Drones need controllers to take flight. Without them, they wouldn’t be able to function at all.
Drone controllers need transmitters to communicate with the drone and to send and receive information.
The transmitters are necessary to control the navigation, landing, and launch of the drone.
In today’s guide, we’ll take a look at the best drone transmitters in the market.
We will consider the pros and cons, as well as which one you should get depending on your needs. We’ll also explain everything about drone controllers, transmitters, and receivers.
Winner: Spektrum DX6e 6-Channel DSMX
- Battery: AA batteries
- Weight: 3.3 pounds (1.4 kg)
- Size: 12.1 x 9.4 x 5.6 inches (30.7 x 23.8 x 14.2 cm)
The Spektrum DX6e controller is a 6-channel controller with unique benefits. However, it still presents some disadvantages that are crucial to know before buying.
Here are the advantages and benefits of choosing the Spektrum DX6e controller:
- This controller is equipped with a 250-model memory capacity and includes RC for airplanes, helicopters, sailplanes, and multirotor programming.
- It has an easier gimbal spring configuration thanks to its easy-to-use design. All you need to do is move the slider switch on the transmitter’s back, and it’s done.
- You can “buddy box” your controller if you do it with another DSMX/DSM2 transmitter.
- This transmitter will allow you to work with a wide range of RC models, thanks to its excellent compatibility with DSMX and DSM2.
- This model allows your controller to work with up to 6 channels and includes built-in telemetry.
- The controller is EN328 compatible, meaning it has an excellent electromagnetic compatibility range.
Here are the disadvantages and drawbacks of choosing the Spektrum DX6e controller:
- This model does not come with a receiver. So, you’ll have to buy your receiver separately from the transmitter. The receiver you’ll need must be from the same brand so that it will work correctly.
- This type of controller is excellent for beginner RC enthusiasts. However, if you are looking for a controller that offers more features, you should consider other options.
- The Spektrum DX6e works with AA batteries, making it a less eco-friendly option. If you care about the problems batteries produce in the environment, you should consider another controller.
Overall, the Spektrum DX6e is an excellent transmitter for RC drones. It offers excellent features for beginners, and it works decently for experienced drone pilots.
It is, without a doubt, one of the best RC drone transmitters you’ll be able to find.
Runner-Up: Flysky Transmitter w/ FS-iA6B Receiver
- Battery: Rechargeable batteries
- Weight: 1.52 pounds (0.6 kg)
- Size: 9.45 x 8.27 x 4.33 inches (23.8 x 21 x 10.9 cm)
The Flysky Transmitter with FS-iA6B Receiver is an excellent transmitter option for beginner and experienced pilots thanks to its many benefits.
It offers unique advantages, but it still presents disadvantages you’ll need to know before buying your new controller.
Here are the advantages and benefits of getting a new Flysky Transmitter with FS-iA6B:
- This controller will give you the best protection possible against any type of interference while keeping the power consumption low.
- The Flysky transmitter and receiver allow you to send and receive data. This makes it an excellent option if you want to see whatever your drone is seeing in real-time. It even offers i-UBS support.
- The transmitter and receiver include a unique ID, meaning that they will only communicate with each other once they’ve paired. This feature will prevent other systems from connecting with your transmission by accident.
- The controller possesses a unique type of technology that extends a lot of the battery life, giving you more time in the air before needing to recharge.
- The transmitter offers the capacity of a 10-channel radio.
- It is an extremely affordable option for all the features it offers. It comes with both transmitter and receiver, giving you twice as much as other options on the market.
Here are the disadvantages and main drawbacks of getting a new Flysky Transmitter with FS-iA6B:
- If you are looking to use the controllers for your RC planes, we recommend looking for other options. The recommended range between transmitter and receiver is around 100 yards (91.4 meters). After the 100 yards, your drone or plane will only remain flying with the safety measures you’ve set beforehand.
- The instructions are not always clear for beginner users, bringing problems when setting up your drone.
- It is a basic model for your drone or RC plane. It means you won’t be able to perform more than what the brand is offering to you. If you are looking for something more powerful and with more features, we recommend looking for other options.
- Even though the transmitter offers a bigger capacity, the receiver only supports a 6-channel radio. So, you won’t use the transmitter at its total capacity unless you get a receiver with the same capacity.
Overall, the Flysky Transmitter and Receiver is an excellent option for beginner users looking for an affordable option.
It provides many great features and can outperform most products on the market at the same price range.
This controller is one of the best cheap drone transmitters and receivers for beginners.
Alternative: FrSky Transmitter Remote Controller
- Battery: Multi battery option
- Weight: 2.14 pounds (0.9 kg)
- Size: 11.02 x 9.92 x 4.41 inches (27.9 x 25.1 x 11.2 cm)
FrSky’s Transmitter is an excellent remote control option for your drone or RC model.
It offers unique features that make it highly competitive with other brands and models. However, the model is not perfect, and we’ll tell you all about its advantages and disadvantages.
The following are the pros and benefits of getting a FrSky Transmitter:
- It has a lightweight controller that makes it easier for users to transport and hold longer.
- The model allows you to choose between two colors: black or white.
- FrSky’s Transmitter comes with the Haptic Vibration Feedback System. This is a new security system that works as an alternative to the voice and sound alert security systems.
- This model can work as a 16-channel radio, and it includes two knobs and six switches for better maneuverability.
- The controller includes a USB port so that you can connect it to a PC or laptop. You can use this feature to adjust the settings for a better drone experience.
The following are the cons and drawbacks of getting a FrSky Transmitter:
- This controller does not include a battery, and the battery you need to get needs a specific charger. This drawback will add up to your controller’s price, making it a more expensive option than others on the list.
- It is not as easy to set-up as other models on the list. You’ll have a hard time binding the transmitter with the receiver if you don’t have much experience with this type of controller.
Overall, FrSky’s transmitter is a good option for more experienced users. It offers stable features that make it one of the best RC drone transmitters on the market.
Alternative: Spektrum DX5C Radio Transmitter
- Battery: Rechargeable battery
- Weight: 12.6 ounces (0.3 kg)
- Size: 11.4 x 7.2 x 5.3 inches (28.9 x 18.28 x 13.4 cm)
There are many benefits to this controller. It is easy to use and has excellent battery life.
However, it does present some drawbacks you should consider before choosing it.
The Spektrum DX5C Radio Transmitter offers the following advantages:
- The Spektrum DX5C is an extremely durable and resistant controller.
- Its design is focused on ergonomics for a more comfortable grip.
- This controller is easy to use and setup.
- It comes with a 5-channel receiver that works perfectly with the transmitter.
The Spektrum DX5C Radio Transmitter offers the following disadvantages:
- The controller does not offer many extra features, making it a more basic option than other pro controllers.
- The radio offers solid features, but it requires a specific system like the Spektrum Smart.
The Spektrum DX5C is one of the finest radio controllers you’ll find, and it is the best long-range drone transmitter.
Alternative: Flysky #GT3B-2.4G Transmitter and Receiver
- Battery: AA batteries
- Weight: 1.37 pounds (0.5 kg)
- Size: 12.2 x 8.66 x 6.69 inches (30.9 x 21.8 x 16.7 cm)
Flysky’s controller provides many excellent benefits and advantages. It is highly compatible with many RC models and has a powerful memory.
However, it still includes some disadvantages you should take into consideration before buying it.
Here are the pros of getting a Flysky controller:
- This controller comes with both a transmitter and a receiver, so you won’t have to make an extra investment in your drone’s receiver.
- The controller is compatible with almost all RC models, whether they are cars, planes, or more.
- It has a strong memory to make setting up a lot easier.
Here are the cons of getting a Flysky controller:
- You’ll find some lag and delays when using the controller with its receiver. If you want better performance, you should consider getting a new receiver.
Flysky’s controller is one of the best drone video transmitters on the market, thanks to its excellent design and robust bandwidth.
Drone Transmitter FAQ
How Do Drone Transmitters Work?
Drone controllers send radio signals to the drone through a transmitter and to a receiver. These signals tell the drone what he has to do during the flight.
The signals control the drone’s navigation, landing, and launching. They are necessary to keep the drone under control when in mid-flight.
There are three essential parts of the transmission process. The first one is the transmitter, an in-built antenna that sends the radio signal to the drone.
We also have the controller, which allows you to write the message you want to send in the form of commands.
Finally, we have the receiver in charge of giving the orders to the drone.
FPV (First Person View) Screen For the Controllers
Most top drones on the market come with their controllers, and these controllers tend to include an FPV screen where you can see what your drone is seeing.
The image is sent from the drone to the screen so that you can see it in real-time. This is thanks to the transmitter and receiver of the drone and the controller.
Keep in mind that not all drone controllers include this screen. Some will only have the controller with the necessary features to command the drone.
In this case, you can add a smartphone with the brand’s app to receive the image and see it on your smartphone’s screen.
Basic Features of a Drone Controller
Drone controllers come with switches, buttons, controls rods, trims, and more. Knowing what each of these transmitter features does will make your drone experience a lot easier. Each switch, rod, or trim has a unique purpose. For example, the control rod allows you to navigate or maneuver and also accelerate.
Here’s what you need to know about controller features:
Right Stick/Control Rod: This control allows you to navigate with your drone. You can tilt it backward or forwards, and it also allows you to go left or right while flying.
Left Stick/Control Rod: This control rod enables you to rotate your drone clockwise or counterclockwise. It also allows you to control how fast your drone moves and how far from the earth it can fly.
Trim Buttons: Trim buttons are unique to each controller, but they serve similar functions regardless of the brand. Trim buttons will help you keep your drone and the flight balanced to avoid any accidents.
Can Any Transmitter Work With Any Receiver?
Nowadays, there’s no interchangeability between transmitters and receivers of different brands, meaning that your Spektrum transmitter won’t work with a FrSky receiver.
This is true even if these two models work at 2.4Ghz, respectively.
The main problem with transmitter and receiver compatibility is the protocol.
Most brands use a unique protocol for their controllers, making it hard and sometimes impossible to mix transmitters and different brands’ receivers.
Now, there are ways you can get around this issue. For example, you can change your transmitter’s antenna for one that will work with the receiver.
However, this would alternate your controller and damage the receiver if you don’t do it correctly.
If you try this method, make sure both the receiver and the transmitter work on 2.4Ghz.
If not, there’s a high possibility that both your receiver and transmitter will get damaged.
The best choice for you is to get a transmitter that comes with its receiver.
Do Drones Use WiFi or Bluetooth?
Modern drones possess different in-built technology to make the flight a lot easier for users.
Today, you can use a smartphone or a tablet to control your drone’s navigation, landing, and launching. It doesn’t matter what the controller is.
The function is always to communicate with the drone during the entire process.
The communication between the controller and the drone can be done through several methods. However, the most common methods are usually through Bluetooth and WiFi.
Each technique offers a unique amount of data transmission and reception, and the process you need will depend on how you use your drone.
Most commonly, drone controllers use 2.4Ghz radio waves to communicate with the drones. These radio waves can be transmitted through WiFi or Bluetooth, and it will depend on how much data you need to transfer.
For instance, WIFI communication will allow you to send heavier data.
Drones that use smartphones or tablets usually use WiFi to communicate between transmitter and receiver.
The reason is that smartphones and tablets work better with WiFi signal, and they can produce the signal and share with other phones or, in this case, receivers like the ones drones use.
What Frequency Do Remote Control Cars Use?
The latest controllers for remote cars use digital radio systems. These systems enable the controllers to transmit through a wide range of frequencies or transmitting channels.
Most of these controllers, transmitters, and receivers work on the 2.4 GHz spectrum, giving them the power to keep a continuous signal.
There are two common types of remote control car transmitters: the pistol grip transmitter and the stick transmitter. Both of these operate on the 2.4 GHz spectrum.
Although, some transmitters can work with over 2.4 GHz. A transmitter that works with over 2.4 GHz has a stronger signal.
Drone controllers are essential if you want to do anything with your drone. Without them, you won’t be able to launch, navigate, or land.
Controllers need two parts to communicate with the drones: a transmitter and a receiver. Not all transmitters will work with any receiver, and it will depend on the brand and model.
If you are looking for the best transmitter for your drone or RC model, we recommend the Spektrum DX6e 6-Channel DSMX. It offers the best possible features for beginners, from excellent battery life to easy-to-use control features.
The Spektrum controller is one of the best transmitters on the market.