Icom IC-705

It’s not cheap, but if you want a truly top-of-the-line, flagship QRP radio for UHF/VHF/HF use, you’re going to find the Icom IC-705 hard to beat. It’s probably not the best choice for beginners due to its high price tag – but its features, expandability, and surprising portability mean that it’s worth the investment for more advanced ham radio operators.

Good

  • Packed with connectivity – The Icom IC-705 offers Bluetooth, WiFi, and GPS out of the box, making it
  • Excellent touchscreen display – The 4.3-inch color touchscreen display is clear, vibrant, and very bright, even in direct sunlight.
  • Surprisingly good battery – The BP-272 li-ion battery pack provides 2000mAh of power, providing hours of listening on a single charge.
  • Amazing mode compatibility – The IC-705 supports D-STAR DV, SSB, CW, AM and FM. No matter what you want to listen to, you’ll be covered with this powerful mobile QRP transceiver.
  • Real-time spectrum scope and waterfall display – The waterfall display provides an excellent “at a glance” overview of signal strength on your selected band, making it easier to find strong signals to which you can listen.
  • Perfect compatibility with LC-192 utility backpack – The Icom IC-705 is an incredible backpacking radio, and the LC-192 utility backpack (sold separately) is designed specifically for secure mounting and unbeatable ease-of-use on the go.

Bad

  • Expensive – The price of the Icom IC-705 is justified due to its powerful features. However, it still may not be worth it unless you’re a dedicated QRP enthusiast.
  • Relatively cheap speaker/mic – The supplied HM-243 speaker/microphone is only middling in quality, which is a bit surprising for such an expensive mobile radio.

Bottom line

Since it’s a QRP radio, it’s hard to justify buying the Icom IC-705 for use in a vehicle or in a ham shack. However, it’s the best in its class when it comes to backpacking or mobile use. Yes, the price tag is high – but it will serve you well for decades, and you’ll probably be discovering and playing with new features for years to come.

Product Specs

Frequency coverage (Unit: MHz)
Receiver0.030–199.999*
400.000–470.000*
Transmitter1.800–1.999
3.500–3.999
5.255–5.405*
7.000–7.300
10.100–10.150
14.000–14.350
18.068–18.168
21.000–21.450
24.890–24.990
28.000–29.700
50.000–54.000
144.000–148.000
430.000–450.000
ModeUSB, LSB, CW, RTTY, AM, DV, FM, WFM (Rx only)
No. of memory channelsMemory channels: 500 channels (100 groups)
Scan edges: 25 channels
Call channels: 4 channels (2 channels × 2 bands) 
Antenna connectorBNC connector (50Ω)(One connector for all bands)
Power supply requirement13.8 V DC ±15% (with external power supply)
7.4 V DC (with BP-272)
Operating temp. range–10°C to +60°C; +14°F to +140°F
Frequency stabilityLess than ± 0.5 ppm
(–10°C to +60°C; 14°F to 140°F)
Frequency resolution1 Hz
Current drain
  Tx (Max. power)
  RX (Max. audio)
  RX (Standby)
13.8 V DC
Less than 3 A (10 W)
0.5 A (typ.)
0.3 A (typ.)
7.4 V DC
Less than 2.5 A (5 W)
0.8 mA (typ.)
0.5 mA (typ.)
Dimensions200×83.5×82 mm; 7.9×3.3×3.2 in (W×H×D, projections not included)
Weight1.1 kg; 2.4 lb (approx.; including BP-272)
Output Power
  SSB/CW/RTTY/FM/DV
  AM
13.8 V DC
0.1 to 10 W
0.025 to 2.5 W
7.4 V DC
0.1 to 5 W
0.25 to 1.25 W
Modulation systemSSB : Digital PSN modulation
AM : Digital low power modulation
FM : Digital phase modulation
DV : GMSK digital phase modulation
Spurious emissionsLess than −50 dB (HF)
Less than −60 dB (50 MHz)
Less than −60 dB (144/430 MHz)
Carrier suppressionMore than 50 dB
Unwanted sidebandMore than 50 dB
Receiver system
  0.030 to 24.999 MHz
  25.000 MHz and above
RF Direct Sampling
Down Conversion IF Sampling
Intermediate frequencies25.000 MHz and above:38.85 MHz±0.5 MHz
Sensitivity
(HF: Preamp-1 ON,
50 MHz: Preamp-2 ON,
144/430/440 MHz: Preamp ON)
0.500 to 1.799 MHz
1.800 to 29.999 MHz
50 MHz to 54 MHz
144/430/440 MHz
Selectivity (Filter: SHARP)
  SSB(BW=2.4 kHz)
  CW(BW=500 Hz)
  RTTY(BW=500 Hz)
  AM(BW=6 kHz)
  FM(BW=15 kHz)
  DV(12.5 kHz spacing)
More than 2.4 kHz/-6 dB / Less than 3.4 kHz/-40 dB
More than 500 Hz/-6 dB / Less than 700 Hz/-40 dB
More than 500 Hz/-6 dB / Less than 800 Hz/-40 dB
More than 6.0 kHz/-6 dB / Less than 10 kHz/-40 dB
More than 12.0 kHz/-6 dB / Less than 22 kHz/-40 dB
Less than -50 dB
Spurious and image rejection ratio
(SSB/CW/AM/FM)
HF
50 MHz
144 MHz
430 MHz

More than 70 dB* (except for ADC aliasing)
More than 70 dB*
More than 65 dB
More than 54 dB
Audio output power
  Internal SP
  External SP
More than 530 mW (12Ω load at 10% distortion)
More than 200 mW (8Ω load at 10% distortion)

Expert reviews

  • In a written review of the Icom IC-705, Thomas Witherspoon said that his radio was an ideal choice if you want a portable transceiver that can “truly take you on a deep dive into the world of QRP HF, VHF, UHF, and even satisfy the SWL in you.” He noted that there were “more features than I could cover in one review,” which is a “very good thing.” His complaints were minor, and concerned the lack of a built-in ATU (Antenna Tuning Unit) and some ergonomic factors, like the MicroSD card being hard to access, and the angled mic/speaker connectors being a “challenge to insert” due to the design of the unit.
  • Eric from Ham Radio Concepts reviewed the unit on YouTube. He said he “loves this radio” and its features. He called it “something that hasn’t been created yet” due to its incredible design. He also praised the fact that it’s easy to use despite modern features like Bluetooth, GPS, and WiFi, particularly for people who are familiar with other Icom radios like the IC-7300 and IC-9700.
  • In a more critical product review, Jason from Ham Radio 2.0 discussed the IC-705 in-depth, and said that most users who are newer to ham radio would be better off with a unit like the Yaesu FT-891 or FT-991, or an Icom IC-7300 for a first HF base station radio or a mobile radio. His reasoning was that most people don’t need a QRP radio – and can get much cheaper radios that offer superior transmission power, particularly when they’re first starting out in the hobby. However, he did note that the IC-705 is a “great choice” for those specifically interested in QRP radios and hobbies like backpacking.

User reviews

  • On DXEngineering, the Icom IC-705 has a rating of 4.93 out of 5 stars, across a total of 71 reviews. Overall impressions were overwhelmingly positive. Among other things, the users noted that the microphone was “near commercial quality,” and that it was the “most versatile and fun radio” on the market. The primary criticism leveled against this mobile transceiver is that it’s a bit bulky and heavy for convenient portable use.
  • Shoppers on GigaParts have given this mobile transceiver a rating of 5 out of 5 stars, across a total of 3 reviews. One reviewer noted that, with the right antenna, the 10w of transmit power provided by the Icom IC-705 outperformed a 20-watt radio from Xiegu. One user noted the high price, but maintained that it was worth the cost, as this is the “only radio I know of” that operates on the “160m to 70cm in any mode” and also has D-STAR functionality.
  • On eHam.net, reviewers have given the Icom IC-705 a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars across 22 total reviews. Particular praise was given to its intuitive user interface and large touchscreen, as well as its overall build quality, functionality in both send and receive modes, and surprisingly good battery life. However, one critical user did note that the “cheap speaker/mic” are “far below the class the 705 belongs.”

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