Best Handheld VHF Marine Radio | Fixed and Handheld

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Very High Frequency or VHF is a way to communicate with land people on land (like Coast Guard), vessels, and getting regular weather updates. Yes, it is that important for sailors, navigators, and fishermen. There are specific channels for various functions, be it marine or otherwise. 

In this line of thought, if you are here to know about the Best handheld vhf marine radio, then consider yourself lucky. You have reached the right place for all the information. We have even reviewed some radios that you can look at. For we know that selecting one could be a challenging task if you are doing it for the first time. 

No worries, we have taken out all the uncertainties for you. If it seems overwhelming amidst a pool of options, then do read this post until the end. We have addressed them all and hope you find it interesting too!

Read Related Articles:

Top 6 Handheld VHF Marine Radio: Comparison Table





cobra MRHH350FLT floating handheld VHF radio

01. Cobra MRHH350FLT handheld VHF radio

Its floating design adds to its expediency

Standard Horizon HX890 Black Handheld VHF radio

02. Standard Horizon HX890 Handheld VHF Radio

Supports NOAA weather channels

UNIDEN Atlantis-275 Handheld Vhf Marine Radio

03. UNIDEN Atlantis-275 handheld vhf radio

Inexpensive and that denotes it is for all

ICOM IC-A25N Handheld Vhf Marine Radio

04. ICOM IC-A25N handheld vhf radio

Has hands-free Bluetooth enabled facilities

Yaesu FTA550 Handheld VHF Transceiver

05. Yaesu FTA550 handheld VHF transceiver

The audio is rather loud with 800 mW

Motorola VX-261-DO Handheld Vhf Radio

06. Motorola VX-261 handheld vhf marine radio

It comes with a call alert facility

Review Of The Best Handheld VHF Marine Radio

As promised below are some of the top-notch handheld VHF radios for marine use that can make a huge difference. These are trustworthy and can really help you in times of need. Have a look:

1. Cobra MRHH350FLT floating handheld VHF radio Review:

Cobra is the number one choice of professional drivers. This company has been around for 50 years and has been able to awe its patrons with its state-of-the-art technology. Cobra has many varieties of handheld vhf radio for sale. They have outstanding product designs and the same applies to Cobra MRHH350FLT as well. 

If you are planning to go on a marine excursion, then it is better to carry a VHF radio along with it. You must keep it at hand to be used during distress. In this line of thought, we bring you the Cobra MRHH350FLT, which is one of the favorite VHFs of all time.

About Cobra MRHH350FLT:

Speaking of the Cobra MRHH350FLT brings us to talk about its bright and beautiful orange core in the first place.

It is a 6 watt handheld marine radio that allows you with long-range as well as short-range communication.

This serves the basic purpose of investing in a VHF at least. It is a reasonably priced product that can steal your heart away from its looks.

Why Is This A Chosen One?

Oh, there are several reasons for falling for this beauty. Attractive looks, big and clear display, and convenience make it our top choice. Moreover, you get access to all the weather channels of NOAA. This in turn keeps you aware of climatic conditions, which protects you from getting into emergencies related to weather. 

So, you can see that the overall performance of this VHF is fairly good. The display has all the information that you may need for a sail. There is an indicator that shows your signal level making things candid for you to comprehend. Wait, there is more to this and we have simplified it for you in the next section.

Things We Like:

  • It has an extended battery life with 1040 mAH of lithium-ion, which translates into 8 long hours of output
  • You can use it in the USA, Canada, and some more international channels on this device
  • It has IPX7 standards, which means it can remain submersed at 1 meter deep for 30 minutes or you can call it JIS7, which makes it resistant to immersion 
  • Its floating design adds to its expediency
  • Has noise cancellation 
  • It has something called the Burp Feature that can vibrate the water out of the grill for clear interaction
  • This explains why it has great audio quality
  • Is backed by 3 years limited warranty

Things We Don’t Like:

  • You need to unscrew the charger every time and place it on the charge, this becomes a hassle at times

Click here to buy this Cobra MRHH350FLT Floating Handheld VHF Radio at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to

2. Standard Horizon HX890 Black Handheld VHF review:

Horizon is a Japan-based company that was established in 1959. It has many marine-related items, Such as Standard Horizon HX40 and another product is Standard Horizon HX300 and also Standard Horizon HX210 there, however, if we needed to pick one of their handheld gadgets that offers the best blend of capacity and worth, then it has to be the HX890.

It is a well-designed VHF that honors industry standards. It has more attributes to count on than you can think of. Let us have a look at them in detail. So, pay attention to the analysis.

About Standard Horizon HX890:

The standard horizon hx890 handheld vhf marine radio is a handheld radio that most sailors depend on. It makes a solid device that is moderately flexible for professionals to work with owing to its GPS. In other words, it comes laden with technology that takes to another level VHF.

Why Is This A Chosen One?

This handheld marine radio with gps comes with an integrated 66 channel WAAS GPS. This means it shares accurate data about your location. The DSC or Digital Selective Calling along with this ensures proper navigation and prompt recognition to rescue establishments when required. 

It has a huge display and a user-friendly interactive interface that is easy to read. It has all the details that you may need while sailing. It also comes with two modes, one for the day and the other for the night. Has glare protection that does not affect your vision.

What more can ask of a VHF? It functions flawlessly and with long battery life, you can anticipate it to operate for longer hours. The bottom line is Standard Horizon has listened to its customers and made changes to this product.

The result is a reliable VHF that caters to your needs spot-on. This has made this company last long and ultimately evolve into an industry leader.

Things We Like:

  • This one also has a floating design, which means it becomes easily visible in the water
  • Transmits 6 Watts and this suggests it supports long-range communication
  • Has a capacity of 11 hours of battery life for an 1800 mAH Li-ion battery
  • Meets IPX8 standards, which means it is submersible
  • Supports NOAA weather channels
  • Additionally comes with noise cancellation
  • It has this special feature of MOB or Man over Board that can indicate the worst, but can save one from a major accident
  • Comes with 3 years waterproof warranty
  • This is available in two colors – navy blue and black

Things We Don’t Like:

  • The belt clip could have been better
  • It is a little heavy

Click here to buy this Standard Horizon HX890 Black Handheld VHF Radio at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to

3. UNIDEN Atlantis-275 handheld vhf marine radio Review:

Uniden is headquartered in Tokyo, in Japan and its regional office is in Irving in the USA. It was founded by Hidero Fujimoto in 1966 and has been one of the top manufacturers of consumer electronics ever since then. 

With that kind of experience, they have witnessed it all. Cordless phone sales to video bell, they have it all and have learned a lot along this while. In the same way, UNIDEN Atlantis-275 is a decent VHF radio laden with multiple features. We are here to talk about, so here is what we know.

About UNIDEN Atlantis-275:

UNIDEN Atlantis-275 is furnished with 6 Watts power. It is a lifesaver, can generate authentic data, and can communicate in such a way that can guard you at sea. It is a small handheld radio VHF that can be easily tossed into the pocket while at work.

Why Is This A Chosen One?

No one can predict when a pleasant day on deck may transform into a snappy dunk in the water. This is why you must invest in a reliable marine VHF radio. It can keep you safe and help you understand life at sea better. For this, you need a sturdy companion like the UNIDEN Atlantis-275.

You will get all the NOAA weather channels that will help you revert a crisis to start with. Yes, you get the latest climatic readings and remain informed of a storm or something similar. It also has the biggest LCD in its group and this suggests it is easy to read.

Things We Like:

  • This is a compact and submersible floating marine VHF radio
  • Yes, it is in compliance with JIS8 or IPX8 waterproofing standards (but that doesn’t mean you should keep it immersed in water for hours)
  • Comes with a lithium-ion battery that adds stability to it
  • Inexpensive and that denotes it is for all 
  • Has 3 years of warranty and that makes it genuine

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Batteries do not hold the charge that well (but that certainly depends on your usage)

Click here to buy this UNIDEN Atlantis-275 Handheld Vhf Marine Radio at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to

4. ICOM IC-A25N handheld vhf marine radio Review:

For starters, we must mention that ICOM has been in this industry for quite some time now. It was founded by Tokuzo Inoue at Osaka in Japan.

What started as radio equipment manufacturing, today has ventured into high-end marine products, mobile receivers, and avionics. Yes, their technology is lifesaving and people look up to them for this.

In this line of thought, mention has to be made about the ICOM IC-A25N handheld VHF radio. It has a huge 2.3-inch LCD screen that makes it easy to understand with a realistic screen.  The day mode permits you to see the screen in direct daylight and the night mode makes it simple to read in the dark.

About ICOM IC-A25N:

Those searching for a dependable handheld radio will discover this to be something suitable from Icon for sure. You must take note of the fact that it is this handheld radio to have a user-friendly interface.

It has this easy to use screens that make programing it fairly simple. On top, all it needs is 6 Watts of power to work efficiently.

Why Is This A Chosen One?

By the looks of it, you can draw similarities between the ICOM IC-A25N and icom ic-m93d marine vhf handheld radio. However, they are not the same and with advanced technology, the ICOM IC-A25N has proven its worth in the market. In addition to all this, we must agree that the ICOM IC-A25N brings a lot to the table.

This works correspondingly to the NAV and COM channels. It has built-in GPS to help you navigate and you will be surprised to know that you can design flight plans with this gadget.

You can import flight plans using iOS™ or Android™. It has the best navigational features of VOR indicators that can be used to alert pilots to redirect their course in case of safety.

Moreover, the Flip-Flop channel helps you store information about the last 10 channels used. This makes it easy for you to recall this data when needed. This is an intuitive VHF that works beyond imagination.

Things We Like:

  • It even has a waterproof rating of IP57, which indicates top class moisture protection
  • This handheld radio incorporates a huge 2350mAh lithium-particle battery
  • Has hands-free Bluetooth enabled facilities
  • The GPS function helps you locate nearby stations, which is an absolute necessity for a VHF radio

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Yes, it is a bit pricey

Click here to buy this ICOM IC-A25N Handheld Vhf Marine Radio at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to

5. Yaesu FTA550 handheld VHF transceiver Review:

Yaesu was instituted in 1959 in Tokyo and was into manufacturing amateur as well commercial radio equipment. As of now, they are in operating in five different countries.

They have come a long way and there is a lot of expectation from them. Yes, they always live up to these expectancies, and that this how they have been able to survive for so long. 

The Yaesu FTA550 handheld VHF is a typical example of what they are capable of. It is a feature-rich VHF radio for marine as well as aviation use. Now that makes sense and renders this small gadget some versatility.

About Yaesu FTA550:

Yaesu FTA550 comes with a NOAA weather channel that gives you all the information about the changing weather and more. This keeps you abreast of all climatic conditions. This way you are safe while sailing alone, with a crew or family. Wait, there is more, just keep reading about this wonder device.

Why Is This A Chosen One?

The radio is built of a sturdy plastic case surrounding the sensitive hardware. Has solid keys that lend it a sturdy feel. The volume can be changed and using the scanner is completely fine. 

The radio can recognize and interpret signals from VOR and local stations. This permits you to distinguish your position and track others. The display is clear and simple to read, provided you follow all the rules and regulations properly. 

That said, we agree that the interface is very convenient to use. The menu is quite simple to distinguish and that is another attribute you must count on. This is a rugged VHF, one that can resist dust, shock, temperatures, vibration, and rain.

Things We Like:

  • The radio is even confirmed to satisfy IPX5 waterproof guidelines, implying that it can endure jet spray
  • Has a backlit keypad in black and white
  • It is easy to read
  • Comes along with 200 memory channels and this offers you a quick retrieval facility
  • The audio is rather loud with 800 mW

Things We Don’t Like:

  • The LCD may look remind of olden days, as it is a Dot Matrix display

Click here to buy this Yaesu FTA550 Handheld VHF Transceiver at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to

6. Motorola VX-261-DO handheld vhf radio Review:

Hello Moto! Do you remember the jingle? Motorola has put its blood and sweat into building a brand. It has taken them 80 years to accomplish this reputation. They made mobile communication possible with their exceptional engineering and award winning R&D. 

Mention has to be made about the Motorola VX-261-DO that has a new two-way radio system. This new product is stronger, solidly built, has better battery life, and comes with a lot more qualities. We will be discussing that in this section, so pay attention.

About Motorola VX-261-DO:

The Motorola VX-261-DO is put on this list of Best handheld vhf marine radio based on our personal experience. Without a doubt, you will find more people that trust this brand name and we are no exception to it. If you are in search of an affordable, yet brawny VHF, then this is it.

Why Is This A Chosen One?

It has to be stated that the Motorola VX-261-D is believed to live up to military standards, meaning you can rely on this unit to keep working in the most unpleasant of conditions. This shows it is a reliable gadget that will support you 16 channels and 12 programmable keys. 

Additionally, its 700mW interior speaker has a predominant sound that is loud and clear. With VX-261-D interoperability happens to be a norm, which entails super rich communication. In other words, Motorola conveys a blend of incentive and execution with the VX-261-D.

Are you worried about power? Don’t be with the VX-261-D around. It utilizes the Motorola Universal Battery System or UNI, which ensures you employ a similar charger base that expands energy interoperability.

Things We Like:

  • The lone worker facility adds to your safety
  • Accompanied with 1380 mAh battery
  • It comes with a call alert facility
  • You can monitor channels
  • It is light in weight and weighs only 9.9 ounces only
  • Has an integrated VOXX system
  • Is certified with IP55 Rating, which means it can resist water
  • Backed by 3 years warranty

Things We Don’t Like:

  • You need an FCC license to use this radio, which may sound like a hassle for the one that doesn’t have one
  • Talking from marine radio point of view, it could have been water-proof to make things better

Click here to buy this Motorola VX-261-DO Handheld Vhf Radio at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to

Frequently Asked Questions

01. What is the best handheld VHF marine radio?

Ans. All the names that have been listed on this list are the best marine vhf radio you will ever come across. There are no doubts about the Cobra MR HH350 standing out, yet we will like to emphasize that the abovementioned radios are top-notch as well. 

We have named the ones that we have found to be good for us. Some names are chosen because they are more credential than you can imagine. Give them a try and you will know what we mean.

02. What is the range of a handheld VHF marine radio?

Ans. You may get a lot of conflicting information about handheld vhf radio range, but we are here to assist you with the correct facts.

The first thing that we must tell you here is that the highest wattage handheld vhf radio can range up to 20+ miles if the weather conditions are great. This is one of the foremost requirements for the smooth running of a VHF.

To be precise, if you are on a small boat and have a handheld model that transmits 5 Watts power, it will have a range of 3 to 8 miles. Again, if you have something with 25 Watts power, then you can expect it to range anywhere from 15 to 20 miles.  

03. Do you need a license for a VHF marine radio?

Ans. Look, now this is a very specific question and you will be glad to know that the United States does not require you to have any kind of license. However, other countries may, and for this, you must find out the rules in different countries as you navigate. 

Again, this holds right for individuals in the USA as well. While ships and aircraft stations may need licensing for using a VHF. So, you see there are rules and regulations that you need to follow everywhere. 

04. Can I use VHF radio on land?

Ans. A straight answer to this is no, you cannot use a VHF on land. You are not walking on water and are out of it. Respect the rules pertaining to radios and you will have a simple life. There is no need to flout the laws if you want to stay out of trouble. 

Understand it is for use in waters and not to be played around. Play safe and be safe. No other Handheld vhf marine radio reviews will tell you this. There is no need to invite unwanted trouble. Period!

Our Verdict:

This brings us to the end of this discussion about the Best handheld vhf marine radio. By now, we think you already know a bit about these cute little gadgets that are indispensable for a seafarer. 

As far as our choice is concerned, we are a bit about the Cobra MR HH350 FLT Handheld Floating VHF Radio and UNIDEN Atlantis-275 handheld vhf marine radio.

The reason is obvious, both are backed by powerful name brands from the industry and way more reasonable than their competitors. Okay, fine add Motorola VX-261-D to the list for its name brand and features. 

The fact is these radios are lifesavers and they should be installed in every boat. Most professionals, like us, will advise you to do so at least. We have learned it the hard way that these are imperative for all kinds of vessels. God forbid, you may not need it, but should keep one handy. That’s it from us for now, over and out.

Jack K. Pride
Jack K. Pride

Jack K. Pride is an accomplished author and a prominent figure in the boating community. With a passion for boats and a deep understanding of the maritime industry, he has been sharing his expertise through his compelling articles on

Known for his insightful and informative writing style, Jack's articles provide valuable insights, tips, and knowledge to boat enthusiasts worldwide. His dedication to the subject matter and commitment to delivering high-quality content makes him a trusted voice in the boating world.

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