Cobra® HH450 Camo Handheld VHF/GMRS Floating Radio - Realtree MAX-4®
Jury still out
Purchased one today, plan to use it on the water and around town.
Looks and feels solid enough, but haven't dropped it yet. Antenna is always a weak point, so we'll see... the belt clip looks delicate and has its release tab exposed, so trimmed the tab flush. There is no loop for a carabiner so it will live in a mesh pocket.
Has good sound quality and volume. Control interface is well laid out, with intuitive menus. Scrolling through VHF channels is a pain, but unlimited presets let you store favourites, and the 16/9 button cycles back to your selected working channel. The SCAN feature will also scan across bands, so you can watch both VHF and GMRS channels. The radio can not use FRS channels. The buttons are sensitive, but the main keys can be disabled with the lock feature.
The mic is clear, but VERY noisy when you gently blow across it, so I worry about wind noise using this in an emergency out on the water. Wrapping the radio in a sock is one fix, but Cobra should add something into the grill to better manage wind noise.
I like that the aux mic jack is threaded and maintains the JiS-7 waterproofing rating, BUT the jack is a proprietary 2.5mm threaded connector that only Cobra seems to support, so there are NO aftermarket accessories available.
Cobra makes the CM 330-001 speaker/mic for their marine VHF line, which fits this radio, but no headsets, neck microphones, etc. so they should get with the industry and use a 3.5mm threaded jack so users can buy in the aftermarket. If the CM 330-001 is as noisy as the built in mic I will be more than disappointed.
If you're out on a calm day, this will make a great radio. 6w power should have good punch, but if you want to be understood in harsh conditions make sure you deal with the windy mic.
March 5, 2014