Summary of our top choices:
The BaoFeng UV-5R gets our top spot as the best and one of the most affordable ham radios available right now. For less than $40 you get the radio, an additional 1800mAh UV5R battery, a car charger, 1 hand mic and antenna. This set-up you will never run out of battery, as one can be charging as the other is in use. In addition, the antenna included will give you more than enough range, and the display screen makes the device simple to use.
Also included is the programming cable, which allows for easy connection to your PC with the software included in the bundle. Most reports state that battery life is at least several days, and often beats out more technical and expensive units. This is by far the best ham radio for beginners and a cheap way to get everything you need.
You can buy as a single unit or in packs of 6 and 10.
ICOM 2300H 05 144MHz Amateur Radio
The ICOM 2300H 144Mhz is a very solid 2-way radio. The unit has a stable 65W of output, and is an updated version of the popular ic-2200. This is a very solid HAM radio and can take a lot of punishment if necessary, and has been tested to the most recent mil-std-810 g specs for durability. You get 207 alpha-numeric memory channels and get a CD with the software you need to get everything set up. There is also a 3 inch LCD screen with multiple scan functions.
QYT KT-8900D Dual Band Mini Car Ham Radio
The QYT KT-8900D is a very compact HAM radio, with a frequency of HF 136-174MHz, UHF 400-480MHz and a power output of VHF 25Watt, UHF 20Watt. The speaker and transceiver are both very compact which is ideal for saving space. This doesn’t take away from the performance though, with a clear and loud sound coming from the speaker and 200 programable channels. The display is bright and easy to see even with glare. The unit comes with a programming cable and software (supported by CHRIP or MIKLOR) which is compatible with Windows 10. The radio also comes with a 6ft cable and connects to your cigarette plug port.
Yaesu Ft-8900R Quad Band Hi Power FM
The Yaesu Ft-8900R transmits 50 watts on 10, 6 and 2M, & 35 watts on 440 MHz and has selectable lower output settings. There is a backlit keypad on the mic for using the radio at night, 800 channels available on the memory and live dual displays, giving the Yaesu some of the best specs on the market. The radio also includes a YSK-8900 separation kit.
The radio is easy to install and configuring the radio via ADMS software is simple. When up and running the volume is loud on all channels and when coupled with an antenna the quality was great on all bands. This is an ideal choice for anyone looking at the upper end of the HAM radio market without breaking the bank.
A few more of our top choices:
President Ronald 10 Meter Amateur Ham Radio Kenwood TM-281A 144MHz FM Transceiver Icom ID-5100A DELUXE 144/440 Amateur Radio Mobile