Top 10 Best VHF Marine Radios Reviews – 2018 Reviews

A VHF marine radio – VHF radio is designed so that people can communicate across the water. They use frequencies that have been set aside for that purpose alone, so they are perfect for either regular communication or emergency situations.

There are two types of VHF marine radios available and they are handheld and mounted. The handhelds are slightly more convenient as they can be taken anywhere, whereas the mounted ones can only be used in the place that they were installed. The installed of the mounted versions takes a little more time, for obvious reasons, but they do deliver more power than the handheld VHF marine radios.

Uniden UM380BK Class D, Black

Uniden UM380BK Radio

 

This mounted radio has multiple features that include memory channel scan, a hi/lo power switch, triple watch, and S.A.M.E. weather alerts. It also contains a send and request position in case there is an emergency. This marine radio is waterproof as well.

What We Like about It
The power switch makes it convenient to save on power, when the radio is not needed all the time.  The S.A.M.E. weather alerts offer security when it may be necessary for people to prepare for inclement weather.
Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Memory channel scan
  • Triple watch feature
  • Hi/Lo power switch
  • A.M.E. weather alerts
  • Send and request position feature
Cons
  • Needs to be installed
  • Can only be used where it is installed

Standard Horizon GX1700W – White

Standard Horizon GX1700W

 

There is no need to hookup this radio to a GPS system as it comes with an internal 12 channel GPS built into the front of the panel. This marine radio is ready to use immediately as it has DSC calling, position sharing, and waypoint navigation for DSC distress calls.  It also has a noise cancelling microphone and is submersible in water for up to thirty minutes.

What We Like about It
We like that this radio can be submerged in water for up to thirty minutes and will still work when it is needed. We also like that everything is preprogrammed on this device, as it saves a lot of time in the beginning during the installation process.
Pros
  • Noise cancelling microphone
  • 12 channel GPS built into front panel
  • Ready for DSC calling, position sharing, and DSC distress calls
Cons
  • Needs to be installed
  • Needs antenna
  • Can only be used in location it is installed
  • Internal speaker is not as clear as it should be

Cobra MRHH125 3 Watt Waterproof VHF Radio (Black)

Cobra MRHH125 VHF

 

This radio can access all United States, Canadian, and International channels using 1 or 3-watt output power. It features weather alerts, signal strength meter, large LED display, large keys, a key lock, and wrist strap. It is waterproof and can be clipped to a belt. A person can also connect a headset into the speaker microphone jack to make it hands-free.

What We Like about It
We like the fact that this VHF marine radio is hands-free, so that we can take it with us anywhere that we are on the water.  The fact that we can access any channel gives us peace of mind as do the weather alerts that we can receive. The signal strength meter lets us know if we need to change course to get a better strength when we need to use the radio.
Pros
  • Receives every United States, Canadian, and International channel
  • Receives weather alerts
  • Large LED display
  • Large keys
  • Signal strength meter
  • Can use a headset in the speaker jack to make it hands-free
  • Waterproof
  • Can be taken anywhere
  • Can be clipped to a belt
Cons
  • Cannot be plugged into a wall for recharging

Uniden MHS75 Handheld – Black

Uniden MHS75

 

This could be one of the best VHF marine radios since it receives every channel from the United States, Canada, and even International. The batteries last for approximately twelve hours in this handheld device and it has a large LED screen that displays messages. The compact size makes it easy to clip onto a belt and go anywhere. It is waterproof as long as it is not submerged more than five feet for less than thirty minutes.

What We Like about It
We like that we can receive any channel in the world on this handheld radio. The twelve hours of battery life ensures that we can spend more time out on the water without worrying about losing communication. The weather alerts are great when a storm is moving in unexpectantly.
Pros
  • Receives multiple channels
  • Twelve hours of battery life
  • Large LED screen for displaying messages
  • Compact size
  • Easy to clip onto a belt
Cons
  • Cannot be plugged into a wall to recharge- can only be done using a cigarette lighter

Standard Horizon HX300 Standard HX 300 Handheld

Standard Horizon HX300

 

This handheld VHF marine radio has a large LED screen that transmits messages using 1 or 5 watts of power. The scanning functions include programmable, priority scan, and dual/tri watch. This device is waterproof, and it even floats in the water. The best part though is that a strobe light is activated when it hits the water, and that helps people locate their radio. This marine radio receives all channels as well as weather alerts.

What We Like about It
Our favorite part of this radio is the strobe light that activates when it hits the water. We never like losing something, and that light can help us locate our radio even in the darkest hours.
Pros
  • Waterproof with strobe light that activates when it hits the water
  • Can be clipped to a belt
  • Receives all channels
  • Receives weather alerts
  • Floats
  • Large LED screen
Cons
  • Can only be charged with a USB

ICOM Marine VHF Handheld Radio with GPS & DSC, 5W

ICOM Marine VHF

 

This best VHF marine radio comes with built-in GPS with DSC functions as well as a dual/tri watch function. There are nineteen functions that are used the most on this handheld marine radio, and they can all be assigned at the bottom of the display. The best three features include the Aqua Quake, Float’n Flash, and Active Noise Cancelling.

What We Like about It
We like the three features that include Aqua Quake, Flash’n Float, and Active Noise Cancelling.  The Aqua Quake clears water away from the speaker grill if it gets wet. The Float’n Flash lets people see the radio if it goes into the water, and the Active Noise Cancelling removes the background noise when transmitting and receiving audio.
Pros
  • Nineteen functions can be assigned at the bottom of the display
  • Built-in GPS with DSC
Cons
  • Only uses 120v charger and 12 v car charger

Standard Horizon GX1700B GPS Radio – Black

Standard Horizon GX1700B

 

This best VHF marine radio is not a handheld, but it does come with an internal 12 channel GPS built into the front panel. Therefore, it does not need to be wired to a different GPS. It can hold one hundred different waypoints, which saves a person time. There are multiple features available with this radio and it is waterproof as long as it is not submerged for more than thirty minutes at a depth of less than five feet.

What We Like about It
We like that this marine radio automatically comes with an internal 12 channel GPS built into the front panel. This makes installation for DSC easier. The storage of one hundred waypoints is a nice feature as well, so that we don’t have to enter them every time we want to use one.
Pros
  • 12 channel GPS built into front panel
  • Holds 100 waypoints
  • Easy to program
  • Compact and thin design
Cons
  • Needs to be plugged in
  • Can only be used in area where it is installed
  • Display can be difficult to read during the daytime

Lowrance Link-5 VHF Marine Radio

Lowrance Link

 

This is a fixed mount VHF radio that has DSC functions. It works with 1 or 25-watt power and has quite flexible dual and tri watch for better channel monitoring. The built-in speaker offers crystal-clear audio, even with noise in the background. All US, Canada, and International channels can be received on this radio and three favorites can be saved at a time.

What We Like about It
We like that we can get all channels on this best radio device, but our favorite part is that we can save the three that we use the most. The clear audio that is delivered through the built-in speaker is also appreciated, as it gets tiresome asking people to repeat themselves because we cannot understand them.
Pros
  • Receives all channels
  • Can save three favorites channels at a time
  • Built-in speaker offers clear audio
Cons
  • Needs to be linked to a GPS unit
  • Can only be used where it is installed

Uniden Atlantis 150 Submersible Handheld Two-Way Radio

Uniden Atlantis 150

 

This radio is a handheld that floats when it enters the water. It has a lightweight design, which makes it easy to carry from one place to another out on the water. It receives all US, Canada, and International channels as well as every NOAA weather channels. The LCD display makes it easy to use this VHF marine radio at any time of the day or night.

What We Like about It
We like the fact that this radio is waterproof and that it floats if it ends up in the water. Getting every available channel and all the NOAA weather channels is quite convenient, especially if an emergency comes up.
Pros
  • Waterproof and floats in the water
  • Receives all channels including NOAA weather channels
  • LCDE display makes it easy to use during the day and night
  • Ten-hour battery life
  • Battery save mode
Cons
  • Does not use regular batteries
  • Does not work well for long distances

Standard Horizon GX1600B Standard Explorer VHF Marine Radio- Black

Standard Horizon GX1600B

 

This radio offers multiple features that include digital selective calling, distress calls, DSC test call, GPS compass display, and programmable scan. It is waterproof in less than five feet of water for up to thirty minutes. The noise cancelling microphone ensures that audio is delivered clearly.

What We Like about It
We like the fact that this VHF marine radio has many features, but our favorite is the noise cancelling microphone. We dislike having to repeat ourselves on the radio, because there is a lot of noise in the background.
Pros
  • Multiple features
  • Noise cancelling microphone
  • Makes distress calls
  • Can be connected to GPS
  • Programmable scan
Cons
  • The flush mount needs to be purchased separately
  • No internal GPS, needs to be hooked up to one

These VHF radios will be a wonderful addition to any boat or even a kayak. They are designed to be used when out on the water, but people will want to read the VHF marine radio reviews carefully to ensure that they are purchasing one that is truly waterproof. There are many radios available, but only a few of them are completely waterproof, and the wrong one could mean issues in an emergency. Once a person decides on the VHF marine radio – VHF radio that fits their needs, they will be able to relax and feel safe when they are out on the water.

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