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on February 16, 2008
I recently purchased the Panasonic RF-P50 because I was in need of a portable radio that has a built in speaker. I have discovered that this is hard to come by in a brick and mortar store. So I did a little search on Amazon.com and came across this product.

I also own its direct competitor - the Sony ICF-S10MK2.

The Panasonic radio is great because I can carry it around anywhere and always have music with me where ever I go. I especially like to use it in hotel rooms when I go on trips, but it's also nice to have in order to listen to music in all of the rooms of my apartment.

The Panasonic RF-P50 has a telescoping antenna which can be swiveled back and forth, and on/off/volume switch, band selector, and tuning dial. The speaker measures at 2 and a half inches.

I live in a basement apartment, so it is not always easy to get a fantastic signal. I have discovered that this radio pulls in all the major FM stations quite easily - although sometimes I have to fiddle with the tuning and antenna to get a good reception.

The few local AM stations can be pulled in as well.

The appearance of this radio is quite nice. It appears that Panasonic has taken some time into building a radio that is pleasing to the eye. It's a pocket radio with a nice contemporary look. The radio frequencies are listed on the unit quite clearly - much bigger than what I've seen on similar units from other companies. Also the tuning light, which lets you know when you've locked on to a strong station just right, is bright and easy to see.

This Panasonic pocket radio comes with a wrist strap. This is one of my only gripes. I wish it came with both a wrist strap and a belt clip. Another nice feature that would make this radio better is if one could remove both the wrist strap and belt clip.

How does it sound? Keep in mind, it's a pocket radio, you're not going to get huge sound as you would with a stereo system. However, for its tiny size, the speaker sounds surprisingly good. The sound quality sounds clear, but not too tinny. I've ehard models with much harsher sound. Also don't expect glass shattering bass, you won't find it here. But as I said, for its size, it has a pleasant sound.

In comparing this model to the Sony competitor, I notice a few things.

1. I like the appearance of the Panasonic model over the Sony model. I just feel that the Panasonic model looks nicer.

2. In terms of when I'm holding both radios in my hands, the Sony model seems to have a better build quality (harder plastic, less flimsy feel to the radio). However, I've had the Panasonic model for a while and have had no issues with its build quality. Of course, I'm very careful with my electronics, I don't abuse them.

3. Both models seem about equal in terms of receiving FM signal. Both models pull in the local stations quite easily. The Sony model seems to have a slight advantage in pulling in the slightly weaker stations but this could be due in part to the fact that its antenna is longer.

4. AM reception on the Sony is much better than the Panasonic. It seems to be able to pull in the stations with more clarity. But again, the Panasonic radio can pull in the strong local AM stations just fine.

5. To my ears, both of these models sound exactly the same. Sound quality of music/talk shows sound the same with both units.

NOTE: People should note that the headphone jack on both of these models are in mono only. This means that when you plug stereo headphones in either model, you'll only get sound in one side of the headphones. Please bear in mind that this does not mean the radio is broken. These units were designed this way.

The Bottom Line: I definitely consider the Panasonic RF-P50 a steal at ten bucks. It's a small sized radio that you can carry with you anywhere to listen to music, or get the latest news. Both the Sony and Panasonic models are what I consider to be excellent deals. I prefer the Panasonic over the Sony model though.

For most cases I'd recommend the Panasonic model. But if you're looking for slightly better build quality and better AM reception, then I'd recommend the Sony model. Of course get the Sony model if you prefer its appearance over the Panasonic model.
2121 comments298 of 302 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 28, 2001
This little gem reminded me how much I appreciate clean, straightforward design. Panasonic has done a marvelous job in recreating the classic "transistor radio" which fits perfectly in your hand. It's controlled by the three standard radio controls: (1) an off/volume wheel, (2) a tuning wheel, and (3) an AM/FM band slider. There's also a headphone jack, a telescoping antenna and a carrying strap. The sound from the tiny speaker is surprisingly good, and it can be heard from the next room at half volume.
I bought one of these rather than paying money to MLB to hear baseball on the web. The reception is just fine in my basement apartment, which is more than I can say for my cellphone. And unlike the transistor radios of yore, it runs on two AA batteries.
77 comments237 of 242 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 29, 2002
I remembered transistor radios from when i was a kid and this one does not disappoint. Outside raking leaves on a Saturday evening, there's a game on the radio, there's nothing like it. Time seems to slow down and for a bit. . . life is simpler and happier than it had been. Or on a hot Saturday afternoon, my wife and I may sit out on the patio with some beverages, she'll read and I'll stare off into space while I listen to the gentle ebb and flow of the play by play of a local baseball game. This one has great sound and tunes in very well. Batteries are very long lived in it. And for the price? Can you beat it? Slow down once in a while and be transported to the Saturday afternoon you imagined you'd have when you were a kid. Forget about things for a while. When it comes to unwinding, this is your ticket to sanity.
77 comments152 of 166 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 18, 2003
I have been looking around for some pocket radios to keep in the house in case of an emergency. I found some by other companies but were too expensive. The Panasonic is great! The reception is very clear on both am/fm. I didn't even need to put up the antenna. I bought 3 of these little babies, one for myself, one for my husband, and one for our 'Emergency Go Bag'.
11 comment72 of 76 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 10, 2001
A very good overall pocket radio with decent sound quality and a large, easy to read slide rule dial display. Reception quality and sensitivity on FM is very good, however AM is not as sensitive and only pulls in local stations clearly. The size of this radio is very convienient- it's one of the smallest pocket radios I've had. It is also very lightweight so it's easy to carry around. There's an indicator light on the front that shows when a station is tuned in, and a green indicator appears on the left side of the dial to show when power is turned on. The carry strap is convienient, and the antenna can be moved from side to side to get the best reception. However, the radio has one downside- in strong areas FM reception suffers from local station interference. Some stations tend to come in all over the dial. Aside from that, this is a very good pocket radio. If you're looking for a small radio to carry around or take with you to the beach, it's a very good choice. I'd highly recommend it.
0Comment43 of 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 24, 2007
The RFP50-As the orther rewier has said.. it is little gem. Gem is perhaps the correct word to describe the radio.

Wel built and nice looking and evoking the past pocket radios, nice little sound.

But when it comes to AM reception little muffled. As I have said elsewehere Sony' MK2 is better in the AM department. I have since 2004 July and I love the radio-I don't know why-you too will just love it-it is more emotional than loigcal-like the love you havge for beetles and minis.

The finish is much better than the its competitor, the panasonic guys have paid more attention to little details, like the batt compartment and the Production details moulded at the back.

The best thing I love about the radio is the little ear piece that comes with it-the connical one that stuff into your ear-not the stereo ones-cute and reminding the olde types.

But the antenna is as filmsy as the Sony's. Feel very fragile but ok.

Good in FM tuning but bit weak in AM.

But then we buy radio to tune in stations...
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on January 18, 2007
A small, no frills, conservatively styled, functional, and sturdy pocket radio of high quality. Good reception and sound, about as good as my portable (and expensive) Grundig AM/FM shortwave with digital tuner. Tuning is a little difficult if used in an area with a crowded bandwidth. My wife takes it around the house during daytime listening. Gets long "mileage" from batteries. The external FM antenna is easily replaced if broken by removing a screw on the back cover. Nice feature. I've never been disappointed with a product from Panasonic. Can't say the same for the other guys like Sony. Real value considering the price. I don't believe there's a comparable product on the market at this price. For instance, the Sony pocket radio doesn't include the 1610-1710 AM width that began in 1993. At this price buy several for family and friends.
22 comments19 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 13, 2006
This is a great little radio. I'm very pleased with it. It runs for a very long time on 2 AA batteries. I have trouble sleeping at night and I like to listen to the radio. This doesn't sit (or lay) well with my husband. So I put the radio underneath my pillow on a very low volume and I can be lulled to sleep and my husband can't hear it! It easily picks up AM stations just as well as FM stations. I generally listen to talk radio at night. I am not sure I would be as pleased listening to music with it--its a small mono speaker. It brings me back to my childhood when my Dad would have his transitor radio tunned to the baseball games in the summer. Solid, sturdy, reliable, great price.
0Comment23 of 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 9, 2003
Let me tell you something. This radio is great. I live in New York City and I get great music even in my elevator only fm in my elevator
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 1, 2007
SUMMARY
It is a terrific "transistor" radio. Turn it on, dial in your station, enjoy memories of a simpler time---particularly these days when you can't set the time on a typical wristwatch without the manual which you lost three years ago. On/off/volume with plenty of volume if you want it. Great manual tuning---the radio won't "forget" your station when you change batteries. There is even a little red diode which helps tuning in exactly on your station. Two AA batteries seem to last forever.

TUNING AND RECEPTION
The manual tuning is straightforward and easy, albeit sometimes it is hard to exactly tune in a weak station near a strong one, in part because a slight touch of the dial changes the frequency. There are no presets---so, if you listen to several stations, write the frequences down on a label and stick it to the radio (and protect the label with clear tape). Just dial in the station you want. Reception is usually very good, even without the telescoping antenna (just leave it collapsed), but it is very much appreciated when you need it.

ON/OFF VOLUME
One of the particularly good features of the Panasonic is plenty of volume. You can place the radio anywhere in the room. I consider it to be a "shop and patio" radio.

SOUND QUALITY
The sound qualtiy is good, not great. This is a radio for listening to news, talk radio, or ball games, not classical music. Music is acceptable, particularly at modest volume. If you want to listen to music, buy an MP3 player with a built-in FM reciever and a good set of headphones---or a fancy Bose, etc for 20 times the price.

BATTERIES
The Panasonic uses two AA batteries which last forever. Honest---at least a month using the radio several hours per day---even with rechargeables. Nevertheless, having a set of 4 rechargeables means you are never out of batteries. Sanyo Eneloop 4 Pack AA NiMH Pre-Charged Rechargable Batteries w/ Charger

USING HEADPHONES
The headphone ("earphone" in transistor days) is mono, and no earphone is included mono or otherwise. Which means you have to plug in your (stereo) headphones---but then, you only get sound to your left ear, nothing to your right ear. Why? I've had mono voice recorders for years, which nevertheless had the proper socket for stereo headphones (you got mono, but to both ears, which was fine). If you want an AM radio to use with headphones, I suggest a Coby CX50---which is also mono, but to both ears. Coby CX50 Compact AM/FM Radio with Digital Display, silver

CARRYING IT AROUND
The Panasonic is nicely pocket-sized and slides easily in and out of shirt pockets. It's a bit large for pants pockets. The strap is rather useless, and can't be removed. There is no easy way to carry it on your belt. I've placed a strip of self-adheasive velco tape on the back, and mating velcro tape the several places I use it (e.g., in my shop and on my hammock)Velcro Sticky-Back Hook & Loop Fastener Roll In Dispenser Box, 3/4in X 15 Ft., Black (VEK90081)

OTHER FUNCIONS
There are no other functions. If you want travel--alarm clock--radio, I again suggest a Coby CX50 Coby CX50 Compact AM/FM Radio with Digital Display, silver I happily use both radios.
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