D-STAR vs DMR: Detailed Comparison Between Them

Radio communication can be quite an interesting matter to some people, and since you are reading this, you must be someone from that crowd. Digital mobile radio (DMR) and digital smart technologies for Amateur Radio are both radio systems. Both of these systems allow people to communicate with radio services, but there are some obvious differences between the two.

You may have some confusion regarding D-Star and DMR, but you do not have to break a sweat about them!

This DStar vs DMR post clears out all your confusion by giving you the important details, followed by comparisons of each topic. I will not waste your time by blabbering any further, so without further ado, let us get started!

Overview of Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio (D-Star)


We are quite certain that you know that D-Star is an open digital radio standard for communication. It allows users to communicate in various ways which include, digital voice, control data, and data messaging.

You will get clear and good quality audio with D-Star since it is digital, and is far superior here than the analog voice modes.

D-star is very open to users of repeaters of amateur radio, which can order from a reflector, which is basically an internet server that connects numerous repeaters. Enthusiasts of radio systems often find D-Star to be fascinating, and a large portion of the consumers of D-Star are the enthusiasts.

In terms of spectrum efficiency, you will notice that D-Star repeaters perform very well with its low-speed digital voice and data transfer. This is made possible because it requires only a 6kHz channel, which avoids the crowded bands of 430-440 MHz.

With only access to the radio, you can connect your handheld repeater to a repeater of D-Star, allowing you to connect with other valid users.

And you may be pleasantly surprised to hear that you can use D-Star to communicate with people using your personal computer; all you have to do is connect a microphone and dongle with your PC!

Overview of Digital Mobile Radio (DMR)


Digital Mobile Radio is an international standard for two-way radio communication. DMR is a standard that lets devices from various manufacturers to connect to the same network as long as their functions abide by the standard.

With the introduction of this radio standard, costs became lower, and the convenience of radio connections between different manufacturers became much easier.

DMR is primarily for commercial use and for commercial markets, and by allowing several manufacturers to connect on the same network, it is gaining more popularity day after day. In simpler words, this standard breaks down the restrictions of the users.

Created and maintained by the European Telecommunications Standard Institute from 2005, the DMR receives regular updates for smooth operation. DMR has three tiers, which might sound a bit confusing, but it is just a distinction between the users’ requirements.

If you are going to be using DMR Tier I and II, you will not be needing a license, but only if you need a complex system, you will have to use tier III for which you will be needing a license.

Direct mode is available with DMR repeater, but it does not give the best reception in many cases due to physical obstructions.

Connecting DMR to a radio repeater will improve reception for all the radio users, so it’s a win-win situation! You might also want to know that, in frequency, there is VHF and UHF, and the overall range of frequency is from 30MHz to 1000MHz.

DStar vs DMR: Comparison

Here, we’ll compare both of them with their features so that you can choose between them without any difficulties.

Also, check the article: Difference between condenser vs dynamic mic


D-Star, as mentioned before, is more suitable to users of repeaters, which allows connection locally, and it is also a two-way communication for non-commercial use.

On the other hand, DMR is entirely for commercial purposes, and the range of distance of DMR can vary from a few hundred meters to a few hundred kilometers depending on the surroundings. Also, DMR standard allows numerous manufacturers to connect, unlike D-Star two-way connection.


A low cost is made possible for DMR due to the hardened and robust commercial radios across the world. In just the opposite way, since D-Star is made entirely for non-commercial use, it does not have any robust commercial radios, which substantially increases the cost, making it much more expensive than the former.


HAM radio users choosing between DMR and D-Star nowadays tend to choose DMR because it is newer and is more innovative.

As previously mentioned, DMR is for commercial use. That is why it can connect users over longer distances, and if you are using HAM for business, the digital mode you should use is, hands down, DMR.

For people who are looking for a digital mode to just connect with local users, D-Star would be the way to go!


Both these digital modes are quite interesting and cater to different crowds, and hence we can’t say one is entirely better than the other.

However, after going through this article, we hope you can now understand the difference between Dstar vs Dmr, which digital mode fits your needs better. If you have more queries on further details, let us know in the comments section below.