Cobra MicroTalk CXR925 35 Mile Radio

The Cobra MicroTalk Radio is a hand held radio that uses a wide range of frequencies including the Family Radio Service and General Mobile Radio Service with the lithium-Ion battery for better battery life.

Ease of Use, Performance: 23/25
Look & Feel: 20/25
Features 23/25
How much I enjoy 20/25

Total: 86/100

Cobra MicroTalk CXR925 35 Mile Radio

A GMRS capable handheld radio uses the General Mobile Radio Service for communications between handheld radios that is a licensed service. Obtaining a license is a bit expensive but if you use the higher frequencies of the UHF FM band of signals reserved for communication with handheld or base stations you need a license due to the power used.

A license in the United States currently costs $85 which is pretty pricey compared to just a few years ago when it cost much less but you don’t necessarily need a license to use this particular radio. Another group of lower powered frequencies is called the FRS or Family Radio Service which is the lower power and less interfering set of frequencies you can use for free.

The Cobra MicroTalk CXR925 35-Mile Radio is a handheld radio that uses both GMRS and lower power UHF and FM bands of the Family Radio Service for two way communications. The CXR925 includes a record function for later playback, NOAA Weather and emergency channels, voice activated communication and a Lithium Ion battery for long life.

The Cobra CXR925 comes with the two handheld radios, a dual battery charger base with power adapter, two Lithium Ion batteries and the instruction manual. The radios have a belt clip and both can be charged using either the power adapter alone or with the dual charger base that fits both radios for charging.

Whats in the Box

The Lithium Ion batteries are large and install easily for a long lasting radio life that will work much better than standard AA or AAA batteries. The CXR925 radios have a large 2 and a quarter inch tall 1/2 inch square antenna so you don’t have to worry as much about antenna breakage.

The radio has a 3/4 inch by 1/2 inch LED screen for its settings and has front buttons with a side talk button and top headset connection. The screen may be a bit small but it does allow you to see not only channels and other pertinent information like battery levels but it also illuminates for use at night.

The CXR925 is weather proof but not waterproof with the headset connection using a rubber cover and the buttons all have rubber coated covers to prevent water from getting inside. The battery cover is not rubber sealed so the radio will keep water out of the buttons and headset connection but it cannot be dunked in water.

The CXR925 uses both high power and low power frequencies so you can use the handheld radio with and without a GMRS license, you just need to stay on the lower frequencies if you do not have a license. This allows for 14 channels without a license for use with the radios and 8 additional channels for use with a license and also has various privacy channels.

Installing Batteries

The features of the radio include 3124 channel combinations which breaks down into the 22 channels times the number of privacy codes with each channel. The radio set can use 142 privacy codes so that you will not talk over other people using the same frequency.

While the privacy codes mean you may reduce the interference of others on the same frequency if others have a slightly higher power output they may still interfere with your communications. Using different channels along with different privacy codes allows you to change and get better reception without others interfering on your communications.

The radio even in the title says it has a 35 mile range but this is a best case scenario, most radios do not even come close to this distance in real world situations. Range is dependent on a lot of factors including buildings, woods, height and local interference from electronics and other communications devices.

While out on a 4-H activity with my son taking one radio out on a hike I checked out the radios range and found that in a wooded area the range was about a mile regardless of trees. The radio went out of range when a couple of hills were in the way and when he went in the small valley a river is in.

Front Panel of CXR925

In town range is not so great, maybe a mile or less depending on buildings and lay of the land like dips in the landscape near our Red River. The 35 mile range that Cobra and other companies claim is only a best case scenario and is not real world use according to users of all kinds of handheld radios including these.

Range for all handheld radios is limited down to a few miles with the company’s claims of several miles up to that 35 mile range being one for perfect conditions. If you were on a calm lake with clear skies you could possibly get 35 miles if the person on shore was on a hill overlooking the lake.

Range depends on antenna height and what is called the radio horizon, or line of sight for radio waves between both hand held radios. A thirty five mile range would be in an optimal situation like the mentioned lake scenario and not in a city with buildings in the way in in a wooded area.

I found a mile would not be a problem as long as things like terrain or buildings would not be in the way too much and the radios did work well in a wooded area. The Cobra CXR925 has the wide range of channels so if others are using channels close to yours selecting different channels to prevent interference is easy.

The CXR925 has a VOX feature, you simply turn on the feature and when your voice is above a specific level it will activate the radio just like pressing the talk button. This may not seem like a useful feature but in conjunction with a headset makes a nice hands free use of the radio.

You can talk between the radios using a headset with microphone and the voice enabled feature that works very well with five voice level settings for enabling the function. The CXR925 has a vibrate function along with the usual tones to let you know someone is calling you from the other radio, there are also ten tones to use with the radio.

The recorder feature is nice to use, simply record a simple message and the other handheld will record it for later playback. All the features of the Cobra CXR925 make it a fully featured handheld radio set that not only uses both the low and high power services for a more useful radio.

The Cobra CXR925 does have a lot of features but when it comes down to general usefulness the radio set works well and has a decent range both in a wooded area and in cities. I have tried the radio set out in various situations such as the woods, at a county fair and in town and have not had any problems other than going out of range from buildings or terrain getting in the way.

I highly recommend the Cobra CXR925 for a fully featured handheld radio that can be used with and without the required licensing for the higher frequencies.

Cobra Website