Communication is the key when playing airsoft. This is why you will need a good radio. The best radio for airsoft can make a big difference if your team is able to properly communicate on setting ambushes, traps, exchanging mission information, and all that.
If you and your team want to come out as a winner on the airsoft game field, you will need a good, functional, and reliable airsoft radio. You wouldn’t use your cellphone to call your teammate during a match. That would certainly ruin the fun of the game.
Also, it’s hard to use your phone for communication when you are all geared up. If you are wearing gloves and have an airsoft gun on your hand, communication becomes even harder. For that reason, I’ve compiled some of the best radios for airsoft that you can use on the go.
These are our choice for the best budget radio for airsoft:
- Baofeng UV-82 VHF UHF FM Transceiver Dual Band Two Way Radio
- Midland 50 Channel Waterproof GMRS Two-Way Radio
- Motorola T200TP Talkabout Radio
- Proster Rechargeable Walkie Talkies 1 Pair
- Long Distance 2 Way Radios By Luiton
Top 5 Best Radio For Airsoft
The best part about airsoft radios is that you can communicate with a lot of people at the same time. That’s why I’ve included two-way radios as well. Let’s have a look at all of my top-picked radios for airsoft below.
1#. Baofeng UV-82 VHF UHF FM Transceiver Dual Band Two Way Radio
If you want the features of both VHF and FRS radio, this one is a good option to consider. It’s a two-way dual-band radio from Baofeng that has a 7-inch high-gain antenna and a build-quality that is durable enough to withstand occasional bumps.
This is the current price of these BAOFENG UV-82 VHF UHF FM radio available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
Why Is This The Top Pick?
License Free Use
If you are not transmitting ham 70 cm and 2-meter bands, you won’t need a ham license to use these radios for two-way communication. The Baofeng UV-82 is widely used for MURS, GMRS, and FRS, and the frequencies can be programmed into the memory bank with ease.
Commercial Grade Durability
This radio is meant to be used commercially. The case is hard plastic and can withstand bumps. When you think about it, airsoft matches do tend to get intense over time. It’s pretty common to drop your stuff in the heat of the battle. This case is durable enough to protect the radio from such accidents.
Wide Frequency Range
Although programming the channels can be a bit of pain because the manual doesn’t come with any clear instructions. However, you will find a lot of useful videos online that show the whole process. You can easily upgrade the stock antenna for better communication. This device can be easily programmed using a USB adapter and CHIRP.
Speakers are important to communicate with teammates. You can greatly increase the range if you have the license to do so. Speaking of a license, certain frequencies will require a HAM license. Make sure to check the radio laws before operating this one.
This airsoft radio is a top choice for beginners/professionals. It’s the perfect device to learn the ins and outs of a dual-band radio. The UV-82 has large buttons, is better and easier to hold and operate, and also features dual PTT to match the dual VOF. The stock antenna is powerful and has a good range.
You won’t be able to figure out all the controls of this radio. Do not stress yourself out with the manual. Instead, search online to understand how to configure this radio.
Who Is This Product For?
It’s not for a casual consumer. This thing is meant to be handled by a veteran user. If you know your way around frequencies and channels, this is the best BaoFeng radio for airsoft on the market. Make sure to use the CHIRP software to program the channels.
Click here to buy these BAOFENG UV-82 VHF UHF FM radio available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
2#. Midland 50 Channel Waterproof GMRS Two-Way Radio
Midland is the industry leader in wireless communication. If you are on the hunt for two-way radios, this pack might be the perfect one for your needs. The Midland GXT1000 is a versatile radio that is suitable for multiple users. Whether you are in the woods or on the farm playing airsoft, you can rely on these devices for communication.
This is the current price of these Midland 50 Channel Waterproof GMRS Two-Way Radio available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
Why Is This The Top Pick?
The advertised range of the Midland GXT1000 is 36-mile (on ideal condition). However, the actual communication range will be a lot less due to obstructions. There are 50 channels of crisp and clear communication to choose from. This allows you to communicate with your teammates from far away without losing audio clarity.
Outdoor Optimized Features
This radio combines NOAA weather alerts with weather scans. It will automatically scan all the available weather channels and pick the one that has the strongest signal. If there are any severe weather updates, this device will alert you beforehand. You will also get notified if there is a risk of severe weather in your location.
This GMRS walkie-talkie is cross-compatible with all Midland GMRS and FRS devices. In a busy city, you will get around 1 mile of communication range with all compatible devices. The actual distance may vary, though. Also, this device offers up to 3124 channel options thanks to the privacy codes and 50 primary channel options.
Alerts & Modes
This radio features whisper mode that allows you to talk quietly, and the person on the other end will still hear your loud and clear. It’s hard to recommend a 2-way radio for airsoft without having this feature. You can get notified of calls from up to 10 groups via vibration and sound alerts.
This is a complete package that comes with two radios, a pair of headsets, AC/DC adapters, two batteries, and desktop chargers. In my opinion, this is a good value pack. The UHF band works better in an urban environment and will give you about 1 to 2 miles of maximum communication range.
You will definitely need a license to operate this radio. This is because this device has the capacity to go beyond 2 watts. Even if you don’t intend to use more than 2 watts and prefer to use only the powered channels, you will still need a license.
Who Is This Product For?
If you are looking for a lightweight, durable, and waterproof communication radio, the GXT1000 from Midland is a good option to consider. These devices are built to withstand harsh outdoor environments allowing you to be out in any weather conditions.
Click here to buy these Midland 50 Channel Waterproof GMRS Two-Way Radio available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
3#. Motorola T200TP Talkabout Radio
Communicating with your teammate just got a whole lot easier with the Motorola T200TP two-way radio. It’s without a doubt the best airsoft radio on the market for affordable communication. It doesn’t matter whether you are on a camping trip, in the neighborhood, or on the playground; the Talkabout T200 lets you communicate wirelessly.
This is the current price of these Motorola T200TP Talkabout Radio available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
Why Is This The Top Pick?
It’s very easy to customize call tones on these radios. There are a total of 20 call tones to choose from. Feel free to select the right one for your task and choose what you want your callers to hear before you start talking. Speaking of call tones, this radio will also notify you when the battery is running low.
Multiple Channel Configuration
These radios offer 22 channels and support 121 privacy codes. This means you are getting a total of 2662 combinations with these privacy codes and channels. You can use the CHIRP software to program the channels for your needs. Finding available channels using these radios is effortless. You can also utilize the scanning feature to find the channels that are in use.
Dual Power Mode
It doesn’t matter where you are; you will never have to worry about running out of battery power. The Motorola T200TP can be powered using three AA batteries. The batteries are included with the radio. A pack of three AA batteries can power these radios for up to 29 hours. Additionally, you can also use included NiMH rechargeable batteries. This will give you around 12 hours of power.
Perhaps the best feature of the Motorola T200 radio is its compatibility. You can use this radio to communicate with any GMRS/FRS radio. In fact, it doesn’t have to be from the same brand. Simply scan the available channel and start communicating. This feature alone is enough to consider this one as the best airsoft radio for 10-people communication.
It’s lightweight, compact, easy to hold, and also very durable. In terms of usage, it’s a no-brainer. The range is good enough to be used in an airsoft battle. The size makes it perfect for mid-battle use, and there are plenty of channel combinations to choose from. Overall, this one is a clear winner.
It takes a lot of time for the rechargeable NiMH battery packs to fully charge. Also, you will need to change the charging cable and use something more powerful like a fast charger cable to speed up the charging process.
Who Is This Product For?
No matter what situation you are in, you can always stay in touch and maintain crisp and clean communication with these two-way radios from Motorola. If you prefer to stick to a name-brand like Motorola, this pack of three radios is for you.
Click here to buy these Motorola T200TP Talkabout Radio available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
4#. Proster Rechargeable Walkie Talkies 1 Pair
Enjoy license-free use with these pair of walkie-talkies from Proster. While the advertised communication range is 2 miles, it’s actually less than that. Depending on your surroundings, you can communicate with one another if you are within 150 feet. That being said, it’s enough for a decent airsoft match.
This is the current price of these Proster Rechargeable Walkie Talkies available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
Why Is This The Top Pick?
First of all, let’s talk about the frequency range of these radios. On spec, you can operate on UHF frequencies 400-470MHz. Since you can only operate at low wattage, you are free to use these radios without a license. Also, it’s technically possible to use more powerful frequencies using these radios. So, keep that in mind when you are using these.
Batteries are important. And having a powerful lithium-ion battery with your radio set is always a nice addition. Unlike the previous radio on this list, the rechargeable battery pack that comes with this set is actually quite powerful. You are getting a 1500mAh Li-ion battery along with a charger station. It also has a faster charge time.
These rechargeable walkie-talkies can be used while hiking, biking, outdoor/field survival, and adventure. This means you can easily use them during a heated airsoft fight. These can also be on a construction area, supermarket connection, security guards, and more.
The CTCSS/DSC function greatly reduces the noises during communication and also blocks interference signals. This, in return, can improve audio quality and also increase the communication range. On an open field without any obstructions, you can easily get around less than a mile of range. However, this will vary depending on the frequency and location.
The feature that really makes these radios worth buying is the ability to block external interference signals. The CTCSS and DCS functions can also reduce noises resulting in crisp and clear audio. In short, you can clearly hear what the other person is saying without all the echoes. You can also communicate with other members of your party if the channel and frequency are aligned.
At this price range, you are pretty much getting what you are paying for. However, one thing to keep in mind here is that the frequency is very limited, and you are only getting 16 memory channels. So, there aren’t that many options here.
Who Is This Product For?
If you are looking for a radio solely for airsoft battles and don’t want to bother getting a license for that, this pair of radios is a good option to consider for a beginner. These radios have 16 channels that you can use for secure communication without obtaining a license.
Click here to buy these Proster Rechargeable Walkie Talkies available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
5#. Long Distance 2 Way Radios By Luiton
Last but not least, we have a pack of two long-distance walkie-talkies from a brand called Luiton. On an open field, you can easily get over a mile of range. These are perfect for those long road trips and occasional kayaking adventures. These radios will make your communication much faster than cellphones.
This is the current price of these Walkie Talkies Voice Scrambler available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
Why Is This The Top Pick?
One of the best features is the VOICE SCRAMBLER, which enables you to communicate privately with your teammates. Your conversation will be kept confidential. Airsoft players are required to keep their communications a secret from their opponents. This way, you can keep your communication a secret using the scramble function.
Communicate without holding the radios and keep your hands free by simply using the VOX function. It’s very important to keep your hands while you are participating in a tactical sport. It is a good idea to use walkie-talkies and radios with headsets or with earpieces. This way, you can keep all of your attention on the game, not the radio, and talk to your team rather than take a call.
These radios run on a 1500mAh Li-ion battery, and the battery itself is rechargeable. A fully charged battery can keep the radio running on standby mode for a week. There is an alert function when the battery gets low. Also, charging this lithium-ion battery doesn’t take more than 5 hours.
It’s one of those airsoft radios that work as advertised. It’s lightweight, cheap, and has a lot of preset channels with 3W output for long-range communication. Along with the radios, you will also get an earpiece and a belt clip. These units have a thin body and slim design along with an anti-skip pattern for easy carry.
Brand value matters. This brand isn’t a stranger in the radio industry. This manufacturer has been around for a couple of decades. This means they have a lot of experience under the belts when it comes to making quality airsoft radios. These portable walkie-talkies feature up to 3W output, for easy communication.
In terms of overall quality and features, there is hardly anything to nitpick about the radio itself. However, one thing that might not be a deal-breaker but something to look out for is the earpiece. It’s more like a toy earpiece. You are better off buying a good quality third-party earpiece for this radio.
Who Is This Product For?
There are only a handful of walkie-talkies that are easy to use and work as advertised. These radios from Luiton come in a pack of two, including all the accessories. Also, you will be saving a lot of money thanks to their affordable price tag.
Click here to buy these Walkie Talkies Voice Scrambler available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
What Is An Airsoft Radio?
Radios that are used for communication during airsoft events are known as airsoft radios. You may call them walkie-talkies or two-way radios. You can use any portable radios for communication as long as they are legally allowed.
Do You Need A Radio For Playing Airsoft?
You will need a radio for obvious reasons. Communication is considered to be somewhat essential in Milsim and Airsoft. Airsoft players cannot hope to take the upper hand against their opponent without proper communication.
It is necessary for you to use a radio whether or not you belong to a team. You can certainly enjoy a day of shooting at people by becoming a lone wolf and not communicate with anyone.
The radio, however, keeps you in touch with your team or squad, so at least you can estimate the situation by hearing feedback. Your tactical advantage begins with that.
5 Things To Consider When Buying The Best Airsoft Radio
If you have been playing airsoft for quite a while now, it’s high time you look for a quality airsoft radio. Trust me when I say this, the best 2-way radio for airsoft will take your skill to a whole new level. Here are a couple of things to consider when you are buying a radio for the first time.
1. Channels & Privacy Codes
These license-free channels are often preinstalled by radio manufacturers. These are usually the first eight to 32 channels that you can choose from.
Teams may use certain channels for Airsoft purposes. These channels will be determined by the organizations and the Marshalls. The channels are distributed like this – channels 1 and 2 can be used by team red, while channels 3 or 4 can be used by team blue.
You have to manually install PMR channels on some radios because they might not have them already. For this, it is possible to do it directly on certain radios using a keypad or a computer, which requires some technical knowledge.
In addition, there are many sub-channel combinations possible if your radio has several channels and many privacy codes. Airsoft team members can also use them. By doing this, you can communicate with your team without your opponent hearing anything.
2. The VOX Function
Voice-activated transmission or VOX function is primarily available on almost all two-way radios these days. This feature makes your radio transmit when you speak in the direction of the receiver. The hands-free function eliminates the need to use the PTT.
An important function, without a doubt. An airsoft gun owner needs a radio that’s hands-free so they can keep their hands on their gun.
However, most radios have a slight delay with the VOX function. The reason for this delay is that the device needs to recognize that you are talking in order to activate this feature. Additionally, a high-quality earpiece should be included in the radio. If not, it should still support third-party devices.
Furthermore, having a belt clip allows the radio to be carried more easily than in your hand as you can keep the radio fasten to your belt.
3. Battery Life
Battery life is also something you should pay attention to since longer airsoft events require more extended battery life. Airsoft events can sometimes last for several hours. Whether you are playing or not, you will find the need to listen to the radio for extended periods.
Lithium-ion batteries are certain to work well for this. These batteries are super light, so they charge fast and lose power slowly when not used.
Many models are also compatible with regular AA or AAA batteries. So, if the airsoft game extends for too long, you can carry these batteries as backups.
In some radios, the battery voltage is also shown, so you know when it’s time to charge it again or replace it with another fully charged battery. It is best to have a minimum battery life of 8 hours to run the device. Additionally, a battery with a standby time of at least a day is beneficial.
4. Voice Scrambler
Furthermore, keeping your communication private is very important, especially when playing airsoft. If you don’t, your enemies will know what you are doing. Then there will be no need for radios anymore. You should just shout at each other and throw away all your radios.
Therefore, two-way radios also have a scramble function to enable more “private” communication. Basically, it lets you operate at the same frequency as everyone else.
Because of a unique code, you won’t be able to hear what others are saying. It’s important to know these functions do not privatize the channel you’re on. They only limit other people’s chatter.
Some manufacturers offer their radios with extra features. In the end, though, you decide which is right for you. To utilize some of these functions, you will need to refer to the manual since there are some differences in accessing them for the different models and brands.
The main feature that actually counts for airsoft players is compatibility. A team can consist of 5 or more players, and it’s important that everyone uses the same radio.
If not, the radios should be compatible. Each person should get a radio from the same manufacturer or from the same model. Then everyone can take advantage of all the features if they need to.
Two-Way Radio Legislations
When it comes to using two-way radios or walkie-talkies for airsoft combat, you will find a lot of articles and videos online that will try to give you some sort of guide or explanation regarding the use of these devices. Due to the fact that this stuff involves law, it can become an illegal practice pretty quickly.
1. Laws Regarding The Use Of Airsoft Radio
You are only allowed to use a radio with a maximum power output of 0.5 Watts. As for the antenna, it should be a fixed one and non-removable.
What’s the big deal with that? Check out the Airsoft field next time you are out there. It’s surprising how many people are actually breaking the law without knowing this stuff.
By following these restrictions, you can easily get a few kilometers of range in an open environment and a few hundred meters in an urban setting. There are different choices and options for these radios. Due to their ability to transmit and receive frequencies, these devices are also known as transceivers.
There are certain frequencies on which these things work. However, the use of some frequencies is restricted. The last thing you want is to be using your local police frequency or anything like that.
2. License/No-License Use
It can be either licensed or not licensed to use such frequencies. A number of companies and governments use licensed frequencies to communicate with clients, and they require radios for what they do.
Licensing means these frequencies are reserved exclusively for these authorities or companies. And others are not allowed to use them. This is precisely what a number of people and teams like to do for airsoft too.
There are fees associated with this, though. On the other hand, there are also license-free frequencies available for amateur radio operators.
related question [FAQs]
1#. Who makes the best radio for airsoft?
There are a couple of brands out there that are known for making high-quality portable walkie-talkies for airsoft. To start off, you can always rely on BaoFeng to make feature-rich airsoft radios. Other brands like Motorola, Midland, Pofung, and Luiton are also renowned for making reliable airsoft radios.
2#. What laws affect radios in airsoft (United States)?
You can only operate on FRS frequencies without a license in the United States. If you purchase a GMRS radio, you will need to get an FCC license for your radio.
3#. How far can airsoft radios reach?
The range of the airsoft radio will vary depending on the user’s location and manufacturer. There are radios that are designed for long-distance communication, and there are models that are only suitable for short-distance communication.
However, there is one rule that applies to all portable walkie-talkies. If there are any obstructions due to physical objects like mountains or buildings, then the range will be reduced. The range that most manufacturers advertise is only achievable in an ideal situation (i.e., without any obstructions).
4#. Do you always need a license to use your radio for airsoft?
This depends on the type of radio and the frequency you want to operate. You won’t need a license if you only transmit on lower wattage.
As you can already see, there are plenty of well-known radio brands out there, but not every model is suitable for airsoft combat. If you are a beginner, I would recommend you go with a user-friendly radio like the Midland 50 Channel Waterproof GMRS Two-Way Radio.
You will need to obtain a license in order to use it, but it’s hands down the best radio for airsoft on the market. You won’t have a hard time figuring out the controls. Also, you can transmit on FRS frequencies without getting a license.