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Police Radios vs. Commercial Radios: What Are the Differences?

Police Radios vs. Commercial Radios: What Are the Differences?

Unsure if you need a police radio or commercial radio? Don’t want to get stuck in an emergency with the wrong one?

You might be wondering what the difference is between police radios and commercial radios.

Both types of radios have their unique benefits, but it can be hard to decide which type of radio you need for your business.

But don’t worry. Keep reading because, in this article, we will compare and contrast the two types of radios so that you can make an informed decision about which type of radio is best for you.


Police radios are specifically designed for use by law enforcement officers. They have several features that make them ideal for this purpose, including:

Enhanced audio quality, so officers can hear instructions and calls for help over loud noises or in challenging environments. Rugged construction, to withstand tough conditions.

They also have frequencies that are specific to law enforcement, which can’t be accessed by the general public.

Commercial radios, on the other hand, are designed for a wide range of applications. They are typically more versatile than police radios, and are for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Businesses
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Event organizers

Now that we understand how they are used, and some of the features included, let’s talk about the costs of police radio equipment and two way police communication.


Police radios are typically more expensive than commercial radios because they are designed for a specific purpose. Commercial radios are more versatile, so they can be used for a variety of purposes, which keeps the cost down. However, some high-end commercial radios can rival the price of police radios.

You can also look at radio rentals which will keep the cost down for you.

FCC and Licensing Requirement

Police radios are subject to FCC licensing, while commercial radios are not. This means that police radios are for authorized personnel only, while commercial radios are for anyone.


The range of a police radio is typically shorter than the range of commercial radio. This is because police radios are specifically tuned to frequencies that are for law enforcement, while commercial radios can access a wider range of frequencies.


Police radios are typically more durable than commercial radios. They build them to withstand tough conditions and harsh environments, while most commercial radios are not.

Are Police Radios Right for You?

The bottom line is that there are some key differences between police radios and commercial radios. If you’re looking for a two-way radio for business purposes, you should opt for a commercial radio rather than a police radio.

However, if you need something specifically designed for law enforcement officers, emergencies, or special events then a police radio is the better choice.

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