Tech Editor Fox Morgan put the Icom IC37 Handheld VHF Marine Radio through a comprehensive hands-on test - here's how it performed

Product Overview

Overall rating:


  • Robust no nonsense casing, Great easy to read screen, Impressive battery life, Versatile charging options


  • Not a DSC/GPS equipped model


Icom IC37 Handheld VHF Marine Radio Review

Best handheld VHF marine radio: - icom IC-M37 vhf handheld radio - joint best on test

Icom M37E handheld VHF radio

Best joint overall handheld VHF marine radio

This Icom IC37 Handheld VHF Marine Radio unit is a real workhorse.

Designed for both leisure and the commercial market, this is first felt in the housing, with a no nonsense feel and sturdy casing.

As we turned the volume up to hear it above a noisy engine it continued right up to 81dB on our monitor and retained enough clarity to hear the transmission without need to listen again.

As with all of our radios on test, there’s always a compromise and in this radio it is perhaps the physical ergonomics that takes the hit in return for an supremely impressive battery life that left us unable to return a number. The Icom M37E monitored a busy VTS channel round the clock for more than two days without any sign of the battery fading. Obviously if we were transmitting large amounts of chatter then this battery life would be much reduced as per all radios in our test.

The Icom IC37 Handheld VHF Marine Radio also comes as standard with an additional battery tray which takes 3 AAA batteries, making this a suitable contender for grab bag/emergency ditch bag duties too.

Charging is versatile and whilst it uses a drop in cradle, the cradle cable is USB powered, so you can plug this in to any power supply, 12v, 240v or portable power bank.

It has the now familiar Icom Float’n’Flash system which means it is buoyant, floating on its back and the screen automatically flashes when dunked so it’s easy to find should you drop it in the water.

Such a robust and well founded radio gets 5 stars from us. Whilst it might not have all the bells and whistles of some higher spec’d models, what it does do, is perform exceptionally well at the essential core functions.

• Battery life: well over 48 hours (on standby monitoring busy VTS channel)
• Extra battery tray/number and type of batts. Yes/3 x AAA
• Waterproofing: IPX7
• Floating: Yes
• Weight: 299g
• DSC: No
• GPS: No

Buy Icom M37E from Amazon UK

Buy Icom M37E from Gael Force Marine

If you’re looking for more handheld VHF marine radios read more in our buyers guide: Best handheld VHF marine radio: 11 feature-rich options for your boat