ICOM 718 Review: Reasons Why You Should Get this Beast

It was a quick decision to buy and test ICOM IC-718. To be honest, it has been a few years since I have not used any HF all band ham radio. I really wanted to put my hands on one and that’s when I got to know about ICOM 718.

So, did I love using this amateur radio?

Definitely Yes!

This is how I would rate it:

Performance

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

As expected by ICOM, the IC-718 doesn’t disappoint as a base HAM radio and offers tons of features in a compact model.
Features

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

ICOM has included a variety of unique and superior features in the IC-718, which sets it apart from many other HF radios.
User-interface

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

The one-touch band switching, autotuning steps, and direct frequency input make the device easy to operate.
Value for Money

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

HF operation, the addition of many new and technologically-advanced features justify the higher price tag.

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ICOM IC-718 is a terrific high-frequency amateur radio you should get for long-distance communication. The truth is that the ham radio offers much more than what you expect it to deliver.

The multiband ham transceiver has built-in USB, LSB, CW, RTTY(FSK), and AM modes. The 101 memory channels and DSP capability ensures that you have a superior mobile ham radio with you.

You should get this HF ham radio for its superior performance, simplified operation, and latest technologies.

Who Should Use This Product?

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Icom is known as one of the most reputable brands in the world of HAM radios. Its transceivers are one of a kind when it comes to durability and functioning.

One such product is the ICOM IC 718, which has been ruling the market with its sleek design, quality sound, and reliable performance.  It’s one of the best HF ham radio transceivers for the money. This compact-sized radio is capable of performing various functions.

What is IC-718 most famous for?

Well, smoothest operation! Many beginners advance towards expensive and well-featured models after learning about HAM through IC-718. It is inexpensive yet powerful!

If you’re new to HF or are looking for a second rig, look no further than this one!

I heard some pleasant reviews regarding IC-718’s superior performance and ability to cover long distances and decided to try it myself!

What You Should Know: ICOM 718 Specs

Following are the killer specs that IC-718 is known for:

      • Front-mounted loud speaker
      • 03-29.999999 MHz* general coverage
      • DSP capability
      • RF gain control
      • Noise reduction
      • Automatic notch filter
      • IF shift function
      • VOX operation
      • 100-watt output

Some of its other features include USB, LSB, CW, RTTY, and AM modes. It also features level adjustable noise blanker, RF attenuator, and pre-amplifier.

All these specifications make the rig highly reliable and ideal for mobile or base installations.

The Use Phase

ICOM IC-718 specs

Most operators do not like having to follow through intricate instructions to operate a simple transceiver. Add to that a confusing instruction manual, and the product automatically becomes unappealing.

One reason why this rig is in so much demand is that it is easy to operate, making it an ideal entry-level device. Here’s what we learned about IC-718:

      • In terms of design and aesthetics, minimalism is the core tenet of this HAM radio transceiver. Its simplistic exterior features fewer switches and knobs than other models. That helps in significantly reducing confusion for first-timer operators.
      • Furthermore, the positioning has been done in a manner to aid learning for new users.
      • The user-guide also mentions all possible twitches you might encounter and offers solutions to them.
      • In addition to that, it also offers a detailed guide to setting frequencies for complete beginners.
      • IC-718 includes an AH-4 tuner, which eliminates the need for an external one. Moreover, it simplifies the procedure for newbies, who would otherwise have to learn the entire tuning process.

An exciting feature we learned about through overtime usage was the microphone compressor. If you’re communicating with a user at a longer distance, activating this feature can make you more audible.

Results

After using ICOM IC718 for over two weeks, I can safely say that it is one of the neatest rigs on the market. I could give it full points just based on the price aspect! Amateur base radio transceivers should not cost a fortune, especially for newbies like me.

You can find this Icom transceiver at $500-600 if you land yourself a sale offer. You may even find good-quality, secondhand rigs for around $300-500!

There are still issues we have with this transceiver. One thing I had trouble with was the audio. Despite the front-panel speaker, the volume was quite low. If you are someone that works in a noisy environment, you may need to add an external speaker.

If you live in a hot climate, you shouldn’t use the IC-718 inside a vehicle as heat buildup is a real issue.

However, given its reliable results and low-cost perspective, we don’t think you can get a better head start. Its ease of functioning and advanced features make it a must-have. These positives outweigh negatives like low volume and single antenna jack.

I thoroughly enjoyed the “real” HAM experience by using it as a mobile transceiver. We don’t see users having any complaints using it as a portable, backup, or emergency HAM radio device.

Pros Cons
  • Simplified operation
  • Easy tuning using the AH-4 control circuit
  • Robust build quality
  • Reduced distortion and superior audio quality
  • Single antenna jack

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Final Verdict

Packed with nearly everything you need from an entry-level HF radio, Icom 718 is an exceptional HAM radio for a pretty reasonable price.

To get yourself started with the hobby, all you will need is a DC power supply. Before shifting to something more advanced and intricate, it is best to start from something low-cost and uncomplicated.

It features outstanding noise control and antenna tuning features. That alone makes it a very successful and popular choice, and gets a 5-star recommendation from us!

On the whole, you will get far various features from ICOM IC-718 than what many of its competitors have to offer. From the price point, it provides value for money and serves as an excellent investment.

When it comes to high-frequency ham radios, another product you can try is Yaesu FT-450D. Yeah, I have written a detailed Yaesu FT-450D review here and you can also check out Yaesu FT-450D vs ICOM 718 comparison.

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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