Been doing a lot of browsing on the internet lately, looking at different 2 way radios and different earpieces/mics, and haven’t been able to decide what I should buy. I’m a big believer in forums, as you generally get the best advice from them, and sure enough, I was able to find this one.
So, I’ll elaborate on what my situation is and what I’m looking for.
I work at a restaurant/events venue (a large, 90 year old, cement building) and I’m looking for a radio (or rather, a pair/one that comes in pairs so we can get several) so that I can communicate to my boss and other staff. I’m also looking for a security earpiece/mic set that will work with the radio (compatibility obviously being a big concern).
Some general requirements.
Range: I know most radios have an effective range that is significantly below what is advertised, but that isn’t an issue for me. I don’t need much more than a few kilometers in distance (1 or 2 miles). Really, it just needs to be able to transmit in and around the building (there’s busy highways just to my north and Lake Ontario to my south, so take those environmental factors into account).
Sound quality: This is the most important aspect. Loud music is standard for our events, and even when it’s not blaring there’s generally no shortage of background noise. So I need something that’s going to be able to transmit clearly and audibly despite those factors.
Battery life: The longer the better, more as a matter of convince, but I need something that will last a minimum of 12 hours straight. I don’t really care that much how it’s powered, but 12 hours is a must, and if it uses its own rechargeable battery then it needs to be able to endure back to back 12 hours shifts with about 8 hours charging in between.
Durability/Size: Nothing too heavy or bulky, but definitely not some tiny thing thats just going to break. Waterproof not necessary, but if it drops onto the wet ground while raining or something then I’d like it to be able to survive. A sturdy belt clip is a must, which will hopefully eliminate the chances of the above scenario, but stuff happens.
Channels/Privacy: I’m really not very knowledgeable about how much interference/other activity can be expected, but as I mentioned earlier, I work in an urban environment. A busy street, a major highway, 2 busy transit lines (train and LRT) and another busy street, in order, are all to my north. The beach and waterfront are on my south and parks and a public pool occupy my flanks. So I need to able to operate without disturbance from any of that.
Earpiece/Mic: Obviously needs to be compatible with whatever radio I end up using. Earpiece/visible cable needs to be clear. I’ve heard that you can buy adapters to make the earpiece fit more comfortably and effectively in your ear, one of those would be great too. Unsure of whether I want to wear it as a lapel or sleeve mic, so having the option of both would be good. PTT an obvious must.
I’ve never bought a legit 2 way radio before so I’m unsure of what I might specify with regards to the more technical aspects of the radio. Presumably they just have more features/get more advanced as you move up the price range, which brings us to the end.
Price: Definitely willing to drop some cash on everything if I’m getting good quality, but don’t want to break the bank. I don’t want to pay extra for something over engineered with tons of functions that I’ll never use. Obviously the lower the price the better, but if I have to spend $100, or a bit more to get what I need, then I’ll do it. Absolute top dollar would be $150, but if I don’t have to spend that much then I don’t want to.
Thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to read my request. Feel free to tell me off if my requirements are unrealistic or absurd, I don’t think they are but what do I know?