Snowmobiling: Midland GXT950 or Cobra Li7200

I have read up on these for days and still can’t decide.

The Midland is tempting because it comes with more “stuff” like a car charger and ear piece and mike. On the other hand I read on a review here that the Cobra had better range and clarity.

Battery performance will be big issue for us due to the cold and long hours on the trail. I would think we would have to wear them in our coats in order to keep them working.

They would be used with a throat mike/acoustic tube setup.

bells and whistles like privacy codes etc are not that important to me as we will be in the middle of nowhere.

basically it just boils down to range, battery and power performance, and volume and clarity to hear over the wind and engine.

Both seem to to best FRS/GMRS bubble pack radios available and it seems you couldnt go wrong with either one but its killing me not knowing which would better suit these conditions!!!

oh yeah, I would think a PTT for the handle bar would be better than a VOX set up. Any thoughts on that one???

I just want to say this forum is awesome and has been very valuable in my research as I have poured over it for hours!!!

I would truly love ANY and ALL feedback and opinions on how these two radios compare to each other!


If battery performance is important, go with the Cobras.

I have Midland GXT850 and Cobra Li6700. Both are very nice.

The GXT850 uses the same Midland AVP-7 battery pack that the GXT950 uses. The Cobra Li6700 has a 950mAH Lithium battery while the Li7200 has a 1500mAH Lithium battery.

The Lithium battery in the Cobras totally outclasses the NiMH in the Midlands. The battery life in my Li6700 is absolutely insane. Seems I have to charge the Midlands at least three times as often with similar use.

The battery life of the Li7200 should also be excellent. The larger battery should more than make up for the additional power needed during high power transmission.

The rechargeable battery pack in the Midlands is barely useful at full power. They use 5 AAA batteries (near as I can tell without opening battery pack) to maintain 6 volts but at a loss of battery capacity. AA alkalines probably work great in the Midlands (haven’t tried yet).

The Cobras are overall smaller than the Midlands in large part because Lithium batteries pack more power in a smaller space. I would say that the Midlands seem a little more rugged, but at the expense of being larger. Also, the Midland spring loaded belt clip is much better than the Cobra’s belt clip. My Cobra belt clip hasn’t broken (yet?), but I’ve heard of others breaking them.

The earpiece that came with my Midland GXT850 radios wasn’t all that useful. It worked fine, but it didn’t seem to fit my ear very well. The car charger can be nice to have around (it’s a cord that let’s you plug the desktop charger into an auto cigarette lighter). Don’t know if one is available for Cobras.

Haven’t tried any external mic/earpiece on the Cobra. One possible disadvantage of the Cobra is that the single mic/earpiece jack may not be as secure as the Midland two jack setup. The Midland earpiece has two plugs molded into one connector and holds well enough that I wouldn’t worry about it accidently falling or pulling out.

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the insight, that did help! I went with the cobras. I guess ill find out how they do!

Does anyone know the reasoning behind the power automatically dropping to medium once an earpiece/external headset is plugged in??? How much does it effect performance? Anyone know??? This is kinda frustrating! Thanks!

after a night on the computer researching, I ordered the Midland GTX9500 and got them today. Tested them and got an RMA to send them back to Amazon. They do not work well with a speaker/mic…the volume is way to low. We use speaker/mics for snowmobiling and skiing so we can easily press the button with our gloves on…this is a deal breaker for us and we will wait a bit for the new Motorola mr350r which "should"work well with any speaker/mic since my last 3 motorola frs radios did.

Other than this, I was looking forward to having voice scrambling since Motorola does not offer this anymore.

BTW…Midland is outright lying about the extra channels…there are still 22. The others are repeats of the same frequencies with assigned sub-codes.

TRUE! I agree 120%

if you read the forums about the Midland GXT900 series having poor accessory volume performance…you probably could have saved yourself the trouble. Read my post about it here:

Designed that way. This is why I gave my 7200 away and went to the GXT950. I needed more range than battery life.

Now I realize the range of these little radios are limited by terrain and trees and buildings, perhaps even more than the Hi / Med range difference. I did not actually test the range differences in the two settings of the 7200. I was just ticked off about that happening when I plugged in any accessory. So I called emailed the Cobra folks and all I got was “… designed that way…” No explanation about power overloading or RF feedback or anything.

I use these for bike to bike communication during my motorcycle rallies, and when out riding with friends. I plug into my intercom and use a remote PTT button on my handle bars. I have not noticed any difference in range OR volume after switching to the 950.

So far I have not run out of battery in the 950. I am happy with it and it has given me up to 18 hrs of about 50% use during the day, and I have enough time to recharge overnight and use again.

Marty in PA