Best Ham Radio for Beginners

It is no news that cellular technology is the predominant means of communication in this era. But what happens when mobile phones let you down when you need them the most? This is a highly probable scenario, especially when you’re in a fairly elevated area such as a hill station or deep underground or during harsh weather conditions or even deep into a forest with no cell reception.

These are the times and places where you might lose your sole connection to the outside world. But what if I tell you that there is another device that enables you to talk to anyone in your town, your country, or even space? Got excited, right? Well! This is the job of a Ham Radio. 

What is Ham Radio?

An Amateur Radio or a Ham radio is a little device used for communication across regions, countries, continents, and even space! Ham Radio was first introduced in the 20th century and is mainly used for non-commercial communication.[Read More]

This article is meant to bring you knowledge from ignorance when it comes to Ham Radio. I have listed the Top 10 Best Ham Radio with the intent of enlightening you on this topic. The list consists of the best ham radios for beginners, so even if you’re completely clueless about these instruments and wish to know, this is the place for you.

Best Ham Radio for Beginners Reviews in 2020

1. Midland GXT1000VP4 - Best Ham Radio for Beginners 

Best Ham Radio for Beginners

Review

Easy to Use
Weatherproof
Sound Quality
Water Resistance
Battery Life

Overall Rating - 4.75/5

An epitome of perfection for people who are just getting into the hobby of ham radio, this production of Midland is the best choice. Now you can communicate easily with your pal in the wilderness or out exploring. The 36-mile range allows long-ranged communication with hardly any impediments. The reception is as good as it can be, and the sound is clear and loud.

These Walkie Talkies not only facilitate communication but also has multiple radio channels for entertainment. You will remain updated about all the happening around your region and the world. The news is broadcasted 24 hours round the clock. The entertainment services include FM and AM, along with all the 7 NOAA channels.

The scanning system of this Midland launch is efficient; thus, you will be able to scan through hundreds of channels with ease. So, you will get a profusion of things from just one little gadget. This needs to be recharged only once, and then you can get the full usage out of it or a whole day as the battery is very long-lasting. Since this is a beginner’s choice of the best ham radio, you will not face issues while trying to get the hang of its operation. It offers various features that you will be delighted to know.

Features

  • 36-mile Range Communication
  • NOAA Weather Scanner
  • 50 General Mobile Radio Service Channels
  • Weather and Siren Alert

Pros

  • Waterproof Protection
  • Clear Voice
  • Long-range Communication with Little Obstruction
  • Weather Scan and Alert

Cons

  • Elevated Areas may Hinder the Communication

2. Uniden SX507-2CKHS - Best All Round Ham Radio for Beginners

Best All Round Ham Radio for Beginners

Review

Easy to Use
Weatherproof
Sound Quality
Water Resistance
Battery Life

Overall Rating - 4.5/5

With easy operation, this Uniden launch facilitates the free flow of communication between individuals when out for camping, hiking, exploring, etc. The scanning program of the instrument allows you to search for other users in your county. The channels scan system is also very fluid, and you will find no impediment whilst using it.

It keeps you in touch with the party at the other end with little or no obstruction. This Uniden launch is especially good for long-range communication. There are little or no disturbances, and the sound quality is top-notch. If you are operating it on an elevated area, there may be some interactive obstructions, but these are minor enough to overlook. Because the instrument is easy to use, these can also be given to children if they’re taught the basic operation of it.

The SX507 operates on industrial-standard frequencies, which enables even the people who are using different brands and models to communicate with each other. It has a 14-hour battery life and is powered by rechargeable AA NiMH batteries.

Features

  • 50-mile Range
  • Works on Industrial-Standards
  • 24 hour Weather Updates
  • 22 Channels and Weather Alert

Pros

  • Free Flow of Communication
  • Can Function Under Water for 30 Minutes
  • Wide Range
  • Easily Floats in Water

Cons

  • Communication and Range may be Hindered by Trees, Hills, Buildings etc.

3. BaoFeng UV-5R - Best Ham Radio for Beginners Under Budget

Best Ham Radio for Beginners Under Budget

Review

Easy to Use
Weatherproof
Sound Quality
Water Resistance
Battery Life

Overall Rating - 4.4/5

BaoFeng goes a little easy on your pocket. If you’re completely new to Ham radio, this is an ideal choice for you. In spite of its low price, it offers various features which can make up for good ham radio. It has a fairly wide range of communication and can be used for basic communication.

UV-5R comes with an LED flashlight feature, which will be a guiding hand to you when you are operating the instrument at night or in the darkness. The built-in VOX feature facilitates hands-free voice activation. You will have a total of 128 channels at your disposal. Meaning, you will be up to date when it comes to virtually any subject. Whether it be weather-related, political, sports, or any other major topic, the news will be given to you 24 hours round the clock.

From my personal experience, all I can say is this Baofeng UV-5R is the best ham radio for outdoor trips because of the effective short and fairly long ranged communication which comes in handy during a group trip. The reception is phenomenal, and the sound quality is good enough. It is very light and compact and can easily fit in your pocket.

Features

  • Dual Band and Frequency Display
  • 128 Channels
  • FM Radio and Emergency Alerts
  • LED Flashlight

Pros

  • Easy Operation
  • Pocket Friendly
  • Comes with LED Flashlight for Night Vision
  • Provides FM Radio for Entertainment

Cons

  • Does Not Come with Programming Cable

4. Motorola T100TP - Best Handheld Ham Radio for Beginners

Best Handheld Ham Radio for Beginners

Review

Easy to Use
Weatherproof
Sound Quality
Water Resistance
Battery Life

Overall Rating - 4.4/5

This is one of the most basic models of compact walkie talkie, which can be used by children and adults alike. Whether it be out in the park, playground, or a long-planned adventure trip, this ham radio can help you communicate with your partner easily. 

The communication range of this instrument is comparatively less than other brands and models, but the sound quality can make short distant communication very easy. It can be given to the young ones of the family who are out and about in the playground and need to let their family know that they are safe and will be back by evening. 

The distinguishing feature of T100TP is its long-lasting battery life. Once charged, it will easily last for about 18-20 hours. You can not only count on it for fluid communication but also various weather and entertainment channel services offered by it. Apart from NOAA channels, it also gives regular news and sports updates along with the good old AM and FM service. All these additional functionalities make this device one of the best ham radio for beginners on this list.

Features

  • Ultra-high Frequency Band
  • 22 Channels
  • 18-hour Battery Life
  • Talk Confirmation Tone
  • Designed for Indoor as well as Outdoor Communication

Pros

  • Perfect for Children to Carry
  • Facilitates Indoor Communication
  • Several Entertainment Channels
  • Range up to 16 miles

Cons

  • Short Range of Communication

5. eSynic zESY66 - Best Ham Radio for Beginners to Travel

Best Ham Radio for Beginners to Travel

Review

Easy to Use
Weatherproof
Sound Quality
Water Resistance
Battery Life

Overall Rating - 4/5

Unlike other ham radios, this launch can penetrate through solids such as trees, buildings, and paves the way for clear communication. It can function well in forests also, and the sound quality and reception are excellent. Its UHF waves don’t let solid objects obstruct the communication between the concerned parties.

Apart from the easy flow of communication, it also comes with fascinating features such as the LED flashlight, which enables the user to meet his needs even in the dark. This product can prove itself to be a worthy companion during camping trips where you can be in touch with your partner at all times, and a few other functions will also facilitate your survival out and about. Because of these features I listed this device the best ham radio for travel.

It can be charged with a USB cable and power bank. The USB port will also allow the instrument to be charged through Laptops and Computers. It needs to be charged after 8-9 hours of continuous use. It can be used at Supermarkets, construction sites, mountaineering, factories, etc. 

Features

  • 16 Memory Channels
  • 50 CTCSS/DCS Functions
  • Comes with an Emergency Alarm
  • Built in LED flashlight

Pros

  • Torch enable you to see in the dark
  • Easy to use for children and adults alike
  • Multiple ways of charging
  • Lifetime of customer support

Cons

  • May not support long-distant communication

6. Rivins RV-7 - Best Mobile Ham Radio for Beginners

Best Mobile Ham Radio for Beginners

Review

Easy to Use
Weatherproof
Sound Quality
Water Resistance
Battery Life

Overall Rating - 4/5

The RV-7 by Rivins is a device that offers easy operation, and so, if you’re new to the game of ham radios, it is advisable to start with this product. The LCD screen gives you all the relevant information such as battery life, signal status, etc. 

But what’s really fascinating about this launch is the feature of Voice operated transmit or VOX. VOX enables you to operate the device without the use of your hands. It also includes the feature of call tones, wherein if you contact another device, it will ring before your voice that can be heard by the other person. 

Features

  • Function of VOX and Call Tones
  • 5 miles Communication Range
  • LCD Display shows all Device Status
  • Built-in Flashlight for Night-time Use

Pros

  • Supports VOX Transmit
  • Supports Headset Jack
  • Convenient Channel Scan
  • Light Weight

Cons

  • May Prove Ineffective in Sea

7. Baofeng UV5R5 - Best Ham Radio for Beginners to Easy Communication

Best Ham Radio for Beginners to Easy Communication

Review

Easy to Use
Weatherproof
Sound Quality
Water Resistance
Battery Life

Overall Rating - 4/5

This two-way Handheld ham radio lubricates communication between people with excellent sound quality and hands-free communication. The range of this model may comparatively be less than other models, but it offers various features, which makes it hard to turn your back towards, including extremely strong signals within the range.

The model comes with a Waterproof Backlit display, Dual frequency, auto squelch, and Dual-standby. The volume can be adjusted as per the need of the user. There is an inbuilt LED flashlight to sustain visibility in the dark so you can find your companion even at night.  

Features

  • 50 Code CTCSS and 105 Code DCS
  • High Gain Antenna
  • Keypad Lock
  • Built-in VOX Function

Pros

  • Strong Receptions and Transmission
  • Pocket Friendly
  • LED Flashlight to Sustain Night Vision

Cons

  • Narrow Range of Communication

8. Radioddity GD-77 - Best Portable Ham Radio for Beginners 

Best Portable Ham Radio for Beginners

Review

Easy to Use
Weatherproof
Sound Quality
Water Resistance
Battery Life

Overall Rating - 3.9/5

Be it personal use or commercial use, this ham radio serves in endless scenarios and promises more than what you bargained for. From factories, businesses, Industries to playgrounds, and backyard, this product with phenomenal audio quality have disturbance-free transmission, which makes personal and professional tasks go smoothly.

There is a promiscuous mode available, which enables the listener to hear different groups talking and not just the one he is a part of. It supports regular FM and DRM systems. It has a quick dial; hence you can reach the required person quickly and with ease. Whenever there is a software or firmware update, it automatically becomes available in GD-77. 

Features

  • Digital/Analog mode
  • Promiscuous Mode
  • Programmed update of Software and Firmware
  • Works with Hotspot

Pros

  • Exceptional sound quality
  • Highly versatile
  • Little or no obstruction in transmit
  • Adjustable settings

Cons

  • Not Supported in iMac

9. BTECH GMRS-V1 - Best Compact Ham Radio for Beginners

Best Compact Ham Radio for Beginners

Review

Easy to Use
Weatherproof
Sound Quality
Water Resistance
Battery Life

Overall Rating - 3.7/5

A production that is compatible with any given brands of FRS and GMRS radios, this instrument is very light and pretty simple to operate. It allows the user to scan through different channels and enables them to add or remove any channel from their list.

It offers VOX and enables hand-free operation. The high-quality LED torch light up your way in pitch darkness. Users have highly appreciated it for its good quality and great battery life. I hope they’ve been impressed by the easy setup and easy operation of this ham radio. Also, it is an ideal choice for amateurs. 

Features

  • 22 GMRS Two-way Channels
  • Tri-colour Adjustable Backlight
  • 98 Scanner Channels
  • FM Radio

Pros

  • Excellent Voice Quality
  • Good Reception and Transmission
  • Strong LED Flashlight

Cons

  • Solid Objects may Hinder Communication

10. TIDRADIO TD-UV5R - Best Ham Radio for Beginners to Easy Operation

Best Ham Radio for Beginners to Easy Operation

Review

Easy to Use
Weatherproof
Sound Quality
Water Resistance
Battery Life

Overall Rating - 3.65/5

This launch is an upgraded version of the UV-5R product by Baofeng, so it is pretty much self-explanatory than the previous model. This product is made by keeping the beginners and their needs in mind. Hence, its operation is not nearly as complicated as its name.

It comes with a tri-color backlit LCD display, LED flashlight and emergency alarm which comes in handy when you’re out hiking or trekking. It can be connected to your PC, and the basic settings can be reprogrammed. With this pricing, this exceptional product is a treat! Unlike the Baofend UV-5R, it supports the Keyboard program and PC program.

Features

  • VOX and Scanning Function
  • Power Saving Mode
  • Programmable by PC

Pros

  • Large Battery Capacity
  • Hands Free function
  • Powerful Channel Scanning

Cons

  • Prone to Damage

Conclusion

There are multiple factors that can influence your choice of ideal ham radio. Hence, it is necessary to take all the particulars into consideration before moving forward and buying one. These factors include needs, price, features, and whether the product is fulfilling your expectations or not. To avoid committing an error while making a choice, it is necessary to study prominent models available in the market. This article intends to ease your efforts in precisely that sphere. 

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