Kenwood is isn’t the most popular brand out there when it comes to amateur radios, but it offers some impressive options if you want to get a HAM radio as your two-way radio over a CB one.
Kenwood radios are a little pricey compared to other brands, but their impressively balanced combination of functionality and performance is hard to beat. With that said, let us walk you through the 5 best Kenwood two-way radios.
Best Kenwood Two Way Radios
Here are our Kenwood two way radio reviews.
If a single band handheld doesn’t work for you, what about a triband super functional handheld two-way radio? Yes, that’s exactly what the Kenwood Original TH-D74A is!
APRS functionality, D-Star performance, built-in real-time GPS, multi-mode reception, microSD, bluetooth 3.0 (though only mono sound), 1000 channels and more, this radio has it all. You name it and this radio probably has that feature or functionality. And this is why we think its otherwise expensive price tag is well justified.
In addition, it supports all types of stations including CB, FM and AM stations as well, and pretty much everything else you can think of. The 5 watts of power output perfectly complements the feature-loaded functionality.
- Triband radio with tons and tons of features
- Amazing functionality and supports all types of stations
- The APRS and built-in GPS functionality is particularly impressive
- Impressive build quality and sound
- The battery life is just about average, but you would expect that given all the advanced features it comes with
As handhelds are typically the more popular choice for two-way radios, our second pick is the Kenwood TK-3402U16P, a handheld two-way radio as well. While it isn’t the cheapest, it’s a feature-loaded single band (UHF) radio with 16 channels and a fairly large range of 7 miles for a handheld.
The power output is 5 watts, and the other features include 90 pre-set frequencies, 12.5 KHz channel spacing to avoid interruptions in signal, and an impressive water and dust resistant body.
The sound quality doesn’t leave much to be desired as well for a handheld, and this radio is really easy to hold, use, operate and program. All in all it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a handheld two-way radio.
- Feature-loaded with a fairly large range of 7 miles
- More than enough power with a feature that helps avoid signal mixing
- Impressive sound quality
- Great water and dust resistant build quality
For a two-way handheld radio this radio seems like a perfect choice, nothing to complain about at all.Check Price on Amazon
If you have had enough of the handheld options, then here’s the Kenwood TM-281A, a mobile two-way radio. It’s a single band radio but if you’re only looking to use VHF then this wouldn’t be a problem for you.
The 65 watts of power would certainly help you get a lot more in terms of performance than its handheld counterparts we reviewed above, with the other features including 200 memory channels, weather alert function, large backlit LCD and more.
The audio quality is excellent and the radio is surprisingly easy to program and use. The range is great and users have no problem hitting repeaters that are even over 100 miles away.
- Powerful performance and can hit repeaters over 100 miles away easily
- 65 watts of power output
- Very functional with large backlit LCD, weather alert function, 200 memory channels and more
- Great sound and easy to program and use
Unless you’re looking for a dual band radio you wouldn’t find anything to complain about in this radio.Check Price on Amazon
If a mobile or base two-way radio fits the bill well for you but you’re after a dual band one, then the Kenwood Original TM-V71A would be right up your alley. It comes with a long list of features while packing a great performance.
There are 1000 memory channels, ability to dual receive on the same band, an automatic dialer, Sysop-Mode Operation and 50 watts of power. The radio works impressively well on both the bands and hits faraway repeaters easily boasting a great range.
It isn’t the easiest radio to program and get used to, but it isn’t the hardest either. If you’re concerned about it just get the RT systems programming software for programming and it will make your life easier.
- Lots of impressive features
- Great overall performance with 50 watts power output
- True dual receive function
- Solid construction
- Takes a bit of time to get used to all the functions, but it’s far from a major issue
Here’s another handheld two-way radio, but it’s also one of the most functional handheld HAM radios on the market. It comes with features like a built-in GPS function, fully functional integrated TNC, APRS and packet capabilities and more.
It also offers a lot of flexibility in that its buttons can be mapped to any function you want. The programming software would also allow you to import from other formats.
The programming and operation are easy and the sound is great. The power output is 5 watts.
- Amazingly functional
- Great flexibility with many features for a more customized experience
- Easy to program and operate
- Impressive sound quality
- The battery life is on the shorter side
Kenwood Two Way Radio Buyer’s Guide
Two-way radios mainly come in two types, HAM radios and CB radios. The former are typically much more functional with a much larger frequency range, ability to receive and transmit on multiple bands, as well as being much more powerful in their overall operation.
CB radios, on the other hand, only operate over a very narrow frequency range and also have other limitations in their overall operation. This is the reason we have only picked two-way radios that are HAM radios on our list, and no CB radio. You can refer to this post if you want to go through a more detailed comparison between the two.
Kenwood Handheld Radios and Mobile/Base Radios
As you probably already know, you can find two-way radios both as a handheld and mobile radios. The former are a popular choice here as they are very portable and great for travel.
However, if the portability isn’t much of an issue for you or you’re just looking for something to have in your vehicle, then you can’t go wrong with a mobile HAM radio as well. It comes with a lower more power and offers a much better performance than its handheld counterpart.
As for base units, they offer the best in terms of performance and power, but are the worst option price and portability-wise. Mobile radios are usually a nice balance of these important factors, which is why we picked two mobile radios as well that could also work well as a base station.