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VHF radios: Icom M88 vs M72?


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It seems that the M88 has been the gold standard for awhile ... then, this past winter apparently, the M72 was introduced, and there was a brief message thread (in March, I think) wondering about the relative merits of the two (e.g., somewhat different size/shape, better waterproof rating, cheaper price point, etc.), but at that point there wasn't any actual experience with the new kid yet to offer.

Now that I'm contemplating getting this piece of hardware for my shoulder, I'm wondering if anyone has new experience or information to contribute about the M72 that would help me sort out which one my shoulder should lean toward ...



Explorer, red/white

Suzboat, retired

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I looked into this recently & called Icom about it. The M72 is supposedly "more" waterproof & although the M88 has a mil spec rating while the M72 does not the support person I spoke with said that was only because they have not gottn the M72 certified this way but it is just as rugged. The M88 costs more because it has a couple of extras channnels for land use.

Mike C.

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Just note that you generally get what you pay for. If the M72 is so much better, then why does it cost so much less? It could be that iCom is using lower quality components, etc., in the M72. Personally, I compared them both and found the M72 much larger in the hand even though the specs show it a bit shorter. If you want it placed on your shoulder, that's definately a consideration.

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The M88 has a somewhat larger feature set than the M72 (land channels, etc.), hence the higher price. None of the extra features are specifically useful to kayakers. One cannot assume that the M72 is lower quality based strictly on the price, especially in view of its higher submersibility rating (JIS-8 vs. JIS-7 for the M88). It also has the speaker clearing feature that IS specifically useful to kayakers, which the M88 lacks.

Size is certainly an issue, especially for shoulder mounting, but the M72 does come with a mounting clip that can be used for shoulder mounting.

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