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It's to time to tell about my testing of Midland GXT 550. This two-way radio differs from Midland GXT 500 only in camouflage coloring of enclosure. The enclosure is made of thick rough-service plastic. Once you take it, you feel its massiveness. It's no wonder, as it weighs 6.9ounce (196 gram) with battery and clip. To say about battery, it's NiCd (nickel-cadmium) with capacity 600mAh.


Preparing for the test

So, let's try to prove or deny manufacturer's statement about connection distance. Having charged battery and turned on our two-way radios at full power my friend and me went in opposite directions.

Connection range in the city

At first we decided to have a walk in the city and to check the quality and range of communication. To save time we chose district at the end of the city as non-uniformly built-up area. My friend stood still, I moved away on certain distance and periodically tried to connect with him. At the first interval of my way the connection was clear in the distance of about 1.2 km taking into account that I was in the car, as it influence badly on connection quality because metal impedes passing of radio waves. Having turned on ring road, I noted some impairment of connection, I heard bang, noise etc and couldn't explain the reason as far as the distance didn't change much. I drove some more, then got out of the car and tried to connect but there was no result. This journey is reflected on the map number one (1). Here you can see and approximately estimate the distance of Midland GXT 550 operation.

Having turned about I drove in opposite direction. This tour is indicated as number two (2). Truth to tell, the results do not much differ from the previous ones, the range of clear communication was about 0.75 mile (1.2 km) and when the road turned the connection was lost but resumed in several tens of meters.

In the city on the straightaway

Don't hurry to feel upset about not so good performance. In the next experiment we succeeded in having decent operation with 5 watts of power.

Then we decided to take up position at opposite ends of the city, namely on two railway bridges, and tried to connect on supposed straight line across the whole city.

Now about the results. The quality of communication is not ideal, though there were bang and noise it didn't disturb much. The range of communication was 2.93 mile (4.7 km). I guess, it could be much better.

Out of town on highway

Cheered up we decided to try our strength, that is the strength of Midland GXT 550 radio, along main highway that led from the city to the one of the region's town. I left my friend on the railway bridge almost in the center of the city and rapidly moved away. First communication sessions I had from car and they were literally ideal. So, I drove out the city without getting of car, it was about 6 km.

Having the cheek or better to say having the confidence I passed the town at high speed, then passed new-building area and stopped. Referring to the speedometer the distance counted up 7.5 mile (12 km). And there was CONNECTION. And it seemed not to be the limit. From the satellite you can see the picture of site I talk about.



It is necessary to note that the headset going with Midland GXT550 works perfectly and provides good audibility in the city, where the level of noise is always very high. As for me, I don't like to attract unneeded attention, so I hide my two-way radio under my jacket and turned on eVOX, (this feature is for hands-free transmission).

The only deficiency when the level of noise is very high the two-way radio almost all the time works in transmit mode and it is impossible to change the mode to receive forcedly. If you don't want your battery to run down quickly it's better to use the button of transmission on the wiring of headset.


I bought two-way radios with battery in pack (capacity 600mAh) and I should say those battery have very long life. I have never had such problems when it is necessary to connect promptly and radio is out of work. Keep in mind, in case of low battery level two-way radio switches itself to reduced power mode, that's why I recommend you to have spare  batteries, which may prove useful, who knows.


Two-way radio Midland GXT 550 has firm enclosure and stable antenna, also the radio is waterproof and there is little place for dirt to accumulate.

The capacity of batteries in pack is 600 mAh, that is enough, but at present time there are batteries with capacity of 2000 mAh and it would be great to have such ones.

Headset is rather good thing, when you do not want to attract attention. With it you have very clear sound as if you talk face-to-face.

The ranges of our connections:

  • in the center of the city 0.75 mile (1.2 km)
  • in the city (on the straightaway) 2.93 mile (4.7km)
  • out of town on highway 7.5 mile (12 km )

Neither accuracy nor approach of this investigation can be the ground to consider it seriously. It just depicts my experience with use of Midland GXT 550 two-way radio and I hope it helps you to get some idea about performance capabilities of Midland two-way radios and choose them for personal use.

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