15 Best Software-defined Radio (SDR) Software in 2024

Software Defined Radio (SDR) software is a type of application that processes and interprets radio signals using software rather than traditional hardware components.

SDR software works in conjunction with radio hardware to provide a flexible and versatile platform for a wide range of radio communication tasks, including signal analysis, demodulation, and spectrum monitoring.

In this post we present a comprehensive list of popular SDR software along with a brief description of each.

Table of Contents

List of SDR Software

SDR# (SDRSharp)

  • Description: A widely-used SDR application known for its user-friendly interface and extensive plugin support.
  • Website: SDRSharp


  • Description: Versatile SDR software that supports a variety of hardware and offers powerful signal processing capabilities.
  • Website: HDSDR

GNU Radio

  • Description: A powerful toolkit that provides signal processing blocks to implement software radios, supporting many SDR hardware platforms.
  • Website: GNU Radio


  • Description: An open-source, cross-platform SDR application with a visually appealing interface, supporting multiple SDR devices.
  • Website: CubicSDR


  • Description: An open-source SDR receiver software with a simple and easy-to-use interface, available for Linux and macOS, and with a Windows version.
  • Website: Gqrx

SDR Console

  • Description: A comprehensive SDR application with advanced features such as recording, playback, and remote operation.
  • Website: SDR Console

Spectrum Lab

  • Description: A powerful audio spectrum analyzer software that can be used with SDR hardware for advanced spectrum analysis.
  • Website: Spectrum Lab


  • Description: An open-source data-flow framework used for SDR applications, supporting various SDR hardware with a modular design.
  • Website: Pothos


Description: A software suite developed by SDRplay for use with their SDR receivers, offering a highly integrated suite of tools.

Website: SDRUno


Description: An open-source SDR application that supports many SDR platforms, offering flexible and powerful functionality.

Website: Quisk


Description: A highly flexible and powerful SDR software package that supports many different SDR hardware setups.

Website: Linrad


Description: Originally designed for FlexRadio SDR hardware, it is now open-source and supports various SDR devices.

Website: PowerSDR


Description: An open-source SDR receiver software with a web-based interface, allowing remote access and control of SDR devices.

Website: OpenWebRX

Skywave Linux

Description: A Linux distribution specifically designed for SDR use, preloaded with a variety of SDR software.

Website: Skywave Linux


Description: An open-source SDR and signal analyzer with a comprehensive set of features for signal analysis and demodulation.

Website: SDRangel

These SDR software options cater to a wide range of needs, from basic spectrum analysis to advanced signal processing, and support various SDR hardware devices, making them suitable for both beginners and professionals.

Hardware Compatibility

The table below shows SDR platform compatibility

SoftwareCompatible SDR Hardware
SDR# (SDRSharp)Airspy, RTL-SDR, HackRF, SDRplay, Funcube Dongle, QRP-2000, QRP-2000 and many more
HDSDRRTL-SDR, Airspy, HackRF, Funcube Dongle, SDRplay, QS1R, Perseus, Elektor SDR, and more
GNU RadioUSRP (Universal Software Radio Peripheral), RTL-SDR, HackRF, BladeRF, LimeSDR, and many more
CubicSDRRTL-SDR, HackRF, Airspy, SDRplay, Red Pitaya, and other SoapySDR supported devices
GqrxRTL-SDR, HackRF, Airspy, BladeRF, FunCube Dongle, SDRplay, USRP devices, and more
SDR ConsoleRTL-SDR, Airspy, HackRF, SDRplay, Funcube Dongle, Elad FDM-S1/S2/SW2, Afedri, and more
Spectrum LabAny SDR hardware that provides I/Q data stream including RTL-SDR, Funcube Dongle, and more
Touchstone ProUSRP, RTL-SDR, HackRF, LimeSDR, BladeRF, and other commonly used SDR devices
PothosUSRP, RTL-SDR, HackRF, BladeRF, LimeSDR, and other devices supported by SoapySDR
SDRUnoSDRplay RSP1, RSP1A, RSP2, RSPduo, RSPdx
QuiskUSRP, RTL-SDR, HackRF, Red Pitaya, and other SoapySDR supported devices
LinradRTL-SDR, FunCube Dongle, SoftRock, Peaberry, and other similar devices
PowerSDRFlexRadio SDR hardware, RTL-SDR, HackRF, and more
OpenWebRXRTL-SDR, HackRF, Airspy, USRP, Red Pitaya, and other SoapySDR supported devices
Skywave LinuxRTL-SDR, HackRF, Airspy, SDRplay, and other SDR hardware supported by the preloaded software
SDRangelRTL-SDR, HackRF, Airspy, BladeRF, LimeSDR, PlutoSDR, and more

What can you do with SDR Software?

Here is a lit of what the software is used for:

  • Spectrum Analysis: Visualizes the frequency spectrum, allowing users to identify and analyze signals.
  • Demodulation: Converts received radio signals into audio or data formats.
  • Frequency Tuning: Adjusts the frequency of the SDR hardware to receive different signals.
  • Signal Decoding: Interprets digital signals and protocols.
  • Recording and Playback: Records radio signals for later analysis and playback.
  • Plugin Support: Extends functionality with additional plugins and modules for specific tasks.
  • Remote Operation: Allows remote access and control of SDR hardware over a network.

What are the applications of SDR Software?

  • Amateur Radio: Allows radio enthusiasts to explore and experiment with different frequency bands and modulation techniques.
  • Research and Development: Used in academia and industry for developing and testing new communication protocols and technologies.
  • Military and Defense: Provides flexible and adaptive communication systems for various applications.
  • Emergency Services: Ensures reliable communication in critical situations through adaptable and resilient systems.
  • Spectrum Monitoring: Used by regulatory bodies to monitor and manage the radio spectrum.


SDR software enables our interaction with radio communications by leveraging the power of software to perform tasks traditionally handled by hardware.

Its flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and upgradability make it an invaluable tool for a wide range of applications, from amateur radio to advanced R&D. Whether you are a hobbyist, researcher, or professional, SDR software opens up a world of possibilities in the field of radio communication.