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Standard Horizon GX5000S Review

The Standard Horizon GX5000S Quantum is a brawny marine VHF radio with a powerful audio system. Fully one-third of its large front panel is designated as the speaker box.

The GX5000S can connect to an optional remote microphone and be used with an optional voice scrambler. It also has the ability to couple to a Bluetooth® headset.

Standard Horizon GX5000S Quantum marine vhf radio

Standard Horizon GX5000S

To use Bluetooth® an adapter unit must be installed and then the headset must be paired to the specific radio. We tried the Standard Horizon BH-2 Bluetooth® headset with the GX5000S and found it worked well.

The front panel microphone on this radio can be removed and mounted in another location by using the optional MEK-4 with its 10-foot extension cable. This feature is useful to keep the microphone cord from hanging down when the radio is mounted overhead.


We found transmitter power output and frequency accuracy to be stable throughout our range of tests, both earned good ratings. Receiver sensitivity was also rated good. Receiver selectivity is a very respectable 80 dB. Audio output was a very powerful 95 dBA accompanied by an excellent sound quality rating.

The GX5000S has the largest screen of any VHF radio we’ve tested. It displays channel numbers in large block letters with customizable channel comments alongside. Time and position, frequency group, transmitter power, and transmit/receive icons are also shown. We rated the display screen excellent.


Three rotary knobs control radio volume, squelch, and channel selection. Other functions are controlled via 10 pushbuttons; most have both primary and secondary functions.

A single button push can select channel 16 or 9, switch to weather channel selection, change transmitter power, or bring up the hailer/foghorn menu. A low battery message appears onscreen when input power drops below 11.6 volts. Increasing the voltage back above 12.5 turns the warning off.

Dual Watch scanning mode monitors channel 16 and a second channel and is selected by pressing the DW key. Memory and Priority scanning is available after the desired channels are placed in memory. Selecting the channel then pressing the SCAN key locks the channel into memory. Memory scan looks at all channels in memory in numerical order from lowest to highest. Priority scan inserts a look at channel 16 between each memory channel.

Once the hailer/foghorn menu is selected with the PA/FOG key a user can choose to operate the 30-watt hailer or go the automatic fog signal menu and pick the appropriate foghorn pattern for use.

Sound patterns can be selected for powerboat underway, powerboat underway not making way, sailing vessel underway, vessel under tow, vessel aground, and vessel at anchor. The GX5000S has listen-back capability through a connected PA horn; this can be very useful when trying to communicate with people the foredeck or on another boat near the bow.

Digital Selective Calling

The GX5000S is a class D radio with extensive DSC calling capability. Before you can make a distress or any other type of DSC call the MMSI number must be programmed into the radio. We programmed in a number to see how well it worked. Numbers are set with the channels selector and the complete MMSI number must be input twice before it will be accepted. This radio can make distress, individual, all ships, and group calls.

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Final Thoughts

The GX5000S features robust construction, wide-ranging capabilities, and carries a 3-year warranty.