The Uniden MHS75 is a compact inexpensive submersible marine handheld VHF radio that performed well in our testing.
The radio is housed in a tough die-cast aluminum housing that measures 2.5 inches wide by 4.6 inches tall and is 1.5 inches deep. The radio weighs 10.4 ounces without the included belt clip attached. It carries a 3-year warranty on the radio and a 1-year warranty on the battery.
The MHS75 does not float but does carry an IPX8 waterproof rating. That means it can stand submersion to a depth of 1.5 meters for 30 minutes without sustaining any damage.
This marine handheld VHF radio has top-mounted control knobs for volume and squelch control. It also has eight front-mounted pushbuttons, most of which provide control for two functions. Each carries a label on the button for its primary function and another below for the secondary.
Transmitter output power on the MHS75 can be set to 5, 2.5, or 1 watt. This radio is capable of using all U.S., International, and Canadian marine channels as well as 10 weather channels.
The radio performed well in our testing, earning good ratings for both transmitter frequency stability and power output.
Receiver sensitivity was rated excellent while the maker gives the radio a selectivity rating of 75 dB. Higher is better for selectivity.
In audio testing the MHS75 only managed to hit 79 dBA, adequate but not great. Audio quality was rated good.
It passed the submersion and drop testing with no problem. The MHS75 has rubber gaskets around the battery and the battery to radio electrical connections. This is the highest level of water intrusion protection we’ve seen on marine handheld VHF and is likely needed to achieve the IPX8 waterproof rating.
However, as with any handheld, should you submerge it in saltwater it is best to remove the battery, rinse with freshwater, and then dry everything out to prevent any corrosion from getting a foothold.
The accompanying DC quick charger brings the 1040 mAH lithium ion battery up to full charge in a very quick 4 hours. You’ll need a cigar lighter or power port in your boat or vehicle to charge this radio.
Unfortunately no AC charger or alkaline battery pack is available for this marine handheld. Uniden claims a 12 hour battery life for the MHS75 and in our testing it lasted 12 hours. The Uniden MHS75 uses a BP75 battery which has a replacement cost of $40.
This radio has a sophisticated battery level gage that displays a large battery shaped icon onscreen with four block-shaped level indicators. As the battery level ticks down another block disappears and eventually all the blocks will be gone. Eventually as the battery discharge continues all onscreen data will flash and an audible alarm will sound. If you heed this alarm you’ll still have enough battery life for a number of transmissions.
We rated the display on the Uniden MHS75 as good. For such an inexpensive radio it had a large bright display that showed channel numbers in large segment block-style numbers that included the alpha letter when appropriate. Other onscreen icons show the transmitter power output selection and the channel group in use.
This Uniden handheld VHF marine radio has good overall performance and a robust compact case design. Combine this with a price tag under $100 and the MHS75 is definitely a bargain.