Yaesu VX-6R

If you’re ready to graduate from single-band radios and dual-band radios to tri-band radios, the Yaesu VX-6R is an excellent choice as your next HT (handheld transceiver). It’s a good choice for both amateurs and professionals, and it’s particularly great for outdoor use due to its weatherproof, durable design.

Good

  • Tri-band design – You can transmit and listen on the 2-meter band, 220cm band, and 70cm band, so this is a good option if you want to move beyond single-band or dual-band radios.
  • Time-tested – This same basic radio design has been in use by Yaesu for more than 15 years. It’s a classic, and that also means there are a lot of resources about how to use the Yaesu VX-6R.
  • Supports professional VHF/UHF bands – If you’re a professional and are licensed on professional VHF/UHF bands, the Yaesu VX-6R can be modified to transmit on these frequencies.
  • Waterproof design – This HT is JIS7-rated for immersion resistance, meaning you don’t have to worry about splashes, rain, or the elements damaging your radio during outdoor use.
  • Great battery life – Advanced features like “Wake-Up” battery saver, Automatic Power-Off (APO) and a 1400 mAh lithium-ion battery add up to surprisingly good battery life.

Bad

  • Small keypad – This radio has a really small keypad and a pretty small screen, which may be hard to get used to if you’ve used more sizable HTs.
  • Somewhat quiet – The Yaesu VX-6R has a decent speaker, but can be drowned out a bit in noisier environments, so you may need to grab a headset or external speaker and mic if you use your HT in a loud environment.

Bottom line

The Yaesu VX-6R has mostly been unchanged since it was introduced more than 15 years ago – because if it ain’t broke, you don’t need to fix it. This tri-band radio is packed with features, it’s durable and waterproof, and suitable for a wide variety of purposes – from basic ham radio hobbyists to marine use, professional use and more. If you’ve got the budget for it and you’re looking for a tri-band radio, this HT is sure to fit the bill and exceed your expectations.

Expert reviews

  • In his long-term, 1-year review of the Yaesu VX-6R, LYTCOMM88 called his experience with the radio “nothing but positive,” and was very happy with the durable, waterproof design of this radio. However, he did note difficulties attaching and detaching the battery, though this issue went away after a few weeks of breaking in the radio.
  • Trig Tac Toe called the radio “just plain solid” and praised its durable aluminum-and-plastic design, and how it feels in his hand, and the ease of modding it to replace the antenna and alter its transmission frequencies.
  • Youtuber KF7MGT praised the VX-6R’s speaker quality, and how easy this HT was to program, saying it will “pretty much suit everybody’s needs.” He also liked that the VX-6R was fully submersible and water resistant.

User reviews

  • DXEngineering reviewers have given the VX-6R a 4.77-star rating over 22 reviews. Positive aspects noted by users included the thousands of memory slots offered by this HT, its durable and waterproof design, and its long lifespan, with one user claiming to have gotten nearly two decades out of his VX-6R before requiring a replacement.
  • eHam.net reviewers have given this Yaesu HT a 4.4-star rating over 133 reviews. Reviewers were positive about its overall durability and ease of programming both out-of-the-box and with a PC. However, several viewers noted a steep learning curve, which is to be expected with such a feature-rich radio.

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