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Standard Horizon HX500S LI Review

The Standard Horizon HX500S-LI handheld VHF radio is a follow-on to the original that features an upgraded power source. The LI version of this radio uses a powerful 1700 mAH lithium ion battery.

Charge time is a short eight hours with the supplied AC charger. You’ll know the radio is ready for use when the charger light changes from red for charging to green for fully charged.

Standard Horizon HX500S LI handheld vhf radio

Standard Horizon HX500S LI

The HX500S-LI handheld VHF radio operates on the Marine band only. Certain Standard Horizon portable VHFs including the HX500S-LI have an SOS strobe light that can be seen as far as a mile away.

Radio Controls

The volume control knob is top-mounted and sits next to the optional microphone/speaker jack. Side-mounted pushbuttons control power on-off, squelch, and push-to-talk. Eight front-mounted pushbuttons control transmitter power selection, channel changing, weather, and scanning.

This Standard Horizon handheld has dual watch, tri-watch, priority and memory scan modes. All are controlled with front panel pushbuttons.

A quick selection of channel 16 or 9 can be made with its respective pushbutton.

This radio can use all Canadian, International, and US channels. A preset key can be used to store and quickly recall up to eight of your favorite channels.


The HX500S-LI performed very well in our testing, earning mostly excellent ratings on our transmitter, receiver, and audio system testing.

When you turn the volume up in this radio it booms, in our testing it hit 95 dBA.

We rated the display screen on the HX500S-LI excellent. It uses large numbers to display the selected channel and scrolling letters to list the channel name and use. The channel group is displayed too. A different transmitter power icon is displayed for each power level.

Battery Life Test

This Standard Horizon radio lasted a respectable 15 hours in our battery life test. It passed the drop and submersion tests.

Final Thoughts

This radio is far less expensive today than when it was first introduced. It’s bargain price coupled with rugged construction and very good overall performance make this radio one we’d choose to buy.

Shop for Standard Horizon handheld VHF radios here.