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Standard Horizon HX890 Handheld VHF Radio Review

standard horizon hx890 vhf marine radio_1
standard horizon hx890 vhf marine radio_1

It isn’t often that you find a big-name manufacturer listening to their customers. What’s even rarer is a big-name manufacturer designing their new product to fix flaws pointed out by the users of their previous model. However, that is exactly what Standard Horizon has done with the HX890. They paid attention to what people had to say about their previous handheld marine radio model, the HX870 to fix all issues on their latest model i.e. Standard Horizon HX890 handheld (Very High Frequency) radio.

This, itself, would be astounding but the company’s latest handheld VHF radio is an outstanding piece of equipment. It not only shares all the qualities and feature of the earlier HX870 handheld marine radio but adds to them with some great benefits and features of its own. The Standard Horizon HX890 is going to be a bigger hit than the HX870 and there’s no stopping it. Here’s our review. 

About Standard Horizon

Standard Horizon is a brand owned by a Japanese company that traces its roots back to 1959. The company, called Yaesu Musen Co. Ltd. was established by Sako Hasegawa, an amateur radio enthusiast. Initially, the company focused on the Japanese market but when they clinched some government contracts in other countries, they ended up going international.

Standard Horizon hasn’t looked back since and has been a major name in VHF marine radios for a long time now. They manufacture both fixed mount and handheld VHF radios which means that users can have a set of both for their boats.

Why is the Standard Horizon HX890 Special?

The Standard Horizon HX890 handheld VHF radio represents a quality rarely seen in manufacturers – listening to customers’ concerns and complaints. As mentioned earlier, the HX890 is designed to be an improvement on the Standard Horizon HX870. Such is its quality that if you want a well-designed waterproof but floating handheld VHF radio that boasts of good battery life, inbuilt GPS, DSC capability, and a large screen, then you can't ignore the HX890.

This handheld marine radio comes with a 1800 mAh Li-ion battery that can manage up to 11 hours of constant use. If you don’t turn it on or only use it intermittently, you can probably get it to last up to five times as long.

Even if you look beyond battery life, you'll find the Standard Horizon HX890 to be a well-built and well-designed handheld VHF marine radio. In fact, its housing and construction meets MIL-STD-810F military standard. This makes the HX890 very sturdy and reliable in even physically demanding situations.

Floating Body Design

Moreover, it is a submersible handheld VHF radio with a rating of IPX8. This means that it can remain functional up to 1.5 meters underwater for a minimum of 30 minutes. Also, the die-cast chassis used in this device is also buoyant which allows the device to float on water.

standard horizon hx890 vhf marine radio_4

Not only does it float but it also becomes visible in water. As soon as it comes in contact with water, a white strobe light comes on. Therefore, if you drop this handheld marine radio overboard or even go overboard with it, you won’t have any trouble finding it as the device will float with the light turned on. 

Built in DSC and GPS

The Standard Horizon HX890 has GPS compatibility as well as Digital Selecting Calling (DSC) capability. These two features are very useful in emergency situations as they allow the device to send relevant identification and position data to rescue authorities. The two features are made possible by the presence of the 66-channel WAAS GPS receiver. The same receiver allows for waypoint functionality and navigation as well. 

Huge Display

The display screen on this handheld VHF marine radio is one of the largest in its market segment. Spanning 1.7” x 1.7” (2.3” diagonal), the large screen ensures that you don’t miss key details even if you're in a hurry. The interface behind the screen is intuitive and very user friendly especially combined with its soft-touch keys.

The screen even has two modes – day and night. In the night mode, the screen darkens and the text becomes red preventing glare from affecting your vision over the water. 

standard horizon hx890 vhf marine radio_3

The Standard Horizon HX890 offers voice scrambling too for those of you who want to keep your conversations private. In fact, it doesn’t just offer voice scrambling but offers them in two formats – the 4-code CVS2500A and the 32-code FVP-42.

Additionally, when you're not using the HX890 to communicate with people on other boats or the shore, you'll be able to entertain yourself with the help of its integrated FM Broadcast band receiver.

This handheld VHF radio offers all these features and qualities without being too cumbersome or heavy. As a matter of fact, the HX890’s dimensions fall well within the accepted industry standards. It is fairly compact, measuring only 5.32” high, 2.6” wide, and 1.5” thick. Bear in mind that these measurements don’t take the antenna and the knob into account. The device is also fairly light, coming in at only about 10.94 oz.

Color options

You can get it in two colors – black and navy blue. These aren’t the only features that the Standard Horizon HX890 possesses. They are just the most standout. Other features worth mentioning include.


  • 1W, 2W or 6W transmit power options
  • Noise Cancelling Function along with 700mW Loud Audio feature
  • Weather alerts through NOAA Weather Channels access
  • Programmable Dual Watch and Triple Watch Scanning
  • 3 Year Waterproof Warranty
  • DSC Group Position Call can be used for group monitoring
  • PC programming through the provided Micro USB Data jack

What Are the Disadvantages of the Standard Horizon HX890

There’s not a lot that is wrong with the Standard Horizon HX890. Its design is perfect and its performance flawless. However, there are some users who have faced some difficulties. At the same time, we feel that those difficulties are associated more with individual pieces than this VHF marine radio on the whole.

One problem that is more widespread is the quality of the belt clip. The belt clip that comes with this handheld VHF radio is not as sturdy and strong as it should be. It has a tendency to simply break with rigorous movements. This means that you should be careful if you're using the clip.

Standard Horizon HX890 Vs. Standard Horizon HX870: How Do They Compare?

Standard Horizon HX870 marine radio review

The HX870 is an incredibly popular handheld marine radio that was a worthy successor to the earlier model, Standard Horizon HX851. Now, it is all set to be replaced as the best in the market by the Standard Horizon HX890. The HX870 is an excellent device that does everything right except for a few flaws.

With the HX890, Standard Horizon has fixed those flaws and then added even more qualities to make it virtually irresistible. The biggest issue with the HX870 was its display screen. Users had complained that the bright white LED illumination of the screen was a hindrance in the night as it affected visibility on the water. The company fixed this problem by introducing the ‘Night Mode’ on the HX890.

Another big problem with the HX870 was that it could only be programmed with a single Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI). If you wanted to change the MMSI number, you would have to send that handheld marine radio all the way back to the service center to be fixed. This, effectively, tied a handheld VHF marine radio to a single ship.

The system on the Standard Horizon HX890 is different. It is possible for you to change the MMSI number on it by contacting the company remotely. You'll have to provide the company with your MMSI number and the ATIS code, after which they’ll give you a reset code. The MMSI number can still not be changed on the go but at least you have the option to do it yourself without sending it to the service center.

Not only is HX890 thinner than the HX870 but it is also sturdier owing to its military standard construction.

The DSC on the HX890 is more advanced than the one on HX870 as well. The HX870 handheld VHF radio boasts of a Class D DSC operation while the HX890 handheld marine radio supports Class H DSC operation.

The HX890 also boasts of newer features that were completely absent on the HX870. These include the two new scrambler systems and the FM Broadcast band receiver. You can also get the HX890 in navy blue or black while the HX870 was only available in one color.

The Standard Horizon HX890 Will Be the Next Big Thing

Here’s a prediction: the HX890 will be the next big thing, superseding the HX870 just like the latter superseded the HX851. It has all the features that any modern seafaring individual needs. In addition, it is rugged and fairly compact. In our opinion, you'll be hard-pressed to find any handheld VHF radio better than the Standard Horizon HX890.

ICOM IC-M25 Floating Handheld Marine Radio Review

Icom IC-m25 VHF handheld radio
Icom IC-m25 VHF handheld radio

The ICOM IC-M25 is a slim, lightweight, and water-resistant VHF handheld marine radio, the upgraded version of the M23 which was released on May 2011. Its equipped with a powerful 1500 mAH battery which can last approximately eleven hours per charge, float N flash functions, aqua quake draining, and an IPX7 waterproof design are some of the many features of this radio.

No more bulky charging base! The ICOM M25 includes a NEW micro USB type charging cable connector (smartphone-compatible connectors) which can be easily used with your mobile battery packs. Now you can charge your VHF marine radio in the same way you charge your phone or tablet.

The M25 is designed very intuitively starting from the large controls and well-placed, soft key buttons that make operating extremely easy. Despite being smaller in size compared to other VHF radios, the display is actually 30% larger than its predecessor the ICOM M24 which makes it easy to see all the information on screen.

Available in three colors, the ICOM-25 is a decent looking device that has everything you want from a stylish, well-designed VHF handheld radio. While the ICOM M25 is a little more expensive than other VHF marine radios, it stands out for having the best value for the money with all its useful extra features.

Icom m25 charging port

Icom M25 charging port

Main Features

Choosing the best VHF handheld radio for your needs requires a little bit of research. What makes the ICOM 25 better than other handheld VHF radios? Learn more about its features below:

  • Slim, Compact and Lightweight Design - The M25 weighs 7.76 ounces and measures 5.28” tall, 2.23” inch wide, and 1.2” thick which means it can fit almost anywhere. It has a slim body shape making it much more comfortable to hold and carry in your pocket.
  • Large Controls and Display - Very easy to use controls. A significantly larger display than its predecessors means no more squinting when reading the display information.
  • Micro-USB Charger - includes a new micro USB type charging cable connector which can be used with your mobile battery packs or other small electronics. It can be charged to an AC adapter for around 3 hours.
  • Loud 550mW Audio - Despite its small size, the ICOM M25’s speakers are powerful enough to hear transmissions over the wind, choppy seas, or engine noises. You can also do quick volume adjustments by simply holding the VOL/SQL buttons or pushing the ▲ or ▼ button.
  • Float N’ Flash - A brilliant feature which allows your device to float and flash a red light when dropped in water for easy retrieval, especially at night. It also sounds an audible alarm to point you in the right direction.
  • Aqua Quake Draining Function - Once retrieved from the water, the device emits low-frequency sound waves which shakes off water from the speakers so that transmissions are smooth and clear, preserving the sound quality.
  • IPX7 Waterproofing - The M25 will be able to withstand immersion in water up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes without damage.
  • Multi-Tasker- The ICOM-M25 includes an instant access button to channel 16, programmable call channel, dual/tri-watch functions which allow you to monitor distress channels while still using other channels.
  • Rechargeable 1500 mAH Li-ion battery - Powerful battery that allows 11 hours of operation with battery-life icon indications while charging and fully charged.

Additional Features

  •  Front Panel Buttons for Quick Operations
  • Weather Channel w/ Weather Alert
  • Instant access to Channel 16
  • Favorite Channel Function
  • Auto Scan
  • LCD Auto Backlighting

What’s included in the Box?

  • USB charger (Icom #BC- 217SA)
  • Belt Clip (Icom #MB - 133)
  • Antenna (Icom #FA - SC59V)
  • Battery Pack (#BP-282)
  • Hand Strap


  • Frequency Band: VHF
  • Type: Handheld Marine Radio
  • Country/Region of Manufacture: Japan
  • Item Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Item Model Number: IC-M25 01
  • Dimensions: W 2.2” x H 5.3” x D 1.2”
  • Features: Floating, Submersible, Radio, Waterproof
  • Display Type: Segmented LCD
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Scanning Modes: All Scan
  • Transmit Power: 5/1 Watt
  • Usable channels: INT, USA, CAN, WX channels
  • Antenna Impedance: 50Ω
  • Type of emission: 16K0G3E (FM)
  • Operating temperature range : -20°C to +60°C; -4°F to +140°F
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
  • Available Colors: Blue, Pearl White, Metallic Grey Accents
  • Warranty Details: Three Years Waterproof


  • Output power: (Hi/Mid/Low)       5W (High),1W (Low)
  • Max. frequency deviation: ±5.0kHz
  • Frequency stability: ±10ppm
  • Spurious emissions: -68dBc typical
  • Adjacent channel power: 70dB
  • Audio harmonic distortion: 10% (at 60% dev.)
  • Residual modulation: 40dB


  • Sensitivity (at 12dB SINAD): 0.25µV typical
  • Squelch sensitivity: 0.25µV typ. (at threshold)
  • Adjacent Channel Selectivity: 70dB typical
  • Spurious response: 70dB typical
  • Intermodulation Rejection: 70dB typical
  • Hum and noise ratio: 40dB typical
  • Audio output power : (at 10% distortion, 8 Ω)    
  • Internal SP: 550mW typ. (12Ω load)
  • External SP: 300mW typ. (4Ω load

Final Thoughts:

The ICOM M25 is another high quality VHF marine radio from ICOM. Currently, the slimmest floating handheld marine radio, it packs many features and delivers uncompromised performance that raises the bar in the marine electronics industry. A popular favorite among consumers, the ICOM M25’s easy to use, well-placed buttons and smart interface makes the device one of the best handheld marine radios today.

Standard Horizon HX210 Floating VHF Radio Review

Standard Horizon HX210 vhf marine radio
Standard Horizon HX210 vhf marine radio

A marine VHF radio is your key back to the world when you are caught out at sea. Modern technologies have allowed these devices to be smaller and compact ensuring you can have your VHF radio with you at all times which is especially useful when you are on a small boat.

Standard Horizon a leading brand in the world of marine communication presents one of their most popular VHF radios; the HX210 Handheld Floating VHF Radio.

The company also deals with HF equipment that is of utmost importance in marine communication. You can count on their devices to not only communicate with friends when out kayaking or boating but also for help in emergency situations. 

Design and Features of Standard Horizon HX210  VHF Radio 

Compact and Lightweight

Perhaps the most desirable feature of this radio is its small size. If you are a kayaker, surfer, jet skier, or dingy sailor, space is crucial. But with a compact handheld device, it is easier to find that little extra space to store your radio. 

What’s more, this radio is buoyant which is desirable since you don’t have to worry about it sinking to the bottom of the water if its dropped overboard. It has an IPX7 water resistance rating which indicates its inner components will not get damaged when it’s around or submersed for a brief period in water.

The radio floats face up when you drop it in water, and a red strobe light is activated to help you locate it whether the device is ON or turned OFF. 

You can configure the light to flash on and off or in SOS mode where it flashes three short flashes followed by three long flashes and three short flashes, or you can set a continuous flash to help you find the radio. 

This VHF radio comes with a durable belt clip to allow keeping it beside you at all times. The curved sides give it an ergonomic shape such that it will not slide out of your hand during use. 

Wide Frequency Range and Output Power

The HX210 has all USA and Canadian marine channels. You can dial in the emergency number channel 16 which is the distress channel. You will also find channels for the US coast guard as well as state control, and other vital channels that make your overall boating much safer. 

The HX210 has FM broadcasts from 76MHz to 108MHz. If you want to stay updated, just tune in to your favorite FM channel.

The radio has a speaker mic jack that you can connect your headset to and listen to the volume levels of your choice. 

When it comes to the output power, HX210 has a 6W output. It is an impressive range since you can communicate between 7-8 miles in reasonable conditions with no land obstructions. Not only that, the radio can survive knocks and abuse, no matter what you throw at it. 

It also has a noise-canceling microphone that drains the ocean noise away and allows you to communicate better. 

Display and Menu System

This VHF radio is straightforward to use. It has an E2O (Easy to Operate) menu that simplifies the whole process. You will be able to use it when under pressure so that you can dial in the right channel and communicate in time to pass out an important message. 

You will appreciate that it has one of the largest displays compared to other radios its size. It has a dot matrix resolution on an LCD screen. It is bright and clear even when using it under direct sunlight. The backlight comes in handy when using it at night as well. 

With this radio, you can customize the functions of the different keys to suit your current and most common conditions. Say you want a channel that contacts local sailors or send a unique message of your location and identity, this radio will help you do exactly that. 

Battery Life

The Standard Horizon HX210 comes with an 1850mAh Lithium-Ion battery. It is your ticket to staying out longer thanks to its 14-15 hours of battery life. Although it is a large capacity battery, this unit is still lightweight.  

It is supplied with 110VAC and 12VDC charging cables and charging cradles. These are 3-hour quick chargers, so that you can recharge your radio on a whim before setting out on a trip. 


The Standard Horizon HX210 enjoys a 3-year warranty. A replacement or repair is guaranteed if the device fails for any reason within the warranty period. Not only that, the radio can be serviced after the three years in Standard Horizon’s Flat Rate Service Program. 

When you have the backing of the manufacturer, nothing should keep you from enjoying the usefulness of the HX210 handheld VHF radio


  • Ergonomic and compact design 
  • Over 10 hours of battery life 
  • It floats on water 
  • It has an IPX7 waterproof rating 
  • It has USA and Canadian channels
  • Can receive FM and WX broadcasts from 76MHz to 108MHz 


  • It does not have GPS

HX210 vs. HX300

Standard Horizon HX300 Standard HX300 Handheld VHF Marine Radio

While these two devices have lots of similarities like the ergonomic shape and being lightweight, The HX300 is a much more advanced model. It features an IPX8 waterproof rating meaning it can survive being dropped in a depth of 4.92ft for 30 minutes. This is unlike the HX210 that has a 3.3ft water depth survival.

The HX300 has a 5W of transmitting power. It includes US and Canadian channels, and you can scan through preset channels. You can set up to 10 channels to use with the preset scan function. 

The radio has weather channels that give you weather alerts. This way, you will always be in the know and not be caught in a storm that could have been avoided. 

The HX300 also has an internal 600mw speaker, so you don’t need to have an external speaker. Its 1800mAh battery is much smaller but can last longer when it is in standby mode. It has a USB charging cable which is one of its kind in radios of this class. 


Purchasing a handheld VHF can be a process. But Standard Horizon makes it seem effortless with the HX210 model. It features a compact and buoyant design that is a must have when you need a portable VHF radio for your boating trips. Its affordability and high-capacity 1850mAh Lithium-Ion battery make it a top pick for your safety and convenience on the water. 

Standard Horizon HX150 Review

Standard Horizon HX150 VHF marine radio
Standard Horizon HX150 VHF marine radio

Besides making some of the best feature packed handheld and fixed mount marine radios, Standard Horizon also designs and manufactures entry level/budget radios. HX150 is a great example of a compact handheld marine radio that provides good quality communications and decent battery life.

This would be a good VHF marine radio for kayak fishing or other activities where you don't want to carry too much weight and may not need GPS function (if you do, get the Standard Horizon HX870). This radio is floating and submersible (rated IPX7). Compact designs allows it to be stored in smaller compartments and pockets. The radio's power is variable, so if you want to preserve battery life, switch to 1W mode, and if you are further away and need a stronger reception - 5W mode is there for you.

Operating this radio is straight forward. It has a decent size LCD screen, 16/9 dedicated key, preset buttons, key lock etc. Overall, this is a great little radio. It is comparable to Uniden MHS75, but there are a few differences. Let's take a look at them:

Standard Horizon HX150 VHF marine radio
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    1 or 5 Watts
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    Submersible IPX7
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    1030 mAh Li-Ion battery
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    AC Wall charger with charging cradle
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    W2.4" x H5x3" x D1.5"
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    8.3 oz
Uniden MHS75 VHF radio
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    1, 2.5 or 5 Watts
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    Submersible IPX8
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    Quad Watch Plus
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    1040 mAh Li-Ion battery
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    DC Charger
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    W2.49" x H4.57" x D1.53"
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    10.2 oz

Icom M93D Handheld VHF Marine Radio Review

Icom handheld marine radio
Icom M93 handheld marine radio

The Icom M93 is a powerful 48-channel handheld VHF radio and a valuable marine accessory for every vessel. Its key features include its floating and waterproof capability which doesn’t just protect the device from water damage but also increases its lifespan. With the safety advantages of DSC (Digital Selective Calling), rest assured that you’re in good hands and have reliable access to distress channels should an emergency on the water arrive.

With an IPX-7 rating, Icom M93 can withstand immersion in 1-meter deep water for up to 30 minutes. A useful feature for those unfortunate accidents when you accidentally drop your device off the boat. You don’t have to worry about the speaker getting wet and damaged either, the Icom M93 has a high-tech feature known as “Aqua Quake” which puts the speaker on vibrating mode and shakes off water from the device. This allows your speaker to work with no disturbance from water stranded on its surface.

The Icom M93 is equipped with a long-lasting rechargeable battery which can remain powered up for the whole day. With its intuitive battery indicator display found on the screen, you know when you need to recharge your radio before it dies. It also has an active noise canceling feature that’s very useful for stormy or windy situations.

Main Features

  • Floating and Flashing Capability - Accidentally dropped your device in the water? No worries! The M93 has a floating design which allows it to float on its back while the backlit keypads flash making it easier to retrieve the device even in pitch black water.
  • Compact and Stylish Design - Even with a small height of 145mm and weight of 310 grams, The Icom M93D wows with its impressive design. Its flat sheet keypad makes the device look sleek and slim. It’s so well-built that it fits perfectly in your palm.
  • Intuitive User Interface - ICOM is known for creating the best user interface for marine electronics simply because they are so user-friendly and easy to operate. This is very important for non-tech savvy people.
  • Waterproof to IPX-7 - Can withstand immersion in 1-meter deep water for up to 30 minutes.
  • Active Noise Canceling Technology - reduces background noise for better transmissions. This feature can be a lifesaver when you’re transmitting in rough conditions or a around a noisy marine environment.
  • Aquaquake - feature that drains water from the speaker grill using the device’s vibrating mode.
  • Built-in Class D DSC - The ICOM M93 includes its own dedicated second channel which monitors Channel 70 regularly. When you push the red distress button on the rear of the radio, the distress signal gets sent to the coast guard and other DSC radio-equipped vessels. They will receive your GPS coordinates, boat name, and phone number for emergency contact.
  • Backlit LCD display - View all functions and information easily even in the dark.
  • Dual and Tri-Watch Feature - enables you to monitor the distress channel while receiving messages on another channel of your choice.

Additional Features:

  • High Contrast Dot Matrix
  • Dual/Tri- Watch
  • Save up to 50 waypoints with alphanumeric names
  • Favorite channel function
  • Weather channel alarm
  • Battery indicator
  • auto Battery Saver
  • Built-In GPS Receiver
  • MOB Position Marking


  • Antenna, FA-SC59V
  • Hand strap
  • Owner’s Manual
  • Cigarette lighter cable, CP-25H
  • Belt clip, MB-133
  • Battery charger, BC-220
  • Battery pack, BP-285
  • AC adapter, BC-123SA


  • Weight: 9.3 Ounces
  • Dimensions:  2 3/8" Width x 5 5/8" Height x 1 3/4" Depth
  • Available Color:: Black
  • Display Color: Grayscale
  • Display: 2.3" Diagonal High-Visibility Polarized Dot Matrix LCD with Softglow
  • Battery Life: 9 Hours
  • Battery Type : Lithium-Ion 1570mAh
  • Material: Polycarbonate (Housing)
  • Die-Cast: Aluminum (Chassis)
  • Transmit Power: 1/5 Watt
  • Warranty Details: Three Years

ICOM M93 vs Standard Horizon HX870:

When it comes to transmitting power the Icom M93 has only two options 1 or 5 watts while the Standard Horizon HX870 has three (1, 2, or 6 watts) which means using the HX870 can give you more options to change the output power and save battery. In terms of waterproof rating, Icom M93’s IPX7 rating also falls slightly behind HX870 which has a IPX8 rating. An IPX8 rating provides more protection if you accidentally drop your device overboard (it can still work even when submerged of up-to 3 feet). Both radios have good battery life, however, the HX870 proves more powerful with its 1800 mAH lithium-ion battery compared to the M93’s 1570 mAH lithium ion type. Our verdict? The Standard Horizon HX870 packs a little more features than Icom M93. And with just a little price difference between the two, the wiser option is to purchase the device that will give you more for your money which is the HX870.

Closing thoughts and suggestions:

The Icom M93 is a good choice if you’re looking for a durable, easy-to-use, and compact VHF radio that has all the life-saving features like Float n Flash, Aqua Quake and Active Noise canceling. However, compared to same-price models like the Standard HX870, the Icom M93 significantly falls behind. Despite this, the Icom M93 is worth every penny, and if you’re a long time Icom buyer, this device won’t fail you. In fact, it can help keep you safe whilst out on the water. It is made especially for passionate and adventurous boaters.

Uniden MHS235 Review

Uniden MHS235 VHF marine radio
Uniden MHS235 VHF marine radio

Uniden MHS235 is a top of the line VHF marine radio from UNIDEN. Uniden is quite famous for making two way radios, and this model is specifically designed for marine use. This well made rugged case is JIS8 rated - meaning that it is usable for continuous submersion in water under specified pressure ( 5ft for 1 hour without damaging the radio). 

As you would expect from a high end radio, there is a GPS receiver with built in DSC function as well as GPS compass. Once you press the red distress button, an emergency signal with your coordinates will be transmitted every few minutes until you receive a response. Let's say you are thrown off the board or your boat sunk, UNIDEN MHS235 will be floating and sending signal - life saving feature!! 

Uniden MHS235 Handheld Submersible 2-Way 5W Digital Selective Calling (DSC) Marine Radio - Black

Transmitter power select lets you choose from 3 power modes - 1W, 2.5W or full power 6W. This UNIDEN marine radio has dual and triple power watch - simultaneously monitor weather channel and 2 Coast Guard Distress/Hailing channels. All NOAA channels  will get you weather alerts, also extremely useful when you are out on the water.

Something that we don't see so often is the temperature measuring tool that lets you measure water and air temperature. ​There is a also a built in SOS function - this Uniden vhf marine radio will be flashing built in LED light in SOS pattern. 

The display on UNIDEN MHS235  has a backlit and can be reversed, meaning you can switch between light background and dark background. You can also pull up built in compass on it.

Overall, this is a great radio that you can find on sale for under $200.

Some of the feature include:

  • 6 watt VHF Select between 1, 2.5, and 6 Watts
  • All NOAA weather channels
  • USA/Internationa/Canada Channels
  • Submersiable to 5ft for 1 hour
  • DSC with GPS
  • GPS compass
  • Compass
  • Instant Channel 16/9
  • Tri-Watch
  • Floats
  • Water and air temperature measuring
  • Glow in the dark with key lock
  • Limited 3 Year Warranty
  • Dimensions - 2 x 2 x 2 inches

But what do actual users say about this radio? Are they actually happy with their purchase? Let’s find out the pros, cons and what reviewers are saying about this radio. Below are the most common pros and cons that people have stated in their reviews on Amazon.

  • 4.1 out of 5 Stars
  • 538 Total Customer reviews
  • 60% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • High end features
  • Excellent Unit For the Price
  • Extra safety features like Glowing and SOS flash signal
  • Comes only with a 12V car/cigarette  charger

Standard Horizon HX870 Floating Handheld VHF Radio Review

Standard Horizon HX870 marine radio review
Standard Horizon HX870 marine radio review

If you  are looking for an efficient floating marine radio that includes a 66-channel WAAS GPS receiver and ability to transmit and receive distress calls? Look no further; the Standard Horizon HX870 VHF Marine Radio does this and much more. Built with its own powerful GPS/DSC receiver, buoyant die-cast chassis, and submersible waterproof construction, rest assured that you’ll effortlessly navigate the water like a true captain.

The Standard Horizon HX870 is the successor of the popular HX851 portable marine radio. Up until now, the HX870 remains one of the best handheld marine radios on the market today. The premium features tough construction waterproof design are just a couple of the reasons it is our favorite handheld radio.

The HX870 works with all US, international and Canadian marine radio channels and has a dedicated receiver for CH70 (DSC calling). During the set up, you are are able to choose your group setting - US, Canada or international. To activate distress function, hold DISTRESS key for 3 seconds. A special signal will be sent to all nearby vessels in a range of 5 miles. Make sure to register for MMSI number and set it up on your HX870 handheld radio. DSC signal with your coordinates will NOT work if you don't complete this step.

HX870 Design:

The VHF marine radio is one of the best models which include an easy to operate menu system perfect for non-tech savvy mariners and crewmen. The Standard Horizon HX870 comes with a 6 Watt VHF radio with a 2.3-inch screen size twice as large as its competitors. Focusing on intuitive and efficient design, its operating buttons are all positioned strategically near the screen for ease of use. It’s also waterproof and floats, a helpful feature should you drop it in the water.

Standard Horizon HX870 6W Floating Handheld VHF Radio w/Integrated GPS Marine , Boating Equipment

HX870 Battery Life and Performance:

In event of any emergency or terrible weather condition, the Standard HX870 ensures that you can contact the coast guard or other boaters. It uses noise-canceling microphone technology that enables clear outgoing and incoming calls so you can send and receive clear messages without disrupting noises from your ship’s engine or the water.

With its built-in class DSC, you can simply push the distress button in order to send a message to the coast guard and other vessels nearby. It can save as many as 200 waypoints and 20 routes using its own compass page which shows COG, SOG, bearing, and distance to individual waypoints. With its unique and high tech compass page, you can see up to nine vessels in range!

The high capacity 1800 mAh Li-Ion battery with a 3 hour quick charge function will provide plenty of battery life for regular use. You can also use supplied alkaline battery tray that takes 5 AAA batteries.

Built in GPS:

The HX870 has the ability to receive weather alerts and has an assigned WX soft key to get current weather information. The biggest advantage of this portable VHF radio vs other VHR radios is built in 66 channel GPS receiver. The internal GPS antenna allows this radio to display your position either in a compass  or numerical style. You can log your GPS location at regular intervals using the LOGGER function. The HX870 also allows you to share your GPS position and request GPS positions from other vessels.

HX870 built in GPS receiver


So what else makes this a top notch VHF radio? Built in navigation! You can store up to 200 waypoints on the HX870. Go to menu > NAVI> WAYPOINT and you will get access to your history, memory or manual entering of coordinates. The large display will show the compass with the coordinates of your final destination. This is extremely useful especially for smaller boats or kayaks where the space is limited and you want the radio to do it all.

Emergency Features:

If you ever end up overboard, the HX870 has a few things to help you in emergency situations. First of all, this is a floating radio that is IPX8 rated (30 minutes under 4.92ft of water). It also has water activated SOS strobe light. If the radio is dropped, it will turn on (even if it was powered off before) and start flashing an SOS light.

MOB function (Man )ver-Board) will memorize the position information instantly if the radio is dropped into water.

submersible marine two way radio

Some of the features include:

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    Floating with 1/2/6 Watts of Power
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    ​​​Internal 66 Chanel WAAS GPS receiver
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    Separate Receiver for CH70
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    All USA/Canada/International Marine channels
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    NOAA Weather Channel with weather alerts
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    Full dot matrix 2.3" display
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    Navigate to a DSC Distress Call
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    Water activated emergency strobe light
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    MOB (man over-board) function
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    Submersible, rated IPX8
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    Waypoint navigation
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    NMEA 0183 output
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    1800 mAh Li-Ion Battery
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    Alkaline Battery Tray
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    Dimensions: W 2.44" x H 5.43" x D 1.69"
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    3 year Factory Waterproof Warranty

But what do actual users say about this radio? Are they actually happy with their purchase? Let’s find out the pros, cons and what reviewers are saying about this radio. Below are the most common pros and cons that people have stated in their reviews on Amazon.

  • 4.3 out of 5 Stars
  • 173 Total Customer reviews
  • 71% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • Large Display
  • High End Marine Radio For Serious Boaters
  • Reliable
  • Waterproof
  • White LED Illumination is not great
  • Rather Large
  • Higher cost

Final Thoughts:

If you are looking for a reliable, fully featured handheld marine radio, look no further! The  Standard Horizon HX870 is one of the best portable VHF radios on the market today!

Icom M36 Floating Handheld 6W Marine Radio Review

Icom M36 01 VHF handheld radio review
Icom M36 01 VHF handheld radio review

The ICOM M36 is a powerful handheld VHF radio complete with Clear Voice, Noise-Canceling, Submersible & Waterproof Tech features. It is made by award-winning Japanese manufacturing company Icom Inc. which is located in Osaka, Japan. Recently, Icon was awarded the 2017 NMEA Award for the best VHF Marine Radio. The company has been manufacturing multi-model wireless marine communication devices for over 30 years with the highest degree of quality and dependability. They are also the first company to create innovative marine wireless products with submersible tech and Li-ion powered batteries. 

One of the ICOM M36’s frequently mentioned and praised features is its noise-canceling internal microphone and clear voice technology that helps reduce interference during calls. With this feature, all your transmissions will be received clearly by the listener on the end no matter the weather.

You don’t have to worry about dropping the ICOM in the water. The ICOM M36 floats and has a waterproof rating of IPX7 - making it almost impossible to damage by submersing it in water. In fact, it can stay submerged in up to 3 feet of water for more than half an hour and still fully function.

For a low-cost hand-held radio, the ICOM M36 provides one of the best reception ranges and signal strengths. It also has an outstanding 8-hour battery life which is very useful during emergencies. The ICOM M36 features a large backlit display and easy-to-use keypad that make it suitable for use even during nights.

Let's review Icom M36's Main Features

  • Clear Voice and Voice boost - This feature allows the speaker output to adjust according to the ambient sound, making transmissions clearer and louder. The device also includes a special LOUD button which allows the device to instantly increase its volume.
  • Noise Canceling Microphone - Noise canceling technology that cancels out background noise, making it easier to understand and communicate with other people on the other end of the line. This feature also improves incoming signal to boost your overall voice quality.
  • Easy-to-Operate Buttons and Pinched-Waist Design - ICOM M36 is known for its intuitive controls that make the device incredibly easy-to-use. Its slim-waist design allows for easy grip while it’s large display makes it readable even at night.
  • Dual Watch & Scan - You can scan between channels whilst monitoring channel 16 for news and weather alerts. This feature also allows you to monitor all the channels you want without missing an important harbor call. A great feature to stay connected especially during times of emergency.
  • High/Low Volume Control - Choose between high or low power to determine the amount of watts you want to use for transmitting and receiving signals. The lower power you use, the longer the battery will last.
  • Battery Life Indicator - This allows you to measure how much battery is left. Your device’s battery is crucial so make sure that your marine radio has an easy way know how much battery is left.
  • Channel Scan - You can set your favorite channels anytime. This feature also allows channel scanning for 59 US, 63 Canadian, and 59 international Marine channels.
  • Waterproof - The ICOM36 is not only weatherproof, it’s also waterproof. Even if you handle your things with great care, accidents can happen. Also, you never know when a big storm may come so having a weather and waterproof radio is very important.
  • It Floats - Sure, waterproof is nice but even better is if your marine radio’s life floats. The ICOM M36’s ability to float will help save your device if you ever need to abandon ship. This feature is also important so you can easily retrieve your marine radio when it is dropped overboard.
  • AquaQuake Water Draining Function - Removes water away from its speaker grill. Great feature for rainy weather or if it falls in the water.
  • Essential Accessories - The ICOM M36 comes with necessary accessories like a wrist wrap, belt clip, and battery pack for convenient use. It also has a removable antenna which you can connect to a larger mounted radio to increase range.
  • Weather Alerts - The ICOM M36 is complete with an automatic weather alert so that you stay informed about changes in weather even when you are miles off the coast. Sea weather is very unpredictable, so make sure you’re always prepared.

Summary of Features

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    980mAh lithium-Ion battery pack (with rechargeable battery included)
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    Battery Meter
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    Battery Saver
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    6W RF Output
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    Channel Scan
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    Hi/Low Power Button
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    Adjustable Squelch
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    NOAA Weather Alert System
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    10 NOAA weather alerts
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    Dual and Tri-Watch
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    Dedicated Buttons for Channels 9 and 16
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    Large Backlit Display and Keypad
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    Auto Power Save Function
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    Removable Antenna

What's included with purchase?

110v charger, Battery Pack, Belt Clip, Wrist Strap, Device Manual, 3 Year Warranty.


  • Weight : 90.4oz (295g)
  • Dimensions : 2 7/16 W × 5 1/2 H × 1 11/16 D in.
  • Antenna Connector Type: J Female

But what do actual users say about this radio? Are they actually happy with their purchase? Let’s find out the pros, cons and what reviewers are saying about this radio. Below are the most common pros and cons that people have stated in their reviews on Amazon.

  • 4.5 out of 5 Stars
  • 48 Total Customer reviews
  • 75% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • Very Loud 
  • Extra long battery life
  • Reliable
  • Range was not as long as expected
  • No Car/boat charger

Closing Thoughts and Suggestions

From the company that makes great marine radios, the ICOM M36 has everything you need. It’s a powerful life-saving tool to keep on your vessel whenever you’re going on the water. Make sure to invest in one for a safe and secure boating trip.

Standard Horizon HX300 Review – Handheld VHF Marine Radio

Standard Horion HX300 handheld VHF radio review
Standard Horion HX300 handheld VHF radio review

Standard Horizon HX300 VHF marine radio is a handheld waterproof radio made from the highest quality materials with useful features and an easy-to-use interface. Considered one of the smallest and lightest VHF marine radios on the market today! The Standard Horizon HX300 boasts of its powerful lithium-ion battery that comes with its own USB charging system and rechargeable battery with belt clip.

The Standard HX300 is IPX8-rated waterproof which means it can be submerged in 5ft. of water for 30 minutes without damage. The HX300’s float and flash feature is very helpful during retrieval in case it falls overboard. The HX300’s E20 menu system makes the device easy to understand and operate while its loud internal speaker makes it possible to hear transmissions perfectly even during stormy or windy days on the water. With the inclusion of the NOAA weather channels, programmable scan, and Dual/Tri-Watch, the Standard HX300 easily becomes one of the highest-rated VHF marine radios for all your boating needs.

Main Features

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    Unique USB Charging System - Standard HX300 is supplied with its own USB charging cable with 110V AC adapter making it easy to recharge the battery anytime, anywhere. Its small size enables the device to be more compact and ergonomic.
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    Waterproof to IPX8, Floats, and Supports LED flashing - The Standard HX300’s waterproof feature that protects the device in case of accidental drops overboard is its IPX8 rating. The IPX8 rating/design allows the device to withstand water damage for up to 1.5 meters deep in 30 minutes. Floating and water-activated LED flashing feature allows you to find the device easily when accidentally thrown off the boat.
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    Loud internal speaker audio - allows for smooth and clear communication. This is a very useful feature when you’re making or receiving a transmission in stormy situations where wind and water make it difficult to hear.
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    E20 Easy to Operate Menu System - The Intuitive menu system is easy to use. This makes the radio very customizable depending on the preference of the user.
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    1560 mAH 3.7v Li-on battery - a long-lasting power source made especially for rugged and regular use. With a battery life that lasts for approximately 10 hours, rest assured that the HX300 will always have power when you need it.
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    Large and Easy-to-Use Buttons - convenient soft-key buttons that have a backlit edge for easy use even during the night. This makes the buttons light up for easy reading during the dark.
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    NOAA Weather Channels - give you an audible alert to help you monitor weather and hazards. They will help keep you safe when exploring the sea or when you’re planning on venturing out much further than normal. It can alert you to strong storms, sudden temperature drops, or incoming deadly tornadoes. 
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    Programmable Scan, Priority Scan, Dual/Tri-Watch - monitor two or three channels at the same time. Can be setup to monitor one priority channel (Channel 16) and another one or two from the channel list.
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    Three-Year Warranty - Repair or replace damaged device for free. No hassle, no questions asked.
standard horizon hx300 handheld vhf radio

Other features include

  • 5 Watt Transmit Power
  • Selectable five-watt and one-watt transmit power output
  • Volume & Squech indication on the display
  • Preset Key
  • Prest Channel Scan Function


  • Removable Belt Clip - easy-grip belt clip for cold or wet hands
  • Soft Rubber Antenna - comes with a flexible antenna that doesn’t break easily
  • Hand Lanyard - attached to the belt clip for better use
  • USB Charging Cable, USB Charger & Battery Pack - complete set of charging essentials


  • Weight: 3.4 ounces
  • Dimensions: 2.32”x 5.04”x1.3”
  • Screen Size: 1 1/2" x 1"
  • Scanning Modes: Programmable, Priority and Dual Watch
  • Material: Polycarbonate housing, die-cast chassis
  • Tactile Controls: On/off, channel up/down
  • Battery Type: 1,650mAh 3.7V Lithium-ion
  • Battery Life: More than 10 hours

Closing Thoughts and Suggestions

The Standard Horizon HX300 is a superb, all-in-one, VHF marine radio full of useful new features at the highest quality. It’s the perfect choice if you’re looking for a low-cost, mini-sized handheld VHF radio that will help make your boating experience more safe and secure.

Cobra MRHH350FLT Review – Floating VHF Radio

Cobra MR HH350 FLT marine radio
Cobra MR HH350 FLT review

Looking for a radio that is reliable, has a complete set of features and sold at a low price? Cobra’s MRHH350FLT VHF radio is an affordable, compact and lightweight handheld VHF marine radio perfect for people on a tight budget.

This is one of the best handheld radios for the money currently available to boaters! Let's take a look at some of the features of this handheld VHF radio.

Floating Compact Design:

Cobra MRHH350 is equipped with an intuitive floating design and orange core that makes retrieval easy and convenient. It has a total measurement of 4.75"H x 2.66"W x 2.09"D and weighs 9.59 oz (with the battery). With its submersible tech (this radio is rated JIS7), it can survive being in one-meter deep waters for 30 minutes. It’s secured with a tough case that prevents internal and external damage if dropped overboard. 

If you’re planning to wear it on your body, Cobra  includes spring-loaded belt clip and there is an external speaker/microphone jack for lapel speaker/mic. Cobra makes CM 330-001 that can be used with this radio as well as other handheld radios (via a special adapter). 


The device has a large and bright backlit LCD  screen that displays every critical piece of  information.  Your active channel is shown in 2 large digits, weather icon will display current weather condition, weather alert icon will tell you about critical weather alerts and there is also indicator of your signal level. It does not take long to get accustomed to the display and information on it, since everything is clearly labeled and it is not over-populated with information.


Cobra MRHH350 works in the 156.050 to 163.275 MHz spectrum and works with all USA, Canadian and International channels. The output power is adjustable: 1, 3 and 6 Watts for short and long-range communication. If you are close to the shore or another vessel and don't need the full transmit power, just select the 1W output and conserve the battery energy.

Your further safety is increased with ALL NOAA weather channels with weather alerts. Cobra MRHh350 can monitor up to three channels and get instant access to channel 16 when emergency situations arise.

Integrated  noise-cancelling microphone works well blocking background noises, and there is also a built in BURP function. If the radio is dropped or gets wet, a speaker will vibrate to get the water our of the speaker grill.

Excellent Battery Life:

The device has a long-lasting 1040 mAH Lithium-Ion battery that is capable of 8 hours of operation at the maximum power output (6 Watts) and 16 hours with the 1 Watt output.  This battery has its own level gauge that allows display of battery-shaped icon onscreen along with four-blocked shaped level indicators. It gives the user a flash and audible alarm once the battery is low so you can charge whenever you’re going to use it for longer hours. Cobra did a great job including a desktop charger (with AC adapter) as well as 12V DC accessory plug which gives you even more flexibility. For additional power, you can purchase CM 110-024 adapter, which will  allow you to use regular AA alkaline batteries.

Some of the features include:

  • 6 watt VHF Select between 1, 3, and 6 Watts for short and long range communication
  • All NOAA weather channels
  • USA/Internationa/Canada Channels
  • Submersiable to 3.3 ft for 30 minutes
  • Button Key Lock
  • Channel Scan/Memory Scan
  • Matrix Display
  • AA Battery Compatible
  • Instant Channel 16/9
  • Tri-Watch
  • Floats
  • 120v/12v Charger Included
  • Noice Canceling Microphone
  • Reasonably Priced
  • Limited 3 Year Warranty
  • Dimensions - 4.75"H x 2.66"W x 2.09"D

What's included when you buy this radio?

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    1,000 mAh LiON Rechargeable battery
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    Locking desktop charger
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    AC adapter 
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    12V DC accessory plug
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    Replacement antenna
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    Belt clip
Cobra MRHH350 accessories pack

But what do actual users say about this radio? Are they actually happy with their purchase? Let’s find out the pros, cons and what reviewers are saying about this radio. Below are the most common pros and cons that people have stated in their reviews on Amazon.

  • 4 out of 5 Stars
  • 114 Total Customer reviews
  • 56% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • Great audio quality
  • Large Easy to Read Display
  • Excellent Unit For the Price
  • Reliable
  • Shorter transmitting range compared to fixed mount radios
  • Batteries Are Proprietary And Expensive