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My Icom IC-705's handheld microphone has a built in speaker. I leave that connection unplugged because the audio from the radio itself is far superior.

What's the purpose of a speaker built in to the microphone?

The only use case I can think of is for an HT you might strap to your belt with a separate mic on your shoulder or something, so the audio is closer to your ear on the go.

But why would an IC-705 have audio from the microphone? I can't find anything about the use of this online. Maybe for if you were backpacking with it, since it's a QRP radio?

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    $\begingroup$ In case you don't see my comment on the current answer: to your comment about backpacking note that Icom sell a backpack specifically for this model for remote operation with the programmable microphone/speaker acting as a wired remote. $\endgroup$
    – user21417
    Feb 16 at 15:48

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I have a microphone with a speaker for the Kenwood in my truck - the body is tucked away out of sight, so the speaker in the body is muffled at best. The microphone is hung right there on the dash, so its speaker is what I can hear. I will get around to mounting an amplified speaker in an appropriate place someday, just haven't gotten around to that yet, since the speaker on the mike is not great.

Similarly the IC-705 is advertised as 'portable', and I could see mounting it in my truck, where again the main unit would not be near the front seat and any speaker in it would be useless to me.

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    $\begingroup$ Notice that Icom also sells a backback as an option for this radio for remote operation. It is not inconceivable that you might want to operate while it is tucked away behind you, in which case the case speaker is not going to be very handy. $\endgroup$
    – user21417
    Feb 16 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ @jdv - I agree, that fell more into the handheld-on-your-belt reason for a speaker-mic. Lots of different use cases out there, always nice to have a speaker-mic (or controls-speaker-mic) option available. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 16 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ Oh yes, and I should have made it clear I was reinforcing your correct answer; that there are more than a few reasons why the base unit would be tucked away and the "station" as it were is the microphone and all you need. I guess another hint is that the microphone is programmable in lots of ways, making it less of a microphone, and more of a "station remote control with a built in speaker and microphone". $\endgroup$
    – user21417
    Feb 16 at 15:46

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