With the help of DMR radios, you will be able to communicate with others readily and easily. In times of natural disasters when there won’t be any proper mobile phone networks up and running, these DMR radios will then come to the rescue. But that’s not all, you will be able to use these radios while camping and hiking in new and unknown places to keep in contact with your teammates.
DMR generally operates on three tiers, named as one, two, and three. Using all three tiers you will be able to talk to others who are on the same channel. Although if you use the third tier then you will be able to talk to multiple people all at the same time.
Owning a DMR radio will allow you to communicate with anyone anytime you want in the case of any emergency. As such it is reliable and easy to use as well. Due to this, DMR radios are pretty much always in demand. As such they are made by a variety of manufacturers in response to the demand.
But while you are out buying a DMR radio, there are multiple factors that you need to keep in mind. Yet, the question remains- how will you even judge which DMR radio is great and which one isn’t a scam to just get your money? To make things easier for you, we are here with a list of the very best DMR radios in the market.
10 Best DMR Radios in 2020
A DMR radio will be really useful for communication during any emergency or a natural disaster. With the help of this radio, you will be able to keep in contact with multiple people all at the same time. It will ensure that help is always at hand. But for this, you need the very best radios. So to help you out we have compiled a list of the very best DMR radios below:
- Item Weight: 1.49 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 1.4 x 5.1 inches
- Band: Dual, UHF- 400 to 480 MHz, VHF- 136-174Mhz
The radio package comes loaded with one 6.5″ antenna that can access dual-band channels. The dual-band channels are both VHF and UHF respectively. On VHF you will get 136-174Mhz and on UHF you will get 400 to 480 MHz. This DMR radio is a great low priced option with which you can begin. The cable is easily programmable for PC or computer. But note that it will only work for Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows 10 just. It won’t support MAC.
The radio is made using solid and durable materials which makes it strong and long-lasting. When you will hold it in your hands then it will feel hefty as well. The audio that you will get here is great as well. Know that it comes with an LCD where all the necessary stats like signal strength, battery level, channel, and more such information will be given. Know that you will get a battery pack of 2000mAh Li-ion which won’t last long.
The radio comes with dual modes and that’s analog and digital. You will get 3000 channels to tap into with this radio. Since it is portable so you will be able to take it with you wherever you want. Not that the radio’s software and firmware have been updated and it comes with new and improved features. With this device, you will be able to carry out group calls, private calls, and do text messages easily in digital mode.
Do note that this device can be activated remotely with voice prompts. If you are worried about anyone listening in on your conversation then there’s no need to be. With the hi-tech encryption feature, all of your communications will be safe. Along with encoding your communication, you will find that you will be able to decode any secret communication sent to you with this as well. It comes with inbuilt DCS and CTCSS that will give you a lot to work with.
- Inbuilt DCS/CTCSS
- Encoding and decoding
- 3000 channels
- LCD monitor
- Low battery
- Item Weight: 1.48 pounds
- Package Dimensions: 8.11 x 4.61 x 4.33 inches
- Band: Wide and narrow
On this radio, you will get to access 120,000 contacts and 10,000 talk groups. CPS supports intensive mass editing as well on the channels as well as on the contact IDs. As such due to this you will be able to export and import them using the CSV format. Due to this, you will find that it’s way easier to write the code-plugs. It’s important to note that this software will need you to have an already installed Microsoft excel. This will allow you to process your CSV files.
Channel selection will also be easier here. Know that to select the channel all you have to do is rotate the knob at the top. Another way of doing this is by physically putting in the channel number on your keypad. The device will support the DMR function and will ensure that you can receive and send messages. Note that the max length regarding such messages is only 144 characters for each one. Also, the message should be less than 50 lines.
This radio comes with 5 kinds of user-defined keys. These keys are based on the habits of the user. Of these, there are 3 side-keys as well which are touted as the regular default settings. Note that only the P2 and P1 are left blank. Users will be able to change those keys using their PCs. You will get a range of has a range of 3 to 10 km generally.
On this device, you will get 250 zones and in each zone, you will get 64 channels. Along with this, you will get a wide band of 25KHz and a narrow band of 12.5KHz. Know that you will get CDCSS and CTCSS here as well as a digital-mode supporting repeater. Overall, the radio is really strong and can be used for amateur and commercial usage. Note that housing is strong and durable. You will get a battery of 2200mAh here. With this, you will be able to operate the device for 48 hours.
- 120,000 contacts and 10,000 talk groups
- 2200 mAh battery
- Range up to 10kms
- Programmable keys
- Easy channel selection
- Item Weight: 13.3 ounces
- Product Dimensions: 9.05 x 7.04 x 4 inches
- Band: n/a
A great advantage of this DMR radio is that it is waterproof. So you will be able to take it with you even if it rains, snows, and such. You can rest assured that even if you accidentally drop it in water, it will be fine.
It’s very easy to use this radio. Know that this radio comes with a large battery power of 3200 mAh. With this, you will get more than 160 full hours of standby and 15 hours worth of use. The GPS here is accurate and will ensure that you are getting tracked. If you are going for outdoor activities like hiking or trekking in places you have never gone before then this GPS facility will be able to keep you safe.
This radio comes with triple group-call models. You will be able to make these calls freely and that too without any kind of group restrictions. Using the keypad you will be able to save and edit the radio ID. If you are worried about your calls and communication getting leaked then you don’t have to. The radio has a very secure system that will allow team members to talk safely.
The device comes with two kinds of slots that will support two kinds of group calls all under one channel only. It will happen under the direct model only. Know that you will be able to access 20,000 priority-contacts. With this, you will be able to easily call those people who matter to you easily. On top of this, it supports DTMF connecting too.
The radio has an LCD with a full backlit numeric keypad. Know that on this you will get to see all the relevant information. This means that you will get to see the channel number, signal strength, battery power, and more. You will even be able to use the SMS feature here. You can send messages of 50 lines and less. Also, note that each of the messages will have to be lesser than 144 characters.
- 3200 mAh
- 20000 priority-contacts
- SMS feature
- Package Dimensions: 11.54 x 7.83 x 4.8 inches
- Item Weight: 4.35 pounds
- Band: Dual. VHF- 150-174mhz and UHF- 450-480mhz
The radio is built using strong and solid materials which ensure that will last for a long time. It will feel sturdy and hefty in the hands as well. Know that it comes with an FM channel as well. You will get to access dual-bands here. The VHF here is 150-174mhz while the UHF is 450-480mhz. You will get 4 kinds of selectable power-settings. Do note that you will get a power setting in VHF as 50, 20, 10, and 5W. For UHF you will get 45, 20, 10, and 5W.
The device can be fully upgradable using the firmware available. You will have to use CodePlug for a starter but you can backup the present code-plug before modification even begins. The audio that you will get is clear and loud. As a result, there won’t be any issues when it comes to listening clearly to what the other person is saying.
The device comes with a heavy-duty heat-sink as well on this back. Thanks to this your radio won’t get heated up easily and will last long. Along with these features, you will find that this DMR radio comes with a mini-USB that can be used for the programmable cable. Note that you will get an RJ-45 for the microphone, and a SO-239 for the antenna connector as well.
Know that this DMR radio comes with 250 zones and you will get a minimum of 64 channels and a maximum of 128 channels in here. You will get to work with 3000 channels and 10000 contacts here. Along with all these, the device comes with an emergency alert feature that will let anyone know that you need help. Also using the voice prompt you will be able to operate the radio. You will be able to carry out all calls, group calls, and single calls here. Do note that if you are worried about your communication getting leaked, then there’s no need to. After all, this device comes with an encryption feature.
- Dual VHF and UHF band
- Voice prompts
- 250 zones
- 3000 channels
- Heavy-duty heat-sink
- Firmware upgradable
5. AnyTone AT-D878UV
- Item Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Package Dimensions: 8.11 x 5.28 x 4.09 inches
- Band: n/a
With this radio, you will be able to contact anyone during any emergency. It comes loaded with a Bluetooth feature as well that will make your work easy. With this, you will be able to talk without using your hands.
You will be able to get phone and email support with this. As a result, you will be able to access your contacts easier and call faster. It can support 200K contacts. If you aren’t able to use the device then you will get the needed training to ensure that you get the hang of it. As such it is a good device to use for beginners.
Note that to use this device you will have to upgrade it with the software. Since it comes with a programmable cable so you will be able to connect it to your PC to get the job done faster. Also, this radio will be easy to carry with you since it comes with a belt clip. This will ensure that the device doesn’t fall off.
This radio comes with analog and digital APRS as well as a customizable display. On the display, various kinds of information related to the signal strength, channel, and such will be displayed. The radio comes with a battery of 3100mAh capacity. So note that you will get a standby battery backup of a hundred hours and working battery power of twelve hours for sure.
- 3100mAh battery
- Programmable cable
- 200k contact storage
- analog and digital APRS
- Package Dimensions: 7.9 x 6.6 x 3.4 inches
- Item Weight: 1.55 pounds
- Band: 400 to 470 MHz.
The radio makes use of TDMA or Time Division Multi-Access digital technology. This device will work with the Motorola-TRBO radios of Tier one and two. Along with this, the radio works with the radios which are made by Kenwood, Hytera, Vertex Standard, as well.
The device comes with a voice prompt that will activate it with just your voice. Know that in cases of emergency this will come handy. It comes with an LCD where the battery strength, channel, signals strength, and other such details will be displayed.
Do note that you will be able to encode and decode the text messages that you will be sending in digital mode. With the help of this, all of your communication will be secured and no one will be able to snoop into your private talks. You will get upwards of a thousand channels with both the digital and analog modes.
Note that the radio comes with programmable multifunction-keys. So you will be able to set these keys to connect to the feature that you want. You will be able to carry out group calls and private calls with this. That’s not all, you will find that the device comes loaded with inbuilt DCS AND CTCSS for use. The frequency range here is 400 to 470 MHz. As for battery power, you will get 1700mAh only. This isn’t a great battery power level and it won’t last long. So you should carry a charger with you always.
- TDMA technology
- Programmable keys
- Voice prompt
- Unbolt DCS and CTCSS
- Low battery
- Item Weight: 1.64 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 5.51 x 2.23 x 1.14 inches
- Band: n/a
This radio can utilize both DMR and FM systems. It even comes with dual-band supporting capacities. Note that it comes with dual-slot tiers one and two. So it works well with a constant repeater and a hotspot. The FM mode is FM 12.5 kHz and 25 kHz.
The receiver is very sensitive and you will get a decent level of RF performance with this. Along with this, the RX audio will be okay as well. You will also get quick features on the keyboard. With the help of this, you will be able to program multiple settings as well as send SMS. You will be sent 32 pre-made messages.
Note that the radio comes with a very big display where all the necessary information like battery strength, signal, channels, talk groups, and all will be displayed. It will help in easier navigation.
The device comes with an 18 month worth of warranty. So you can use the radio without any issues. To fix the device, just take it to the manufacturer. Know that the radio comes with a programmable cable. This cable is programmed with a driver that supports Windows 7, Windows XP, and Windows 10. Note that it won’t support Linux or macOS.
Know that it comes with an emergency button which is orange in colour. When you will press that it will send an alarm to a second radio. This alarm will act as an emergency signal to ask for help. The audio quality of the radio is great and you will be able to listen to everything.
- DMR and FM system support
- Decent RF
- Great audio
- Big display
- Emergency button
- Low SMS numbers
- Item Weight: 3.45 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 17.01 x 7.01 x 4.09 inches
- Band: n/a
This DMR radio can easily support both the analog and digital modes. Along with this, the device works well with the currently available analog systems as well. If you want, you can quite easily switch to analog settings easily. Know that this radio comes with the Vox feature as well. So you will be able to operate it using your voice. This feature will be useful in an emergency when your hands will be occupied.
Note that digital broadcasting comes with a lot of advantages over the analog system and this includes better voice quality as well as better distance. With this, you will get higher power and larger battery life as well. The battery capacity here is 2200mAhn. Since digital technology is energy efficient so you will be able to use your device for 24 hours and more on this.
A great advantage of this radio is that it is waterproof. Note that even if you accidentally drop it in a stream, it will still keep on working without any issues. This waterproof feature makes it easy for you to go trekking in rainy places or during the rainy season. Even if it rains you will still be able to keep in touch with your team. The radio comes with automatic scanning as well. With the help of this feature, you will get the best available channels.
You will be able to carry out single calls as well as group calls as per your needs. Group calls in an emergency will save your life while single calls are perfect for private communication. Note that you will also be able to switch the power between high as well as low access to your needs. It will help you save power. It is made of really sturdy stuff so it will last longer and can absorb shocks from small falls without experiencing any damage.
- Single and group calls
- High-quality audio
- Low battery
- Product Dimensions: 2 x 1.5 x 5 inches
- Item Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Band: Dual. VHF- 136-174MHz and UHF- 400 to 480 MHz
This DMR radio is dual-band. On VHF you will get the frequency of 136-174MHz and on UHF you will get the frequency of 400 to 480 MHz. You will get a maximum output of 7W on the VHF and 6W on UHF. It has been made for both commercial and amateur use. The device comes with a very bright LCD. You will find all the stats like battery power, signal strength, channel, etc., are displayed there.
Note that this radio comes loaded with 4000 channels for you to use. Also, keep in mind that you will get 200k contacts and 10k talk groups in here. You will get an accessory jack as well as a speaker mic with this. Note that this radio comes with an encryption feature as well. So your calls will remain private and no one will be able to tap into it. The battery will last for 35 hours since it comes with a 3100mAh power pack.
Know that this device comes with a programmable cable. With the help of this, you will be able to upgrade the device. But note that for this you need a PC which comes with a Windows operating system. Note that this radio comes with 250 zones and each zone has 250 channels. So you will certainly get a lot to choose from.
On this radio, you will be able to name a channel like analog, digital, and split. Along with this, the radio will automatically detect a channel as being digital or analog easily. On this device, you will be able to monitor the DMR traffic that’s found on the present channel. By making use of the digital monitor, you will be able to hear the DMR traffic irresistible of the color code, private/group calls, and timeslot.
- Large battery
- 250 zones
- 4000 channels
- Item Weight: 1.44 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 5.51 x 2.13 x 1.14 inches
- Band: n/a
This DMR radio will work with both commercial and ham radio users. Note that this radio won’t come with an LCD screen, but there’s a front knob that will allow you to easily switch channels. The radio comes with a 2200mAh battery so you will get a standby time of 48 hours with this.
The radio is equipped with the easy voice prompt feature that will allow you to operate it with just your voice. In emergencies when your hands will be occupied, this feature will come in handy. Apart from this, the Vox feature will be useful for visually impaired people.
Know that the channel information is all pre-programmed in here. As a result, you will be able to use it right when you take out. The radio supports both analog and digital modes. You can use to communicate with Motorola made DMR radios.
You can use this radio easily and more effectively since it can work with both tier one and tier two. The device comes with a size button that you will be able to customize and set the feature you want there. Know that this device comes with an emergency alarm that will help you get the assistance needed in emergencies.
- Tier one and two supported
- Analog and digital supported
- Emergency alert
- Pre-programmed channel information
- No LCD screen
DMR radios are really useful when it comes to communication during an emergency. Do note that with the help of these radios you will be able to keep in touch with emergency services. Whether you are going trekking or camping, with the help of these radios, people will know about your location in case you need assistance.
As such DMR radios are always in high demand. To meet this demand, manufacturers make these radios. But not all of them will come with the quality that will save your life during a disaster. So we are here to let you know which features you should check while buying DMR radios. These features are:
The DMR radio should operate on two bands- VHF and UHF respectively. The VHF should be between 150-174mhz and UHF should at least be between 450-480mhz. The higher the range, the better communication you will have. Also, make sure that the channel count is at least 3000. This will give you the range and you will be able to tap into one or the other when needed. While buying, also make sure that the audio quality is clear and you can listen properly to what the person on the other end of the radio is saying.
Without a long battery life to power the DMR radio, all the advanced features that it comes with will go to waste. So it’s advised that you use a DMR radio which comes with a battery power of more than 3000mAh at least. Make sure that the standing hours are more than a hundred and you can get more than twelve hours of working capacity.
When you will communicate on the channels then there’s always a risk that someone will try to snoop in and listen. No one would want the risk of a private conversation getting leaked. So to prevent any such situation from ever occurring, make sure that you buy a device that comes with the encryption function. This will encrypt all your communication and you will be able to call without worries.
Make sure that the radio you are buying is fully programmable and comes with firmware or software that is upgraded. This will allow you to update your device and enjoy all the latest features. The biggest advantage of using the upgrades is that your radio will be better secured as well. To program your radio make sure that it is compatible with the operating software of your PC. Also, ensure that it comes with a programmable cable so that you can connect it to your computer.
In case of any emergency if you are unable to use your hands then you will need to make use of the voice prompt feature to call for help. So you must buy a radio which comes with the vox feature. With the help of this asking for assistance will become easy.
1. What is the ideal battery life to have?
Make sure that you buy a DMR radio which comes with a 3200mAh battery pack. With this, you will get more than a hundred and twenty hours of battery life on standby. When working you will get battery power exceeding 48 hours as well.
2. What to do if the LCD screen gets cracked?
If the radio is still within warranty then you should take it to the manufacturer. They will get the screen replaced free of cost. But if it’s well over the warranty period then you should still take it to the manufacturer service station as they will have authentic parts.
3. How to use the knob on screen?
The knob on the radio is given if the radio doesn’t have an LCD screen. The channels are generally pre-programmed so a knob turn should tell you about the channels. So all you have to do is turn the knob to get to the channel you want.
4. How can you send SMS on a DMR radio?
You can send an SMS on your DMR radio using the numeric keypad or sometimes even while using the LCD screen. Note that the instructions for it as well as how many messages you can send will be given in the instruction manual.
5. What to do if you are in an emergency and the battery runs out?
It’s always advised that you buy a radio which has large battery life. Make sure that you carry battery backup so that if the battery runs out then you will remain covered. Having battery backup is invaluable in case of an emergency as it can save your life.
With the help of DMR radios, you will be able to communicate whenever you need it. In times of distress, it is this radio which will come in handy. While buying such devices make sure that the radio comes with long battery life as well as a good VHF and UHF range. It is these two features that are the most important. With a great DMR radio, you will be able to take your trips without worrying about emergencies.
- 1 10 Best DMR Radios in 2020
- 1.1 1. TYT MD-UV380 Dual Band Handheld Two Way Radio (Ham)
- 1.2 2. Baofeng DM-1701 Dual Band Dual Time Slot DMR/Analog Two Way Radio
- 1.3 3. Ailunce HD1 DMR Radios
- 1.4 4. TYT MD-9600 GPS Digital/FM Analog Dual Band DMR Mobile Transceiver
- 1.5 5. AnyTone AT-D878UV
- 1.6 6. TYT MD-380 – DMR/Moto TRBO Ham Radio
- 1.7 7. Radioddity GD-77 DMR Digital/Analog Two Way Radio
- 1.8 8. Retevis RT81 Adults Walkie Talkie Long Range DMR Radio
- 1.9 9. BTECH DMR-6X2 (DMR and Analog) 7-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio
- 1.10 10. Radioddity GD-77S DMR Dual Band Two Way Radio
- 2 Buying Guide
- 3 FAQs
- 4 Conclusion