Standard Horizon HX870

There are plenty of radios that are introduced to the market which are supposed to feature multiple upgraded features. Not only is it to be better than the first generation of products released by the same brand but it also needs to beat other competing brands.

If you feel that you need to have one of the most competitive units that the market has to offer today, then this  Standard Horizon HX870 review is the perfect guide for you.

Radio Microphone set

Basic Features

  • Integrated 66 channel WAAS GPS
  • Built-in channel 70 Class “D” DSC
  • USB Data Port
  • NOAA Weather channel with Weather Alert
  • Water activated strobe light
  • Noise-canceling microphone
  • IPX8 rating for water resistance
  • Floatation features
  • Group Monitoring using DSC
  • Wide Screen Display


  • Ear-Bone Microphone
  • Speaker Microphone
  • Microphone cable
  • Throat Microphone
  • Tactical Eartube Headset
  • Replacement Li-Ion Batteries


If you are an environmentalist who spends most of your time working out on the field rather than sitting behind the desk then communicating is pretty difficult for you to achieve with just a simple phone.

There must be times that you’ve come to change model after model when it comes to radios because they just don’t seem to fit your needs. The Standard Horizon HX870 might just be the ultimate solution to your problems.

Never get lost and always give someone your accurate location. This becomes possible with 66 integrated channels that have WAAS GPS settings. Not only that, with the built-in channel 70 class “D” DSC operation, you would be able to send out help or aide to any emergent distress call.

Other VHF radios in the market would need to have a base station in order to give itself a full recharge. If an event arises that would lead to the wreckage or loss of that base station, then there would be no means for you to put the juice back up on your radio.

The USB data port does not only give you the benefit of hooking your radio up for tuning on a PC, but it also eliminates the charging problem. You can simply use the USB cable to connect it to a charging adaptor and begin the recharge process.

It’s definitely cheaper to purchase a replacement USB cable rather than to buy another base station – or worse, a new radio.

The NOAA weather channel and the alert feature is a very popular addition to radios and potentially raise the value of a unit. However, you should always have that test to see if it has any issues.

Through this setting, you’ll always be updated with the weather and you’d be informed of any special weather alerts but some user reviews have reported the channel cutting off which gives them difficulty in understanding the report.

The Standard Horizon HX870 has a waterproof rating of IPX8 which means that this device is submersible up to 5ft within 30 minutes. It also has a water activated strobe light to alert nearby authorities of your situation.

Along with the IPX8 rating, this device is also designed to float so you’ll never have to dive deep into the water to find your radio.

Provide clearer broadcast over any channel with the noise canceling feature that this unit is proud of having. You can pair this with another feature that helps group monitoring with digital selective calling or DSC.

Those who wish to start this hobby will easily learn how to go through the ins and outs of the gadget using the easy to understand operation manual.

A wide set of options are available when it comes to the accessories that go with the HX870 standard VHF horizon. Most of these are for enhancing communication by adding headsets, earpieces and other enhancing devices.

The accessory that steps up the meaning of ease-of-use is the throat microphone. Why use your hands to hold up a radio when you would have the ease of a microphone around your neck? This would definitely help you get other things done faster and focus more on the actual work while communicating.

Another great device that would help you make the conversation be more discreet would be the Ear-bone microphone which makes listening to the radio transmission clearer because it blocks out unnecessary chatter or surrounding noise.

On the other hand, to have all the team members and co-workers around you hear the exact transmission without having to repeat the message then you should get the Speco weatherproof PA speaker. This is a handy tool for you and your buddies for that noisy outdoor fieldwork.

It has an amazing screen display that will knock your socks off when you read the location coordinates, temperature, or just simply want to check the time. One of the downsides to this is that the backlight gives users some difficulties in adjusting.

It may potentially blind you for a little while if you look at it in a dim-light setting or in the dark. So make sure you have the backlight adjusted during the day to avoid that kind of mishap.

Menu and buttons should easy to navigate through but having the power button right above the PTT button is a little disappointing. You’d like to go for the PTT button so that you can transmit a message but accidentally press the off button and that in itself is frustrating. The company could have placed the power button elsewhere to give it a better performance.

Though this device is very lightweight and can be brought without the heavy feeling, it is a little big and bulky. The radio’s square finishings and thickness are what causes a little conflict packing it up.

You would need quite a big bag (medium size should do) in order to actually bring it along. That’s a hassle when you are hiking since one of the rules when it comes to that would be to pack light.

To summarize it all, the HX870 definitely has stunning and hand-itching updated features that every nature lover would be excited to have.

However, consider your budget and get your credit card ready because this device is one of the most expensive ones on the market. If you purchased it for the price it has, you should really want it and use it.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Getting overwhelmed by a large amount of information given is understandable. Here are some pros and cons to help simplify the given features and to assist you in weighing out all the possible options on this device.

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