5 Best Drone Transmitters in 2017

Most commercial drones that you buy at the store or order online will come with a transmitter. However, some- specifically the BNF models– won’t. You’ll need to have your own transmitter to fly them.

You’ll also need your own RC transmitter if you’re building your own drone. Below, I’m going to review, what I think, are the best drone transmitters on the market.

1. RadioLink AT9 2.4G 9CH Transmitter

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When you buy the RadioLink AT9 2.4G 9CH Transmitter, you’ll receive 1 CD manual, an RD9 receiver, and an AT9 transmitter. I really like this transmitter due to its quick response, vibration alarm, and more. It fits nicely in your hands and supports S.BUS.

Many owners appreciate the transmitter’s battery bay which, unlike many cheaper transmitters, can hold AAs and 2s/3s Li-Po batteries. Finally, the package contains all the hardware necessary to spring-center the right and left sticks. This is useful for altitude-holding in quadcopters.

2. FlySky FS-i6-M2 2.4GHz 6-Channel Transmitter

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Next on the list is the FlySky FS-i6-M2 2.4GHz 6-Channel Transmitter. This transmitter surpassed my expectations when I ordered it. Since it only uses 4 AA batteries, it’s very light.

This model is great if you only need 6 channels (4 for the movement of the quadcopter, 1 for an emergency beeper, and 1 to change flight modes).

If you need more than 6 channels, then this isn’t the drone transmitter for you. Due to its affordable price, RF range of 2.40 to 2.48GHz, and bandwidth of 500Khz, it’s one of the best quadcopter transmitters you can buy.

3. Turnigy 9X 9Ch Transmitter

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The Turnigy 9X 9CH Transmitter is great for both newbie and experienced drone flyers. The first thing you’ll notice about it is that it’s ultra-responsive.

With no lag between your drone and the transmitter, you can fully push your quadcopter to its limits. I’d go as far as to say that it’s one of the best 9CH drone transmitters that you can buy today for its price. It has a low-voltage warning, which is also quite useful.

4. Futaba 6J 6-Channel S-FHSS 2.4GHz Radio Transmitter

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If you’re looking for a transmitter with a nice design and 14 channels, then the Futaba 6J 6-Channel S-FHSS 2.4GHz Radio Transmitter is the model for you.

Of all the models on this list, it’s arguably the most visually-appealing. It also has good grip, which reduces the chances of it falling while you’re flying your quadcopter.

All the switches and joysticks on the transmitter feel nice. It’s easy to tell that they’re made of high-quality material. If you want to increase its memory, then you can do so using an SD.

Many flyers are going to find this feature really useful. Although it’s one of the best drone transmitters on the market, it’s also a bit pricey. Just keep that in mind when shopping.

5. Spektrum DX6i

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Last but certainly not least is the Spektrum DX6i. It contains several key features that flyers will be sure to love. Not only does it come with 10 model profiles, but it also has 6 channels and 6 two-way switches.

Remember- every quadcopter needs at least four channels to fly properly- one for the roll, yaw, throttle, and pitch (click here to learn what this means). What can you do with the extra two channels?

You can do whatever you want: add various flight modes, add an emergency beeper, etc. It’s really up to you. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Spektrum DX6i looks really nice.

The interface is easy to read and it features nice ergonomics. Many cheaper models feel like they’re going to slip out of your hands. Thanks to the solid grip on the DX6i, that won’t be a problem.

Is it perfect? No. It’s missing a few key features including a backlit LCD screen and three-way switches. Despite its flaws, I consider it one of the best drone transmitters you can buy.

4 Qualities to Look For When Shopping For an RC Transmitter

Here are 4 qualities to keep in mind when shopping:

  • Channels: Make sure that the transmitter has enough channels to support whatever you’re doing. When building a quadcopter, you’re going to need at least four channels, so keep that in mind. The Futaba 6J 6-Channel S-FHSS has the most channels than any other model on this list (it has 14).
  • Price: Place should be taken into consideration when shopping. If you’re on a budget, then I recommend something on the cheaper end like the FlySky FS-i6-M2 2.4GHz 6-Channel Transmitter. Although it’s budget-friendly, it’s still quite good in my opinion.
  • Grip: Grip is an underrated feature that many flyers forget about. If you buy a transmitter with poor grip, then there’s a chance it will slip out of your hand and break. Fortunately, all of the models on this page have decent grip, so you won’t need to worry about that.
  • Aesthetics: Finally, think about design. For some flyers, design doesn’t matter. But others, including myself, care how “cool” the transmitter looks. Personally, I think the RadioLink AT9 2.4G 9CH Transmitter looks really cool.

By keeping these 4 qualities in mind, you’ll be more likely to buy something that you’re happy with.


Did you find this list useful? If so, let me know by leaving a comment below. Also, please let me know if there’s a model I missed. I’ll try to include it in a future update of this page. Thanks for reading. Good luck and fly safe everyone!

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