GMRS and FRS are two main "similar" types of handheld radios in the United States. If you’re trying to choose between GMRS or FRS BAOFENG radio, here we would show you the differences between them, and help decide which is your better choice.
FRS, Family Radio Service, may be the most common radio in our life. It's designed for individuals in close range, easy to buy one with relatively inexpensive prices. But you may find the talking range of FRS radio is so limited. Because FRS system is only allowed 0.5 watts of power according to the FCC. Buildings, mountains and trees would greatly interfere and reduce your talking quality and range (see what would affects your communication distance) . So when you're seeking a better stuff, you may see "GMRS" on the market. What is it?
GMRS, General Mobile Radio Service, a more powerful main type of two-way radio on the United States. Unlike the FRS, GMRS can be modified to 50 watts of power (although in generally speaking, we use GMRS on 1-5 watts only), and catch a stronger, farther-ranging signal. The price would be a bit expensive than FRS.
FRS and GMRS share the CH 1-7. Both of them are only supposed to transmit at 0.5 watts on CH 8-14. The difference is that GMRS has eight designated channel (CH 15-22) within those frequencies that aren’t available to FRS radios:
No License is required to purchase a GMRS, nor to monitor (listen) to the many amateur (Ham) radio frequencies. However, an FCC GMRS License is required to transmit (talk) on GMRS frequencies in the USA (Learn More About GMRS Radios). On the contrary, FRS radio is license-free and can be use right out of box.
Why choose GMRS over FRS?
- GMRS repeater capable. UV-5G, the long distance walkie talkies, can take advantage of GMRS repeaters to get a more powerful, further-ranging signal. -- This is not an option with FRS radios.
- GMRS radios allow Wide-band FM to provide a louder and clearer signal than the FRS radios restricted to Narrow-band FM with a lower power rating.
- GMRS provides more selectable channels than FRS radios, more CTCSS and DCS tone options to reduce unwanted signals.