The two most commonly used commercial grade two-way radios are made by Kenwood and Motorola. Both companies have longstanding reputations in the industry and are known for producing high quality radios with a lot to offer. The two can be compatible in certain circumstances, but there are some things to know and consider before deciding to use them together.
As a retailer for both brands, our clients often ask us if Motorola and Kenwood radios are compatible. The short answer is ‘yes.’ Although, there are some things that need to happen for the radios to work together.
Frequency Range & Compatibility
First of all, both radios need to operate on the same frequency range. If you are using a UHF radio, it’ll need to be paired with another UHF radio, and if you are using a VHF radio, it’ll need to be paired with another VHF radio. Otherwise, if you try and use two radios on a different frequency range, they will not work together.
On-Site Radios & Compatibility
“On-site” radios are the easiest to match together because they come pre-programed out of the box. For instance, the Kenwood TK-3230 and Motorola CLS1410 can be used together right out of the box if you use the first few channels. In which case, there is no programming required.
The same is true if you use high-wattage units like the Kenwood TK-3402-U16P and the Motorola RDU4160d. Thanks to the user-friendly menu that comes with these radios, you can change frequencies as needed. This makes programming other channels rather simple.
LMR Radios and Compatibility
LMR radios, or PCR radios, are not as cross-compatible because they are fully programmable. Common examples of LMR radios include the Motorola CP200 and the Kenwood TK-3402U-K. Due to the lack of a user-friendly menu, you cannot change frequencies at your discretion, which means it’s more complicated to program them for compatibility.
You will need a PC programming software and cable to make these two radios compatible, which is likely more than you bargained for. In which case, it’ll make more sense to stick with all Motorola or all Kenwood radios. That being said, these units can still usually be made compatible, although it may require programming by an authorized dealer.
Kenwood VS Motorola Radios
Kenwood and Motorola radios are both great options when seeking a quality commercial-grade radio. Both companies offer a variety of different two-way radio models that tend to get similar star ratings. When deciding which is the best option for your business, it’s much easier to compare individual radios side-by-side than it is to compare the two brands. One may offer a radio that is more compatible with your needs than the other, but both make excellent options.
Things to Consider when Finding the Best Radio for Your Needs:
- Construction & Durability
The type of environment radios will be used in will influence the best type of radio for your needs. If you’ll be using radios in the rain or around water, a waterproof unit is crucial. If you plan to use radios in construction, dustproof becomes an important feature.
- Battery Life
Battery life is another important component to consider. If you need the radio to last a very long time, you may want to consider getting a radio with a battery extender accessory.
- Range, Frequency & Audio Quality
How far can radios communicate without interference? What does the radio sound like if there is background noise? These are all important questions to consider as all radios are different.