If you’re primarily interested in dual-band UHF/VHF performance and you don’t care about digital modes, the Icom IC-2730A is an excellent choice. It doesn’t have too many bells and whistles, but it does provide 50w of transmission power, excellent audio, and a surprising amount of expandability and versatility, especially given its low price.
- Simultaneous VHF/UHF receive – The design of this unit is actually similar to having two separate radios. Both the VHF and UHF units have separate main dials, volume knobs, squelch knobs, and buttons – which are symmetrically laid out to ensure intuitive use.
- Expandable with Bluetooth – The optional UT-133A board adds Bluetooth functionality to this radio, providing support for hands-free communication with compatible headsets.
- 50w VHF and UHF output – With 50 watts of transmission power, the Icom IC-2730A has plenty of power to reach nearby stations, particularly when paired with the right mobile or ham shack antenna. Naturally, it can also output in 15w and 5w modes to save power.
- 1,052 memory channels – You’re not going to run out of channels any time soon. This unit supports 1,000 standard memory channels, as well as 50 scan edge channels and 2 call channels.
- Supports crossband repeat – Though it’s not exactly advertised by Icom, you can enable crossband repeat mode by holding the MAIN and MONI buttons while powering on the unit. Then, it can be selected in the standard menu settings.
- Loud fan – The 40mm internal fan that cools the unit can be quite loud during prolonged use, and has a tendency to become noisier over time when its bearings wear out.
- Mounting hardware sold separately – Unlike some competing units in its price range, the Icom IC-2730A doesn’t come with any mounting hardware, or many other “extras,” such as extension cables for mounting the unit. You’ll need to keep that in mind when budgeting for this radio.
- Narrow screen viewing angle – The LCD has a relatively narrow viewing angle. You’ll definitely need to keep this in mind, particularly if you plan on mounting the unit in a vehicle.
Overall, the Icom IC-2730A is excellent for UHF/VHF users who don’t care about digital functions, and who just want a reliable, time-tested, and powerful mobile transceiver for a vehicle or ham shack. Its lack of mounting hardware means that you’ll need to budget a bit more if you’re installing it in a vehicle, but given its solid value, this isn’t too much of a drawback – and certainly isn’t enough to stop us from recommending this unit.
|Frequency coverage and mode
*Guaranteed range, 144–148, 430–450MHz
|Type of emission
|F2D, F3E (FM)
|No. of memory channels
|1052 channels (including 50 scan edges and 2 Call)
|Operating temp. range
|–10°C to +60°C; 14°F to +140°F
|±3ppm (–10°C to +60°)
|Power supply requirement:
|13.8V DC ±15%
|Current drain (at 7.4V DC):
1.8A/1.2A (Max. audio/Stand-by)
|150×40×151 mm; 5.91×1.57×5.94 in
150×50×27.2 mm; 5.91×1.97×1.07 in
|1.2 kg; 2.65 lb
140 g; 4.94 oz
|Output power (at 13.8V DC)
|50W, 15W, 5W
25W, 15W, 5W
|Max. frequency deviation
|Less than –60dBc
|60Ω (8-pin modular)
|Sensitivity (at 12dB SINAD)
|Less than –15dBμ
|More than 60dB/55dB (W/N)
|Spurious response rejection
|More than 60dB/55dB (V/U)
More than 60dB/60dB (V/U)
|Audio Output Power
|More than 2W (10% dist. 8Ω)
|External speaker connector
|2-conductor 3.5(d) mm 1/8″/4Ω
FM/FM-N (12dB SINAD)
AM/AM-N (10dB S/N)
*Except amateur bands.
- In a written review, Ham Radio Prepper called the Icom IC-2730A a “great radio” overall, and noted its excellent capabilities in both receive and transmit mode, as well as the detachable faceplate that gives you “a number of different mounting options in your vehicle.” The main criticisms they had were that crossband repeat functionality has to be manually activated, and that the unit comes without any mounting hardware.
- Goodgame Ham Radio & Outdoors reviewed the Icom IC-2730A on YouTube, and called it a “great looking little radio.” A few of the capabilities he liked included the ability to have separate speakers for the UHF/VHF bands, the “easy to read” screen, the ability to transmit on 50/15/5 watts on both UHF and VHF bands, and the expansive 1052 channel memory capacity.
- Ham Radio 2.0 picked the Icom IC-2730A as one of their top choices in an overview of the best ham radios of 2020 for new operators. He called it a “steal of a radio” for its current price, calling it a “much better radio” than other units in the price range, such as VHF/UHF radios from TYT. He praised the “solid” front-end and the 50w of transmission power offered by the unit, as well as its expandability with the optional Bluetooth board. He called it a “really good” choice for your first-ever dual-band mobile radio.
- Users on DXEngineering have rated the Icom IC-2730A at 4.7 out of 5 stars across 61 total reviews. Several users called the radio “easy to use” and said it had “lots of features.” More negative reviewers noted that the lack of mounting hardware adds “significant costs to the purchase,” and criticized the fact that the head can’t even be mounted to the base unit without additional hardware.
- GigaParts shoppers have given this mobile transceiver a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars across 5 total reviews. Users called it a “nice radio all around” and said it had “great sound” and “great value” for a dual-band radio without a digital mode. However, one user noted that programming the radio was “much easier” when using software like CHIRP, rather than trying to do it manually.
- On eHam.net, reviewers have given the Icom IC-2730A a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars over a total of 40 reviews. One user called it an “outstanding radio” while another noted that it’s a “top performing, top brand radio” for analog use. Several users also noted the good ergonomics and quality of the included microphone, as well as the clear, crisp audio. Critical reviewers noted that the fan is quite noisy, and also criticized the lack of included mounting hardware.