License Free Radios - Best rated list

Two-way radios allow instant communication over a distance between teams. Over the past few years, licence-free two-way radios have increased in popularity with businesses as a cost-effective and easy-to-set-up solution.

While licence-free radios have been designed not to interfere with “priority” signals, you still have a choice of channels to communicate across.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the best licence-free radios on the market as well as what solution will suit your business best. We have been in the radio communications industry for over 70 years, this enables us to provide sound advice from experience.

Before we begin… have you considered whether you need a radio licence?

You will need a licence if:

  • You require your own radio frequency for private communications
  • You need to communicate over a longer distance (over 1 mile)
  • You don’t want to hear others conversations

Icom F29SR2 & Icom F29DR2

“A great all-round licence free solution, suitable for most organisations”
Icom F29DR2 and F29DR2 Licence free radios

If you’re looking for a reliable two-way radio that’s rugged with long battery life, the Icom F29SR2 (analogue) and Icom F29DR2 (digital) are at the top of our list.

Designed to meet changes in PMR446 channel allocation throughout Europe in 2018, Icom updated their best-selling professional IC-F29SR and IC-F29DR2 licence-free radios. Both the F29SR2 and F29DR2 retain the ease-of-use, functionality and build that made its predecessors so popular.

Each model is also waterproof rated IP67, and provide up to 26 hours (21 hours on IC-F29SR2) of running time. There are just three controls, a simple user interface designed to enable teams to communicate quickly. Both boast superior audio quality from the new internal speakers whilst retaining a robust exterior.

Both models also feature a built-in inversion voice scrambler which provide private conversation with up to 16 codes selectable, more suitable if privacy is an issue.

Kenwood Pro-Talk Range

“Ready to use out of the box, Kenwood has a range of solutions in their ProTalk range suitable for beginners & more experienced users”
Kenwood ProTalk Digital Analogue two Way licence free radio

Kenwood is a name already in most homes, their range of ProTalk PMR 446 hand-portable radios have achieved sales of over 1 million units throughout Europe. Originally launched 1999, Kenwood’s ProTalk range has improved year-on-year achieving the gold standard for professional license-free radios.

All of Kenwood’s ProTalk Digital dPMR446 radios are ECC Decision (15)05 ready and each radio is supplied ready to use out of the box. Each box contains a handset, mains chargers, lithium-ion battery, belt clip and instruction leaflet.

If you need something rugged, the ProTalk TK-3401D could be the choice for you. If you need something compact & lightweight, TK-3601D would suit your requirements.

Kenwood’s ProTalk range is trusted by 78 Wembley Squadron RAF Air Cadets and at Watford Football Club’s Harefield Academy.

Hytera BD505LF

“With digital voice correction technology, the Hytera BD505LF provides clear comms over distance”

Featuring innovative technology, the BD505LF has better performance than many analogue radios. With excellent reception sensitivity, the range of radio communications is extended. Hytera use digital coding and correction technology to transmit voice signals without interference over distance.

In digital mode, the radio can work as long as 22 hours on a single charge due to beeing based on TDMA technology.

Users can switch between both analogue and digital mode. If your current radio fleet is a mix of both analogue & digital or you’re considering migrating to digital, radio with capabilities will serve you best.

Overall, the Hytera BD505LF works well as general business communication if you’re not looking for bells & whistles! It has been tested to meet Military Standards 810 C, D, E, F and G, which includes including temperature, vibration, high & low temperature and humidity. Also, IP54 dust and water-proof design guarantees reliability in different environments.

Motorola XT400 Series Licence-Free Two-Way Radio

“Tried & tested for up to 5 years of field use, the XT400 series is equipped with hands-free capabilities suitable for on-site and business use”

Coordinating resources on a construction site or in the warehouse, the XT400 Series is built to last. Operating on licence-free PMR446 frequencies, there are no call charges allowing you to communicate instantly for free.

These radios are not only affordable, they also meet military specifications for sealing against dust, wind, shock, vibration and other adverse conditions. These XT400 Series also undergo Motorola’s exclusive Accelerated Life Testing programme that simulates up to 5 years of field use.

The powerful 1500 mW speaker enables you to hear all communications, even in noisy environments. The Advanced Voice Activation (VOX) option enables hands-free operation.


If you’re in the market for a licence free two-way radio and are unsure where to start, we have a team of experts on hand to help you make the right decision.

We have been in the radio communications industry for over 70 years working with various industries. Our experience gives us a unique perspective on which radios suit a given situation.

Call us on 0800 975 6444 or email [email protected] to request more information on radios, or simply for advice.