchase some multi-chargers and rapid chargers and you will have radios ready to go around the clock.

Wattage

With a consumer radio, you are limited to half a watt of power for your transmissions; this is why the range on consumer radios is so low. You can operate at a higher wattage with a business radio. The higher the wattage, the higher the range. Some radios also allow you to temporarily boost your wattage when you need some extra reach. You can then power back down to a minimal wattage to conserve your batteries.

Channels and security codes

If you are operating in an area where a lot of other people are using two-way radios for business, a large selection of business-exclusive frequencies and security codes may be important. Separate frequencies will also help to reduce interference and keep communications clear for different departments within your organization.

Advanced settings control

Many handheld radios include advanced control over numerous different settings, and even the ability to lock those settings so they do not accidentally change, or transfer them from radio to radio. Some radios will even allow you to select from a list of pre-recorded work functions.

Rugged build

Business two-way radios are usually much more solidly-built than their consumer counterparts. This is essential as they are typically subjected to a lot more wear and tear while employees go about their daily business.

Hands-free features

Employees often have their hands full and cannot constantly be pushing buttons to talk. VOX, headsets, and other hands-free features allow employees to communicate seamlessly while they juggle other tasks.

Emergency alert

This is a feature where you can press a button and a distress call will be sent out to any other radios which are within receiving range. After the emergency alert is sent out, the radio will switch automatically over to hands-free operation mode for a few seconds in case its user cannot operate it by hand. This may be a helpful safety feature if you are purchasing radios for a hazardous work environment.

Range extender

If you are buying the business radios for work in a remote location, pay close attention to the range while you are shopping. Despite their higher wattage, even business 2-way radios can have severe limitations with range. As such, you may want to look for a range extender feature. Switching this on can help you to pick up distant, weak transmissions. Oftentimes there is more noise while trying to pick up these signals, but at least you can receive them. Also make sure that the radios you are buying are compatible with aftermarket antennas. That way you can boost the range even more.

Now you know the difference between business two-way radios and consumer radios, and why a set of business radios makes such a great purchase for your personnel. Ready to shop? Scroll back up to the top of this page to view our comparison chart for business two-way radios. There you can compare prices and features for top products!

1. Motorola RDU4100: a “No-Frills” Communication Solution

Motorola RDU4100This two-way radio isn’t fancy, but it gets the job done. If all you need is an inexpensive two-way radio that broadcasts and receives crystal clear audio, get the RDU4100.

Good

  • Rugged construction. This rubberized two-way radio doesn’t chip or bust apart if you accidently drop it.
  • Simple interface. Some two-ways force you to flip through hard-to-navigate menus, but the RDU4100 is very easy to use.
  • Free software. If you don’t want to program the RDU4100 by hand, just get the software and download your settings via USB.
  • Clear communication. Choose from over 89 high fidelity UHF frequencies.
  • Long range. The average two-way radio has a practical range of about 2 or 3 miles, but with this one you can easily communicate from up to 7 miles away.
  • Loud volume. Speak and be heard in even the noisiest environmental conditions.
  • Compatible with other radios. If you have broken an expensive 2-way radio and you need an inexpensive replacement, pick up a RDU4100.

Bad

  • The RDU4100 has a nice range and good quality speakers, but it doesn’t have as many features as most other modern two-way radios.
  • It is difficult to use the RDU4100 in the dark because it doesn’t have a backlit display.
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2. Motorola RMU2080D: a Heavy Duty, All-Purpose Two-Way Radio

Motorola RMU2080DThe two-way is yet another all-around solid walkie talkie from Motorola. The RMU2080D is incredibly tough, plus it’s got a nice little display and is very energy efficient.

Good

  • Difficult to break. It’ll take more than just a single accident to put the RMU2080D out of commission.
  • Good battery life. The RMU2080D will keep you talking continuously for about 12 hours before it starts to give out on you.
  • It has a display. Unlike the Motorola RDU4100, the RMU2080D features a small but useful backlit display.
  • Receives weather alerts. Stay ahead of foul weather by listening to NOAA weather broadcasts.
  • Programmable buttons. You can customize any of the 4 programmable buttons on this walkie talkie.
  • Easy-to-use software. If you don’t want to program the RMU2080D manually, just download the free Motorola software and plug it into your computer.
  • Broadcasts come in loud and clear. The RMU2080D features a powerful 1500mW speaker.

Bad

  • The earphone that comes with the RMU2080D could use some improvement. Transmissions sound a bit staticy coming through it.
  • The RMU2080D’s buttons are built to last, but they are also a bit stiff.
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3. Motorola CLS1410: A Business Two-Way Radio Emphasizing Flexibility

Need to shop for a business two-way radio which provides you with plenty of channels and frequencies? The Motorola CLS1410 is one option which may fit the bill. This radio was built to offer flexible communication options in a workplace environment, and includes a host of other convenient features as well.

Good

  • Lots of options for channels and frequencies. There are four channels in all along with 56 frequencies for exclusive business use. This makes it easy to find one or more private combinations as needed for your business.
  • VibraCall®. This feature for silent alerts is great for discretion or for workplaces with lots of noise.
  • Lightweight yet rugged. These radios can take a few knocks if needed, but they weigh only a few ounces. That means that they can stand up to wear and tear while still being comfortable to use.
  • Solid range. You can get as much as 200,000 square feet of coverage with these radios, covering up to 15 floors.
  • Energy efficient. Even with that excellent range, these radios only operate on a single watt. That means that you can get as much as 12 hours of battery life per charge.
  • Other convenient features. These include a keypad lock, 3 call tones, a drop-in charger, and support for cloning settings.

Bad

  • You may have issues with the charger. This is rare, but a few models seem to come with chargers which are DOA.
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4. Kenwood TK-3400U16P: A Compact Two-Way Radio for Business

Businesses that require two-way radios which are at once compact and rich in features may find the Kenwood TK-3400U16P ideal. Offering UHF frequencies, these radios are perfect to use in any setting and provide all you could ask for in the way of convenience.

Good

  • Lots of channels and frequencies. There are sixteen channels in all along with 90 pre-programmed UHF banked frequencies.
  • Fantastic range. In ideal conditions, these radios offer up to 6 miles of range. In concrete or steel structures, coverage is around 250,000 square feet. The signal can travel as high as 20 floors.
  • Long battery life. This device operates on 2 watts of power and can provide up to 22 hours of battery life on a single charge.
  • Hands-free. VOX means that you can operate the radio using only your voice. This frees up your hands to work on tasks.
  • Compact and lightweight. This radio weighs only 5.8 ounces, and measures just 2.13″ x 4.8″ x 1.32″.
  • Stands up to wear and tear. These radios meet MIL SPEC 810 C/D/E/F/G and IP54/55 standards.
  • Lots of other great features. These include a voice scrambler, 4-color LEDs, an audio cover which you can snap on, the ability to scan using Temporary Nuisance Delete, QT/DQT Encode/Decode, and much more.
  • Backed by a great warranty. With two years of coverage, you can turn to Kenwood’s support team if something goes wrong.

Bad

  • The pocket clips are a little flimsy. They can break easily. This is a common problem with two-way radios, however, and one you are likely to encounter with other models as well.
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