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What Is The Best Dual Band Mobile Ham Radio

ham radio held in hand

A ham radio, otherwise known as an amateur radio can communicate with other radios of the same nature operating on amateur bands. The best ones will have dual band support. The dual bands will allow your ham radio to communicate through both the UHF (ultra-high frequency) and VHF (very high frequency) bands.

Best Handheld
BaoFeng BF-F8HP
Best Overall
BTECH Mobile UV-50X2
Best for Pros
Kenwood Original TM-V71A
photo of BaoFeng BF-F8HP
BTECH Mobile UV-50X2
Kenwood Original TM-V71A
BF-F8HP is an affordable, portable, and user-friendly handheld radio is one that you can carry anywhere. It will keep you connected even in the wilderness, so it’s great for adventurous hikes and camps.
With 200 memory channels, an impressive range, added scanning modes, extra features, and a price that would fit your budget, the BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 is the best dual band ham you can get.
Coming from an excellent brand, the TM-V71A will wow you with 50 watts of output, 1000 memory channels, and customizable front panel. It’s an elite dual band model every pro must have.
Best Handheld
BaoFeng BF-F8HP
photo of BaoFeng BF-F8HP
BF-F8HP is an affordable, portable, and user-friendly handheld radio is one that you can carry anywhere. It will keep you connected even in the wilderness, so it’s great for adventurous hikes and camps.
Best Overall
BTECH Mobile UV-50X2
BTECH Mobile UV-50X2
With 200 memory channels, an impressive range, added scanning modes, extra features, and a price that would fit your budget, the BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 is the best dual band ham you can get.
Best for Pros
Kenwood Original TM-V71A
Kenwood Original TM-V71A
Coming from an excellent brand, the TM-V71A will wow you with 50 watts of output, 1000 memory channels, and customizable front panel. It’s an elite dual band model every pro must have.

Best Dual Band Ham Radio Reviews

1. BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 50 Watt Dual Band Base, Mobile Radio

Operating on two bands (UHF and VHF frequencies), the BTECH Mobile ham radio features 200 memory channels on your scanning list. Your mobile ham radio will be able to autotune to your preferred bands with channel memory.

The LCD display screen is also fully customizable and the ham radio itself is easy to use with a user manual that comes with your package along with auto scan, privacy mode, channel mode editing settings and more.

The frequency range of this dual band mobile ham radio is 65 MHz to 108 MHz. The UHF frequencies are at 400 MHz to 520 MHz and the VHF frequencies are 136 MHz to 174 MHz. 

This BTECH dual band mobile ham radio is one of the first to introduce the dual sync mode. This allows you to display the channel frequencies and names of both bands simultaneously. 

The channel edit settings also allow you to change the squelch, tones and add or remove channels from your list at your leisure.

This dual band VHF/UHF mobile ham radio also features more scanning modes that can start, stop and resume scanning at your will.

Pros

  • Dual band support (VHF, UHF)
  • 200 memory channels for scanning list
  • Fully customizable LCD display screen
  • Dual sync mode
  • New scanning modes
  • Channel editing
  • Microphone audio gain
  • Auto power-off feature
  • Privacy mode

Cons

  • Very sensitive to certain antennas

2. BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two Way Radio

This handheld ham radio transceiver is meant to accompany you into the wilderness. Ham radios are used to communicate with people miles away or across the globe when a certain channel is used.

The best thing about mobile ham radios is you can carry them with you. The BaoFeng BF-F8HP operates on two bands. It has a VHF band that ranges from 136 MHz to 174 MHz and a UHF frequency band of 400 MHz to 520 MHz.

The upgraded BaoFeng BF-F8HP design boasts a longer battery life that allows you to use many added features such as the flashlight without needing to worry about running out of juice.

This dual band mobile radio has a rugged build that sets this mobile transceiver apart from the rest. It also has VOX capabilities which let the user have full use of his or her hands when using this dual band mobile radio transceiver. It also has commercial FM radio reception if you want to listen to FM radio channels.

Pros

  • Handheld ham radio
  • Supports dual bands
  • Long battery life and rugged build
  • Easily portable and mobile design
  • VOX
  • Extra features such as flashlight
  • High gain and powerful antenna
  • Commercial FM radio reception

Cons

  • Power output may be a little lower

3. Kenwood Original TM-V71A 144/440 MHz Dual-Band Amateur Mobile Radio Transceiver

Kenwood is a well-loved name, and this mobile amateur radio impresses with a high power output of 50 watts and an impressive 1000 memory channels! The large screen can be set with amber or green backlighting for easy view. 

The 1000 memory channels can be stored with up to 6 alphanumeric characters for easy naming. This Kenwood best mobile ham radio is dual band like we mentioned and operates on VHF, UHF bands. You can simultaneously use it with any combination of the VHF, UHF bands. Plus, you have 144 MHz to 148 MHz TZ frequency and 430 MHz to 450 MHz frequencies as well.

The front panel is also customizable. There’s also a digital code squelch. What’s great about the Kenwood dual band mobile ham radio is you can use the Echolink memory feature (which can store call signs and node numbers to your channels).

Pros

  • High power output of 50 watts
  • The Kenwood radio can be set with green or amber backlight
  • Store up to 1000 memory channels
  • Dual band support (VHF, UHF channel frequencies)
  • Echolink memory
  • Small and compact
  • Durable build
  • Digital Code squelch

Cons

  • This amateur radio can get a little hot

4. FTM-7250DR FTM-7250 Original Yaesu Dual Band

Yaesu is a well-known name in the industry. This mobile ham radio supports both VHF/UHF frequency bands and is compatible with analog and digital CF4M!

The product is designed with three power settings ranging from 5 watts to 25 watts all the way up to 50 watts. The audio output of the front speaker measures up to 3 watts guaranteeing you powerful audio.

It’s a good Yaesu ham radio that has many features including CTCSS, DCS, DSQ, DTMF, AlphaNumeric, Auto Mode Select, more than 200 memory channels and much more.

It can even receive NOAA weather transmissions with an emergency weather alert feature for more severe conditions.

This device won’t overheat when you’re using it because it’s equipped with Yaesu FACC (funnel air convection conductor) and a heavy-duty heat sink for cooling.

Pros

  • You won’t have temperature issues with this good ham radio
  • Yaesu exclusive FACC feature
  • Heat sink
  • More than 200 memory channels
  • Receive emergency weather alerts for severe weather conditions
  • Durable
  • Wide range coverage
  • Multicolor LED display
  • Varied settings of power ranging from 5 watts to 25 watts

Cons

  • The screen is clearest when viewing head-on

5. Icom IC-2730A Dual Band VHF/UHF 50W Mobile Radio Transceiver

Another dual band supportive mobile ham radio, the Icom IC-2730a can receive VHF/UHF frequency bands in any combination simultaneously. Icom is a popular name as well, and the 50 watts of output power in this product can give you the clearest audio and most reliable performance.

The large LCD screen has a white backlight that allows it to be viewed clearly in any lighting. The layout of the front panel is highly intuitive and features volume, squelch knobs and more all strategically laid out for your convenience.

It also gives you the freedom to control the device remotely with the Bluetooth headset. This amateur ham radio also has VOX hands-free voice control operation for convenience.

Pros

  • High power output
  • Small and compact design
  • Easy to use with intuitive controls on the panel
  • You can use VHF and UHF bands simultaneously
  • The large LCD display offers more contrast with white lighting
  • VOX hands-free operation
  • Can be used with a Bluetooth headset for remote control

Cons

  • Doesn’t include mounting hardware

6. Radioddity DB25 Pro Dual Band Radio

This very small miniature dual band radio supports VHF and UHF frequency bands. The small screen provides 4 different colored backlights for your preference. The small size also makes it very mobile and easy to carry around with you. 

The 50-watt high-speed quad-band antenna on this dual band mobile ham radio is powerful enough to always ensure quality audio.

The impressive features include dual band synchronized display, microphone gain settings, alarm, auto power-off function, auto scan, privacy settings and selectable power settings.

Easy to use, program, and install, the Radioddity dual band amateur radio also includes a spare fuse and operates on an ideal frequency range (136 MHz -174 MHz / 400-480 MHz) which is displayed on the large screen.

All you need to do in terms of setup and programming is to download the programming software straight from the site and use the programming cable.

Pros

  • 50-watt high-speed powerful antenna
  • Dual band mobile ham radio (VHF and UHF)
  • Auto power-off
  • Auto-scan function
  • Privacy settings
  • Power output settings
  • Large screen
  • Small and compact easily portable
  • Easy to use and program

Cons

  • The setup manual has compressed files

7. TYT TH-8600 Mini 25 Watt Dual Band Base, IP67 Waterproof Radio

This TYT dual band mobile transceiver comes heavily reinforced with certificates. It has certification from the FCC and is IP67 waterproof. It’s convenient to install, easy to use and comes with a user manual if you need help.

Choose between low, medium or high power setting with the dual band dual display mobile ham radio. The frequency bands operate at a frequency range of  136-174 mhz for the VHF and the UHF is at 400-480 mhz. 

There are over 200 memory channels with 5 function keys you can program. This will make using this best dual band mobile ham radio even easier. The kit also comes with everything you need and setup is easy with the free software download.

Pros

  • Small but powerful dual band amateur radio
  • FCC certification
  • IP67 waterproof
  • Dual display of both bands
  • Over 200 memory channels
  • 5 function keys you can program
  • Easy setup
  • Comes with everything you need
  • Save power by using low power settings

Cons

  • A little heavier than other options

Dual Band Mobile Ham Radio Buying Guide

Dual band ham radios are your best options for ham or amateur radios. Aside from a popular brand or name, there are certain things you must make sure your mobile ham radios have so you can use it smoothly. Sometimes even using add-ons can affect how the dual band ham radios perform. 

To make everything easier, we have compiled a list of criteria a mobile transceiver should meet in order to be considered the best. Alternatively, you can also prepare for getting your ham radio license with any of our recommended online courses.

Frequency Range

First up is the frequency range. It’s what would make or break your dual band mobile ham radio. Frequencies are measured in MHZ (megahertz). Mobile ham radios are classified as single band, dual band or all band.

Let’s focus on the dual bands. Dual band opens up more communication possibilities than single band.

Any mobile ham radio that broadcasts only on the UHF or VHF frequency bands cannot communicate with mobile ham radios. The bands also operate at many different strengths.

The UHF frequency bands are great to use in urbanites or in an environment with lots of buildings and obstruction. VHF frequency bands are better for open areas. This is why it’s important to have mobile ham radios that have both.

A product with a higher frequency range will also have a wider reach than one that doesn’t. So next time when you are out shopping for your next best mobile ham radios, try to find one with a higher frequency range.

Durability/Build

Preferably, just like with any other product, you also want your radio transceiver to last for a while. Good dual band mobile radios will be strong and rugged in build.

Since the best mobile ham radios are meant to be portable, it’s an added bonus if the design is small, compact and lightweight. Handheld two way radios are great to use if you want to receive and transmit info as well.

You may think that you would have to pay through the nose to get the best mobile ham radio of a higher quality. While that may be true at times, it’s not always the case.

If you also plan on installing your amateur radio in your car then the durability won’t matter as much as if you have a handheld version.

If you plan to install the amateur radio in your offroading vehicle, however, then the build should be great. The outside world will find its way into your car and maybe into your transceiver.

Even if this is not the case, the shocks and vibrations that come with adventurous driving could also affect the best mobile ham radios.

If driving on rugged terrain is something you often do, then we would suggest opting for a good ham radio transceiver that’s designed to be more robust than one that is packed full of fancy bells and whistles.

The top suggestion on our list has IP67 waterproof capabilities [1]. It’s not hard to find one that is well built, but finding one that meets your needs is a whole other story. 

A good way to get a clearer picture of the durability of a product is to also search for reviews. Reviews will tell you one or two things about the good or bad aspects people say about a product.

Size

The size is also a consideration you can think about when selecting the a dual band mobile ham radio. Most radio transceivers are small in size in order to be able to be placed in this category.

The mobile models, including our favorite handheld ham radios, are the size of walkie talkies and some smartphones. They are also easy to place in your pocket and carry around.

Other types, most of what we have seen on our list can fit in vehicles if needed. To make sure the one you purchase can fit in your vehicle, you need to take a look at the allotted space.

You are in luck because most if not all dual-band mobile ham radios are small and compact and designed to be transported.

You can easily find ones on our list that weigh in at around 2 pounds. The ones on the heavier end can see about 4 pounds in maximum weight and there are also ones that fall right in between at around 3 pounds.

man using handheld radio

Power

When you search for the best mobile ham radios for your car, there is also a certain output power it should reach. Radio transceivers designed with a minimum max power of 25 watts is great.

If you can get something closer to 40 watts or 50, then you have one powerful radio on your hands. You can receive and transmit messages well.

The higher the output power, the better in most cases. If you find a device that’s over 50 watts, the difference may be barely noticeable.

The higher the output power the wider the range you get, but you may not always need a ham radio that’s using full power all the time because you may also reach people the message was not intended for.

Good radios should also be capable of having low power settings which can be used if you want to save power.

As said, 25 watts at the minimum for max power is a good starting point for radio transceivers. Your amateur dual band ham radio transceiver is good at draining car batteries when used at max power all the time. A good tip is to only use the dual band radios when your car engine is on.

The Bands

The next consideration is the bands. The dual bands usually operate on a wavelength of 2 meters starting from 144 MHz of power. You also have the 70 cm bands (in length) that go from around 430 MHz of power.

There are also 6-meter bands that are lower than the 144 MHz dual bands that start from 50 MHz. The last ones are the longest bands of 10 meters that operate around 28 MHz.

These are incredibly long-range bands. The longer-range options generally need an antenna to transmit.

Antenna

The antenna is one of the most important features of these radios in order to transmit well. A good dual band ham radio is not only capable of high power but also has a quality antenna that pairs well with your transceiver.

Depending on how high a frequency you plan to transmit, you need to make sure the antenna is compatible and of great quality

photo of tower with cloudy background

Features

The next thing you want to look for in reviews are the features of your best 2-band  amateur radio. There are some added bonus features that are great to have such as a keypad lock, different levels of power outputs and more.

You definitely want one with scanning features. Multifunctional scanning features in a transceiver can scan and receive broadcasting signals on different channels.

The channel memory features will allow you to store 100 or more of your go-to and preferred channels. As such, you can easily tune-in to channels without having to manually input the information again.

The levels of power outputs are important because they allow you to customize your radio.

You don’t always want to be at full power and customizable power features allow you to tone it down for a low consumption.

Squelching control is one of the most useful features you want as well. It sounds like a funny word but it really makes operating a radio much easier. Your transceiver can be littered with static and noise and the access to squelch features will quiet that unwanted background noise in channels.

NOAA weather alerts are important in the best ham radio because it often gives you access to vital information when you are on the road. Since ham radios are often used for emergencies in the United States, weather features will give you the latest real-time info gathered from the NOAA.

Another important thing is the display mode. The display is made with LCD screens and bright backlights are vital to the display of the radio. You don’t need a lot of power to operate a small LCD screen and it makes viewing the details on the screen at night much easier. There are even mobile transceivers that have a dual display mode.

Microphone audio gain features can help you customize how loud you can transmit messages to others. There may be other features included such as additional accessories like mounts and user manuals that can be of great help as well. Check out the features of both ham radios in this review of Yaesu FT-991a VS Icom IC-7300.

Ease of Use

No one wants a radio that is difficult to use and program. It’s hard to call a device the “best” in the category when it takes you hours upon hours and lots of research time and programming before you can transmit or receive signals. There are radio devices that have computer control which really helps with convenience.

This feature allows you to still be able to control your transceiver with or without an internet connection. One that’s easy to use and control is especially vital to those who are not as tech-savvy.

Having a radio that comes with a user manual and easy to follow instructions for programming is the best.

Price

Your last consideration should be the price. When you search for a new radio, you have should have some idea of the price range and your budget. The best advice is to go for the best radio that matches your needs in terms of power, convenience and more. 

Unfortunately, most higher-end radio and tech products are pricier but if you choose well, the radio should provide enough power to reach those you want to communicate with and come with all the features you want.

What is the Top Mobile Amateur Ham Radio?

The best mobile amateur radio can be found on our list. The perfect one for you on that list will be different from someone else. Waterproof certification may also be important if you plan on installing your radio in an offroader, jeep vehicle of the like. 

A robust build is something everyone should look for even if they don’t put their cars through the wringer, and it will guarantee the product will last longer. Your best dual band radio should also have a large LCD display screen just to make the channels and functions easier to read, especially in an emergency.

Certain devices can be affordable and still come with fancy features such as VOX and DSC features. A ham radio, dual band or not are similar to two way radios, which allow you to transmit and receive, hence why they are called transceivers.

This is why the audio quality, squelch controls and power are so important. The best mobile amateur ham radio will excel in transmission, reception, programming, noise reduction and power output.

person wearing a backpack and a body of water

Can a Dual-Band Amateur Radio Talk to a CB Radio?

In general, different types of radios are not compatible with each other. Even the same radio operating on different bands can’t communicate with each other. 

If you have a ham radio that is a single band rather than dual, then you will only be able to communicate with a dual band radio that is operating on the same band. Different types of radios are regulated differently aside from operating on different frequencies.

So, unfortunately, a dual band amateur radio cannot talk to a CB radio. You need to make sure the type of radio you purchase is in line with who you plan to communicate with. 

What is the Top Dual Band Mobile Antenna?

After reading through our list you have decided that you want an added antenna on the roof of your car to further your broadcasting range and ramp up the audio quality. This then begs the question of the perfect dual-band mobile antenna. 

We find that the best products have minimal setup and don’t require a whole lot of tuning, programming, and maintenance. Not only that, but most of them are durable as well.

Since the most suitable dual antenna for one person could be different for the next, we will give you the criteria to find the top one.

It needs to be easy – so look for ones that don’t require any tuning.

You need to have gains in both UHF and VHF frequencies to tailor your sound. The mount is another key feature. Since it will be sitting on your vehicle, the antenna needs to be just as tough if not tougher than your radio itself.

It needs to have the capability of operating with wide bands to push your signal further. Make sure you secure them tightly because low hanging branches are a killer for mobile antennas.

Our Top Pick: BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 50 Watt Dual Band Base Mobile Radio

When you are on the road, staying connected is very important especially if you are always on the go. In a case of emergency, your amateur device may be your only contact point with civilization.

Dual-band options are better than single bands simply due to the fact that it as an extra means of connection.

Devices such as the BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 50 Watt Dual Band Base Mobile Radio are amazing.

The power is commendable at 50 watts and the in-depth user guide is all you need to get this device working. The frequency ranges are impressive for both bands and there are a slew of other functions included.

There is even a recommended antenna to pair with this product for optimum performance. All the information is easily read and displayed on the large screen that can accommodate dual sync display (displaying both bands).

If you are looking for the perfect merge between functionality, style, build and reliability, you can’t go wrong with our number 1 choice.

William