Top 10 Best Ham Radio Transceivers

As you may know, Ham radios are capable of communicating over extremely long distances via satellites and distant relay towers. These radios are popular among a wide range of professions and they are impressively versatile from a technological standpoint. That said, we should point out that Ham radios have come a long way over the years, with the latest versions being far better equipped than their simplistic ancestors.

It is for this reason that you have to take the time and learn as much as you can about each particular model before settling on one to buy. To make things easier, we put together a list of the ten best Ham radios on the market for you to look at.

Our Top Pick

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Top 10 Ham Radio Transceivers

10 Best Ham Radio Transceivers Review

Bestseller No. 1
FONGHOO QYT KT-8900D Dual Band Mini Car Radio Mobile Transceiver VHF UHF Compact Programming Cable
  • Frequency: 136-174/400-480 MHz
  • It has Compact Amateur 2 Way Radios Plus Programming Cable
  • This range includes two radio frequency bands, Very High Frequency (VHF), and Ultra ... the VHF band, ham radio operators will typically take advantage of repeaters set
SaleBestseller No. 2
Original Baofeng USB Programming Cable for Baofeng UV-9R BF-9700 A-58 UV-XR UV-5S GT-3WP Plus Handheld ham Radio transceiver Uportable Ham Handheld CB Radio USA Warranty
  • ✔️Compact and Lightweight Portability this cable is super stable and efficient
  • ✔️️Sold by authorized Baofeng Distributor Mirkit radio. We provide the USA Warranty and you no need to send programming cable to China if the product has technical problems
  • ✔️This is most usefull Baofeng accessory ever- According to feedback of Ham radio lovers!
  • ✔️Original USB Programming Cable for Baofeng / Pofung UV-9R / BF-9700 / BF-A58
  • ✔️️100% New & Never Used
SaleBestseller No. 3
3AN Telecom PL259 UHF Male to BNC Male Right Angle RG58 Coax Cable for CB Radio Jumper Cable VHF UHF Ham Amateur Radio Mobile Transceiver Antenna SWR Meter Dummy Load, 10 Ft 1 PCS(Black)
  • Connetor: PL259 UHF Male to BNC Male 90-degree; Cable type: RG58 coaxial cable; Length: 10 Ft; impedance: 50 Ohm
  • This versatile cable features a right-angled connector, which offers a more natural fit at the device connection point and helps prevent unnecessary strain and damage to the port.
  • Application: Antenna Analyzer, Scanner Antenna, Amateur Radio Ham Radio, Watt Power SWR Meter,Dummy Load, Surge Protector, Lightning Arrester, Signal Amplifier Booster Repeater, Power Divider Splitter, Combiner. Such as: Good cable with a scanner or low power amatuer ham radio/ht
  • Package Included: 1pcs PL259 UHF Male to BNC Male Right Angle RG58 Coax Cable for CB Radio Jumper Cable
  • 【Service Guarantee】Never worry about any security problems. We are confident in the quality. If you unfortunately get a defective one, please contact our customer support.
SaleBestseller No. 4
3AN Telecom PL259 UHF Male to BNC Male Right Angle RG58 Coax Cable for CB Radio Jumper Cable VHF UHF Ham Amateur Radio Mobile Transceiver Antenna SWR Meter Dummy Load, 10 Ft
  • Cable type: RG58 coaxial cable; Length: 10 Ft; impedance: 50 Ohm
  • Connetor: PL259 UHF Male to BNC Male 90-degree
  • Application: Antenna Analyzer, Scanner Antenna, Amateur Radio Ham Radio, Watt Power SWR Meter,Dummy Load, Surge Protector, Lightning Arrester, Signal Amplifier Booster Repeater, Power Divider Splitter, Combiner. Such as: Good cable with a scanner or low power amatuer ham radio/ht
  • Package Included: 1pcs PL259 UHF Male to BNC Male Right Angle RG58 Coaxial Cable
  • ?Service ?Never worry about any security problems. We are confident in the quality of our product .
SaleBestseller No. 5
Xiegu G90 HF Radio Transceiver 20W SSB/CW/AM/FM SDR Structure with Built-in Auto Antenna Tuner
  • Detachable Display Unit - The display unit and the radio body can be separated. This allows you to place the head remotely.
  • Wide Range Auto Antenna Tuner - Unlike other QRP radios, the G90 has a wide-range internal automatic antenna tuner so you can load up your favorite field antenna! The G90 also comes with a built-in mediumwave (AM broadcast) high-pass filter.
  • Beautiful Color LCD Screen - All vital operating information is clearly visible in daylight conditions. 48KHZ wide spectrum display with waterfall gives you excellent awareness of the signal conditions around you.
  • Easy to Use - You can use the Quick Mode button to turn on or off various functions. Instead of setting up different functions in the menu, you can directly adjust them by pressing corresponding function keys.
  • We provide a 18 months warranty on Xiegu G90. As usual, if you modify the radio's hardware, the warranty is void. [Latest Firmware Version] - Firmware V1.8 is available on Radioddity official.
SaleBestseller No. 6
CLUB BOLLYWOOD Superheterodyne Receiver SDR VFO QRP RF Transceiver HF S-Meter | Consumer Electronics | Radio Communication | Ham Amateur Radio | Ham Radio Transceivers
  • 📻 It Has 10Khz To 220Mhz Working Ranges.
  • 📻 0.5Ppm High Precise Tcxo Clock, The Frequency Is More Accurate.
  • 📻 Tuning Step Of 1Hz, 10Hz, 1Khz, 5Khz, 10Khz And 1Mhz.
  • 📻 color: Black
  • 📻 Material: Metal + plastic
  • 📻 Kindly Refer The Product Description Before Buying The Product.
SaleBestseller No. 8
Bingfu HF VHF UHF 7-Sections 115cm Telescopic BNC Male Antenna Ham Radio Mobile Radio Scanner Antenna for Amateur Radio Transceiver Two Way Radio Police Radio Scanner FM Transmitter Frequency Counter
  • Frequency Range: 25MHz - 1200MHz; Length: 20cm - 115cm; Compatible with: CB Radio, Police Radio Scanner, Ham Radio, Two Way Radio, Amateur Radio Transceiver, FM Transmitter, Wireless Microphone System, Frequency Counter; VSWR: < 2.0; Impedance: 50 ohm; Antenna Connector: BNC Male Connector; Package List: 1 x Antenna (As the Picture Shown);
  • Compatible with: Uniden Radio Scanner BCT15X, BCD996XT, BCD996P2, BCD536HP, BC278CLT, BC350A, BC350C, BC355C, BC355N, BC340CRS, BC345CRS, BC365CRS, BC370CRS, BC700A, BC780XLT, BC785D, BC796D, BC860XLT, BC895XLT, BC898T, BCT7, BCT8, BC75XLT, BC125AT, BCD325P2, BC55, BC60XLT, BC80XLT, BC72XLT, BC92XLT, BC95XLT, BC100, SC230, BC200, SC200, SC150, SC180, SC235, BC120, BC72, BC80, BC246, BR330;
  • Compatible with: Whistler Radio Scanner: WS1040 WS1088 WS1010 WS1080 WS1025 WS1065 TRX1 TRX-2;
  • Compatible with: Radio Shack Radio Scanner: PRO-2018 PRO-197 PRO-650 PRO-163 PRO-405 PRO-528 PRO-668 PRO-94 PRO-404 PRO-95 PRO-62 PRO-83;
  • Compatible with: Icom: IC-V8 IC-V80 IC-V82 IC-U82 IC-W32 IC-V85 IC-A14 F3S HT-66 Ham Radio; Kenwood: TK100 TK200 TK220 TK300 TK310 TK320 TK308 TH28A TH42AT Ham Radio; Vertex Standard: HR146 HX300 HX320 HX400 CU32 Ham Radio; Wilson: HH152 HH154 HH156 HH462 HH464 Ham Radio; Motorola: HT440 HT90 Ham Radio; Uniden: HH979 Ham Radio;
SaleBestseller No. 9
Ele'espirit UV5R Professional FM Transceiver | Long Standby Time | High Capability Li-ion Battery | FM Radio | Scrambler | with Flashlight | Range Upto 5KM for Kids (UV5R Pack of 2)
  • Commercial FM radio receiver (65 MHz- 108 MHz). 128 memory channels, DTMF encoded, 50 CTCSS /105 DCS. Battery saving function, built in LED flash light.
  • Features include: VOX, Alarm function, scanning, & monitor functions,timer Transmission (TOT) programmable, scrambler, level threshold 'squelch' adjustable 0-9, LCD display illumination, key lock
  • Dual Band VHF/UHF frequency range 136-174 MHz/400-520 MHz. Selectable frequency Steps 2.5/5/6.25/10/12.5/25 KHz. PC programmable using programming cable(not included)
  • Package include: Walkie Talkie , battery, battery charger, adapter, belt clip, handstrap, antenna, earpiece, user manual
  • Long Range 5 Watt upto 3 Km Handheld amateur Radio Transceiver with LCD display & Numeric keypad. 7.4 V 1800 mAh high capacity rechargeable Li-ion battery. High/low power selection.
SaleBestseller No. 10
MatLogix UV5R Professional FM Transceiver | Long Standby Time | High Capability Li-ion Battery | FM Radio | Scrambler | with Flashlight | Range Upto 5KM for Kids (Pack of 2)
  • Commercial FM radio receiver (65 MHz- 108 MHz). 128 memory channels, DTMF encoded, 50 CTCSS /105 DCS. Battery saving function, built in LED flash light.
  • Features include: VOX, Alarm function, scanning, & monitor functions,timer Transmission (TOT) programmable, scrambler, level threshold 'squelch' adjustable 0-9, LCD display illumination, key lock
  • Dual Band VHF/UHF frequency range 136-174 MHz/400-520 MHz. Selectable frequency Steps 2.5/5/6.25/10/12.5/25 KHz. PC programmable using programming cable(not included)
  • Package include: Walkie Talkie , battery, battery charger, adapter, belt clip, handstrap, antenna, earpiece, user manual
  • Long Range 5 Watt upto 3 Km Handheld amateur Radio Transceiver with LCD display & Numeric keypad. 7.4 V 1800 mAh high capacity rechargeable Li-ion battery. High/low power selection.

Getting Started With a Ham Radio

Step One: Get a License

Anyone can listen to Ham radio broadcasts, but if you intend on broadcasting at a specific frequency, then you are going to have to get a license. However, this isn’t difficult at all and usually just requires a person taking an exam and paying a small fee. There are organizations such as the Amateur Radio Relay league can help a person with the details. And each level of license allows the user to transmit at particular wattages and frequencies. For instance, there are licenses available that allow individuals to broadcast at 100-Watts and at 1,500-Watts on either a limited number of frequencies or on several frequencies.

Amateur Ham radio enthusiasts are allocated 26 different bands which start at 1.8 Megahertz and goes all the way 275 Gigahertz. This allows users to not only talk to each other across the city but to talk to people in just about every corner of the world. And the bands allocated for amateur enthusiasts are only the tip of the iceberg. There are bands specifically designated for government use, commercial radio use and even military use. There’s a whole world just waiting for the amateur enthusiasts and they can discover all kinds of bands used by their local police and fire departments, ships at sea and aircraft, too.

Of course, licensing may not be an issue if you plan on only using the Ham radio in an emergency. If you’re planning on using the radio only in emergencies, then you may not have to concern yourself with getting a license right away. Although you need to keep in mind that you may still be fined by the FCC if you broadcast regardless of circumstances. And that’s not even mentioning that at some point you are going to want to get a license so you don’t miss out on all of the fun of broadcasting.

Like I said earlier, you don’t need an FCC license just to listen to broadcasts. Many people own Ham radios just to listen to a wide assortment of channels. Using it in this way, as if it were a scanner, doesn’t require anything more than owning a Ham radio and you having the desire to spend some time listening to various channels. Just be sure not to broadcast if you don’t have a license because you can end up with a hefty fine, even if it were an accident.

Step Two: Have the Proper Equipment

Depending on how you plan on using your newly bought Ham radio, you may or may not need additional equipment. Many of the highly-rated models on the market today come with everything a person needs. They can include the antenna, a battery pack or other power supply, earphones and even a microphone.

For the basic Ham enthusiast who just wants to listen to channels or don’t need a lot of power for their personal use, then most likely no additional equipment is required. However, for those who are looking for a little more versatility or power, some additional equipment may be needed. Below are just some of the basics that may (or may not) be needed:

Power Supply

Not every Ham radio comes with a power receiver and sometimes the user has to purchase it separately. If yours is such a model, then be sure to get one that will work with your transceiver. Also, make sure that it’s rated with enough power to power your radio but not too much that it potentially blows a fuse. A very good power supply can be purchased for $150 or less.

Antenna

Before purchasing any aftermarket antenna, make sure that it’s not only compatible with your transceiver but that it will also comply with zoning laws when you mount it. A good antenna usually costs under $100.

Tuner

A tuner is a helpful piece of equipment to have when using a Ham radio. It connects the transceiver with the antenna and can be used to automatically or manually scan channels, depending upon which version is bought by the consumer. A good tuner can cost anywhere from $150 to $300.

Microphone, Earphone & Keys

If the Ham radio you purchased already had a microphone and/or earphone, then you don’t have to worry about purchasing one. However, some standalone transceivers don’t come with these pieces of equipment, and they need to be purchased separately.

Another piece of equipment that almost always has to be purchased separately is a Ham radio key. This device, if used, allows the user to transmit messages using Morse code.

Miscellaneous Equipment

You should also familiarize yourself with some of the miscellaneous equipment used to operate the radio. This may include cables, wires and other parts that can be used to connect some of the above pieces to the radio transceiver.

Final words

Now that you’ve learned about some of the best Ham radio and phone radios currently available, learned how to set up your unit to be used as a scanner or for broadcasting, and have learned what it takes to get licensed and start broadcasting, we have just one question for you:

Why haven’t you bought your own Ham radio, yet? As you can clearly see, there’s a whole world out there waiting to not only open up to you but are also waiting for what you have to say. So get out there and join the Ham radio community

About the author

Mark Cook

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