For going more than a few miles offshore, it is precautionary that you carry a reliable 2-way radio/stereo with you. These marine radios are expensive but easy to operate and work great for boat-to-boat communications as well as an extended line of sight with a high-quality signal.
The following article lists the best, cheapest radios for your marine life. Have a read and let us know your favourite marine radio in the comments section
10. Standard Horizon GX1600B Marine Radio ($143.61)
“I’ve owned several Standard VHF(very high frequency) radios –(always selling the boats, never had one break down), and everyone is better than the last. I recommend connecting to a GPS and registering with BoatUs for the DSC. This is a quality radio at a killer price!” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
9. Fusion MS-RA205 Marine Radio ($253.97)
Fusions’ MS-RA2015 features AM, FM, VHF(very high frequency), USB, iPod, and video playback and is NEMA 2000 certified. It comes with multi-zone technology and is super simple to use. The menu works quite intuitively and sounds from source comes excellent. The display is clear even in bright light.
“These radios work great in the Southern California marine environment. They seem to outlast all of the other radios in our fleet. Be aware that the mounting is a little different as the cutout for the radio base is much smaller than almost every other radio out there. An adapter is required for almost ever installation.” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
8. Icom M36 01 Marine Radio ($179.20)
Icom M36 features a 1.5 inches LCD and has an 8 hour lasting Lithium battery. You can switch between speaker and mic and it also has dual watch scan functions. This radio is the floating version allowing it to work well even if tossed in the water. The unit takes time to charge, and you can use AA batteries to work it up.
“This is my 3rd Radio, and my fellow sailors have several other brands of portable VHF(very high frequency) radios. By far this is the best.
The quality is excellent. Easy to use. The battery lasts over 24h with heavy usage and continuous scanning.” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
7. Aquatic AV AQ-MP-5BT-H Marine Radio ($299.00)
Aquatic AV AQ-MP-5BT-H replaces factory radios, 98-13 H-D models. It has a simple plug and play installation and supports Bluetooth, MP3, and USB. It can also connect to existing factory stereo settings. This stereo sounds great too.
“Wow… What a fantastic radio! It beats the stock Harman Kardon by leaps and bounds. Produces crisp, clear sound with none of the problems associated with the stock stereo on my 11 FLHTK. No more intermittent playing, no more having to shut the stereo off and turn it on again to finish the song, no more having to press the speaker selection switch 20 times to resume play, no more having to shut the stereo off and turn it on again to finish the song, and all the volume I can use to hear the radio play while riding without distortion. And the best part is, it’s plug and play!! I didn’t have to cut or splice one wire and all my handlebar controls still operate it! If you’re on the fence about this product, take my suggestion and just do it. You won’t look back, and you won’t be disappointed. Least I forget it’s Bluetooth too!” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
6. Standard Horizon GX1700W Marine Radio ($208.59)
Standard Horizon GX1700W has a large 3inches LCD screen and features all scanning functions including programming, priority scan and dual watch. It works well, loud and clear. Good radio for a decent price and is sturdy and has excellent functionality and is not complicated to use at all. It also has an integrated GPS unit. It cannot be viewed from all angles hence, you need to mount it on some optimum location.
“The build of the radio looks good, well made and finished; the display is plenty bright enough; the hardware is all appropriate for a salt water environment.” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
5. Standard Horizon HX870 Marine Radio ($219.99)
Standard Horizon HX 870 is a floating 6W handheld stereo with an integrated 66 channel WAAS GPS(Global Positioning System). It also enables digital selective calling and has enter, save, navigate to waypoint with Compass page functions. It also has a water activated emergency strobe light and is waterproof for 30 minutes (1.5 meters). It is not night friendly, and you need to insert the battery pack into the radio and mount it on cradle to charge. The cradle is not water resistant, and it has not strobe activation option when receiving the transmission.
“The GPS feature combined with the large display is the best to date on any marine handheld. This makes it an excellent emergency and ditch-bag radio. I only wish it had a simple base world map to display your location. The operating system is intuitive, easy and makes the instruction manual a non-essential add on. No easy feat and the way it should be especially as some use could be while under duress. The floating feature combined with the water activated strobe is another plus and nice to have. Not only will you not have to dive for it if it goes overboard (assuming you can) but I’ve recovered a waterproof VHF(very high frequency) that had the seals fail when subjected to the increased pressure of submersion at depth while it waited to be found under the dock. Scanning is faster and sound quality is superb.An adjustable low battery alarm helps mitigate the spare battery charging issue and is quite useful.All in all a good marine VHF(very high frequency) that is at the top of the pack of the latest models.” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
4. Cobra Electronics MR F45-D Marine Radio ($104.31)
Cobra Electronics MR F45-D features 10 NOAA weather channels and weather alert with GPS capability. It also has a dual watch and scan features and comes with a standard bracket and a GPS cable.
“I’ve had this radio for over a year great reception. My motor broke down and started to take on water hit the emergency button just before my boat capsized in the ocean and within minutes I had eight different rescue boats there. Even after being under salt water for a couple of hours this radio still works!” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
3. Dual AMB600W Marine Radio ($97.90)
Dual AMB600W has built-in Bluetooth technology for hands-free calling and audio streaming and also has direct USB control for most Apple devices. The front panel has a 3.5mm aux input as well as a USB input. It also has an integrated 2 line, 16 character LCD screen, seven band NOAA weather radio, three base EQ, Sirius XM and comes with a remote too.
“Great receiver for the price. After using it for a couple of months, I would have been happy to pay more for this unit. It has held up well on my boat in damp and humid conditions. Installing this unit was a breeze. It took me about an hour and a half to install. My installation was simply a matter of splicing wires and connecting them according to colour. And some options and features is extensive. Highly recommended.” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
2. Uniden MHS75 Marine Radio ($96.18)
Uniden’s MHS75 is a submersible hand-held two-way VHF(very high frequency) marine radio. It features a large easy to read LCD and NOAA’s all weather channels with weather alert. It has a flexible rubber antenna with a belt clip, Clip-On DC charger memory and channel scan. This is a well-built and reliable works excellently.
“This radio works very well. I was able to transmit over a safe distance, is clear and understandable. The weather radio section had a weather alarm which is quite loud and worked well during the last tornado watch. The speaker is usually fair but not loud enough to be heard well when there s a lot of engine noise. It only has a 12 v DC charger” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
1. Uniden Atlantis 270 Marine Radio ($83.65)
Uniden’s Atlantis 270 is also submersible waterproof radio designed such that it floats on water. It has a power boost PPT key and 10-hour battery life. It takes in all NOAA(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather channels and has a dual and triple watch operation.
“I purchased this radio as a replacement for an older unit I could no longer get batteries for. This radio far exceeds receiving and transmitting range of my other 2 VHF(very high frequency) radios. I use it to keep in contact with pilots in remote area’s and have been able to clearly hear and transmit up to 20 miles. Absolutely wonderful!!” – Amazon’s Customer Review.
Let us know what you got. Be sure to leave your valuable feedback in the comment section below.