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Customer Review

663 of 691 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Headphone vs Earphone, August 28, 2006
This review is from: Sony ICF-S10MK2 Pocket AM/FM Radio, Silver (Electronics)
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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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 36 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 21, 2009 12:25:03 PM PDT
J. KNOWLES says:
I plug a mono-to-stereo adaptor in, and that solves the ears issue.
That still leaves the "jumpy volume" issue. For that I use some
headphones that have their own level control. I set that down
2/3 of the way and the volume works OK. The really should drive
both ears and turn the level down for good headphones.
If you get the adaptor and level-adjust headphones, though,
the sound is awesome. Their pocket am/fm Walkman has all the
right stuff for headphones, and super sound, but the AM isn't
quite as sensitive and there isn't a speaker.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 6:19:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 3, 2012 11:12:36 PM PDT
WOW! That's a HUGE negative for a pocket radio! Why in the world would Sony make a pocket radio (which carries with it the assumption that MOST of the listening will be done through headhphones or earbuds) that only plays mono in ONE channel? Sony, what were you thinking?!

The technology to put mono in both phones is here and it's not very expensive. I think Sony should make that slight upgrade to this radio. Left ear only is really so unnecessary and outdated.

Posted on Mar 22, 2010 5:26:18 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 22, 2010 5:26:55 AM PDT]

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 10:53:15 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 8, 2010 11:33:54 AM PDT
I came to review this great little radio I've had for a couple of years. The only problem I have with it is that it gets scratchy through my earbuds - JVC Marshmallows - when I set the volume all the way down to my hearing threshold. But I just ran over the buds with my vacuum and tore the line, so I bought some other cheapo buds, Maxell M&M. I thought there was a defect with the Maxells as I could only hear the radio through the left bud. This review was on the front page of reviews. I'm confused now, because I only ever used the JVCs in one ear in bed on my side but I never once gave a thought to which bud to insert, both worked fine one-at-a-time in either ear. In fact if I took a bud out of my ear I could hear Both buds outputting sound. Maybe the JVCs convert a mono signal to a dual mono output?

Btw, I've now tested the Maxells with another source. Sound come out both ends. Second btw, I'd recommend the JVC over the Maxell for non-tangle cords...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 4, 2011 10:19:59 PM PST
Ace Winter says:
mono pocket transistor radios go back to the beginning of time -- or at least the 1950's. why is this the style? probably because FM radio wasn't in fashion until the (late?) 1960's. I'm surprised you're not aware of this...

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2011 4:25:24 AM PST
A HUGE negative? Not so, if you understand why you only hear sound in one channel of a pair of STEREO headphones. The radio is designed for MONAURAL use, that is, it is NOT designed to output STEREO, therefore, plugging in STEREO headphones is the wrong choice. STEREO = 2 channels, MONAURAL = 1 channel.

So your ASSUMPTION regarding use of (stereo) headphones is not correct. The radio has 1 speaker, therefore, you can expect it to output in MONO. It is NOT a design defect, rather, a misapplication/misunderstanding of the product.

Posted on Mar 13, 2011 10:33:03 PM PDT
D. Petitpas says:
I have to chime in too about this being a MONO radio and not a stereo radio. With a mono radio, you can listen with an EARPHONE, which means you don't have to block out both ears. This is great when you're at work, riding the bus, and so forth, because you have one ear free to pay attention to your surroundings and yet still receive news, sports, etc.

If you want a great STEREO radio (without a built in speaker) try the Sony SRF-59 FM/AM Radio Walkman. Great sound for a $15 radio and about the same size. And you will hear AM and FM from BOTH channels. You just don't get a built-in speaker.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2011 10:19:51 AM PDT
J. KNOWLES says:
True...the SRF-59 is awesome.

With mon-ster adaptor plug and hedphone volume slider this does
make wonderfu sound, though.

Here is an amusing "huge positive": there is no output resistor on this
sucker and the audio range is full, so a plug-to-speaker-wire, and
a hi-fi speaker, and this makes a really great portable table radio!
Decent volume and great sound.

Posted on May 13, 2011 6:25:35 PM PDT
Jason says:
If you want stereo (or mono through two ears), buy a stereo product like Sony's excellent but inexpensive SRF-59. The ICF-S10MK2 is designed for use with an earphone (one ear). If you want to hear mono through both ears on a stereo headset, buy a mono to stereo adapter (about $3). There are also mono headsets but these are not as easy to find.

Posted on May 19, 2011 7:22:59 PM PDT
gary89436 says:
This is indeed a mono radio--I have the same left-side only 'problem' as reported.

For us greybeards who remember the first transistor radios, it wasn't unusual to find monaural units, with single-ear earphones. I'll admit it seems a bit odd to find one today. Sony could at least send the signal to both sides; it wouldn't be stereo, but a bit closer to what modern consumers expect. I'm one of us who like to keep one ear open to the outside anyway while listening to talk radio, so this isn't a burden for me. I bought this radio specifically to listen to one AM talk station, with the speaker, so this little $10 gem was perfect for me. YMMV

By the way, my volume control is fine.
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