Airspy HF+ Discovery


The Airspy HF+ Discovery sets a new standard in terms of reception performance with extra pre-selectors for all the supported bands and a New DSP Core to optimize the gain distribution and the filtering parameters in real-time and dig deeper in the noise.

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The signal path includes very high dynamic range data converters along with high performance passive mixers with an excellent Polyphase Harmonic Rejection structure. The included band-tracking pre-selectors eliminate unwanted interference and preserve the dynamic range of the receiver. With its world class strong signal handling capability and incredibly Low Noise, the HF+ Discovery is the ideal companion for All your High Performance Receive Scenarios.

Both the architecture and level of integration achieved in this design allow us to bring top performance reception at a very affordable price. All the major SDR software is supported. Check the download page.

Ready to discover all these signals hiding in your spectrum?

Improved Architecture

Unrivalled Noise Reduction Processing

We spent a lot of time understanding RF noise, its structure, and how it interacts with legitimate signals. Today, we have one of the most flexible and acoustically pleasant noise reduction algorithms of the market. The applications range from high-fidelity hiss removal for Broadcast FM signals, to unburying weak SSB signals from the noise floor. Our algorithm doesn’t kill the highs to give you a false impression of loudness, yet it doesn’t have the typical high tone artifacts that plague popular noise reduction algorithms like LMS and Spectral Subtraction.

Here’s a very weak SSB signal in the 40m band, with and without our Digital Noise Reduction. Check by yourself!

Another recording in the 80m during a pileup:

Audio signal without processing:

Audio signal with our Digital Noise Reduction processing:

State of the Art SDR streaming technology!

We concentrated state of the art DSP and networking techniques into our SpyServer software to allow multiple users to stream high quality IQ data from the same receiver at the same time. No compromises in the quality were made like it is usually done in Web SDR interfaces. You get actual IQ data you can process with your plugins and extract the last bit of information out of it.

The server software is highly scalable and can run on computers as small as the $7 Orange Pi Zero to top end 64bit servers with multiple cores/cpus, including the popular Raspberry Pi series.

HF Tuner

Airspy HF+ Discovery achieves excellent HF performance by means of a low-loss preselection filter, high linearity LNA, high linearity tunable RF filter, a polyphase harmonic rejection (HR) mixer that rejects up to the 21st harmonic and multi-stage analog and digital IF filtering.

The 6 dB-stepped AGC gain is fully controlled by the software running in the DSP which optimizes the gain distribution in real time for optimal sensitivity and linearity. Harmonic rejection is a key issue in wide band HF receivers because of the large input signal bandwidth of the input signal. The output of the IF-filter is then digitalized by a high dynamic range sigma delta IF ADC for further signal processing in the digital domain.

VHF Tuners

Excellent FM performance is also achieved by using optimized signal paths composed of band filters, high linearity LNAs with a stepped AGC, a polyphase harmonic rejection mixer and IF filters optimized for the FM broadcast bands.

The amplifier gain is switchable in 3 dB-steps and fully controlled by the AGC running in the DSP. The RF signal is converted to baseband by a high linearity passive mixer with a polyphase harmonic rejection structure. The low-IF signal is then converted into the digital domain by the same IF ADC used in the HF chain. Extended VHF coverage is assured by a second Band-III tuner up to 260 MHz, but with reduced performance.

IF Sampling

The IF analog to digital converter (ADC) is a 4th order multi-bit noise shaping topology; it features very high dynamic range and linearity. The IF-ADC sampling rate is determined by a control algorithm running in the embedded DSP. This advanced technique adjusts the sampling rate depending on the tuning frequency with the goal of avoiding the disturbances and spurs generated by the switching discrete-time sections of the IF-ADC.

Digital Down Converter

Once the IF signal is digitalized, the high sample rate I/Q stream is then frequency translated and processed with cascaded CIC and FIR decimation stages. After every stage, the sample rate is reduced and the resolution increased. The final signal at the output has 18bit resolution and an alias rejection performance of 108 dBc. The data is then scaled to 16bit and sent to the Micro-Controller for streaming over USB.

Architectural Advantages

The main advantages over techniques from the legacy super-heterodynes up to the now mainstream direct sampling is that the whole receiver chain is well protected against out of band blockers while still relaxing the RF filtering constraints, making it simple and cost effective. The natural filtering of the sigma-delta ADC combined with the excellent linearity and sensitivity of the analog chain reaches an unprecedented level of performance and integration.

Use it over the network!

Connect as many SDR applications as needed to the HF+ Discovery, over the Internet or in your own local network with near zero latency thanks to the new SPY Server software.

This setup basically brings all the flexibility of Web based SDRs while still benefiting from the full power of desktop applications. The IQ data is processed in the server with state of the art DSP and only the required chunk of spectrum is sent over the network. What is sent is the actual IQ signal, not compressed audio. This means you can use all your favorite plugins to process the IF, eliminate noise and perform heavy lifting of the signals as you are used to do with locally connected SDR’s.

We have a tradition of building multi-tools, so we made sure the SPY Server runs on 32/64bit Windows and Linux on Intel and ARM processors without any compromises. Low cost Raspberry Pi 3 and Odroid boards are in the party.

Technical specifications

  • HF coverage between 0.5 kHz .. 31 MHz
  • VHF coverage between 60 .. 260 MHz
  • -140.0 dBm (0.02 µV / 50 ohms at 15MHz) MDS Typ. at 500Hz bandwidth in HF
  • -141.5 dBm MDS Typ. at 500 Hz bandwidth in FM Broadcast Band (64 – 118 MHz)
  • -141.0 dBm MDS Typ. at 500 Hz bandwidth in VHF Aviation Band (118 – 260 MHz)
  • +15 dBm IIP3 on HF at maximum gain
  • +13 dBm IIP3 on VHF at maximum gain
  • 110 dB blocking dynamic range (BDR) in HF
  • 95 dB blocking dynamic range (BDR) in VHF
  • 150+ dB combined selectivity (hardware + software)
  • 120 dB Image Rejection (software)
  • Polyphase Tracking filters for close range interference suppression
  • New High Performance Pre-selector for HF with 4 filter banks (corners at ~DC, 5, 10, 17 and 31 MHz)
  • New High Performance Pre-selector for VHF (Air, HAM, Commercial and Military VHF)
  • New High Performance Pre-selector for the FM band (Japan, US, EU, OIRT)
  • Up to 660 kHz alias and image free output for 768 ksps IQ
  • 18 bit Embedded Digital Down Converter (DDC)
  • 22 bit Resolution at 3 kHz channel using State of the Art DDC (SDR# and SDR-Console)
  • +10 dBm Maximum RF input
  • 0.5 ppm high precision, low phase noise clock
  • 1 PPB frequency adjustment capability
  • Very low phase noise PLL (-110 dBc/Hz @ 1kHz separation @ 100 MHz)
  • Best Noise reduction of the market using state of the art algorithms
  • 2 x High Dynamic Range Sigma Delta ADCs @ up to 36 MSPS
  • Single RF Input to cover all bands with High Linearity switching
  • Improved input matching down to virtually DC
  • Smart AGC with real time optimization of the gain distribution for Best SNR in all situations
  • No drivers required! 100% Plug-and-play on Windows Vista, Seven, 8, 8.1 and 10
  • Industrial Operating Temperature: -45°C to 85°C

Typical Applications

  • High Performance Networked HF/VHF Radio
  • Ham Radio (HF + 2m)
  • Short Wave Listening (SWL)
  • AM DX
  • FM DX
  • Remote Telemetry Radio Receiver
  • Low Bands IoT

Supported Software

Supported Operating Systems

  • Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10 and 11
  • Linux
  • *BSD
  • OSX

Supported Hardware

  • Intel compatible PC
  • Raspberry Pi 2 and 3
  • Odroid C1, C2 and XU4
  • Many other Single Board Computers (SBC)

Minimum hardware requirements

  • 1GHz Pentium or ARM
  • 1GB of RAM (to run your own OS, HF+ barely needs 1MB of memory)
  • High speed USB 2.0 controller

Fully Open-Source driver

  • Open source, multi-platform user mode driver libairspyhf on github

Firmware Updates

Additional information

Weight 105.6 g
Dimensions 75 × 45 × 10 mm

Customer Reviews

Based on 37 reviews
David Cooper
very small but very sensitive SDR!

I was happy with the service and the radio itself is very sensitive. I was surprised just how small it really is in real life! The only thing I do not like about it is that it gets quite hot after a short time of use. This is not healthy for electronics in the long run and I hope that future models will look at reducing this through heat sinks or other means. Overall a good reliable sdr.

Jan Jiřička

Dobrý den. Na podrobnou recenzi není ještě vhodná doba. Vlastním jej krátce, ale ve spojení s anténou YOULOOP naprosto nadchne příjmem ve městě. Děkuji za vynikající produkt....

Airspy HF+ Discovery

I have Airspy HF+ Discovery since December 2022. It works well. Still in testing. Jiri

Marcel konings
Airspy HF Discovery

About half a year ago I bought an Airspy R2, I was so satisfied with it and now I also wanted to try the Airspy HF for much better reception to listen. Have used much cheaper Rtl sdr sticks in the past but what a difference, that should have done the measuring. But I find the YouLoop antenna a bit disappointing, I made 3 different setups, but it lags behind a bit, I have an old Magnetic Balun with 10 m wire, works much better, I get more signals between 0...30Mhz So I'm good satisfied with how it works.

Eric Allison
My second HF+ Discovery

I bought my first HF+ Discovery a little over a year ago locally in the US. Seeing the price during Black Friday 2022 I decided to purchase another from ITEAD. No tax, cheaper shipping. It arrived undamaged and packaged well in just under two weeks. I did have to update the firmware to R3.0.7 from the previous version but this was a trivial process. I also own an SDRPlay RSP1A and RSPdx, and quite honestly the HF+ Discovery is superior on longwave for NDB hunting. Otherwise the SDRPlay devices are equal in all aspects with larger bandwidth and frequency coverage. If your primary interests are LW, MW, SW and VHF you can't go wrong with the HF+ Discovery, and you can be confident in purchasing it from ITEAD.

Mark Johnson
Excellent device

Works great, very pleased. Recommended!

gabriele boglione
Great product

As expected, everything works and with excellent sensitivity as expected.

Florin Hrit
Airspy HF+ Discovery

Amazing little radio. The form factor is very small, which makes it very portable. The reception is very good: high sensitivity, selectivity and high dynamic range. It is a little warm during use, the temperature of the case rises to about 40°C, which I think is normal. I highly recommend to those who want to have a good quality SDR reception.

Airspy HF + Discovery

Using it below MW on 136kHz and 472 kHz bands. I use separate 136kHz and 472kHz Bandpass filters to reduce the out of band signal levels. (-27 dBm for local MW stations w/o filter). The Rx seems quite sensitive compared to other SDRs in these bands. Antenna is a broadband amplified 1M loop. Best DX is ~ 9000km on 136 kHz. So they are doing the business. I have 2 Discovery and the original HF+ units

Kirill N.

I received both packages, thank you very much!
The packaging is excellent, the package was tracked.
I am very pleased with the cooperation, I will definitely turn to the great ITEAD store again!
Good luck, friends!
Kirill, Russia.

Я получил обе посылки, спасибо большое!
Упаковка отличная, посылка отслеживалась.
Я очень доволен сотрудничеством, обязательно обращусь снова в отличный магазин ITEAD!
Удачи вам, друзья!
Кирилл, Россия.

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