No Nonsense Icom 7300 vs. Icom 7610 Comparison

It’s time I did the Icom 7300 vs. Icom 7610 comparison. I’m not going to list my personal likes and dislikes. I think many of the early reviews of the Icom 7610 were premature in their criticism. I’ve had my IC-7610 for over a month and have used it daily, including in the recent ARRL RTTY Roundup. I’m very pleased with the ergonomics. The Icom 7300 is an entry level radio, while the Icom 7610 is designed for DX’ing and contesting. Let’s look at the basic physical differences and a no-nonsense comparison. So, if you are considering the Icom 7610, hopefully this will help.

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Icom 7300 vs. Icom 7610 Physical Comparison

Dimensions:
Icom 7300 – 9.45×3.7×9.37in
Icom 7610 – 13.4 × 4.6 × 10.9 in

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Weight:
Icom 7300 – 9.26 lbs.
Icom 7610 – 18.7 lbs

The Icom 7300 is a much smaller and lighter rig. While the Icom 7610 is heavier, it does have an added feature, a carrying handle. The Icom 7610 also has rubber feet on the right side to rest it on when transporting. Both have stands underneath in front to elevate the radios for easy operation.

Icom 7300 vs. Icom 7610 LCD Touchscreen ComparisonIcom 7300 vs. Icom 7610

Besides the obvious larger size and higher resolution, both radios have an excellent LCD touch screen.

The Icom 7610 has taken the Icom touch screens to a new level. The quality is impressive and the increased size makes it extremely useful. Side by side, there is a big difference in the touch screens. See the top photo.

The meters on the Icom 7610 can be customized and the display can be viewed in many different ways. To see a sample visit my post: IC-7610 Spectrum Scope VariationsIcom 7300 vs. Icom 7610

Icom 7300 vs. Icom 7610 Ergonomics (Knobs & Things)

The Icom 7300 utilizes the LCD touch screen for many items. Changing bands is done through the touch screen. Band changing on the Icom 7610 is the same, but can also be accomplished with physical buttons, one for each band.

The Icom 7300 has a physical button for the NOTCH filter. The Icom 7610 doesn’t.

Neither radios output power can be adjusted with the simple turn of a knob. We must first push the MULTI knob to bring up the menu and then adjust power output using the MULTI knob.

The 7610 is a much larger transceiver, so there’s more real estate for physical buttons and knobs. Of course Icom isn’t going to please everyone with their choice of what to put on the front or where it is located.

ELEC-KEY Jack – 6.35mm (1/4″) This is on the font of the Icom 7610 (not so on the 7300)  and there is another key jack (3.5mm) on the rear of the 7610.

PHONES Jack- 3.5mm on the front of the icom 7300 and 6.35mm (1/4″) on the 7610.

The Icom 7610 has a KEYER SPEED & PITCH knob.

Icom 7300 vs. Icom 7610 Transmit & Receive Comparison

Receiver

In the USA the receiver frequency range on both radios are the same (general receive 0.030 to 54 MHz). See the pages: IC-7300 Specs and IC-7610 Specs.

You won’t notice a big difference in receiver audio quality, however the Icom 7610 has a quieter receiver.

The IC-7610 is a better pulling out weak signals, but there isn’t a big difference while general listening.

The Icom 7610 has an excellent ATT feature. If you hold down the ATT soft button the attenuation can be adjusted in 3 db steps, from 0 to 45 db using the MULTI knob.

With the Icom 7610 we also get two independent receivers. Yes, true dual independent receivers. No ambiguity there and the 7610 has diversity reception.

Transmitter

Transmitter output power is equal on both radios, whether SSB, CW, RTTY, AM or FM.

Both radios have good transmit audio and are capable of customizing Transmit Band Width (TBW), Tone Control ( TX Bass & TX Treble), compression and an added parameter on the 7610, Drive Gain.

I have EQed both the vastly different D-104 and a Heil GM5 microphone with the internal high and low boosts.  As far as I know the 7300 and 7610 have the same EQ tone control settings.  Likely very similar to the Pro III.  -Rob, NC0B

In the Icom 7610 menu there is an option to turn off the MIC Input DC Bias. There’s no need for a blocking capacitor in the mic cable like on the Icom 7300 when using dynamic mics.

Icom 7610 Features Not on the Icom 7300

  • External monitor output – Using the DVI connector on the rear of the Icom 7610, the screen can be output to an external monitor. Output resolution is variable between 800 x 600 and 800 x 480.
  • Timer feature – Would you like your radio to come on automatically in the morning? I’ve found this is a really nice feature and I use it often. The timer will also shut off the radio automatically.
  • Dual clocks –  I have one set to CDT and the other displaying UTC.
  • Left and right speaker outputs on the rear. Also, audio from the Main and Sub receivers can be split through headphones.
  • Two USB Ports – In addition to the USB 2.0 port, the Icom 7610 includes a high speed USB 3.0 port – It has not been implemented in the firmware yet, but it will be a nice addition.
  • Virtual Serial Com Ports – The USB 2.0 port on the rear is split into two COM ports. This is very useful for RTTY (FSK) using one cable.
  • Two antenna connectors on the rear.
  • BNC RX antenna IN/Out on rear.
  • X-VERTER and REF In on the rear.
  • LAN port on the rear and RS-BA1 server onboard.

Conclusion

This is just the tip of the iceberg and there is a lot more to both radios.

The Icom 7610 is more advanced and thus more complicated to configure. The IC-7610 is quieter operating and on digital modes I can’t hear TX (relay) kick in. The fan is also quieter on the IC-7610.

The IC-7610 is superior in CW mode, QSK, includes APF in CW mode and is flat-out better pulling out weak signals

NB and NR are very effective in both radios. Both radios are excellent for digital modes (PSK, RTTY, etc.).

Both the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 are excellent SDR transceivers. The 7610 is a larger, higher quality, better built rig. Whether you are a new Ham or experienced Ham, if your main activity is digital modes, rag chewing or checking into nets then the Icom 7300 is a great choice. If you are an experienced Ham and looking to do more contesting and DX chasing, the 7610 is the better choice.

Coming soon! I’ll have a video on my YouTube channel.

I hope you find this useful and if you’re thinking of buying the IC-7610, hopefully this helps. $3,899 is a lot to put into a radio. I’ve bought decent cars for less, hi.

Best 73,

Rich, K0PIR

P.S. No, the Icom 7610 is not two IC-7300’s!   😉

Sources:

The Icom IC-7610 YaHoo Group

Icom America – IC-7300

Icom America – Icom IC-7610

Comments

    1. Author

      Thank you for visiting and I hope you signed up for updates. My e-mail is good on QRZ.com. 73’s Rich, K0PIR

  1. Thanks Rich. Great reading/evaluation. I’m still like a kid with a new toy with my 7300 so it will do for now.

    1. Author

      Hi Wes,

      Nice to hear from you. The 7300 will do fine for me too. I mostly get on the nets. I do plan on more contesting though and the 7610 with dual receivers will come in handy.

      Thanks for commenting and I hope to hear you on the air.

      73s,
      Rich, K0PIR

  2. Another thing to point out – the comparison of K line elecraft to this radio is apples to oranges. The addition IP+ off and on, the Digi-Select filtering make the radio easily equal to my K3s and my KX3. In fact the 7610 digs the really weak signals out of the noise while the noise reduction and noise blanker are a bit more effective in their software implementation than on the K series. The ease of use for the NB and NR functions alone makes the Icom edge out the K line series. I would really like to see a K series with a built in P3 / control flat screen using newer DSP technology. I sold my K3s and kept the KX3 and my primary rig is now the 7610 due to size and ease of use.

    1. Author

      Hi John,

      Thank you for adding to the post. It’s great to hear that. I’ll add, I’m using the ATT in 3db increments instead of lowering the RF gain so much, just to see how it works and so far I am impressed with it. It helps dig out weak sideband signals from the noise on 75 Meters and it is much more enjoyable listening to a net. NR at 3 or 4.

      Thank you again John and take care. I hope to hear you on the air soon.

      73,
      Rich, K0PIR

    1. Author

      Hi Scott,

      Nice to hear from you and thanks for visiting the website. I hope to hear you on the air soon.

      73,
      Rich, K0PIR

  3. I greatly enjoyed your very concise review.
    Now, I seriously consider the 7610 instead of the 7300, to replace my trusty and aging FT1000MP (20years
    )
    Thank you

    Luis XE2B

    1. Author

      Hi Luis,

      Thank you for the nice comment and it’s nice to hear from you. I’m happy this is of help.

      The 7610 is getting very good reviews from many Hams and it a worthy contender for even the higher end transceivers on the market. Please have a look at the Yahoo group mentioned in the post. Adam and Rob are posting their technical reviews there.

      73,
      Rich, K0PIR

  4. Thanks for a great comparison of the two units. I have used the 7300 at our club station and found it very good, but I am looking to purchase a newer state of the art unit (rig is IC-746 Pro) and this is very helpful if the funds are available in deciding on the unit to purchase. Thanks again.

    1. Author

      Hi Bob,

      It’s good to hear from you and thank you for commenting. Wow, that would make a nice club radio.

      Thank you for the nice comment and maybe we’ll hear you during Field Day 2018! – W0PIR Pierre Amateur Radio Club.

      73,
      Rich, K0PIR

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