The Best Digital Ham Radio For 2023

Piers Anthony By, Piers Anthony
Updated
Ocean Digital WR-23D Portable FM Internet Radio 2.4” Color LCD
Image credit: Amazon.com

The Rundown

1. Best Overall: Ocean Digital WR-23D Portable FM Internet Radio 2.4” Color LCD

The Ocean Digital WR-23D Portable FM Internet Radio is an all-in-one mobile entertainment system, combining a modern style design with digital audio player, radio and internet streaming capabilities. Read Review

2. Best Bang For The Buck: Fumei DG-503 Digital LCD 3.5" SWR/Watt Meter HF for Two-Way Radio

The Fumei DG-503 SWR/Watt Meter is a portable and convenient instrument for measuring SWR and power of two-way radio transmitting equipment. Read Review

3. Best Compact: TYT MD-UV390 Digital Dual Band VHF UHF DMR Radio

TYT MD-UV390 Digital Dual Band VHF UHF DMR Radio is a two-way radio with a rugged design and waterproof features that are compatible with the latest MotoTRBO Tier 1 & 2. Read Review

4. Best Durable: COTRE 4 Watts Two Way Radio (430~470 MHz UHF), Ham Radio

The COTRE 4 Watts Two Way Radio is the perfect way to communicate. It supports analog UFH frequency band (430~470 MHz) and DMR digital operation mode, and can support long-distance communication up to 4.35 miles. Read Review

Amateur radio, also known as "ham radio," is a group of wireless communication services that are intended for users with an amateur license. In the digital age, this communication can be done via the internet with software-defined radios. Digital ham radio offers more functionality than analog and makes sharing information about incidents and disasters easier. Today we will discuss some of the best digital ham radio programs and software for your computer that you can use if you’re a licensed ham operator or just someone who enjoys amateur radio and wants to experiment further with this hobby. Keep reading to discover more about the best digital ham radio.

With the Ocean Digital WR-23D Portable FM Internet Radio 2.4” Color LCD, you will have no difficulty finding anything to meet your needs; thanks to a wireless Wi-Fi network connected Internal antenna, we've compiled other ham radios you can consider to help you find the best fit for your never.

Our Top Picks

TOP Choice #1 Ocean Digital WR-23D Portable FM Internet Radio 2.4” Color LCD
Our Score:
9.8
O OCEAN DIGITAL

USB-C Power cable included. Charge battery while playing. Battery charge level LCD Symbol, Red LED battery charging Green LED charge complete. Automatic power off Sleep Timer. Adjustable LCD backlight dimmer.

Control Radio from Front controls SkyTune Web Page or Web Browser. Create & Edit Favorite list (99 Preset memory) Enter URL for favorite station. Request addition of Radio Station. Streaming audio file player from UPnP/DLNA Server or Bluetooth device.

Modern Style Smart looking portable radio, clear easy to read color LCD. Quality ABS plastic cabinet Damage and Stain resistant Lightly textured finish.

Wireless Wi-Fi network connected Internal antenna for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (not for headphones) FM Radio external telescopic antenna. Headphone or Audio Out standard 3.5 mm connector.

Internet Radio built-in battery. Audio entertainment from thousands of Online Radio Stations. Stream your audio files . Your gateway into World of Online Digital Audio.

Support measurement of HF/VHF/UHF frequency range

High accuracy: (AVG) +/- 5% & Low insertion loss: < 0.3dB

Convenient connection and control layout and for ease operation

Forward/Reflected/VSWR ration in one push button

Large LCD (3.5") display for easy of reading

TOP Choice #3 TYT MD-UV390 Digital Dual Band VHF UHF DMR Radio
Our Score:
9.6
HESENATE

3. Features: Updated Firmware/Software available for new Features; Remote Kill/Stun/Activate; Voice Prompt; Encryption Function; Built-in CTCSS/DCS; Priority Scan; Complying with Digital Protocol ETSI TS 102 361-1, -2, -3; Compatible with MotoTRBO Tier 1 & 2; DTMF decoding and encoding; Private Call, Group Call, All Call & Text Messages in Digital Mode.

1. HESENATE x TYT Handheld Transceiver Series, ONE YEAR U.S Based Warranty, Warehouse (Domestic Return) in CA State--No Further Return Issue. Complied with Part90 of FCC rules, FCC ID: POD-MDUV390. ☆ Please operate this radio in the range of FCC rules.

5. Package includes: TYT MD-UV390, 7.4 V 2000mAh Li-ion Battery Pack, Stubby 3 3/4" (10cm) Antenna, Belt Clip, Adapter, Desktop Charger, Driver & Software CD, Programming Cable, Earpiece with PTT, User Manual

4. Programming cable for easier Computer/PC (Microsoft Window 7/8/10 ONLY, No Mac supported) programming, Useful Tips on MIKLOR or FB Group, Free Driver/Firmware/Programming Software available on manufacturer TYT official website or download from our link, Mess of video tutorials on YouTube (KEY: MD380Tools firmware & Codeplug from DMR-MARC site)

2. Upgraded Version of TYT MD-390, Dual Band VHF/UHF, IP67 (Waterproof/Dustproof) , Handheld with Dual Mode Digital/Analog, 5/1W Output Power, 1000 Channels.

【The Latest Digital A6 Chip】- This walkie-talkie is equipped with a smart wireless SOC chip, which supports easy switching between digital mode and analog mode. By programming the walkie-talkie, you can also use more rich functions, such as emergency call, recording, power saving, timeout timer, voice control, sending SMS and other functions.

【What will you get?】 - Digital two-way radio × 1, antenna × 1, battery pack × 1, belt clip × 1, power adapter × 1, desktop charger × 1, user manual × 1.What's more? You will get 24/7 hour online Caring Customer Service, Professional Technical Support and 24-Month Quality Assurance to dismiss your worries before/after purchase.

【IP65 Dust and Water Proof】- It uses a newly designed body material with IP65 dustproof and waterproof technology, so that it can work well even in rainy days.In addition to the sturdy appearance, the walkie-talkie is also equipped with a 2000 mAh high-capacity lithium battery, which can last for more than 12 hours. The sturdy and durable feature of the walkie-talkie makes you no longer change equipment frequently, helping you save more money.

【Long Range with Clear Communication】- It supports analog UFH frequency band (430~470 MHz) and DMR digital operation mode, and can support long-distance communication up to 4.35 miles. Don't worry about communication problems when you are in remote areas, just turn on the walkie-talkie to deliver clear voice messages to your partners. The 1.5 watt high-power speaker makes the call clearer and louder.

【Large and Bright 1.77 Inch Color LCD Display】- This professional digital walkie-talkie has a 1.77-inch color display and more than 20 buttons. It looks like a mobile phone, but its signal is much stronger than that of a mobile phone, and it can deliver clear communications in some remote areas.

BTECH is proud to be in the USA, which allows you to have the best available local support for any issue that may arise. BTECH only engineers and develops radio products. That brand focus allows you to have the best available radios and accessories with the most features, with real USA warranty and support.

The BF-F8HP was designed in the USA and because not everyone is a radio-expert we really wanted to focus on providing an easier user experience! That starts with the new in-depth manual that guides you through the capabilities and customization of the BF-F8HP. On top of that the BF-F8HP also includes exclusive concierge customer help and warranty support. This concierge service is only available on select BaoFeng models such as the BF-F8HP, UV-82HP, and UV-5X3

Kit Includes: BF-F8HP, 2100mAh Battery, V-85 Dual Band Antenna, CH-5 Charger, CH-5 110V Adapter, Earpiece Kit, Wrist Strap, Belt Clip, User Manual

High / Med / Low Power Settings (8W, 4W, 1W); Frequency Range: VHF: 136-174 MHz(Rx/Tx). UHF: 400-520 MHz(Rx/Tx); Broad (Wide) / Narrowband (Narrow) Selectable

Upgrades from our Previous Generation UV-5R: Twice the Output Power (8 watts up from 4 watts output), New Hardened Durable Radio Shell, 30% Larger Battery, V-85 High Gain Antenna (Twice the Antenna Performance), USA Support + In-depth User Guide Included; A PC03 FTDI Programming Cable is Recommended for Easier PC Programming

Power Source: Rechargeable 2100 mAh Li-ion Battery, Supports 12-20 Hours continual use, one more extra battery supports non-stop communication, car charger adapter also included.

Wide Compatibility: The Greaval UV5R Dual-band ham radio covers the most commonly used frequency range, compatible with many other radios such as the BF-F8HP/UV 82HP, etc. Bit-Trading is authorized by Baofeng officially through Amazon's Brand Registry. The Greaval UV5R is made by Baofeng on behalf of our trademark and compatible with other UV-5R models.

Complete Set: Package contains a full set of accessories, no more worry about looking for compatible accessories. Best choice for your business. We provide 30-day hassle-free return, 18-month warranty, hardware and tech-support provided.

Power Output: High /Medium /Low Power Switchable, Programmable Radio Supports Keyboard or PC programming (for Outdoor /Home /Workplace use, etc.)

Dual-band standby, Enables you to monitor and transmit on two channels at the same time. 128 channel memory, fully in compliance with the FCC part 15B and part 90 regulations, you may need to apply for a radio license to use this device.

7 Tenway Ham Radio UV-5R Pro
Our Score:
9.0
Tenway

【After service:】 Fast shipping and 100% USA 1 Year Warranty and 30 days no reason return, any other problem please feel free to contact us.

【Support CHIRP Programming USB Cable:】 Works with Windows 7/10 System,you can program your Ham portable radio using this durable programming cable!

【Power Source:】 Rechargeable 1800 mAh Li-ion Battery, Power-saving Features to extend battery life; Low battery alarm advises you when to recharge or replace the batteries.

【Speaker Mic:】 Remote Directional Microphone & Speaker transmits high quality sound even in loud environments and helps to provide a really perfect long range distance communication

【Antenna: 】VHF and UHF Dual-band handheld have High Gain Antenna.

【Tri-Power:】High /Medium /Low Power Switchable, Programmable Radio Supports Keyboard or PC programming (meets all your needs in Outdoor /Home /Workplace use, etc.)

Bluetooth Programming: In addition to the traditional PC programming, the GS-5B can be programmed with the dedicated APP via Bluetooth. Compatible with both Android and IOS systems. There also is keypad programming for all settings and functions. It’s cool to program your radio anywhere anytime especially when you are traveling.

Rugged and Rainproof: Made of high-strength materials in the body and softer TPU material at the bottom, this radio is specially designed to be safe from drops. Rated IP56 waterproof is also a plus for outdoors, especially in harsh environments. Finally, the radio is orange, making it easier to locate and spot in low light scenarios.

Improved Display: This radio has a much-improved display that features a full color screen, a signal strength meter, and other features. With the inverted dark background, the display is easy on the eyes, even in daylight.

Professional Ham Radio: Dual band, dual watch, dual standby, up to 128 channels. Equipped with an 8.9-inch long antenna, this solid 5W radio can reach further and receives strong signals.

More Features: Micro-USB charging, VOX delay, dual PTT, channel name edit, SOS function, DTMF function, 211 CTCSS and 51 DCS tones, 1750Hz tone, encryption and VOX for hands-free operation are all standard on this radio.

Front face programable with VFO channels so you can punch in repeaters and other frequencies on the fly without having to use the included programming software.

Easy to use interface and programming software so that you don't have any trouble making new contacts.

The New AnyTone AT-D878UVII PLUS Has APRS Receive and Transmit, so now you can receive other users APRS Transmissions

Up to 7w of high power transmitting so you can have maximum range using your HT.

Upgraded 500,000 Contact List instead of 200,000 on previous models so you can grow with the DMR community.

FREE AT-D878 course included on BridgeCom University with step-by-step video tutorials to get you on DMR and making contacts fast ($97 value).

Dual band UHF/VHF radio on DMR and analog so you can have one radio for anything on the tech bands.

✔️Tri-power switch, allow you to choose between high power to maximize range or low power to conserve battery life.

✔️Baofeng bf-f8td are authorized by baofeng company; VITAHUI shop is an authorized US baofeng distributor.

✔️Baofeng bf-f8td ham radio is compatible with CHIRP; more convenient to manually program most of the settings through the keyboard, as well as PC programming with the ch340 programming cable in the box; only work with windows; In-depth programming guide make it easy to begin.

✔️Upgraded version from baofeng uv-5r: double output power, truly higher power and TD-771 high gain antenna (twice the antenna performance), greatly expands the signal transmission distance and enhances the signal reception.

✔️According to FCC rules, baofeng bf-f8td ham radio has passed part 15B tests and part 97 tests; FCC ID: 2AJGM-UV5RPRO; Transmit frequency range: VHF 144-148MHz and UHF 420-450MHz; Receive frequency range: VHF 136-174 MHz and UHF 400-480 MHz.

✔️Wide compatibility: 128 memory channels, covering the most commonly used frequency range, making it compatible with many other baofeng radios, such as baofeng uv-5r, baofeng bf-f8hp and baofeng uv-82 series.

✔️With 3800mAh battery, working time is 2.5 times of 1800mAh battery, power saving function can extend battery life; support you for longer time in outdoor activity, home, workplace, etc.

✔️Similar function to the most popular baofeng uv-5r series;built-in LED flashlight; vox; scan; monitor; voice prompt; emergency alarm; easy to learn and operate.

Product Images, Product Titles, Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Factors Should You Consider While Choosing best digital ham radio?

Getting to the best decision for a product purchase may take a bit of time. In a nutshell, we're available to serve you with your product problems at all hours of the day and night!

You can rest assured if you consider the following points before selecting best digital ham radio:

Weatherproofing

You can't keep your two-way hidden in your bag, but there is a good chance it will be exposed to other conditions than the cool, mild, early summer sun when there is a gentle breeze blowing. It is important to consider the weatherproofing of your two-way. If you reside in an area with moderate temperatures and light to predictable rains, some models can withstand splashing water.
An entirely waterproof radio is an option. Many models are waterproof and can withstand severe rain. Some models can be submerged up to 30 minutes without causing any damage. A model that floats will be your best option if your radio is used for fisherman, fishing or crossing open waters. If you drop your model accidentally, it can be easily picked up from the water surface.

Maximum Range

When choosing a 2-way radio, the first thing to think about is how far you want them to travel. Consumer 2-way radios with a transmit power of 0.75W and the PMR446 frequency can travel up to 10 km. This could be possible only in the ideal circumstances: high above ground with no obstructions between radios. This range is unlikely to be achieved unless you use your walkie-talkies to connect between mountaintops. The maximum range in a dense urban setting is more likely to be lower. A good radio will provide sufficient range to reach the majority of people. You will require more power and range than that. They are more costly than the license-free model and require a license.

Number Of Handsets

You will need as many handsets as you can afford when purchasing two-way radios. While a twin-set may suffice for camping trips, busy warehouses might need more to ensure everyone is connected. The price per handset drops when you purchase in bulk. To meet every customer's requirements, we offer many two-way radio packages. If you need to add more handsets, we also have single handsets.

Emergency Features

Your two-way radio is a great tool for emergency planning, whether you are camping, hiking or hunting. An Emergency Alert radio sends an alert to all radios within your radio group in case you need immediate help. There are many types of emergency alerts available, and they vary from brand to model. Some alerts combine a beacon flashing S.O.S with international Morse Code, others send a loud alarm to members of the group. These alerts block any activity on radios and get louder until someone responds.

Battery Type

Many two-way radios can be powered with regular alkaline batteries. Others have rechargeable batteries that include a dock. Two-way radios should not be used for longer than one day without power access. A model that takes both regular and multiple batteries is a better option if you are going on camping trips. We recommend regular 2-way rechargeable radios. This is because used batteries are expensive and can cause damage to the environment.

Weight And Size

Both weight and size play a major role in carrying all you need. Two-way radios are small and lightweight, so they can be carried in a bag or attached to your belt. Although smaller units can be more affordable than larger models, they might not offer as many features or provide the same protection. Heavy-duty, impact-resistant two-way units that are heavier and more durable are a better choice for outdoor enthusiasts who want to be tough.

Channels & Privacy Codes

Two-way radios that are license-free have a fixed frequency they can transmit on. PMR446 The majority of two-way radios without a license have 8 to 16 channels. These tune the frequency at which handsets communicate. There are usually privacy codes in addition to channels. These codes do not protect your transmissions, contrary to the title. They allow you to talk freely and without being interrogated by others. This can prove problematic if your use them in an area such as a ski resort, where many other two-way radios are in use.

FAQs

Why Do 2 Way Radios Have Multiple Channels?

Every channel can be programed at a different frequency. Most modern 2 way radios can have between 4 and 16 channels, although some radios may have up to 256 channels. Channel one will be the only channel that broadcasts on the frequency being used. It is beneficial for commercial applications to have different communication depending on the work group or whereabouts. Radios can be used by schools to broadcast the news. Teachers and administrators might prefer one channel.

What Is 2 Way Radio VOX?

Voice activation is VOX. VOX promises hands-free operation. "Speak and the radio will open to broadcast your message." However, voice activation should actually be called sound activation. The VOX function on a 2-way radio can't distinguish between a call to help or the usual grunts, groans and grunts of normal physical activity. VOX may cause more problems than it solves. We do not recommend VOX being used in commercial applications.

How Many Radios Can I Use One Location?

You can use as many radios at any location you wish, regardless of the license. To manage communication better, we suggest that the channel's users be limited to ten.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A 2 Way Radio?

Two-way radios of commercial grade are made to comply with Military Specifications as well as Intrusion Protection standards. These radios can live for a long time if they are maintained and used in accordance with the specifications. Two-way radios can last up to 10 years. But radio batteries rarely last more than 3 to 4 years.

Is VHF Or UHF Better?

The frequency band that a radio can operate within is called VHF (very high frequency), or UHF [ultra high frequency]. VHF operates between 136 and 174 MHz, while UHF operates between 400 and 512 MHz. Wave length is shorter the higher frequency. A signal will travel farther if it has a longer wave length. It is easier for the signal's to penetrate if the wave length is shorter. VHF broadcasts better over open water and from an unobstructed location to another. For broadcasting through buildings or other obstructions, UHF is better than VHF.

How Far Do 2 Way Radios Broadcast?

Broadcast distances of commercial-grade hand-held radios are generally between one and two miles. While VHF radios can broadcast further, they do not penetrate as far. UHF radios transmit a greater distance and have better penetration.

Can I Change The Frequencies On My 2 Way Radios?

Many commercial-grade 2 way radios can be programmed from either a computer onboard or via a PC. Although you cannot change VHF to UHF, the radio can be programmed with a PC or on-board programming. However, it can alter the frequencies in the band.

In general, product information and news are now available to users. In addition, as previously said, the Internet is constantly updated with new technology. Thus, customers will need to be informed so please subscribe to our newsletter or visit our website frequently to check the latest information.

Do you have any product-related questions or concerns you'd like to share? As a result of your efforts, we will attempt to ensure even greater standards of excellence!


1 ratings

About Piers Anthony

Piers Anthony

Piers Anthony is a freelance writer and computer expert who enjoys helping others get the most out of their technology. He has written extensively about laptops, soundbars, and other computer-related topics, and he currently serves as the editor of The Audio Critic website. When he's not writing or tinkering with his gadgets, Piers can be found spending time with his wife and family.

Read Piers's full bio