No Nonsense Icom 7300 vs. Icom 7610 Comparison

In Discussion, Icom 7300, Icom 7610 by K0PIR26 Comments

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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 (December 2017) and have used it daily, including in the last 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.

Click for a larger image.

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 Found 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.
  • Solid state T/R switching.
  • True dual independent receivers.

Conclusion

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

Price – The IC 7300 sells for $1,349.00 and the IC 7610 sells for $3,899.00 (1-19-18). Look for rebates.

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.

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:

Rob Sherwood Ham Talk Live Show Comparing the IC-7300 to the IC-7610

The Icom IC-7610 YaHoo Group

Icom America – IC-7300

Icom America – Icom IC-7610

Comments

  1. Hi Rich,

    Many thanks for your informative comparison of the ICOM 7300 v the ICOM 7610, but what should be

    compared are the ICOM 7610 – with the FLEX 6400 M -which lists for $2,999.95- for that would be

    comparing “apples to apples”. No question about it, I was very happy to see ICOM come out with its

    two SDR’s for it caused Flex to come forward with the 6400 and 6400M. There’s nothing magic about

    using an ADC with a FPGA, so it will be interesting to see what Kenwood and Yaesu finally come out with

    to compete with ICOM and Flex.

    All the Best,

    73, Jim

    N6MV

    1. Author

      Hi Jim,

      Nice to hear from you and I agree. I would like to see a side by side of the 6400M and the 7610. If I had the $$ now, I would do it, hi!

      I am happy I made the choice for the 7610. It is a very nice transceiver and I like the traditional knobs and they are very good quality. The RX is excellent. The LCD is much better than I expected and the transmit relay switching is very quiet in CW and digital operation.

      Thanks for commenting and I am sure someone will do one between the 7610 and 6400M soon enough.

      Best 73,

      Rich, K0PIR

    1. Author

      Hi Brian,

      Great question and thanks for asking. I should put it in there.

      It is Icom, the SSB transmit bandwidth is selectable, but max is 100Hz – 2900Hz for the Wide setting.

      73’s,
      Rich, K0PIR

  2. One comment ref price of the 7610. If you consider inflation over the years, the 7610 is not much more expensive on in “real” terms than the Kenwood TS-870S was when I purchased mine in 1998 for $2200. Inflation alone since 1998 through 2017 would have that same 870S costing $3310 today. There really shouldn’t be much complaining about price, especially considering the quantum leap in technology of the 7610 compared to 1998 technology and all of the extra features you get for about the same money.

    1. Author

      Absolutely, I wholeheartedly agree.

      Also, considering inflation, the IC-7300 for what it is, is a steal, hi!

      I would look for rebates on the IC-7610 and maybe getting the RC-28 for free with a purchase in the future.

      73’s
      Rich, K0PIR

  3. Good job Rich on hitting the significant high points. I really would love to have the 7610. I am waiting a few months to see what firmware changes are made and if there are any bugs that need fixing. I am a CW op and I am glad that you mentioned the QSK aspects of the rig as well as the solid-state switching. Does the internal keyer have rise-time and weight adjustments? Does the internal keyer have any available memories?

    I think it’s also interesting to compare the Sherwood Receiver Test Data between the Icom rigs and how they compare to other brands. Especially interesting to see how the 7610 stacks-up against the 7851 in the Sherwood data.

    1. Author

      Ho Joe,

      Thank you for commenting and great questions.

      Yes, internally in the IC-7610 under CW-KEY SET there are adjustments. Rise Time is one of them (Icom 7610 Advanced manual page 16). I have mine set to 6ms. Rob concluded 4ms was too short. I believe he mentions it in his report.

      Yes on the memories. M1 thru M8 and you can create different sets. Good questions and both need mentioned.

      Thank you so much and best 73!

      Rich, K0PIR

  4. Mi 7300 es fantastico, operó remota mi estación con un ameritron als600 y puedo cambiar automático bandas y frecuencia. La calidad de audio de Rx y Tx funciona excelente. Mi economía no permite el 7610 y mi estación funciona perfecto. Gracias por esta excelente comparación.
    73 desde Durango México XE2MCC

    1. Author

      Hi Guillermo,

      Thank you for the nice comment and thank you for visiting my website.

      I completely understand about the 7610 being priced out.

      The Icom 7300 is a great radio and probably the best for the money today!

      Thank you again and best 73!

      Rich, K0PIR

  5. That’s a fine article and thanks, Rich.

    I received my 7300 on 3-31-16, upgrading from a 746pro and really love it! Then decided to purchase a ‘big radio’ for the first time in 48 years of hamming – and ‘for retirement’, etc. – so got on a “pre-order” list and received my 7610 on 12-20-17. I usually would consider my older radios as back-up radios, but the 7300 is just too good to be a “back-up”. So far, I’m sort of over-whelmed by the 7610… wow, what a fantastic radio it is! But the little 7300 is so much radio, for me, that it’s impossible to be thought of as a back-up! I love ’em both. Just my thoughts.

    73, Mike – W0HR

    1. Author

      Hi Mike,

      Yes, exactly my thoughts. The IC-7300 is very nice indeed and I won’t be getting rid of it. It’ll be there for portable use and camping. I would love to have them both operational in the shack someday.

      I still love getting up in the morning and turning on the IC-7610 or better yet, set the timer for it to come on automatically. LOL

      Thank you for your comment. It is much appreciated.

      73’s,
      Rich, K0PIR

  6. Thanks for your review, easy and clear to read.
    I want to mention one important feature in favor of the IC-7300; it has 4 meter on board.

    1. Author

      Ton,

      Thank you for the nice comment and the information. Yes it does. I appreciate hearing from you.

      Best 73’s,
      Rich, K0PIR

  7. 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

  8. 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

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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

    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

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