September 2007 Issue

New Vertex VHF: Thanks, But No Thanks

Why canít Vertex design a better VHF handheld? Sportyís and ICOM remain our top choices.

For a couple of hundred bucks, a handheld VHF radio is cheap insurance against a comm failure and itís useful for obtaining clearances on the ground or just monitoring ATC. As we reported in our October 2005 mega-review of VHF handhelds, the would-be buyer has plenty of options. In our previous wrap-up, we picked the Sportyís SP-200 and ICOM IC-A6 as our top choices. Since then, Vertex Standard has introduced the VXA-710 Spirit and the VXA-220, touted as improved versions of the previous models. Are these good enough to knock Sportyís and ICOM off the VHF pedestal? Unfortunately, we donít think so. If anything, at least one of the models may be a step backward, in our estimation.

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