Customer Reviews

2,241
4.4 out of 5 stars
Sony ICF38 Portable AM/FM Radio (Black)
Price:$26.00 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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1,233 of 1,241 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2009
I'm a big time radio guy, and have used many models over the years. There are two things that really make any radio stand out, and this one has both of them.
The ICF-38 is an excellent performer as far as reception of both AM and FM signals go. Weak signal pick up on both bands is markedly better here than with almost all small portable radios I've used, and even more importantly, selectivity (ability to seperate stations cleanly) is better as well. The tone switch (which some radios don't even have) cuts the treble when desired, if you want a less harsh sounding AM signal. The dial has no clock or light, but an LED for indicating if a station is tuned in. Battery life is excellent if alkalines are used (it takes 4 AA batteries). Output volume is listed as 4 watts, quite loud for a radio of this size, with little distortion at top level.
The other ingredient for a good radio is ease of use and a well thought out design. There are little things here which most people won't notice that actually make this radio a joy to use. Many radios today that run off both internal batteries and AC require a seperate wall-wart that plugs into the radio and the outlet, but the ICF-38 has the power cord built in so you won't have to search for it when needed. Also, the battery cover is hinged, which is great as battery covers can disappear as easily as wall-warts (and you can't just go to Wal-mart to buy a new battery cover). The carry handle flips up when needed, and there is an indentation in the cabinet which allows you to slip in a finger to raise it easily, and you'll find out how nice this is when your hands are full and you need to bring the radio with you as well. Both slide switches for band selection and power have a raised bump in the middle which makes it easier to change bands or turn it on. Finally, The shape makes it easy to place in most locations and it is very stable, making it unlikely to get knocked over.
If there were no markings on this radio to indicate the manufacturer, I would have easily guessed that it was a Sony product. It has the great performance and clever design that I associate with Sony.
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297 of 303 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2008
Just what I was looking for--a quality desktop radio with nothing fancy-- just a radio. The sound quality is very good and the reception is excellent with a telescoping adjustable attenna. Great value for the price.
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227 of 235 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2009
Having been a radio nut for years, and using this radio for about five months now, this review is not given casually. Probably could stock my own radio store.

If you're looking for a basic AM/FM portable radio with excellent reception, sound, portability, quality and brand, you've come to the right place. And there's even a Tone High/Low switch which gives a nice variety of sound choices.

Rather than going into the specifics of the antenna, carry handle, aesthetic appeal, speaker size and quality, functionality of the knobs, battery life, suffice it to say, for $25 you can't go wrong! Try it - you'll like it.
(and no, I'm not a Sony nor Amazon representative)
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326 of 342 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2008
This radio brings in distant stations, sounds good, and takes up little space. The controls are easy for me to use. These were the qualities I was looking for so I am pleased I made the choice to buy Sony ICF38.
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115 of 118 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2012
I wanted a small, simple, inexpensive radio for kitchen use. The Sony ICF38 is well made, can use either an AC cord that stows in the back of the radio, or 4-AA batteries.

Styling is simple and clean, with clear, solid controls. Sound quality is very good for such a small radio. Very happy with the radio to this point.
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163 of 171 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2008
I just recently purchased this gem for use in my office & garage & my first impressions are as follows:

-Decent sound quality

-Reception is very good,actually better than a few portables I own that
cost much more.

-Very easy to use,you don't even need a manual.

This radio is a throw back to the 70's,no bells and whistles
just a tone control for music & talk. What impressed me the
most is the ease of picking up on AM lower powered stations
over 100 miles in the day time. For giggles & grins, I used a
'Select A Tenna' antenna in the night time & this unit turned
into a serious DX,ing machine! . In a nushell, for the money you
can't go wrong.
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83 of 86 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2008
batteries run forever. this is replacing the older version of this model which had the tv band and emergency weather, never the less this one works great I use this for the yard and beach and it is also fairly sturdy.
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129 of 138 people found the following review helpful
This radio has great sound and bring in the stations clearly especially when I use it on the beach.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2013
First, this is the Sony ICF-38 which is available for $10.00 less elsewhere on Amazon. It is a nice looking smallish radio and seems well built with the basic features you might need. It did not work for me however as the reception in the lower end of the FM dial was plagued by reflections of stronger stations higher on the dial and I could not receive the station I was looking for at 88.1. We have an old GE model 7-26600 portable that gets better reception with a partially broken antenna. Maybe FM is just not important to radio makers anymore - seems like most newer portables have this problem, unless it's a car radio. I am going to try a more expensive Sangean or Crane model next.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2012
I wanted to receive reception for KYW 1060 news radio,125 miles away in Philadelphia. Only my car radio could ever pick it up. This radio does the job, so I will be retiring my GE Superadio and also an older GE 7-2825a (similar) to the thrift store. FM sound quality and pull-power is better than most for this size, even at higher volumes. The nice touches such as a soft rubber antenna cap, hinged battery door, tone control, flush-fold carry handle and separate on-off switch are appreciated. Although it plugs in, battery life is excellent, as is tuning. Earphone (meaning one) jack outputs to one ear using standard stereo earphones which is what I expected. This is good product, better than I had hoped.
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