Customer Review

625 of 653 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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in


Tracked by 6 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 11-20 of 33 posts in this discussion
Posted on May 27, 2011 8:10:02 PM PDT
Grateful for heads-up, I've just ordered the Sony radio and 3.5mm Stereo Female/ 3.5mm Mono Male Adaptor to go with it. Your advice has saved me some time... thank you!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2011 10:01:19 PM PDT
L Calé says:
the radio would send the signal to both sides if you used a mono headset:
Califone Deluxe Mono Headphones with Volume Control and Permanent Coiled Cord

the problem is not the radio, but people using headphones designed for stereos.

Posted on Sep 18, 2011 10:31:49 PM PDT
Adam C. says:
Sony is thinking of a different market here than your average American. Think about places like Tokyo, as Sony does, where public transportation is huge and many people also walk a lot and you'll realize the need for one ear free to listen for real world noises. Also people that drive delivery trucks or vans such as UPS, Fedex, etc. often don't have radios at all and in most states it is illegal to drive with headphones but legal with an earphone. If that means nothing to you, this thing is cheaper than a pizza so suck it stereo. Even says so in the listing - Monophonic

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2011 4:59:01 AM PDT
Get a cheap set of stereo earbuds ($1 at the Dollar Store) and cut off the right earbud. Voila! An earphone that sounds decent for this radio!

Posted on Dec 23, 2011 2:22:04 AM PST
Bookend says:
I agree with earlier posts that praise the sensitivity of this radio. I live in a rural area, and have a terrible time picking up longer-distance stations. Not with this radio. I pull in some pretty distant stations. The long antenna probably helps. Great value for a radio. I may buy a second one.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 6:16:03 PM PDT
Victor says:
because, the target market for this device will not know what the heck an "earBUD" is.
"Earbud" = the digital generation
"EarPhone" = The Analog world.
This is an analog device, made the same way for 50+ years. Sony should still make one that works with about 4 billion earphones that were sold before you were born.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 7:41:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 28, 2012 7:43:45 PM PDT
Jason says:
Regardless of what label you put on it: earbud, earphone, headphone, headset, etc... it is analog, even if you plug it into a digital device such as a CD player or iPod. All portable audio devices put out an analog signal through their earphone or headphone jack. The digital form used to store the audio on CDs and iPods would sound akin to fingers scraping a chalkboard if sent directly to you. An earphone typically goes into the ear canal, while earbuds rest outside the ear canal, while headphones are held against both ears with a band that goes over the head. High end headsets have pads that go around the ears (circumaural), helping to block outside noise, reduce pressure on the ears, and improve sound. Any of these will work with this Sony pocket radio, although some may need a simple adapter to change to a 1/8" mono plug.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2012 12:16:07 AM PDT
It's not a matter of WHEN mono transistor radios came on the market. It's a matter that this is now the 21st century and it would cost little more to put in an earphone jack that sent mono to both sides rather than the outdated jacks that only send mono to one side. I appreciate the history of it; however, for practical listening enjoyment, the way this radio handles earphones today is sub-standard.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2012 12:22:19 AM PDT
I ride public tranportation (the bus) on a regular basis and I have no need to only hear the radio out of ONE ear. What "real world" noises are you thinking of that people have to have an ear open for it? What are you expecting people to be listening for with the "free ear" a gunfight?

I own one of these radios, I'm just not going to jump on the "All Praise to Sony" bandwagon and pretend that every product they produce is the suck that up.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2012 8:37:15 PM PDT
"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."

That is not correct. It is a design defect (flaw) or at minimal, a design oversight. The inclusion of a monaural speaker audio source need not necessitate a single-channel headphone jack.

Monaural devices normally (in fairly recent decades) still provide a signal to both L & R audio channels. It simply would not be stereophonic sound.

I cite my audio design experience in addition to LOTS of portable, car, and home stereo equipment I've seen, used, and installed over the years.

A well-designed device would account for stereo headphones & would be a minimal design change at most.

It is unfortunate but easily solved using a stereo-to-monaural headphone adapter.

Review Details


4.4 out of 5 stars (3,233 customer reviews)
5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
$12.99 $12.97
Add to cart Add to wishlist

E. Kellar

Location: Akron, OH

Top Reviewer Ranking: 20,886,648