Best Standard Horizon VHF Marine Radios

Photo of author
Written By Martin C

Marine radios are the centerpiece of your seafaring communication. They allow you to communicate with other vessels and the shore, receive weather alerts, and generally help keep you safe. Standard Horizon marine radios are some of the most popular on the market as they have a tradition of high-quality. Choosing the Standard Horizon radio for your needs can be tough as they have many different models with a variety of features. We’ve reviewed the best Standard Horizon marine radios to help simplify that process for you and help you choose the marine radio that has the best combination of performance and price. 

Best Standard Horizon Marine Radios

All Standard Horizon marine radios are backed up by a great three-year warranty program which covers a wide array of accidental or manufacturing damage, including water damage. 

Standard Horizon HX40 Review

The Standard Horizon HX40 is a solid entry level handheld VHF marine radio. It has a small and sturdy design which makes it easy to use and store. It has a strong battery life particularly for its pierce as it can last over 24 hours of occasional use. The HX40 offers up to 6 watts of power, which can generate roughly around 10-12 miles under most conditions. The audio quality is fairly high, as you get clear and consistent reception even in windy or otherwise tough conditions. The Standard Horizon HX40 offers great overall value and performance at its reasonable price.

The HX40 has access to NOAA weather alerts which help keep you safe at sea, and is also fully submersible underwater for about half an hour. The Standard HX40’s display is OK, but leaves something to be desired given its small size. At the same time, the HX40 is designed to be versatile and compact so that screen size is not necessarily a bad thing. It just depends on what you’re looking for and value in a marine radio. You should also note that the HX40 does not come with floating technology like many other marine radios, so don’t let this one go overboard!

What stands out most from our Standard Horizon HX40 review is its massive battery life. It’s truly top of class at its size and price level, and you can feel confident knowing low battery is not going to be an issue for you even with heavy usage. You also get Standard Horizon’s generous 3-year warranty to back up the performance of the HX40. That’s why the Standard Horixon HX40 is one of the best entry-level marine radios on the market and is one of our overall favorite marine radios today. 

Standard Horizon HX210 Review

Another great option from SH is the Standard Horizon HX210 floating marine VHF handheld radio. It’s got a great balance of size and portability, and offers three power options: 1, 2.5, and 6 watts. The HX210 has both submersion and floating ability so you can feel confident using it in and around water even if there’s risk of dropping it in the water. The Standard Horizon HX210 is a lot bigger than the HX40, and is ideal for larger units or life jackets if you plan on clipping it. 

With the HX210 you get access to most US and international channels as well as NOAA emergency weather notifications. We like the display and keyboard set-up, though you should note the antenna can be quite bulky at times and awkward to mount or wear. The battery life is tremendous as expected, and the range is fairly consistent with 6 watts of power offering up to 12 miles. 

The SH HX210 won’t blow your mind with its crazy bells and whistles, but it’s very reliable, powerful, and truly affordable at under $100. It’s well-designed, has great battery life, and will meet the range needs of most users. If you’re looking for a solid marine radio that’s not too pricey yet will get the job done, the Standard Horizon HX210 is a great choice. 

Standard Horizon HX890 Review

One of the top-tier marine radios on the market today is the Standard Horizon HX890 Handheld VHF marine radio, which has powerful performance as well as integrated GPS which makes it uniquely useful as a dual communication and location solution. Like it’s predecessors the HX890 has variable power up to 6 watts, great battery life, floating and submersion capability, and gets most international channels and NOAA weather alerts. It also has integrated scrambler systems which make your transmissions private and secure as well as a FM receiver which can take in FM transmissions. 

Where the HX890 truly stands out is built-in GPS, DSC ability, and Man Over Board (MOB) features. The GPS operates with WAAS and helps you locate and plot out your travels, while the DSC feature means you can coordinate with other vessels and track their location and activities. Finally, the Man over Board tech allows you to automatically trigger different reactions, from flashing to SOS siren, when the HX890 senses it has fully entered water. When you’re out at night or under limited visibility, this can be a life or death difference!

Given the added features, our Standard Horizon HX890 review generally approves of the higher price tag for this marine radio. It does offer a lot of value and we like the reliability of the tech. That said, we only recommend this to marine radio users who will actually get a lot of use out of the GPS, DSC, and FM receiver, as otherwise the HX890 is quite similar to some of the less pricey lower Standard Horizon marine radio models. That said, if you want to invest in a quality marine radio with GPS included then the HX890 is a great choice.

Standard Horizon GX1400 Review

The Standard Horizon GX1400 is a great fixed month VHF marine radio, with solid power, battery life, and audio quality. The GX1400 comes with an attached microphone which allows for simple operation and use of the marine radio, as well as clearer audio on both ends. Built into the Standard Horizon GX1400 is the capability to be connected to an external GPS receiver. Through DSC, you can then accurately plot and plan your location and travels as well as take in info from other vessels.

The GX1400 is quite popular because of its mix of features and reasonable price. With IPX8 weatherproofing, you don’t have to worry about water damage impacting the performance of the Standard Horizon GX1400. The keys on the GX1400 are fully programmable, allowing for easy access to your most used channels and functions. You also get NOAA weather notifications and a strong fixed mount design which can also be paired with an external antenna.

The GX1400 has great range, offering around 30 miles or so depending upon your conditions. Given its overall quality performance, we like the value it offers at its price point just over $100. It’s not the most feature-packed option nor does it have built-in GPS but its very solid and we definitely recommend the Standard Horizon GX1400 as a great option for those who want a fixed mount VHF marine radio. 

Standard Horizon GX1800GB Review

With 25 watts of power, the Standard Horizon GX1800GB really packs a punch. It’s a full-fledged marine communication and location device with built-in GPS to pair with its tremendous range. The GX100GB has IPX8 waterproofing, and is backed up by Standard Horizon’s awesome 3-year warranty program which can give you great confidence in the performance of the GX1800GB. We like it as a high-power mountable VHF marine radio for those who want top performance.

Despite its many features, the GX1800GB is still fairly easy to navigate and use once you get used to it. Its buttons can be programmed, and you can pair the GX100GB with external mounts or antenna to get the full experience. The GX1800GB can also survive submersion and gives you NOAA weather alerts to stay safe in stormy conditions. 

The Standard Horizon GX1800GB is a bit pricey, but we think its worth the extra coin for the integrated GPS and overall power and performance. If you just need an entry-level model or if you prefer a handheld, then the GX1800GB is not for you. But if you want a powerful and rich-feature marine communication and GPS option then the Standard Horizon GX1800GB is a great choice for you.

Standard Horizon HX100 Review

The Standard Horixon HX100 is a fairly simple and straight-forward handheld VHF marine radio, with little flair or extra features beyond the required ones. The HX100 has around 7-8 hours of battery life and only offers up to 2.5 watts of total power. It is programmable and also has floating technology which helps you feel safe using it around the lake or river. Those areas are where we’d recommend the HX100 for use, as its better for casual fishermen, kayakers, and lake-goers than it is for folks who are going to be out at sea or who need a high performance marine radio.

The HX100 does have a pretty decent and large screen, and you get a lot of standard features like NOAA alerts and easily rechargeable batteries. That said, its tough to argue that the HX100 is the best marine radio for your needs unless you are looking for a bare bones option on a budget. You’re simply not going to want to use this beyond the occasional lake day or kayak trip, as we can’t guarantee it will have enough power and range to meet your needs. That said, if that IS what you’re looking for and you don’t want to spend a lot, then the HX100 is a perfectly fine opinion which will get the job done and is backed up Standard Horizon’s 3 year warranty should anything happen to it.

Standard Horizon HX380 Review

The Standard Horizon HX380 is designed as a commercial-grade VHF handheld marine radio which offers better durability and performance for fishermen, boating companies, and other commercial vessels without a crazy price tag. With the HX380 you get a super strong battery which can last all day, as well as access to programmable business LMR channels which can be super handy for companies operating on the water. It’s IPX7 certified and fully submersible, and its exterior black shell is tough and durable.

The HX380 large battery is charged by an included base charger which can juice up the entire device in just a few hours. We should note that during testing we didn’t feel too confident in the HX380 waterproofing, as there was some interference occasionally. That said, it wasn’t enough for us to feel like the HX380 could not get the job done when we needed it to. It’s totally fine for the rain or occasional splashing, just don’t dunk it! Overall the Standard Horizon HX380 is a solid mid-level option which is best suited for companies or professionals who want access to LMR channels and a higher level of performance and power than you might get from an equivalent consumer marine radio.

Standard Horizon GX2000B Review

If you’re looing for a super high-level VHF marine radio, the Standard Horizon GX200B is a great option. You get access to the Matrix as its called, with the ability to use its CHannel 70 receiver, 100 waypoint saving tech, and noise cancelling tech to get top level performance and sound quality. The GX200B also has a 30W feature set which can produce a wide variety of sounds from bells and whistles to fog horn. This is fairly unique on the market and even stands out among the other great Standard Horizon marine radios reviewed here. If you’re looking for those specific features or generally for a powerful marine radio then the GX200B is a decent choice.

The GX2000B comes with a mic and can also be paired with additional accessories for enhanced performance. Its channels are easily programmable and saved for easy access. And despite all its features, its still under 5 pounds and isn’t too bulky. If you’re looking for something with a lot of unique features, and are not on a budget, then we definitely recommend checking out the Standard Horizon GX2000B!

Standard Horizon Marine Radio FAQ

What is the range of a Standard Horizon marine radio?

You can expect anywhere from 4 to 12 miles from Standard Horizon marine radios, and the actual value depends both upon the power wattage you choose and your sailing conditions. 

What is the battery life of Standard Horizon marine radios?

Standard Horizon marine radios have tremendous battery life, often lasting more than 24 hours of somewhat frequent use. They also charge quickly and easily. This large battery life is one of the reasons Standard Horizon is such an enduringly popular marine radio brand!