The Garmin GDL 52 is the most featured-packed arguably the best ADS-B receiver available, coming with everything from SiriusXM satellite weather and audio to unique traffic features that aren’t found on any other non-Garmin device.

Let’s take a closer look and see whether the high price of the GDL 52 is justified over less expensive units like the Stratux and GDL 50.

Click Here to See the Current Price: Garmin GDL 52 Price

Battery Life

The Garmin GDL 52 provides 5 hours of continuous operation. Unlike some other receivers, the GDL 52 offers multiple charging options.

The microUSB port positioned on the side of the receiver can be used to charge the battery. More importantly, though, you are able to plug the GDL 52 into your aircraft’s 12V power outlet with the included adapter cable and charge it that way, so you never have to worry about the receiver running out of power mid-flight.


The main reason to buy the GDL 52 over any other receiver, including other Garmin models, is due to its support of SiriusXM that provides you with coverage at any altitude – from ground or air – anywhere in the US and southern Canada.

With SiriusXM Weather at your disposable, you can get METAR data and animated NEXRAD imagery plus current reports on precipitation, lightning, winds aloft, echo tops, turbulence, freezing levels, TFRs, and more.

By connecting a compatible Bluetooth aviation headset or audio panel to the GDL 52, you can also wirelessly listen to SiriusXM radio services. The GDL 52 supports hardwired audio out too.

Of course, you can also get subscription-free access to ADS-B Flight Information Service-Broadcast (FIS-B) weather information too.

All information is shown on a richly colored, animated graphical high-resolution display

Furthermore, the GDL 52 can queue the ADS-B weather data as it is sleeping or even turned off, which means that you always get the most current weather picture when you need it and as soon as possible.

Built-in GPS

The GDL 52’s built-in WAAS GPS receiver ensures that highly accurate aircraft position, speed, and altitude information is delivered straight to your mobile device app.

Additionally, thanks to the unit’s built-in attitude sensors, select Garmin devices and apps with Garmin’s SVX synthetic vision technology can act as a backup attitude.

Traffic Features

Besides support for SiriusXM, one of the main reasons pilots choose the GDL 52 over other receivers is due to its invaluable traffic features.

A feature called TargetTrend shows which aircraft trajectories are most likely to converge with your own. This dynamic traffic tracking feature enables you to make faster, better target avoidance decisions to enhance your safety.

Another feature that you will no doubt appreciate is the GDL 52’s TerminalTraffic technology that provides you with a clear, real-time overview of what’s happening with traffic on busy runways and taxiways.

The ability to receive ADS-B position reports directly from other aircraft in your vicinity is another very welcome addition. This feature also both audibly and visually alerts by announcing traffic targets.


The GDL 50 is compatible with the following:

  • Garmin Pilot
  • G3X Touch Flight Displays
  • aera 796/795
  • aera 660
  • FltPlan Go
  • ForeFlight

Garmin GDL 52 vs. 50

As mentioned, the GDL 52 supports SiriusXM Weather and SiriusXM Radio services. This is the main difference between the two Garmin receivers.

Perhaps surprisingly, though, given its lower price, the GDL 50 has better battery performance, providing 8 hours of operation.

So if you can live without SiriusXM, then you may as well save yourself some money and go for the less expensive GDL 50. If you’re one of many pilots you can’t forgo SiriusXM (and we don’t blame you!), the GDL 52 is your only choice.

Click Here to Read User Reviews >>> Garmin GDL 52 User Reviews

Benjamin Ingram - Licensed Pilot

Benjamin, on his journey to becoming a licensed pilot, tested a vast number of pilot supplies and equipment that every pilot needs in the cockpit.