*PRODUCT REVIEW* ICOM IC-7300 Transceiver

My new ICOM IC-7300 HF Plus 50 MHz transceiver arrived from Aussie based retailer ‘Strictly Ham’ a few weeks back for a cool $1500 on the coat tails of much fanfare…

Fellow Dx Adventure Radio Club (DA-RC) members 43DA305 Karl and 43DA878 Robbie had spoken in raptures for some time about this cool little rig so I was desperate to see what all the fuss was about.

It also served a purpose for myself and that was to find a rig more suitable for dx adventure than the current Yaesu FT-950 which had covered more miles than a NFL running back in a single career — one that was smaller, lightweight, versatile, had a built-in antenna tuner and all the bells and whistles of a large base style rig.


The IC-7300 came superbly boxed with a HM-219 hand mic (See pictured right), DC power cord, basic manual and spare fuses.

Mysteriously, a fuse in the power cord had already blown so one of the spares was utilized immediately.

Optional accessories for IC-7300 include the SP23 external speaker, SM-50 desk mic, AH-710 folded dipole, PW1 amplifier, RS-BA1 software and mounting hardware, however, these weren’t part of the original purchase.


The first thing that leapt out at me about the IC-7300 was the large 4.3 inch colour TFT touch screen.

For me, the software keypad of the Touch Screen offers intuitive ops as you can easily set various functions and edit memory contents without having to negotiate between multiple dials and switches.

The Touch Screen also includes a stunning real-time spectrum with a vibrant waterfall plus a useful audio scope display that I’ve fast become obsessed with.


For both functionality and visual appeal, the real-time spectrum scope or ‘waterfall’ in the ICOM IC-7300 is exceptional.

Unlike many I’ve used in the past, it’s sharp, easy to read, very accurate and reminds me of my HP spectrum analyzer.

While listening to RX audio, you can check the spectrum scope and quickly move to another signal.

You can also use the scope to fully extract an incoming signal and accurately tune it to your ears — great for unearthing weak signals and navigating through heavy contesting traffic in particular!

For example, when you first touch the scope screen of the ICOM IC-7300 around the intended signal, the touched part is magnified.

A second touch changes the operating frequency and allows you to accurately tune to the desired signal.

Undoubtedly, the combination of this waterfall function and the real-time spectrum scope increases QSO opportunities without missing weak signals.

My personal preference is that the scope works best if set for a green on black trace with averaging set to 4.


Almost a 1000 contacts in just over a week, largely thanks to the WW DX Contest and increased traffic on the bands, and my audio reports were great on the ICOM IC-7300, straight from the box.

Since then though I’ve had the time to style my audio accordingly to suit my operator vocal specs and the feedback is even better!

I achieved these outcomes using the audio scope function through which you can observe various AF characteristics such as microphone compressor level, filter width, notch filter width and keying waveform in the CW mode.

TX output power, too, may be automatically reduced or increased through this scope (this is better than 100 W and adjustable down to 1.5 W) so it truly is very convenient.


I can’t recall another transceiver having the same RX quality of the ICOM IC-7300; the same ability to unpack a signal in the noise.

ICOM IC-7300’s have 15 discrete RF band-pass filters and a capacity for noise reduction that sounds natural to my ears, rather than robotic.

According to the rig’s Product Specs, the RF signal is passed through only one of the band-pass filters, while any out of range signals are rejected and high Q factor coils are said to minimize the loss in the RF band-pass filters.

In conjunction with its filters, the ICOM IC-7300 processing functions (NB, NR, Notch, etc.) are excellent also, contributing significantly to hours of listening pleasure.


The built-in antenna tuning unit (ATU) is a cut above the rest and although it won’t hack much above 3:1, it will at least negate the need for an external ATU to be taken abroad, thus reducing baggage weight and freeing up even more luggage space.

An appealing trait is that the ICOM IC-7300’s ATU memorizes its settings based on your transmit frequency, allowing it to rapidly tune when you change operating bands.


Having a rig with a voice recorder is a MUST for DXpeditioners and contesters and the IC-7300 version is terrific.

A voice recorder saves your voice when putting out thousands of “CQ” calls or calling “CQ Contest”.

Pictured right, the Basic Manual explains how to set this up, but there’s also several YouTube videos on the same topic that are helpful viewing.


The ICOM IC-7300 HF Plus 50 MHz transceiver is marketed as a base station rig, however, its size and weight, coupled with its incredible performance, make it ideal for dx adventure.

At only 240x95x238mm and 9.263 lbs on the scales, this rig will allow me to cut down on excess baggage costs for air travel and save suitcase space.

For me, this radio represents ’convenience’ and its capabilities make it somewhat of a functional powerhouse.

The guys at ICOM, in my opinion, have done an excellent job of making the radio intuitive with the most needed functions being directly or one button push away for selection.

If you want to change the power level you just push the multifunction button next to the screen and up comes the menu with the most used functions with, Power, Mic Gain, Comp, Monitor Volume.

Power output is lit and you just rotate the Multi Button to readjust the power output and push the button a second time and you are ready to go.

It definitely showcases some breakthrough technology (direct RF sampling and SDR) and, based on what I’ve heard and now experienced, its performance far exceeds the other current new product offerings in this price range from any of the other manufacturers.

After several weeks of ops, I find the spectrum monitor and waterfall display to be highly addictive and essential for listening/pouncing and tuning the bands.

The noise reduction too is magic and when using increased levels of noise reduction, the recovered audio isn’t adversely effected.

Coupled with its light weight and small size, the presence of an ATU, cooling fan system and 101 memory channels to allow quick access a multitude of ‘go-to’ frequencies in search of country specific DX, this rig is everything I could’ve hoped for in a dxpedition radio.

Finally, I look forward to testing it out in the field with an upcoming IOTA activity after which I’ll provide some updates to this review!

73 de Darren, 43DA001