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May 18, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Midland BizTalk MB400 Radio – Heavy-Duty Build, Twice the Power!

PTR Review
  • Pro Rating 9.2

Compared to the previous generation, I really like the upgrades in the Midland BizTalk MB400. It's more jobsite-friendly with its IP67 rating and has a more robust build. The additional range is a welcome change and there are some meaningful secondary features added.

Overall Score 9.2 (out of 10)

Midland BizTalk MB400 Steps Up in Build and Power

With the move from medium-duty business class to heavy-duty business class 2-way radios, the Midland BizTalk MB400 has significant upgrades from the original BizTalk BR200. We’ll move through those and see if it fits the bill for your next radio upgrade or replacement.


Pros

  • Twice the power (4 watts) of the BR200
  • IP67 waterproof rating
  • Die-cast metal frame
  • Lithium-ion battery

Cons

  • No major drawbacks

Recommendation

Compared to the previous generation, I really like the upgrades in the Midland BizTalk MB400. It’s more jobsite-friendly with its IP67 rating and has a more robust build. The additional range is a welcome change and there are some meaningful secondary features added.

Overall, it’s a fantastic choice but does come at a higher cost than the BR200. If you need the longer range and/or tougher build, go with the MB400 and don’t think twice. But keep the BR200 in mind for business communications that don’t require a heavy-duty product. 

In the Box

Each kit comes with everything you need to get started. You have the radio, antenna, battery pack, charger, lanyard, and belt clip. You need a small Phillips head screwdriver to install the belt clip and the rest is tool-free.

Midland BizTalk MB400 Radio - Heavy-Duty Build, Twice the Power!

One thing we noticed that’s different is the MB400’s charger. The BR200 has an additional charging slot for a spare battery. This one doesn’t.

Range and Channels

One of the biggest changes to the Midland BizTalk MB400 is that it has twice the power—4 watts. On a practical level, you’re looking at covering roughly 350,000 square feet of warehouse space or up to 30 stories in an office building.

Midland BizTalk MB400 Radio - Heavy-Duty Build, Twice the Power!

It’s not the same kind of range we expect from Midland’s outdoor series of GMRS radios, but it is quite a bit more than the BR200’s have. Even though this radio doesn’t reach out 35+ miles, it does require an FCC license since it uses UHF frequencies.


The default 16 channels are set to 464.5500 – 467.9250 MHz. You can reprogram the radio with a programming connection cord and Midland’s software to access the full frequency range (451.1875 – 469.5625 MHz) and 142 privacy codes. Midland also has a cloning cable to let you clone one radio’s settings to other directly instead of connecting each one to your computer.

Build

The Midland BizTalk MB400 gets a die-cast metal frame and IP67 waterproof rating to highlight its build upgrades. Part of the trade-off for its waterproof treatment is that the mic jack is screwed shut. If you switch to and from a headset frequently, it can be inconvenient.

Midland BizTalk MB400 Radio - Heavy-Duty Build, Twice the Power!

I’d like to see a captured friction fit cover with an o-ring instead, but that might not be a practical solution for the size.

Feature Set

Midland packs a pretty robust feature set into the MB400. While there’s not enough time or space to go into all them in detail, what follows are a few of my favorites that we didn’t already mention.

Lithium-Ion Power Source

There are still plenty of radios using nickel-cadmium and nickel metal hydride batteries, but Midland sticks with lithium-ion like the BR200. You end up with more consistent performance with no battery memory no matter how much charge is left when you put it on the charger.

Midland BizTalk MB400 Radio - Heavy-Duty Build, Twice the Power!

Emergency Call

The orange button next to the channel selection is your emergency call. It sends a loud alert, so don’t plan on using it if subtlety is what you’re looking for. However, for a trained response like fire, weather, or lockdown, it’s effective and extremely quick.

Midland BizTalk MB400 Radio - Heavy-Duty Build, Twice the Power!

Programmable Side Keys

The two buttons below the push to talk button are programmable and can hold up to 4 functions. By default, the top is set to channel scan (short press) and priority scan (long press). The lower button is set to monitor (short press) and VOX (long press).

To change them up, use Midland’s programming software and programming connection cord.

Programming Options

  • None
  • Monitor on/off
  • Scan on/off
  • Priority scan on/off
  • Hi/low power selection
  • Talk around on/off
  • VOX on/off
  • Reverse frequency

 

Additional Features

  • Bilingual voice announcements
  • Busy channel lockout
  • Battery life extender
  • Low battery alert
  • Time out timer
  • Repeater mode
  • Multi-port charger available
  • Headsets available

Pricing

The Midland BizTalk MB400 retails for $199.99 including the radio, antenna, battery, charger, belt clip, and lanyard. That’s a big step up in price from the $89 BR200, but it’s a big upgrade as well. Compared to the rest of the radio landscape, the MB400 is still offering excellent value with what you get in the class.

The Bottom Line

Compared to the previous generation, I really like the upgrades in the Midland BizTalk MB400. It’s more jobsite-friendly with its IP67 rating and has a more robust build. The additional range is a welcome change and there are some meaningful secondary features added.

Overall, it’s a fantastic choice but does come at a higher cost than the BR200. If you need the longer range and/or tougher build, go with the MB400 and don’t think twice. But keep the BR200 in mind for business communications that don’t require a heavy-duty product.

Midland BizTalk MB400 Specifications

  • Model: Midland MB400
  • Power Source: 7.4V, 1500mAh lithium-ion battery
  • Radio Power: 4 watts
  • Range: 350,000 sq. ft. warehouse or 30 story office building
  • Channels: 16
  • Privacy Codes: 142
  • IP Rating: IP67
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Price: $199.99

Check out more at Midland’s website.

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Mike Wolf

Good article, unfortunately a pretty important category is missing, Performance. It feels like the reviewer didn’t do any hands on real world testing with the radio like they did for the MR200 and the article was written off of the literature.

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