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ICOM M605 Review – New Premium Class VHF Marine Radio

ICOM M605 review
ICOM M605 review
Read about marine radios

ICOM M605 is the new flagship VHF fixed mount radio in the Icon line up. This is a fully featured high end radio that allows a lot of flexibility connecting additional devices. You will find a powerful commercial grade class D DSC receiver (more about it later), integrated GNSS receiver (GPS, Glonass and SBAS), beautiful 4.3" color LCD display with night mode, built in AIS, 30W 2-way Hailer with Horn function, NMEA 2000 backward compatible with NMEA 0183 and ability to connect up to three controllers! As I said, this radio has pretty much every feature you may wish for. Let's review some of those features. You can see our top three picks for fixed mount marine radios here.

4.3" Color LCD Display - First in its class!

ICOM M605 is the first VHF fixed mount radio with a color LCD. DOT matrix displays are nice, but after you look at this 4.3" display with wide viewing angles, it will be hard for you to go back to other radios, they will feel outdated. ICOM included NIGHT MODE for operation at night which changes background to dark background and displays text and icons in dark red. This color LCD can finally display nice graphics, making navigation through menu more intuitive. 

Connect up to 3 Controller Devices

If you have a larger boat, you may want to have additional controllers that can control ALL functions on ICOM m605 VHF radio. ICOM M605 can be connected to 3 external controllers. You can use RC-M600 (works ups to 50m away) with its beautiful display or connect a more portable HM-195 handheld controller (works up to 18.3m away). Put one on flybridge and another in office corner or sleeping area, and you will always have communication by you. Intercom function is included so you can use it to talk between external controllers and the main unit.

ICOM RC-M600

ICOM HM-195 - check on AMAZON.com

Integrated AIS receiver

As we previously covered in our ICOM M506 review, AIS is a must have when you navigate through heavy traffic areas. The AIS plotter screen will display nearby vessels, and you could also choose a target on this display and call them directly using DSC without having to enter MMSI code (requires AIS transponder).

Integrated GNSS Receiver

ICOM M605 has the latest GNSS receiver which works with included UX-241 antenna. You no longer have to get an external GPS device to fully take advantage of AIS and DSC functions.

Some of the additional features include:

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    4.3" Color LCD​​​
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    25W or 1W of output power
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    Class D DSC receiver 
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    Hailer with 30W power
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    Horn and Foghorn
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    Weather channel with weather alerts
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    Dual Watch/Tri-watch
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    Adjustable backlight
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    AquaQuake water draining
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    Intercom function
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    Voice auto recorder - last 120 seconds
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    Active noise cancelling
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    IPX8
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    274 (W) × 114 (H) × 121.5 (D) mm

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.

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    Great screen
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    Excellent audio quality
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    Compact
  • minus
    Expensive, yet nobody else makes such a beautiful display
Read about marine radios

ICOM IC-M424G Review – Compact Marine VHF Radio with Hailer

ICOM IC-M424G Compact Marine VHF Radio
ICOM IC-M424G Compact Marine VHF Radio

The ICOM IC-M424G is a compact fixed mount marine VHF radio for boaters who want all the high end features in a compact package. Large backlit LCD with intuitive interface makes it easy to read important messages on the screen as well as navigate through the menu. Active noise cancelling and bidirectional microphone is able to filter up to 90% of unwanted background noise. Integrated GPS receiver shows your current location and can be used making DSC calls.

Some of the features include:

  • All USA, International, and Canada Channels
  • All NOAA weather channels
  • IPX7 Submersible Protection to 1m for 30 minutes
  • NMEA Interface for GPS/NAV
  • Active noise cancelling
  • Built-in class D DSC
  • 10W loud audio with public address and foghorn
  • 1 / 25 Watt Switchable
  • Backlit Easy to Read LCD Display
  • Limited 3 Year Warranty
  • Dimensions - 7.09 x 3.22 x 4.72 in.

What do actual users say about this radio? Are they actully happy with their purchase? Lets find out the pros, cons and what reviwers are saying about this radio. Below are the most common pros and cons that people have stated in their reviews on Amazon.

  • 4.8 out of 5 Stars
  • 5 Total Customer reviews
  • 80% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • Large Easy to Read Display
  • Reliable
  • Great sound quality 
  • Prime Shipping Eligible
  • No rubber gasket for panel mounting in the package
Read about marine radios

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

Uniden UM415 Fixed Mount VHF Marine Radio review

Uniden UM415 Fixed Mount Class D VHF Marine Radio
Uniden UM415 Fixed Mount Class D VHF Marine Radio

Designed to compete against COBRA MR F45-D, Uniden UM415 has similar features and is another great choice for a budget fixed mount VHF radio. Dedicated DSC button makes it easy to send and receive distress calls. Adjustable 1/25 Watt power output will ensure that you will always have a strong clear signal for communications. The interface is user-friendly and doesn't take long to master. Quick command Ch 16/9 keys, decent size Dot Matrix display as well as rubber grip mic will further simplify operations of this radio. S.A.M.E. weather alerts allows you to specify the area that you would like to get notified about. This Uniden Marine Radio as well as all products from Uniden are covered by one year manufacturer warranty. Check out some  features that we highlighted for this great budget device. 

Some of the features include:

  • 1/25 Watt output for short and long range communication
  • Weather scan and weather alerts
  • All USA/International/Canada Channels
  • Submersible JIS8
  • Backlid display and keys
  • DSC position send and request
  • Matrix Display
  • Memory scan
  • Instant Channel 16/9
  • Limited 3 Year Warranty

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.

  • 4.1 out of 5 Stars
  • 117 Total Customer reviews
  • 53% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • Compact rugged construction
  • Excellent Unit For the Price
  • Weak microphone clip
Read about marine radios

Cobra Electronics MR F45-D Fixed Mount VHF Radio Review

Cobra Electronics MR F45-D Class-D Fixed Mount VHF Radio
Cobra Electronics MR F45-D Class-D Fixed Mount VHF Radio

If you are looking for a good budget VHF radio, COBRA MR F45-D is your perfect choice. With MSRP of less than $150, you get a powerful radio that can output up to 25 Watt of power for long -range communication as well as DSC functionality. Your communications will be crystal clear thanks to built it noise cancelling microphone. While it may not have the biggest display on the market, you do get adjustable backlight as well as Dual Watch. Weather alerts with visual and audible alarms will keep you safe in case there is a storm on the horizon. And did we mentioned that is it Submersible? Check out more specs below.

Some of the features include:

  • Dual power 1 or 25 Watts
  • 10 NOAA weather channels
  • USA/Internationa/Canada Channels
  • Submersible rated as JIS7
  • GPS input capability
  • Instant Channel 16/9
  • Noice Canceling Microphone
  • Reasonably Priced
  • Limited 3 Year Warranty

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.

  • 4.2 out of 5 Stars
  • 181 Total Customer reviews
  • 66% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • Large Easy to Read Display
  • Excellent Unit For the Price
  • Good power output
  • Very few users reported reliability issues, but were replaced under warranty
 
Read about marine radios

ICOM IC-M324G 21 Marine VHF Radio review

ICOM IC-M324G marine radio
ICOM IC-M324G marine radio

Icom IC-M324G is a compact VHF radio with top notch performance and all the necessary features included in its body. This VHF radio comes after the M200 (entry level model) in the ICOM VHF radio line up and features some nice upgrades. You can also find our top three fixed mount radios here.

There are two versions of the M324 series:

  1. Model M324G has a built in GPS receiver 
  2. Model M324 (no G at the end) does not come with a built in GPS receiver

The difference between the two models is around $50, but having a GPS function in a VHF radio is a huge plus, therefore we suggest you get the M324G - with the GPS. 

This fixed mount radio also comes in two color options: Black version and Super White version.

ICOM IC-M324G marine radio
ICOM M324G marine radio

So what do you get with this radio and why we think this is a good value?

1. Large Dot-Matrix Display with Icom Marine Family User Interface

Icom M324 has a large high definition Dot-Matrix display that is easy to read. Reading crucial information is fast and easy. Your distress call button, instant channel 16, volume and menu are clearly marked.

Icom fixed mount radio

2. Lifesaving GPS Receiver

Yes, you could add an external GPS to some VHF radios, but if you get the M324G - it is already built in! It simplifies operation (like automatic timezone detection), adds important safety features to your radio and there is no need to connect external GPS equipment.

The ICOM M324G comes with a dedicated distress call button. Press and hold for 3 seconds and your distress call will be transmitted (including current GPS position). If you did not get the 324G model, enter your GPS location manually. 

Built in class D DSC has the ability to  monitor channel 70 (DSC channel) even when you are making another call.

3. NMEA Interface

NMEA 0183 isn't the latest NMEA standard (NMEA 2000) but it does add ability to connect NMEA compatible devices. If you need NMEA 2000 connectivity - you will have to step up to ICOM M506 radio.

List of additional features include:

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    25 Watts / 1 Watt output power
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    Built in GPS Receiver
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    Intuitive User Interface
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    Submersible IPX7 protection
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    AquaQuake water draining system
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    NMEA 0183 interface
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    Dot-Matrix Display
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    Compatible with MA-500TF AIS transponder
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    Reasonably Priced
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    Dimensions: 7.1 x 3.2 x 4.7
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    Audio output - 4.5W
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    3 Year Waterproof Warranty

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.

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    ​​​​4.8 out of 5 Stars
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    86% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
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    Large Easy to Read Display
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    Excellent Unit For the Price
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    Built in GPS
  • minus
    Flush mount clips are not included
  • minus
    Not the newest NMEA 2000 interface 
Read about marine radios

Standard Horizon GX1300W Eclipse GX1300B Fixed Mount VHF Radio (White)

Standard Horizon GX 1300W VHF marine radio review
Standard Horizon GX 1300W VHF marine radio review

The Standard Horizon GX 1300W Eclipse is an ultra-compact class D fixed mount VHF radio. The radio has ITU-R M493-13 class D rating for digital selective calling. The radio is also water proof up to 4.92ft which is more than enough for a fixed mount marine radio. The menu is oversized making it very easy to see in rough conditions. This is a relatively inexpensive fixed mount radio that is perfect for the weekend boater who is not venturing far offshore. This unit can also be interfaced with a GPS receiver making it more versatile. Note that this radio is offered in black and white options.

Some of the features include:

  • Ultra Compact
  • 25 Watts
  • DSC - Digital Selective Calling
  • Large easy to use menu system
  • Seperate receiver for CH70
  • NMEA In and Output to a GPS Chart Plotter
  • Keys are programable
  • Track the GPS position of up to 4 ships using DSC
  • IPX8 Waterproofing - 4.92ft for 30 minutes
  • All USA, International, and Canadian Marine Channels
  • NOAA Weather Channel Selection
  • Programmable Scan, Priority Scan, and Dual Watch
  • Reasonably Priced
  •  3 Year Waterproof Warranty
  • Dimensions - 11.5 inches, 4.5 inches, 9.5 inches

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.

  • 4.3 out of 5 Stars
  • 23 Total Customer reviews
  • 70% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • Large Easy to Read Display
  • Excellent Unit For the Price
  • Reliable
  • Warning message has to be cleared everytime you power the radio on
Read about marine radios

Standard Horizon GX1700 Review – Explorer GPS VHF Marine Radio

Standard Horizon GX1700W marine radio
Standard Horizon GX1700W marine radio

The Standard Horizon GX1700W GPS VHF Marine Radio is a higher end fixed mount radio with many features. The features include a 12 channel GPS, DSC calling, navigation, and a compact size with only 3.5in. depth making installation in tight places very easy. Over 100 waypoints can also be stored in the radio. This is an ideal radio for the serious boater who wants a high end radio with plenty of features in a small package. Please note that this radio does need an antenna; which is sold separately.

Let's take a look at some of the main features of this radio.

Ultra Thin and Compact Rear Case Design

This radio has a beautiful, bright easy to read display with plenty of information on it. But you should also know that the depth of this radio is only 3.5".

Built in GPS

Not only this fixed mount radio has a built in GPS but the GPS antenna is located at the front panel, allowing you to use brackets or flush mount and not worry about covering GPS antenna. You may also connect external GPS antenna using NMEA 0183 output.

fixed mount radio with gps

GPS Compass

One of the benefits of having a higher end marine radio is the ability to save waypoints and navigate to them using GPS compass. Standard Horizon GX1700 can save up to 100 waypoints. Built in display allows you to select COMPASS, WAYPOINT or GPS STATUS from the menu.

GX1700 display with gps

Class D DSC

GX1700 and GX1600 have VHF/FM marine transceivers are capable of ITU 493-13 DSC Class D operation. What does it mean? This means that you can continuously receive DSC functions  (digital selective calling) on channel 70 even if you are are on another call. Why would you need a DSC? It allows you no send/receive distress, urgency, safety, position info and routine to and from other vessels equipped with a DSC transceiver.

Noise Reduction

There is a lot of background noise on a boat - engine, wind, etc. GX1700 features a built in noise reduction technology - Clear Voice Noise Reduction, which helps eliminate those unwanted background noises. 

Some of the features include:

  • Integrated 12 Channel WAAS GPS receiver
  • 25 Watts
  • GPS antenna built-in to the front panel allows reception when bracket or flush mounted
  • Ultra thin and compact rear case design (3.5” depth)
  • Meets ITU-R M493-13 Class D DSC (Digital Selective Calling)
  • Automatically poll the GPS position of up to 4 ships using DSC
  • Programmable Scan, Priority Scan, and Dual Watch
  • Submersible JIS-8 1.5M (4.92Ft) for 30 minutes
  • Oversized display with customizable channel names
  • Capable of connecting to a Second Station RAM3+ Remote Access Microphone
  • Intercom between radio and Second Station RAM3+ Remote Access Microphone
  • 3 Year Waterproof Warranty
  • Dimensions - 5.9 inches, 3.4 inches, 3.6 inches

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.

  • 4.3 out of 5 Stars
  • 77 Total Customer reviews
  • 81% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • Large Easy to Read Display that is bright
  • DSS with GPS built in is great
  • Very well made
  • Some people has expirenced issues with the radio not working after getting wet
  • Without the seperate antenna the radio has zero range
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.

Uniden UM380 Fixed Mount Class D VHF Marine Radio – White

Fixed mount two way marine radio Uniden UM380
Fixed mount two way marine radio Uniden UM380

Uniden UM380 is a budget compact fixed mount radio that is available in black and white colors. Don't expect to find high end features available in more expensive radios, rather look at it as a fixed mount radio with a good signal and most of the basic features needed in a 2 way marine radio.

This VHR radio features a large LCD display, extra large power and squelch knobs, dedicated Distress button and backlit keypad. Uniden UM380 is fairly compact measuring H 2.95" x W 6.58" x L 5.08". The radio is shipped with a mounting bracket, microphone hanger and mounting hardware. Transmit power is adjustable (choose between Hi/Lo = 25 Watt/1Watt) for short range and long range communication. If you want to use DSC feature, you need to connect external GPS receiver via NMEA 0183 connector. Once it is connected, you will see GPS indicator on the screen.

Uniden UM380 supports S.A.M.E. weather alerts, triple watch and all USA, Canada and international channels.

Verdict

If you are on a budget and need a good quality VHF radio, Uniden UM380 is a very good choice!

Some of the features include:

  • All NOAA weather channels
  • USA/Internationa/Canada Channels
  • Submersiable to 3.3 ft for 30 minutes
  • Rugged and Durable Construction
  • Channel Scan/Memory Scan
  • NMEA 0183 Input/ Output
  • Reasonably Priced
  • Limited 3 Year Warranty
  • Dimensions - H 2.95" x W 6.58" x L 5.08"

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
  • 344 Total Customer reviews
  • 71% of Customers Rated the Radio 5 Stars
  • Large Easy to Read Display
  • Excellent Unit For the Price
  • Reliable
  • Range was not as long as expected
  • Some customers felt it was not as durable as it should be
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.