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on November 19, 2005
I picked one of these up a few years ago while looking for a small radio to use with headphones. Needless to say it is decent radio for the price, with good sound and reception. The controls are well laid out, and it has a local/distant switch for the FM band. It also uses only one AA battery, making it very lightweight. FM reception is good in strong areas, with good selectivity and interference rejection. It doesn't pick up strong FM stations all over the dial like many other smaller radios of its type. The best part about this radio, as others have noted, is its great AM reception. It has excellent selectivity on the AM band and also tunes into weak stations very easily. I've had many radios like this over the years and this is probably one of the best for AM reception. My only complaint is that while the FM is selective, it isn't as strong as others. In weak areas reception on the FM band might be a little tricky for distant stations.

Overall I would highly recommend this Sony, especially for those looking for a great AM radio. If you're looking for a decent radio, especially on the AM band, pick one of these up- you'll be glad you did.
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on July 2, 2004
Over the years I have bought various "walkman type" radios from various manufacturers. This Sony is a fantastic radio. I have owned analog and digital tuners and find the sensitivity and selectivity of this radio to be on par, if not above, digital tuners. Don't let the low price and non-frills appearance fool you. The sound is top rate and the output is sufficient to drive the headphones with very little input from the volume control. Sure you don't get some features that one gets with digital receivers, but I listen to one station while exercising so channel surfing isn't an issue. I am very well pleased with this radio and for the money, you can't beat it.
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on January 25, 2007
The reception is very good and it is tough. I've had mine for over 10 years. It traveled from Hawaii to Paris, and almost every state in between in luggage, backpacks, and camping. It has kept on working perfectly until yesterday. I just ordered another one.

Pros: Small, tough, uses one AA battery that seems to last forever, attractive, good reception and stereo sound, lightweight, very well made.

Cons: Analog tuner is very sensitive to micromovements and a bit hard to use. If you station surf a lot, this isn't the radio for you. The original headphones are junk, but my replacement Sony MDR-J10 in-the-ear phones that clip behind the ear are cheap and give good sound for the money.

I recommend this radio highly.
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on February 22, 2010
I owned a Sony SRF-M37W Walkman Digital Tuning Weather/FM/AM Stereo Radio (Black) for years; now I've had this cheaper alternate for months, and I'm ready to compare them.

1. Battery life. This uses a AA; the digital uses a AAA, and the difference in battery life is dramatic. The battery life is extraordinary with this analog radio.

2. Tuning. It's easier with the digital radio's five preset buttons--if what you want is one of those preset stations. However, the digital radio doesn't have auto-search, so finding stations not on the presets is even more laborious than it is with the analog radio.

3. Reception. Seems good, though the analog radio often adds a bit more of the sounds radios add to the station signal when it's not spot-on. Little squeaks and squawks.

4. Size. The analog radio is definitely bigger, but it still fits easily in a mens dress shirt pocket. Personally I find the larger size a cheap price to pay for the vastly longer battery life afforded by the larger AA battery.

5. Ergonomics. The digital radio has a recessed switch that locks the radio at its current setting, whatever that is, on or off. This is quite necessary, because it's so easy to accidentally bump one of the protruding buttons, either shutting it off or popping it over to a different station. By contrast, the on-off switch, volume control and tuning dials on this analog radio are relatively immune to getting changed by bumping them accidentally.

6. Reliability. Both seem fine this way, and both resistant to breaking if you drop them accidentally (without reason). I did notice that after owning it for years, the digital radio's presets got a little screwy--sometimes they'd all change to whatever the station was for preset #1.

7. Added features: the digital radio has a clock; the analog doesn't. The digital has a weather station setting, which I never was able to get to work (i.e. really bad reception), and the TV audio capability was useful until all the TV stations went digital, and then it didn't work.

All in all I prefer this analog radio to the digital one, in part because the battery life is useful to me, and the larger size isn't so much bigger that it makes any difference to me (both fit in a pocket). A digital radio is inherently better, but Sony would have to redesign theirs to make it truly better than this cheaper analog version.

I'm not commenting on music reception because I mainly use it for talk radio.
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on March 8, 2007
How does one rightfully complain about a product that offers such terrific value? It's true that minor static occasionally mars the reception of weaker radio signals, but that seems to be a common problem for nearly all small portables. (I live in a very large metro area. All of the locals come in loud and clear.) Its small size makes it ideal for exercise or work around the yard. Tuck in into your pocket, and forget about it. I personally substitute my iPod headphones in place of the larger phones that came with the radio. (The phones provided sound just fine, but they're a bit too bulky for my taste.) I've had this little gem for several months now. Would I buy it again? Absolutely. I figure that any electronic device that works as well as this Sony does, delivered to my front door for under $20, is hard to beat. Look no further.
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on December 17, 2003
This radio has the best AM reception of any portable that I've heard. Better than a Sony digital tuning portable radio, better than the various cassette/radios I've owned, better than an expensive Sangean portable that I tried. I also own a Grundig Yacht Boy and the AM reception is at least as good (using the reel antenna on the YB). It even has a local/dx switch, just like the Grundig. I should point out that I use this primarily at work, in a high-rise building in a city.
It's small enough to fit in shirt pocket and is very light. One NIMH AA rechargable battery will power this radio for over 40 hours (the length of a work week).
Though not in stereo, FM reception is also very good. This is an analog tuning radio, so it can take a little time to lock in some stations.
Currently I am on the third of these radios. I drop them a lot and after a 2-3 years of abuse, the antenna is dislodged, which ruins AM reception. This is my fault and I plan on being more careful with this latest one, maybe wrap it in foam or something to cushion it.
This is a great little radio that you should not overlook in favor of those with more features.
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on May 21, 2006
I have been using this radio for close to 2 years now and am now getting two more of those radios on request of my family members. The radio has both high FM and AM sensitivity, comparable to that for a dedicated tuner in an audio system. The power consumption is low. The sound quality is very good and becomes excellent, for a small radio, if you upgrade the headphones. I have used both Koss KSC50 and Sony DR-G250DP. The latter come with a concealable microphone boom and take care both of my radio and on-the-road computer needs.
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on November 4, 2006
THe radio works great....except the last 2 Sony walkman am/fm radios I have had you were able to CLIP onto your WAISTE band when exercising.....it was just a large CLIP thing....THIS new one has a different type that you HAVE to use a BELT with! and WHO uses a belt to work out ? I certainly dont.....so I am using a VERY LARGE safety pin thru the hole in the back and then I pin it onto my shorts....which has made a nice hole in the material of two pairs. Otherwise it is a great item!
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on December 3, 2011
Before I bought this radio I owned the earlier Sony version which I absolutely loved ... it had great reception for both AM & FM and was almost indestructible. After years of great service it finally broke and the only replacement I could find was the model shown here .. which sadly turned out to be nothing like the original. I ordered 2 of these radios figuring I save with the free shipping ... what a sad mistake. The AM reception was OK at first .. FM reception was never any good (and I live in a major city). After a few weeks something happened to the AM reception such that it cut in & out ... volume would almost disappear until you gave it a gently whack after which (if you were lucky) it would come back for a bit. After putting up with it for a couple weeks I tossed it and began using the second radio.

Again AM reception was OK .. but FM reception was terrible. To get a decent signal you had to orient the radio in a particular direction (not good if you are moving around) .. or even when listening while stationary you had to "arrange" the headset wire in some particular fashion to get any decent reception. I'm somewhat shocked that a manufacturer with Sony's reputation would put out such a lousy product ... makes me wonder if these are not some kind of bogus knock-offs of the Sony product line.

Overall I rate these as JUNK and advise avoiding them.
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on March 1, 2006
I bought this mainly for use while commuting by bus but find I'm using it everywhere these days.

I bought a pair of Sennheizer HD-280 Pro monitor headphones ($100) for use with this LITTLE radio and the sound is amazing. The headphones are large but they attenuate outside noise and allow me to ride the buss in my own little world. If anything happens to my SRF-59 I'll be searching for a new one. As many have said, you can't beat it for any price.

The icing on the cake is one AA battery seems to last forever... ie. 1 month of 1.5hr/day commuting.
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