Some Recommendations

The worst, most dreaded question someone can post on a forum. Sorry to spill it on you guys.

Me and some buddies are setting up some airsoft warsgames and we’re looking to invest in some radios for our teams. We’re looking for something that is gonna cost an average of $70 per player. We’d all like have the same ones (I guess channels will be determined when we pick teams on each outing; not 100% sure how that would work). If we have to get two different brands for each team, that’s fine as well. We just want some recommendations from personal usage. Then we’ll cross that with online reviews and see which one fits out fancy. We figure we’re gonna be spread out over a few miles (playing fields out here are pretty big) and I wanna invest in throat mics for whichever team I’m on (I’m team sniper), etc.

Any help you guys could give would be greatly appreciated.



If you are looking to get a few miles of coverage in somewhat rough terrain, I would definitely suggest that you look at getting radios that support VHF frequencies. VHF signals travel further outdoors, and a two watt radio would likely provide you with 2-3 miles of coverage. In addition, with a one or a two watt VHF radio you could use MURS frequencies which can be used license free.

Unfortunately, the radios that I am going to recommend are going to be out of your $70 price range. In this price range you are only likely to find FRS/GMRS radios which use UHF frequencies. They would likely provide 1-1 1/2 miles of range, but could provide less if the terrain is very hilly or wooded.

The best radios for you would be either the Motorola XV2100 (two watt) or the XV1100 (one watt). These are one channel radios, but that channel could be assigned to a different frequency for each team. This would be ideal for you, as it would make it very difficult for one team to eavesdrop on another. There is a large selection of accessories available for these radios as well.

If you must stay within your $70 budget, take a look at the new Motorola T9500XLR radios. These models sell for $75 a pair and are the most powerful consumer (FRS/GMRS) radios that are available. The Motorola T9550XLR may also interest you if you need headsets. They are $85 for a pair and include camo faceplates and earbud mics.

All FRS/GMRS radios support 22 channels. You could put each team on a different channel to isolate communications. That would give you the ability you are looking for to have each person communicate with their respective team, but it is not going to help much if you are concerned about eavesdropping. The radios have a scan feature that a person could use to hear all communications.

Hope this was helpful, let us know if you have any other questions.


Hmm. The Motorola T9550XLR seems like it might be just what we are looking for. I’m just concerned about the size. It seems from the dimensions to be rather big. I’ve got a vest with a radio holster but that might be too large. Was looking at some of the Midland (GXT-850-VP4)and Cobra (LI6500) models as well. General consensus here seems to be that motorola is the better choice, with Midland being a close second. No one has really commented on Cobra models. I was just curious as to why. Are they a low end model, or are people just more apt to go with a bigger name (motorola)?

I remember years ago on a trip with my dad, he had a cobra CB and it seemed like it was top of the line in short range communications. But that was also like 10-15 years ago. Its hard to find professional reviews on these things, so its rather frustrating, so I’d like to hear what everyone has to say on the matter.

The 9500 series really isn’t that large. I did reviews on the 9500, look on the forum list. I liked the radios.

K. Well, thanx for all your tips and advice guys