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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
LA5YV Rating: 2016-06-16
The BEST Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
The last 3 years I had in my shack :
ICOM IC-7600, IC-7700, IC-7800, Kenwood TS-990,
and now IC-7850 (nr.105). The ICOM IC-7850 is the best, a leader in performance and buielt in features.
M1AQO Rating: 2016-03-23
It doesn't get any better. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Having several high end radio's coming in to the shack over the years including the K3,IC7800,FTdx5000 and the Flex 6500 I would say that the Icom Engineers have created a masterpiece. The rig is a dream to operate with the controls well thought out. If you are already an Icom user you will feel totally at home with the features and set up. My main reason for trying this rig was to get that SDR functionality but without losing the legacy radio look and feel. Let's face it it's important to have the best under the hood at this price but for me at least it also needs to look nice and this rig is a beauty. The high definition screen displaying the panadapter is on par with the flex Signature series and the two panadapter display is more than enough for my needs. NB, NR and variable AGC are excellent allowing you to tailor the receiver parameters for any band conditions. Out of all the radios I've used the NR reduction function produces the most natural audio of them all. The adjustable bandwidth and adjustable IF function is very adaptable but with a superb IMD I have found that I have not had to adjust it that often even when the band has been really active. Being an audio addict with my previous rigs I have always used external audio equipment with a studio microphone but when I bought this rig I wanted to keep it simple. I use an RE20 plugged straight in to the front mic socket, adjusted the simple bass and treble controls and I receive unsolicited great audio reports. Having owned an IC7800 I was already used to being able to adjust the receive band width along with tailoring the 3,6 and 15k roofing filters and I was curious to see how well the new 1.2khz filter would work. I am an SSB operator and when I first selected the filter with a band width for receive of 2.6 or 2.8khz I was impressed in how the filter was removing the band noise but not that it was taking away the dynamics of the audio sound. Yes I know it's obvious BUT I didn't realise you could adjust the filter to tailor it to your personal preference. With the bandwidth set at 2.6khz the the 1.2khz roofing filter set at 25 and the receive bass and treble adjusted to your liking it sounds amazing. When I first set up the filter and band width I thought that the radio wasn't receiving because it was so quiet, how wrong I was. Signals appear from nowhere with more or less zero noise, just AMAZING. I probably like a lot of hams out there are looking for an amazing receiver, functional interference rejection and ease of use. Icom have ticked all my boxes. I know the radio isn't cheap but if you have been considering one and you are worried about taking the plunge, go for it you will not be dissapointed. Thanks Icom you have raised the bar again. The only thing missing is the tracking notch filter which is unique to the Flex radio, no that would be a thing!
ZL1TAP Rating: 2015-11-20
Great Radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have only had this radio for just over a week i still have the ic7700 still a very good radio but i have had that radio for some time so it was time for a new one its a big cost but if u like top radio u will not feel bad spending the money so am going to give it a five out of five
OE1TRB Rating: 2015-10-20
TOP rig Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I got a new IC-7851 transceiver into my shack beginning of Oct2015. My 990S from Kenwood is nearly same level but the easy usage of most of the functions is much better and makes it rather simple to operate. Compared to my 7700 the display is light, sharp and clear, the noise reduction is so much more effective with this unit! All in all a real benefit for sensitive ears and another new experiance in RX performance. I like the 2 animated analog S-Meters in parallel which is fully professional designed and presented on the screen. A rig for life-time usage.
Hear you soon on the air. 73 de Thomas
PA9JO Rating: 2015-08-22
Icom did it! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
After using the IC-7700 for 5 years and the IC-7800 for over 2 years its time to do the next step....
I am using this transceiver for a few weeks now and I am really impressed. First the screen, it is sharp and a step ahead. The filters helping you to sit and relax, just listen to the signals and not the noise.
The 1.2K roofing filter is really incredibly, I am a Phone operator and even in this mode you get the lowest signal out of nowear..
I can go on but look me up and check the video with a demonstration of the 1.2K roofing filter in Phone.
Thanks to Icom for this new generation radio.
73 Jo.
N6BOB Rating: 2015-07-30
One Beautiful Rig Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I have been using the IC-7800 the past 8 years for contesting at my friends QTH. He decided to jump in at order the IC-7851 and it arrived a few months back. It is a beautiful rig to look at, feel its smooth contours, operate, and just listen too. It is so easy to operate because all the controls just work as they should. The logic of the rig is much like the IC-7800, IC-756 Pro III, II or I.

It is so easy to operate one can just sit down and operate a contest or rag chew and feel right at home. We have told his wife that the rig was worth the expense in the sheer joy of operation. We both like the improved band scope too.
YD0NSI Rating: 2015-07-29
Icom's Masterpiece Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This is a masterpiece from Icom. Comparing side by side with the TS-990 and the older FT-9000 MP/400W, this radio shines with all the latest technology. It looks good too. I am a SSB guy and reports of my modulation has been excellent. The roofing filter works FB and very useful during contest.
WR5G Rating: 2015-05-29
Awsome Flagship Transciever Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.

I have owned the IC-7851 for about 3 weeks now and all I can say is “WOW” what an incredible rig! My old rig was an IC-7700 so the IC-7851 was certainly up against some stiff competition considering that the IC-7700 is in itself a great rig. The receiver in the IC-7851 performed significantly better than the IC-7700 in a few side by side comparisons that I performed between the two rigs. The IC-7851 has much tighter RMDR Characteristics when compared to the IC-7700 on CW. I was clearly able to pull in low power signals less than 3 KHz away from a much stronger signal. On the IC-7700 I could just barely pull in the weaker station so it made it very difficult to completely copy the weaker station. Switching between the IC-7700 and the IC-7851 using the same antenna proved to be an eye opening test as to how much better the receiver in the IC-7851 handles the separation of strong nearby stations.

The new band scope has several options now that greatly enhance the band scope functions over the IC-7700/7800 rigs. The scope is now much faster and has three selectable speeds. There is now a "Max Hold" setting of "10s Hold" so that you don't have a “build up” of several hours of scope "Hold" information while using the "fixed" band scope mode... This makes it much easier to see recent activity up and down the band. You can also choose either "Narrow" or "Wide" band width (VBW) which is another nice feature. There is also an "Averaging" feature for the band scope that enhances signals being viewed up and down the band. My favorite setting for the "Averaging" feature is "2".... That setting provides me a clear picture of activity up and down the band.

The Noise Reduction "NR" in the IC-7851 is "significantly" improved over the Noise Reduction "NR" in my IC-7700. While the NR in my IC-7700 did a good job of reducing noise it also significantly reduced the audio (and clarity on SSB) of the station you were trying to pull out the noise to the point that you could no longer clearly hear the station. This is not the case on the IC-7851... While there is a very minor drop in the audio level the signal stays perfectly intelligible while drastically removing the noise level... All I can say is "Wow"!! what a huge improvement in the NR feature!!

I wanted to also review the external monitor connection and setup on the IC-7851 as compared to the IC-7700. The IC-7851 uses a DVI connection and incorporates two different screen resolutions (800x480 and 800x600). I have found that the 800x840 resolution completely fills a wide screen monitor with no stretching or distortion of the screen which is a welcome change from the VGA video monitor connector on the IC-7700.

There is also now an “auto calibration’ 1.2 KHz roofing filter that provides superb roofing filter performance on CW!! I had my doubts that the new roofing filter would really provide a significant performance improvement over the 15k, 6k, and 3k roofing filters…. but I was wrong!! The results using the 1.2k filter had a significant improvement in reducing the noise level and greatly improved the readability of the signal. It is important however to perform a calibration of the filter in order to achieve maximum performance.

There is also a new feature on the IC-7850/7851 that allows you to turn off the +8V that has been present on pin 1 for all modern Icom rigs. This setting allows you to turn off the +8V while using a non-Icom microphone, or any other device, that might be plugged into the front microphone connector. I also wanted to point out that the transmit audio sounds a little “punchier” when compared to the IC-7700 using the same Tone, ALC and Compression settings that I used on the IC-7700

I have owned Kenwood and Yaesu rigs in the past and I can truthfully tell you that the receive on the IC-7851 far surpasses anything else that I have used in the past!!

Bottom line…. There are significant overall improvements in both functionality and performance in the IC-7850/7851 over the IC-7800 and IC-7700 transceivers… If you are already an Icom HF transceiver owner this radio will make you feel right at home with its standard menu system that has been used over several generations of Icom HF rigs.

73, Jerry (WR5G)
K7ERQ Rating: 2015-04-19
Best Transceiver I have used in 58 years! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
IC-7850 LE. What a Masterpiece! Simply Beautiful!
Dramatic improvement over my IC-7800. The nifty bandscope improvements are amazing. DSP, NR, QSK, Floor noise reduction, Transmit and Receive Audio are wonderful.
I have the IC-7850 LE set up in an A/B arrangement with my TS-990, K3, Flex 6700 and a Yaesu FT1000 Mk V. I love the K3 and the TS-990. The Flex 6700 is amazing, BUT the Icom is my go to rig. I have NO Negatives to report. The exterior finish is the best I have ever seen. The Gold Colored Trim Rings and Gold Colored Caps on the buttons...WOW.
Icom IC-7850 LE the real TOP OF THE LINE offering.
I remember how excited I was to own the IC-701. WOW, Icom you have come a long way! Congratulations!!
PA3HGT Rating: 2015-04-16
Close-by ultimate transceiver Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
As a former owner of an Icom IC781 and IC7800 and current owner of the Icom IC7851,Icom succeeded again with this beautiful transceiver.
At first hand i missed the front USB-ports,A EQ for TX-audio and the diversity RX like the Kenwood TS990 but other nice features do forget the "missed" things.
The Icom IC7851 is like an IC7800 on steroids with some improved functions like the NR and the scope.
IMHO is the NR strong improved and the scope in combination with the waterfall will make weak sigals better visual.
The grass is much lower then the IC7800 which was a pity for me.
This IC7851 is a joy to listen and you can do it for hours and hours without getting tired,it's a real sit down and relax radio.
Again you don't need the manual to operate this radio of the IC78XX family,ergonomics on this rig are outstanding.
Knobs are not feeling a little cheap,you feel the quality of this radio and spinning the VFO is a fun thing to do.
The display is sharper then the IC7800,easy to read and the mouse is a usefull tool for a quick tune on the scope.
I use for TX an Electroice RE27ND with a little bass (+1 for now) and treble (+4 for now) and i got great reports !
For more TX-power i use an Acom 2000a without any problem,no spikes,no futher problems.

Is the Icom IC7851 the best radio i ever had ? No... but it comes very close..
If you have the money to get it , do it you have a little less ..get the Kenwood TS990 which is also a great radio (with to many knobs)

For a few nice pics you can visit my website and look for the IC7851 section (written in dutch,google translator is available)