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UHF or VHF: Which Is Right For You?

UHF or VHF?Customers that are new to business radios are confronted a several confusing options, one of which is the type of frequency to choose: UHF or VHF. These abbreviations make no sense to most people and without some research it is easy to choose a radio that is not right for your situation.

The quick answer is: choose VHF if you plan to only use the radios outdoors and in an area that is relatively free of obstructions, such as buildings. If you plan on using the radio indoors, both indoors and out, or outdoors but around buildings, choose UHF. UHF is the better all around signal and is by far the most popular, so if you are in doubt, choose UHF.

UHF signals don't travel quite as far outdoors as VHF signals, but they do a better job of penetrating wood, steel, and concrete, giving you better range and performance in urban environments and around buildings. VHF signals travel farther, absent obstructions, and tend to "hug" the earth better, providing better performance outdoors or in hilly terrain.

Related Resources
Buyer's Guide - VHF Business Radios
Buyer's Guide - UHF Business Radios
Two Way Radio Basics
MURS: Unlicensed VHF
Radio Compatibility: Which Models Will Work Together
The Two Way Radio Show TWRS-02 - An Introduction to Business Radios
Radio 101 - The difference between UHF and VHF radios

28 thoughts on “UHF or VHF: Which Is Right For You?”

  • WQYL950

    If you're planning base-to-mobile, either will do, especially if your base is high and (ideally) centrally located within the 50 acres. If you're planning mobile-to-mobile I'd go UHF. Theoretically the UHF frequencies will reflect less from the trees and rolling landscape, plus I find UHF handheld equipment is generally more compact than their VHF counterparts. If you're outdoors and physical for hours at a time, less-is-more.

  • Inigo Montoya

    What is the best radio to buy for skiing?

  • Gilbert Lopez

    Plan to use a radio system outside on my property. It's somewhat hilly and very wooded. Which would be better VHS or UHS? The area to be covered is about 50 acres.

  • Jeff

    GIve us a call and we might be able to help you out: 1-800-584-1445

  • Anonymous


  • vhf radio which is know as very high frequency radio is more for line of sight communications uhf ultra high frequency has a shorter wave lenght there for penetrates wood concrete and buildings better but you can decide for which radio is best for you and what kinda system your using now if u have vhf radios then u need vhf radios to talk to each other and be compatible with other radios u already have thanks for your time from Mike KI6DXN 73's amateur radio operator since 1900 CYA

  • two way radio headset

    An example of a two-way radio that both transmits and receives at the same time is the cellular phone or mobile phone like those of Motorola, which started as producers of car radios and later on, the two-way radios. There are many types and configurations of two-way radios and these are the conventional or trunked, simplex or duplex, push-to-talk, analog or digital, data over two-way radio, which is classified into analog or digital, and engineered or not engineered.


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