Best Antenna for Baofeng Radio in 2021

The Baofeng company is the most popular manufacturer of the best two-way radios. If you are reading this, it means you are interested in ways you can boost the signal on your Baofeng radio. Here, we have carefully selected and reviewed the best antenna for whatever radio you own. These antenna upgrades improve the ability of your radio to transmit, receive and search for radio signals.

Here are the best Antennas for Baofeng radios:

Editor’s Choice – Nagoya NA-701C

Summary

The Nagoya NA-701C is a commercial band optimized antenna for receiving and transmitting radio signals; this antenna is compatible with all Baofeng radios.

Features

What is the best Nagoya antenna for Baofeng radio, you ask? It’s none other than the authentic Nagoya NA-701C antenna. Not only is it the best Nagoya antenna for Baofeng radios, it is also the overall best antenna for Baofeng radios. So, what makes the Nagoya NA-701C  unique, you ask?

First is its compatibility with all Baofeng radios; this makes it is the best antenna for UV-5r, UV 82, UV 9R plus and many more. So, if you have a vast collection of Baofeng radios in your arsenal, the NA-701C is suited for you.

In addition to this, the NA-701C can receive and transmit signals over a distance of more than 20,000 meters. Thus, it’s the first in the line of Nagoya antennas that will be useful for commercial, GMRS and MURS users. Physically, this antenna is compact and lightweight since it is only 8 inches long, and the total package weighs 0.845 ounces. 

It is also a rugged, soft and flexible VHF/UHF antenna optimized to a commercial frequency range of 155/455 MHz. Finally, water and dust will also find it hard to get into the SMA male base of your radio due to the rubber spacer and extended antenna cover on the Nagoya NA-701C.

PROS

  • It can receive and transmit signals over long distances as far as 25,000meters.
  • It features an efficient magnetic base that makes it suitable for mounting on a car.
  • The antenna cable is long.
  • The antenna is compatible with all Baofeng radios
  • The Nagoya NA-701C is rugged and durable.

CONS

  •  Some users have reported issues with shorter ranges than expected

User Feedback

According to people who have had a first-hand experience with the Nagoya NA-701C, its magnetic base remains steady on a vehicle moving at a speed of up to 60 per hour. Many users who prefer putting their Baofeng radios in their pockets, love the flexibility and portability on this antenna, as it does not poke them.

Compatible with All Baofeng Radios.

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Runner up – ABBREE AR-152A

Summary

With the ABBREE AR-152A, you get an antenna that is soft, foldable and compatible with several Baofeng radios. It is the best antenna for UV 82, BF-F8HP and the Baofeng UV 5R.

Features

The battle for the overall best antenna for Boafeng radio between the Nagoya NA-701C and the ABBREE AR-152 was a tight one. Unfortunately, this antenna has to settle for the runner-up spot because of the wider frequency range of the Nagoya NA-701C.

The AR-152A packs more power under the hood when compared to the Nagoya; it has a maximum power output of 20 Watts, which is greater than the 10 Watts of the Nagoya NA-701C. Additionally, with the AR-152A, you also get two distinct channels and a foldable 18.8 inches whip. 

PROS

  • It is easy to install.
  • It is flexible and foldable.You can keep it in your backpack during hiking trips and open it to a specific length.

CONS

  • Storing this antenna in a folded position can lead to a long-term crease. This can be described as a memory fold where the antenna refuses to return to a fully upright position.
  • It cannot pick up any NOAA weather frequencies.

User Feedback

Many users praised the foldability and the wide reception range of the AR-152A. , however, complained about the tendency for it to memory fold which prevents it from returning to the original full length position..

Prospective buyers who intend to use the ABBREE AR-152 to receive NOAA weather channels are also advised to purchase another antenna, because the ABBREE AR-152 does not operate on NOAA weather frequencies which is 162 MHz . Instead it operates only 144/430 MHz.

Compatible with the following Baofeng radios: BF-888S, UV-5R, UV-5RA, UV-5RC, UV-5RE, UV-5R8W, UV-5RE8W, UV-5RTP, UV-8HX, UV-82, UV-82HP, UV-82HX, UV-82 Plus, A-52(II), DM-5R Plus.

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Best for Outdoors – Radtel Foldable Tactical Antenna

Summary

The Radtel Foldable Tactical antenna is the best antenna for UV-5R, UV-82 and UV-9R Baofeng radios. The transmitting and recieiving range for these Baofeng radios is second to none when you find yourself in the great outdoors.

Features

The Radtel Tactical antenna is the perfect hiking, camping, hunting and travelling companion due to its lightweight and flexible design. This outdoors antenna offers you the option to fold it not only once but twice. You will also enjoy a signal range of 8000 meters every time you connect the Radtel antenna to your two-way radio. 

This device works best for UV 82, UV-5R, BF-F8HP and UV-5R V2+ two-way Baofeng radios. The manufacturers also prioritize durability in the manufacture of the Radtel tactical. To deliver on this promise of durability, this antenna is manufactured using non-deformable rubber materials.

PROS

  • It is efficient and durable.
  • You can choose to fold it twice.. If it applies to both when in use and when not in use, you can end the sentence at twice.

CONS

  • It is not compatible with the UV9R.

User Feedback

A user who owns a Boafeng radio with a throat mic described the Radtel tactical as the best antenna for use in the mountains, as it allowed him and his friends to communicate clearly. Another user also stated that people who decide to buy the Radtel tactical could use it on a commercial band radio.

Compatible with the following Baofeng radios:

BF-888S, UV-5R, UV-5RA, UV-5RC, UV-5RE, UV-5R8W, UV-5RE8W, UV-5RTP, UV-8HX, UV-82, UV-82HP, UV-82HX, UV-82 Plus, A-52(II), DM-5R Plus, UV-5RX3, UV-9S, UV-5R Gen 3rd, UV-8S, BF-F8+, UV-5R plus, UV-82 mk5, UV-5R5, UV-5re+, UV-5R MK4

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Best for vehicles – Baofeng Magnetic Antenna

Summary

Whether you have a UV5R Plus, UV5RA Plus or a UV3R Plus Baofeng radio inside your car, the best antenna for boosting the receiving and transmitting signals is the Baofeng magnetic Antenna.

Features

A list of the best Baofeng antennas without including an antenna for your Boafeng radio is an incomplete list. The Baofeng magnetic antenna will ensure that all signals transmitted and received through your car radio are clear. Even when you mount the antenna outside the car, you don’t need to worry about signal masking and radiation.

PROS

  • It can be mounted firmly on a moving vehicle.

CONS

  • Doesn’t work well for VHF frequencies

User Reviews

Many users were surprised when they saw how small the Baofeng magnetic antenna is when it was delivered. They commented that they were expecting a much larger antenna. However, they loved the fact that the antennas cable was long enough to serve its purpose. Some users also expressed disappointment as the magnetic base did not stick to their different vehicles.

Compatible with the following Baofeng Radios: BF-666S, BF-777S, BF-888S, BF-320, BF-480, BF-490, BF-V, BF-V8, BF-388A, BF-UV5R, BF-UV5RA, BF-UV-5RB, BF-UV-5RC, BF-UV-5RD, BF-UV-5RE, BF-UV-5REPlus, BF-UV-82, BF-UV-B6.

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How We Selected the Best Antenna for Baofeng Radio

As you might have noticed, if you have ever tried to search for an antenna for your Boafeng radio without prior experience, you will find that there is a large pool of antennas to choose from. As a result, you might end up getting an inferior antenna.

Here are some of the essential factors and features we considered while searching for the best antenna for Boafeng radio.

Frequency Range and Band

The frequency range of the new antenna must be broader than that of the stock antenna. We chose antennas with a proven track record of fluid communication in mountain areas and busy cities.

The antennas for Baofeng radios we picked could access most of the HF, UHF and VHF bands. We also chose only antennas that supported at least dual-band performance; UHF and VHF.

Since the 2m bands are the most popular, we focused on antennas that function in the 2m bands range. If you plan on using your antennas to communicate with repeaters, concentrate on getting 2m and 70cm bands. However, if you want to speak on a band with fewer people, opt for an antenna with a 1.25m band.

Lastly, getting a single band antenna is the best option if you use your radios in a base station environment; they will make your job easier. But for flexibility, easy mobility and ease of communicating with repeaters, opt for antennas with multiple bands.

The Length and Size of the Antenna

Another essential consideration we looked into while choosing these antennas for Baofeng radio is the antennas length and size; we decided on antennas that were portable and mobile-friendly. In addition, many of these antennas for Baofeng radio were flexible enough to be folded when not in use. This way, you will be able to place them in your backpack when not in use.

Compatibility

Your new Baofeng radio antenna needs to be compatible with ham radios; if it isn’t, you have only succeeded in wasting time and money since it wouldn’t matter what you do. The antenna won’t be able to perform the task want.

Also, we advise you to check and ensure that the antenna you are about to purchase features the correct connector for your Baofeng radio.

Antenna Gain and Directivity

We needed omnidirectional antennas with moderate dB gain. These antennas are efficient enough to transmit and receive signals from different directions. Therefore, we decided to avoid antennas with very high dB gain since you might choose to use these ham radios outdoors where you will be on the move and pinpointing the exact direction where the signal is coming from will be difficult.

If you are sure where the signal is coming from, then, by all means, opt for an antenna with a high dB gain. You should also note that antenna gain is rated in either dBi or dBd. However, dBd is usually 2.5units lesser than dBi; this means 2.5dBi is equivalent to 5dBd.

Power

It is important you note the power rating of your antenna; why is this essential, you ask? Knowing the maximum power of your antenna can help you prevent issues like antenna heating up.

Why do antennas heat up? They heat up when you connect them to a radio with a larger power rating than they can handle. To be safe, since most Boafeng radios have a power rating of 5W, we chose antennas with  power rating greater than 5W.

Ease of Installation

The best Boafeng antenna upgrade also needs to meet the necessary installation requirement. Many feature a stable, sturdy and robust magnetic base that guarantees easy installation on metallic surfaces like the roof of a car. Others have adjustable bolts and nuts that secure the antenna in place.

Summary

From comments online and several reviews, we have seen that stock antennas for Baofeng radios are unreliable. An option is to get a replacement antenna for your ham radio. If quality and peace of mind are indeed something you desire, opt for the Nagoya NA-701C to boost the quality of the signal on your Baofeng radio.

As a recap here are the best Antennas for Baofeng radios: