The Cobra HH500 has been in longterm use with our Tech Editor Fox Morgan for the past 6 years - let's see how it's faired...
Cobra HH500 VHF Marine Radio
Best VHF marine radio for bluetooth mobile phone connectivity
The Cobra HH500 VHF marine radio has been used as a backup to the main fixed set onboard my sail boat and for a variety of other boating or on water activities.
It has frequently been drenched with both fresh and salt water. Since I haven’t been overly cautious with rinsing it after after bit of salt spray, the rear contacts to charge on the body of the radio have gone fuzzy and require a regular going over with a bit of wire or a fibreglass pen to keep the contact clear for charging in the cradle.
It charges via a drop in holster/cradle, which has two cable options, one for 12v and the other for 240v charging.
As the second lightest handheld VHF radio included a VHF radio group test this lends the Cobra HH500 to being used where weight or size might be an issue, such as carrying on a tender, kayak or paddleboard and it is also easily stowed in a grab bag for emergency use.
The Cobra HH500 VHF marine radio also comes with an additional battery tray that takes 5 x AA batteries. This makes it an ideal candidate to live in a grab bag.
The bluetooth connectivity with a mobile phone allows waterproof calls, meaning you can leave your mobile phone in a dry bag or pocket out of harms way and still send and receive phone calls.
A great feature on this handheld VHF, seen top right on the unit keypad is the rewind-say-again button, which allows you to quickly re-listen to the previous transmission as the unit records the last 20 seconds. I don’t know about you but I often have to ask people to repeat what they’re saying as my northern ear often doesn’t quite understand a southern accent.
When sending and receiving transmissions a signal strength scale appears on the large display which is reassuring.
The Cobra HH500 is a really tidy looking, compact but feature packed handheld VHF radio with brightly illuminated large screen. I like mine very much. My only gripe has been the fuzzy contacts and slightly wobbly connection in the holster as a consequence.
- Battery life: 10 hours
- Waterproofing: IPX7
- Floating: Yes
- Weight: 272g
- DSC: No
- GPS: No
- Bluetooth: Yes
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