List of QRP General Coverage Amateur Radio Transceivers

For shortwave and broadcast listeners, general coverage transceivers can double as both a ham radio transceiver and as a broadcast listening receiver. I often suggest a good general coverage transceiver as an option for shortwave listeners as there are many more transceivers on the market than there are dedicated tabletop receivers.

Note that general coverage transceivers could have some limitations compared with a dedicated broadcast listening receiver:

  • Since they’re designed for ham radio use, sensitivity may vary outside the ham radio bands
  • Some may lack AM mode
  • Some may have narrow AM filters
  • If you’re not a ham, you will need to disable the transmitter in case of accidental operation (this is incredibly important for those using amplified receive-only antennas)

I use my Elecraft KX2 transceiver for shortwave radio listening all the time.

With that said, most general coverage transceivers are very capable broadcast listening receivers.

If you’re looking for a transceiver and don’t need more than 5-15 watts of transmitting power, QRP transceivers are an excellent option to consider.

Advantages of a QRP general transceiver:

  • They tend to be lighter weight than a full power transceiver
  • They tend to also be more compact since many are designed for field use
  • In receive mode, they are more frugal with battery use
  • They’re often (not always) more affordable than an equivalent full-power transceiver

We have beta tested and reviewed a number of QRP general coverage transceivers on the SWLing Post and The following is a comprehensive list of all general coverage QRP transceivers on both the new and used market. If you see that we’re missing a model, please contact us and we’ll add it.

Click on the model name to view our product review which will includes links to the manufacturer and other user resources. For models we have not reviewed, we link to Universal Radio’s product catalog, or the manufacturer’s product page. Each listing contains links to eBay, and classifieds.

Please note: All eBay links are partnership links. When you purchase through our links, eBay shares a commission with the SWLing Post at no cost to you.




FlexRadio (SDR)


HF Signals


Index Labs

LnR Precision





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