Airspy & SpyVerter: An Excellent Performer on HF


24 broadcast channels demodulated in parallel on shortwave – and Airspy plus SpyVerter do need just a quarter of PC’s power!

Always being interested in SDRs with remarkable HF performance, Airspy and the matching up-converter, namely SpyVerter, attracted me. It is a 10-bit SDR, covering 24 MHz to 1.800 MHz (just Airspy) plus 1 kHz to 60 MHz by help of SpyVerter (+120 MHz). Both come in solid metal cases.

I did test this combo in detail on HF, i.e. under 30 MHz. It proofs to be a sensitive setup with a surprisingly dynamic range, ending up in clear recpetion of up to a nearly 10 MHz wide band. This may be recorded and eventually played “as live”.

The test has been published on 19 pages plus 25 instructive illustrations, and the PDF can be dowloaded here. It is a real hands-on test in real practice. This includes also weak signal reception of data, demodulating and decoding of 24 HFDL airband channels in parallel, DRM and FAX decoding (KVM70/Honolulu) and reception of Auckland VOLMET von 6.679 kHz via long path.

The result ist simply stunning: if you are in search for a “low cost, high perfomance SDR”, that’s exactly is it. Yes – Youssef and his team advertise it with this claim, but it is one of the rare cases where such a claim meets reality. Be surprised, become convinced!

French version: Bernard Malet was so kind to translate the paper into French, merci!
Téléchargez ici, s’il vous plait.


  • Hi Nils, great read. Youssef is making another low cost sdr with even greater performance specs than his current model, so you know. I don’t know when it’s to be released but I’d like to test drive one. Can’t find a link to the info at but that’s where I heard of it.

  • Thanks, Christopher – Youssef & team is working hard to get AirspyHF+ ready for mass production. It will completely focus on high-end HF performance. HF filters and decimation will contribute to fulfill this job. I already heard some first “on the air” examples, made together with SDR#. HF sounds like near-FM, especially if it’s noise reduction activated. It will, however, not supersede Airpsy’s more broadband SDRs but will be a high-end tool for the demanding listener. Let’s see: Nils, DK8OK

  • Nils, could you please check the PDF link. I was not able to find the PDF.

    Currently I use the SDRplay RSP with SDRuno software. The SDRuno software is very low bandwidth. I am very interested in purchasing an AirSpy HF combo for the high bandwidth.

    Thank you for putting all of this together!


    • Josh – thanks for you mail! If you click the link, another page opens. And there you have to again click a link. Will find a more direct way in the future …
      SDRPlay is also a very interesting SDR. Would like to drive you attention to one of the most profound tests of SDRply vs. Airspy (plus HackRF):
      The test came to the clear conclusion: “The Airspy is the clear winner in terms of overall RX performance. Its natural high dynamic range allows for excellent SNR and reception of weak signals when in the presence of nearby strong signals. There are very few to no images caused by strong signals in the Airspy so the spectrum is very clean.” Nothing to add: Nils

    • I found the link. Thanks!

  • Hi Nils, What PC specs (processor and RAM) did you use for the 10MHz recordings and analysis?


    • Good point, Michael, and I should have mentioned that: i7-3820 CPU, 3,6/4,2 GHz, 64 GB RAM, Windows 64/Ultimate. But it works also with a much smaller system. 73 Nils


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