Nice looking radios, performed better than expected. Radio #1 lasted 28 hours with moderate use (rechargable battery pack), radio #2 just over 30 hours. Reception was very clear and experienced no interference throughout my 4.5 acre property. The wife took one to the store and we were able to stay in contact for about 1.5 miles through heavy forest. At first the earpiece was not staying in ear very well but after a while I got it in there just right and it stayed in place pretty well. Overall this is a nice radio set and will meet my needs just fine.
Update-8.1.2013- I've had these for about 9 months now and I thought I would add a couple of things to the review. During the winter when the leaves were down we repeated the going to the store test. This time reception was clear for 3.4 miles and disappeared at 4.1 miles. In January during a power outage I reached for the radios and realized that the base charging unit had been unplugged for about a month (children). The radios still held a full charge and lasted for 25 and 26 hours, not bad. I put in a set of AA batteries afterward and one lasted 78 hours and the other radio lasted 85 hours before communication became impossible. The only problem I have had with this system is with the base charger. The green charging light no longer works. So instead of changing from red to green when fully charged, it remains red. But since it fully recharges the radios anyway I don't consider this a big deal. Still very satisfied with this system.
The best design yet!
I admit that I'm biased towards Midland radios, but as far as the GXT series, so far, these rock! The design is a bit more squared off than some of the others, which I prefer. These have a high quality construction feel and a nice addition over last years 760 series is the dust/water cover over the external speaker and mic jacks. The look and feel very solid and have a more professional look to them.
The sound quality and features are the same as the 760s as far as I can tell, so these match up very well if you're adding to another set. The display is a touch larger than last years models though and there has been a slight resdesign on the charger from the 760s though. Not sure why. These charge via connections on the bottom of the radios, vs the rear of the unit on older models. What the means is when you put them in the charger, they lock in place in order to charge via small clips on either side. It makes removing them with one hand a bit challenging, but I've found if you rock it to one side, it pops right out.
They are compatible with other Midlands and the range and sound quality is excellent. I feel they've increased the sound volume since the 760 series, and these deliver as well. I have an older 600 series set as well, and both these and the 760s, due to the longer antennas can absolutely receive and transmit further without breaking up and are much easier to hear. Our primary use is around ski resorts and when snowmobiling around our home. And yes, we are likely one of the few that purchase the GMRS license for the family as required to legally operate on the GMRS only channels.
I liked these so much I ordered another set to replace the aging 600 series. For the price, you absolutely cannot beat these.
1/11/13 Update: Unfortunately, I've exchanged the second set I've ordered twice. Maybe I'm a bit picky, but the two sets I've received so far have had screens that have been difficult to read unless you're looking up at it from and angle of the radio being tipped back and away from you. My first set doesn't have this effect. Had I not already had a set, I would have not known that there are differences, so really not a huge deal. I still consider these very good radios on their price point.
Nice high quality radios for a very reasonable price. We use about 10 of these on our 20 acre farm.
Excellent Range, no issues with trees and valleys.
These radios are excellent for short range use. Anyone who understands the basics of radio frequency should already know that "36 mile range" doesn't mean you can radio your Aunt in Topeka from Florida (although apparently some do).
MILE range is only a guide line to differentiate transmission/reception power of one radio from another. Usually it's on a test range and under optimal conditions. Your results may vary, and are completely dependent on weather, foliage density, buildings and even other radios in the area. Don't expect 36 miles...the manufacturer isn't suggesting you should...only that these are stronger than say, 20 mile radios, or 5 mile radios.
That said, these work at Road Atlanta, ALL OVER THE TRACK. The terrain there is hilly, dense with trees, and not at all conducive to radios. I can talk from the tower to turn 6, from turn 3 to turn 10, from turn 1 to turn 7, without any problems or static.
In a real world scenario, trees, hills, buildings, these radios have a high power 1/2 mile -3/4 mile range. On the lake, about 2 miles.
-Use lower channels for better reception.
-Use the headsets on PTT rather than VOX to eliminate battery discharge.
-Run them completely down before recharging them.
We've had no complaints for our intended use, and own 6. Realistically, we expected them to work the distances they do, and don't depend on them to work farther on low batteries or in bad weather.
Worked great during a cruise.
This worked wonderfully during our vacation. The additional channels helped because there were a lot of radios on the ship. We knew were the children were and it was easy to just meet up for meals.
Can you hear me now??
I bought this pair of radios for inter-bike communication while on runs with the guys. Either me to another, or my group to a second group. The voice activated (VOX) boom mike and earpiece makes riding communication easy and safe because you don't need to take your hands off the bars. Great for finding each other at the pig roast too. :-) 36 mile range is only optimum for over flat and absolutely unobstructed ground, so don't expect to chat with a pal in the next town. Buildings, electrical utilities, woodland, other RF from businesses etc. in the urban/suburban areas cuts the range a lot. Camping or fishing in the wild will yield greater range for transmitting and receiving, provided there is no mountain or Queen Of The Ocean ship between you and the receiver you're calling. The set is super-easy to work and learn, unless you've never used a radio before. The manual is very easy to understand and covers all the bases. It's great having the rechargeable battery pack, but if you run-down you can put in 5 AA batteries in each radio and be back in business ... so it's good to keep some in reserve. The batteries drain quicker on Hi Power, so if you're not far apart keep it on Lo Power, as I do on the bike runs where we're at most blocks apart. I'll update if any occasion arises for me to receive a NOAA Weather Alert on the set. That's a REALLY great extra that could be a lifesaver if you're out in open ground when a serious storm approaches; you get the chance to make a run for shelter that you otherwise wouldn't have had. In my case it'll help keep the bike shiny. ;-) For the price of this set you get the features of a really more expensive pair of handie-talkies and then some, and with the whole litany of features and functions you likely won't use half of 'em. They're also Midland made, and I've had Midland CB's since the CB boom of the 70's and Convoy, so you're getting great quality and thoughtful, experienced engineering. A buddy is into Civil War reenacting and at Gettysburg they used similar Midland radios and had like wired telephone-clear communication from Culp's Hill to Lee's lines at Pickett's Charge, so these radios are great for event coordination as well. Before that they used Walk-Abouts FRS radios with limited or no success. These are just good radios with a myriad of uses, especially for the Zombie Apocalypse ... .
The Best Pair of Walkie Talkies
I purchased these back in Dec,2012, and you will get a huge bang for your buck they work just fine. I have put them to the test in South Central in Los Angeles. Gave my mom one she stayed in her room as I took off walking went 10 blocks until it started cracking on me Remember she wanst even outside and behind a closed door laying on the bed. tried them again in a car in Compton. traveld with windows up and radio on and my friend was in another car headed in another direction and was clear up to over 9 blocks. Havent had an issue out of them yet the battery last a long time cool and easy functions. the headsets that come with them suck but the sound is great coming through them just the fit and feel of them are terrible. You may want to purchase another pair of headsets.
Excellent range for a hand held, easy to use, batteries last a long time
We use these in a surburban/urban environment. I learned about these when we were trying to communicate from inside a bank to an area behind the bank about half a mile away. My regular radios didn't work, the Midlands someone else did worked fine. I bought 8 of these radios and they have been working well. Good communication through walls and such for up to about half a mile no problems. I haven't tested further. Batteries have lasted 10 hours straight of regular communication.
For those that are looking at the 36 mile range (or 22 mile or whatever) those are with optimal conditions and I think with relay stations. Even then you're limited. I was in an event where cars equipped with much more powerful radios were spread out over about 5 miles of roads with a chopper carrying a relay transmitter - we could barely hear the far cars and when we went over a mountain we couldn't hear anyone on the other side. So ignore the numbers except to compare relative strengths.
The 36 mile radios have 0.5 to 5 watts of power. This is what determines its range. Our 23 mile range Motorolas were unable to communicate through the bank walls and sometimes have problems communicating from inside a building to a point half a mile away (in the direction of a solid wall or three). With the 36 mile radio we were fine. As a bonus they're compatible with the 23 mile Motorolas so we can use the Motorolas closer to "home base".
Me and my son play airsoft ,we have used it on numerous time on the field .very clear ! The only con I have is the ear/mic piece ,it is comfortable to little ears and when u run with it ,it has a chance to come out so i bought a throat mic ...besides that this is a great product ,made solid !
Purchased these walkies-talkies to replace some cheaper AAA battery units. Spent a fortune on batteries and did not have good reception on the previous radios. The Midlands are wonderful and because they are rechargeable will not have to buy batteries again. Good range and quality.