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Standard Horizon HX760S Review

The Standard Horizon HX760S marine handheld is a 6-watt floating radio capable of interfacing with a Standard Horizon BH-2 Bluetooth® headset. All this capability is in a radio a tad under 6 inches tall and 2.5 inches wide. It weighs only 10.8 ounces.

The HX760S ships with an automatic AC fast charger. It needs eight hours to fully charge the 1150 mAH lithium ion battery pack used in this Standard Horizon handheld VHF. This charger shows a red light to indicate charging and green for a fully charged battery.

Standard Horizon HX760S handheld vhf radio

Standard Horizon HX760S

A DC charger cord and belt clip is also part of the package. The BH-2 Bluetooth® headset and its associated charger are also included.

Radio Controls

All functions of the HX760S are controlled with 11 front-mounted pushbuttons. Volume and squelch are adjusted by pressing their respective pushbuttons and then using the arrow keys to increase or decrease as needed. We’d like to see twist knobs for these two important functions. The push-to-talk switch is side-mounted while an optional microphone/speaker jack is located on top of the radio.

One button control is available for transmitter power selection, channel changing, weather channel selection, quick selection of channel 16 or 9, and certain scanning options.

There are four scan modes on this radio; they are dual watch, triple watch, memory, or priority. The HX750S can use all Canadian, International, and US marine VHF channels and NOAA weather channels.

Water Temperature Sensor

The HX760S has two special features not seen on other handheld VHF radios. First, is has a water temperature sensor built-in the radio front panel. To use it, you’d soak the radio in the water to be measured for several minutes, then after a few key presses you’ll arrive at a page displaying the water temperature in Centigrade or Fahrenheit. We tried it and it worked as advertised showing the temperature on the top left of the screen.

Bluetooth®

The second, and more impressive feature, is the addition of Bluetooth® to this radio. After we charged the headset with the supplied AC charger we’d tried it out. We followed the procedure in the manual for coupling the headset and radio, and then made some voice calls to another VHF radio.

The headset activates when you start to speak, it’s not necessary to push any buttons. We could hear the other radio well and they could hear the headset transmission clearly too. According to Marine Division Product Manager, Scott Iverson, this radio also works well with a variety of Bluetooth® capable cell phone headsets. When you want to stop using the headset you have go into the HX760S menu and turn it off to regain full function on the radio.

Performance

Standard Horizon BH-2 Bluetooth Headset

Standard Horizon BH-2

Transceiver performance on the Standard Horizon HX760S was rated highly. It managed to earn two good ratings for transmitter power stability and frequency stability as well as excellent receiver sensitivity. The HX760S receiver is rated for 70 dB of channel separation. Audio performance was top notch. During our output test we measured 99 dBA.

We rated the HX760S display screen excellent. It uses large block numbers to annunciate the selected channel and a pair of sliding scales on the left to show volume and squelch levels. A low battery icon will appear onscreen when the battery is nearing empty.

Transmitter power output is shown onscreen with no icon for maximum(6-watts), H(5-watts), M(2.5-watts), or L(1-watt). When transmitting an onscreen TX icon appears and a red light on the case front illuminates. When receiving the light displays green and a busy icon appears onscreen.

Battery Life Testing

Battery life was a very respectable 11 hours. One of the compromises needed to build a floating radio is to reduce battery weight to a minimum, which can cost battery life. In this case the compromise was effectively managed. It passed both the drop and submersion tests too with no glitches.

Final Thoughts

This Standard Horizon handheld is waterproof and carries an IPX7 rating. This means it can be submerged to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes without sustaining any damage.

We like all the capability in the Standard Horizon HX760S pocesses, especially the ability to work with most any Bluetooth® headset. The unit carries a 3-year warranty on the radio and a 12-month warranty on the battery.

Buy this Standard Horizon VHF floating handheld marine radio here.