Customer Reviews: Sony ICF-S10MK2 Pocket AM/FM Radio, Silver
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on April 6, 2005

I've never written an online review before but his radio is great and is worth the trouble.

I'm a Ham Operator and I restore tube radios for a hobby so I've spent a few hours listening to DX, I know crap, I know hype, and I know a miracle when I trip over one. I started looking around for a pocket radio to keep in my truck because sometimes I would be caught working away from the shop for hours without any news or music. If you're a radio nut you can guess what happened next. A month later, probably twenty hours online and more than a hundred bucks worth of pocket radios and I wasn't happy. I'd had fun and now had some radios handy around the house for "adequate" use (radios & led flashlights, can't have enough!). Even though I had run across this radio online and in reviews I didn't put it on my list of probables, It was just a $10.00 radio and I was limiting myself to vintage radios with discrete transistor designs or new IC designs over $30 or $40 dollars. After all I wanted a "good radio". I was pretty much interested in an analog radio because in this price range digital sets are usually noisey, battery hogs, and plauged by "birdies". Finally, I ordered one of these because "what the heck" ten bucks, if it sucks I'll give it away. When it showed up I plopped in a set of AA's tuned the dial and heard lots of stations, good sign. Any radio that has analog tuning with a dial thats two inches across is a challenge, but thats ok. Low and behold theres KGNC from over 120 miles away and it's 1500hrs(3pm). What the hay! Listen up buyers, This radio is TEN BUCKS and it can hear stations others can't. No one has learned how to put sensitivity, selectivity, and audio into one box this size but this radio is a miracle! Don't get me wrong this is not a Sony 2010 or a GE SRIII, but it's small enough and cheap enough to have one in every room of the house and in each car. And the speaker is good enough that you don't have to use phones. It has a telescoping antenna for FM. Some radios that cost 6X as much don't have a tele. ant., they use the headphone cables. That means even if your using the speaker you have to have the headphones plugged in or the FM stinks. Since this is still a new toy it hasn't yet made it to the glove box in the truck, I'm still playing with it. I live in the Panhadle of Texas and last night I listened to a talk show in Nebraska before bed; woke up and touched the dial and there was a great morning show in San Antonio. If this radio was $70.00 I'd give it 3 or 3.5 stars, for TEN to FOURTEEN dollars it is a true bargain! Some others may review this radio and subtract points because of selectivity or something, remember this radio cost less than a good burger and fries! I've spent thousands of dollars on radios; Collins,Icom,Yaesu,Sony, and others. I have better radios than this one but I've never had anything for >$15.00 that was this good.

Buy two or three, I did.

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on November 8, 2005
I'm one of "those people" that always seems to have room for one more radio, even if it is roughly the same as many others I own. After reading several reviews for the ICF-S10MK2 and seeing the $10 price tag, I couldn't resist. After spending a few days of extensive listening, it has sent a few other radios to the display shelf. The Sony is a bare-bones FM/AM transistor - no clock, dial lighting, bells or whistles. The clear plastic front and splash of brushed aluminum around the dial selector give it just enough style to be noticed. Controls are kept to a minimum at volume, tuning, and band-selection. The audio quality is good, but par for a transistor radio. As long as awe-inspiring surround sound isn't expected, you won't be disappointed. The FM antenna folds out from the left side of the radio and swivels around for optimal reception. A much better option than just protruding from the top. The earphone plug on the side is mono only, and will only play in the left ear with a standard set of headphones. FM performance is good - a little too good, as the signals tend to overload a bit. Away from the city areas, FM signals come in distant and fairly well. The AM band is where this little Sony really shines. While most small radios can't cope with decent AM reception, this one goes above and beyond radios 3 times its size and 6 times the price. The AM tuner has excellent sensitivity and selectivity, and gives you the option of some tougher signal catches. I have been able to listen to a small station 35 miles away at 1140khz, while almost next to the antennas of a 50,000 watt monster at 1180. The S10MK2 performs some good feats on only 2 AA batteries, with an average listening life of 40-45 hours per set. Alot of enjoyment for little money. For a quick breakdown:


- Long life on batteries

- Fairly loud volume without distortion

- easy to operate

- excellent reception

- cheap price tag


- earphone audio in left ear only without special adaptor

- minimal styling. Won't stand out in a crowd

- antenna arcs, but doesn't swivel

- FM selectivity not all that it could be

- audio quality is OK, but not spectacular

- battery door isn't hinged and could be easily lost

- no option for AC power. Batteries only

Although there are some radios that perform better than this particular Sony, you won't find any of them this inexpensive. For good listening on the cheap, make sure to get one...or two. Maybe 3 just in case.
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on August 28, 2006
I love this little radio. It gets great reception for all the AM talk radio shows I like listening to. However, like another reviewer mentioned, I too have a problem with the output jack. When I plugged in three seperate headphones they all only had sound for the left ear. If it weren't for that I'd probably give it five stars. After consulting sony's online FAQs I found that this is most likely not a defect in the product. To quote the site:

"If audio is being heard from the left side of the headphones only, ensure that the device from which it is connected has stereo output capability.

IMPORTANT: A mono device will only output sound to the left side.

NOTE: Generally, if a device has an output jack labeled EARPHONE it will be mono, while an output jack labeled HEADPHONE will be stereo. "

Sure enough this little radio does not have a headphone jack, just an earphone one. If you want this radio to use without headphones, or don't mind sound from only one ear then it's great.
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on November 12, 2005
For only $10, this is quite an impressive pocket radio. I've purchased many small radios over the years, and this one is by far one of the most sensitive ones I own.

Reception on both AM and FM is terrific, with great selectivity. It easily tunes into adjacent stations which come in very clear, almost as good as on a larger radio. There is an LED on the front to show when a station is tuned in, and the FM antenna can be extended and moved from side to side to get better reception. AM tunes up to about 1630 or so, rather than all the way up to 1710, but this probably won't be a big deal for most people, since there usually aren't many stations on that high end of the band. The carry strap is convenient, and the radio is very small and lightweight so it can easily fit just about anywhere. Sound quality is good also- it's actually a little fuller than other small radios, and has decent clarity without being tinny. I do have one complaint, however- in strong FM areas the local stations tend to come in all over the dial, allowing for very little reception of the weaker ones. Unfortunately this is a problem where I live, and because of that I only use this radio once a year when I go on vacation to the beach. It does an amazing job there since there are no strong stations in that area, and it's disappointing that I can only get good reception there and not where I live.

Overall I would highly recommend this Sony radio. I also own Panasonic's current model, the RF-P50, and while it also has a Sony IC chip it isn't quite as sensitive as the Sony version. If you live in a weak area, definitely consider picking up one of these Sony radios. You won't be disappointed.
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on November 28, 2006
I received three of these radios from J&R Music today for $30, including shipping (just ordered two more). The radios were very well protected and were received undamaged through UPS. I own some larger and more expensive digital PLL-tuned radios, but this radio is truly unbelievable - too bad, I wasted time and money on the other radios. This is an analog-tuned radio, which evidentually, has a tuned loop input and may contain the same receiver chip and ferrite-bar, as the much more expensive Sony PLL radios. There is an excellent review of this radio on RadioIntel and look under the "reviews" tab; this radio has almost the same AM DXing capabilities, as a $700 receiver ! The radio is simply handsome and about the size of a 3x5 card and 1 1/4" inches deep, so it definately has some bulk (this is not the typical 1960's-style transistor radio, that I grew up with). This radio has the feel of a quality piece of electronics for only $10 ! The fit-and-finish is very good, the tuner is very tight, the battery compartment cover and antenna fit tightly, handling the radio does not affect reception, and the 2 1/4" speaker much better, than one would expect. I compared its AM nighttime reception to my more expensive digital PLL radios and it could pick up exactly the same stations (West to WHO 1040 Des Moines, South to 870 WWL New Orleans, and North to Canada, all from Maryland), but without the typical static of cheap boom-boxes, or the typical PLL synthesizer noise. This radio also has an LED tuning indicator, so you will know when the station is right on; also, I have not noticed the typical drifting one gets with analog-tuned radios. I hope Sony doesn't make the mistake of discontinuing this excellent radio.
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on April 21, 2005
These things were more or less perfected about 20 years ago. Since then, manufacturers like Sony and Panasonic have only made incremental improvements and cosmetic changes to the basic design. I have one of this model, and it lived up to my (low) expectations. Reception in both bands is quite good. Sound quality, as one would expect, is a bit tinny, but clear; far better for voice broadcasts than music. Fit and finish is decent as well, and the belt clip is metal rather than plastic, which means you can actually use it without fear of it snapping off and smashing your radio on the floor. But hell, it's so cheap that even if you do break it...well, it's just a cheap radio, albeit one that will probably outlast your CD player.
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on July 21, 2007
This radio is fantastic! I had been looking for a small radio to carry in my day pack. After reading many reviews and talking to my wife she bought me this one for my birthday back in February. I wanted to test this radio out before I gave my comments.

Let me give you some of my background. I am a ham radio operator, KC0LFW, so I know a little bit about radios. By trade, I have been employed at a large chemical plant for 20 years as an, Electronics and Instrumentation Technician, so I know a little about electronics.

This radio was packaged in a blister pack. It is light and small. The antenna telescopes down then folds down to the left side of the unit. There are two thumb-driven controls. Left side is the on/ off and volume control. The right side is the tuning. There is a earphone jack but the radio came with none. I have yet to buy one. This radio is powered by two AA batteries.

I am still using the first set of batteries I installed back in Feb. I mainly use this on the weekends around the house while doing odd jobs. I rate the battery life a 10 out of 10.

The reception is great. I can pull stations out with the antenna down that my other, more expensive radio cannot touch. I own a number of radios and I keep returning to this one. It is a real workhorse.

At ~$10 you can not go wrong. Keep one in the garage, or for when the power goes out. Keep one in your coat for the fall football games. Take one when you travel. I recommend this radio highly. I would give one as a gift and I would another one. Thanks Amazon and Sony.

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on February 3, 2015
For a small little radio, it really does the job. I bought one for my 89 year old Mom who is recuperating in a rehab center. She loves to listen to the local news and loves to hear music. I didn't want to spend a lot because she has a more expensive one at home. Also, she didn't want a radio that was strictly used with ear buds. At first I was having a hard time finding an inexpensive radio that had a speaker. Most were restricted to use with ear buds in this size and price range. The quality is great and it has enough volume. Sometimes you don't even need the antenna, and it really holds a station. I liked it so much that I bought another one for myself for emergency use in case of a power outage during this long, snowy and icy winter. You can't go wrong with Sony!
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on May 13, 2012
This little guy gets great AM and FM reception for me. I purchased it mainly for the AM band and it has picked up more AM stations where I'm located than I was expecting. The antenna helps pull in the FM stations and they sound good for such a small radio. The headphone jack works fine and the radio fits perfectly in a shirt pocket. It's the same size as a pack of 100 length cigs. Extremely happy with it !
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on June 25, 2006
Reminds me of the transistor radio I brought into school while in fifth grade (1969- the Miracle Mets!), except much better reception. I bought it to have a small radio in my computer room, and it fits the bill. Sure, I'd like digital tuning, but for $[...] buy it, I promise you will not be sorry.
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