Clarity as the #1 Feature?

I posted the below review in the review area after a bad experience with the Motorola 5000. What radio/brand has clarity as the #1 feature? I don’t need anything fancy, just FRS, but these will be used on a motorcycle where clarity is critical.


I was underwhelmed by the Motorola 5000 and really disappointed at the audio quality to the point I don’t believe they are even functional at the most basic level.

Scenario: The 5000 was purchased along with the motorcycle helmet inserts (mic/speakers/ptt) for the purpose of bike to bike communication. I attached the helmet system and plugged it into my PDA Phone and the speaker quality was stellar! In addition, people whom I called via cell phone said the audio quality from the mic was also good. I am certain the helmet inserts did not contribute to my opinion of the audio quality, but rest assured, I tested the units in silence without the optional helmet mic and with, on and off the motorcycle. The results were the same. I can only describe the audio quality as tinney, distant, and severely lacks clarity. I might as well have a dozen marbles in my mouth. My friend was a radio DJ, if anyone can speak clearly and annunciate it is he and well, he was almost unintelligable at a normal speaking rate. When we slowed down the speaking rate, things were intelligable, but you had to “squint” with your ears to clearly understand. In all this testing, turning up/down the volume, just made bad quality louder/softer.

On the positive side is price, dual-power, and descent feature set. The user manual was wrong and had numerous misprints. For example, the manual said the ROGER BEEP can be turned off from the menu. Not so! A quick internet search shows that you must turn the unit off, press and hold the + key, and turn the unit on. That toggles the roger beep, contrary to what the manual said, this worked!

They work, they have features, but really makes a walkietalkie functional is the ability to communicate, something this unit doesn’t do well. I have 4 for sale…cheap…only used for an hour.

We have gotten good feedback on the audio quality of the Midland radios, as well as the higher end Motorola Talkabout radios (look for the “companding” feature). You may also want to look into the TriSquare models. They use the same connector as the Talkabout’s, so any current headsets that you have would still work. You can find a TriSquare TSX300 review here.