We all desire for good software which is capable of executing the operations that we wish it to do with high level of accuracy. Software defined radio is one such device which makes use of software to get things done. Minimum noise is also desired besides getting accurate output. These radios can receive and transmit different radio protocols for our needs.
So here is a list of some amazing SDR sets which are available online from where you may pick one for yourself today.
Best Software Defined Radios Reviews
1. RTL-SDR Blog SMA Software Defined Radio
If you are in search of a good quality SDR radio which will meet your expectations and needs, then this is the perfect set for you. This software defined radio receiver contains RTL2832U ADC chip. You are also provided with R820T2 TUNER, SMA F connector. 1PPM TCXO is also included. The device is built for the long run as it has got aluminium casing with passive cooling. The device can operate within a frequency range of 500 kHz to 1.7 GHz. The set has a bandwidth of up to 3.2 MHz (2.4 MHz stable). HF is operational in case of direct sampling mode. The set contains free software like SDR#, HDSDR, SDR Touch on Android, GQRX or SDR-Radio which enables it to act as a great computer based radio scanner. It can work smoothly on Linux, Android, OSX, Windows and computers like Raspberry Pi.
The device offers you with multiple functions. It can do the general radio scanning, can be used in the public safety sector, can also serve in the air traffic control, act as a trunked radio, ACARS, helpful in the ADS-B aircraft radar, NOAA APT/Meteor M2 weather satellites, POCSAG, P25/MotoTRBO digital voice, APRS, weather balloons, DAB, radio astronomy, or can also serve as a low priced panadapter with a ham radio.
This set can be handled very easily even by beginners. This is so since the set comes with a versatile dipole antenna kit. The longer antennas work pretty well at low frequencies whereas the shorter antennas serve to be very helpful for ADS-B. The antenna can be made to work perfectly for 137 MHz weather satellites and the ISS by using it in a v-dipole configuration. If the antenna is used in the vertical configuration then it will serve well for the terrestrial signals. You can effortlessly mount the antenna anywhere outdoors by utilising a 3 metre RG174 cable and two mounts.
This set has got an extra edge over other sets as it provides you with better components, gives you an improved R820T2 tuner, improved passive cooling, lower noise PCB, high ESD protection and a SMA F connector for your benefit. In order to provide power to the active antennas and LNA’s, bias tee is provided which can be activated via software.
Features and details
- The package will contain SMA Dongle, HF, 1PPM TCXO, R820T2 tuner, RTL2832U ADC chip and Bias Tee. A dipole antenna which serves multiple functions is also included.
- The dipole antenna contains the following: two 5 cm to 13 cm telescopic antenna, a dipole base with RG174 of 60 cm, a flex tripod mount, RG173 extension cable of length 3 metre and a suction cup mount.
- The set can serve the purpose of general radio scanning, can be utilised in the public safety sector, can also serve in the air traffic control, act as a trunked radio, ACARS, helpful in the ADS-B aircraft radar, NOAA APT/Meteor M2 weather satellites, POCSAG, P25/MotoTRBO digital voice, APRS, weather balloons, DAB, radio astronomy, or can also serve as a low priced panadapter with a traditional ham radio.
- The set has got improved components over other sets of other brands. It gives you an improved R820T2 tuner, improved passive cooling with an aluminium shielded case, a 1PPM TCXO(temperature compensated oscillator), lower noise PCB, high ESD protection and a SMA F connector for your benefit. In order to provide power to the active antennas and LNA’s, bias tee circuit is provided which can be activated via software and high quality antenna kit.
- The frequency range on which the device operates is 500 kHz to 1.7 GHz. The instantaneous bandwidth happens to be 3.2 MHz (2.4 MHz stable). In case of direct sampling model the HF operates below 24 MHz.
- Beginners can make effective use of this set due to the availability of the multifunctional dipole kit which can be easily carried. By keeping the antenna in the vertical configuration you can receive the terrestrial signals. For being able to receive the satellite signal the antenna has to be kept in the v-dipole configuration.
- The antenna can be very easily place outdoors by making use of the two mounts and RG174 extension cable.
2. NooElec NESDR Software Defined Radio Set
If you can settle with nothing less than the best, then this is the set for you. Its features and functionalities are sure to catch your interest. It has got all the qualities that you expect in a high quality SDR radio. In the package you will get Ham It Up v1.3 upconverter which will be packed in an enclosure of black aluminium. Besides this you will also be equipped with custom antenna base w/ low-loss RG-58 cable, NESDR SMArt HF bundle along with 3 antenna masts. Also included in the package are w/ RG-316 cable and 15 cm long male SMA to male SMA pigtail cable. Dipole HF antennas are also present along with balun one nine antenna for longwire. You are also equipped with male SMA to female F-connector adapter and a male SMA to male SMA barrel adapter. EU TV connector or male SMA to female Belling-Lee “PAL” adapter is also present within the package.
You can easily avail the Ham It Up operation by simply following these instructions. Firstly you need to set the connection between the RF input and your antenna. Then you need to connect you SDR to the IF output. After doing these, you need to make sure that your toggle switch is in its enabled position. Then you need to supply the power by plugging in your USB power source to the USB-B USB jack. You are then set to start with your most liked SDR software. Tuning has to be done at a frequency of 125 MHz+. You can adjust it accordingly for the best effect and enjoy your time.
Features and details
- This is the perfect SDR radio for beginners who wish to operate software defined radio and the HF bands. It basically offers you with full, wide-band RF solution to handle the device comfortably.
- In order to receive HF, the set makes use of the NESDR SMArt HF bundle which uses a perfectly fabricated upconverter called Ham It Up. This feature is not for direct sampling hacks. You get multiple benefits of this feature. Firstly, you get a wonderful experience of HF which is different than the others, secondly the performance level is increased tremendously and lastly, no loss of gain controls happens.
- In the package you will get 3 antennas, Ham It Up v1.3 upconverter which will be packed in an enclosure of black aluminium, a NESDR SMArt RTL-SDR, balun for long wire which perfectly matches the impedance of the set, interconnect adapters (EU TV connector or male SMA to female Belling-Lee “PAL” adapter, male SMA to female F-connector adapter and a male SMA to male SMA barrel adapter), and dipole antennas.
- You are provided with a warranty of 2 years on the bundle components.
- The company also assures technical support whenever you need it.
3. SDRPlay RSP 1A Radio
This is a highly improved version of RSP1 and it offers you with features and functionalities which are sure to be above your expectation. This is one of the best SDR sets which provide highly satisfactory output. This is basically a full featured 14 bit SDR with a very powerful wideband. It covers a huge portion of the RF spectrum from 1 kHz to 2 GHz. This SDR set not only provides you with excellent service as a SDR receiver but also keep in mind the budget of buying it. The set has got a nominal price. Since it is cost effective as well as good in quality, it is the choice of many customers. The company has always kept in mind the needs and expectations of the customers while incorporating new features and improving the existing ones.
This set is perfect for beginners who wish to explore more about SDR. It is also highly beneficial to those people who have been using it for quite some time like the scientists, people associated with the educational field and industries. To ensure compatibility, the ideas of developers of SDR console, Cubic SDR software packages and HDSDR have also been taken into consideration. The multiplatform driver and API provided support working very smoothly with Mac, Linux, Windows, Raspberry Pi 3 and Android. For the Raspberry Pi 3 you are also provided with a downloadable image of SD card which contains Cubic SDR. In order to get an experience of a wonderful SDR set all you need to have is an antenna and a PC. This set offers you with the ability to keep an eye on 10 MHz spectrum at a time. You are also enabled to formulate new demodulators and applications using the documented API. The set includes SDR-UNO software.
Features and details
- For sample rates below 6 MHz, the ADC resolution has been heightened to 14 bit. With decimation the resolution can be increased to 16 bit.
- This set is an improvement of the existing model RSP1. The RF pre-selection is much better in this new improved set. It offers you not only better filter selectivity but also provides you with 4 additional sub-bands. This in turn reduces the levels of spurious responses.
- With this SDR set you are now open to a better LNA architecture which gives you variable gain as per your need whereas the previous model provided you with a single step gain. The intermodulation performance has enhanced tremendously.
- With just a single antenna port, you can cover a wide range of 1 kHz to 2 GHz of the RF spectrum. The set also offers you with bias-T facility. You are better able to shield the RF due to the strong and sturdy plastic casing.
- In order to improve the stability of the frequency, a 0.5 ppm TCXO, software which can shrink to 0.01 ppm, has been incorporated in the SDR set. You are also provided with notch filters for selectable broadcast AM/FM/DAB.
4. NooElec NESDR Smart v4 Bundle Software Defined Radio
This set has been fabricated keeping in mind the needs and demands of the customers. It is sure to be a very satisfactory device to all the customers. The features and functionalities that it offers are sure to catch the eye of many. The package will contain a black brushed aluminium enclosure which will contain a NESDR SMArt SDR. You are also provided with an antenna base w/ a 2 metre long RG58 cable. In order to provide the capability to vary the frequency, the set offers you with telescopic antenna mast. For handling fixed frequency you are given a 10.5’’ antenna mast which operates at a frequency of 433 MHz. Along with these, a UHF antenna mast of 4.5’’ is also given to deal with fixed frequency.
The SDR has a USB interface IC or RTL2832 Demodulator. For tuning purpose you are given a R820T2 tuner IC. The set also contains a 0.5 ppm TCXO which has got very low phase noise. The primary inductor of the set is shielded. You get a RF suitable voltage regulator. A female SMA antenna input is also provided. Integrated custom heatsink is also present. On the PCB you are given through-hole direct sampling pads. The antenna can be mounted very easily as it has got a wide base with a very strong magnet in it. There is a low-loss RG58 feed cable. The antenna also has a cable of 2 metre which is almost twice the length of other cables. In order to facilitate direct connection with the SDR or other SMA connected devices like Ham It Up, heat shrinked male SMA connector is provided.
Features and details
- This is one of the best SDR sets available online. The eye catchy black brushed aluminium enclosure encloses the well designed NESDR SMArt.
- The antenna base contains 2 metre or 6.5’’ RG-58 cable and has been re-designed to meet the demands of the customers.
- The set provides you with 3 antenna masts.
- The company has incorporated a number of improvements in the product. The 0.5ppm TCXO has a useful feature of ultra-low phase noise.
- You are also equipped with custom heatsink, SMA female connector, RF-suitable voltage regulator along with 2 silicone pads.
- The set has minimized USB port occlusion by designing the set from the ground up. With the help of other USB-compliant device or devices like Raspberry Pi which are tightly-spaced embedded devices, you can run multiple NESDR SMArt devices simultaneously.
- This SDR set operates on a frequency range of 25 MHz to 1700 MHz. The frequency upper limit can also shrink down to just 100 KHz or even lower with the help of Ham It Up.
- You can also purchase an 8 piece SMA adapter set online. A carrying case will also be available along with it for your ease of carrying the set.
- The company offers you with a warranty of 2 years on this product.
5. NooElec NESDR SMAr Tee v2 Bundle – Premium Software Defined Radio (SDR)
If you are looking for an SDR set which not only provides you with excellent service but is also cost effective then this is the set for you. Its functionalities are sure to captivate your interest. In order to keep the cost of the set low, it has been designed from the ground up. This feature reduces the noise by approximately 3 dB. You are provided with very well functioning NESDR SMArt v1-v3 along with a feature of always on bias-tee. This NESDR SMArTee SDR w/ comes in an attractive brushed aluminium enclosure. The set provides you with an antenna base w/ along with a 2 metre long RG58 cable. In order to deal with variable frequency, you are equipped with a telescopic antenna mast. The set also contains 433 MHz (ISM) antenna mast for fixed frequency. The UHF antenna mast also helps in handling fixed frequency.
The 0.5PPM TCXO feature gives ultra-low phase noise. This is used in NANO 3 which provides stable tuning in any surrounding. To minimize noise as much as possible the RF-suitable voltage regulator is used in the power section with noise under 10 micro VRMS. This implies that the noise is reduced to 10 times as compared to other sets of other brands. In order to improve the EMI rejection, a good quality shielded inductor is used in the power supply section. In order to protect the sensitive RF circuit, the aluminium enclosure traps the stray EMI to the place where they actually belong. In order to reduce noise a bit more, the set works on lower board-level temperatures. The SDR is sure to last for long duration of time since the USB port and the antenna input contain full ESD circuitry.
Features and details
- This is a cost effective ultra-low noise software defined radio. The set can receive RF signals having frequency within 25 MHz – 1700 MHz.
- In the set you will get 3 antenna masts, a very good quality antenna base and a SDR.
- The noise is reduced by about 3 dB with the help of the newly designed PCB. Besides having all the general functionalities of NESDR SMArt series, you are also provided with TCXO with ultra-low phase noise and less than 0.5PPM tolerance.
- The set offers you with highly accurate results almost about 4 times better than other sets of other companies.
- USB occlusions will not occur in this SDR set. Without any additional extension cable or adapter, you can run multiple devices simultaneously. This feature can be applied even on Raspberry Pi which is an embedded device.
- You are enabled to supply power to any active antenna with the help of 250 mA power supply and an always-on bias-tee of 4.5 V.
- The company provides you with a warranty period of 2 years with this SDR set.