The Baofeng UV-5R is probably the best selling HT from China to date. In spite of its popularity this hand-held is not perfect, but most people don’t mind – it’s all about the balance between price and performance.
Although the front end is prone to overload, I like my early UV-5R’s a lot. TX audio (talk power, if you wish) isn’t an issue with my radios, but later incarnations seem to be less perfect. Some owners need to hold the HT close to their mouth, and have to talk louder than they really want to. The Baofeng UV-B5/B6 doesn’t have this problem.
Re-wiring the VOX circuit
If you don’t use VOX – and if you’re not afraid of working with SMD – there’s a solution for this problem: the VOX circuit can be used to function as a microphone pre-amp, which will improve TX audio dramatically. This mod, developed by Remco PA3FYM, didn’t get as much attention as it deserved. You can read the full article here.