Cobra are an American manufacturer of Two-Way Radios, and the MT645 Twin (available for £34.99) are their latest license-free offering. Designed to offer basic performance, ease-of-use, and value for money; the Cobra MT645 are ideal for leisure and work. The twin set includes two compact handsets, rechargeable batteries and belt clips for each, and a Y-Shaped Micro-USB cable to re-charge both radios simultaneously.
We took them out on the streets of Glasgow and off-road to put them to the test:
Design & build
There are no major design flaws of the MT645; it has clearly been made for practical use and feels solidly built for a relatively inexpensive set of two-way radios. All buttons are positioned around the small LCD display at the front except the PTT key, which is positioned in the traditional place of the side along with a smaller button to activate/deactivate the backlight. Beside the antenna is a rubber cover, which protects the micro-USB slot (for charging) as well as a 3.5mm socket that can be used to attach a compatible headset. The belt-clips are it the most pliable so fixing and removing the handsets to your belt can be a little footery at times.
Sound performance was excellent, and a marked step-up from the marginally less expensive models you can pick up as toys for children (might not look as attractive for kids, but I’d definitely consider opting for something like the MT645, which actually works and won’t break as easily). The volume settings are easily adjustable and the maximum setting is quite loud so using in windy or noisy environments shouldn’t pose any major problems.
"SOUND PERFORMANCE WAS EXCELLENT"
The maximum range quoted by the manufacturer is up to 5km, but it’s important to note that the maximum range is only possible in clear open spaces with fair weather. We tested the handsets in the heart of Glasgow city centre and were able to achieve just short of half a mile (making it to within sight of the Mitchell Library heading west from our Bath Street offices) before transmission became inaudible; whilst testing the range in a Country Park gave us almost the full 5km claimed. Overall, we were fairly impressed by the range of the MT645.
Each two-way radio comes with 3x AA Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries (650 mAh), which provide a full days worth of use – we had them going for more than 12 hours and there was still some juice left at the end of the day. To fully charge them is equally lengthy (10+ hours) so best option is to put them on charge the night before you intend to use, however, they will take standard AA alkaline batteries (though not sure how quickly they would run them down so probably most cost effective option is to use the rechargeable ones included).
As a basic model the Cobra MT645 is not rich in features but has all the basics covered – there are 8 channels to choose from and 121privacy codes to prevent any interference; a roger beep (which can be switched off if you have a penchant for saying “Roger” and “Over and Out”), hands-free VOX mode; channel scan, and call alerts. Changing the settings and using the various features is straightforward thanks to the LCD display.
The Cobra MT645 are a great set of Two-Way Radios; they are solidly built, work well, are easy to use and offer terrific value for money. Whether buying as a gift, for a ski-ing holiday, rambling or work; the MT645 are a relatively low-cost solution that offer dependable performance.
- The Twin set is available for £34.99 - order online here.
- The Quad set is available for £79.99 - order online here.