The Standard Horizon HX500S is identical in looks to the HX600S, its more expensive sibling.
It operates only on the Marine band and does not have any DSC capabilities.
It has a top-mounted volume control and side-mounted pushbuttons for on-off, squelch, and push-to-talk.
Seven front-mounted pushbuttons control transmitter power selection, channel changing, weather, and scanning.
An optional headset, microphone, or speaker plugs into a jack located on the top of the unit.
The HX500S performed very well in our testing earning mostly excellent ratings. Receiver sensitivity is rated at 65 dB. On the audio output test it managed a respectable 92 dBA. It passed the drop and submersion tests too with no problems.
It lasted 13 hours in our battery test. When we terminated the test, the HX500S was not deadit simply stopped transmitting just seconds before it would have been set aside for another hour.
This radio has a cutout circuit that will lock the transmitter out when the battery voltage drops below a certain point. It still had life and could transmit just not for the sustained 3 minutes we used during our testing.
Last time we checked the battery replacement cost was $65.
Rugged construction, very good overall performance, and a reasonably priced replacement battery make this radio a good choice for those who dont need multi-band and DSC capability.
Shop for Standard Horizon handheld VHF radios here.