Standard Horizon is considered one of the biggest names in marine communication that's why we've pulled together this guide to the best Standard Horizon handheld and fixed VHF radios.

With more than 50 years of experience developing arguably some of the best marine radio communications equipment there is, it’s easy to see why any boater or sailor would want to invest in the best Standard Horizon VHF marine radio for their boat.

Boasting features like rapid charging, waterproofing and easy-to-use displays, this equipment is not only practical and functional but it will be able to come up against the elements when you’re out at sea.

Whether you’re looking for a handheld VHF or a fixed VHF, the extensive range of communication devices available from Standard Horizon will provide the reassurance you need when you’re on your next adventure.

At a glance

Best handheld Standard Horizon VHF on test – Standard Horizon HX890E VHF handheld marine radio

Best affordable Standard Horizon VHF – Standard Horizon HX210

Best Standard Horizon VHF for paddlesports – Standard Horizon HX40E Ultra Compact handheld marine radio

Standard Horizon HX890e Floating DSC VHF

Standard Horizon HX890E VHF handheld marine radio

Best handheld VHF on test

• Battery life: 27 hours on standby monitoring VTS ch12
• Waterproofing: IPX8
• Floating: Yes
• Weight: 310g
• DSC: Yes – Class D
• GPS: Yes

Reasons to buy: The easy-to-read screen and fully waterproof design make this marine radio a top choice. It also has a high-capacity battery with a rapid charger, DSC and GPS functionality.

Reasons to avoid: The higher price and the bulkier/heavier design than a basic model could be a drawback for some.

Always ensure you can connect ship-to-ship or ship-to-shore with the Standard Horizon’s HX890. With features like a large screen, built-in GPS receiver and DSC capability, it’s easy to see why it would be a front-runner. The handheld radio floats with a highly visible strobe light activated when in the water and is fully waterproof with an IPX8 rating.

It comes with an additional battery tray, which can use 5 x AAA standard disposable or rechargeable batteries, in addition to the set’s main rechargeable battery.

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Standard Horizon HX210

Standard Horizon HX210

Best affordable VHF radio

Battery life: 29 hours (on standby monitoring busy VTS channel)
Waterproofing: IPX7
Floating: Yes
Weight: 278g
FM radio: yes

Reasons to buy: The easy-to-navigate buttons and menu, neat form factor, and clear display make the Standard Horizon Hx210 a good option.

Reasons to avoid: It unfortunately isn’t a DSC/GPS-equipped model and it’s not the loudest or clearest on test.

The Standard Horizons rival to the Icom 25E offers a great alternative handheld radio at a good price vs weight vs battery life vs function basic level.

You can read our hands-on test review: Standard Horizon HX210 handheld VHF marine radio reviewed

The HX210 is charged via a cradle and uses the conventional two different cables for 12v or 240v power supply.

A useful feature is the FM radio tuner. The waterproof to IPX7 and floats faceup with a small strobe light activated on immersion is also a nice touch.

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Buy now on Amazon (UK)

Standard Horizon HX40E

Standard Horizon HX40E Ultra Compact handheld marine radio

Popular handheld VHF radio with sea kayakers and paddlesports

Battery life: 20 hours
Waterproofing: IPX7
Floating: No
Weight: 230g

Reasons to buy: The built-in FM Radio, easy to read menu and battery save function make this a great small form handheld VHF marine radio.

Reasons to avoid: Despite having waterproofing, it’s not fully waterproof. There is also no GPS.

Do you struggle to store your handheld VHF marine radio? The VHF from Standard Horizon is small – 5.2cm x 9.5cm x 3.3cm (2.05in x 3.74in x 1.3in) – and weighing only 230g without the antenna it’s about the size of a standard pack of cards. What that means is it will effortlessly slip into your pocket.

It has an easy-to-navigate menu and can save 10 channels as presets, as well as having CH16 available at the press of a button.

While it’s waterproof, the radio doesn’t float unless you opt for the SHC-29 floating case, which enlarges it.

The radio has a battery-save function to give the most from its 7.4v lithium polymer battery, while the less battery-cautious owner can take advantage of the built-in FM radio.

Buy now on Marine Superstore

Standard Horizon Explorer GX1700 VHF radio


• Navigate to DSC distress call with compass screen
• Enter save and nav to waypoint with compass page
• Lat/Long, SOG and COG displayed
• NOAA weather channel selection with alert
• dimensions 15cm W x 8.6cm H x 9cm D

Reasons to buy: The unit was easy to install, the menus are easy to navigate and it has a GPS function.

Reasons to avoid: We couldn’t find any

I replaced my previous DSC VHF radio back in 2019 when I wanted to expand my radio comms to the helm position by way of a command mic and my previous basic model of a different brand didn’t have that option.

I looked at all the VHF radio options on the market that had capacity for a command mic and the Standard Horizon Explorer GX1700 VHF radio ( Superseded by the equally excellent GX1800) stood out to me as great value for money.

The unit was an easy install and came with an array of bracketry for any style of mounting. I prefer to flush mount in my nav station area but it could easily be surface mounted too.

The built in GPS makes this a doddle to install too.

What we like most about this bit of kit is that the menus are easy to navigate. The DSC button is easy to locate on the unit by touch alone.

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Standard Horizon RAM3+ Remote Microphone


• Navigate to DSC distress call with compass screen
• Enter save and nav to waypoint with compass page
• Lat/Long, SOG and COG displayed
• NOAA weather channel selection with alert

Reasons to buy: The unit was easy to install, the menus are easy to navigate, DSC alert button on the back

Reasons to avoid: None, this thing is excellent!

I bought the remote microphone back in 2019 to extend my comms from down in the boat at the chart table to double up at my helm position in the cockpit.

This remote microphone basically acts as a repeater for the main set and works through the main ships VHF antenna. You need a radio that can accept the remote mic so it can’t just be plugged into every fixed model out there.
It was an absolute revelation fitting this to my own boat, I wouldn’t be without one now. It’s taken wave after wave and seen some serious action and is still working fine. I just make sure I give it a rinse with fresh water every so often to keep it from getting crusty.

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Standard Horizon Eclipse GX1400GPS/E

Standard Horizon Eclipse GX1400GPS/E


• Radio controls on the microphone
• Programmable soft keys
• Weight: 230g
• DSC: Yes
• GPS: Yes

Reasons to buy: As well as being easy to install, it features waypoint navigation and the menu is easy to operate.

Reasons to avoid: It’s fixed so cannot be manoeuvred.

Are you searching for a fixed DSC VHF unit but keen to avoid cluttering up your dash? If the answer is yes, then the GX1400 with built-in GPS is usefully compact and very easy to fit. It comes with a separate Channel 70 receiver, enabling you to receive DSC calls even when listening to other comms.

It also features a large backlit display with an ‘E2O’ (Easy to Operate) menu system, providing quick access to DSC calls, position sharing and waypoint navigation. The flush-mount bracket is optional but the IPX8 waterproof rating and three-year warranty do plenty to make up for that.

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