April 15, 2017

Icom M36 Floating Handheld 6W Marine Radio Review

Icom M36 01 VHF handheld radio review

The ICOM M36 is a powerful handheld VHF radio complete with Clear Voice, Noise-Canceling, Submersible & Waterproof Tech features. It is made by award-winning Japanese manufacturing company Icom Inc. which is located in Osaka, Japan. Recently, Icon was awarded the 2017 NMEA Award for the best VHF Marine Radio. The company has been manufacturing multi-model wireless marine communication devices for over 30 years with the highest degree of quality and dependability. They are also the first company to create innovative marine wireless products with submersible tech and Li-ion powered batteries. You can read about our favorite handheld marine radios here.

One of the ICOM M36’s frequently mentioned and praised features is its noise-canceling internal microphone and clear voice technology that helps reduce interference during calls. With this feature, all your transmissions will be received clearly by the listener on the end no matter the weather.

You don’t have to worry about dropping the ICOM in the water. The ICOM M36 floats and has a waterproof rating of IPX7 - making it almost impossible to damage by submersing it in water. In fact, it can stay submerged in up to 3 feet of water for more than half an hour and still fully function.

For a low-cost hand-held radio, the ICOM M36 provides one of the best reception ranges and signal strengths. It also has an outstanding 8-hour battery life which is very useful during emergencies. The ICOM M36 features a large backlit display and easy-to-use keypad that make it suitable for use even during nights.

Let's review Icom M36's Main Features

  • Clear Voice and Voice boost - This feature allows the speaker output to adjust according to the ambient sound, making transmissions clearer and louder. The device also includes a special LOUD button which allows the device to instantly increase its volume.
  • Noise Canceling Microphone - Noise canceling technology that cancels out background noise, making it easier to understand and communicate with other people on the other end of the line. This feature also improves incoming signal to boost your overall voice quality.
  • Easy-to-Operate Buttons and Pinched-Waist Design - ICOM M36 is known for its intuitive controls that make the device incredibly easy-to-use. Its slim-waist design allows for easy grip while it’s large display makes it readable even at night.
  • Dual Watch & Scan - You can scan between channels whilst monitoring channel 16 for news and weather alerts. This feature also allows you to monitor all the channels you want without missing an important harbor call. A great feature to stay connected especially during times of emergency.
  • High/Low Volume Control - Choose between high or low power to determine the amount of watts you want to use for transmitting and receiving signals. The lower power you use, the longer the battery will last.
  • Battery Life Indicator - This allows you to measure how much battery is left. Your device’s battery is crucial so make sure that your marine radio has an easy way know how much battery is left.
  • Channel Scan - You can set your favorite channels anytime. This feature also allows channel scanning for 59 US, 63 Canadian, and 59 international Marine channels.
  • Waterproof - The ICOM36 is not only weatherproof, it’s also waterproof. Even if you handle your things with great care, accidents can happen. Also, you never know when a big storm may come so having a weather and waterproof radio is very important.
  • It Floats - Sure, waterproof is nice but even better is if your marine radio’s life floats. The ICOM M36’s ability to float will help save your device if you ever need to abandon ship. This feature is also important so you can easily retrieve your marine radio when it is dropped overboard.
  • AquaQuake Water Draining Function - Removes water away from its speaker grill. Great feature for rainy weather or if it falls in the water.
  • Essential Accessories - The ICOM M36 comes with necessary accessories like a wrist wrap, belt clip, and battery pack for convenient use. It also has a removable antenna which you can connect to a larger mounted radio to increase range.
  • Weather Alerts - The ICOM M36 is complete with an automatic weather alert so that you stay informed about changes in weather even when you are miles off the coast. Sea weather is very unpredictable, so make sure you’re always prepared.

Summary of Features

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    980mAh lithium-Ion battery pack (with rechargeable battery included)
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    Battery Meter
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    Battery Saver
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    6W RF Output
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    Channel Scan
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    Hi/Low Power Button
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    Adjustable Squelch
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    NOAA Weather Alert System
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    10 NOAA weather alerts
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    Dual and Tri-Watch
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    Dedicated Buttons for Channels 9 and 16
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    Large Backlit Display and Keypad
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    Auto Power Save Function
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    Removable Antenna

What's included with purchase?

110v charger, Battery Pack, Belt Clip, Wrist Strap, Device Manual, 3 Year Warranty.

Specifications:

  • Weight : 90.4oz (295g)
  • Dimensions : 2 7/16 W × 5 1/2 H × 1 11/16 D in.
  • Antenna Connector Type: J Female

Closing Thoughts and Suggestions

From the company that makes great marine radios, The ICOM M36 has everything you need. It’s a powerful life-saving tool to keep on your vessel whenever you’re going on the water. Make sure to invest in one for a safe and secure boating trip.


But what do actual users say about this radio? Are they actually happy with their purchase? Let’s find out the pros, cons and what reviewers are saying about this radio. Below are the most common pros and cons that people have stated in their reviews on Amazon.

  • 4.5 out of 5 Stars
  • 48 Total Customer reviews
  • 75% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • Very Loud 
  • Extra long battery life
  • Reliable
  • Range was not as long as expected
  • No Car/boat charger
Read about marine radios

If you have bought or used this radio please feel free to leave a comment with your experience below to help others who may have questions.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Icom M36 01 Floating Handheld 6W Marine Radio
Author Rating
41star1star1star1stargray