A while back, we bought three of the cheap Baofeng UV-5RB radios for various family members and was really impressed by what we got for $40.00. They had a pretty wide band on transmit and receive, though we do not advocate transmitting unlicensed outside of the amateur radio bands. Even if you were licensed in the other bands, this radio is not type accepted for the other bands. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, two of the three radios still work after about six months. One of them lost audio about three months after we bought them. When I say that it lost audio, I mean completely lost any sound whatsoever. Even the synthesized audio that tells what frequency/channel/etc. To date, we have not been able to get the audio back on this radio so it is pretty much useless.
I’ll go ahead and say it because it is obvious that you want to say it… “What do you expect from a $40.00 radio?”
That is a somewhat legitimate point. I say somewhat because you would expect poor performance or less features thatn other radios of similar style for this price. I say poorer performance, not no performance. The statement is not completely legitimate because after all, the radio was not free so you would expect SOME performance. I guess you could say that we do get some performance because it does transmit, just not receive. The blue light does come on when a signal is received. The signal strength meter does show a signal when a signal is received so we know that the receive does work, just no audio. We have searched far and wide online for potential fixes and have found that many people are having the same issue, but no fixes were found.
We’ve decided to mark this one down as a loss and lesson learned. It is not likely this radio can be revived at this stage, but we are holding onto it just in case a fix comes available. The other radios are still working great with no complaints. I would not recommend this radio if you are planning on having it as a primary radio because we’ve had a 33% failure but if you just want to experiment with it, by all means. When it works, it works great with no complaints. The other two radios, have been more than worth the money.