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Reviews For: Icom IC-7850/IC-7851

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - non QRP <5W

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Review Summary For : Icom IC-7850/IC-7851
Reviews: 30MSRP: 17000
This is the 3rd generation flagship transceiver of Icom :
IC7850/IC7851 (IC7850 is a 50 years Icom anniversarymodel
of 150 units).

It perfects HF operation with new features such as a
1.2kHz optimized roofing filter to improve in-band
adjacent signal performance. The new radio's up-
conversion design supports a dynamic range that
outperforms competitors' similar models in the 2 to 10
kHz separation tests. Unlike HF rigs that use a
conventional voltage controlled oscillator for the 1st
LO, the IC-7850/IC-7851 employs a direct digital
oscillator (DDS) with a voltage controlled SAW oscillator
(VCSO). This new 1st LO design sets a new benchmark for
phase noise with -150dBc/Hz at 10kHz offset (and
-140dBc/Hz at 1kHz offset). Icom's IC-7850/7851 also
features the spectrum waterfall function found in the
manufacturer's IC-7700 and IC-7800 upgrade models. The
high-resolution waterfall screen shows the changing
amplitude of frequencies over time. An enhanced spectrum
scope promotes fast and accurate scan and can be operated
with PC mouse via USB port.
Product is in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
LX1AX Rating: 2023-07-17
The Best HF Transceiver I ever used Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Dear all,
I have not used so much Rigs in my 32 years of Ham Radio Life.
I have used:

Kenwood TS-440 SAT
Kenwood TS950SDX
Yaesu FT 1000 MP MARK V
Icom 7800
Icom 7400
Icom 7851
Icom 7610

Ok I love them all, but I can say honestly the 7851 is by far the Best of the Best. And yes it has a much better RX than the 7800. It's miles ahead above the 7800 which was certainely not a bad Rig.
The Icom 7851 has the best NR,NB, 1.2khz Roofing Filter........and very easy to use. I don't want to mention all the fantastic features about this fantastic Rig.
Heads up to the ICOM Engineers.
I wonder what they will bring out as next Flagship, which will be based certainly on the SDR Technology.
But I just have bought the SDR Transceiver from Icom the 7610 and I'm very surprised about this fantastic Rig.
I would say it's a very good Rig too, in a much smaller package, but also smaller price.
So it's simple the 7851 is my N°1 and the 7610 is my N°2 in my list of the Rigs I have used in 32 Years of Ham Radio.
One thing is shure, the 7851 will never leave my shack.
Enjoy our beautiful Hobby.
73 de Alain LX1AX
P.S.: This is the view of an SSB operator.
W2TB Rating: 2023-06-10
The best I have ever owned. So good. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Well I have owned most of the modern great radios, but not all. I have had:
Elecraft K4D

And now the champ, the IC-7851. This radio excels in every department. I don't need to rehash all the qualities others have mentioned, except I need to say the ability of this radio to provide excellent selectivity in the presence of very strong adjacent signals is incredible.

I'm a CW op for most of the time and this radio is a dream come true. Filtering, ergonomics, ease of operation, and the NB and NR are terrific. I cannot say that for the Kenwoods, but the Yaesu NB/NR was very good.

I purchased this radio second hand at a considerable discount which made it easy on me, so if you find one discounted, BUY IT. You won't be sorry.
Once you own one, DO NOT sell like I did. I sold my first one and I was dying a slow death until I found another. It's the greatest, esp if you like CW. What a radio!
G2YT Rating: 2023-05-19
Best HF transceiver I have ever used Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Serial number 05001023 (so probably number 23 of what appears to be about 400 made in total... a rare radio). I have used the IC7851 for more than six years. Before that I owned the IC7800 for even longer. The radio has rightfully been given excellent reviews. From a performance and ergonomic perspective there is not much to fault about it. The IC7850 and 51 are probably the last of the 'flagship' radios to be based on superheterodyne technology, and that in itself makes it a 'landmark' radio in my book.

As I assume that many readers of these reviews will be owners of the IC-7850 and 7851 radios they might like their attention drawn to an informal database which has been created by Peter Munn ZL2LD. His database makes interesting reading and seems to indicate that these radios are probably quite a bit less common than many might think. It also seems likely that although there were supposed to be 150 of the 'Icom 50th anniversary edition IC7850 made, it seems probable that far fewer than this number were actually supplied. Please visit; for further information.

Maybe its best feature is the superb receiver. Super quiet, sensitive, and selective. Astonishing dynamic range in the real world. Moreover, apart from a mental aberration when I added a Kenwood TS990S to the shack (which I really disliked by comparison) it has been my ‘go to’ radio for ‘almost’ all duties. As explained below, in my case the IC-7851 is useless for remote operation. I also own a Flex 6400M, which I really like for remote operating, but in my opinion, although recent (early 2023) firmware updates have significantly improved RX performance it is not as good RX as the masterpiece IC7851 for weak signal receive performance.

The Icom controls are laid out in a superbly logical and ergonomic manner. Everything feels it is where it needs to be and works as you would expect it to.

My only serious annoyance about the IC7851 is that although it is possible to remote operate the radio, it demands the application of a Windoze PC (or running Windoze on a Mac which I would never contemplate!). This particular reviewer has a severe allergy to using PC's. If Icom would like to get a ‘Great’ instead of a ‘Good’ review from me, they need to realise that not all amateur operators use PC’s. Many of us use Mac exclusively! Wake up Icom!

WB4YAL Rating: 2022-02-11
The Greatest Rig In My Shack! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I bought the IC 7851 after selling my IC 7700. I was always blown away witht eh quality of build and the great receiver in the '7700. But even better is the IC 7851! I love looking at this rig as much as I enjoy listening to it.
I have other great rigs in the shack but this is my "go to" rig for operating pleasure.
AE5GG Rating: 2022-01-26
Exceptional! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
** January 2022 update: I have owned this radio since 2016 and I still think it is by far the best thing out there for the money. Thank you Icom for your excellent design! **

The Icom 7851 is the most technologically advanced and yet **easy to use ** rig that I have ever seen or operated.

Check out these "not so obvious" but extremely well thought out design features...

1) The main and sub tuning knobs on the IC-7851 are slightly UNDER 1 inch (2.54 cm) from the desk surface. By contrast the bottom of the main tuning knob on my Yaesu FT1000D's is 2" off the desk. Now, think of the angle of your wrist when you're tuning for long periods of time...(Still want the higher knobs, no problem, they include easy to snap on adjustable feet for the radio that can raise it if you'd prefer a higher angle!)

2) All of the most frequently used menu items and adjustments are in the lower portion of the radio, again, easy to change from just off the desk level. The lesser changed items, such as the mic gain, RF Power, Key Speed etc. are at the top of the radio.

3) The display screen is large enough to read and if you can't well, you can connect an external monitor and get it to just about whatever size you want.

BEST of all, it's the only radio I've seen yet that has a screen saver!! You can easily adjust the screen saver to go to sleep (turn off), or twist the display around (like floating) etc. I actually sent in a request to Yaesu for my FT-991 and FTM-400XD (before I purchased the 7851) asking for this very feature as I often monitor for long periods of time and don't wish to burn in the screen!

4) This radio can be remotely controlled using optional software on a laptop from anywhere in the world! No more "Gee I miss operating my radio while on a business trip/vacation!" (The automatic internal tuner adjusts based on the freq you select). Too bad you can't connect your rotor to this that would be awesome (being able to operate while changing the direction of your antenna OR just pointing the antenna into the wind remotely if you see a big storm blowing in!) Knowing Icom it will be in this radio next!

5) If you hold down the meter key on the upper portion of the software defined buttons, it will put the S meter, Power Out, ALC, Comp, SWR, and lp meters at the lower part of your screen. It will also show you the operating temp and voltage. For once you don't have to keep flipping a dial or pushing buttons to see various key operating meters!! Brilliant!

6) There are plenty of reviews below that describe the listening experience - let me just quickly add that I wholeheartedly agree that it's a dream to listen to and, just like the brochure says, if you have someone on an adjacent frequency bothering you, you can literally tune them out while still hearing your key contact!

I can go on and on but all I can say is that I wrestled with whether or not I wanted to spend this kind of money on a rig - well, I bit the bullet and went for it after seeing it in person at our local Hamfest in Dallas. It may be a Texas sized price, but it is MORE than a Texas sized rig all packaged neatly into a great looking, sounding and operating rig!

I say - go for it! You truly won't regret it!!
AB1GS Rating: 2020-09-13
Great Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have been a long time Icom fan. I started with the 706 MKIIG, then traded up to the 746 Pro; the 756 Pro 1,2,and 3; the 7600; and finally, as I began easing into retirement, I splurged and bought the 7851.

It has performed flawlessly for me over the last few years. The receiver is both sensitive and selective, and I get consistently good audio reports. I am a DXer, and using this radio in conjunction with good antennas has yielded amazing results.

I also have an Icom R-9500 receiver, and I will say that I think the 9500 is a tad more sensitive than the 7851, so I am thinking about pairing the two this winter.

When it come to the 7851, all I can say is -- if you can afford it, buy it.
VK4SX Rating: 2020-06-18
Excellent, Not much more to be said, Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Ok well when a Transceiver HAS no RX embellishments activated, eg; NR, NB, DIGI-SELECT, ETC ETC
with RX set to 2.4khz & 3khz roofing, definitely says something for quality components and construction quality,
BLUE LED to say it is ON, RED LED when I TX, Blue LED to show SD card, and MAIN white LED to show MAIN VFO,
no matter what the band, 40m thru 10mtr, the RX is most Excellent, far out strips any other Super Het, with Elecraft K3 (S) very close,
easy to use, the 1.2Khz Roofing filter is REALLY REALLY SOMETHING ELSE,
if you have never had the pleasure, try and do so,
Yaesu want + $1000.00 AUD XTRA to install a 1 .2khz filter ??.
7851/50, truly once in a lifetime experience, IN THE RIGHT HANDS,
like many radios etc, RTFM 5 Times,
Dennis vk4sx
AA6VB Rating: 2020-02-09
Just Fabulous Time Owned: more than 12 months.
After owning this radio and using it extensively for nearly three years I thought it was time to write a review.

I had this rig next to my Kenwood 990S which I had previously compared side by side to the K3 and Icom 7800. Each rig has its strong points. The 990 was the clear winner between it and the 7800 so I sold the 7800 (kept the K3 because it is easily portable).

Now that I have compared the 7851 to the 990, it's clear the 7851 is even better. It excels in the ergonomics department, not that the ergonomics of the 990 were bad. The scope is a step way ahead of the 990 and has excellent definition and ability to see signals that do not register on the S meter.

I have two stations very close by (1/2 mile) who run legal limit and the blocking dynamic range of the rig handles them with ease, and better than the 990.

There is no question that the 7851 is the best performing, highest build quality radio I have ever used, and I have had almost all of the high end rigs in the last 30 years.

Despite the cost, I am very happy to own the 7851 and just love the high quality build and incredible performance of the rig.

AD4C2006 Rating: 2019-10-25
A Super radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Not many hams can afford a purchase of this very expensive radio but If you can go for it, you won't be disapointed.
I had the honor and pleasure to own one for a whole year and to be honest is the best radio I have used in 30 years as a ham, I have owned high performance radios in the past as the TenTec Orion II, the IC-7700, the K3, and none of them had the quality of this 7851.
I don't care what Sherwood table says and the position this radio take below many others in the list, all I can say is that its a very quite receiver, very sensitive, never had to use the preamps even en 10M.
The selectivity is awsome, with the use of the new 1.2 Khz roofing filter I could be very close to a strong station and not bothered by its splatters, in fact it has better selectivity than the two SDR radios Icom made, the 7300 and the 7610.
In TX yu will have as any other newer radios from Icom, the standar mic EQ with bass and treble settings using the menu and with the SM-30 base mic I got a beautiful balanced TX audio from 70 to 2900 Hz.
The only thing I wonder from this great radio is why Icom don't include in the sell a mic as in all the others, after you pay that much they should at least give you the Icom hand mic.
Without a doubt its been called the "Flag radio" from Icom, its a masterpiece of electronic engineering.
Having a good radiating system, all you need is 200W and a builtin power supply so thhat make it the best base station at home.
G4YBP Rating: 2019-03-18
What a Radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just got this radio after reading the reviews on here and some other forums. I have been a Yaesu man for years so I was worried that I might not get on with it. Yes its takes some getting used to and after a few days on rx I am getting there, if you have owned Icom before you would go have no problems as I said I am getting there. The waterfall don't do it for me so I have the filter settings at the bottom of the screen all the time and I think that is very good better than my FT5000.
The rx is soooo good on this radio probley the best I have ever had. I paid £10,000 brand new and think its worth ever penny. Has anyone got any YouTube clips show the best way to use the IF shifts please.