Cobra MT725 Value Pack Review
Radios Supplied By:
8 Channels, 38 CTCSS, Backlit LCD Display,
Battery Saver, Water Resistant, VOX, Baby Monitor,
Scan, Dual Watch, Key Lock, Two Port Rapid Charger,
2 x Rechargeable Battery Packs, Belt Clip and Wrist Strap.
The Cobra MT725 radios are very nice to look at with a good solid and rounded feel to them. They are a pleasure to hold. Build quality and design is generally excellent, the only small problems are that when you use any of the top three buttons your finger obscures the LCD display and secondly the rounded bottom makes it very difficult to stand the radio up, indeed I would only recommend standing the radio up if it is leaning against something as they do have a tendency to topple over if left standing in free space.
The control buttons are easy to use and in the main well located apart from the three top buttons (Call, Lock, Mode) as mentioned above. However, this does not cause enough difficulty to be of concern. The PTT and backlight/monitor buttons are located on the left hand side. The channel up/down is located just below the LCD display and the volume up/down is on the right of the display. Standard speaker/mic sockets are located on the top of the radio with a charging socket and intercom socket on the right hand side of the radio.
The LCD display is very clear with the channel and CTCSS being shown in large digits. Other options such as the roger bleep are displayed by the use of small icons. The power saver and VOX are displayed as words near the bottom of the screen and the battery status is shown at the very bottom in the form of a four segment bar.
The radios come complete with a two port charger and power supply, 2 x belt clips, and 2 x hand straps.
The battery packs are Nickel Metal Hydride and are easily fitted in the back of the radios. The radios are charged in the supplied two port rapid charger which gives a full charge in about 3 hours. This is great as most other radios are supplied with chargers that take up to 15 hours to charge their battery packs. It should be noted that two small adaptors are also supplied so that the battery packs can be charged outside of the radios if required. Normal Alkaline/Rechargeable AAA batteries can be used in the radios also.
Channel Scan: The radio scans through the 8 channels until a signal is found. CTCSS scanning is also possible but the radio will not scan and decode the CTCSS simultaneously. In other words you can scan the channels for activity, when you find a channel in use you will then have to scan the CTCSS codes on that channel in order to find out what CTCSS codes are in use. The scan function is accessed by pressing the MODE button 4 times then pressing either up or down.
Battery Indicator: A clear representation of the current battery condition is located at the bottom of the LCD display in the form of a 4 segment bar.
Light/Monitor: A quick press illuminates the LCD display. The monitor feature is selected by pressing and holding the light/monitor button. The squelch is opened so even the weakest of signals can be heard. It should be noted that Cobra have decided to give the monitor button a rather special title - MAXIMUM RANGE EXTENDER - Now whilst this function does extend the reception range to maximum I think that they are pushing their luck a little with this title as it is simply a way of opening the squelch so that you can hear the very weakest stations.
Dual Watch: When selected the radio monitors 2 channels at the same time.
Power Supply: Each radio can be powered with 4 X AAA batteries or the supplied battery pack.
Power Save: The power save feature activates automatically when no key is pressed for more than 10 seconds.
Key Lock: Pressing and holding the LOCK button activates the key lock. When activated all keys other than the Press To Talk and Call button are disabled on the radio.
VOX: This radio can be operated hands free by selecting the VOX function. The VOX sensitivity can also be changed with FIVE different settings. VOX is activated by pressing the MODE button twice. The VOX function can also double as a Baby Monitor whereby the radio transmits when audio such as crying is heard from the baby.
Roger Beep: The roger beep can also be turned on or off on this radio.
Call Tone: The radio has 5 selectable call tones. It should be noted that the radio does not actually transmit the call tone but instead transmits a humming sound which is interpreted by the receiveing radio and changed into a call tone. In practice this means that when communicating with other Cobra radios the call tone works in the normal fashion, but when communicating with some non-cobra radios the receive radio will only hear a low pitched humming sound instead.
External Speaker/Mic: This radio has sockets for an external speaker and microphone.
VibrAlert: When selected the radio will vibrate and/or make a sound to let you know if you are being called by another station.
As usual my first checks were made from home to several local stations all within half a mile of my position. All stations reported good clear audio from the Cobras.
The next step was to climb to the top of our local pit heap. The channels were quiet as this was at 10am on a Sunday morning, but the weather was lovely so I didn't want to take the chance of missing an opportunity to get out and about.
After about 10 minutes I made contact with Jim and his grandson who were located in Shiremoor at a distance of approximately 6 miles. Jim had just bought a cheap pair of radios from his local Argos store to keep in touch with his grandson whilst he was out playing in the garden and he was amazed that he was able to hear someone at such a distance. He thought that the radios were just toys and only had a very poor range. I explained that the radios can perform exceptionally well when out in the open or as in my case when located at a high point.
During the 10 minute conversation Jim informed me that he was actually located inside his house and his grandson was at the bottom of the garden. He said that he had no problem receiving my signal at any time and that I sounded just like I was in the room with him.
He also mentioned that he found the roger bleep on my radio to be a little distracting but this was easily remedied when I turned it off. I must admit that I meant the turn it off before I went out as I am not a great lover of roger bleeps myself !
Several other stations were contacted with ranges from half a mile to 3 miles and they all gave the Cobra a good report.
During my tests the radio was measured against my favourite radio the Motorola T6222 and it would appear that the Cobra performs just as well (Possibly slightly better on receive) as the T6222. Any radio that can measure up to the T6222 has to worth a look at that's for sure.
Good Points: Good solid radio with an excellent transmit audio and a very sensitive receiver. Plenty of features for the average user. Good sized, clear LCD display. Reliable, strong belt clip and carry strap. Rapid charger a definite bonus. Battery packs can be charged out of the radio. Respectable battery life for AAA batteries which can be increased by simply buying and using higher capacity NiMh batteries and separate charger if you so wish. A good range of accessories available to complement this radio. Very good value for money.
Bad Points: Radio will not stand upright without support. Location of some buttons causes minor difficulty seeing LCD display. Scan features should have been accessible without having to go through the menu, a SCAN button on the front of the radio would have been nice, as would automatic CTCSS decode.
Overall a good perfoming, mid-range, value for money radio that should satisfy most users.
Many thanks to BB-SHOPPING.COM for supplying the radios. Please visit their site for a wealth of electronic gadgets !
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